to our expression o'clock. Five out of the seven watches last four hours, and each half-hour is marked by a bell, which gives a number of strokes corresponding to the number of half-hours passed. Thus, “three bells” denotes the third half-hour of the watch, “five bells” the fifth half-hour of the watch, and so on. The two short watches, which last only two hours each, are from four to six and six to eight in the afternoon. At eight bells a new watch begins. (See Watch.)

“Do you there hear? Clean shirt and a shave for muster at five bells.”- Basil Hall.
   I'll not hang all my bells on one horse. I'll not leave all my property to one son. The allusion is manifest.
   Give her the bells and let her fly. Don't throw good money after bad; make the best of the matter, but do not attempt to bolster it up. When a hawk was worthless, the bells were taken off, and the bird was suffered to escape, but the advice given above is to “leave the bells” and let the hawk go.
   Ringing the bells backwards, is ringing a muffled peal. Backwards is often used to denote “in a contrary direction” (tout le contraire), as, “I hear you are grown rich-” “Yes, backwards.” To ring a muffled peal, is to ring a peal of sorrow, not of joy.
    In olden times bells were rung backwards as a tocsin, or notice of danger.

“Beacons were lighted upon crags and eminences; the bells were rung backwards in the churches; and the general summons to arm announced an extremity of danger.”- Sir W. Scott. The Betrothed. chap. iii.
   Like sweet bells jangled, out of tune and harsh (Hamlet, iii. 1). A most exquisite metaphor for a deranged mind, such as that of Don Quixote.
   Warwick shakes his bells. Beware of danger, for Warwick is in the field. Trojans beware, Achilles has donned his armour. The bells mean the bells of a hawk, the hawk shakes his bells.

“Neither the king, nor he that loves him best,
Dares stir a wing, if Warwick shakes his bells.”
Shakespeare: 3 Henry VI., i. 1.

Bell, Book, and Candle A ceremony in the greater excommunication introduced into the Catholic Church in the eighth century. After reading the sentence a bell is rung, a book closed, and a candle extinguished. From that moment the excommunicated person is excluded from the sacraments and even divine worship.

“Bell, book, and candle shall not drive me back.”- Shakespeare: King John, iii. 3.
   In spite of bell, book, and candle, i.e. in spite of all the opposition which the Christian hierarchy can offer. (See Cursing.)

Bell of Patrick's Will (clog an eadhachta Phatraic ) is six inches high, five broad, and four deep. It certainly was in existence in the sixth century. In the eleventh century a shrine was made for it of gold and silver filigree, adorned with jewels.

Bell Savage or La Belle Sauvage = Pocahontas. According to one derivation it is a contraction of Isabelle Savage, who originally kept the inn. It is some-what remarkable that the sign of the inn was a pun on the Christian name, a “bell on the Hope” (hoop), as may be seen in the Close Roll of 1453. The hoop seems to have formed a garter or frame to most signs. The site of the inn is now occupied by the premises of Messrs. Cassell & Co.

“They now returned to their inn, the famous Bell Savage.”- Scott: Kenilworth, xiii.

Bell-the-Cat Archibald Douglas, Earl of Angus, was so called. James III. made favourites of architects and masons. One mason, named Cochrane, he created Earl of Mar. The Scotch nobles held a council in the church of Lauder for the purpose of putting down these upstarts, when Lord Gray asked, “Who will bell the cat?” “That will I,” said Douglas, and he fearlessly put to death, in the king's presence, the obnoxious minions. (See Bell. )

Bell-wavering Vacillating, swaying from side to side like a bell. A man whose mind jangles out of tune from delirium, drunkenness, or temporary insanity, is said to have his wits gone bell-wavering.

“I doubt me his wits have gone bell-wavering by the road.”- Sir W. Scott: The Monastery, chap vii.

  By PanEris using Melati.

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