“The leaf of eglantine, whom not to slander,
Out-sweetens not thy breath.”
(Cymbeline, act 4, sc. 1)
Tips for Use. Perfect answer if your better (or worse) half is concerned about her/his breath and queries you about it. Perhaps it is a case where a license to lie may be granted. The quality of breath (fresh or otherwise) comes up frequently in Shakespeare. For instance see the entry on Apr 27, 2012 (or search for ‘garlic’ or ‘onion’). There are others, all duly noted in the book “Your Daily Shakespeare.” That bad breath may have been an issue in the early 17th century should not be surprising. The combination of meat eating and general unawareness of the basic principle of nutrition, let alone hygiene, may have had sour consequences. Fresh breath being more the exception than the rule was properly a subject of poetical inspiration.
‘Eglantine’ is a synonym for ‘eucalyptus’. Experts say that eucalyptus oil is rich in ‘cineole’, an antiseptic that kills bacteria that can cause bad breath. More in general, eucalyptus (or eglantine) is a plant endowed with massive health benefits.
For example, it helps ease indications of colds, flu, chest blockage, throat problems, bronchitis, pneumonia, and respiratory infections. For health preparations, eucalyptus leaves can be used in the form of tea or tincture. Tea prepared from eucalyptus leaves when used as a gargle is effective in easing sore throat.
Take a look at the web-page describing the book “Your Daily Shakespeare”, 1390 pages filled to the brim with over 10,000 situations you may find yourself in or involved with, attuned to the perfect Shakespearean repartee that will get you on the stage or at least out of the water – besides making you a winner of verbal contests. “Your Daily Shakespeare” has been described as the most unusual, useful and unique book of Shakespearean quotations. Nothing similar exists or has ever existed.
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In the play. Arviragus talks to Imogen who appears dead but is only asleep. Unbeknown to Arviragus, Cymbeline is actually his is sister.
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