Now fitted the halter, now traversed the cart, And often took leave, but was loth to depart.1
The Thief and the Cordelier.
Note 1. As men that be lothe to departe do often take their leff. [John Clerk to Wolsey.]Ellis: Letters, third series, vol. i. p. 262.
A loth to depart was the common term for a song, or a tune played, on taking leave of friends. Tarlton: News out of Purgatory (about 1689). George Chapman: Widows Tears.Thomas Middleton: The Old Law, act iv. sc. 1.Beaumont and Fletcher: Wit at Several Weapons, act ii. sc. 2. [back]