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in Dryden’s satire called Absalom and Achitophel, represents Charles II.; Absalom, his beautiful but rebellious son, represents the Duke of Monmouth; Achitophel, the traitorous counsellor, is the Earl of Shaftesbury; Barzillaï, the faithful old man who provided the king sustenance, was the Duke of Ormond; Hushaï, who defeated the counsel of Achitophel, was Hyde, Duke of Rochester; Zadok the priest was Sancroft, Archbishop of Canterbury; Shimeï, who cursed the king in his flight, was Bethel, the lord mayor; etc. etc. (2 Sam. xvii.–xix.)        

“Once more the godlike David was restored,

And willing nations knew their lawful lord.”


David (St.) or Dewid, was son of Xantus, Prince of Cereticu, now called Cardiganshire; he was brought up a priest, became an ascetic in the Isle of Wight, preached to the Britons, confuted Pelaʹgius, and was preferred to the see of Caerleon, since called St. David’s. He died 544. (See Taffy.)

St. David’s (Wales) was originally called Meneʹvia (i.e. main aw, narrow water or frith). Here St. David received his early education, and when Dyvrig, Archbishop of Caerleon, resigned to him his see, St. David removed the archiepiscopal residence to Meneʹvia, which was henceforth called by his name.

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Entry taken from Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, edited by the Rev. E. Cobham Brewer, LL.D. and revised in 1895.

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Darwinian Theory
Dash my Wig. Dash my Buttons
Daughter of Peneus (The)
Daughter of the Horseleech
Davenport (The Brothers)
David and Jonathan
Davy (Snuffy)
Davy Jones’s Locker
Davy’s Sow
Dawson (Bully)
Day of the Barricades