Deception to Deities


"Doubtless the pleasure is as great
Of being cheated as to cheat:
As lookers-on feel most delight
That least perceive a juggler's sleight,
And still the less they understand,
The more they admire his sleight of hand."
Butler: Hudibras, part ii. 3.
Decide (2 syl.) means "to knock out." Several things being set before a person, he eliminates all but one, which he selects as his choice. A decided man is one who quickly eliminates every idea but the one he intends to adhere to.

Decimo A man in decimo - i.e. a hobby-de-hoy. Jonson uses the phrase in decimo-sexto.

Deck A pack of cards, or that part of the pack which is left after the hands have been dealt.

"But whilst he thought to steal the single`ten,'
The `king' was slyly fingered from the deck."
Shakespeare: 3 Henry VI., v. 1.
   To sweep the deck. To clear off all the stakes. (See above.)
   To deck is to decorate or adorn. (Anglo-Saxon, decan; Dutch, dekken, to cover.)

"I thought thy bride-bed to have decked, sweet maid,
And not have strewed thy grave."
Shakespeare: Hamlet, v. 1.
   Clear the decks - i.e. get out of the way; your room is better than your company; I am going to be busy. A sea term. Decks are cleared before action.

Decking Churches Isaiah (lx. 13) says: "The glory of Lebanon shall come unto thee; the fir-tree, the pine-tree, and the box together, to beautify the place of my sanctuary." The "glory of Lebanon" is the cedar- tree. These are not the evergreens mainly used in church decorations. At Christmas the holly is chiefly used, though those mentioned by Isaiah abound.

Decollete [da-coal-ta ]. Nothing even décolleté should be uttered before ladies - i.e. bearing the least semblance to a double entendre. Décolleté is the French for a "dress cut low about the bosom."

Decoration Day May 30th; set apart in the United States for decorating the graves of those who fell in the "War of the Union" (1861-5).

Decoy Duck A bait or lure; a duck taught to allure others into a net, and employed for this purpose.

Decrepit Unable to make a noise. It refers rather to the mute voice and silent footstep of old age than to its broken strength. (Latin, de-crepo.)

Decuman Gate The gate where the 10th cohorts of the legions were posted. It was opposite the Praetorian gate, and farthest from the enemy. (Latin, decem, ten.)

Dedalian Intricate; variegated. So called from Dædalos who made the Cretan labyrinth.

Dedlock (Sir Leicester). An honourable and truthful gentleman, but of such fossilised ideas that no "tongue of man" could shake his prejudices. (Charles Dickens: Bleak House.)

Dee - i.e. D for a detective. Look sharp! the dees are about.

Dee (Dr. John). A man of vast knowledge, whose library, museum, and mathematical instruments were valued at pound £2,000. On one occasion the populace broke into his house and destroyed the greater part of his valuable collection, under the notion that Dee held intercourse with the devil. He ultimately died a pauper, at the advanced age of eighty-one, and was buried at Mortlake. He professed to be able to raise the dead, and had a magic mirror, afterwards in Horace Walpole's collection at Strawberry Hill (1527-1608).
   Dee's speculum or mirror, in which persons were told they could see their friends in distant lands and how they were occupied. It is a piece of solid pink-tinted glass about the size of an orange. It is now in the British Museum.

  By PanEris using Melati.

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