Vehmique Tribunal to Venison

Vehmique Tribunal (The), or the Secret Tribunal, or the court of the Holy Vehme, said to have been founded by Charlemagne.—Sir W. Scott: Anne of Geierstein (time, Edward IV.).

Veil of St. Agatha, a miraculous veil belonging to St. Agatha, and deposited in the church of the city of Catania, in Sicily, where the saint suffered martyrdom. “It is a sure defence against the eruptions of mount Etna.” It is very true that the church itself was overwhelmed with lava in 1693, and some 20,000 of the inhabitants perished; but that was no fault of the veil, which would have prevented it if it could. Happily, the veil was recovered, and is still believed in by the people.

Veilchen (Annette), attendant of Anne of Geierstein.—Sir W. Scott: Anne of Geierstein (time, Edward IV.).

Veiled Prophet of Khorassan (The), Hakim ben Allah, surnamed Mokanna or “The Veiled,” founder of an Arabic sect in the eighth century. He wore a veil to conceal his face, which had been greatly disfigured in battle. He gave out that he had been Adam, Noah, Abraham, and Moses. When the sultan Mahadi marched against him, he poisoned all his followers at a banquet, and then threw himself into a cask containing a burning acid, which entirely destroyed him.

Thomas Moore has made this the subject of a poetical tale in his Lalla Rookh (“The Veiled Prophet of Khorassan,” 1817).

There, on that throne,…sat the prophet-chief,
The great Mokanna. O’er his features hung
The veil, the silver veil, which he had flung
In mercy there, to hide from mortal sight
His dazzling brow, till man could bear its light.

“Tis time these features were uncurtained [now]. This brow, whose light—oh, rare celestial light!—
Hath been reserved to bless thy favoured sight…
Turn now and look; then wonder, if thou wilt,
That I should hate, should take revenge, by guilt,
Upon the hand whose mischief or whose mirth
Sent me thus maimed and monstrous upon earth…
Here—judge if hell, with all its power to damn,
Can add one curse to the foul thing I am !”
He raised the veil; the maid turned slowly round,
Looked at him, shrieked, and sunk upon the ground.
   —Moore; The Veiled Prophet of Khorassan.

Veipsey, an intermittent spring in Yorkshire, called “prophetic” because, when unusually high, it foretells a coming dearth.

Then my prophetic spring at Veipsey I may show,
That some years is dried up, some years again doth flow;
But when it breaketh out with an immoderate birth,
It tells the following year of a penurious dearth.
   —Drayton: Polyolbion, xxviii. (1622).

Velasquez, the Spanish governor of Portugal in 1640, when the people, led by don Juan duke of Braganza, rose in rebellion, shook off the Spanish yoke, and established the duke on the throne, under the name and title of Juan or John IV. The same dynasty still continues. Velasquez was torn to pieces by the mob. The duchess calls him a

Discerning villain,
Subtle, insidious, false, and plausible;
He can with ease assume all outward forms…
While with the lynx’s beam he penetrates
The deep reserve of every other breast.
   —Jephson: Braganza, ii. 2 (1785).

Velinspeck, a country manager, to whom Matthew Stuffy makes application for the post of prompter.—Charles Mathews: At Home (1818).

Vellum, in Addison’s comedy The Drummer (1715).

Velvet (The Rev. Morphine), a popular preacher, who feeds his flock on eau sucrée and wild honey. He assures his hearers that the way to heaven might once be thorny and steep, but now “every hill is

  By PanEris using Melati.

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