Saltarello to Samson

Saltarellole fils de la Folie et de Pulcinello.” A supposititious Italian dancer, sent to amuse Bettina in the court of the Grand Duke Laurent. Bettina was a servant on a farm, in love with the shepherd Pippo. But when she was taken to court and made a countess, Pippo was forbidden to approach her. Bettina languished, and to amuse her a troop of Italian dancers was sent for, of which Saltarello was the leader. He soon made himself known to Bettina, and married her. Bettina was a “mascotte” (q.v.), but, as the children of mascottes are mascottes also, the prince became reconciled with the promise that he should be allowed to adopt her first child. (La Mascotte.)
    Hence a Saltarello is an assumed covert to bring about a forbidden marriage and hoodwink those who forbade it.

Saltpetre (French, saltpetre), sel de pierre, parcequ'il forme des efflorescences salines sur les murs. (Bouillet: Dict. des Sciences.)

Salute (2 syl.). According to tradition, on the triumphant return of Maximilian to Germany, after his second campaign, the town of Augsburg ordered 100 rounds of cannon to be discharged. The officer on service, fearing to have fallen short of the number, caused an extra round to be added. The town of Nuremberg ordered a like salute, and the custom became established.
   Salute, in the British navy, between two ships of equal rank, is made by firing an equal number of guns. If the vessels are of unequal rank, the superior fires the fewer rounds.
   Royal salute, in the British navy, consists (1) in firing twenty-one great guns, (2) in the officers lowering their sword-points, and (3) in dipping the colours.

   Shaking hands. A relic of the ancient custom of adversaries, in treating of a truce, taking hold of the weapon-hand to ensure against treachery.
   Lady's curtsey. A relic of the ancient custom of women going on the knee to men of rank and power, originally to beg mercy, afterwards to acknowledge superiority.
   Taking off the hat. A relic of the ancient custom of taking off the helmet when no danger is nigh. A man takes off his hat to show that he dares stand unarmed in your presence.
   Discharging guns as a salute. To show that no fear exists, and therefore no guns will be required. This is like “burying the hatchet” (q.v.).
   Presenting arms- i.e. offering to give them up, from the full persuasion of the peaceful and friendly disposition of the person so honoured.
   Lowering swords. To express a willingness to put yourself unarmed in the power of the person saluted, from a full persuasion of his friendly feeling.

Salve (1 syl.) is the Latin salvia (sage), one of the most efficient of mediæval remedies.

“To other woundes, and to broken armes,
Some hadde salve, and some hadde charmes.”
Chaucer: Canterbury Tales, line 2,715.
   Salve. To flatter, to wheedle. The allusion is to salving a wound.

Salve (2 syl.). Latin “hail,” “welcome.” The word is often woven on door-mats.

Sam Uncle Sam. The United States Government. Mr. Frost tells us that the inspectors of Elbert Anderson's store on the Hudson were Ebenezer Wilson and his uncle Samuel Wilson, the latter of whom superintended in person the workmen, and went by the name of “Uncle Sam.” The stores were marked E.A.- U.S. (Elbert Anderson, United States). and one of the employers, being asked the meaning, said U.S. stood for “Uncle Sam.” The joke took, and in the War of Independence the men carried it with them, and it became stereotyped.
   To stand Sam. To be made to pay the reckoning. This is an Americanism, and arose from the letters U.S. on the knapsacks of the soldiers. The government of Uncle Sam has to pay, or “stand Sam” for all. (See above.)

Sam Weller Servant of Mr. Pickwick, famous for his metaphors. He is meant to impersonate the wit, shrewdness, quaint humour, and best qualities of London low life. (Charles Dickens: Pickwick Papers.)

Samael The prince of demons, who, in the guise of a serpent, tempted Eve; also called the angel of death. (Jewish demonology.)

Samanides (3 syl.). A dynasty of ten kings in Western Persia (902-1004), founded by Ismail al Samani.

  By PanEris using Melati.

Previous chapter Back Home Email this Search Discuss Bookmark Next chapter/page
Copyright: All texts on Bibliomania are © Ltd, and may not be reproduced in any form without our written permission.
See our FAQ for more details.