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n.1.A votary.
Like a sad votarist in palmer's weed.
- Milton.
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary, published 1913 by G. & C. Merriam Co.
References in periodicals archive ?
But as Duke Vincentio's instruction regarding Mariana--"First, let her show her face, and after, speak" (5.1.170)--suggests, her veiled entrance also echoes the scene in the cloister in Act 1, where Isabella was told that as a sworn votarist, "if you speak, you must not show your face; / Or if you show your face, you must not speak" (1.4.12-13).
But it also helps to explain the many moments in Shakespeare's plays when characters we thought we had drawn a bead on--the vain egotistical Richard II, the withdrawn Isabella who defensively claims to seek "a more strict restraint" on "the votarists of Saint Clare" (1.4.4-5)--deliver themselves of words of the rarest grace, feeling, and moral authority, as if they have come from nowhere imaginable in the roles they have drawn.