Reference > Brewer’s Dictionary > Withers of a Horse (The)

 Withe (1 syl.).Within the Pale. 
E. Cobham Brewer 1810–1897. Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. 1898.
Withers of a Horse (The)
are the muscles which unite the neck and shoulders. The skin of this part of a horse is often galled by the pommel of an illfitting saddle, and then the irritation of the saddle makes the horse wince. In 1 Henry IV., ii. 1, one of the carriers gives direction to the ostler to ease the saddle of his horse, Cut. “I prythee, Tom, beat Cut’s saddle … the poor jade is wrung on the withers,” that is, the muscles are wrung, and the skin galled by the saddle. And Hamlet says (iii. 2):   1
“Let the galled jade wince, our withers are unwrung.”
   That is, let those wince who are galled; as for myself, my withers are not wrung, and I am not affected by the “bob.”   2

 Withe (1 syl.).Within the Pale. 


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