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Swear (impf. usually swore, partic. sworn; impf. “sware:” H4B III, 2, 342. Tit. IV, 1, 91. Ff sware, Qq “swore:” Tit. I, 487. Partic. swore, for the sake of the rhyme, in LLL I, 1, 114) 1) to declare or affirm in a solemn manner: “--ing I slew him,” Lucr. 518. “one would s. he saw them quake,” Lucr. 518 “Lucrece --s he did her wrong,” Lucr. 518 “his scarlet lust came evidence to s. that my poor beauty had purloined his eyes,” Lucr. 518 “s. that brightness doth not grace the day,” Sonn. 150, 4. “s. how thou escapedst,” Tp. II, 2, 132. “whether this be or be not, I'll not s.” V, 123. Gent. IV, 3, 12. Wiv. II, 1, 60. IV, 2, 31. IV, 2, 31 Meas. IV, 3, 62. V, 208. V, 208 Err. III, 2, 145. IV, 2, 9. Ado I, 1, 152. LLL IV, 1, 58. V, 2, 359. Mids. II, 1, 56. Merch. I, 1, 56. III, 1, 119. IV, 2, 15. All's II, 5, 54. Tw. I, 5, 147. H4B III, 2, 342. H6A IV, 4, 31. IV, 5, 28. Oth. III, 3, 336 etc. etc. With an accus.: “I heard him s. his affection,” Ado II, 1, 175. “tells a lie and --s it,” IV, 1, 325. “s. the lies he forges,” All's IV, 1, 26. “as you s. them lordship,” V, 3, 156. “to s. false allegations,” H6B III, 1, 180. “he swore consent to your succession,” H6C II, 1, 172. “if something thou wilt s. to be believed,” R3 IV, 4, 372. “the truest princess that ever swore her faith,” Cymb. V, 5, 417 etc. Double accus.: “I have sworn thee fair,” Sonn. 147, 13 and 152, 13. “those unproper beds which they dare s. peculiar,” Oth. IV, 1, 70. Followed by prepositions or adverbs: “made them s. against the thing they see; for I have sworn thee fair; more perjured I, to s. against the truth so foul a lie,” Sonn. 152, 12--14. “he'll be hanged yet, though every drop of water s. against it,” Tp. I, 1, 62. “procure knaves to s. against you,” H8 V, 1, 134. “I'll s. for 'em,” Wint. IV, 4, 155 (== answer, be surety for them). to s. to sth. == to s. sth.: “he knows I am no maid, and he'll s. to't,” All's V, 3, 291. to s. to a person, == to give a. p. a solemn assurance: “although I s. it to myself alone,” Sonn. 131, 8. “s. to thy blind soul that I was thy Will,” 136, 2. “that's to ye sworn to none was ever said,” Compl. 180. “--ing to my friends you were good soldiers,” Wiv. II, 2, 9. “I have heard him s. to Tubal that he would rather have Antonio's flesh,” Merch. III, 2, 286. “I s. to thee by the white hand of Rosalind, I am that he,” As III, 2, 413. Wint. V, 2, 168. H6C III, 2, 93. Cymb. III, 3, 67. Per. IV, 3, 50 etc. “there did this perjured goldsmith s. me down that I received . . .,” Err. V, 227 (cf. Down). “s. his thought over by each particular star,” Wint. I, 2, 424 (cf. Over). With an accus. and a prepositional expression denoting an effect: “though they would s. down each particular saint,” Meas. V, 243. “Biron did s. himself out of all suit,” LLL V, 2, 275.
