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Metal or Mettle (no distinction made in O. Edd. between the two words, either in spelling or in use); 1) heavy, hard and shining substance, not combustible, but fusible by heat: “no use of m.” Tp. II, 1, 153. “is not lead a m. heavy,” LLL III, 60. “no m. can bear half the keenness,” Merch. IV, 1, 124. “to what m. this counterfeit lump of ore will be melted,” All's III, 6, 39. “that I must draw this m. from my side,” John V, 2, 16. “the fineness of which m. is not found in fortune's love,” Troil. I, 3, 22. “m., steel to the very back,” Tit. IV, 3, 47. “touched and found base m.” Tim. III, 3, 6. “here's m. more attractive,” Hml. III, 2, 116. “a mineral of --s base,” IV, 1, 26. Par excellence == gold: “with twisted m. amorously impleached,” Compl. 205. “all the m. in your shop,” Err. IV, 1, 82. “a breed for barren m.” Merch. I, 3, 135. “my m. of India,” Tw. II, 5, 17 (== my jewel; Germ. Goldmädchen. The later Ff nettle). “like bright m. on a sullen ground,” H4A I, 2, 236. “the verge of golden m.” R3 IV, 1, 60. “the imperial m. circling now thy brow,” IV, 4, 382. Perhaps also in Tp. II, 1, 153.
2) the substance or material of which a thing is composed: “let there be some more test made of my m., before so noble and so great a figure be stamped upon it,” Meas. I, 1, 49; cf. to put m. in restrained means to make a false one (life) II, 4, 48 (in both passages the simile taken from minting). “not till God make men of some other m. than earth,” Ado II, 1, 63. “suits his folly to the m. of my speech,” As II, 7, 82 (== contents, purport). “that you were made of is m. to make virgins,” All's I, 1, 141. “that womb, that m., that self mould that fashioned thee,” R2 I, 2, 23. “show us here the m. of your pasture,” H5 III, 1, 27. “children even of your m., of your very blood,” R3 IV, 4, 302. “of what coarse m. ye are moulded,” H8 III, 2, 239. “whose self-same m. engenders the black toad,” Tim. IV, 3, 179. “I am made of the self-same m.” Lr. I, 1, 71.
3) constitutional disposition, character, temper: “I am one that had rather go with sir priest than sir knight: I care not who knows so much of my m.” Tw. III, 4, 300. “your service, so much against the m. of your sex,” V, 330. “if thou hast the m. of a king,” John II, 401. “whether their basest m. be not moved,” Caes. I, 1, 66. “thy honourable m. may be wrought from that it is disposed,” I, 2, 313. “thy undaunted m. should compose nothing but males,” Mcb. I, 7, 73. “gentlemen of brave m.” Tp. II, 1, 182. “good m.” H4A II, 4, 383.
4) a fiery temper, ardour, spirit of enterprise, high courage: “that horse his m. from his rider takes,” Compl. 107. “if you take it not patiently, why, your m. is the more,” Meas. III, 2, 80. “thou hast m. enough in thee to kill care,” Ado V, 1, 133. “a lad of m.” H4A II, 4, 13. “their pride and m. is asleep,” IV, 3, 22. “this boy lends m. to us all,” V, 4, 24. “from his m. was his party steeled,” H4B I, 1, 116. “I did not think Master Silence had been a man of this m.” V, 3, 41. “where have they this m.?” H5 III, 5, 15. “our m. is bred out,” H5 III, 5, 15 “every Greek of m.” Troil. I, 3, 258. “the insuppressive m. of our spirits,” Caes. II, 1, 134. “make gallant show and promise of their m.” IV, 2, 24. “of unimproved m. hot and full,” Hml. I, 1, 96. “there's m. in thee,” Oth. IV, 2, 207. “I do think there is m. in death, which commits some loving act upon her,” Ant. I, 2, 147.
Abstr. pro concr.: “good sparks and lustrous, a word, good --s,” All's II, 1, 42. “he was quick m. when he went to school,” Caes. I, 2, 300.
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