(Mespilus germanica) In parts of France, a branch of medlar was reckoned to keep sorcery at bay; it was put in the cattle byre, and in a baby's cradle (Sebillot). The dream books suggested that dreaming of medlars was a very good omen, and denoted riches, power and success in law (Raphael). The fruit is eaten "bletted", that is partially decayed, as in medieval times. So Shakespeare, because the fruit is only fit to be eaten when rotten, applies it to a loose woman. See Measure for Measure. Act iv, sc 3: "they would else have married me to the rotten medlar".
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