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Rule, subst. 1) an instrument by <*>which straight lines are drawn, a ruler (or a square?): “where is thy leather apron and thy r.?” Caes. I, 1, 7. Ant. V, 2, 210. Hence == standard: “so long as out of limit and true r. you stand against anointed majesty,” H4A IV, 3, 39. “to square the general sex by Cressid's r.” Troil. V, 2, 133. “I have not kept my square, but that to come shall all be done by the r.” Ant. II, 3, 7.
2) canon, principle, maxim: “I durst have denied that. By what r.?” Err. II, 2, 69. Err. II, 2, 69 “to change true --s for old inventions,” Shr. III, 1, 81. “in military --s,” H4B II, 3, 30. “if your own r. be true,” H4B IV, 2, 86. H5 IV, 1, 157. R3 II, 4, 20. Caes. V, 1, 101. Lr. V, 3, 145. Hence == law, precept: “'gainst r., 'gainst sense, 'gainst shame,” Compl. 271. “'tis against the r. of nature,” All's I, 1, 148. “creatures that by a r. in nature teach the act of order to a peopled kingdom,” H5 I, 2, 188. “you know no --s of charity,” R3 I, 2, 68. “if there be r. in unity itself,” Troil. V, 2, 141. “against all --s of nature,” Oth. I, 3, 101.
3) course of proceeding, line of conduct: “of a strange nature is the suit you follow, yet in such r. that the Venetian law cannot impugn you,” Merch. IV, 1, 178. “you would not give means for this uncivil r.” Tw. II, 3, 132. cf. Night-rule.
4) dominion, sway: Shr. V, 2, 109. Shr. V, 2, 109 H6B I, 1, 259. H6C III, 3, 76 “(sway the r.).” V, 2, 27. H8 II, 1, 92. Troil. I, 3, 78. Tit. I, 19. Tit. I, 19 Mcb. V, 2, 16. Hml. III, 4, 99. Lr. I, 1, 50. Per. I, 2, 109. With of: Wiv. I, 3, 59. With “over:” Tw. V, 313.
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