the water and turning it round. The pilot, looking to see the cause of this strange occurrence, beheld the rock which had nearly proved the ruin of the whole fleet (bk. ii.)

Nereus (2 syl.) A sea-god, represented as a very old man, whose special dominion was the Ægean Sea.

Nerine (3 syl.). One of the Nereids. (See Nyse .)

Nerissa Portia's waiting-maid; clever, self-confident, and coquettish. (Shakespeare: Merchant of Venice.)

Nero Emperor of Rome. Some say he set fire to Rome to see “how Troy would look when it was in flames;” others say he forbade the flames to be put out, and went to a high tower, where he sang verses to his lute “Upon the Burning of Old Troy.”
   A Nero. Any bloody-minded man, relentless tyrant, or evil-doer of extra-ordinary savagery.

Nero of the North Christian II. of Denmark (1480, 1534-1558, 1559).

Nero's Friend After Nero's fall, when his statues and monuments were torn down by order of the Senate, and every mark of dishonour was accorded to his memory, some unknown hand during the night went to his grave and strewed it with violets.

Nesr An idol of the ancient Arabs. It was in the form of a vulture, and was worshipped by the tribe of Hemyer.

Nesrem A statute some fifty cubits high, in the form of an old woman. It was hollow within for the sake of giving secret oracles. (Arabian mythology.)

Nessus Shirt of Nessus. A source of misfortune from which there is no escape; a fatal present; anything that wounds the susceptibilities. Thus Renan has “the Nessus-shirt of ridicule.” Hercules ordered Nessus (the centaur) to carry his wife Dejanira across a river. The centaur ill-treated the woman, and Hercules shot him with a poisoned arrow. Nessus, in revenge, gave Dejanira his tunic, saying to whomsoever she gave it would love her exclusively. Dejanira gave it to her husband, who was devoured by poison as soon as he put it on; but, after enduring agony, the hero threw himself on a funeral pile, and was consumed. (See Harmonias Robe .)

“While to my limbs th'en venomed mantle clings,
Drenched in the centaur's black, malignant gore.”
West: Triumphs of the Gout (Lucian).
Nest To feather one's nest. (See Feather .)

Nest-egg (A). Some money laid by. The allusion is to the custom of placing an egg in a hen's nest to induce her to lay her eggs there. If a person has saved a little money, it serves as an inducement to him to increase his store.

Nestor King of Pylos, in Greece; the oldest and most experienced of the chieftains who went to the siege of Troy. A “Nestor” means the oldest and wisest man of a class or company. (Homer: Iliad.)
   Nestor of the chemical revolution. A term applied by Lavoisier to Dr. Black. (1728-1799.)
   Nestor of Europe. Leopold, King of Belgium (1790, 1831-1865).

Nestorians Followers of Nestorius, Patriarch of Constantinople in the fifth century. He maintained that Christ had two distinct natures, and that Mary was the mother of His human nature, which was the mere shell or husk of the divine.

Nethinium The hewers of wood and drawers of water for the house of God, an office which the Gibeonites were condemned to by Joshua (Joshua ix. 27). The word means given to God.

Nettle Camden says the Romans brought over the seed of this plant, that they might have nettles to chafe their limbs with when they encountered the cold of Britain.

  By PanEris using Melati.

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