Prairie Fever to Prester John
Prairie Fever (The). An enthusiastic love of prairie life, which seems to be part of our being, to strengthen
our strength, invigorate our spirit, and endow us with new life.
What with gallops by day and the wild tales by the night watch-fires, I became intoxicated with the romance of my new life; I had caught the prairie fever.- Mayne Reid: The Scalp Hunters, ch. iii.Prating Sophists The doctors of the Sorbonne were so called by Budæus of Paris. (1467-1540.)
Prayer-book Parade The promenade in fashionable watering-places and other places of resort, after morning service on Sundays till luncheon or early dinner-time.
Praying-wheels It is said that the Buddhists pray by machinery; that they put prayers into a wheel, and unroll them by the length. This notion arises from a misconception. Saky'a-muni, the Buddha, is said to have turned the wheel of the law- i.e. to have preached Buddhism incessantly- we should say as a horse in a mill.
Pre-Adamites Before Adam was created. Isaac de la Peyreri maintained that only the Jews are descended from Adam, and that the Gentiles are descended from a race of men existing before Adam; as the book of Genesis is the history of the Jews only, it does not concern itself with other races. (1655.)
Pre-Raphaelites A term introduced by Hunt and his friends, who wished to intimate that they preferred the simplicity and truthfulness of the painters who preceded Raphael. The term now signifies a very minute imitation of nature, brilliant colouring, and not much shadow.
Preacher (The). Solomon, the author of Ecclesiastes (the Preacher).
Prebend, meaning a clergyman attached to a prebendal stall, is a vulgarism. The prebend is the stipend given out of the revenues of the college or cathedral, he who enjoys the prebend is the prebendary. (Latin, Præbeo, to give.)
Precarious is what depends on our prayers or requests. A precarious tenure is one that depends solely on the will of the owner to concede to our prayer; hence uncertain, not to be depended on. (Latin, precor.)
Preceptor The superior of a preceptory was called by the Templars a Knight Preceptor; a Grand Preceptor was the head of all the preceptories, or houses of the Knights Templars, in an entire province, the three of highest rank being the Grand Preceptors of Jerusalem, Tripolis, and Antioch. Houses of these knights which were not preceptories were called commanderies.
Précieuses Ridicules (in Molière's comedy so called). Aminte and Polixène, who assume the airs of the Hôtel de Rambouillet, a coterie of savants of both sexes in the seventeenth century. The members of this society were termed précieuses- i.e. persons of distinguished merit- and the précieuses ridicules means a ridiculous apeing of their ways and manners.
Preciosa The heroine of Long-fellow's Spanish Student, threatened with the vengeance of the Inquisition.
Precious Stones (1) Each month, according to the Poles, is under the influence of a precious stone:-
In relation to the signs of the Zodiac:-
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