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Matter, subst. 1) substance, materials: “dry combustious m.” Ven. 1162. “in him a plenitude of subtle m., applied to cautels, all strange forms receives,” Compl. 302. “have I laid my brain in the sun and dried it, that it wants m. to prevent so gross o'erreaching?” Wiv. V, 5, 144; cf. “I have almost m. enough in me for such an embassage,” Ado I, 1, 281 (German: ich habe das Zeug dazu; == capacity). “I do not know the m.: he's 'rested on the case,” Err. IV, 2, 42 (quibbling). “of this m. is Cupid's arrow made,” Ado III, 1, 21. “m. that should feed this fire,” John V, 2, 85. “what hath mass or m.” Troil. I, 3, 29. when it serves for the base m. to illuminate “so vile a thing,” Caes. I, 3, 110. More especially, substance excreted from animal bodies: “I have m. in my head against you,” Wiv. I, 1, 127. “till there be more m. in the shin,” LLL III, 120. and quench his fiery indignation even in the m. of mine innocence (i. e. my tears) John IV, 1, 64. “then would come some m. from him,” Troil. II, 1, 9 (quibbling).
2) contents, argument, meaning, sense: “what sayest thou to this tune, m. and method?” Meas. III, 2, 51. “that you swerve not from the smallest article of it, neither in time, m. or other circumstance,” IV, 2, 108. “how low soever the m., I hope for high words,” LLL I, 1, 194. “that for a tricksy word defy the m.” Merch. III, 5, 75. “the m. is in my head,” As III, 5, 137. “though there was no great m. in the ditty,” V, 3, 36. “although the print be little, the whole m. and copy of the father,” Wint. II, 3, 98. “doleful m. merrily set down,” IV, 4, 189. “I'll read you m. deep and dangerous,” H4A I, 3, 190. “both in word and m.” II, 4, 479. “mere words, no m. from the heart,” Troil. V, 3, 108. “conceit, more rich in m. than in words,” Rom. II, 6, 30. “was ever book containing such vile m. so fairly bound?” III, 2, 83. “a book where men may read strange --s,” Mcb. I, 5, 64. “thy commandment all alone shall live within the book and volume of my brain, unmixed with baser m.” Hml. I, 5, 104. “what is the m.?” II, 2, 195. II, 2, 195 “there were no sallets in the lines to make the m. savoury, nor no m. in the phrase that might indict the author of affectation,” II, 2, 195 “there's m. in these sighs,” IV, 1, 1 (Ff --s). “this nothing is more than m.” IV, 5, 174. “the phrase would be more german to the m.” V, 2, 166. “I love you more than words can wield the m.” Lr. I, 1, 56. “when priests are more in word than m.” III, 2, 81 (Goethe: wo Begriffe fehlen, da stellt ein Wort zur rechten Zeit sich ein); cf. Merch. III, 5, 75. “the m. of the paper,” Lr. I, 2, 68. III, 5, 16. “thou speakest in better phrase and m. than thou didst,” IV, 6, 8. “nor curstness grow to the m.” Ant. II, 2, 25. “I do not much dislike the m., but the manner of his speech,” Ant. II, 2, 25 “pour out the pack of m. to mine ear,” II, 5, 54.
Hence == good sense: “to speak all mirth and no m.” Ado II, 1, 344; cf. “he's all my exercise, my mirth, my m.” Wint. I, 2, 166 (quicum joca, quicum seria). “then he's full of m.” As II, 1, 68. “my words are as full of peace as m.” Tw. I, 5, 227. “then would come some m. from him,” Troil. II, 1, 9 (quibbling). “more m. with less art,” Hml. II, 2, 95. “O m. and impertinency mixed,” Lr. IV, 6, 178.
3) argument, theme, subject for conversation or thought: “when your countenance filled up his line, then lacked I m.” Sonn. 86, 14. “the setting of thine eye and cheek proclaim a m. from thee,” Tp. II, 1, 230. “her wit values itself so highly that to her all m. else seems weak,” Ado III, 1, 54. “gravelled for lack of m.” As IV, 1, 74. “more m. for a May morning,” Tw. III, 4, 156. “here is more m. for a hot brain,” Wint. IV, 4, 700. “like an old tale still, which will have m. to rehearse,” V, 2, 67. “I will devise m. enough out of this Shallow to keep Prince Harry in continual laughter,” H4B V, 1, 87. “many a m. hath he told to thee,” Tit. V, 3, 164 (== story). “wherein necessity, of m. beggared, will nothing stick our person to arraign,” Hml. IV, 5, 92. “we had much more monstrous m. of feast, which worthily deserved noting,” Ant. II, 2, 187. “new m. still?” Cymb. V, 5, 243. Hence == cause: “that is not the m. I challenge thee for,” Tw. III, 4, 172. “there is not in the world either malice or m. to alter it,” Wint. I, 1, 37. “and pick strong m. of revolt and wrath out of the bloody finger's ends of John,” John III, 4, 167. See below.
