Grocott & Ward, comps. Grocott’s Familiar Quotations, 6th ed. 189-?.


This matron, whitened with good works and age,
Approached the Sabbath of her pilgrimage;
Her spirit to Himself the Almighty drew,
Breathed on the Alembic, and exhaled the dew.
Dr. Harte.—Eulogius.
#[“Pilgrimage.” Her day of rest in this life. “Alembic.” An alembic is a glass or copper vessel used in distillation, and breathed upon will produce dew or steam. The Almighty is here supposed to breathe upon the good matron (who may be likened to the vessel), and the dew of his breath is, in the imagination of the poet, her spirit condensed, exhaled, and drawn up to heaven.—(See Disraeli’s Curiosities of Literature, article “History of New Words, vol. iii. on the Alembique of the French.”]