A Dictionary of the English Language
                        A Digital Edition of the 1755 Classic by Samuel Johnson
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Firstling (noun)

View Scan · View Transcription · from page 806

View Scan · View Transcription · from page 806

Fi'rstling. n.s. [from first.]

  1. The first produce or offspring.

                        A shepherd next,
    More meek, came with the firstlings of his flock,
    Choicest and best.
    Milton's Paradise Lost, b.. xi.

    The tender firstlings of my woolly breed,
    Shall on his holy altar often bleed.
    Dryden's Virg. Past.

    The firstlings of the flock are doom'd to die;
    Rich fragrant wines the cheering bowl supply.
    Poe's Odyss.

  2. The thing first thought or done.

                            Our play
    Leaps o'er the vaunt and firstlings of these broils,
    'Ginning i' th' middle.
    Shakes. Troil. and Cress. Prologue.

    The flighty purpose works o'erlook,
    Unless the deed go with it: from this moment,
    The very firstlings of my heart shall be
    The firstlings of my hand.
    Shakespeare's Macbeth.

Sources: Dryden, John (788) · Shakespeare's Macbeth (136) · Milton, John (449) · Pope, Alexander (393) · Shakespeare's Troilus and Cressida (36)

Attributes: Noun Substantive (1269)

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Cite this page: Johnson, Samuel. "Firstling (noun)." A Dictionary of the English Language: A Digital Edition of the 1755 Classic by Samuel Johnson. Edited by Brandi Besalke. Last modified: September 1, 2014. http://johnsonsdictionaryonline.com/?p=21833.


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