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Mr. Grant White's Case – Part 2
We have the word again in Langland:
—where the idea is not buying but obtaining. It has the same force in the phrase "favour craftily purchasing" in Roye’s Rede Me and Be Nott Wrothe (1528) and in Sir Thomas More’s Dialogue of Comfort Against Tribulation (1534):
If we might once purchase the grace to come to that
and again, in the editor’s preface to Latimer’s Second Sermon before Edward VI, the word is used in the alleged "legal" sense, though the writer is ostensibly a foe to lawyers:
Thou that purchasest so fast, to the utter undoing of
Obviously this was the regular force of the term, and it is in that sense that Latimer himself uses it:
A certain great man that had purchased much lands.
So in Roger Hutchinson:
Now they [who "were wont to . . . maintain schools
and houses of alms"] be purchasers and sellers-away of the same.
In theology the term is often used metaphorically with the same force: e.g.
The everlasting heritage which he [Christ] hath purchased
A metaphorical use of the word, resting on the "legal" sense, was in fact normal throughout Tudor literature and a dozen instances of it may be found in the early  version (from the Italian) of the Phœnissæ of Euripides by Gascoigne and others under the title of Jocasta (1566). It is common, again, in Spenser, in various senses which all turn upon the alleged "legal" one:
Again in the prose dedication of Muiopotmos he has:
That honourable name which ye have by your brave deserts purchast to yourself.
In Puttenham’s prose this sense of the term is explicit:
No doubt the shepheard’s . . . trade was the first act
of lawful acquisition or purchase, for at these days robbery was a
manner of purchase.
That the word was in normal Elizabethan use in the quasi-legal sense might be inferred from its occurring twice metaphorically with such a meaning in Nicholas Breton’s Tom the Page’s Song:
Faith! she will say, you wicked page!
In homiletic literature it has the same metaphorical force:
Thereby purchase to himself . . . eternal damnation.
And unless we are to suppose that all the dramatists  alike made their personages talk out of character—as in effect the legalists imply that Shakespeare did—we must draw the same inference from their plays, for they all introduce the word in the broad primary sense, and this far more often than in the limited modern one:
He that will purchase things of greatest prize
My valour everywhere shall purchase friends.
To purchase Godhead, as did Hercules.
To purchase fame to our posterities.
His company hath purchased me ill friends.
Jeron. How like you Don Horatio’s spirit?
Sadoc. God save Lord Cusay. And direct his zeal
To purchase hearing with my lord the King.
Messenger. How many friends I purchase everywhere.
That purchas’d kingdoms by your martial deeds.
To purchase towns by treachery.
He that will not when he may
Your pardon is already purchased.
Greene uses the word in the same way in his prose tales
and in his play JAMES IV (v, 4):
Jonson in his plays uses it many times: I glory
More in the cunning purchase of my wealth
A diamond, plate, chequines. Good morning’s purchase.
[In this case = acquisitions by gift].
Do you two pack up all the goods and purchase. [In
this case = cheaters’ booty].
I think I must be enforced to purchase me another page.
I will not rob you of him, nor the purchase.
Wittipol. I will share, Sir,
This second blessing of your eyes
Purchase to themselves rebuke and shame.
(Here the sense is "attained to." Wittipol would not tell the lady that he has bought the sight of her.)
No less common is the word in Webster and his collaborators:
I will not purchase by thee [Laverna] but to eat.
And will redeem myself with purchase [= booty].
Of all my being, fortunes, and poor fame
I made a purchase lately, and in that
Ignorance, when it hath purchased honour,
Were all of his mind, to entertain no suits
They do observe I grew to infinite purchase
That noblemen shall come with cap and knee
In the same sense we have it in Randolph:
In Thomas Heywood the word is particularly frequent:
Here the word is used in the quasi-legal sense four times in three successive pages. But it constantly recurs in the same general sense, as distinct from that of buying.
To purchase to yourself a thrifty son.
Could I have purchased houses at that rate,
Your grace may purchase glory from above,
When my poor wife and children cry for bread,
My love to her may purchase me his love.
Jupiter. Hadst thou asked love, gold, service,
I’ll wake her
Saturn. Re-purchast and re-lost by Jupiter.
I’ll try conclusions,
Pluto. Ceres nor Jove, nor all the Gods above,
Hercules. We take but what our valour purchast
Atreus. Without some honour purchast on this
Meleager. To have purchased honour in
this hasty quest.
Thou hast purchast honour and renown enough.
Jason. Rename all Greece
Hercules. Now is the rich and precious
Medea. To redeem the fleece,
Hercules. She is the warlike purchase of thy
And by our deeds repurchase our renown.
Here we have the word used nine times in one play, and only in the primary sense. For Heywood, in fact "purchase" normally means acquisition otherwise than by inheritance or buying; and there is no inference open save that this was a normal sense of the word in his day.
But we have it also in Dekker:
That would have purchased sin alone to himself.
The purchase [booty] is rich.
It shall concern thee and thy love’s purchase.
Of this as of other "legal" uses of terms we have frequent examples in the prose of Nashe:
It may be that he meaneth about purchasing [acquiring
property] as he hath done.
That recantation purchased his liberty.
Their purchased [=granted by the King] prerogatives.
Voyages of Purchase of Refusals.
Men that have no means to purchase credit with their
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