A Dictionary of the English Language
                        A Digital Edition of the 1755 Classic by Samuel Johnson
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Veil (noun)

View Scan · View Transcription · from page 2131

View Scan · View Transcription · from page 2131

Veil. n.s. [velum, Latin.]

  1. A cover to conceal the face.

                To feed his fiery lustful eye,
    He snatch'd the veil that hung her face before.
    Fairy Queen.

    The Paphian queen from that fierce battle borne,
    With gored hand, and veil so rudely torn,
    Like terror did among the immortals breed.

    The famous painter cou'd allow no place
    For private sorrow in a prince's face:
    Yet, that his piece might not exceed belief,
    He cast a veil upon the supposed grief.

    As veils transparent cover, but not hide,
    Such metaphors appear when right apply'd,
    When through the phrase we plainly see the sense,
    Truth with such obvious meanings will dispense.

    She accepts the hero, and the dame
    Wraps in her vail, and frees from sense of shame.

  2. A cover; a disguise.

    I will pluck the borrow'd veil of modesty from the so seeming Mrs. Page; divulge Page himself for a secure and wilful Acteon. Shakesp. Merry Wives of Windsor.

    Knock on my heart; for thou hast skill to find
    If it sound solid, or be fill'd with wind;
    And thro' the veil of words thou view'st the naked mind.

    The ill-natured man exposes those failing in human nature, which the other would cast a veil over. Addison.

Sources: Addison, Joseph (408) · Dryden, John (788) · Granville, George (23) · Shakespeare's Merry Wives of Windsor (95) · Pope, Alexander (393) · Spenser, Edmund (254) · Waller, Edmund (63)

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Cite this page: Johnson, Samuel. "Veil (noun)." A Dictionary of the English Language: A Digital Edition of the 1755 Classic by Samuel Johnson. Edited by Brandi Besalke. Last modified: November 12, 2012. https://johnsonsdictionaryonline.com/veil-noun/.

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