“IN A PICKLE”
“IN A PICKLE” appears in The Tempest (Act 5, scene 1); a related form appears in Antony and Cleopatra (Act 2, scene 5). Thomas Tusser had advised, in 1573, that the husbandman “Reap barley with sickle, that lies in ill pickle.” John Foxe (of the mammoth Acts and Monuments, a.k.a. “Foxe’s Book of Martyrs”) applied the homely metaphor in his 1585 sermon on Paul’s second letter to the Corinthians: “In this pickle lieth man by nature, that is, all we that be Adam’s children.”
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