URSULA to Uzziel

URSULA, mother of Elsie, and wife of Gottlieb [Got-leeb], a cottage farmer of Bavaria.—Hartmann von der Aue: Poor Henry (twelfth century); Longfellow: Golden Legend (1851).

Ursula, a gentlewoman attending on Hero.—Shakespeare: Much Ado about Nothing (1600).

Ursula, a silly old duenna, vain of her saraband dancing; though not fair, yet fat and fully forty. Don Diego leaves Leonora under her charge; but Leander soon finds that a little flattery and a few gold pieces will put the dragon to sleep, and leave him free of the garden of his Hesperidês.—Bickerstaff: The Padlock (1768).

Ursula (Sister), a disguise assumed at St. Bride’s by the lady Margaret de Hautlieu.—Sir W. Scott: Castle Dangerous (time, Richard I.).

Ursula (Saint), daughter of Dianotus king of Cornwall (brother and successor of Caradoc king of Cornwall). She was asked in marriage by Conan [Meriadoc] of Armorica or Little Britain. Going to France with her maidens, the princess was driven by adverse winds to Cologne, where she and “her 11,000 virgins” were martyred by the Huns and Picts (October 21, 237). Visitors to Cologne are still shown piles of skulls and bones heaped in the wall, faced with glass, which the verger asserts to be the relics of the martyred virgins; but, like Iphis, they must have changed their sex since death, for most undoubtedly many of the bones are those of men and boys.—See Geoffrey: British History, v. 15, 16 (1142).

N. B.—A calendar in the Freisingen Codex notices them as “SS. XI. M. VIRGINUM,” i.e. “eleven holy virgin martyrs;” but, by making the “M” into a Roman figure equal 1000, we have XIM=11,000; so iiic=300.

N. B.—Ursula is the Swabian ursul or horsel (“the moon”), like Hulda in Scandinavian mythology. If this solution is accepted, then the “virgins who bore her company” are the stars. Ursul is the Scandinavian Hulda.

Those who assert the legend to be based on a fact, have supplied the following names as the most noted of the virgins, and, as there are but eleven given, it favours the Freisingen Codex: (1) Ursula, (2) Sencia or Sentia, (3) Gregoria, (4) Pinnosa, (5) Mardia, (6) Saula, (7) Brittola, (8) Saturnina, (9) Rabacia, Sabatia, or Sambatia, (10) Saturia or Saturnia, and (11) Palladia.

N.B.—In 1837 was celebrated with great splendour the sixteenth centenary “jubilee of their passion.”

Bright Ursula the third, who undertook to guide
The eleven thousand maids to Little Britain sent,
By seas and bloody men devoured as they went;
Of which we find these four have been for saints preferred,
And with their leader still do live encalendered:
St. Agnes, Cordula, Odillia, Florence, which
With wondrous sumptuous shrines those ages did enrich
At Cullen.
   —Drayton: Polyolbion, xxiv. (1622).

Use of Pests. David once said he could not imagine why a wise deity should have created such things as spiders, idiots, and mosquitos; but his life showed they were all useful to him, at any rate. Thus, when he fled from Saul, a spider spun its web at the mouth of the cave, and Saul, feeling assured that the fugitive could not have entered the cave without breaking the web, passed on without further search. Again, when he was taken captive before the king of Gath, he feigned idiocy, and the king dismissed him, for he could not believe such a driveller could be the great champion who had slain Goliath. Once more, when he entered into the tent of Saul, as he was crawling along, Abner, in his sleep, tossed his legs over him. David could not stir, but a mosquito happened to bite the leg of the sleeper, and, Abner shifting it, enabled David to effect his escape.—The Talmud. (See Virgil’s Gnat, p. 1179.)

Used Up, an English version of L’Homme Blasé, of Felix Auguste Duvert, in conjunction with Auguste Théodore de Lauzanne. Charles Mathews made this dramatic trifle popular in England.—Boucicault: Used Up (1845).

  By PanEris using Melati.

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