Thirteens to Thorn in the Flesh
Thirteens Throwing the thirteens about. A thirteen is an Irish shilling, which, prior to 1825, was worth 13 pence, and many years after that date, although reduced to the English standard, went by the name of thirteens. When Members of Parliament were chaired after their election, it was by no means unusual to carry a bag or two of thirteens, and scatter the money amongst the crowd.
Thirty A man at thirty must be either a fool or a physician. (Tiberius.)
Thirty Tyrants The thirty magistrates appointed by Sparta over Athens, at the termination of the Peloponnesian
war. This reign of terror, after one year's continuance, was overthrown by Thrasybulos (B.C. 403).
Thirty Years' War A series of wars between the Catholics and Protestants of Germany in the seventeenth century. It began in Bohemia in 1618, and ended in 1648 with the peace of Westphalia.
Thisbe A Babylonish maiden beloved by Piramus. They lived in contiguous houses, and as their parents would not let them marry, they contrived to converse together through a hole in the garden wall. On one occasion they agreed to meet at Ninus' tomb, and Thisbe, who was first at the spot, hearing a lion roar, ran away in a fright, dropping her garment on the way. The lion seized the garment and tore it. When Piramus arrived and saw the garment, he concluded that a lion had eaten Thisbe, and he stabbed himself. Thisbe returning to the tomb, saw Piramus dead, and killed herself also. This story is travestied in the Midsummer Night's Dream, by Shakespeare.
Thistle (The). The species called Silybum Marianum, we are told, owes the white markings on its leaves
to the milk of the Virgin Mary, some of which fell thereon and left a white mark behind. (See Christian
Thistle Beds Withoos, a Dutch artist, is famous for his homely pictures where thistle-beds abound.
Thistle of Scotland The Danes thought it cowardly to attack an enemy by night, but on one occasion
deviated from their rule. On they crept, barefooted, noiselessly, and unobserved, when one of the men
set his foot on a thistle, which made him cry out. The alarm was given, the Scotch fell upon the night-
party, and defeated them with terrible slaughter. Ever since the thistle has been adopted as the insignia
of Scotland, with the motto Nemo me impune lacessit. This tradition reminds us of Brennus and the
geese (See also Stars And Stripes. )
Tell me, in what more happy fieldsIn the reign of Anne the Duke of Marlborough made the lily of France yield to the thistle of Queen Anne. The lines are a parody of Virgil's Eclogue, iii. 104-108.
Thomas (St.). Patron saint of architects. The tradition is that Gondoforus, king of the Indies, gave him
a large sum of money to build a palace. St. Thomas spent it on the poor, thus erecting a superb palace
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