Olibrius (An). The wrong man in the wrong place. Olibrius was a Roman senator, proclaimed emperor by surprise in 472, but he was wholly unsuited for the office.

Olifaunt Lord Nigel Olifaunt of Glenvarloch, on going to court to present a petition to King James I., aroused the dislike of the Duke of Buckingham; Lord Dalgarno gave him the cut direct, when Nigel struck him, and was obliged to seek refuge in Alsatia. After various adventures he married Margaret Ramsay, the watchmaker's daughter. (Sir Walter Scott: Fortunes of Nigel.)

Oligarchy [olly-gar'-ky]. A government in which the supreme power is vested in a class. (Greek, oligos, the few; arche, rule.)

Olindo The Mahometan king of Jerusalem, at the advice of his magician, stole an image of the Virgin, and set it up as a palladium in the chief mosque. The image was stolen during the night, and the king, unable to discover the perpetrator, ordered all his Christian subjects to be put to the sword. Sofronia, to prevent this wholesale massacre, accused herself of the deed, and was condemned to be burnt alive. Olindo, her lover, hearing of this, went to the king and took on himself the blame; whereupon both were condemned to death, but were saved by the intercession of Clorinda. (Jerusalem Delivered.)

O'lio or Oglio. A mixture or medley of any sort. (Spanish, olla, a pot for boiling similar to what the French call their pot au feu. The olio is the mixture of bread, vegetables, spices, meat, etc., boiled in this pot.)

Olive (2 syl.). Sacred to Pallas Athene. (See Olive-Tree .)
   EMBLEM of (1) Chastity. In Greece the newly-married bride wore an olive-garland; with us the orange-blossom is more usual.
   (2) Fecundity. The fruit of the olive is produced in vast profusion; so that olive-trees are valuable to their owners. (See Orange-Blossoms.)
   (3) Merit. In ancient Greece a crown of olive-twigs was the highest distinction of a citizen who had deserved well of his country.
   (4) Peace. An olive-branch was anciently a symbol of peace. The vanquished who sued for peace carried olive-branches in their hands. And an olive-twig in the hands of a king (on medals), as in the case of Numa, indicated a reign of peace.
   To hold out the olive branch. To make overtures of peace.
   (5) Prosperity. David says, “I am like a green olive-tree in the house of God” (Psalm lii. 8).
   (6) Victory. The highest prize in the Olympic games was a crown of olive- leaves.
   ORIGIN of the olive-tree. The tale is, that Athene (Minerva) and Poseidon (Neptune) disputed the honour of giving a name of a certain city of Greece, and agreed to settle the question by a trial of which could produce the best gift for the new city. Athene commanded the earth to bring forth the olive- tree. Poseidon commanded the sea to bring forth the war-horse. Athene's gift was adjudged the better, and the city was called Athens.

Olive Branches Children of a parent. It is a Scripture term: “Thy wife shall be as a fruitful vine ... thy children like olive plants round about thy table” (Psalm cxxviii. 3.).

Oliver Son and heir of Sir Rowland de Boys, who hated his youngest brother Orlando, and persuaded him to try a wrestling match with a professed wrestler, hoping thus to kill his brother; but when Orlando proved victorious, Oliver swore to set fire to his chamber when he was asleep. Orlando fled to the forest of Arden, and Oliver pursued him; but one day, as he slept in the forest, a snake and a lioness lurked near to make him their prey; Orlando happened to be passing, and slew the two monsters. When Oliver discovered this heroic deed he repented of his ill-conduct, and his sorrow so interested the Princess Celia that she fell in love with him, and they were married. (Shakespeare: As You Like It.)

Oliver or Olivier. Charlemagne's favourite paladin, who, with Roland, rode by his side. He was Count of Genes, and brother of the beautiful Aude. His sword was called Hauteclaire, and his horse Ferrant d'Espagne.
   A Rowland for an Oliver. Tit for tat, quid pro quo. Dr. J.N. Scott says that this proverb is modern, and owes its rise to the Cavaliers in the time of the Civil wars in England. These Cavaliers, by way of rebuff, gave the anti-monarchical party a General Monk for their Oliver Cromwell. As Monk's Christian name was George, it is hard to believe that the doctor is correct. (See Roland.)

  By PanEris using Melati.

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