Cordelia's Gift A “voice ever soft, gentle, and low; an excellent thing in woman.” (Shakespeare: King Lear, v. 3.)

“It is her voice that he hears prevailing over the those [sic ] of the rest of the company, ... for she has not Cordelia's gift.”- Miss Broughton: Dr. Cupid.

Cordeliers i.e. “cord-wearers,” 1215. A religious order of the Minor Brothers of St. Francis Assisi. They wore a large grey cloth vestment, girt about the loins with a rope or cord. It was one of the mendicant orders, not allowed to possess any property at all; even their daily food was a gift of charity. The Cordeliers distinguished themselves in philosophy and theology. Duns Scotus was one of their most distinguished members.
   The tale is that in the reign of St. Louis these Minorites repulsed an army of infidels, and the king asked who those gens de cordelies (corded people) were. From this they received their appellation.

Cordeliers (The), 1790. A French political club in the Great Revolution. It held its meetings in the “Convert des Cordeliers,” which was in the “Place de l'École de Médecine.” The Cordeliers were the rivals of the Jacobins, and numbered among its members Paré (the president), Danton, Marat, Camille Desmoulins, Hébert, Chaumette, Dufournoy de Villiers, Fabre d'Eglantine (a journalist), and others. The Club of the Cordeliers was far in advance of the Jacobins, being the first to demand the abolition of the monarchy and the establishment of a commonwealth instead. Its leaders were put to death between March 24th and April 5th, 1794.
   This club was nicknamed “The Pandemonium,” and Danton was called the “Archfiend.” When Bailly, the mayor, locked them out of their hall in 1791, they met in the Tennis Court (Paris), and changed their name into the “Society of the Rights of Man”; but they are best known by their original appellation.

Cordon (The), in fortification, is the flat stone covering of the revetment (q.v.), to protect the masonry from the rain.

Cordon (Un grand). A member of the Legion d'Honneur. The cross is attached to a grand (broad) ribbon.

Cordon Bleu (Un) (French). A knight of the ancient order of the St. Esprit (Holy Ghost); so called because the decoration is suspended on a blue ribbon. It was at one time the highest order in the kingdom.
   Un repas de cordon bleu. A well-cooked and well-appointed dinner. The commandeur de Souvé Comte d'Olonne, and some others, who were cordons bleus (i.e. knights of St. Esprit), met together as a sort of club, and were noted for their excellent dinners. Hence, when anyone had dined well he said, “Bien, c'est un vrai repas de cordon bleu.
   Une Cordon Bleu. A facetious compliment to a good female cook. The play is between cordon bleu, and the blue ribbons or strings of some favourite cook.

Cordon Noir (Un). A knight of the Order of St. Michael, distinguished by a black ribbon.

Cordon Rouge (Un) (French). A chevalier of the Order of St. Louis, the decoration being suspended on a red ribbon.

Corduroy A corded fabric, originally made of silk, and worn by the kings of France in the chase. (French, cord du roy.)
   Corduroy Road. A term applied to roads in the backwoods and swampy districts of the United States of America, formed of the halves of trees sawn in two longitudinally, and laid transversely across the track. A road thus made presents a ribbed appearance, like the cloth called corduroy.

“Look well to your seat, 'tis like taking an airing
On a corduroy road, and that out of repairing.”
Lowell: Fable for Critics, stanza 2.
Cordwainer Not a twister of cord, but a worker in leather. Our word is the French cordouannier (a maker or worker of cordouan); the former a corruption of Cordovanier (a worker in Cordovan leather).

  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.