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Bear

(A). (Stock Exchange), a fall, or a speculator for a fall. To operate for a bear. To realise a profitable bear.

Bearing the market is using every effort to depress the price of stocks in order to buy it. The arena of bears and bulls, i.e. the Stock Exchange.

Dr. Warton says the term bear came from the proverb of “Selling the skin before you have caught the bear,” and referred to those who entered into contracts in the South Sea Scheme to transfer stock at a stated price.

(See Bull.)

So was the huntsman by the bear oppressed,
Whose hide he sold before he caught the beast.

Waller: Battle of the Summer Islands, c. ii.

A Bear account.
A speculation in stocks on the chance of a fall in the price of the stock sold, with a view of buying it back at a lower price or receiving the difference. (See Bulls.)

Bear

(The). Albert, margrave of Brandenburg. He was also called “The Fair” (1106-1170).

The bloody Bear,
in Dryden's poem called The Hind and Panther, means the Independents.

The bloody bear, an independent beast,
Unlicked to form, in groans her hate expressed.

Pt. i. 35, 36.

The Great Bear
and Little Bear. The constellations so called are specimens of a large class of blunders founded on approximate sounds. The Sanskrit rakh means “to be bright;” the Greeks corrupted the word into arktos, which means a bear; so that the “bear” should in reality be the “bright ones.” The fable is that Calisto, a nymph of Diana, had two sons by Jupiter, which Juno changed into bears, and Jupiter converted into constellations.

The wind-shaked surge, with high and monstrous mane,
Seems to cast water on the burning bear,
And quench the guards of th'ever-fixed pole.

Shakespeare: Othello, ii. 1.

'Twas here we saw Calisto's star retire
Beneath the waves, unawed by Juno's ire.

Camoens: Lusiad, book v.

The Bear
or Northern Bear. Russia.

France turns from her abandoned friends a fresh,
And soothes the bear that growls for patriot flesh.

Campbell: Poland, Stanza 5.

A Bridled Bear.
A young nobleman under the control of a travelling tutor. (See Bear-Leader.) The Bear and Ragged Staff. A public-house sign in compliment to Warwick, the king-maker, whose cognisance it was. The first earl was Arth or Arthgal, of the Round Table, whose cognisance was a bear, because artk means a bear (Latin, urs' ). Morvid, the second earl, overcame, in single combat, a mighty giant, who came against him with a club, which was a tree pulled up by the roots, but stripped of its branches. In remembrance of his victory over the giant he added “the ragged staff.”

The Bear and the Tea-kettle
(Kamschatka). Said of a person who injures himself by foolish rage. One day a bear entered a hut in Kamschatka, where a kettle was on the fire. Master Bruin went to the kettle, and smelling at it burnt his nose, being greatly irritated, he seized the kettle with his paws, and squeezed it against his breast. This, of course, made matters worse, for the boiling water scalded him terribly, and he growled in agony till some neighbours put an end to his life with their guns.

A bear sucking his paws.
It is said that when a bear is deprived of food, it sustains life by sucking its paws. The same is said of the English badger. Applied to industrious idleness.

As savage as a bear with a sore
(or scalt) head. Unreasonably ill-tempered. As a bear has no tail, for a lion he'll fail. The same as Ne sutor supra crepidam, “let not the cobbler aspire above his last.” Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester, being a descendant of the Warwick family, changed his own crest, which was “a green lion with two tails,” for the Warwick crest, a “bear and ragged staff.” When made governor of the Low Countries, he was suspected of aiming at absolute supremacy, or the desire of being the monarch of his fellows, as the lion is monarch among beasts. Some wit wrote under his crest the Latin verse, “Ursa caret cauda non queat esse leo.
Your bear for lion needs must fail,
Because your true bears have no tail.

To take the bear by the tooth.
To put your head into the lion's mouth; needlessly to run into danger. You dare as soon take a bear by his tooth. You would no more attempt such a thing, than attempt to take a bear by its tooth.

Bear

(To). Come, bear a hand! Come and render help! In French, “ Donner un coup à quelqu'un.” Bring a hand, or bring your hand to bear on the work going on.

To bear arms.
To do military service. To bear away (Nautical). To keep away from the wind. To bear one company. To be one's companion.

“His faithful dog shall bear him company.”

Pope: Essay on Man epistle i. 112.

To bear down.
To overpower; to force down.

“Fully prepared to bear down all resistance.” —Cooper: The Pilot, chap. xvii.

To bear down upon
(Nautical). To approach from the weather side.

To bear in mind.
Remember; do not forget. Carry in your recollection. “To learn by heart,” means to learn memoriter. Mind and heart stand for memory in both phrases.

To bear out.
To corroborate, to confirm. To bear up. To support; to keep the spirits up. To bear with. To show forbearance; to endure with complacency.

“How long shall I bear with this evil congregation?”-Numbers xiv. 27.

To bear the bell.
(See Bell.)

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