Bath to Battus paieront
Bath (Major). A poor, high-minded officer, who tries to conceal his poverty by bold speech and ostentatious bearing. Colman's Poor Gentleman (Lieutenant Worthington) is a similar character. (Fielding: Amelia (a novel) 1751.)
Bath-kol (daughter of the voice). A sort of divination common among the ancient Jews after the gift of prophecy had ceased. When an appeal was made to Bath-kol, the first words uttered after the appeal were considered oracular.
Bathos [Greek, bathos, depth]. A ludicrous descent from grandiloquence to commonplace. A literary
Humano capiti cervicem pictor equinam
Parturiunt montes, nascetur ridiculus mus.A good example is the well-known couplet:
And thou, Dalhousie, the great god of war,
Bathsheba The Duchess of Portsmouth, a favourite court lady of Charles II. The allusion is to the wife
of Uriah the Hittite, criminally beloved by David (2 Sam. xi.). The Duke of Monmouth says:
My father, whom with reverence yet 1 name,
Bathyllus A beautiful boy of Samos, greatly beloved by Polycrates the tyrant, and by the poet Anacreon.
(See Horace: Epistle xiv. 9.)
To them [i.e. the æsthetic school] the boyhood of Bathyllus is of more moment than the manhood of Napoleon.- Mallock: The New Republic, book iv. chap. 1.
Batiste The fabric is so called from Baptiste of Cambrai, who first manufactured it.
Batrachomyomachia (pronounce Ba-trak'o-my'o-makia). A storm in a puddle; much ado about nothing. The word is the name of a mock heroic poem in Greek, supposed to be by Pigres of Caria, and means The Battle of the Frogs and Mice.
Batta or Batty (Hindustanee). Perquisites; wages. Properly, an allowance to East Indian troops in the
field. In garrison they are put on half-batta.
He would rather live on half-pay in a garrison that could boast of a fives-court, than vegetate on full batta where there was none.- G.R. Gleig: Thomas Munro, vol. i. chap. iv. p. 227.
Battar Al [the Trcnchant]. One of Mahomet's swords, confiscated from the Jews when they were exiled from Medina.
Battels Rations or commons allowed to students at the University of Oxford. (To batten, to feast.)
Battersea You must go to Battersea to get your simples cut. A reproof to a simpleton, or one who makes a very foolish observation. The market gardeners of Battersea used to grow simples (medicinal herbs), and the London apothecaries went there to select or cut such as they wanted. (See Naviga. )
Battle Professor Creasy says there are fifteen decisive battles; that is, battles which have decided some political change: B.C. 490, Marathon, 413, Syracuse; 331, Arbela; 207, Metaurus; the defeat of the Romans
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