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Swain, 1) a peasant, particularly a shepherd: “onward to Troy with the blunt --s he goes,” Lucr. 1504 (shepherds in v. 1502). “all our pleasure known to us poor --s,” Pilgr. 289. “that young s. that you saw here,” As II, 4, 89. “a --'s wearing,” Wint. IV, 4, 9. Wint. IV, 4, 9 Wint. IV, 4, 9 Wint. IV, 4, 9 Wint. IV, 4, 9 “to be no better than a homely s.” H6C II, 5, 22.
2) any person of low rank: “Costard the s. and he shall be our sport,” LLL I, 1, 180. LLL I, 1, 180 LLL I, 1, 180 III, 5. III, 5 III, 5 V, 1, 134. V, 2, 538. “take this transformed scalp from off the head of this Athenian s.” Mids. IV, 1, 70.
Used as a term of contempt: “a s.! a most simple clown!” LLL IV, 1, 142. “too light for such a s. as you to catch,” Shr. II, 205. “you peasant s.” IV, 1, 132. “a hedge-born s.” H6A IV, 1, 43. “begotten of a shepherd s.” V, 4, 37. “obscure and lowly s.” H6B IV, 1, 50. “shall I stab the forlorn s.?” H6B IV, 1, 50
3) a youth given to thoughts of love; a lover: “what is she, that all our --s commend her?” Gent. IV, 2, 40. “cherish thy forlorn s.” V, 4, 12. “true --s in love shall in the world to come approve their truths by Troilus,” Troil. III, 2, 180.
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