A nine days' wonder. Something that causes a sensational
astonishment for a few days, and is then placed in the limbo of
“things forgot.” Three days' amazement, three days'
discussion of details, and three days of subsidence.
(See Nine, and
The eighth wonder. The palace of the
Escurial in Toledo, built by Felipe II. to commemorate his victory
over the French at St. Quentin. It was dedicated to San Lorenzo, and
Juan Baptista de Toledo, the architect, took a gridiron for his model-
the bars being represented by rows or files of buildings, and the
handle by a church. It has 1,860 rooms, 6,200 windows and doors, 80
staircases, 73 fountains, 48 wine cellars, 51 bells, and 8 organs. Its
circumference is 4,800 feet (nearly a mile). Escurial is
scoria ferri, iron dross, because its site is that of old
iron works. (See Tuileries.)
An eighth wonder. A work of
extra-ordinary mechanical ingenuity, such as the Great Wall of China,
the dome of Chosroes in Madain, St. Peter's of Rome, the Menai
suspension bridge, the Thames tunnel, the bridge over the Niagara,
Eddystone lighthouse, the Suez Canal, the railroad over Mont Cenis,
the Atlantic cable, etc.
The Three Wonders of Babylon.
The Palace, eight miles in circumference.
The Hanging Gardens.
The Tower of Babel, said by some Jewish writers to be twelve
miles in height! Jerome quotes contemporary authority for its being
four miles high. Strabo says its height was 660 feet.
Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894