The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 9.0386  Thursday, 23 April 1998.

From:           Michael Best <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Wednesday, 22 Apr 1998 10:34:55 -0700
Subject:        Tribes

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

TUDOR (none)



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...

  -- 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
       and wake?

16. Shakespeare, William: The merchant of Venice (1623) -- 3

Michael Best
Department of English, University of Victoria
Victoria B.C. V8W 3W1, Canada. (250) 598-9575
<This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>

Coordinating Editor, Internet Shakespeare Editions

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