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Gertrude

(2 syl., g hard). Hamlet's mother, who married Claudius, the murderer of her late husband. She inadvertently poisoned herself by drinking a potion prepared for her son. (Shakespeare: Hamlet.)

Gertrude

(St.), in Christian art, is sometimes represented as surrounded with rats and mice; and sometimes as spinning, the rats and mice running about her distaff.

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