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idle useless, infertile, unfruitful, barren: “idle moss,” THE COMEDY OF ERRORS, ii. 2. 177 ; “idle weeds,” RICHARD III., iii. 1. 103 ; “deserts idle,” OTHELLO, i. 3. 140 ; “idle pebbles,” KING LEAR, iv. 6. 21. With respect to the second of these passages, “You said that idle weeds are fast in growth,” Douce observes,“it is clear that infertility is out of the question; but useless and unprofitable will denote the poet's meaning, or rather that of the inventor of the proverb, which was afterwards corrupted into ‘ill weeds,’ etc.” The line just cited is sufficient to show that Mr. Beisly is mistaken when, in his Shakspere's Garden, etc., p. 35, he explains idle moss by “moss stationary and slow in growth.”

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