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Cotgrave's World: Book 8 America and other countries

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Thoughts, proverbs and Sayings from the 16th Century

Extracts from a French to English dictionary by, R Cotgrave. Published 1611. In this section we cover, amongst other topics:

  1. America
  2. Egypt
  3. Germans
  4. Jews
  5. Hungary
  6. Dutch
  7. Italians
  8. Length of Civil days


A round and screen like ornament
of feathers, worn by the Indians of the west.

A kind of hunch backed, rough maned,
broad faced, and great eyed, wild ox,
that will not be taken as long as it can stand,
nor tamed afterwards.

'Grillon des champs'.
A grasshopper; 'de cheminee', a cricket,
{cheminee cricket -jimmy cricket? Lol.

'Translation S Martin'.
a holy day (kept in some places)
the 4th July.

'Carie': f.
rottenness, putrefaction, worm eaten,
corruption in- of anything.
[ sounds like a good name for a book or film?]

'Vaudeville': f.
A country ballad, or song; a Roundelay, or Virelay; so, termed of, 'Vaudevire'. A Norman town, wherein Oliver Bassel, the first inventor of them lived; also, a vulgar proverb; a country or common saying.
[ It seems amazing to me how we in Gt Britain, somehow see America as basically English, when by design it is French, that is why they have the dollar, Vaudeville, the Statue of Liberty was a gift from the French assembly, prophesying America's as holding the balance of World power. But world power is as the moon, it ascends, holds but a moment, then descends.]


With regards to the death of Osiris- Egypt.

the Great Egyptian tamarisk, the fruit of which, resembles galls? [The very tree that sprang up beside and engulfed the coffin of Osiris. Seek the contention of Osiris and Seth, in my
Egyptian Myths.]

'Far.' A high tower, or beacon
At the mouth of a haven,
wherein continual lights are kept at night, for the direction of seafaring people [ therefore 'Far', as 'Phar', as Pharaoh the 'far seeing Eye', or'far seeing One' the Eye of Pharaoh, the Eye of Ra, or Re, matters little, they all signify the 'Eye of the Sun.'] Cheval aquatique; A certain beast that lives in the river Nile, (in his back, mane and voice, resembles a horse, and is thus termed, 'the horse of the Nile.'.
[ cheval aquatique, the horse of water; or 'water horse', has been known as a Hippopotamus surely since Greek and Roman times. [seek the contentions of Horus and Seth, 'the great boat race.' In my Egyptian Myths.].

'Cheval de riviere'. The water-horse, the Hippo'.

'Barque': f. bark, little ship, great boat; or more correctly a barge. Ancient Pharoahs boats were pulled by men, especially when travelling up the Nile, as shown by the great number of depictions of men dragging the gods and pharaohs barges, on the rocks in the Egyptian desert.

'Arbre de Pardis'.
the Tree of Paradise,
grows in Egypt, and bears
many blossoms, all at the top,
and yields but one fruit;
which resembles a pineapple,
and is very tasty.

'Egyptiac'. An excellent (though sharp) ointment, or salve to prevent, or correct the putrefaction and mortification of wounds and sores.

'Herbe du papier'.
The Egyptian rush papyrus, whereof
the first paper and much more was made.

The Egyptian rat, pharaoh's mouse, mortal enemy of crocodiles and serpents [snakes], therefore usually tamed and made bountiful by the people. [the Egyptian General Moses-Mosis, used them to rid the path of his army of snakes.]

'Sacre d' Egypte'.
A kind of Saker, that feeds altogether on snakes and carrion, and therefore sacred among the Egyptians, the killing of one was accounted a felony;
[Saker, Sokar, a hawk, hawk goddess].

Sacred priests, revered prelates,
{amongst the ancient Egyptians].

Sepulcher, tomb, grave, vault, coffin. Hence also, a chest, an Ark, a casket, box, trunk, case. [ any container that was accessed by a lid, a cabinet does not qualify, it is accessed by its side, not its top; one is for burial the other display.]

'Tabernacle', a pavilion, tent, or hall; also, a shed, shelter, or little shop of boards; also, a gaudy cabinet, an arc- ark, box, or chariot to set, keep or carry images in.

