Theodosius to Thieves of Historic Note

Theodosius, the hermit of Cappadocia. He wrote the four gospels in letters of gold (423–529).

Theodosius, who of old,
Wrote the gospels in letters of gold.

   —Longfellow: The Golden Legend (1851).

Theophilus (St.), of Adana, in Cilicia (sixth century). He was driven by slander to sell his soul to the devil on condition that his character was cleared. The slander was removed, and no tongue wagged against the thin-skinned saint. Theophilus now repented of his bargain, and, after a fast of forty days and forty nights, was visited by the Virgin, who bade him confess to the bishop. This he did, received absolution, and died within three days of brain fever.—Jacques de Voragine: The Golden Legends (thirteenth century).

This is a very stale trick, told of many a saint. Southey has poetized one of them in his ballad of St. Basil or The Sinner Saved (1829). Eleemon sold his soul to the devil on condition of his procuring him Cyra for wife. The devil performed his part of the bargain, but Eleemon called off, and St. Basil gave him absolution. (See Sinner Saved, p. 1010.)

Theophrastus of France (The), Jean de la Bruyère, author of Caractères (1646–1696).

Theresa, the miller’s wife, who adopted and brought up Amina, the orphan, called “the somnambulist.”—Bellini: La Sonnambula (libretto by Scribe, 1831).

Theresa, daughter of the count palatine of Padolia, beloved by Mazeppa. Her father, indignant that a mere page should presume to his daughter’s hand, had Mazeppa bound to a wild horse, and set adrift. The subsequent history of Theresa is not recorded.—Byron: Mazeppa (1819).

Medora [wife of the Corsair], Neuha [in The Island], Leila [in The Giaour], Francesca [in The Siege of Corinth], and Theresa, it has been alleged, are but children of one family, with differences resulting only from climate and circumstance.—Finden: Byron Beauties.

Theresa (Sister), with Flora M’Ivor at Carlisle.—Sir W. Scott: Waverley (time, George II.).

Theringe (Mme. de), the mother of Louise de Lascours, and grandmother of Diana de Lascours and Martha alias Orgarita “the orphan of the Frozen Sea.”—Stirling: The Orphan of the Frozen Sea (1856).

Thermopylæ. When Xerxes invaded Greece, Leonidas was sent with 300 Spartans, as a forlorn hope, to defend the pass leading from Thessaly into Locris, by which it was thought the Persian host would penetrate into southern Greece. They resisted for three successive days the repeated attacks of the most brave and courageous of Xerxes’ army. The Persians, however, having discovered a path over the mountains, fell on Leonidas in the rear, and the “brave defenders of the hot-gates” were cut to pieces (August 7, B.C. 480).

Theron, the favourite dog of Roderick the last Gothic king of Spain. When the discrowned king, dressed as a monk, assumed the name of “father Maccabee,” although his tutor, mother, and even Florinda failed to recognize him, Theron knew him at once, fawned on him with fondest love, and would never again leave him till the faithful creature died. When Roderick saw his favourite—

He threw his arms around the dog, and cried,
While tears streamed down, “Thou, Theron, thou hast known
Thy poor lost master; Theron, none but thou!”
   —Southey: Roderick, etc., xv. (1814).

Thersites , a deformed, scurrilous Grecian chief, “loquacious, loud, and coarse.” His chief delight was to inveigh against the kings of Greece. He squinted, halted, was gibbous behind and pinched before, and on his tapering head grew a few white patches of starveling down (Iliad, ii.).

His brag, as Thersitês, with elbows abroad,
   —Tusser: Five Hundred Points of Good Husbandry, liv. (1557).

  By PanEris using Melati.

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