An instrument for measuring the velocity of a ship. It is a flat
piece of wood, some six inches in radius, and in the shape of a
quadrant. A piece of lead is nailed to the rim to make the log float
perpendicularly. To this log a line is fastened, called the log-line (q.v.). Other forms are also used.
A king Log. A roi fainéant.
In allusion to the fable of the frogs asking for a king. Jupiter
first threw them down a log of wood, but they grumbled at so spiritless
a king. He then sent them a stork, which devoured them eagerly.
Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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