Capitulars to Carcass

Capitulars The laws of the first two dynasties of France were so called, because they were divided into chapters. (French, capitulaire.)

Capon Called a fish out of the coop by those friars who wished to evade the Friday fast by eating chickens instead of fish. (See Yarmouth .)

Capon (A). A castrated cock.
   A Crail's capon. A dried haddock.
   A Severn capon. A sole.
   A Yarmouth capon. A red herring.
    We also sometimes hear of a Glasgow capon, a salt herring.

Capon (A). A love-letter. In French, poulet means not only a chicken but also a love-letter, or a sheet of note-paper. Thus Henri IV., consulting with Sully about his marriage, says: “My niece of Guise would please me best, though report says maliciously that she loves poulets in paper better than in a fricasee.”

“Boyet ... break up this capon [i.e. open this
love-letter].”- Shakespeare. Love's Labour's Lost, iv. 1.
Capricorn Called by Thomson, in his Winter, “the centaur archer.” Anciently, the winter solstice occurred on the entry of the sun into Capricorn; but the stars, having advanced a whole sign to the east, the winter solstice now falls at the sun's entrance into Sagittarius (the centaur archer), so that the poet is strictly right, though we vulgarly retain the ancient classical manner of speaking. Capricornus is the tenth, or, strictly speaking, the eleventh sign of the zodiac. (Dec. 21-Jan. 20.)     According to classic mythology, Capricorn was Pan, who, from fear of the great Typhon, changed himself into a goat, and was made by Jupiter one of the signs of the zodiac.

Captain Capitano del Popolo, i.e. Garibaldi (1807-1882).    The Great Captain (el gran capitano). Gonzalvo di Cordova (1453-1515.)    Manuel Comnenus of Trebizond (1120,1143-1180)

Captain Cauf's Tail The commander-in-chief of the mummers of Plough Monday.

Captain Copperthorne's Crew All masters and no men.

Captain Podd A showman. So called from “Captain” Podd, a famous puppet-showman in the time of Ben Jonson.

Captain Stiff To come Captain Stiff over one. To treat one with cold formality.

“I shouldn't quite come Captain Stiff over him.”- S. Warren: Ten Thousand a Year.
Captious Fallacious, deceitful; now it means ill-tempered, carping. (Latin, captiosus.)

“I know I love in vain, strive against hope;
Yet in this captious and intenible sieve
I still pour in the waters of my love.”
Shakespeare: All's Well that Ends Well, i. 3.
Capua Capua corrupted Hannibal. Luxury and self-indulgence will ruin anyone. Hannibal was everywhere victorious over the Romans till he took up his winter quarters at Capua, the most luxurious city of Italy. When he left Capua his star began to wane, and, ere long, Carthage was in ruins and himself an exile.
   Capua was the Cannæ of Hannibal. As the battle of Cannæ was most disastrous to the Roman army, so was the luxury of Capua to Hannibal's army. We have a modern adaptation to this proverb: “Moscow was the Austerlitz of Napoleon.”

Capuchin A friar of the order of St. Francis, of the new rule of 1528; so called from their “capuce” or pointed cowl.

Capulet A noble house in Verona, the rival of that of Montague (3 syl.); Juliet is of the former, and Romeo of the latter. Lady Capulet is the beau-ideal of a proud Italian matron of the fifteenth century. The expression so familiar, “the tomb of all the Capulets,” is from Burke. (Shakespeare Romeo and Juliet.)

Caput Mortuum Latin for head of the dead, used by the old chemists to designate the residuum of chemicals, when all their volatile matters had escaped. Anything from which all that rendered it valuable has been taken away. Thus, a learned scholar paralysed is a mere caput mortuum of his former self. The French Directory, towards its close, was a mere caput mortuum of a governing body.

  By PanEris using Melati.

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