4) subject of complaint: “I will make a Star-chamber m. of it,” Wiv. I, 1, 2. “what m. have you against me?” Wiv. I, 1, 2 “three umpires in this m.” Wiv. I, 1, 2 “you hear all these --s denied,” Wiv. I, 1, 2 “the m. being afoot, keep your instruction,” Meas. IV, 5, 3. “whom it concerns to hear this m. forth,” V, 255. “there were --s against you for your life,” H4B I, 2, 151. “I read in's looks m. against me,” H8 I, 1, 126. “the king hath found m. against him,” III, 2, 21. “if they shall chance, in charging you with --s, to commit you,” V, 1, 147. “we need not put new m. to his charge,” Cor. III, 3, 76. m. whole you have not to make it (a quarrel) “with,” Ant. II, 2, 53.
5) point in question, affair, business: “thy wretched wife mistook the m. so, to slay herself, that should have slain her foe,” Lucr. 1826. “open the m. in brief,” Gent. I, 1, 135. Gent. I, 1, 135 “how stands the m. with them?” II, 5, 21. “there's some great m. she'ld employ me in,” IV, 3, 3. “I will description the m. to you,” Wiv. I, 1, 222. “the mirth whereof so larded with my m.” IV, 6, 14. “the m. will be known to-night or never,” V, 1, 11. “leaves unquestioned --s of needful value,” Meas. I, 1, 56. “few of any wit in such --s,” II, 1, 282. “well, the m.?” II, 2, 33. “as the m. now stands,” III, 1, 201. “the phrase is to the m.” V, 90. “I will debate this m. at more leisure,” Err. IV, 1, 100. “I will so fashion the m. that Hero shall be absent,” Ado II, 2, 47. “speaks a little off the m.” III, 5, 11; cf. “this m. of marrying his king's daughter . . . words him a great deal from the m.” Cymb. I, 4, 17 (from the point, from that which must really be taken into account, in short from reality). “we will talk no more of this m.” LLL III, 119. “that is the very defect of the m.” Merch. II, 2, 152. “as the m. falls,” III, 2, 204. “I came to acquaint you with a m.” As I, 1, 129. “her m. was, she loved your son,” All's I, 3, 114. “trust him not in m. of heavy consequence,” II, 5, 49. “on a forgotten m. we can hardly make distinction of our hand,” Tw. II, 3, 174. “my m. hath no voice but to your own ear,” III, 1, 99. “do you know of this m.?” III, 4, 284. “heavy --s!” Wint. III, 3, 115. “a million of beating may come to a great m.” IV, 3, 63 (the clown's speech). “to bring this m. to the wished end,” H6A III, 3, 28. “but to the m. that we have in hand,” H6B I, 3, 162; == let us come to the subject, to the question; cf. Hml. III, 2, 336 and Cymb. V, 5, 169. “I have great --s to impart to thee,” H6B III, 2, 299. “m. of marriage was the charge he gave me,” H6C III, 3, 258. “I'll hence to London on a serious m.” V, 5, 47; cf. Lr. IV, 5, 8. “in deep designs and --s of great moment,” R3 III, 7, 67. “never suffers m. of the world enter his thoughts,” Troil. II, 3, 196. “I scarce have leisure to salute you, my m. is so rash,” IV, 2, 62. “never trouble Peter for the m.” Rom. IV, 4, 18. “I meddle with no tradesmen's --s, nor women's --s,” Caes. I, 1, 25. “that m. is answered directly,” III, 3, 25. “and like a neutral to his will and m., did nothing,” Hml. II, 2, 503. “I meant country --s,” III, 2, 123. “of worldly --s and direction,” Oth. I, 3, 300 (Ff m.). “state --s,” III, 4, 155. “I could have given less m. a better ear,” Ant. II, 1, 31. “this m. of marrying his king's daughter,” Cymb. I, 4, 14. “I am amazed with m.” IV, 3, 28 etc.
