Tereus [Te-ruse], ki ng of Daulis, and the husband of Procnê. Wishing afterwards to marry Philomela, her sister, he told her that Procnê was dead. He lived with his new wife for a time, and then cut out her tongue, lest she should expose his falsehood to Procnê; but it was of no use, for Philomela made known her story in the embroidery of a peplus. Tereus, finding his home too hot for his wickedness, rushed after Procnê with an axe, but the whole party was metamorphosed into birds. Tereus was changed into a hoopoo (some say a lapwing, and others an owl), Procnê into a swallow, and Philomela into a nightingale.

So was that tyrant Tereus’ nasty lust
Changed into Upupa’s foul-feeding dust.
   —Lord Brooke: Declination of Monarchie.

Those who have read Titus Andronicus (usually bound up with Shakespeare’s plays) will call to mind the story of Lavinia, defiled by the sons of Tamora, who afterwards plucked out her tongue and cut off her hands; but she told her tale by guiding a staff with her mouth and stumps, and writing it in the sand.

Fair Philomela, she but lost her tongue,
And in a tedious sampler sewed her mind.
But, lovely niece, that mean is cut from thee;
A craftier Tereus, cousin, hast thou met,
And he hath cut those pretty fingers off,
That could have better sewed than Philomel.
   —Act ii. sc. 4 (1593).

Teril (Sir Walter). The king exacts an oath from sir Walter to send his bride Cælestina to court on her wedding night. Her father, to save her honour, gives her a mixture supposed to be poison, but in reality only a sleeping draught, from which she awakes in due time, to the amusement of the king and delight of her husband.—Dekker: Satiromastix (1602).

Termagant, an imaginary being, supposed by the crusaders to be a Mohammedan deity. In the Old Moralities, the degree of rant was the measure of the wickedness of the character portrayed; so Pontius Pilate, Judas Iscariot, Termagant, the tyrant, Sin, and so on, were all ranting parts. Painters expressed degrees of wickedness by degrees of shade.

I would have such a fellow whipped for o’erdoing Termagant.—Shakespeare: Hamlet, act iii. sc. 2 (1596).

Termagant, the maid of Harriet Quidnunc. She uses most wonderful words, as paradropsical for “rhapsodical,” perjured for “assured,” physiology for “philology,” curacy for “accuracy,” fignification for “signification,” importation for “import,” anecdote for “antidote,” infirmaries for “infirmities,” intimidate for “intimate.”—Murphy: The Upholsterer (1758).

Termeros, a robber of Peloponnesos, who killed his victims by cracking their skulls against his own.

Termosiris, a priest of Apollo, in Egypt; wise, prudent, cheerful, and courteous.—Fénelon: Télémaque, ii. (1700).

Ternotte, one of the domestics of lady Eveline Berenger “the betrothed.”—Sir W. Scott: The Betrothed (time, Henry II.).

Terpin (Sir), a king who fell into the power of Radigund queen of the Amazons. Refusing to dress in female attire, as the queen commanded, to sew, card wool, spin, and do house work, he was doomed by her women to be gibbeted. Sir Artegal undertook his cause, and a fight ensued, which lasted all day. When daylight closed, Radigund proposed to defer the contest till the following day, to which sir Artegal agreed. Next day, the knight was victorious; but when he saw the brave queen bleeding to death, he took pity on her, and, throwing his sword aside, ran to succour her. Up started Radigund as he approached, attacked him like a fury, and, as he had no sword, he was, of course, obliged to yield. So the contest was decided against him, and sir Terpin was “gibbeted by women,” as Radigund had commanded.—Spenser: Faërie Queene, v. 5 (1596).

Terpsichore [Terp-sic-o-re], the Muse of dancing.—Greek Fable.

  By PanEris using Melati.

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