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Friar’s Lanthorn


Sir W. Scott calls Jack oʹLantern Friar Rush. This is an error, as Rush was a domestic spirit, and not a field esprit follet. He got admittance into monasteries, and played the monks sad pranks, but is never calledJack.” Sir Walter Scott seems to have considered Friar Rush the same as “Friar with the Rush (light),” and, therefore, Friar with the Lantern or Will the Wisp.

Better we had through mire and bush

Been lanthorn-led by Friar Rush.”

Sir Walter Scott: Marmion.

Milton also (in his LʹAllegro) calls Will the Wisp a friar, probably meaning Friar Rush:

“She was pinched, and pulled, she said;

And he by Friar’s lantern led.”

but “Rush” in this name has nothing to do with the verb rush [about] or rush [light]. It is the German Brüder Rausch, called by the Scandinavians Broder Ruus. (Scandinavian, ruus, intoxication, in German rausch, which shows us at once that Friar Rush was the spirit of inebriety. (See Robin Goodfellow.)

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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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Friar Bungay
Friar Dominic
Friar Gerund
Friar John
Friar Laurence
Friar Rush
Friar Tuck
Friar’s Heel
Friar’s Lanthorn
Friars [brothers]
Friars Major (Fratrēs majorēs)
Friars Minor (Fratrēs minorēs)
Friar’s Tale
Friday Street (London)
Friday and Columbus

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