6) weight, importance, consequence: “there may be m. in it,” Wint. IV, 4, 874 (== something may be made of it). “there's m. in't indeed, if he be angry,” Oth. III, 4, 139. Mostly with a negative; no m. == it is all one, never mind: “no m. where,” Ven. 715. “no m. then, although my foot did stand upon the farthest earth,” Sonn. 44, 5. “no m., since they have left their viands behind,” Tp. III, 3, 40. Tp. III, 3, 40 “no m. who's displeased,” Gent. II, 7, 66. “nay then, no m.” III, 1, 58. Wiv. II, 2, 149. Merch. V, 50. As II, 3, 30. All's IV, 1, 4. R2 V, 2, 58 etc. “it is no m.:” Gent. II, 3, 41. Wiv. I, 1, 131. Wiv. I, 1, 131 V, 3, 10. Ado V, 1, 100. Tw. III, 2, 46. H6B III, 1, 263. Caes. I, 1, 73 etc. “that's no m.:” Ado V, 1, 81. As III, 2, 176. IV, 3, 27 etc. With for, in the language of the vulgar: “no m. for the dish,” Meas. II, 1, 98. “no m. for your foins,” Lr. IV, 6, 251. “she doth talk in her sleep. It's no m. for that, so she sleep not in her talk,” Gent. III, 1, 334. “it is no m. ver dat,” Wiv. I, 4, 121 (Dr. Caius' speech). “though I struck him first, yet it's no m. for that,” Tw. IV, 1, 38. “'tis no m. for his swellings,” H5 V, 1, 17. “who, my master? Nay, it's no m. for that,” Cor. IV, 5, 173.
7) any thing that has happened and caused difficulty or disturbance; in the phrase “what is the m.?” Tp. II, 1, 309. II, 2, 59. Gent. II, 3, 38. V, 4, 87. Wiv. II, 1, 43. III, 3, 100. Meas. II, 1, 46. II, 2, 6. Err. IV, 2, 41. Merch. V, 146. As II, 3, 16. All's III, 2, 37. R2 V, 2, 73. H4B II, 1, 47. Troil. IV, 2, 60. Hml. II, 2, 195 etc. etc. the m.? alone, in the same sense: Cor. I, 1, 57. III, 1, 28. Ant. II, 7, 62. Cymb. IV, 2, 192. “what is the m. with thee?” Tw. III, 4, 27. Oth. IV, 2, 98. With a clause following, == reason, cause: “what's the m. that you have such a February face?” Ado V, 4, 40. All's I, 3, 156. Cor. III, 3, 58.
8) thing, in a very general sense: “what impossible m. will he make easy next?” Tp. II, 1, 88. “most poor --s point to rich ends,” III, 1, 3. “if --s grow to your likings,” Wiv. I, 1, 79. “an there be any m. of weight chances,” Ado III, 3, 91. “beg a greater m.” LLL V, 2, 207. “I think of as many --s as he,” As II, 5, 37. “it is a hard m. for friends to meet,” III, 2, 194. “to stop up the displeasure he hath conceived against your son, there is no fitter m.” All's IV, 5, 81. “O, what better m. breeds for you than I have named,” John III, 4, 170. “instinct is a great m.” H4A II, 4, 301. “some eight-penny m.” III, 3, 119. “my thoughts aim at a farther m.” H6C IV, 1, 125. “he beseeched me to entreat your majesties to hear and see the m.” Hml. III, 1, 23 (i. e. the piece). “though thou deny me a m. of more weight,” Ant. I, 2, 71. no such m. == a) nothing of the kind: “in sleep a king, but waking no such m.” Sonn. 87, 14. “I see no such m.” Ado I, 1, 192. b) it is not the case, not at all, by no means: “the sport will be, when they hold one an opinion of another's dotage, and no such m.” Ado II, 3, 225. “they swore that you were well-nigh dead for me. 'tis no such m.” V, 4, 82. “art thou a churchman? No such m.,” Tw. III, 1, 5. the big year is thought with child . . . and no such m. H4B Ind. Tw. III, 1, 5 “no such m., you are wide,” Troil. III, 1, 97. “we'll wait upon you. No such m.” Hml. II, 2, 274.
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