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Men shall hold of me in capite.-2 H. VF., iv. 7.

They may, cum privilegio, wear away

The lag end of their lewdness, and be laugh'd at.-H. VIII., i. 3.
Fall into the compass of a præmunire.—Ibid., iii. 2.

He has also used a few terms derived from old French legal expressions:

Crier Hobgoblin, make the fairy o-yes [oyez, hear ye '].-Merry W., v. 5.

Some tricks, some quillets [qu'il est, 'that it is'; which phrase formed the commencement of allegations in law proceedings], how to cheat the devil.-Love's L. L., iv. 3.

But in these nice sharp quillets of the law,

Good faith, I am no wiser than a daw.-1 H. VI., ii. 4.

This precious book of love, this unbound lover,

To beautify him, only lacks a cover [in double reference to the cover of a book, and to the legal term ' coverture,' which signifies marriage subsistent. The term is legally applied to a woman's marriage; and comes from the old French law-term, femme couverte, meaning a woman sheltered by marriage under her husband].—R. & Jul., i. 3.


This seems to have been a fashion in Shakespeare's time, especially for amatory epistles; since he has given us more than one example of them. Probably, therefore, the line beginning the first letter quoted below was intended to be a portion of its prose commencement, as there is no line corresponding in rhyme therewith; while the verse continuation is in rhymed lines, and the conclusion returns again to prose :

Dian, the count's a fool, and full of gold.- . . .
When he swears oaths, bid him drop gold, and take it,
After he scores, he never pays the score;

Half won is match well made; match, and well make it ;

He ne'er pays after debts, take it before;
And say a soldier, Dian, told thee this;
Men are to mell with, boys are not to kiss;
For count of this, the count 's a fool, I know it,
Who pays before, but not when he does owe it.
Thine, as he vowed to thee in thine ear,

PAROLLES.-All's W., iv. 3.

To the unknown beloved, this, and my good wishes.

Jove knows, I love:
But who?

Lips do not move;

No man must know. . .

I may command where I adore;

But silence, like a Lucrece knife,

With bloodless stroke my heart doth gore:
M, O, A, I, doth sway my life. . . .

If this fall into thy hand, revolve. In my stars I am above thee; but be not afraid of greatness; some are born great, some achieve greatness, and some have, &c.Tw. N., ii. 5.

To the celestial, and my soul's idol, the most beautified Ophelia.. In her excellent white bosom, these.

Doubt thou the stars are fire;
Doubt that the sun doth move;
Doubt truth to be a liar;

But never doubt I love.


O dear Ophelia, I am ill at these numbers; I have not art to reckon my groans: but that I love thee best, O most best, believe it. Adieu.

Thine evermore, most dear lady, whilst this machine is to him, HAMLET.— Hamlet, ii. 2.


Shakespeare has in various passages shown the exaggerated phrases and hyperbolical expressions that lovers affect and permit themselves to


It is thyself, mine own self's better part,

Mine eye's clear eye, my dear heart's dearer heart,

My food, my fortune, and my sweet hope's aim,

My sole earth's heaven, and my heaven's claim.-Com. of E., iii. 2.

For I will be horribly in love with her.-M. Ado, ii. 3.

The rather, gentle princess, because I love thee cruelly.-H. V., v. 2.
Nor never woo in rhyme, like a blind harper's song!

Taffeta phrases, silken terms precise,
Three pil'd hyperboles, spruce affectation,
Figures pedantical.-Love's L. L., v. 2.

And thou, thrice-crowned queen of night, survey
With thy chaste eye, from thy pale sphere above,
Thy huntress' name, that my full life doth sway.—
As You L., iii. 2 (Verses).

M, O, A, I, doth sway my life.—Tw. N., ii. 5 (Verses).
There shall your master have a thousand loves,
A mother, and a mistress, and a friend,

A phoenix, captain, and an enemy,
A guide, a goddess, and a sovereign,
A counsellor, a traitress, and a dear;
His humble ambition, proud humility,
His jarring concord, and his discord dulcet,
His faith, his sweet disaster; with a world
Of pretty, fond, adoptious christendoms,
That blinking Cupid gossips.—All's W., i. 1.
A traitor you do look like; but such traitors
His majesty seldom fears.-Ibid., ii. 1.

