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Home :: Archive :: 2003 :: June ::
Re: "But me no buts"
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 14.1301  Thursday, 26 June 2003

From:           Chris Ferns <
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Date:           Thursday, 26 Jun 2003 14:24:02 -0300
Subject:        Re: "But me no buts"

While this thread reached its end some time ago, it would seem that the
likeliest source for this Shakespearean-sounding but non- Shakespearean
expression would be Walter Scott's The Antiquary, where it occurs in
Chapter 11 of Volume One. David Hewitt, editor of the Edinburgh UP
edition, points out that the phrase also occurs in Susannah Centlivre's
The Busie Body (2.1) - which it is quite possible Scott may have known.
However, given Scott's penchant for quoting Shakespeare from memory, not
always very accurately (a characteristic he gives to The Antiquary,
Jonathan Oldbuck) it is more likely that he simply invented it, whether
consciously or unconsciously. If Shakespeare didn't actually write it,
it's the kind of thing he might have written.

Chris Ferns
Mount Saint Vincent University

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