Meaning of 'she is the farther off'

Dear teachers,

Please read:

Fortune has somewhat the nature of a woman
If she be too much wooed, she is the father of.

Please explain me why “be” after “she” and what is the meaning of “the father of”.


Amy, be reminds me of Subjunctive I. Am I right? Correct me, please!


Yes, be is subjunctive, but I have no idea what the end of the quote is supposed to mean other than possibly too much wooing makes a woman more like a man.

Where did you get this quote, Quoc?



I think she is the father of should read she is the farther off a line from Francis Bacon. This suggests that if you try too hard to persuade fortune to be on your side, she (fortune) will just go further (farther) away


Dear teacher Alan,

Please give me an example with she is the farther off?
(Situation nowadays)

Tung Quoc


I can’t give you an example of this precise phrase because it is written in a style that you would find in 16th-17th century philosophical writing. All I can do is explain again what it means: that much further away. In the piece quoted it suggests that you more you try to attract good fortune, the further away it will go away from you.