Horns of the Altar to Horse

Horns of the Altar (To the). Usque ad aras amicus. Your friend even to the horns of the altar - i.e. through thick and thin. In swearing, the ancient Romans held the horns of the altar, and one who did so in testimony of friendship could not break his oath without calling on himself the vengeance of the angry gods.

Horne I'll chance it, as old Horne did his neck. The reference is to Horne, a clergyman of Notts, who committed murder, but contrived to escape to the Continent. After several years of absence, he returned to England, and when told of the risk he ran, he replied, "I'll chance it." He did chance it; but being apprehended, he was tried, condemned, and executed. (The Newgate Calendar.)

Horner One who blows the hunting-horn; a huntsman or master of the hounds. Little Jack Horner was master of the Abbot of Glastonbury's hounds.

Hornets (Josh. xxiv. 12). "And I sent the hornet before you, which drave them out from before you, even the two kings of the Amorites." The Egyptian standard was a hornet, and in this passage, "I sent the hornet before you," the word hornet must be taken to mean the Egyptian army.

Hornet's Nest To poke your head into a hornet's nest. To bring a hornet's nest about your ears. To get into trouble by meddling and making. The bear is very fond of honey, and often gets stung by poking its snout by mistake into a hornet's nest in search of its favourite dainty.

Hornie (2 syl.). Auld Hornie. The devil, so called in Scotland. The allusien is to the horns with which Satan is generally represented. (See Fairy.)

Hornpipe (2 syl.). The dance is so called because it used to be danced in the west of England to the pib-corn or hornpipe, an instrument consisting of a pipe each end of which was made of horn.

Horology The art of measuring time; or constructing instruments to indicate time, i.e. clocks and watches.

Horoscope (3 syl.). The scheme of the twelve houses by which astrologers tell your fortune. The word means the "hour-scrutinised," because it is the hour of birth only which is examined in these star-maps. (Hora-skopeo, Greek.)

Horrors (The). Delirium tremens.

Hors de Combat (French). Out of battle. Incapable of taking any further part in the fight.

Horse Notabilia.
   The fifteen points of a good horse:

"A good horse sholde have three propyrtees
of a man, three of a woman, three of a foxe, three
of a haare, and three of an asse.
"Of a man. Bolde, prowde, and hardye.
"Of a woman. Fayre-breasted, faire of heere,
and easy to move.
"Of a foxe. A fair taylle, short eers, with a good trotte.
"Of a haare. A grate eye, a dry head, and well
"Of an asse. A bygge chynn, a flat legge, and a
good hoof." - Wynkyn de Worde (1496).
Horse Creator of the horse. According to classical mythology, Poseidon [Neptune] created the horse. When the goddess of Wisdom disputed with the Sea-god which of them should give name to Athens, the gods decided that it should be called by the name of that deity which bestowed on man the most useful boon. Athene (the goddess of Wisdom) created the olive tree, but Poseidon or Neptune created the horse. The vote was given in favour of the olive-tree, and the city called Athens.
    It was a remarkable judgment, but it must be remembered that an olive branch was the symbol of peace, and was also the highest prize of the victor in the Olympic games. The horse, on the other hand, was the symbol of war, and peace is certainly to be preferred to war.
   Horses (four-in-hand). The first person that drove a four-in- hand was Erichthonius, according to Virgil:

"Primus Erichthonius currus et quatuor ausus
Jungere equos." Georg. iii. 113.
(Erichthon was the first who dared command
A chariot yoked with horses four in hand.)
   A horse wins a kingdom. On the death

  By PanEris using Melati.

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