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Sometimes an apostrophe after a word to express 'is':
Words against me! This' a good friar belike !—M. for M., v. 1.
Why, this' a heavy chance 'twixt him and you.—Tam.of S., i. 2.
This' a good block.-Lear, iv. 6.
Since Leonatus' false.-Cym., iii. 6. Sometimes an apostrophe after a noun in the singular, to express its plural:
Made thee more profit
Than other princess' can, that have more time
For vainer hours, and tutors not so careful.—Temp., i. 2.
A thousand of his people butchered ;
Upon whose dead corse there was such misuse.—1 H. IV., i. 1. Sometimes an apostrophe after a noun or a proper name, instead of the more usual 's, to mark the possessive case:
Sits on his horse' back at mine hostess' door.-Yohn, ii. 1.
The bodies shall be dragged at my horse' heels.—2 H. VI., iv. 3.
Our mistress' sorrows we were pitying.-H. VIII., ii. 3.
And to fulfil his prince' desire. -Per., ii. (Gower).
Go, call at Flavius' house.-M. for M., iv. 5.
By the fire that quickens Nilus' slime.-Ant. & C., i. 3.
He occasionally gives 'd for 'would':
We'd* jump the life to come.—Macb., i. 7. Sometimes he gives ha' for 'have':
Will you ha' the truth on 't ?-Hamlet, v. I. Sometimes ha't for have it':
Sir, I pray you, let me ha 't.—Coriol., ii. 3. In a few instances it's for it is'; instead of the more usual abbreviation, 'tis (of which, of course, Shakespeare has numerous examples needless to cite):
It's supper-time, my lord; it's nine o'clock.-R. III., v. 3.
And it's come to pass, this tractable obedience is a slave.-H. VIII., i. 2.
The hey-day in the blood is tame, it's humble.—Hamlet, iii. 4.
It's true, good lieutenant.-Oth., ii. 3.
Yet still it's strange
What Cloten 's being here to us portends.-Cym., iv. 2.
Sometimes 'll for will’:
I'll put a girdle round the earth
In forty minutes.- Mid. N. D., ii. 2.
I'll give him my commission.-W. T., i. 2.
We'll fit the kid-fox with a pennyworth.-M. Ado, ii. 3.
We'll thwack him hence with distaffs.-W. T., i. 2.
Sometimes o' for of':-
We, poor unfledg’d,
Have never wing'd from view o' the nest.-Cym., iii. 3.
Sometimes o' for off'.-
You i' the camlet, get up o' the rail.-H. VIII., v. 3.
Printed in the 1623 Folio, Wee'ld.
Sometimes o' for 'on':
Cupid hath clapp'd him o' the shoulder.-As You L., iv. I.
O' Thursday let it be: o' Thursday, tell her.-R. & Jul., iii. 4. Sometimes 'r for 'our':
By’r lady, sir, and some dogs will catch well.-Tw. N., ii. 3.
By ', lakin, I can go no farther, sir.— Temp., iii. 3. In some instances, he uses 's for 'has':
For he's a spirit of persuasion.—Temp., ii. 1.
He's walk'd the way of nature.—2 H. IV., v. 2. In one instance, Shakespeare uses 's for “he is':
Though he be painted one way like a Gorgon,
The other way's a Mars.-Ant. & C., ii. 5.
In some instances, he uses 's for “his':
But Tuesday night last gone, in 's garden-house,
He knew me as a wife.-M. for M., V. I.
To let him there a month behind the gest
Prefix'd for 's parting.-W. T., i. 2.
Neither the king, nor's heirs,
(Tell you the duke) shall prosper.-H. VIII., i. 2.
One hand on his dagger,
Another spread on 's breast.—Ibid., i. 2.
He hath a witchcraft
Over the king in 's tongue.-Ibid., iii. 2.
The master-cord on's heart !-Ibid., iii. 2.
There is a mutiny in 's mind.-Ibid., iii. 2.
A plague upon Antenor ! I would they had broke's neck !—Tr. & Cr., iv. 2.
Will he swagger himself out on 's own eyes ?-Ibid., v. 2.
On's brows; Menenius, he comes the third time home with the oaken garland.-
Coriol., ii. 1.
Death, that dark spirit, in 's nervy arm doth lie.-Ibid., ii. 1.
A curse begin at very root on 's heart,
That is not glad to see thee!—Ibid., ii. 1.
That to's power he would have made them mules.-Ibid., ii. 1.
He had rather venture all his limbs for honour,
Than one on's ears to hear it.-Ibid., ii. 2.
He would not flatter Neptune for his trident,
Or Jove for 's power to thunder.-Ibid., iii. 1.
