Ambition to Amina

Ambition strictly speaking, means "the going from house to house" (Latin, ambitio, going about canvassing). In Rome it was customary, some time before an election came on, for the candidates to go round to the different dwellings to solicit votes, and those who did so were ambitious of office.

Ambree (Mary) An English heroine, who has immortalised her name by her valour at the siege of Ghent, in 1584. Her name is a proverbial one for a woman of heroic spirit.

"My daughter will be valiant,
And prove a very Mary Ambry i' the business."
Ben Jonson: Tale of a Tub, i. 4.

Ambrose (St.) represented in Christian art in the costume of a bishop. His attributes are (1) a bee- hive, in allusion to the legend that a swarm of bees settled on his mouth when lying in his cradle; (2) a Scourge, by which he expelled the Arians from Italy.

The penance he inflicted on the Emperor Theodosius has been represented by Rubens, a copy of which, by Vandyck, is in the National Gallery

Ambrosia The food of the gods (Greek, a privative, brotos, mortal); so called because it made them not mortal, i.e. it made them immortal. Anything delicious to the taste or fragrant in perfume is so called from the notion that whatever is used by the celestials must be excellent.

"A table where the heaped ambrosia lay."
Homer, by Bryant: Odyssey, v. line 141.
"Husband and wife must drink from the cup of conjugal life; but they must both taste the same ambrosia, or the same gall."
R. C. Houghton: Women of the Orient , part iii.

Ambrosian Chant The choral music introduced from the Eastern to the Western Church by St. Ambrose, the Bishop of Milan, in the fourth century. It was used till Gregory the Great changed it for the Gregorian.

Ambrosian Library A library in Milan, so called in compliment of St. Ambrose, the patron saint.

Ambrosio the hero of Lewis's romance, called The Monk. Abbot of the Capuchins at Madrid. The temptations of Matilda overcome his virtue, and he proceeds from crime to crime, till at last he sells his soul to the devil. Ambrosio, being condemned to death by the Inquisition, is released by Lucifer; but no sooner is he out of prison than he is dashed to pieces on a rock.

Ambry a cupboard, locker, or recess. In church, for keeping vestments, books, or other articles. Used by a confusion for almonry, or niche in the wall where alms, etc., were deposited. Now used for holding the sacramental plate, consecrated oil, and so on. The secret drawers of an escritoire are called ambries. (Archaic English almary, Latin armarium, French armoire.)

"Ther avarice hath almaries,
And yren-bouden cofres."
Piers Ploughman, p. 288.

Almonry is from the Latin eleemosynarium, a place for alms.

"The place wherein this Chapel or Almshouse stands was called the "Elemosinary" or Almonry, now corrupted into Ambrey, for that the alms of the Abbey are there distributed to the poor." - Stow: Survey.

Ambuscade (3 syl.) is the Italian imboscata (concealed in a wood).

Amedamnée (French), a scape-goat.

"He is the ame damnée of everyone about the court - the scapegoat, who is to carry away all their iniquities." - Sir Walter Scott: Peveril of the Peak, chap. 48.

Amedieu (3 syl.) "Friends of God;" a religious body in the Church of Rome, founded in 1400. They wore no breeches, but a grey cloak girded with a cord, and were shod with wooden shoes.

  By PanEris using Melati.

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