harbinger

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harbinger

Obsolete a person sent in advance of a royal party or army to obtain lodgings for them
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
References in classic literature ?
For she had received no letter from Walter in two weeks, and the next item on the bill of fare was dandelions--dandelions with some kind of egg--but bother the egg!--dandelions, with whose golden blooms Walter had crowned her his queen of love and future bride--dandelions, the harbingers of spring, her sorrow's crown of sorrow--reminder of her happiest days.
The grim and persistent harbinger of evil aroused the man to renewed determination.
So saying, the veteran again dropped his head to his chest, and returned slowly toward the fort, exhibiting, by the dejection of his air, to the anxious garrison, a harbinger of evil tidings.
'heart is oppressed with unutterable anguish, condemned to conceal that passion which is at once the torment and delight of life'--when 'his lip, the ruby harbinger of joy, lies pale and cold, the miserable appendage of a mang--' that is, Miss Monson, I mean to say, when all our faculties are engrossed by one dear object we are often incoherent and mysterious, as a matter of course."
Th top, however, of a heavy bank of clouds, which remaine almost constantly in one position, was the most promisin sign, and eventually turned out a true harbinger. At first th clouds were mistaken for the mountains themselves, instea of the masses of vapour condensed by their icy summits.
A great potentate might arise, an artful prodigy, who with approval and disapproval could strain and constrain all the past, until it became for him a bridge, a harbinger, a herald, and a cock-crowing.