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Cause, subst., 1) that which produces an effect, or is the motive of an action: “where is no c. of fear,” Ven. 1153. “since why to love I can allege no c.” Sonn. 49, 14. “I weep for thee, and yet no c. I have,” Pilgr. 137. “the c. of all my moan,” Pilgr. 137 “who hath c. to wet the grief on't,” Tp. II, 1, 127. “I have cursed them without c.” V, 179. II, 1, 1. Gentl. IV, 4, 152. Wiv. II, 1, 108. III, 3, 108. IV, 2, 138. Meas. II, 1, 121. Meas. II, 1, 121 III, 2, 140. V, 181. Err. I, 1, 29. III, 1, 91. LLL IV, 3, 218. Mids. III, 1, 82. Tw. III, 1, 166. H6C III, 2, 142. Hml. V, 2, 394. Ant. IV, 15, 5 etc. etc. “a breaking c. of heavenly oaths,” LLL V, 2, 355 (== a cause of breaking oaths). “they can be meek that have no other c.” Err. II, 1, 33 (== no cause to be otherwise). “though sometimes you do blench from this to that, as c. doth minister,” Meas. IV, 5, 6; cf. “the rest shall bear the business in some other fight, as c. will be obeyed,” Cor. I, 6, 83.* “it is the c., it is the c., my soul,” Oth. V, 2, 1. “O madness of discourse, that c. sets up with and against itself,” Troil. V, 2, 143. “for what c.” Err. I, 1, 31. for that cause (that thou mightst be my prisoner) “I trained thee to my house,” H6A II, 3, 35 (== for that purpose). “he feels himself distracted, but from what c., he will by no means speak,” Hml. III, 1, 6. “upon what c.” Err. V, 123. R3 I, 1, 46. Per. I, 3, 20. “upon especial c.” H6A IV, 1, 55. “on special c.” Lr. IV, 6, 219. “will forget with the least c. these his new honours,” Cor. II, 1, 245. much more c. == with much more c., H5 V Chor. H5 V Chor. Why before the subordinate clause omitted: “as well appeareth by the c. you come,” R2 I, 1, 26. H6A II, 5, 54. H6B I, 3, 68.
Referring to persons, == author: “if the c. were not in being, part o' the c., she the adulteress,” Wint. II, 3, 3. “thou wert c. of noble Gloster's death,” R2 IV, 37. “I was c. your highness came to England,” H6B I, 3, 68. thou art the c. and most accursed effect, R3 1, 2, 1, 2 “God pardon them that are the c. of it,” I, 3, 315.
The first and second c. will not serve my turn, LLL 1, 2, 1, 2 “the quarrel was upon the seventh c.” As V, 4, 52. As V, 4, 52 “a gentleman of the first house, of the first and second c.” Rom. II, 4, 26 (allusions to terms in the art of duelling, fashionable in the poet's time, and especially to the book of Vincentio Saviola 'Of honour and honourable quarrels').
2) that which a person, a party or nation pursues, interest, ground or principle of action: “give your c. to heaven,” Meas. IV, 3, 129. Meas. IV, 3, 129 “such temperate order in so fierce a c.” John III, 4, 12. “I must withdraw and weep upon the spot of this enforced c.” V, 2, 30. “breed a kind of question in our c.” H4A IV, 1, 68. “justice . . . whose rightful c. prevails,” H6B II, 1, 205. “I cheered them up with justice of our c.” H6C II, 1, 133. Hml. V, 2, 350. Ant. I, 2, 143. Cymb. V, 4, 71 etc.
3) any subject of question and debate: “made me acquainted with a weighty c. of love between your daughter and himself,” Shr. IV, 4, 26. “your manner of wrenching the true c. the false way,” H4B II, 1, 121. “what counsel give you in this weighty c.?” H6B III, 1, 289. the chief c. concerns his grace of Canterbury, H8V, 3, 3. Especially a suit or action in court: “being judge in love, she cannot right her c.” Ven. 220. “and leave you to the hearing of the c.” Meas. II, 1, 141. II, 2, 1. V, 167. V, 167 Merch. IV, 1, 155. Merch. IV, 1, 155 Tw. V, 363. H6B IV, 7, 93. II, 1, 204. H8 V, 3, 121 etc.
4) matter, question, affair in general: “the c. craves haste,” Lucr. 1295. “the extreme parts of time extremely forms all --s to the purpose of his speed,” LLL V, 2, 751. “turn him to any c. of policy, the Gordian knot of it he will unloose,” H5 I, 1, 45. “now to our French --s,” II, 2, 60. “give me hearing in a c.” H6A V, 3, 106. I'll acquaint our duteous citizens with all your just proceedings in this c. (the execution of Hastings) R3 III, 5, 66 (Ff “case). leave us to cure this c.” Cor. III, 1, 235. II, 3, 202. “come, the c.” Caes. V, 1, 48 (== to the purpose?). “what was thy c.? adultery?” Lr. IV, 6, 111. “sith I am entered in this c. so far,” Oth. III, 3, 411. -- Strange expression: “hearing your high majesty is touched with that malignant c. wherein the honour of my dear father's gift stands chief in power,” All's II, 1, 114.
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