Reference > Brewer’s Dictionary > Pearl.

 Pearl (The).Pearl of the East. 
E. Cobham Brewer 1810–1897. Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. 1898.
For Cleopatra melting her pearl in honour of Antony, see CLEOPATRA.   1
   A similar act of vanity and folly is told by Horace (2 Satire, iii. verse 239). Clodius, son of Æsop the tragedian, drew a pearl from his ear of great value, melted it in a strong acid, and drank to the health of Cecilia Metella. This story is referred to by Valerius Maximus, Macrobius, and Pliny. Horace says,   2
“Qui sanior, ac si
Illud idem in rapidum flumen jaceretve cloacam?”
   Sir Thomas Gresham, it is said, when Queen Elizabeth dined with him at the City banquet, melted a pearl worth £15,000, and drank to her health.   3
“Here fifteen thousand pounds alone clap goes
Instead of sugar, Gresham drinks the pearl
Unto his queen and mistress.”
Thomas Heywood.

 Pearl (The).Pearl of the East. 


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