The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 9.0386 Thursday, 23 April 1998.
From: Michael Best <
Date: Wednesday, 22 Apr 1998 10:34:55 -0700
Hardy's useful posting on the value of the Early Modern English
Dictionaries Database in tracing meanings for the use of "tribe"
reminded me of the increasing use I make of the Chadwyck-Healey LION
(LIterature On Line) databases. Unfortunately LION is expensive to
subscribe to, unlike the EMEDD, which is freely available on line.
For those of you whose institions do not subscribe to LION, here are the
results of some searches on the word "tribe" or "tribes". LION can be
divided into different categories-Medieval, Tudor, Moralities, and so
What I found interesting in these results is that "tribe" seems to have
been used exclusively in the context of Jews up until the early years of
the seventeenth century, when it began to be applied metaphorically (see
the examples in the entries from Fletcher and _King Lear_). I've not
included all quotations, for reasons of space (apologies for the length
of the posting).
MEDIEVAL (39 hits, 9 works)
1. Anonymous (Medieval): Moses and the law (1974) -- 1
2. Anonymous (Medieval): The pageant of Dauid (1920) -- 1
3. Anonymous (Medieval): The pageant of Elias (1920) -- 3
4. Anonymous (Medieval): The pageant of Ioseph (1920) -- 1
5. Anonymous (Medieval): The pageant of Iosue (1920) -- 9
6. Anonymous (Medieval): The pageant of Moyses (1920) -- 14
7. Anonymous (Medieval): The pageant of Salomon (1920) -- 2
8. Anonymous (Medieval): The pageant of Samson (1920) -- 1
9. Anonymous (Medieval): The pageant of Saul (1920) -- 7
UNIVERSITY PLAYS TO 1642 (none)
MORALITIES (1 hit)
1. Anonymous (Moralities): Godly Queene Hester (1904) -- 1
...and Iacob had a lyke name, Of whom the twelue tribes
descended be, which euer dyd maintaine hospitallyte.
ELIZABETHAN (11 hits, 2 works)
Marlowe, Christopher: The Jew of Malta (1633) -- 2
...Iewes are wicked, as all Christians are: But say the
Tribe that I descended of Were all in generall cast...
...or it shall goe hard. I am not of the Tribe of Levy ,
I, That can so soone forget...
Peele, George: The love of King David and fair Bethsabe (1599) -- 9
...wicked man to reigne, Ouer his loued people and his
Tribes: The child shall surely die, that erst was borne,...
...as it is promised, Subdue the daughters of the Gentils
Tribes, All this must be performd by Dauids hand....
...And suffered Rabba with the Philistime To raile vpon the
tribe of Beniamin. Hannon. Harke man, as sure as Saul...
...this diademe. Ioab. Beauteous and bright is he among the
Tribes, As when the sunne attind in glist'ring robe,
...hast thou determined So hard a part against the righteous
Tribes To follow and pursue the banished, When as to...
...his youth, Why liueth Absalon, and is not honoured Of
Tribes and Elders, and the mightiest ones, That round
...addresse me as I may, To loue the men and Tribes of
Israel. [Stage direction] [Stage direction] ...
...graue: A graue of shame, and skorne of all the Tribes,
Now then to saue your honours from the dust,...
...conquest pierced on his speare, And ioy from all the
Tribes of Israel. Dauid. Thou man of bloud, thou sepulchre...
JACOBEAN AND CAROLINE (141 hits)
-- Limit search to plays published before 1620 (27 hits, 16 works)
1. Daborne, Robert: A Christian turn'd Turke (1612) -- 4
2. Dekker, Thomas / Middleton, Thomas: The roaring girle (1611) -- 1
...what Girle, this Roaring Girle should be. (For of that
Tribe are many.)
3. Dekker, Thomas / Webster, John: West-ward hoe (1607) -- 1
4. Fletcher, John / Beaumont, Francis: The scornful ladie (1616) -- 4
...of your discouery. Sir they are in tribes
like Iewes: the Kitchen and the Dayrie
make one tribe, and haue their faction and
their fornication within themselues;...
...I am not for your dyet: marry in your owne
Tribe Iew , and get a Broker. ...
...put thee into blood. VVould all his damb'd
tribe were as tender hearted. I beseech you let this...
5. Jonson, Ben: Catiline his conspiracy (1616) -- 3
6. Jonson, Ben: Every man out of his humor (1616) -- 1
7. Jonson, Ben: Love restored (1616) -- 1
8. Jonson, Ben: Mercurie vindicated from the alchemists (1616) -- 1
9. Jonson, Ben: Poetaster (1616) -- 2
10. Marston, John (1576-1634): What you will (1607) -- 1
11. Marston, John (1576-1634) / Barksted, William / Mackin, Lewis:
The insatiate countesse (1613) -- 1
12. Middleton, Thomas: The Inner-Temple masque (1619) -- 1
13. Middleton, Thomas / Rowley, William: A faire quarrell (1617) -- 1
14. S. S.: The honest lawyer (1616) -- 1
15. Shakespeare, William: King Lear (1623) -- 1
...Goe to th'creating a whole tribe of Fops Got 'tweene a
16. Shakespeare, William: The merchant of Venice (1623) -- 3
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