Tie leaden pounds to 's heels.-Ibid., iii. 1.
Sanctifies himself with 's hand.-Ibid. iv. 5.
Banquo's buried; he cannot come out on 's grave.—Macb., v. I.
There are no tongues else for 's turn.—Hamlet, v. 2.
If a man's brains were in's heels.-Lear, i. 5. Why one's nose stands in the middle on 's face ?-No.-Why, to keep one's eyes of either side 's nose.-Ibid., i. 5.
Go, tell the duke and's wife I'd speak with them.-Ibid., ii. 4.
His daughter, and the heir of 's kingdom.-Cym., i. 1.
And in 's spring became a harvest.—Ibid., i. 1.
Still waving, as the fits and stirs of 's mind
Could best express how slow his soul sail'd on,
How swift his ship.—Ibid., i. 4.
Will do's commission throughly.-Cym., ii. 4.
Why, one that rode to's execution, man,
Could never go so slow.-Ibid., iii. 2.
And thus I set my foot on 's neck.-Ibid., iii. 3.
I know the shape of's leg.-Ibid., iv. 2.
In doing this for 's country.-Ibid., v. 3.
Your death has eyes in 's head, then.-Ibid., v. 4.
I cut off's head.-Ibid., v. 5.
Since I have here my father's gift in 's will. ---Per., ii. 1.
In other instances, he uses 's for 'is':-
And then I'll bring thee to the present business
Which now's upon 's.—Temp., i. 2.
Consider whom the king your father sends;
To whom he sends; and what's his embassy.-Love's L. L., ii. 1.
A woman's general; what should we fear?-3 H. VI., i. 2.
And high note's
Ta'en of your many virtues.-H. VIII., ii. 3.
His heart's his mouth;
What his breast forges, that his tongue must vent.--Coriol., iii. 1.
One score 'twixt sun and sun,
Madam 's enough for you, and too much too.-Cym., iii. 2.
Nor know not
What air 's from home.-Ibid., iii. 3,
There's livers out of Britain.-Ibid., iii. 4
My shipwreck now 's no ill.—Per., ii. 1.
Were more than you expect, or more than's fit.-Ibid., ii. 3.
Nay, how absolute she's in 't -Ibid., ii. 5.
On one occasion, he uses 's to express is as':-
Thou art the best o' the cut-throats: yet he's good
That did the like for Fleance.-Macb., iii. 4. He also uses 's elliptically, for which is':
Where liest o' nights, Timon ?-Under that's above me.—Timon, iv. 3. Likewise elliptically, for “who is':
Thou speak'st like him 's untutor'd to repeat.-Per., i. 4.
In other cases he employs 's 'for us':-
The present business
Which now 's upon 's.— Temp., i. 2.
We 'll part the time between 's then.-W.T., i. 2.
We are yours i' the garden : shall's attend you there?-Ibid., i. 2.
Many thousand on 's
Have the disease, and feel 't not.-Ibid., i. 2.
Pray you, sit by us,
And tell's a tale.-Ibid., ii. i.
This is a match,
And made between 's by vows.-Ibid., v. 3.
And let 's away to London.—3 H. VI., V. 5.
And then let's dream
Who's best in favour.-H. VIII., i. 4.
Shall's to the Capitol ?-Coriol., iv. 6.
Yet do not
Upbraid's with our distress.-Ibid., v. 1.
If he covetously reserve it, how shall's get it ?— Timon, iv. 3.
Kind gentlemen, let 's go see poor Cassio dress'd.–Oth., v. i.
Say, where shall's lay him ?-Cym., iv. 2.
Where we have liv'd; and so extort from 's that
Which we have done.-Ibid., iv. 4.
Shall 's have a play of this ?-Ibid., v. 5.
We will die all three,
But I will prove that two on 's are as good
As I have given out him.-Ibid., v. 5.
In one passage he uses 'st for hast':-
I'll say, thou 'st gold:
Thou wilt be throng'd to shortly.—Timon, iv. 3.
He frequently uses 't for it':-
There is something in 't,*
More than my father's skill.- All's W., i. 3.
There is something in 't that stings his nature.-Ibid., iv. 3.
There's something in 't
That is deceivable.-Tw. N., iv. 3.
One day shall crown the alliance on 't, so please you.—Ibid., v. I.
Dashing the garment of this peace, aboded
The sudden breach on 't.-H. VIII., i. 1.
Is it therefore
Th' embassador is silenc'd ?-
Marry, is 't.-Ibid., i. 1,
Induce you to the question on 't?-Ibid., ii. 4.
Bearing a state of mighty moment in t.-Ibid., ii. 4.
And, I fear,
Thou play'dst most foully for 't.-Macb., iii. 1.