[ 'Ark, Arc, appears in both lists, because, was accessed by a lid, yet also a gaudy cabinet, it was also carried from place to place, and was rested in its own tent, type pavilion, thus it was for display, not burisal. Every Egyptian Temple had its Ark, wherein, objects pertaining to that particular god were stored in between ceremonies.]

A cartridge, or catouche,
a folding bracket or corbel.

'Neptunales.' Neptunes feasts-holy days.
[exactly the same as Poseidon,
or the Jewish and Egyptian Seth.]

The Germans and the Swiss


'Lifrelofre'. A huff and snuff, swag belly, puff bag (a word coined in derision of the Germans and Swiss)

'Les Alemans ont l' esprit aux doigts'.
The Germans wit, rests in their fingers; or,
the Germans are better fans of art, than artists,
or, better at handy crafts than at head crafts.

'Il n'en entend que le haut Alleman'.
He understands not one part or jot of it;
he is neither a whit the wiser by it;
he is utterly ignorant of it,
tis Greek to him.

'Peigne d' Aleman'.
The hand; four fingers and a thumb.

'Querelle d' Aleman'.
A quarrel, or brabble,
entered into upon the slightest excuse,
or drunken occasion.
We know the Germans love their beer, for they are ALE-man, [Juvenal reports the Prussians were ferocious, Napoleon's soldiers would probably agree.]

'Theriaque des Alemans'.
The juice of Juniper berries, extracted according to art; so, called, both because it is good against poison, and because the Germans drink a lot of it [gin].

Those of Venice.

'le secours des Venetians
(trois jours apres la bataille.)

After meat mustard,
after death, a potion;
after judgement is given,
our counsel is a leisure,
to attend our cause; or
the promise of help from the Venetians
(always) arrives 3 days after the battle.


'Il entend l' Hebrieu.'.
He is drunk; or (as we say) learned,
from the analogy of the Latin word 'Ebrius,' meaning, drunk-intoxicated; or, poetically, full.) [The moment he's gone, a palsied Jewess, parking her haybox outside, comes begging in a breathy whisper. She interprets Jerusalem's laws, she's the tree's high priestess, a faithful mediator of heaven on earth. She likewise fills her palm, but more sparingly: Jews will sell you whatever dreams you like for a few coppers. Juvenal, satire 6, 540-555] note; the first? Priestess of the Tree, was Eve, she drew Adam's eyes to the Tree of knowledge of good and bad. Oddly enough 2 of the Gospels state Jesus was hung on a tree, not a cross. But Druids as they became known glorified trees, who came 1st? [A Haybox, was a box that Jews used to keep food cooked prior to the Sabbath warm, thus getting around the law that they should not prepare or cook food on that day. Which makes me think they have rather missed the point of the Sabbath; being that you rest from physical toil, and exercise your mind, and your stomach is part of your body, so on that day seek to feed your soul; and give your liver peace. But do not think for one moment that you are forbidden to do what is right and necessary on that day. A child's nappy must be changed, a sick man attended, you do not ignore a neighbour's burning house? Some things happen that require your attention even on the 7th day. There is never a day when it is wrong to do right. M.

Cabul, Cabal, Kabul,
A book of the hidden science
of divine mysteries,
which the Rabbis confirm
was revealed to Moses
and delivered with the law,
unto Moses,
and from him derived the successive
relations unto posterity, -[his opinion;]

A student, or professor of the
superstitions contained in the Talmud.

The Jewish Talmud; a superstitious and blasphemous book, or law, devised by their Rabbi's and of great authority among them.


A Hungarian, also a gelded man,
or horse, a eunuch or gelding.


'Apres compter il faut boire'.
The reckoning ended we must drink together; (a Dutch conclusion.)


'Secours de Lombardie.'.
Secour that is too long in coming; or, so long, that it is unseasonably by the time it arrives.

'Mouscheur'. A fly catcher; (or, a nickname bestowed by the Italians on the French monsieur'.)

Length of Civil days

'Iour Civil'.
The civil day; continues, as the
('Iour Naturel') 24 hours, but differs in its beginning,
by the different use,
or constitutions of several nations;
whereof some
(as the Chaldeans and Persians)
begin it from Sunrise;
(such as Jews, Athenians, ancient
Egyptians, and modern Italians)
from Sunset;
(as Umbrians)
from Noon;
and others
(as the ancient Romans,
and at this day,
the French, Spaniards, Germans
and the greater part
of the people of our world)
from Midnight.