Auspices Under your good auspices , i.e. through your influence, or the influence of your good name. In Rome only the Commander-in-Chief was allowed to take the auspices of war. If a legate gained a victory, he was said to win it under the good auspices of his superior in command.

"Auspex" is from avispex (avis and spicio), one who observes the flight, etc., of birds.

Auster A wind pernicious to flowers and health. In Italy one of the South winds was so called; its modern name is the Siroco. (Greek, austeros, hot, dry). In England it is a damp wind, generally bringing wet weather.

"Nought but putrid streams and noisome fogs.
For ever hung on drizzly Auster's beard."
Thomson: Castle of Indolence, ii. 78.

Austin Friars Friars of the Order of St. Augustine. (See Begging.)

Austrian Lip The thick under-lip, characteristic of the house of Hapsburg. Derived from Cymburgis, daughter of Ziemovitz, Duke of Masovia, and niece of the then King of Poland. Cymburgis was noted for her beauty and unusual strength.

Aut Cæsar aut nullus [Latin, Either Cæsar or no one ], everything or nothing; all or not at all. Cæsar used to say, "he would sooner be first in a village than second at Rome." Milton makes Satan say,

"Better to reign in Hell, than serve in Heaven."
Milton. Par. Lost. i. 263. (See Six.)

Authentic Doctor Gregory of Rimini. (Fourteenth century.)

Auto da Fe [An act of faith.] A day set apart by the Inquisition for the examination of "heretics." Those not acquitted were burnt. The reason why inquisitors burnt their victims was, because they are forbidden to "shed blood"; an axiom of the Roman Catholic Church being, "Ecclesia non novit sanguinem " (the church is untainted with blood).

Autolycus The craftiest of thieves. He stole the flocks of his neighbours, and changed their marks. Sisyphos out-witted him by marking his sheep under their feet, a device which so tickled the rogue that he instantly "cottoned" to him. Shakespeare introduces him in The Winter's Tale as a pedlar, and says he was called the son of Mercury, because he was born under that "thieving planet."

"Autolycus is no lapidary, though he drives a roaring trade in flash jewellery." - Pall Mall Gazette.

  By PanEris using Melati.

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