WHENCE GOES THE FRETFUL PORPENTINE?

We went to http://shakespeare.clusty.com and found a new feature called “Search Shakespeare.”

Clusty.com is just about our favorite search engine because it clusters the hits into categories. But that’s beside the point right now because we couldn’t resist searching for the “fretful porpentine.” This is a phrase that pops up onceClusty in a while in the “Bertie and Jeeves” stories by P.G. Wodehouse.

The two words and surrounding text came up immediately and turned out to be from a speech by the Ghost in “Hamlet.” Shakespeare undoubtedly meant “porcupine,” not “porpentine,” but spelling was loose back then.

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