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Minstrel

simply means a servant or minister. Minstrels were kept in the service of kings and princes for the entertainment of guests. James Beattie has a poem in Spenserian verse, called The Minstrel, divided into two books.

The last minstrel of the English stage.
James Shirley, with whom the school of Shakespeare expired. (1594-1666.)

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