1

... Virginia has sustaind a very serious loss which all good men will long lament, in the death of Mr Henry. He is said to have expird on thursday last. The intelligence is not absolutely certain but scarcely a hope is entertaind of its untruth. With the most respectful attachment I remain Sir your obedt Servt ... (Source)

Could someone please explicate entertain[e]d of? My guess would be:
"a hope is scarcely entertain[e]d due to/owing to its untruth".

I appealed to these websites for an archaic definition. Howbeit, thefreedioctionary.com may be dubitable:
http://www.oxforddictionaries.com
Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary
http://www.thefreedictionary.com


Addition on Nov 1st: I thought to afford some instantiations of "scarcely entertain a hope of" which had perplexed me before Andrew Leach's sterling answer: Google Books, Example 1, Example 2.

6

... scarcely a hope is entertaind of its untruth.

This is a passive construction, so the first thing to do in understanding it is to make it active. That needs a subject, so introduce something like We:

We entertain scarcely a hope of its untruth.

Then look up entertain. This is ODO:

entertain verb
2 give attention or consideration to (an idea or feeling):
Washington entertained little hope of an early improvement in relations

You could use the verb hold little hope of in this context, too.

We hold little hope of its untruth.
We don't consider it likely to be untrue.

That is, entertain in this context is not particularly archaic. What is archaic is using it with the double-negative construction of scarcely and untruth.

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