Son and heir of Sir Rowland de Boys, who hated his youngest
brother Orlando, and persuaded him to try a wrestling match with a
professed wrestler, hoping thus to kill his brother; but when Orlando
proved victorious, Oliver swore to set fire to his chamber when he was
asleep. Orlando fled to the forest of Arden, and Oliver pursued him;
but one day, as he slept in the forest, a snake and a lioness lurked
near to make him their prey; Orlando happened to be passing, and slew
the two monsters. When Oliver discovered this heroic deed he repented
of his illconduct, and his sorrow so interested the Princess Celia that
she fell in love with him, and they were married. (Shakespeare: As You Like It.)
or Olivier. Charlemagne's favourite paladin, who, with
Roland, rode by his side. He was Count of Genes, and brother of the
beautiful Aude. His sword was called Hauteclaire, and his horse Ferrant d'Espagne.
A Rowland for an Oliver.
Tit for tat, quid pro quo. Dr. J.N. Scottsays that this
proverb is modern, and owes its rise to the Cavaliers in the time of
the Civil wars in England. These Cavaliers, by way of rebuff, gave the
anti-monarchical party a General Monk for their Oliver Cromwell. As
Monk's Christian name was George, it is hard to believe that the
doctor is correct. (See Roland.)
Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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