(Nell). An actress, and one of the courtesans of Charles
II. of England (died 1687). Sir Walter Scott speaks of her twice in Peveril of the Peak; in chap. xi. he speaks of “the smart humour of
Mrs. Nelly;” and in chap. xl. Lord Chaffinch says of “Mrs. Nelly, wit
she has; let her keep herself warm with it in worse company, for the
cant of strollers is not language for a prince's chamber.”
Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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