Distrait to Do

Distrait (French). Absent-minded.

Dithyrambic The father of dithyrambic poetry. Arion of Lesbos.

Dittany When Godfrey was wounded with an arrow, an "odoriferous panacy" distilled from dittany was applied to the wound, whereupon the arrow-head fell out, and the wound healed immediately. (Tasso. Jerusalem Delivered, book xi.)

Ditto (See Do .)

Dittoes (A suit of). Coat, waistcoat, and trousers all alike, or all ditto (the same).

Divan' (Arabic and Persian, diwan) means a register kept on a white table exactly similar to our board. Among the Orientals the word is applied to a council-chamber or court of justice; but in England we mean a coffee-house where smoking is the chief attraction.

Divers Colours [in garments ]. We are told, in 2 Sam. xiii. 18, that kings' daughters were arrayed in a garment of divers colours, and Dr. Shaw informs us that only virgins wore drawers of needle-work; so that when the mother of Sisera (Judges v. 30) says, "Have they not sped? Have they not divided the spoil? To Sisera a prey of divers colours, of divers colours of needlework?" she means - is not the king's daughter allotted to Sisera as a portion of his spoil? (See Coat Of Many Colours.)

Divert To turn aside. Business is the regular walk or current of our life, but pleasure is a diversion or turning aside for a time from the straight line. What we call diversion is called in French distraction, drawing aside. (Latin, di-verto, to turn aside; dis-traho, to draw aside.)

Dives (l syl.), Divs or Deevs. Demons of Persian mythology. According to the Koran, they are ferocious and gigantic spirits under the sovereignty of Eblis.

"At Lahore, in the Mogul's palace, are pictures of Dews and Dives with long horns, staring eyes,shaggy hair, great fangs, ugly paws, long tails, and such horrible deformity, that I wonder the poor women are not frightened." - William Finch: Purchas' Pilgrims, vol. i.
   Dives (2 syl.). The name popularly given to the rich man in our Lord's parable of the Rich Man and Lazarus (Luke xvi.). The Latin would be Dives et Lazarus.

Divide (2 syl.). When the members in the House of Commons interrupt a speaker by crying out divide, they mean, bring the debate to an end and put the motion to the vote - i.e. let the ayes divide from the noes, one going into one room or lobby, and the others into another.

Divide and Govern Divide a nation into parties, or set your enemies at loggerheads, and you can have your own way. A maxim of Machiavelli, a noted political writer of Florence (1469-1527).

"Every city or house divided against itself
shall not stand." - Matthew xii. 25.
Divination There are numerous species of divination referred to in the Bible. The Hebrew word is added in italics.
   AUGURY (Menachesch).
   WITCHCRAFT (Mecascheph).
   ENCHANTMENT (Ithoberon).
   CASTING LOTS (Indeoni).
   BY NECROMANCY (1 Sam. xxviii.12).
   BY RHABDOMANCY (Hosea iv. 12).
   BY TERAPHIM or household idols.
   BY HEPATOSCOPY or inspecting the liver of animals.
   BY DREAMS and their interpretations.
   Divination by fire, air, and water; thunder, lightning, and meteors; etc.
   The Urim and Thummin was a prophetic breastplate worn by the High Priest.
   (Consult: Gen. xxxvii. 5 - 11; xl. xll.; 1 Sam. xxviii. 12; 2 Chron. xxxiii. 6; Prov. xvi. 33; Ezek. xxi. 21; Hosea iii. 4, 5, etc.)

Divine The divine right of kings. The notion that kings reign by divine right, quite independent of the people's will. This notion arose from the Old Testament Scriptures, where kings are called "God's anointed," because they were God's vicars on earth, when the Jews changed their theocracy for a monarchy.

"The right divine of kings to govern wrong."
Divine (The). Ferdinand de Herrera, a Spanish poet

  By PanEris using Melati.

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