In Simon Schama’s excellent book “Citizens” I came across this phrase on page 246
“give an earnest of one’s intentions”.
“Increasingly wexed by the position Calonne had placed in him, Louis gave the Minister an earnest of his intentions by permitting the responses to his advertisement to be published.”
Is there a word missing after “earnest” or is the word earnest being treated as a noun. The phrasing looks strange. I look forward to your feedback.
Nitpick: earnest payments in real estate transactions are often refundable, depending on the terms of the purchase agreement. Nearly all purchase agreements provide that the buyer retains the earnest money if financing proves to be unavailable, for example.
There are also citations from Wordsworth (“The primrose flower / peeped forth, to give an earnest of the spring”) and Tennyson (“Their love has never past away / the days she never can forget / are earnest that he loves her yet / whate’er the faithless people say”.)