Saturday, March 15, 2014


A Tailor's Drawer

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807-1882), Outre-Mer: A Pilgrimage Beyond the Sea, Vol. I (New York: Harper & Brothers, 1835), p. 213:
A Tailor's drawer, quotha?

Yes; a tailor's drawer. Sooth to say, it is rather a quaint rubric for a chapter in the pilgrim's breviary; albeit it well befits the motley character of the following pages. It is a title which the Spaniards give to a desultory discourse, wherein various and discordant themes are touched upon, and which is crammed full of little shreds and patches of erudition; and certainly it is not inappropriate to a chapter whose contents are of every shape and hue, and "do no more adhere and keep pace together than the hundredth psalm to the tune of Green Sleeves."
Diccionario de la lengua Castellana por la Real Academia Española, 5th ed. (Madrid: Imprenta Real, 1817), p. 158, col. 1:
SER ALGUNO UN CAJON DE SASTRE, f. met. y fam. que se dice del que tiene en su imaginación gran variedad de especies desordenadas y confusas. Confusae, inordinatae mentís esse, multiplici et confarcinata rerum varietate mentem repleri.

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