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Stream, subst. any current of water: “in vain you strive against the s.” Ven. 772. “left me to the mercy of a rude s.” H8 III, 2, 364. “a vagabond flag upon the s.” Ant. I, 4, 45.
== a current in the sea: “floating straight, obedient to the s.” Err. I, 1, 87. “my boat sails freely, both with wind and s.” Oth. II, 3, 65. == a river, brook, or rivulet: “the petty --s that pay a daily debt to their salt sovereign,” Lucr. 649. Gent. II, 7, 34. Ado III, 1, 27. As II, 1, 46. IV, 3, 80. John II, 443. R2 V, 3, 62. H5 I, 2, 209. Caes. I, 1, 64. Hml. IV, 7, 168. Oth. IV, 3, 45. Cymb. IV, 2, 184.
Figuratively, == a moving throng of people: “the rich s. of lords and ladies,” H8 IV, 1, 62. “we will be there before the s. o' the people,” Cor. II, 3, 269. cf. “to forswear the full s. of the world,” As III, 2, 440.
Applied to tears and to blood flowing plentifully: Lucr. 1078. Compl. 285. Merch. III, 2, 46. Lucr. 1774. R2 I, 1, 103. H6A III, 3, 55. R3 V, 5, 37. To full beams of light: thy (the moon's) “gracious, golden, glittering --s,” Mids. V, 279 (Qq F1 beams). To copious language: “that we must lave our honours in these flattering --s,” Mcb. III, 2, 33 (== streams of flattery).
In a moral sense, == course, drift, bent, tendency: “the very s. of his life . . . must give him a better proclamation,” Meas. III, 2, 150. “he that in this action contrives against his own nobility, in his proper s. o'erflows himself,” All's IV, 3, 29. “what relish is in this? how runs the s.?” Tw. IV, 1, 64. “we see which way the s. of time doth run,” H4B IV, 1, 70. “which swims against your s. of quality,” V, 2, 34. “the s. of his dispose,” Troil. II, 3, 174. “that 'gainst the s. of virtue they may strive,” Tim. IV, 1, 27. “offend the s. of regular justice,” V, 4, 60.
Sometimes == water, flood in general: “gilding pale --s with heavenly alchemy,” Sonn. 33, 4. turns into yellow gold his (Neptune's) “salt green --s,” Mids. III, 2, 393. “would scatter all her spices on the s.” Merch. I, 1, 33. “bubbles in a late disturbed s.” H4A II, 3, 62. “as plays the sun upon the glassy --s,” H6A V, 3, 62. “the s. to cool this heat,” Tit. II, 1, 133. “suffocating --s,” Oth. III, 3, 389.
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