Scaphism to Schoolmen

Scaphism Locking up a criminal in the trunk of a tree, bored through so as just to admit the body. Five holes were made- one for the head, and the others for the hands and legs. These parts were anointed with honey to invite the wasps. In this situation the criminal would linger in the burning sun for several days. (Greek, skaphe, anything scooped out.)

Scapin A “barber of Seville;” a knavish valet who makes his master his tool. (Molière: Les Fourberies de Scapin.)

Scaramouch A braggart and fool, very valiant in words, but a poltroon. According to Dyche, the Italian posture-master, Tiberio Fiurelli, was surnamed Scaramouch Fiurelli. He came to England in 1673, and astonished John Bull with feats of agility.

“Stout Scaramoucha with rush-lance rode in,
And ran a tilt with centaure Arlequin.”
Dryden: The Silent Woman (Epilogue).

Scaramouch Dress (A), in Molière's time, was black from top to toe; hence he says, “Night has put on her `scaramouch dress.' ”

Scarborough Warning No warning at all; blow first, then warning. In Scarborough robbers used to be dealt with in a very summary manner by a sort of Halifax gibbet-law, lynch-law, or an à la lanterne. Another origin is given of this phrase: It is said that Thomas Stafford, in the reign of Queen Mary, seized the castle of Scarborough, not only without warning, but even before the townsfolk knew he was afoot (1557). (See Gone Up .)

“This term Scarborrow warning grew, some say,
By hasty hanging for rank robbery there.
Who that was met, but suspect in that way,
Straight he was trust up, whatever he were.”
T. Heywood.

Scarlet Though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow (Isa. i. 18). The allusion is to the scarlet fillet tied round the head of the scapegoat. Though your sins be as scarlet as the fillet on the head of the goat to which the high priest has transferred the sins of the whole nation, yet shall they be forgiven and wiped out.

Scarlet (Will). One of the companions of Robin Hood.

Scarlet Coat Worn by fox-hunters. (See Red Coat .)

Scarlet Woman Some controversial Protestants apply the words to the Church of Rome, and some Romanists, with equal “good taste,” apply them to London. The Book of Revelation says, “It is that great city which reigneth over the kings of the earth,” and terms the city “Babylon” (chap. xvii.).

Scavenger's Daughter An instrument of torture invented by Sir William Skevington, lieutenant of the Tower in the reign of Henry VIII. As Skevington was the father of the instrument, the instrument was his daughter.

Sceatta Anglo-Saxon for “money,” or a little silver coin. A sceat was an Anglo-Saxon coin.

Scene Painters The most celebrated are-
   Inigo Jones, who introduced the first appropriate decorations for masques.
   D'Avenant, who produced perspective scenes in 1656, for The Siege of Rhodes.
   Betterton was the first to improve the scenic effects in “Dorset Gardens;” his artist was Streater.
   John Rich may be called the great reformer of stage scenery in “Covent Garden.”
   Richards, secretary of the Royal Academy; especially successful in The Maid of the Mill. His son was one of the most celebrated of our scenepainters.
   Philip James de Loutherbourg was the greatest scene-artist up to Garrick's time. He produced the scenes for The Winter's Tale, at the request of that great actor.
   John Kemble engaged William Capon, a pupil of Novosielski, to furnish him with scenery for Shakespeare's historic plays.
   Patrick Nasmyth, in the North, produced several unrivalled scenes.
   Stanfield is well known for his scene of Acis and Galate'a.

  By PanEris using Melati.

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