Sleeper

(The). Epimenides, the Greek poet, is said to have fallen asleep in a cave when a boy, and not to have waked for fifty-seven years, when he found himself possessed of all wisdom. Rip Van Winkle, in Washington Irving's tale, is supposed to sleep for twenty years, and wake up an old man, unknowing and unknown. (See Klaus.)

Sleepers. Timbers laid asleep or resting on something, as the sleepers of a railway. (Anglo-Saxon, slaepere. The Seven Sleepers. (See Seven.)

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