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Pearl

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For Cleopatra melting her pearl in honour of Antony, see Cleopatra.

A similar act of vanity and folly is told by Horace (2 Satire, iii. verse 239). Clodius, son of Æsop the tragedian, drew a pearl from his ear of great value, melted it in a strong acid, and drank to the health of Cecilia Metella. This story is referred to by Valerius Maximus, Macrobius, and Pliny. Horace says,

Qui sanior, ac si

Illud idem in rapidum flumen jaceretve cloacam?”

Sir Thomas Gresham, it is said, when Queen Elizabeth dined with him at the City banquet, melted a pearl worth £15,000, and drank to her health.

3


“Here fifteen thousand pounds alone clap goes

Instead of sugar, Gresham drinks the pearl

Unto his queen and mistress.”


Thomas Heywood.

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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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Peace of Antalcidas (The)
Peace of God
Peace with Honour
Peaceful (The)
Peach
Peacock
Peacock’s Feather Unlucky (A)
Peak (The)
Peal
Pearl (The)
Pearl
Pearl of the East
Peasant Bard
Peasant-boy Philosopher (The)
Peasants War (The)
Peascod
Pec
Peccavi
Peck (A)
Pecker
Peckham