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Barmecide

(3 syl.) The word is used to express the uncertainty of things on which we set our heart. As the beggar looked forward to a feast, but found only empty dishes; so many a joy is found to be mere illusion when we come to partake of it.

To-morrow! the mysterious unknown guest
Who cries aloud, “Remember Barmecide!”
And tremble to be happy with the rest.

Longfellow.

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