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Chance, vb., 1) to be guided by fortune, to come by fortune: “you that choose not by the view, c. as fair and choose as true,” Merch. III, 2, 133. “by what strange accident I --d on this letter,” V, 279. “Marina thus the brothel scapes and --s into an honest house,” Per. V Prol. Per. V Prol.
2) to happen: “but it --s the stealth of our most mutual entertainment with character too gross is writ on Juliet,” Meas. I, 2, 157. “if it c. the one of us do fail,” H6A II, 1, 31.
Followed by to, in the sense of perhaps, perchance: “lest the base earth should from her vesture c. to steal a kiss,” Gentl. II, 4, 160. “wherein if he c. to fail, he hath sentenced himself,” Meas. III, 2, 271. Shr. Ind. 1, 52. Shr. IV, 1, 209. V, 1, 3. Wint. I, 1, 1. H6C III, 2, 24. V, 5, 65. H8 I, 4, 26. V, 1, 146. Cor. I, 2, 34. II, 1, 82. III, 3, 22. Rom. I, 5, 86. Lr. II, 4, 248. Cymb. IV, 2, 332. Followed by the infinitive without to: “I may c. have some odd quirks and remnants of wit broken on me,” Ado II, 3, 244. “it may c. cost some of us our lives,” H4B II, 1, 12. “you may c. burn your lips,” Troil. I, 1, 26 (Ff to burn).
3) to come to pass, to occur: “an there be any matter of weight --s,” Ado III, 3, 91. “what may c. or breed upon our absence,” Wint. I, 2, 11. “that what he feared is --d,” H4B I, 1, 87. “omit all the occurrences, whatever --d,” H5 V Chor. H5 V Chor. “read with thee sad stories, --d in the times of old,” Tit. III, 2, 83. “every good hap that --s here,” Rom. III, 3, 171. “bring us to him, and c. it as it may,” Tim. V, 1, 129. “tell us what hath --d to-day,” Caes. I, 2, 216. III, 1, 287. “bring us word how every thing is --d,” V, 4, 32. “how --s it they travel?” Hml. II, 2, 343. “a more unhappy lady, if this division c., ne'er stood between,” Ant. III, 4, 13. “this --d to-night,” Per. III, 2, 77. Followed by an inf.: “that shall be the day that Hotspur and your Harry c. to meet,” H4A III, 2, 141.
How chance == how chances it: “how c. you went not with Master Slender?” Wiv. V, 5, 230. “how c. thou art returned so soon?” Err. I, 2, 42. “how c. the roses there do fade so fast?” Mids. I, 1, 129. “how c. Moonshine is gone?” V, 318. “how c. thou art not with the prince?” H4B IV, 4, 20. “how c. the prophet could not . . .,” R3 IV, 2, 102. “how c. my brother Troilus went not?” Troil. III, 1, 151. “how c. the king comes with so small a train?” Lr. II, 4, 64.
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