A friar in holy orders. (See Brother .) A father suckled by his daughter. Euphrasia, the Grecian daughter, so preserved the life of Evander, her aged father.
Xantippe so preserved the life of her father Cimonos in prison. The guard, marvelling the old man held out so long, set a watch and discovered the fact. Byron alludes to these stories in his Childe Harold.
There is a dungeon, in whose dim, drear light What do I gaze on? ... An old man, and a female young and fair, Fresh as a nursing mother, in whose vein The blood is nectar ... Here youth offers to old age the food, The milk of his own gift:—it is her sire To whom she renders back the debt of blood ... Drink, drink and live, old man! heaven's realm holds no such tide.
Without father, without mother, without descent, having neither beginning of days nor end of life—i.e. Melchisedec (Heb. vii. 3). He was not the son of a priest, either on his father's or mother's side; his pedigree could not be traced in the priestly line, like that of the ordinary high priests, which can be traced to Aaron; nor did he serve in courses like the Levites, who begin and end their official duties at stated times. Jesus was a “priest after the order of Melchisedec.” Neither His reputed father, Joseph, nor His mother, Mary, was of the priestly line. As priest, therefore, He was “without father, without mother,” without genealogy. And, like Melchisedec, He is a “priest for ever.”
Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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