earnest (n.)
pledge, instalment, deposit, payment in advance
1H6 V.iii.16[Pucelle to spirits] I'll lop a member off and give it you / In earnest of a further benefit
Cym I.vi.65[Queen to Pisanio, of her box] It is an earnest of a farther good / That I mean to thee
E3 IV.iv.3[Prince Edward to Audley] comfort have we none, save that to die / We pay sour earnest for a sweeter life [i.e. though death is bitter, it leads us to a sweeter life]
H5 II.ii.169[King Henry to traitors, of France] You have ... from his coffers / Received the golden earnest of our death
H5 V.i.60[Pistol to Fluellen] I take thy groat in earnest of revenge
KL I.iv.94[Lear to disguised Kent, giving him money] There's earnest of thy service
MA II.i.35[Beatrice to Leonato] I will even take sixpence in earnest of the bear-ward [F Berrord]
Mac I.iii.103[Ross to Macbeth, of the King] for an earnest of a greater honour, / He bade me from him call thee Thane of Cawdor
Mac I.iii.131[Macbeth to himself, of the Witches' prophecies] If ill, / Why hath it given me earnest of success / Commencing in a truth?
Per IV.ii.42[Boult to Bawd] I have lost my earnest
TG II.i.148[Speed to Valentine, of Silvia] did you perceive her earnest? [also: seriousness]
Tim IV.iii.169[Timon to Phrynia and Timandra, of receiving more gold] I have given you earnest
Tim IV.iii.48[Timon alone, as if to the gold] stay thou out for earnest
WT IV.iv.641[Autolycus to Florizel] I have had earnest, but I cannot with conscience take it
SHAKESPEARE'S WORDS © 2020 DAVID CRYSTAL & BEN CRYSTAL