Whistle to White Lady

Whistle (The). In the train of Anne of Denmark, when she went she to Scotland with James VI., was a gigantic Dane of matchless drinking capacity. He had an ebony whistle which, at the beginning of a drinking bout, he would lay on the table, and whoever was last able to blow it, was to be considered the “Champion of the Whistle.” In Scotland the Dane was defeated by sir Robert Laurie of Maxwelton, who, after three days’ and three nights’ hard drinking, left the Dane under the table, and “blew on the whistle his requiem shrill.” The whistle remained in the family several years, when it was won by sir Walter Laurie, son of sir Robert; and then by Walter Riddel of Glenriddel, brother-in-law of sir Walter Laurie. The last person who carried it off was Alexander Ferguson of Craigdarroch, son of “Annie Laurie,” so well known. (Burns has a ballad on the subject, called The Whistle.)

Whistle. The blackbird, says Drayton, is the only bird that whistles.

Upon his dulcet pipe the merle doth only play.
   —Drayton: Polyolbion, xiii. (1613).

Paying too dear for one’s whistle. (See Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, p. 1294.)

Whistler (The), a young thief, natural son of sir G. Staunton, whom he shot after his marriage with Effie Deans.—Sir W. Scott: Heart of Midlothian (time, George II.).

Whistling. Mr. Townley, of Hull, says, in Notes and Queries, August 2, 1879, that a Roman Catholic checked his wife, who was whistling for a dog: “If you please, ma’am, don’t whistle. Every time a woman whistles, the heart of the blessed Virgin bleeds.”

Une poule qui chante le coq et une fille qui siffle portent malheur dans la maison.

La poule ne doit point chanter devant le coq.

A whistling woman and a crowing hen

Are neither good for God or men.

Whitaker (Richard), the old steward of sir Geoffery Peveril.—Sir W. Scott: Peveril of the Peak (time, Charles II.).

Whitchurch, in Middlesex (or Little Stanmore), is the parish, and William Powell was the blacksmith, made celebrated by Handel’s Harmonious Blacksmith. Powell died 1780.

White Birds. Some Mohammedans believe that the spirits of the faithful (if neither prophets nor martyrs) abide under the throne of God, in the form of white birds. Martyrs are green birds, and prophets are taken to paradise direct in propria persona.

White Cat (The). A certain queen, desirous of obtaining some fairy fruit, was told she might gather as much as she would if she would give to them the child about to be born. The queen agreed, and the new-born child was carried to the fairies. When of marriageable age, the fairies wanted her to marry Migonnet a fairy-dwarf, and, as she refused to do so, changed her into a white cat. Now comes the second part. An old king had three sons, and promised to resign the kingdom to that son who brought him the smallest dog. The youngest son wandered to a palace, where he saw a white cat endowed with human speech, who gave him a dog so tiny that the prince carried it in an acorn shell. The father then said he would resign his crown to that son who brought him home a web, 400 yards long, which would pass through the eye of a needle. The White Cat gave the prince a toil 400 yards long packed in the shale of a millet grain. The king then told his sons he would resign his throne to that son who brought home the handsomest bride. The White Cat told the prince to cut off its head and tail. On doing so, the creature resumed her human form, and was acknowledged to be the most beautiful woman on the earth.

  By PanEris using Melati.

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