Half a sovereign in gold; so called because, at one time, it
bore the figure of the archangel Michael slaying the dragon. When the
Rev. Mr. Patten, vicar of Whitstable, was dying, the Archbishop of
Canterbury sent him #10. The wit said, “Tell his Grace that now I am
sure he is a man of God, for I have seen his angels.”
Angel (a public-house sign), in compliment to Richard II, who placed
an angel above his shield, holding it up in his hands.
To write like an angel
(French). The angel referred to was Angelo Vergece [Vergezio], a
Cretan of the sixteenth century. He was employed both by Henri II and
by François I, and was noted for his caligraphy. (Didot: Nouvelle
Biographie Universelle [1852–66]).
Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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