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Ay (O. Edd. always I) yes: “is not this true? Ay, sir.” Tp. I, 2, 268. II, 1, 44. II, 1, 44 II, 1, 44 II, 1, 44 III, 1, 88. 2, 112. 2, 112 IV, 43. IV, 43 IV, 43 V, 294 etc. etc.
Used to enforce the sense: “every inch of woman in the world, ay, every dram of woman's flesh is false, if she be,” Wint. II, 1, 138. “how you may hurt yourself, ay, utterly grow from the king's acquaintance,” H8 III, 1, 160 etc.
Sometimes == why: “But, for your conscience? Ay, sir; where lies that?” Tp. II, 1, 276. “I would resort to her by night. Ay, but the doors be locked,” Gentl. III, 1, 111. “Ay, but she'll think that it is spoke in hate,” III, 2, 34. “you Banbury cheese! Ay, it is no matter. How now, Mephostophilus! Ay, it is no matter.” Wiv. I, 1, 131. “I understand not what you mean by this. Ay, do, persever, counterfeit sad looks,” Mids. III, 2, 237. “Ay, mistress bride, hath that awakened you?” Shr. V, 2, 42. “Ay, are you thereabouts?” Ant. III, 10, 29 etc. etc.
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