Man in the Moon
(The). Some say it is a man leaning on a fork, on which
he is carrying a bundle of sticks picked up on a Sunday. The origin of
this fable is from Num. xv. 32-36. Some add a dog also; thus the
prologue in Midsummer Night's Dream says, “This man with
lantern, dog, and bush of thorns presenteth moonshine;” Chaucer says
“he stole the bush” (Test. of cresseid). Another tradition says
that the man is Cain, with his dog and thorn-bush; the thorn-bush
being emblimantical of the thorns and briars of the fall, and the dog
being the “foul fiend.” Some poets make out the “man” to be Endymion,
taken to the moon by Diana.
Man in the moon.
The nameless person at one time employed in elections to negotiate
bribes. Thus the rumour was set flying among the electors that “the Man
in the Moon had arrived.”
I know no more about it than the man in the moon.
I know nothing at all about the matter.
Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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