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Cunning, subst. 1) knowledge, forethought: “as if that luck, in very spite of c., bade him win all,” Troil. V, 5, 41. “shame that they wanted c. in excess hath broke their hearts,” Tim. V, 4, 28. “if he be not one that truly loves you, that errs in ignorance and not in c.” Oth. III, 3, 49.
2) power: “is this thy c., thou deceitful dame?” H6A II, 1, 50. “we have been guided by thee hitherto and of thy c. had no diffidence,” III, 3, 10. would ye not think his (Saint Alban's) “c. to be great, that could restore this cripple to his legs again?” H6B II, 1, 132. “fortune's blows when most struck home, being gentle wounded craves a noble c.” Cor. IV, 1, 9.
3) art, skill: “yet eyes this c. want to grace their art: they draw but what they see, know not the heart,” Sonn. 24, 13. “a sorcerer, that by his c. hath cheated me of the island,” Tp. III, 2, 49. “if I read it not truly, my ancient skill beguiles me; but in the boldness of my c. I will lay my self in hazard,” Meas. IV, 2, 165. “some sport wherein your c. can assist me much,” Shr. Ind. 1, 92. “I have no c. in protestation,” H5 V, 2, 150. “I'll prove more true than those that have more c. to be strange,” Rom. II, 2, 101. “an excellent play, set down with as much modesty as c.” Hml. II, 2, 461. “guilty creatures sitting at a play have by the very c. of the scene been struck so to the soul,” Hml. II, 2, 461 “we'll make a solemn wager on your --s,” IV, 7, 156. “virtue and c. were endowments greater than nobleness and riches,” Per. III, 2, 27. “in our sports my better c. faints under his chance,” Ant. II, 3, 34. “try thy c.” III, 12, 31.
Hence == profession: “shame not these woods by putting on the c. of a carper,” Tim. IV, 3, 208.
4) craft: “my c. shall not shame me,” Ado II, 2, 56. “with c. hast thou filched my daughter's heart,” Mids. I, 1, 36. “a child shall get a sire, if I fail not of my c.” Shr. II, 413. “the c. of her passion invites me in this churlish messenger,” Tw. II, 2, 23. “to force that on you in a shameful c., which you knew none of yours,” III, 1, 127. “his false c. taught him to face me out of his acquaintance,” V, 89. “it was not brought me; there's the c. of it,” Lr. I, 2, 64. H8 II, 4, 107. Lr. III, 7, 49.
5) dissimulation, falseness: “what needest thou wound with c. when thy might is more than my o'erpressed defence can bide?” Sonn. 139, 7. “hence, bashful c.!” Tp. III, 1, 81. “you do advance your c. more and more,” Mids. III, 2, 128. “you may think my love is crafty love and call it c.,” John IV, 1, 54. “while some with c. gild their copper crowns, with truth and plainness I do wear mine bare,” Troil. IV, 4, 107. “deaths put on by c. and forced cause,” Hml. V, 2, 394. “time shall unfold what plaited c. hides,” Lr. I, 1, 283. “in c. I must draw my sword upon you,” II, 1, 31. “there is division, although as yet the face of it be covered with mutual c.” III, 1, 21. “this cannot be c. in her,” Ant. I, 2, 155. “O c., how I got it!” Cymb. V, 5, 205.
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