Elephant (The). Symbol of temperance, eternity, and sovereignty. (See White Elephant.)

"L'eternité est désignée sur une médaille de l'empereur Philippe, par un elephant sur lequel est monté un petit garcon armé de fléches." - Noel: Dictionnaire de la Fable, vol. i. p. 506.
Elephant (See White Elephant .)
   Only an elephant can bear an elephant's load. An Indian proverb: Only a great man can do the work of a great man; also, the burden is more than I can bear; it is a load fit for an elephant.

Elephant Paper A large-sized drawing-paper, measuring 20 inches by 23. There is also a "double elephant paper," measuring 40 inches by 26 3/4.

Elephant and Castle A public-house sign at Newington, said to derive its name from the skeleton of an elephant dug up near Battle Bridge in 1714. A flint-headed spear lay by the remains, whence it is conjectured that the creature was killed by the British in a fight with the Romans. (The Times.)
   There is another public-house with the same sign in St. Pancras, probably intended to represent an elephant with a howdah.

Elephanta in Bombay, is so called from a stone elephant, which carried a tiger on its back, and formerly stood near the landing-place on the south side of the island. It has now nearly disappeared. The natives call it Gahrapooree (cave town), from its cave, 130 feet long. (Chow-chow.)

Elephantine (4 syl.). Heavy and ungainly, like an elephant. In Rome, the registers of the senate, magistrates, generals, and emperors were called elephantine books, because they were made of ivory. In geology, the elephantine period was that noted for its numerous large thick-skinned animals. The disease called elephantiasis is when the limbs swell and look like those of an elephant more than those of a human being.

Eleusinian Mysteries The religious rites in honour of Demeter or Ceres, performed at Eleusis, in Attica.

Elevation of the Host (The). The celebrant lifting up the "consecrated wafers" above his head, that the people may see the paten and adore "the Host" while his back is turned to the congregation.

Eleven (Anglo-Saxon, ændlefene, aend = ain, lefene = lef, left). One left or one more after counting ten (the fingers of the two hands). Twelve is Twa lef (two left); all the other teens up to 20 represent 3, 4, 5, etc. + ten. It would seem that at one time persons did not count higher than twelve, but in a more advanced state they required higher numbers, and introduced the "teen" series, omitting eleven and twelve, which would be enteen and twateen.

Eleven Thousand Virgins Ursula being asked in marriage by a pagan prince, fled towards Rome with her eleven thousand virgins. At Cologne they were all massacred by a party of Huns, and even to the present hour "their bones" are exhibited to visitors through windows in the wall. Maury says that Ursula's handmaid was named Undecimella, and that the legend of her eleven thousand virgins rose out of this name. (Légendes Pieuses.)

Eleventh Hour (At the). Just in time (Matt. xx. 1).

Elf (plural, Elves, Anglo-Saxon, oelf). Properly, a mountain fay, but more loosely applied to those airy creatures that dance on the grass or sit in the leaves of trees and delight in the full moon. They have fair golden hair, sweet musical voices, and magic harps. They have a king and queen, marry and are given in marriage. They impersonate the shimmering of the air, the felt but indefinable melody of Nature, and all the little prettinesses which a lover of the country sees, or thinks he sees, in hill and dale, copse and meadow, grass and tree, river and moonlight. Spenser says that Prometheus called the man he made "Elfe," who found a maid in the garden of Adonis, whom he called "Fay," of "whom all Fayres spring."

"Of these a mighty people shortly grew,
And puissant kings, which all the world war rayd,
And to themselves all nations did subdue.",
Faërie Queene, ii. 9, stanza 70, etc.
   Elf and Goblin, as derived from Guelf and

  By PanEris using Melati.

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