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Spleen, 1) fire, heat, impetuosity, eagerness: “a brook where Adon used to cool his s.” Pilgr. 76. “with ladies' faces and fierce dragons' --s,” John II, 68. “at this match, with swifter s. than powder can enforce, the mouth of passage shall we fling wide ope,” John II, 68 “or teach thy hasty s. to do me shame,” IV, 3, 97. “scalded with my violent motion, and s. of speed,” V, 7, 50. “leaden age, quickened with youthful s. and warlike rage,” H6A IV, 6, 13. “robbed my soldiers of their heated s.” H6C II, 1, 124. “inspire us with the s. of fiery dragons,” R3 V, 3, 350. “Jove forbid there should be done amongst us such things as might offend the weakest s. to fight for and maintain,” Troil. II, 2, 128 (the dullest and coldest heart). “could not take truce with the unruly s. of Tybalt,” Rom. III, 1, 162.
2) hate, malice: “O preposterous and frantic outrage, end thy damned s.” R3 II, 4, 64. “take good heed you charge not in your s. a noble person,” H8 I, 2, 174. “I have no s. against you,” II, 4, 89 (cf. v. 83). “your heart is crammed with arrogancy, s. and pride,” II, 4, 89 “I will fight against my cankered country with the s. of all the under fiends,” Cor. IV, 5, 97. “it is a cause worthy my s. and fury,” Tim. III, 5, 113. “create her child of s.” Lr. I, 4, 304.
3) a sudden motion, a fit: “the lightning, that, in a s., unfolds both heaven and earth,” Mids. I, 1, 146. Hence == any sudden impulse or fit beyond the control of reason; a) a fit of laughter: “who, with our --s, would all themselves laugh mortal,” Meas. II, 2, 122. “thy silly thought enforces my s.” LLL III, 77. “in this s. ridiculous appears, to check their folly, passion's solemn tears,” V, 2, 117. “abate their over-merry s.” Shr. Ind. 1, 137. “if you desire the s., and will laugh yourselves into stitches,” Tw. III, 2, 72 (or rather here == a splenetic disease). “I shall split all in pleasure of my s.” Troil. I, 3, 178.
b) a fit of passion: “a hair-brained Hotspur, governed by a s.” H4A V, 2, 19. “you shall digest the venom of your s.” Caes. IV, 3, 47. “marry, patience: or I shall say you are all in all in s., and nothing of a man,” Oth. IV, 1, 89.
c) a caprice; a disposition acting by fits and starts: “a thousand --s bear her a thousand ways,” Ven. 907. (love) “begot of thought, conceived of s. and born of madness,” As IV, 1, 217. “a mad-brain rudesby full of s.” Shr. III, 2, 10. “a weasel hath not such a deal of s. as you are tossed with,” H4A II, 3, 81. “like enough, through vassal fear, base inclination and the start of s., to fight against me,” III, 2, 125. “the performance of our heaving --s,” Troil. II, 2, 196.
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