Magenta to Magpie

Magenta A brilliant red colour derived from coal-tar, named in commemoration of the battle of Magenta, which was fought in 1859.

Maggot, Maggoty. Whimsical, full of whims and fancies. Fancy tunes used to be called maggots, hence we have “Barker's maggots,” “Cary's maggots,” “Draper's maggots,” etc. (Dancing Master, 1721.)
   When the maggot bites. When the fancy takes us. Swift tells us that it was the opinion of certain virtuosi that the brain is filled with little worms or maggots, and that thought is produced by these worms biting the nerves. “If the bite is hexagonal it produces poetry; if circular, eloquence; if conical, politics, etc. (Mechanical Operation of the Spirit.)
   Instead of maggots the Scotch say, “His head is full of bees;” the French, “Il a des rats dans la tête;” and in Holland, “He has a mouse's nest in his head.” (See Bee.)

Magi (The), according to one tradition, were Melchior, Gaspar, and Balthazar, three kings of the East. The first offered gold, the emblem of royalty, to the infant Jesus; the second, frankincense, in token of divinity; and the third, myrrh, in prophetic allusion to the persecution unto death which awaited the “Man of Sorrows.”
   MELCHIOR means “king of light.”
   GASPAR, or CASPAR, means “the white one.”
   BALTHAZAR means “the lord of treasures.”
   (Klopstock, in his Messiah, book v., gives these five names: Hadad, Selima, Zimri, Beled, and Sunith.)
   Magi, in Camoens' Lusiad, means the Indian “Brahmins.” Ammianus Marcellinus says that the Persian magi derived their knowledge from the Brahmins of India (i. 23); and Arianus expressly calls the Brahmins “magi” (i. 7.).

Magic Garters Made of the strips of a young hare's skin saturated with motherwort. Those who wear these garters excel in speed.

“Were it not for my magic garters ...
I should not continue the business long.”
Longfellow: The Golden Legend.

Magic Rings This superstition arose from the belief that magicians had the power of imprisoning demons in rings. The power was supposed to prevail in Asia, and subsequently in Salamanca, Toledo, and Italy.
    Magic circles (like magic squares) are mathematical puzzles.
   Corcud's ring. This magic ring was composed of six metals, and insured the wearer success in any undertaking in which he chose to embark. (Chinese Tales; Corcud and his Four Sons.)
   Dame Liones's ring, given by her to Sir Gareth during a tournament. It insured the wearer from losing blood when wounded.

“ `This ring,' said Dame Liones, `increaseth my beauty ... That which is green it turns red, and that which is red it turns green. That which is blue it turns white, and that which is white it turns blue. Whoever beareth this ring can never lose blood, however wounded.' ”- History of Prince Arthur, i. 146.
   Fairy ring (A). Whoever lives in a house built over a fairy ring will wondrously prosper in everything. (Athenian Oracle, i. 307.)
   Gyges' ring. (See Gyges.)
   Luned's ring rendered the wearer invisible. Luned or Lynet gave the ring to Owain, one of King Arthur's knights.

“Take this ring, and put it on thy finger, with the stone inside thy hand, and close thy hand upon it. As long as thou concealest the stone, the stone will conceal thee.”- The Mabinogion (Lady of the Fountain).
   Reynard's ring. The ring which Reynard pretended he had sent to King Lion. It had three gems: one red, which gave light in darkness; one white, which cured all blains and sprains; and one green, which would guard the wearer from all ills, both in peace and war. (Henrik von Alkmaar Reynard the Fox.)
   The steel ring, made by Seidel-Beckit. It enabled the wearer to read the secrets of another's heart. (Oriental Tales; The Four Talismans.)
   The talking ring given by Tartaro, the Basque Cyclops, to a girl whom he wished to marry. Immediately she put it on, it kept incessantly saying “You there, and I here.” In order to get rid of the nuisance, the girl cut off her finger, and threw both finger and ring into a pond. (Basque legends.)
    This tale appears in Campbell's Popular Tales of the West Highlands (i. to iii.), and in Grimm's Tales (The Robber and his Sons).

Magic Wand
   In Jerusalem Delivered the Hermit gives Charles the Dane and Ubaldo a wand which, being shaken, infused terror into all who saw it.
   In the Faërie Queene, the palmer who accompanies Sir Guyon has a staff of like virtue, made of the same wood as Mercury's caduceus.

  By PanEris using Melati.

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