Reference > Brewer’s Dictionary > Assay’

 Assas’sins.Assaye Regiment. 
CONTENTS · BIBLIOGRAPHIC RECORD
E. Cobham Brewer 1810–1897. Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. 1898.
 
Assay’
 
or Essay’. To take the assay is to taste wine to prove it is not poisoned. Hence, to try, to taste; a savour, trial, or sample. Holinshed says, “Wolsey made dukes and earls serve him of wine with a say taken” (p. 847).   1
   Edmund, in King Lear (v. 5), says to Edgar, “Thy tongue, some say of breeding breathes;” i.e. thy speech gives indication of good breeding—it savours of it. Hence the expression, I make my first assay (trial).   2
       
“[He] makes vow before his uncle never more
To give the assay of arms against your majesty.”
       
Shakespeare: Hamlet, ii. 2.
   A cup of assay. A cup for the assay of wine.   3
   To put it in assay. To put it to the test.   4
 


 Assas’sins.Assaye Regiment. 

 
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