Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Parallel - Neighboured by Fruit

First, Shakespeare:

 "The strawberry grows underneath the nettle
And wholesome berries thrive and ripen best
Neighbour'd by fruit of baser quality"
   Henry V 1.1.60-3

Now Bacon:
 "Wheresoever one plant draweth such a particular juice out of the earth as it qualifieth the earth, so as that juice which remaineth is fit for the other plant, there the neighbourhood doth good, because the nourishments are contrary or several; but where two plants draw much the same juice, there the neighbourhood hurteth."
   Natural History

Comment: What gives this parallel most of its force is "neighbour'd" / "neighbourhood". To illustrate that these little verbal parallels are significant, I quote two similar statements given by the Arden editor, in neither of which does "neighbour'd" or "neighbourhood" appear: "Strawberry aptly groweth in shadowy places, and rather joyeth under the shadow of other herbs, than by growing alone". "If it happened (as some gardeners say) that those roses and violets are ever the sweeter and more odiferous that grow near under garlic and onions, for so much as they suck and draw all the ill-savours of the ground unto them". There are many different ways of saying the same things.

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