Reference > Brewer’s Dictionary > Autol’ycus.

 Auto da Fe. [An act of faith.]Autom’aton 
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E. Cobham Brewer 1810–1897. Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. 1898.
 
Autol’ycus.
 
The craftiest of thieves. He stole the flocks of his neighbours, and changed their marks. Si’syphos outwitted him by marking his sheep under their feet, a device which so tickled the rogue that he instantly “cottoned” to him. Shakespeare introduces him in The Winter’s Tale as a pedlar, and says he was called the son of Mercury, because he was born under that “thieving planet.”   1
        “Autolycus is no lapidary, though he drives a roaring trade in flash jewellery.”—Pall Mall Gazette.
 


 Auto da Fe. [An act of faith.]Autom’aton 

 
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