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Private, adj. 1) being by one's self, lonely, solitary: in respect that it (a shepherd's life) “is solitary, I like it very well; but in respect that it is p., it is a very vile life,” As III, 2, 17 (Touchstone's speech). “how is the king employed? I left him p., full of sad thoughts and troubles,” H8 II, 2, 15. “how dare you thrust yourselves into my p. meditations?” H8 II, 2, 15 “and p. in his chamber pens himself,” Rom. I, 1, 144.
2) particular (opposed to general): “when every p. widow may keep her husband's shape in mind,” Sonn. 9, 7 (whereas thy widow is the world at large). “who cries on pride, that can therein tax any p. party?” As II, 7, 71.
3) personal, respecting particular individuals (opp. to public): “thy secret pleasure turns to open shame, thy p. feasting to a public fast,” Lucr. 891. “why should the p. pleasure of some one become the public plague of many moe?” Lucr. 891 “to plague a p. sin in general,” Lucr. 891 “the p. wound is deepest,” Gent. V, 4, 71. “had you a special warrant for the deed? No, my good lord, it was by p. message,” Meas. V, 465. “one in the prison, that should by p. order else have died,” Meas. V, 465 “for p. quarrel 'twixt your duke and him,” Shr. IV, 2, 84. “he is a devil in p. brawl,” Tw. III, 4, 259. “in p. brabble did we apprehend him,” V, 68. “with some few p. friends,” R2 III, 3, 4. “a poor and p. displeasure,” H5 IV, 1, 210. “let not your p. discord keep away your levied succours,” H6A IV, 4, 22. “the state takes notice of the p. difference betwixt you and the cardinal,” H8 I, 1, 101. “how innocent I was from any p. malice in his end,” III, 2, 268. “both in his p. conscience and his place,” V, 3, 40. “for my p. part,” Troil. II, 2, 125. “one that knows the youth even to his inches, and with p. soul did in great Ilion thus translate him to me,” IV, 5, 111 (unbosoming to me his personal opinion, not speaking in a public capacity). “his regard for's p. friends,” Cor. V, 1, 24. V, 3, 18. “that these great towers should fall for p. faults in them,” Tim. V, 4, 26. “for your p. satisfaction,” Caes. II, 2, 73. “what p. griefs they have,” III, 2, 217. “to manage p. and domestic quarrel,” Oth. II, 3, 215.
4) belonging to a particular person: “his p. arbours,” Caes. III, 2, 253. cf. “in this p. plot,” H6B II, 2, 60.
5) not known or not open to everybody, but only to one person or to a few: “in this p. plot,” H6B II, 2, 60 (retired from the public view, as belonging to a private man). “may it please you to withdraw into your p. chamber,” H8 III, 1, 28 (the queen having received the cardinals in the midst of her court-ladies). “saucy controller of our p. steps,” Tit. II, 3, 60 (where we would be alone). “we talk here in the public haunt of men: either withdraw unto some p. place,” Rom. III, 1, 54. “bring me to some p. place,” Per. IV, 6, 98. a p. conference etc. == a conversation between two persons, not overheard by others (German: unter vier Augen): Mids. I, 1, 116. All's II, 5, 62. H4A III, 2, 2. R3 I, 1, 86. H8 II, 2, 81. Cor. V, 3, 7. Per. II, 4, 17.
Hence == secret: “O unfelt sore! crest-wounding p. scar,” Lucr. 828. “your p. grudge will out, though ne'er so cunningly you smother it,” H6A IV, 1, 109. “our mind partakes her p. actions to your secrecy,” Per. I, 1, 153. “by public war or p. treason,” I, 2, 104.
6) not invested with a public function, or not done in an official capacity: “a p. man,” H5 IV, 1, 254. H6A V, 4, 136. H8 V, 3, 55. Tit. IV, 4, 75. Ant. III, 12, 15. “a p. life,” H6C IV, 6, 42. “England's p. wrongs,” R2 II, 1, 166 (== wrongs committed against private men, against quiet citizens). “he hath very oft given p. time to you,” Hml. I, 3, 92 (time spared from public duties, leisure-time). “not almost a fault to incur a p. check,” Oth. III, 3, 67 (a reproach made by a personal friend, much less a degradation from office). “'tis not a time for p. stomaching,” Ant. II, 2, 9 (for personal grudge, in the midst of threatening public dangers).
7) a p. soldier == a common soldier, not an officer: H4B III, 2, 177.
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