Character Sketches of Romance Volume Iii Part 129

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=St. Asaph= (_The dean of_), in the court of Queen Elizabeth.--Sir W.

Scott, _Kenilworth_ (1821).

=St. Basil Outwits the Devil.= (See SINNER SAVED.)

=St. Botolph= (_The Prior of_). Sir W. Scott, _Ivanhoe_ (time, Richard I.).

=St. Cecili=, =Cecily=, or =Cecile= (2 _syl._), the daughter of n.o.ble Roman parents, and a Christian. She married Valirian. One day, she told her husband she had "an aungel ... that with gret love, wher so I wake or slepe, is redy ay my body for to kepe." Valirian requested to see this angel, and Cecile told him he must first go to St. Urban, and, being purged by him "fro synne, than [_then_] schul ye see that aungel."

Valirian was accordingly "cristened" by St. Urban, returned home, and found the angel with two crowns, brought direct from paradise. One he gave to Cecile and one to Valirian, saying that "bothe with the palme of martirdom schullen come unto G.o.d's blisful feste." Valirian suffered martydom first; then Almachius, the Roman prefect, commanded his officers to "brenne Cecile in a bath of flammes red." She remained in the bath all day and night, yet, "sat she cold, and felte of it no woe."

Then smote they her three strokes upon the neck, but could not smite her head off. She lingered on for three whole days, preaching and teaching, and then died. St. Urban buried her body privately by night, and the house he converted into a church, which he called the church of Cecily.--Chaucer, _Canterbury Tales_ ("The Second Nun's Tale," 1388).

=St. Christopher=, a native of Lycia, very tall, and fearful to look at.

He was so proud of his strength that he resolved to serve only the mightiest, and went in search of a worthy master. He first entered the service of the emperor; but one day, seeing his master cross himself for fear of the devil, he quitted his service for that of Satan. This new master he found was thrown into alarm at the sight of a cross; so he quitted him also, and went in search of the Saviour. One day, near a ferry, a little child accosted him, and begged the giant to carry him across the water. Christopher put the child on his back, but found every step he took the child grew heavier and heavier, till the burden was more than he could bear. As he sank beneath his load, the child told the giant he was Christ, and Christopher resolved to serve Christ and Him alone. He died three days afterwards, and was canonized. The Greek and Latin churches look on him as the protecting saint against floods, fire, and earthquake.--James de Voragine, _Golden Legends_, 100 (thirteenth century).

? His body is said to be at Valencia, in Spain; one of his arms at Compostella; a jaw-bone at Astorga; a shoulder at St. Peter's, in Rome; and a tooth and rib at Venice. His day is May 9 in the Greek Church, and July 25 in the Latin. Of course, "the Christ-bearer" is an allegory. The gigantic bones called his relics may serve for "matters of faith" to give reality to the fable.

(His name before conversion was Offerus, but after he carried Christ across the ford, it was called Christ-Offerus, shortened into Christopher, which means "the Christ-bearer.")

=St. Clare= (_Augustin_), the kind, indulgent master of Uncle Tom. He was beloved by all his slaves.

_Evangeline St. Clare_, daughter of Mr. St. Clare. Evangeline was the good angel of the family, and was adored by Uncle Tom.

_Miss Ophelia St. Clare_, sister of Augustin.--Mrs. Harriet Beecher Stowe, _Uncle Tom's Cabin_ (1852).

=St. Distaff=, an imaginary saint to whom January 7, or Twelfth Day is consecrated.

Partly worke and partly play You must on St. Distaff's Day; Give St. Distaff all the right, Then give Christmas sport good night.

_Wit Asporting in a Pleasant Grove of New Fancies_ (1657).

=St. Filume'na= or FILOMENA, a new saint of the Latin Church. Sabateli has a picture of this nineteenth-century saint, representing her as hovering over a group of sick and maimed, who are healed by her intercession. In 1802 a grave was found in the cemetery of St. Priscilla, and near it three tiles, with these words in red letters.