With him, the mortal Venus, the heart-blood of beauty, love's invisible soul. ・・・ Helen.-Tr. & Cr., iii. 1.

To bed, to bed: sleep kill those pretty eyes,
And give as soft attachment to thy senses
As infants empty of all thought.—Ibid., iv. 2.
Why, then, oh, brawling love! oh, loving hate!
Oh, anything, of nothing first create!
Oh, heavy lightness! serious vanity!
Mis-shapen chaos of well-seeming forms!
Feather of lead, bright smoke, cold fire, sick health!
Still-waking sleep, that is not what it is!
This love feel I, that feel no love in this.
Love is a smoke rais'd with the fume of sighs;

Being purg'd, a fire sparkling in lovers' eyes;
Being vex'd a sea nourish'd with lovers' tears:
What is it else? a madness most discreet,

A choking gall, and a preserving sweet.-R. & Jul., i. 1.

At my poor house look to behold this night
Earth-treading stars that make dark heaven light.-Ibid., i, 2.

Oh, serpent heart, hid with a flowering face!
Did ever dragon keep so fair a cave?
Beautiful tyrant! fiend angelical!
Dove-feather'd raven! wolfish-ravening lamb !
Despised substance of divinest show!
Just opposite to what thou justly seem'st,
A damned saint, an honourable villain!
O, nature! what hadst thou to do in hell,
When thou didst bower the spirit of a fiend
In mortal paradise of such sweet flesh?
Was ever book containing such vile matter,
So fairly bound? O, that deceit should dwell
In such a gorgeous palace !-Ibid., iii. 2.

Oh, my fair warrior 1-Oth., ii. 1.

I was (unhandsome warrior as I am)
Arraigning his unkindness with my soul.-Ibid., iii. 4.

In this last-cited passage, the dramatist causes Desdemona to make touching allusion to her husband's having previously called her "warrior"; which was a title frequently given by amorous gallants to their lady-loves, in deprecation of their supposed cruelty and antagonism, and which is applied by Othello to his bride-wife, in allusion to her refusing (in act i., sc. 3) to "be left behind, a moth of peace, and he go to the war."

In the first passage from "All's Well" and in the first and third passage from Romeo and Juliet" above quoted, we have specimens of those rapturous tirades which it was formerly the mode, in poetic or romantic language, to lavish upon love and the object of affection; full of fanciful antitheses, whimsically opposite attributes, and halfreproachful, half-admiring epithets, expressive of the mingled torment and joy belonging to this sovereign passion.


Our dramatist employs certain courteous phrases of address, salutation, or rejoinder, in special form. As commencement of address in rejoinder :

Sir, my lord, I could do this.-W. T., i. 2.

Sir, my gracious lord, to chide at your.-Ibid., iv. 3.

As an address of recognition on meeting :—

Welcome, from Egypt, sir.-Half the heart of Cæsar, worthy Mecanas! my honourable friend, Agrippa !-Good Enobarbus !—Ant. & C., ii. 2.

Accosting, by one who enters :

With all my heart, gentlemen, both and how fare you ?—Timon, iii. 6.
Brutus, my lord!—Jul. C., ii. 1.

Phrase of courtesy, in passing before some one :—
Lead you on:
Follow, Cominius; we must follow you;
Right worthy you priority.-Noble Marcius !—Coriol., i. 1.
Elliptical form of address :-

[I say] to you all three, The senators alone of this great world.-Ant. & C., ii. 6. Elliptical phrase, announcing an entrance :

[Here] she [comes] and the duke her husband.-Lear, v. 1. Elliptical phrases of acquiescence:

Who's there? my woman Helen?-Please you, madam.-Cym., ii. 2. 'Tis the ninth hour o' the morn So please you, sir.-Ibid., iv. 2. Elliptical phrase, spoken in polite rejoinder:


Welcome to Rome.-Thank you.-Sit.-Sit, sir.-Nay then-[since you will have it so, I take my seat first].-Ant. & C., ii. 2.

Affected double style of address:

Good sparks and lustrous, a word, good metals.—All's W., ii. 1. Reply to one who salutes on entering :—

My ladies both, good day to you.—
Sweet madam.-Coriol., i. 3.

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Save you, worthy general!
With all my heart, sir.-Oth., iv. I.

