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Home arrow Types of source arrow 18th-century arrow 18c gap
18c gap
Examples from Seward's poetry which plug the OED gap in eighteenth-century quotations: Seward Table 4a

Word
Quotation
OED dates
Date of text
Fills eighteenth-century gap (number of years between existing OED quotations)
Comment
arrested
'Huge blocks of ice th'arrested ship embay' (Elegy on Captain Cook, p. 8)
1611 (Cotgrave), 1859, 1871
1780
248
Seward's example is particularly valuable since OED's first quotation is from Cotgrave's dictionary, and she thus provides the first non-dictionary, 'real' usage of arrested ('stopped', 'checked') as a past participle adjective. Incidentally, Seward's use of embay here is picked up directly from Cook's own account, which she quotes in a footnote to the previous page: 'After running four leagues this course, with the ice on our starboard side, we found ourselves quite embay'd'.
beaked
'While seas on Orm's beak'd promontory burst' ('Hoyle Lake', in Llangollen Vale, With Other Poems, p. 17)
1590, 1637, 1863
1794 (1796)
226
Seward is probably quoting Lycidas, which supplies OED's 1637 quotation ('1637 MILTON Lycidas 94 Every gust..That blows from off each beaked promontory'); she refers to Lycidas in a note on the same page.
curtained
'Her curtain'd mountains rising o'er the floods' ('Hoyle Lake', in Llangollen Vale, With Other Poems, p. 17)
1605 (Shakespeare), 1820 (Keats), 1836 (Dickens)...
1794 (1796)
215
 
Hebe
'She shone, the Hebe of her green retreat' ('Hoyle Lake', in Llangollen Vale, With Other Poems, p. 13)
1606, 1815 (Scott), 1889
1796
209
OED1/2 defines s.v. sense 1: 'The goddess of youth and spring, represented as having been originally the cup-bearer of Olympus'.
vermeil
'From the dwarf coral, with his vermeil horns, / Or sea-moss, matted round her briny caves, / To the broad oak, that Albion's cliff adorns' ('Ode to the Sun', p. 21)
...1596, 1802, 1807, 1812, 1898
1779
206
Surprisingly, OED1/2 has no seventeenth- or eighteenth-century quotations for this first sense: 'A. adj. Of a bright scarlet or red colour; vermilion. Chiefly poet.'
dazzled
'Soon, in imperious Henry's dazzled eyes, / The guardian bounds of just Dominion melt' (Llangollen Vale, With Other Poems, p. 3)
1581, a1629, a1628, 1811, 1856
1796
183
Like many items in Seward's usage is easily replicable in other eighteenth-century sources.
circumscribing
'Nor Death's dread darts, impede the great design, / Till Nature draws the circumscribing line' (Elegy on Captain Cook, p. 7)
1571, 1664, 1846
1780
182
Straightforward eighteenth-century gap.
Icarian
'Nor could the youthful, rash, luxurious King / Dissolve the Hero's worth on his Icarian wing' (Llangollen Vale, p. 2)
1595, 1623, 1639, a1822, 1844...
1796
182
OED1/2: 'Of, pertaining to, or characteristic of Icarus'.
confluent
'Wide in the front the confluent Oceans roll' ('Hoyle Lake', in Llangollen Vale, With Other Poems, p. 18)
1612, 1651, 1830, 1851-9, 1883
1794 (1796)
179
 
swart
'The shiv'ring natives of the frozen zone, / And the swart Indian' (Elegy on Captain Cook, p. 4)
...1614, 1613-16, 1634 (Milton), 1810 (Shelley), 1825 (Scott), 1901
1780
176
OED1/2 notes that this usage is 'Now only rhet. or poet. (or dial.)' and defines (s.v. sense 1b) 'spec. Of the skin or complexion, or of persons in respect of these'. As often, OED's other quotations point to the tradition of poetic diction in which Seward writes.
blasting
'"DEATH, on his pale Horse", with baleful smile, / Smote with its blasting hoof the frighted plains' (Llangollen Vale, With Other Poems, p. 2)
1591, 1603 (Shakespeare), 1667 (Milton), 1810 (Southey), 1861
1796
143
OED1/2: '1. That blasts, in various senses of the vb.'
lessened
'Now weak and pale the lessen'd lustres play' (Elegy on Captain Cook, p. 5)
1676, 1811, 1817, 1880
1780
135
OED1/2 defines simply as 'diminished'.
 
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