Safire error (May 7, 2006)? "fraught" in "Lear"

Joel S. Berson Berson at ATT.NET
Sun May 7 22:00:55 UTC 2006

Has Safire erred?

He writes "Shakespeare used it [fraught] in "King Lear" without the _with_."

But in the quotation from "King Lear," Shakespeare did not use
"fraught" alone; he used it with the preposition "of": "make use of
that good wisdom, Whereof I know you are fraught."

In any case, of course, in this quotation from "Lear" "fraught of"
means "supplied with"--that is, "weighted, freighted with"--rather
than "distressed," as he should have observed from the sense in the
OED to which the quotation is attached. And I wonder--the OED does
not define "fraught with" as "distressed by", but only as the more
general "attended with", often in a positive sense.


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