- From late Middle English (1400-1450) bel (fine) + dam (mother). (Wiktionary)
“Replied the beldame, “O my daughter, we fear for thee.””
““What work are you about now?” says Judy, making an ancient snap at her like a very sharp old beldame.”
“When the dismal news of his great loss was carried to the Prince, he suspected his godmother very much indeed; but, he knew that his servants must have kept company with the malicious beldame, and must have given way to her, and therefore he resolved to turn those servants out of their places.”
“And does it not appear to you that this same beldame incontinence shuts out wisdom, which is the best of all things,575 from mankind, and plunges them into the opposite?”
“On the other hand, she is definitely the beldame of taste.”
“Influenced by such considerations, he yielded to the first importunity of the beldame, whom he dismissed at a very small distance from the village, after he had earnestly exhorted her to quit such an atrocious course of life, and atone for her past crimes, by sacrificing her associates to the demands of justice.”
“Ferdinand sounded the beldame with a thousand artful interrogations, and she answered with such appearance of truth and simplicity, that he concluded his person was quite secure; and, after having been regaled with a dish of eggs and bacon, desired she would conduct him into the chamber where she proposed he should take his repose.”
“The beldame has the impudence too, after she has brought me into this dilemma, to solicit my assistance to stock the farm anew!”
“Plucking up his sleeve, the beldame recognized the mole; and, staggering back in her chair, shrieked:”
“The young Prince (Albert Perry) was almost smothered in the withered arms of the beldame.”
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