Labourers to Lady of the Broom

Labourers (The Statute of). An attempt made in 1349 to fix the rate of wages at which labourers should be compelled to work.

Labyrinth A mass of buildings or garden - walks, so complicated as to puzzle strangers to extricate themselves. Said to be so called from Labyris, an Egyptian monarch of the 12th dynasty. The chief labyrinths are:-
   (1) The Egyptian, by Petesuchis or Tithoes, near the Lake Moeris. It had 3,000 apartments, half of which were underground. (B.C. 1800.) Pliny, xxxvi. 13; and Pomponius Mela, i. 9.
   (2) The Cretan, by Dæ'dalos, for imprisoning the Minotaur. The only means of finding a way out of it was by help of a skein of thread. (See Virgil: Æneid, v.)
   (3) The Cretan conduit, which had 1,000 branches or turnings.
   (4) The Lemnian, by the architects Zmilus, Rholus, and Theodorus. It had 150 columns, so nicely adjusted that a child could turn them. Vestiges of this labyrinth were still in existence in the time of Pliny.
   (5) The labyrinth of Clusium, made by Lars Porsena, King of Etruria, for his tomb.
   (6) The Samian, by Theodorus (B.C. 540). Referred to by Pliny; by Herodotos, ii. 145; by Strabo, x.; and by Diodorus Siculus, i.
   (7) The labyrinth at Woodstock, by Henry II., for the Fair Rosamond.
   (8) Of mazes formed by hedges. The best known is that of Hampton Court.

Lac of Rupees The nominal value of the Indian rupee is 2s., and a lac means £100,000. At this estimate, a lac of rupees = 200,000s. or 10,000. Its present value varies according to the market value of silver. In 1894 between 13 and 14 pence.

Lace I'll lace your jacket for you, beat you. (French, laisse, a lash; German, laschen, to strike; our lash.)

Laced Tea or coffee laced with spirits, a cup of tea or coffee qualified with brandy or whisky.

“Deacon Bearcliff ... had his pipe, and his teacup ... laced with a little spirits.”- Sir W. Scott: Guy Mannering, chap. xi.

“Dandie ... partook of a cup of tea with Mrs. Allan, just laced with two teaspoonfuls of cogniac.”- Ditto, chap. iii.
Lacedaemonian Letter (The). The Greek (iota), the smallest of all letters. Laconic brevity. (See Laconic .)

Lacedaemonians (The). The Duke of Cornwall's Light Infantry. So called because in 1777 their colonel made a long harangue, under heavy fire, on the Spartan discipline and military system. (See Redfeathers .)

Lachesis [Lak'-e-sis ]. The Fate who spins life's thread, working into the woof the sundry events destined to occur. Clotho held the distaff, and Atropos cut off the thread when life was to be ended. (Greek, klótho, to draw thread from a distaff; Lachesis from lagchano, to assign by lot; and Atropos = inflexible.)

Lackadaisical Affected, pensive, sentimental, artificially tender.

Laconic Very concise and pithy. A Spartan was called a Lacon from Laconia, the land in which he dwelt. The Spartans were noted for their brusque and sententious speech. When Philip of Macedon wrote to the Spartan magistrates, “If I enter Laconia, I will level Lacedæmon to the ground,” the ephors wrote word back the single word, “If.” (See above Lacedæmonian Letter .)
    In 1490 O'Neil wrote to O'Donnel: “Send me the tribute, or else-.” To which O'Donnel replied: “I owe none, or else-.”

Lacustrine Deposits Deposits formed at the bottom of freshwater pools and lakes. (Latin, lacus, a lake.)

Lacustrine Habitations The remains of human dwellings of great antiquity, constructed on certain lakes in Ireland, Switzerland; etc. They seem to have been villages built on piles in the middle of a lake

Lad o' Wax A little boy, a doll of a man. In Romeo and Juliet the Nurse calls Paris “a man of wax,” meaning a very “proper man.” Horace speaks of the “waxen arms of Telephus,” meaning well modelled.

  By PanEris using Melati.

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