(Master). The imaginary collector of the tales in Master Humphrey's Clock, by Charles Dickens.
The good Duke Humphrey. (See
Good Duke Humphrey.) To dine with Duke Humphrey. To have no
dinner to go to. Humphrey, Duke of Gloucester, son of Henry
IV., was renowned for his hospitality. At death it was reported that
a monument would be erected to him in St. Paul's, but his body was
interred at St. Albans. When the promenaders left for dinner, the poor
stay-behinds who had no dinner used to say to the gay sparks who asked
if they were going, that they would stay a little longer and look for
the monument of the “good duke.”
To dine with Duke Humphrey in Powl's Walk.
A similar locution is To sup with Sir Thomas Gresham. The
Exchange built by Sir Thomas being a common lounge.
Though little coin thy purseless pocket line,
Yet with great company thou art taken up;
For often with Duke Humphrey thou dost dine,
And often with Sir Thomas Gresham sup.
Hayman: Quodlibet (Epigram on a Loafer), 1628.
Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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