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Only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way.

See also Exod. v. 4; Isaiah xliii. 13.

2 Thess. ii. 7.

If nothing lets to make us happy. Twelfth Night, Act v. Sc. 1. Shakspeare also uses the substantive let hindrance, which does not occur in the Bible.

Therefore my kinsmen are no let to me.

Romeo and Juliet, Act ii. Sc. 2.

That I may know the let, why gentle peace
Should not expel these inconveniences.

King Henry V., Act ii. Sc. 2.

LIKING good state of body, plumpness.


Their young ones are in good liking.

I have an eye to make difference of men's liking.

Job xxxix. 4.

Merry Wives, Act ii. Sc. 1.

We find the same word used also as an adjective.

Why should he see your faces worse liking?

Dan. i. 10.

See also the Prayer Book version of Ps. xcii. 13, 'fat and well-liking;' in Bible, 'fat and flourishing.'

Well-liking wits they have; gross, gross; fat, fat.

Love's Labours Lost, Act v. Sc. 2.

LIST to choose.

The wind bloweth where it listeth.
Let them take it as they list.

John iii. 8.

Romeo and Juliet, Act i. Sc. 1.

MAN-CHILD, MAID-CHILD, for male child, and female child; in the plural we have 'male children,’ Exod. i. title; Josh. xvii. 2.

If a woman have born a man-child.

But if she bear a maid-child.

Levit. xii. 2. Ibid. 5.

I sprang not more in joy at first hearing he was a man-child, than now in first hearing he had proved himself a man.

She brought forth

A maid-child called Marina.

Coriolanus, Act i. Sc. 3.

Pericles, Act v. Sc. 3.

NEPHEW = grandson, descendant; the Latin nepos.

If any widow have children or nephews.

1 Tim. v. 4.

See also Judges xii. 14; Job xviii. 19; Isaiah xiv. 22.

You'll have your nephews neigh to you.

Othello, Act i. Sc. 1.

Shakspeare also uses NIECE for grand-daughter, in King Richard III., Act iv. Sc. 1; and in his last will he speaks of his grand-daughter Elizabeth Hall as his niece.'

OR EVER = before.

The lions brake all their bones in pieces or ever they came at the bottom of the den.

See also Prov. viii. 23; Eccles. xii. 6;

Daniel vi. 24.

15. Compare 'ere ever,' in Ecclus. xxiii. 20.

I drink the air before me, and return
Or e'er your pulse beat twice.

Acts xxiii.

Tempest, Act v. Sc. 1.

See also Hamlet, quoted below, p. 212.

PATE=head, once in Bible, frequent in Shaks


His mischief shall return upon his own head; and his violent dealing shall come down upon his own pate. Ps. vii. 16. Enter, skirmishing, the Retainers of Gloster and Winchester, with bloody pates. King Henry VI., 1st Part, Act iii. Sc. 1. See also Taming of the Shrew, quoted above, p. 16. PLAY to fence, fight.

Abner said to Joab, Let the young men now arise, and play before us. 2 Sam. ii. 14.

Compare Bp. Andrewes' second sermon Wednesday.

on Ash

He sends to know if your pleasure hold to play with Laertes.*

PORT=gate; Latin, porta.

That I may shew all thy praises Sion.

Hamlet, Act v. Sc. 2.

within the ports of the daughter of Ps. ix. 14. Prayer Book version. In the Bible 'gates.' The word does not occur, I believe, at all in the Bible, either in this sense (though 'porter' does several times) or in its more modern use for harbour; Latin, portus. Shakspeare uses it in both senses, even in the same play :


Hark, the Duke's trumpets! I know not why he comes ;-
All ports I'll bar.
King Lear, Act ii. Sc. 1.

No port is free, no place

Does not attend my taking.

Then is all safe! the anchor's in the port.

* Comp. K. Henr. V., Act iv. Sc. 2. See also Ibid. Sc. 8, 114.

Ibid. 3.

Titus Andron., Act. iv. Sc. 4.

'Sheathe for lack of sport.'


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to (1) come before, (2) go before, in order to guide and help-not to hinder, and so the opposite of its present meaning, (3) anticipate ; Latin, prævenio.

1. In the morning shall my prayer prevent thee.

2. Let thy tender mercies speedily prevent us.

Ps. lxxix. 8.

Ps. lxxxviii. 13.

See also Ps. xxi. 3.

3. We which are alive shall not prevent them which are asleep.
I Thess. iv. 15. See also Ps. cxix. 148; Matt. xvii. 25.

I would have staid till I had made you merry,

If worthier friends had not prevented me.

Merchant of Venice, Act i. Sc. 1.

This seems to fall under the third meaning; and I am not sure that Shakspeare affords an example of any other; except the modern one, viz., to hinder, which is also found in the Bible. The instance, however, which Johnson quotes from Shakspeare, and interprets in the sense of to hinder, ought, I think, to be interpreted in the sense of to anticipate.

I do find it cowardly and vile,

For fear of what might fall, so to prevent

'The time of life.

Julius Caesar, Act v. Sc. 1.

In the same play, iii. 1, the substantive PREVENTION is used with the same meaning :


Casca, be sudden; for we fear prevention.

PROPER = good-looking, handsome, fair.

Because they saw he was a proper child.

Heb. xi. 23.

The same Greek word, which is here used, is

applied also to Moses when a child, in Acts vii. 20, and is there translated 'fair.' Compare Exod. ii. 2, ' goodly child.'

She finds, altho' I cannot,

Myself to be a marvellous proper man ;
I'll be at charges for a looking glass.

QUICK = alive, lively.


King Richard III., Act i. Sc. 3.

QUICKEN = to revive,

'If the Lord make a new thing, and the earth open her mouth. and they go down quick into the pit, Numb. xvi. 30. See verse 33, 'They went down alive into the pit.' See also Ps. lv. 15, cxxiv. 3. 'Quick and dead,' Acts x. 42; 2 Tim. iv. 1; 1 Pet. iv. 5.

The word of God is quick and powerful.

Heb. iv. 12. See also Isaiah xi. 3. That which thou sowest is not quickened, except it die.

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Shakspeare also uses the verb as neuter :

These hairs which thou dost ravish from my chin
Will quicken and accuse thee.

King Lear, Act iii. Sc. 7.

ROAD=' raid,' inroad, once in Bible.

1 Sam. xxvii. 10.

Whither have ye made a road to-day? This word does not occur in the Bible in the modern sense; but Shakspeare uses it (1) in the sense above named; (2) for roadstead, i.e., a place for

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