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Grève (1 syl.)


Place de Grève. The Tyburn of ancient Paris. The present Hôtel de Ville occupies part of the site. The word grève means the strand of a river or the shore of the sea, and is so called from gravier (gravel or sand). The Place de Grève was on the bank of the Seine.

“Who has eʹer been to Paris must needs know the Grève,

The fatal retreat of thʹ unfortunate brave,

Where honour and justice most oddly contribute

To ease Hero’s pains by a halter or gibbet.”

Prior: The Thief and the Cordelier.

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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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