Will you ha' the truth on 't?-Hamlet, v. I.
Since the true life on 't was.-Cym., ii. 4.
If't be summer news,
Smile to 't before.—Ibid., iii. 4.
l' the world's volume
Our Britain seems as of it, but not in 't.-Ibid., iii.
These flowers are like the pleasures of the world;
This bloody man, the care on 't.-Ibid., iv, 2.
Bid the captains look to 't.-Ibid., iv, 2.
I have belied a lady,
The princess of this country, and the air on 't
Revengingly enfeebles me.-Ibid., v. 2.
Augustus lives to think on 't.-Ibid., v. 5.
How absolute she's in 't.-Per., ii. 5.
Now the good gods
Throw their best eyes upon 't!-Ibid., iii. 1.
Unscissar'd shall this hair of mine remain,
Though I show ill in 't.-Ibid., iii. 3.
* In the present passage " in ’t" (printed distinctly thus in the Folio, in all the three passages where this abbreviation occurs) was proposed by Hanmer to be altered to hints’; an alteration adopted by Warburton and by some other editors since. But the original expression, " there 's something in 't," is twice again used by Shakespeare (once in this very play); whereas he never uses hint' as a verb, always as a noun.
There is one instance of Shakespeare's using “you 're” to express ‘you were,' instead of the more ordinary meaning you are’; of which latter abbreviation there are, of course, in his works many instances that need not be cited :
Madam, you're best consider.-Cym., iii. 2.
And an instance of “thou 'rt” for “thou wert,' not 'thou art':-
Fetch us in fuel; and be quick, thou 'rt best.—Temp., ii. 2. There are some words which Shakespeare sometimes elisionally abbreviates :
The kitchen malkin pins
Her richest lockram 'bout (about] her reechy neck.—Coriol., ii. 1.
Here's a few flowers; but 'bout (about) midnight, more.-Cym., iv. 2.
'Twould 'braid [upbraid) yourself too near for me to tell it.-Per., i. 1.
Thou shalt 'by (aby) this dear.-Mid. N. D., iii. 2.
What 'cerns (concerns] it you if I wear pearl and gold.—Tam. of S., V. I.
That no man 'counts (accounts] of her beauty.—Two G. of V., ii, 1.
Murder, stern murder, in the dir'st (direst] degree.-R. III., v. 3.
As he, being 'drest (addrest] to some oration.—Tr. & Cr., i. 3.
Your eld'st (eldest) acquaintance cannot be three hours.—Temp., v. 1.
As, let 'em (them) have their rights, they 're ever forward.—H. VIII., iv. 1.
The farced title running 'fore [before) the king.-H. V., iv. I.
But fettle your fine joints 'gainst (against] Thursday next.-R. & Ful., 5.
Some say, that ever 'gainst (against) that season comes.-Hamlet, i. 1.
The din of war 'gan [began) pierce his ready sense.—Coriol., ii. 2.
I 'gin (begin) to be a-weary of the sun.—Macb., v. 5.
Now 'gins (begins) to bite the spirits.—Temp., iii. 3.
Perjury, perjury, in the high’st (highest] degree.-R. III., V. 3.
If you are learn'd, [learned] be not as common fools.-Coriol., iii. 1.
All this coil is 'long [along] of you.-Mid. N. D., iii, 2.
By law of nature and of nations, 'long [belong]
To him and to his heirs.-H. V., i ii.
With such austerity as 'longeth [belongeth] to a father.—Tam. of S., iv. 4.
It is an honour 'longing [belonging] to our house.-All's W., iv. 2.
No ceremony that to great ones 'longs [belongs].—M. for M., ii. 2.
Lay me stark nak'd [naked), and let the water-flies
Blow me into abhorring !-Ant. & C., v. 2.
That I have 'nointed [anointed) an Athenian's eyes.—Mid. N.D., iii. 2.
I 'll bring him the best 'parel (apparel) that I have.-Lear, iv, 1.
I 'll give thee, ere I leave thee, so much money,
To warrant thee, as I am 'rested (arrested] for.-Com. of E., iv. 4. The man, sir, that, when gentlemen are tired, gives them a fob, and 'rests [arrests] them.-Ibid., iv. 3.
Of all 'say'd (assayed) yet, may'st thou prove prosperous !
Of all 'say'd (assayed) yet, I wish thee happiness !—Per., i, 1.
That 'scuse (excuse) serves many men to save their gifts.—Mer. of V., iv. 1.
Search for a jewel, that too casually
Hath left mine arm: it was thy master's; 'shrew (beshrew) me,
If I would lose it for a revenue
Of any king's in Europe.-Cym., ii. 3.