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The prevailing ardour for rescuing the Works of our old Poets and Dramatic Authors from the oblivion to which they were fast approaching, is creditable to the taste and liberality of the age; new editions of the old Drama, collectively, and of the separate Works of PEELE, GREENE, WEBSTER, MARLOWE, FORD, MASSINGER, and others have recently been published: the Works of CHAUCER and SPENSER have been repeatedly reprinted, but the Glossaries appended to them have been both meagre and unsatisfactory. Notwithstanding the numerous Commentaries on the Works of SHAKESPEARE, it is an undeniable fact that many of the peculiar phrases and local allusions abounding in his Works, have neither been properly defined or satisactorily elucidated; this defect has arisen from the vant of a competent knowledge of the dialect of the lidland Counties. Numerous words used by SHAKEPEARE being local, are not to be found in any otemporary Author, and hence the Commentators, nacquainted with the Archaisms of the County of tafford and other adjoining Counties, were puzzled
to find among their philological researches the derivation and definition of those words, and therefore adopted many very fanciful and some very absurd ones. The words blood bolter'd may be adduced, among others, to prove the fact. The definition of WARBURTON, adopted by Malone, has no analogy with the true meaning of the word bolter, which is purely local and in use at the present day.
The Author of the present Work, without pretending to the critical acumen of his Predecessors, has, he flatters himself, elucidated the meaning of many words hitherto unexplained or improperly defined; but where he has taken the liberty of differing with persons whose names deservedly rank high as philologists, he trusts he has done so with the deference which ought always to be paid to the superior talents and great authority of the Authors.
GLOSSARIAL AND ETYMOLOGICAL
A. This letter was formerly used as a prefix to
many words now become obsolete, in some it is still retained by the vulgar; as, abear, ado, adays, acold, abed, aweary, adream, &c.; but aggrate, adread, addeem, and others are now wholly disused; ameliorate, amidst, abroach, abroad, &c. still retain their place in our vernacular tongue
As present age and eke posterite
FERRRX AND PORREX.
DANIEL'S CIVIL WAR.
BACK (S. on bæc), on back, backwards; also, to put behind, or retard.
He shall aye find that the trew man
CHAUCER'S COMPLAINT OF THE BLACK KNIGHT,
A noble heart ought not the sooner yield,
MIRROUR POR MAGISTRATES.
But when they came where thou thy skill didst shew,
SPENSER's PASTORALS. ABAND (F. abandonner), to abandon, of which
word it is a contraction; to resign, quit, desert,
MIRR. FOR MAG.
ROB. GLOUCESTER'S CARON. ABAST (B. bastardd), an illegitimate child or bastard.
Bast Ywain he was yhote,
TALE OF MERLIN. ABATE (S. beatan, F. abbatre), to deject, subdue,
dispirit; in its more modern sense, it signifies to beat down, subtract.
This iron world
SPENSER'S MOTHER HUBBARD'S TALE.
Till at length
Doun he felle deed to grounde,
Rom. or OCTAVIAN IMPERATOR.
ABAWE (F. à bas), to abash, daunt, astonish, lower.
My countenance is nicete
CHAUCER's Rom. OF THE ROSE. ABAYE (F. abbor), at bay, environed by enemies.
Gif he myghte come on cas
Rom. of KYNGE ALISAUNDRR. ABEAR (S. abæran), to bear, to demean, as applied to courage or behaviour.
Thus did the gentle knight himself abeare
SPENSER'S F. QUBEN. ABEDGE, the same as ABY; to pay dear for, or suffer.
There durst no wight hond on him ledge,
CHAUCER'S REVE'S TALE,
mean condition; also, the person so degraded or brought to contempt.
I deemed it better so to die,
MIRR. FOR MAG.
K. HENRY I.
PAR. LOST, BLAND, blinded, made blind.
With seven walmes boiland,
Rom. OF THE SEVEN SAGS.