Ramblings & ephemera

The Irish Church lies in creative – and evil – ways

From Patsy McGarry’s “Church ‘lied without lying’” (Irish Times: 26 November 2009): One of the most fascinating discoveries in the Dublin Archdiocese report was that of the concept of “mental reservation” which allows clerics mislead people without believing they are lying. According to the Commission of Investigation report, “mental reservation is a concept developed and […]

Word of the day: Sitzfleisch

From Wiktionary: Sitzfleisch: From German Sitzfleisch, from sitzen (“‘to sit’”) + Fleisch (“‘flesh’”) … The ability to endure or carry on with an activity.

1 Henry VI: Lucy lists Talbot’s titles

From William Shakespeare’s Henry VI, part 1 (IV: 7): LUCY: But where’s the great Alcides of the field, Valiant Lord Talbot, Earl of Shrewsbury, Created, for his rare success in arms, Great Earl of Washford, Waterford and Valence; Lord Talbot of Goodrig and Urchinfield, Lord Strange of Blackmere, Lord Verdun of Alton, Lord Cromwell of […]

1 Henry VI: inhearsed

From William Shakespeare’s Henry VI, part 1 (IV: 7): BURGUNDY: Doubtless he would have made a noble knight; See, where he lies inhearsed in the arms Of the most bloody nurser of his harms! inhearsed: laid as in a coffin

1 Henry VI: giglot

From William Shakespeare’s Henry VI, part 1 (IV: 7): JOAN LA PUCELLE: Once I encounter’d him, and thus I said: ‘Thou maiden youth, be vanquish’d by a maid:’ But, with a proud majestical high scorn, He answer’d thus: ‘Young Talbot was not born To be the pillage of a giglot wench:’ giglot: A wanton; a […]

1 Henry VI: mickle

From William Shakespeare’s Henry VI, part 1 (IV: 6): TALBOT: If I to-day die not with Frenchmen’s rage, To-morrow I shall die with mickle age: mickle: Great. (If I don’t die today in battle, I’ll die tomorrow from old age.)

1 Henry VI: buckled

From William Shakespeare’s Henry VI, part 1 (IV: 4): SOMERSET: It is too late; I cannot send them now: This expedition was by York and Talbot Too rashly plotted: all our general force Might with a sally of the very town Be buckled with … buckled: encountered; To give way; collapse

1 Henry VI: moody-mad

From William Shakespeare’s Henry VI, part 1 (IV: 2): TALBOT: If we be English deer, be then in blood; Not rascal-like, to fall down with a pinch, But rather, moody-mad and desperate stags, Turn on the bloody hounds with heads of steel And make the cowards stand aloof at bay: moody-mad: furious with anger

1 Henry VI: confutation

From William Shakespeare’s Henry VI, part 1 (IV: 1): With other vile and ignominious terms: In confutation of which rude reproach And in defence of my lord’s worthiness, I crave the benefit of law of arms. confutation: evidence that refutes conclusively

1 Henry VI: repugn

From William Shakespeare’s Henry VI, part 1 (IV: 1): BASSET: … When stubbornly he did repugn the truth About a certain question in the law Argued betwixt the Duke of York and him; repugn: To oppose or contend against.

1 Henry VI: churlish

From William Shakespeare’s Henry VI, part 1 (IV: 1): GLOUCESTER: What means his grace, that he hath changed his style? No more but, plain and bluntly, ‘To the king!’ Hath he forgot he is his sovereign? Or doth this churlish superscription Pretend some alteration in good will? churlish: Of, like, or befitting a churl; boorish […]

1 Henry VI: disanimates

From William Shakespeare’s Henry VI, part 1 (III: 1): GLOUCESTER: The presence of a king engenders love Amongst his subjects and his loyal friends, As it disanimates his enemies. disanimates: To deprive of spirit; to dishearten.

1 Henry VI: reguerdon

From William Shakespeare’s Henry VI, part 1 (III: 1): KING HENRY VI: Stoop then and set your knee against my foot; And, in reguerdon of that duty done, I gird thee with the valiant sword of York: Rise Richard, like a true Plantagenet, And rise created princely Duke of York. reguerdon: To reward.

1 Henry VI: pestiferous

From William Shakespeare’s Henry VI, part 1 (III: 1): GLOUCESTER: … such is thy audacious wickedness, Thy lewd, pestiferous and dissentious pranks, As very infants prattle of thy pride. pestiferous: 1. Producing or breeding infectious disease. 2. Infected with or contaminated by an epidemic disease.

1 Henry VI: lavish tongue

From William Shakespeare’s Henry VI, part 1 (II: 5): RICHARD PLANTAGENET: This day, in argument upon a case, Some words there grew ‘twixt Somerset and me; Among which terms he used his lavish tongue And did upbraid me with my father’s death. lavish tongue: unrestrained expression or language, a standard Elizabethan dramatic cliche

1 Henry VI: pursuivants

From William Shakespeare’s Henry VI, part 1 (II: 5): MORTIMER: And these grey locks, the pursuivants of death, Nestor-like aged in an age of care, Argue the end of Edmund Mortimer. pursuivants: 1. An officer in the British Colleges of Heralds who ranks below a herald. 2. A follower or attendant. [Middle English pursevant, attendant, […]

1 Henry VI: quillets

From William Shakespeare’s Henry VI, part 1 (II: 4): WARWICK: Between two hawks, which flies the higher pitch; Between two dogs, which hath the deeper mouth; Between two blades, which bears the better temper: Between two horses, which doth bear him best; Between two girls, which hath the merriest eye; I have perhaps some shallow […]

1 Henry VI: misconster

From William Shakespeare’s Henry VI, part 1 (II: 3): TALBOT: Be not dismay’d, fair lady; nor misconster The mind of Talbot, as you did mistake The outward composition of his body. misconster: misconstrue

1 Henry VI: bruited

From William Shakespeare’s Henry VI, part 1 (II: 3): COUNTESS OF AUVERGNE: Victorious Talbot! pardon my abuse: I find thou art no less than fame hath bruited And more than may be gather’d by thy shape. bruited: A din; a clamor; proclaim with noise, announce loudly [From Middle English, noise, from Old French, past participle […]

1 Henry VI: subverts

From William Shakespeare’s Henry VI, part 1 (II: 3): TALBOT: These are his substance, sinews, arms and strength, With which he yoketh your rebellious necks, Razeth your cities and subverts your towns And in a moment makes them desolate. subverts: To bring about the downfall of: bring down, overthrow, overturn, topple, tumble, unhorse.