Reply to one who salutes on departing :

Now fare you well, good sir.-With all my heart.-Lear, iv. 6. Salutation to some one taking leave :—

I'll to the king,

And say I spoke with you. My honour'd lord.—H. VIII., ii. 3.
Salutation from some one taking leave:-
God be with you; fare you well.-Good my lord !—Hamlet, ii. 1.
You are welcome to Elsinore.-Good my lord !—Ibid., ii. 2.

Mutual amenities between a host and his departing friends :-
We are so virtuously bound,-

And so
Am I to you. So infinitely endear'd,—
All to you. Lights, more lights!—

The best of happiness,
Honour, and fortunes, keep with you, lord Timon !—
Ready for his friends.-Timon, i. 2.

Salutation in reply to one who is drinking and wishing good health:

The queen carouses to thy fortune, Hamlet.-
Good madam !-Hamlet, v. 2.

Salutation of pledging while drinking [See IDIOMS]:

My lord, in heart; and let the health go round.-Timon, i. 2. Said in reply to one who is speaking laudatorily:

Horatio, thou art e'en as just a man

As e'er my conversation cop'd withal.-
O, my dear lord.-Hamlet, iii. 2.

Peculiar phrase of distinctive announcement :

Pompey the Great,-Your servant, and Costard.-Love's L. L., v. 2.

We talk of young Master Launcelot.-Your worship's friend, and Launcelot, sir.Mer. of V., ii. 1.

Shakespeare occasionally makes a speaker allude to himself in the third person :

Twelve years since, Miranda, twelve years since,
Thy father was the Duke of Milan.-Temp., i. 2.

And what news else betideth here in absence of thy friend.— Two G. of V., i. 1.

My heart assures me, that the Earl of Warwick

Shall one day make the Duke of York a king.

Richard shall live to make the Earl of Warwick.-2 H. VI., ii. 2. Whenever Buckingham doth turn his hate upon your grace. -R. III., ii. 1.

And dare be bold to weep for Buckingham . . . and, if he speak of Buckingham, pray, tell him you met him.-H. VIII., ii. 1.


More ready to cry out, Who knows what follows?"
Than Hector is.-Tr. & Cr., ii. 2.

Ne'er speak or think that Timon's fortunes 'mong his friends.-Timon, ii. 2.

When Marcus Brutus grows so covetous.-Jul. C., iv. 3.

On Cassius, for Cassius is aweary of the world .. better than ever thou lov'dst Cassius.-Ibid., iv. 3.

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If Cassius might have rul'd . . . this very day was Cassius born.—Ibid., v. 1.

And what so poor a man as Hamlet is may do.—Hamlet, i. 5.

Who calls on Hamlet ?-Ibid., iv. 2.

Was 't Hamlet wrong'd Laertes? Never Hamlet:
If Hamlet from himself be ta'en away,

And, when he 's not himself, does wrong Laertes,
Then Hamlet does it not; Hamlet denies it.
Who does it then? His madness: if 't be so,
Hamlet is of the faction that is wrong'd;

His madness is poor Hamlet's enemy.-Ibid., v. 2.

The queen carouses to thy fortune, Hamlet.-Ibid., v. 2.

And he occasionally makes a speaker use the third person in mentioning one who is present:

It lies as sightly on the back of him.—John, ii. 1.
was that done like Cassius?
Should I have answer'd Caius Cassius so?—Jul. C., iv. 3.


To be but mirth and laughter to his Brutus.-—Ibid., iv. 3.

And my poor fool is hang'd!-Lear, v. 3.

Why did he marry Fulvia, and not love her?

I'll seem the fool I am not; Antony

Will be himself.—But stirr'd by Cleopatra.-Ant. & C., i. 1.
Great Mark Antony is now a widower.—Ibid., ii. 2.

Occasionally he causes a speaker to change the person in reference

to the same object during the same sentence :—

My loving lord Dumain [3rd person] is mortified:
The grosser manner of these world's delights

He [3rd person] throws upon the gross world's baser slaves:
To love, to wealth, to pomp, I [1st person] pine and die,
With all these living in philosophy.-Love's L. L., i. I.

O Cæsar [2nd person], read mine first; for mine's a suit

That touches Cæsar [3rd person] nearer: read it, great Cæsar [2nd person].— Jul. C., iii. 1.

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