Virgil's Gnat to Vitiza or Witiza

Virgil’s Gnat (the Culex, ascribed to Virgil). A shepherd, having fallen asleep in the open air, was on the point of becoming the prey of a serpent, when a gnat stung him on the eyelid. The shepherd crushed the gnat, but at the same time alarmed the serpent, which the shepherd beat to death. Next night, the gnat appeared to the shepherd in a dream, and reproached him for ingratitude, whereupon he raised a monument in honour of his deliverer. Spenser has a free translation of this story, which he calls Virgil’s Gnat (1580). (See Use of Pests, p. 1161).

Virgile au Rabot (Le), “The Virgil of the Plane,” Adam Bellaut, the joiner-poet, who died 1662. He was pensioned by Richelieu, patronized by the “Great Condé,” and praised by Pierre Corneille.

Virgilia is made by Shakespeare the wife of Coriolanus, and Volumnia his mother; but historically Volumnia was his wife and Veturia his mother.—Coriolanus (1610).

The old man’s merriment in Menenius; the lofty lady’s dignity in Volumnia; the bridal modesty in Virgilia; the patrician and military haughtiness in Coriolanus; the plebeian malignity and tribunitian insolence in Brutus and Sicinius, make a very pleasing and interesting variety.—Dr. Johnson: On Coriolanus.

Virgilius, Feargil bishop of Saltzburg, an Irishman. He was denounced as a heretic for asserting the existence of antipodês (*-784). (See Heretics (Scientific), p. 486.)

Virgin Fort (The). Widin, in European Turkey, is so called by the Turks, because it has never been taken by assault.

Metz, in France, was also so called in the Franco-Prussian war (1807-1).

Virgin Knot, maidenly chastity; the allusion being to the zones worn by marriageable young women. Girls did not wear a zone, and were therefore called “Ungirded” (dis-cintæ).

If thou dost break her virgin knot before
All sanctimonious ceremonies may
With full and holy rite be ministered,
No sweet aspersion shall the heaven let fall
To make this contract grow.
   —Shakespeare: The Tempest, act iv. sc. 1 (1609).

Virgin Martyr (The), a tragedy by Philip Massinger (1622). A fine play.

Virgin Mary (The) is addressed by the following titles:—“Empress and Queen of Heaven;” “Empress and Queen of Angels;” “Empress and Queen of the Earth;” “Lady of the Universe or of the World;” “Mistress of the World;” “Patroness of all Men;” “Advocate for Sinners;” “Mediatrix;” “Gate of Paradise;” “Mother of God;” “Mother of Mercies and of Divine Grace;” “Goddess;” “The only Hope of Sinners,” etc., etc.

(It is said that Peter Fullo, in 480, was the first to introduce invocations to the Virgin.)

Virgin Modesty. John Wilmot, earl of Rochester, was so called by Charles II., because of his propensity to blushing (1647–1680).

Virgin Queen (The), Elizabeth (1533, 1558–1603).

Virgin Unmasked (The), a farce by H. Fielding. Goodwill had acquired by trade £10,000, and resolved to give his daughter Lucy to one of his relations, in order to keep the money in the family. He sent for her bachelor relations, and told them his intention; they were Blister (the apothecary), Coupee (the dancingmaster), and Quaver (the singing-master). They all preferred their professions to the young lady, and while they were quarrelling about the superiority of their respective callings, Lucy married Thomas the footman. Old Goodwill says, “I don’t know but that my daughter has made a better choice than if she had married one of these booby relations.”

Virgins (The Eleven Thousand). (See Ursula, p. 1161.)

  By PanEris using Melati.

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