a name commonly used in old plays for a valet or man-servant.
Probably a Merry Andrew is simply the mirth-making Andrew or domestic
jester. (See Merry Andrew.)
Similarly, Abigail is used in old plays for a waiting gentlewoman. (See Abigail.).
A merchant vessel, probably so called from Andrew
Doria, the famous Genoese admiral.
I should think of shallows and of flats,
And see my wealthy Andrew docked in sand.
Shakespeare: Merchant of Venice, i. 1.
Depicted in Christian art as an old man with long
white hair and beard, holding the Gospel in his right hand, and leaning
on a cross like the letter X, termed St. Andrew's cross. The great
pictures of St. Andrew are his Flagellation by Domenichino, and
the Adoration of the Cross by Guido, which has also been
depicted by Andrea Sacchi, in the Vatican at Rome. Both the Flagellation and the Adoration form the subjects of frescoes
in the chapel of St. Andrea, in the church of San Gregorio, at Rome.
His day is November 30th. It is said that he suffered martyrdom in
Patræ (A.D. 70). (See St. Rule.)
The “adoration of the cross” means his fervent address to the cross
on which he was about to suffer. “Hail, precious cross, consecrated by
the body of Christ! I come to thee exulting and full of joy. Receive me
into thy dear arms.” The “flagellation” means the scourging which
always preceded capital punishments, according to Roman custom.
St. Andrew's Cross
is represented in the form of an X (white on a blue field). The
cross, however, on which the apostle suffered was of the ordinary
shape, if we may believe the relic in the convent of St. Victor, near
Marseilles. The error rose from the way in which that cross is
exhibited, resting on the end of the cross-beam and point of the foot.
According to J. Leslie (History of Scotland), this sort of
cross appeared in the heavens to Achaius, King of the Scots, and
Hungus, King of the Picts, the night before their engagement with
Athelstane. As they were the victors, they went barefoot to the kirk of
St. Andrew, and vowed to adopt his cross as their national emblem.
(See Constatine's Cross.)
Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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