Castle Builder (A). One who entertains sanguine hopes. One who builds air-castles which have no existence except in a dreamy imagination. (See below.)

Castle in the Air A splendid edifice, but one which has no existence. In fairy tales we often have these castles built at a word, and vanishing as soon, like that built for Aladdin by the Genius of the Lamp. These air-castles are called by the French Châteaux d'Espagne, because Spain has no châteaux. We also find the expression Châteaux en Asie for a similar reason. (See Chateaux .)

Castle of Bungay (My).

“Were I in my Castle of Bungay
Vpon the riuer of Waueney,
I would ne care for the King of Cockney.”
   Attributed to Lord Bigod of Bungay. The lines are in Camden's Britannia (edit. 1607). The events referred to in the ballad belong to the reign of Stephen or Henry II. (See Bar-Sur-Aube, page 100, col. 1.)

Castle of Indolence In the land of Drowsiness, where every sense is steeped in enervating delights. The owner of the castle was an enchanter, who deprived all who entered his domains of their energy and free-will. (Thomson: Castle of Indolence.)

Castle Terabil (or “Terrible”) in Arthurian legends stood in Launceston. It had a steep keep environed with a triple wall. Sometimes called Dunheved Castle. It was within ten miles of Tintagel.

Castor A hat. Castor is the Latin for a beaver, and beaver means a hat made of the beaver's skin.

“Tom Trot
Took his new castor from his head.”
Randall: Diary.
Castor and Pollux What we call comazants. Electric flames sometimes seen in stormy weather playing about the masts of ships. If only one flame showed itself, the Romans called it Helen, and said that it portended that the worst of the storm was yet to come; but two or more luminous flames they called Castor and Pollux, and said that they boded the termination of the storm.
   But when the sons of Leda shed
   Their star-lamps on our vessel's head,
   The storm-winds cease, the troubled spray
   Falls from the rocks, clouds flee away,
   And on the bosom of the deep
   In peace the angry billows sleep. E. C. B.
   Horace: Odes xii., 27-32.

Castor's Horse Cyllaros. Virgil ascribes him to Pollux. (Geor., iii.) (See Horse .)

Casuist (3 syl.). One who resolves casus conscientiæ (cases of conscience). M. le Fevre calls casuistry “the art of quibbling with God.”

Casus Belli (Latin). A ground for war; an occurrence warranting international hostilities.

Cat Called a “familiar,” from the mediæval superstition that Satan's favourite form was a black cat. Hence “witches” were said to have a cat as their familiar.
   Cat. A symbol of liberty. The Roman goddess of Liberty was represented as holding a cup in one hand, a broken sceptre in the other, and with a cat lying at her feet. No animal is so great an enemy to all constraint as a cat.
   Cat. Held in veneration by the Egyptians under the name of Ælurus. This deity is represented with a human body and a cat's head. Diodorus tells us that whoever killed a cat, even by accident, was by the Egyptians punished by death. According to Egyptian tradition, Diana assumed the form of a cat, and thus excited the fury of the giants.
   The London Review says the Egyptians worshipped the cat as a symbol of the moon, not only because it is more active after sunset, but from the dilation and contraction of its pupil, symbolical of the waxing and waning of the night-goddess. (See Puss.)
   Hang me in a bottle like a cat. (Much Ado about Nothing, i. I.) In olden times a cat was for sport enclosed in a bag or leather bottle, and hung to the branch of a tree, as a mark for bowmen to shoot at. Steevens tells us of another sport: “A cat was placed in a soot bag, and hung on a line; the players had to beat out the bottom of the bag without getting besmudged, and he who succeeded in so doing was allowed to hunt the cat afterwards.
   Some ... are mad if they behold a cat. (Merchant of Venice, iv. l.) Henri III. of France swooned if he caught sight of a cat, and Napoleon I. showed a morbid horror of the same; so did one of the Ferdinands, Emperor of Germany. (See Antipathy, page 53; Pig.)

  By PanEris using Melati.

Previous chapter/page Back Home Email this Search Discuss Bookmark Next chapter/page
Copyright: All texts on Bibliomania are © Ltd, and may not be reproduced in any form without our written permission.
See our FAQ for more details.