- skip - Brewer’s

Fern Seed

.

We have the receipt of fern seed, we walk invisible (1 Henry IV., act iv. 4). The seed of certain species of fern is so small as to be invisible to the naked eye, and hence the plant was believed to confer invisibility on those who carried it about their person. It was at one time believed that plants have the power of imparting their own speciality to their wearer. Thus, the herb-dragon was said to cure the poison of serpents; the yellow celandine the jaundice; wood-sorrel, which has a heart-shaped leaf, to cheer the heart; liverwort to be good for the liver, and so on.

“Why did you think that you had Gygĕsʹ ring,

Or the herb that gives invisibility?”


Beaumont and Fletcher: Fair Maid of the Inn, i. 1.


“The seeds of fern, which, by prolific heat

Cheered and unfolded, form a plant so great,

Are less a thousand times than what the eye

Can unassisted by the tube descry.”


Blackmore: Creation.

previous entry · index · next entry

ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ

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

previous entry · index · next entry

Fennel
Fenrir or Fenris
Fenton
Feræ Naturæ
Feramorz
Ferdinand
Ferdinando
Ferdosi
Ferguson
Fern
Fern Seed
Fernando Florestan
Ferney
Ferohers
Ferracute [sharp iron]
Ferragus
Ferrara
Ferrau (in Orlando Furioso)
Ferrex and Porrex
Ferumbras
Fescennine Verses

Linking here:

Daisy-roots