Burleigh's nod



  • A nod or shake of the head conveying great meaning withoutwords. In Sheridan's The Critic a preposterous tragedy calledThe Spanish Armada is presented by the author, Mr puff. Thecharacters include Elizabeth I's chief minister Lord Burleigh, whois supposedly too weighed down with affairs of state to communicatewith anything but a portentous nod. Each time he moves his head Puffexplains his meaning, for instance: "By that shake of the headhe gave you to understand that...if there was not a greater spiritshown...the country would at last fall a sacrifice to the hostileambition of the Spanish monarchy".