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Proteus (pron. Proʹ-tuce)

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As many shapes as Proteusi.e. full of shifts, aliases, disguises, etc. Proteus was Neptune’s herdsman, an old man and a prophet. He lived in a vast cave, and his custom was to tell over his herds of sea-calves at noon, and then to sleep. There was no way of catching him but by stealing upon him during sleep and binding him; if not so captured, he would clude anyone who came to consult him by changing his shape, for he had the power of changing it in an instant into any form he chose.

“The changeful Proteus, whose prophetic mind,

The secret cause of Bacchusʹ rage divined,

Attending, left the flocks, his scaly charge,

To graze the bitter weedy foam at large.”


Camoens: Lusiad, vi.

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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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Proserpina or Proserpine
Proserpine’s Divine Calidore
Prosperity Robinson
Prospero
Protagoras of Abdera
Protean
Protectionist
Protector
Protesilaos
Protestant
Proteus (pron. Pro-tuce)
Proteus
Prothalamion
Proto-martyr
Protocol
Protoplasm, Sarcode
Protozoa
Proud (The)
Proudfute (Oliver)
Prout
Province

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Protean

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Proteus