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Re: Whistle down the wind

Posted by Vair on December 01, 2009 at 10:16

In Reply to: Whistle down the wind posted by Vair on November 28, 2009 at 10:12:

: Whistle down the wind. If those who know better think the phrase connects, you might like this citation and explanation for your collection - Othello III.iii.262 "... If I do prove her haggard, / I'd whistle her off and let her down the wind, / To prey at fortune....".

: Note in The Yale Shakespeare, Rev'd Tucker Brooke (copyright 1918, 1947): "...'The falconer always let the hawk fly [whistle her off = start her] against the wind; if she flies with the wind behind her, she seldom returns. If therefore a hawk was for any reason to be dismissed, she was "let down the wind," and from that time shifted for herself and "preyed at fortune" ' (Johnson)".

Just to be complete, after "let the hawk fly", the quoted scholar noted "[whistle her off = start her]". I imagine that [note] appeared to be mine, rather than the scholar's, and so was omitted in the post. How ought a quoter of a quoter handle such a situation, to make things clear?