The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 12.0353 Tuesday, 13 February 2001
Date: Tuesday, 13 Feb 2001 11:01:50 +0000
Subject: I would unstate myself
In my last response I had overlooked Simon Morris's message. Sorry. My
cyber order begins to resemble my desk, which increasingly looks like an
archaeological site lacking chronological structure. OED evidence
suggests that the meaning "not state" for "unstate" only occurs as a
past participle ("unstated") and only much later (first entry 1864).
The parallel in Ant. 3.13.29f. "high-battled Caesar will / Unstate his
happiness" confirms this, as do the passages in Mary Herbert's Psalm 89:
"thou him unstatest: Ascend his throne?" and in Matthew Stevenson's "The
Woman's Warre": "Unstate the States out of the stately sadle". The
jingle "state"--"unstate" thus occurs elsewhere in the 17th century.