Valerian to Vatican

Valerian (the herb). An irresistible attraction to cats. (The word is from the Latin valere, to be well, and hence to make well and keep well.) It is an excitant, antispasmodic, tonic, and emmenagogue. The “Father of Botany” says:

“Valerian hath been had in such veneration, that no brothes, pottage, or physical meates are worth anything, if this be not at one end.”

Valhalla in Scandinavian mythology, is the great hall or refectory of Gladsheim, the palace of the Æsir or Asgard. The Times, speaking of Westminster Abbey, says “The Abbey is our Valhalla.”

“We both must pass from earth away,
Valhalla's joys to see;
And if I wander there to-day,
To-morrow may fetch thee.”
Frithiof-Saga, lay xi.

Valiant (The). Jean IV. of Brittany. (1389-1442.)

Valis'e (2 syl.). A small leather portmanteau. (French, valise.)

Valkyriur or Valkyries. The twelve nymphs of Valhalla. They were mounted on swift horses, and held drawn swords in their hands. In the mêléc of battle they selected those destined to death, and conducted them to Valhalla, where they waited upon them, and served them with mead and ale in cups of horn called skulls. The chief were Mista, Sangrida, and Hilda. Valkyriur means “chooser of the slain.”

“Mista black, terrific maid,
Sangrida and Hilda see.”
Gray: Fatal Sisters.

Valla (Laurentius). One of the first scholars of the Renaissance, noted for his Latin sermons, and his admirable Latin translations of Herodotus and Thucydides.

Vallary Crown A crown bestowed by the ancient Romans on the soldier who first surmounted the vallum of an enemy's camp.

Valley of Humiliation The place where Christian encountered Apollyon, just before he came to the “Valley of the Shadow of Death.” (Bunyan: Pilgrim's Progress, pt. i.)

Valley of the Shadow of Death through which Christian had to pass in order to get to the Celestial City. The prophet Jeremiah describes it as a “wilderness, a land of deserts and of pits, a land of drought and of the shadow of death” (ii. 6); and the Psalmist says, “Though I walk through the valley of `he shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for Thou art with me; Thy rod and Thy staff they comfort me” (xxiii. 4).

“The light there is darkness, and the way full of traps and gins to catch the unwary.”- Bunyan: Pilgrim's Progress, pt. i.

Vallombrosa Milton says, “Thick as autumnal leaves that strew the brooks in Vallombrosa” (Paradise Lost, i. 302); but as the trees of Vallombrosa are chiefly pines, they do not strew the brooks with autumnal leaves. The beech and chestnut trees are by no means numerous.

Valorem Ad valorem. A sliding scale of duty on excisable articles, regulated according to their market value.
   Thus, tea at 4s. per pound would pay more duty than tea at 2s. per pound.

Vamp To vamp up an old story. To vamp is to put new uppers to old boots. Vampes were short hose covering the feet and ankles. (Perhaps the French avant-pied, the fore-part of the foot.)

Vampire An extortioner. According to Dom Calmet, the vampire is a dead man who returns in body and soul from the other world, and wanders about the earth doing mischief to the living. He sucks the blood of persons asleep, and these persons become vampires in turn.
   The vampire lies as a corpse during the

  By PanEris using Melati.

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