+--------+ +-------+ +-------+ LUMENA PAXTE CVMFI +--------+ +-------+ +-------+

A re-arrangement of the tiles made the inscription, PAX TE-c.u.m, FI-LUMENA. That this was the correct rendering is quite certain, for the virgin martyr herself told a priest and a nun in a dream, that she was Fi[lia] Lumina, the daughter Lumina, _i.e._ the daughter of the Light of the world. In confirmation of this dream, as her bones were carried to Mugnano, the saint repaired her own skeleton, made her hair grow, and performed so many miracles, that those must indeed be hard of belief who can doubt the truth of the story.

=St. George= is the national saint of England, in consequence of the miraculous a.s.sistance rendered by him, to the arms of the Christians under G.o.dfrey de Bouillon during the first crusade.

_St. George's Sword_, Askelon.

George he shaved the dragon's beard, And Askelon was his razor.

Percy's _Reliques_, III. iii. 15.

_St. George_ (_Le chevalier de_), James Francis Edward Stuart, called "The Old (or _elder_) Pretender" (1688-1766).

=St. Graal.= (See SANGRAAL.)

=St. Leon=, the hero of a novel of the same name, by W. Goodwin (1799).

St. Leon becomes possessed of the "elixir of life," and of the "philosopher's stone;" but this knowledge, instead of bringing him wealth and happiness, is the source of misery and endless misfortunes.

=Saint Maur=, one of the attendants of Sir Reginald Front de Buf (a follower of Prince John).--Sir W. Scott, _Ivanhoe_ (time, Richard I.).

=St. Nicholas=, the patron saint of boys. He is said to have been bishop of Myra, in Lycia, and his death is placed in the year 326.

Under his triple names of _St. Nicholas_, _Santa Claus_ and _Kriss Kringle_, he fills good children's stockings on Christmas Eve. Clement C. Moore has made the annual visit of this saint "in a miniature sleigh drawn by eight tiny reindeer," the subject of his famous nursery poem beginning:

"'Twas the night before Christmas, and all through the house, Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse."

(1844).

=St. Prieux=, the _amant_ of Julie, in Rousseau's novel ent.i.tled _Julie_ ou _La Nouvelle Helose_ (1760).

=St. Ronan's Well=, a novel by Sir W. Scott (1823). An inferior work; but it contains the character of Meg Dods, of the Clachan or Mowbray Arms inn, one of the very best low comic characters in the whole range of fiction.

=St. Stephen's Chapel=, properly the House of Commons, but sometimes applied to the two Houses of Parliament. So called by a figure of speech from St. Stephen's Chapel, built by King Stephen, rebuilt by Edward II.

and III., and finally destroyed by fire in 1834. St. Stephen's Chapel was fitted up for the use of the House of Commons in the reign of Edward IV. The great council of the nation met before in the chapel-house of the abbey.

=St. Swithin=, tutor of King Alfred, and bishop of Winchester. The monks wished to bury him in the chancel of the minster; but the bishop had directed that his body should be interred under the open vault of heaven. Finding the monks resolved to disobey his injunction, he sent a heavy rain on July 15, the day a.s.signed to the funeral ceremony, in consequence of which it was deferred from day to day for forty days. The monks then bethought them of the saint's injunction, and prepared to inter the body in the churchyard. St. Swithin smiled his approbation by sending a beautiful suns.h.i.+ny day, in which all the robes of the heirarchy[TN-145] might be displayed without the least fear of being injured by untimely and untoward showers.

=Saints= (_Island of_), Ireland.

_Saints_ (_Royal_).

David of Scotland (*, 1124-1153).

Edward the Confessor (1004, 1042-1066).

Edward the Martyr (961, 975-979).

Eric IX. of Sweden (*, 1155-1161).

Ethelred I., king of Wess.e.x (*, 866-871).

Character Sketches of Romance Volume Iii Part 129

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Character Sketches of Romance Volume Iii Part 129 summary

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