Sunday, May 1, 2011

More Promus - 9 - Remover to remove - Sonnet 116

9. From Bacon's Promus (entry 1422)
(as it was found - not counting the quote marks)

"Removing  (Remuant"

Then we find in Shake-Speare's Sonnet 116:

            " is not love
Which alters when it alteration finds,
Or bends with the remover to remove".

Comment:  In Bacon's Promus entry "Removing" means "changing"; and "Remuant" was a French word meaning "restless", and Bacon evidently Englished it as "removing" which thus means the same. This explains the Sonnet's line "Or bends with the remover to remove", which thus means "Or changes when it finds some change in the loved one". The O.E.D. defines this meaning of "remover" as "One who changes his place, a restless or stirring person; rare". It cites only two instances. One is the Sonnet line. The other is Bacon's Essay on Fortune which says: "An hasty fortune maketh an Enterpriser and Remover (the French hath it better: Entreprenant or Remuant): but the exercised fortune maketh the able man". In short, it looks as though Bacon in his notebook may have coined the word "remover" in the sense in question, and then Shake-Speare used it in his Sonnet which was probably written about the same period, the mid 1590's. Even if "remover" in this sense was not unique to our two authors, it was certainly rare.

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