Bathsheba

The Duchess of Portsmouth, a favourite court lady of Charles II. The allusion is to the wife of Uriah the Hittite, criminally beloved by David (2 Sam. xi.). The Duke of Monmouth says:

My father, whom with reverence yet 1 name,
Charmed into ease, is careless of his fame;
And, bribed with petty sums of foreign gold,
Is grown in Bathsheba's embraces old.

Dryden: Absalom and Achitophel, i. 707-10.

Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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