White Lies to Whittington

White Lies A conventional lie, such as telling a caller that Mrs. A. or Mrs. B. is not at home, meaning not “at home” to that particular caller.
   It is said that Dean Swift called on a “friend,” and was told by Jeames that “master is not at home.” After a time this very “friend” called on the dean, and Swift, opening the window, shouted, “Not at home.” When the friend expostulated, Swift said, “I believed your footman when he said his master was not at home: surely you can believe the master himself when he tells you he is not at home.”

White Moments of Life (The). The red-letter days or happy moments of life. The Romans used to mark unlucky days, in their calendars, with black chalk, and lucky ones with white chalk; hence Nortare diem lactea gemma or alba means to mark a day as a lucky one.

“These, my young friend, these are the white moments of one's life.”- Sir W. Scott: The Antiquary, chap. iii.
White Moon (Knight of the). Sampson Carrasco assumed this character and device, in order to induce Don Quixote to abandon knight errantry, and return home. The Don, being worsted, returned home, lingered a little while, and died. (Cervantes: Don Quixote, pt. ii. bk. iv. chap. 12, etc.)

White Night (A). A sleepless night; hence the French phrase “Passer une nuit blanche.

White Poplar This tree was originally the nymph Leuce, beloved by Pluto, and at death the infernal Zeus metamorphosed her into a white poplar, which was ultimately removed into Elysium.

White Rose The House of York, whose emblem it was.
   The White Rose. Cardinal de la Pole. (1500- 1558.)
   White Rose of England. So Perkin Warbeck or Osbeck was always addressed by Margaret of Burgundy, the sister of Edward IV. (*-1449.) Lady Catherine Gordon, given by James IV as wife to Perkin Warbeck, was called “The White Rose.” She married three times more after the death of Warbeck.
   The White Rose of Raby. Cecily, wife of Richard, Duke of York, and mother of Edward IV. and Richard III. She was the youngest of twenty-one children.

White Sheep [Ak-koin-loo ]. A tribe of Turkomans, so called from their standards. The Sophivean dynasty of Persia was founded by one of this tribe.

White Squall One which produces no diminution of light, in contradistinction to a black squall, in which the clouds are black and heavy.

White Stone Days marked with a white stone. Days of pleasure; days to be remembered with gratification. The Romans used a white stone or piece of chalk to mark their lucky days with on the calendar. Those that were unlucky they marked with black charcoal. (See Red-Letter Day .)

White Stone (Rev. ii. 17). To him that overcometh will I give. a white stone; and in the stone a new name [is] written which no man knoweth saving he that receiveth it [i.e. the stone]. In primitive times, when travelling was difficult for want of places of public accomodation, hospitality was exercised by private individuals to a great extent. When the guest left, the host gave him a small white stone cut in two; on one half the host wrote his name, and on the other the guest; the host gave the guest the half containing his [host's] name, and vice versâ. This was done that the guest at some future time might return the favour, if needed. Our text says, “I will give him to eat of the hidden manna”- i.e. I will feed or entertain him well, and I will keep my friendship, sacred, inviolable, and known only to himself.

White Surrey The horse of Richard III. (See Horse .)

“Saddle White Surrey for the field.”
Shakespeare: Richard III., v. 3.
White Tincture That preparation which the alchemists believed would convert any baser metal into silver. It is also called the Stone of the Second Order, the Little Elixir, and the Little Magisterium. (See Red Tincture .)

White Water-lotus [Pe-lien-kaou ]. A secret society which greatly disturbed the empire of China in the reign of Kea King. (1796-1820.)

  By PanEris using Melati.

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