Rings Noted in Fable
Agramant's ring. This enchanted ring was given by Agramant to the
dwarf Brunello, from whom it was stolen by Bradamant and given to
Melissa. It passed successively into the hands of Rogero and Angelica
(who carried it in her mouth). (Orlando Furioso, bk. v.)
The ring of Amasis.
The same as the ring of Polycrate (q.v.).
The Doge's ring.
The doge of Venice, on Ascension Day, used to throw a ring into the
sea from the ship Bucentaur, to denote that the Adriatic was
subject to the republic of Venice as a wife is subject to her husband.
The ring of Edward the Confessor.
It is said that Edward the Confessor was once asked for alms by an
old man, and gave him his ring. In time some English pilgrims went to
the Holy Land, and happened to meet the same old man, who told them he
was John the Evangelist, and gave them the identical ring to take to
“Saint” Edward. It was preserved in Westminster Abbey.
The ring of Gyges
(2 syl.) rendered the wearer invisible when its stone was turned
inwards. The ring of Ogier, given him by the Morgue de Fay. It
removed all infirmities, and restored the aged to youth again. (See Ogier.)
was flung into the sea to propitiate Nemesis, and was found again
by the owner inside a fish. (See Glasgow Arms.)
The ring of Pope Innocent.
On May 29th, 1205, Pope Innocent III. sent John, King of England,
four gold rings set with precious stones, and in his letter says the
gift is emblematical. He thus explains the matter: The
rotundity signifies eternity- remember we are passing through
time into eternity. The number signifies the four virtues which make up
constancy of mind- viz. “justice, fortitude, prudence, and
temperance.” The material signifies “wisdom from on high,” which is as
gold purified in the fire. The green emerald is emblem of “faith,” the
blue sapphire of “hope,” the red garnet of “charity,” and the bright
topaz of “good works.”
(Rymer: Foedera, vol. i. 139.)
Reynard's wonderful ring.
This ring, which existed only in the brain of Reynard, had a stone
of three colours- red, white, and green. The red made the night
as clear as the day; the white cured all manner of diseases; and
the green rendered the wearer of the ring invincible. (Reynard the Fox, chap. xii.)
He must have got possession of Reynard's ring.
He bore a charmed life; he was one of Nature's favourites; all he
did prospered. Reynard affirmed that he had sent King Lion a ring with
three gems- one red, which gave light in darkness; one white, which cured all pains and wounds, even those arising from
indigestion and fever; and one green, which guarded the wearer
from every ill both in peace and war. (Alkmar: Reynard the Fox, 1498.)
among other wonderful things, sealed up the refractory Jins in
jars, and cast them into the Red Sea.
Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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