lady-bird! — “God forbid!—Where's this girl?—What,” ROMEO AND JULIET, i. 3. 3. “An exquisite touch of nature,” writes Mr. Staunton. “The old nurse in her fond garrulity uses ‘lady-bird’ as a term of endearment; but recollecting its application to a female of loose manners, checks herself: ‘God forbid!’ her darling should prove such a one.” In the preceding explanation I believe that Mr. Staunton is altogether mistaken. The Nurse says that she has already “bid Juliet come;” she then calls out, “What, lamb! what, lady-bird!” and Juliet not yet making her appearance, she exclaims, “God forbid!—where's this girl?” —the words “God forbid” being properly an ellipsis of “God forbid that any accident should keep her away,” but used here merely as an expression of impatience.
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