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Substance, 1) matter; that of which things consist: “if the dull s. of my flesh were thought,” Sonn. 44, 1. “what is your s., whereof are you made?” 53, 1. “so much as makes it light or heavy in the s.” Merch. IV, 1, 328. “all of one nature, of one s. bred,” H4A I, 1, 11. “the purpose is perspicuous even as s., whose grossness little characters sum up,” Troil. I, 3, 324 (as the material world, which seems immense, but is calculated and defined by means of little figures. According to others, it means here wealth, treasure, estate). “as thin of s. as the air,” Rom. I, 4, 99. “thou dost breathe, hast heavy s.” Lr. IV, 6, 52.
2) any thing existing by itself, of which we can say that it is; a being: “you murdering ministers, wherever in your sightless --s you wait on nature's mischief,” Mcb. I, 5, 50. “all the noble s.” Hml. I, 4, 37 (corr. pass.). that little seeming s. (Cordelia) Lr. I, 1, 201. “earthly man is but a s. that must yield to you,” Per. II, 1, 3.
3) that which constitutes the thing itself, and not only a vain semblance of it (usually opposed to shadow): “flowers distilled leese but their show; their s. still lives sweet,” Sonn. 5, 14. “since the s. of your perfect self is else devoted, I am but a shadow,” Gent. IV, 2, 124. Gent. IV, 2, 124 “my s. should be statue in thy stead,” IV, 4, 206. so far this shadow (a picture) “doth limp behind the s.” Merch. III, 2, 130. “each s. of a grief hath twenty shadows,” R2 II, 2, 14. there (in my soul) lies the s. (of my grief) IV, 299. “much of the father's s.!” H4B III, 2, 142. now the s. shall endure the like (as the picture, viz hang) H6A II, 3, 38. “then have I s. too,” H6A II, 3, 38 “my s. is not here,” H6A II, 3, 38 “these are his s., sinews, arms and strength,” H6A II, 3, 38 “the s. of that great shadow I did represent,” H6B I, 1, 13. “shadows have struck more terror to the soul of Richard than can the s. of ten thousand soldiers,” R3 V, 3, 218. “he takes false shadows for true --s,” Tit. III, 2, 80. “despised s. of divinest show,” Rom. III, 2, 77. “the very s. of the ambitious is merely the shadow of a dream,” Hml. II, 2, 264.
Hence == the main and essential part of a thing: “dear father, soul and s. of us all,” Tit. I, 374. “conceit, more rich in matter than in words, brags of his s., not of ornament,” Rom. II, 6, 31.*
4) material means and resources: “grows strong and great in s. and in power,” R2 III, 2, 35. “and yet, in s. and authority, retain but privilege of a private man,” H6A V, 4, 135. Hence == goods, means of living, treasure: “this shadow doth such s. give that I in thy abundance am sufficed,” Sonn. 37, 10. “you take the sum and s. that I have,” Gent. IV, 1, 15. “he is of s. good,” Wiv. I, 3, 40. “love like a shadow flies when s. love pursues,” II, 2, 215. “he shall not knit a knot in his fortunes with the finger of my s.” III, 2, 77. “thy s. cannot amount unto a hundred marks,” Err. I, 1, 24. “he hath put all my s. into that fat belly of his,” H4B II, 1, 81. “the sixth part of his s. to be levied without delay,” H8 I, 2, 58. “you have sent innumerable s. . . . to furnish Rome,” III, 2, 326.
5) contents, purport: “how far the s. of my praise doth wrong this shadow in underprizing it,” Merch. III, 2, 127. their (the letters') “cold intent, tenour and s., thus,” H4B IV, 1, 9. “unto your grace do I in chief address the s. of my speech,” H4B IV, 1, 9
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