2) to promise in a solemn manner: “love made me s.” Gent. II, 6, 6. “--s he will shoot no more,” Tp. IV, 100. “he --s he'll turn me away,” Wiv. III, 3, 32. “swore that he would labour my delivery,” R3 I, 4, 252. “'tis sworn between us we shall ever strike till one can do no more,” Cor. I, 2, 35. “I swore I would not part a bachelor from the priest,” Tit. I, 487. “s. with me . . . as Brutus sware . . . that we will prosecute mortal revenge,” IV, 1, 89. 91 etc. “my hand hath sworn ne'er to pluck thee from thy thorn,” Pilgr. 237. “I'll s. to be thy true subject,” Tp. II, 2, 130. “have sworn to live with me,” LLL I, 1, 16. LLL I, 1, 16 LLL I, 1, 16 LLL I, 1, 16 Merch. V, 170. H6A V, 4, 129. Ant. IV, 14, 81 etc. “surfeits . . . s. nature's death,” Ven. 744. “though I had sworn the contrary,” Ado I, 1, 198. “so much I have already sworn,” LLL I, 1, 34. “I'll keep what I have swore,” LLL I, 1, 34 “to whom you swore a secret pilgrimage,” Merch. I, 1, 120. “what to your sworn counsel I have spoken,” All's III, 7, 9. “I have heard her s. it,” Tw. I, 3, 117. “let us s. our resolution,” Caes. II, 1, 113 (i. e. to perform what we have resolved). John III, 1, 1. John III, 1, 1 V, 1, 10. R2 I, 1, 134. H4A IV, 3, 65. V, 1, 46. R3 II, 1, 8. Troil. V, 2, 62 etc. “I'll s. myself thy subject,” Tp. II, 2, 156. “our general has sworn you out of reprieve and pardon,” Cor. V, 2, 53. “-- I had no judgment when to her I swore,” Mids. III, 2, 134. “I s. to thee,” Merch. V, 242. Merch. V, 242 “I s. to thee . . . tomorrow will I meet with thee,” Mids. I, 1, 169. “you swore to me that you would wear it,” Merch. V, 152. “thou didst s. to me to marry me,” H4B II, 1, 98. “to me love --ing,” Sonn. 152, 2. “that which each to other hath so strongly sworn,” LLL I, 1, 309. “where we swore to you dear amity,” John V, 4, 19. “s. allegiance to his majesty,” H6A V, 4, 169. -- To s. to sth. == to vow sth.; to promise adherence on oath: “when they had sworn to this advised doom,” Lucr. 1849. “s. to that,” Tp. II, 2, 145. “you swore to that,” LLL I, 1, 53. “what you first did s. unto,” IV, 3, 291. “to these injunctions every one doth s.” Merch. II, 9, 17. “hath sworn unto the practices of France, to kill us here,” H5 II, 2, 90. “to the which this knight hath likewise sworn,” H5 II, 2, 90 “two yokedevils sworn to either's purpose,” H5 II, 2, 90 “it is great sin to s. unto a sin,” H6B V, 1, 182. “had I so sworn as you have done to this,” Mcb. I, 7, 58. “though I s. to silence,” Per. I, 2, 19. With out, == to renounce solemnly, to forswear: “your grace hath sworn out housekeeping,” LLL II, 104.
That to which reference is made, in order to make the assurance or vow more forcible, preceded by the preposition “by:” Ven. 80. Tp. II, 2, 125. Gent. IV, 2, 100. Ado IV, 1, 278. Ado IV, 1, 278 Merch. IV, 1, 36. V, 142. V, 142 V, 142 Tw. III, 1, 169. V, 129. Wint. I, 2, 424. II, 3, 168. R2 I, 1, 78. R3 IV, 4, 366. R3 IV, 4, 366 373 etc. With the omission of by, the verb used transitively in the same sense: “thou --est thy gods in vain,” Lr. I, 1, 163(?). That on which the hand is placed in taking an oath (usually a book, i. e. a bible, or a sword, as representing and resembling the holy Cross), preceded by on: “to s. on a book,” Wiv. I, 4, 156. Tp. II, 2, 130. Merch. II, 2, 168. V, 301. Wint. III, 2, 125. H4A II, 4, 371. Hml. I, 5, 145 etc.
3) With the words oath or vow as objects, == to make, to take: that (vow) “they swore,” Lucr. 1848. “I have sworn deep oaths,” Sonn. 152, 9. Pilgr. 92. LLL I, 1, 65. II, 97. V, 2, 451. Merch. III, 3, 5. As III, 4, 44. All's IV, 3, 252. H4A III, 1, 258. H6A I, 1, 162. H6C III, 1, 72 etc. The word vow subject of the active verb: “God keep all vows unbroke that s. to thee,” R2 IV, 215 (Ff are made).
4) to put to an oath, to cause to take an oath: “were you sworn to the duke or to the deputy?” Meas. IV, 2, 196. “s. me to this,” LLL I, 1, 69. “the first inter' gatory that my Nerissa shall be sworn on,” Merch. V, 301. “to s. him in the justice of his cause,” R2 I, 3, 10. “swore the devil his true liegeman upon the cross,” H4A II, 4, 371. “whom after under the confession's seal he solemnly had sworn,” H8 I, 2, 165. “s. priests and cowards,” Caes. II, 1, 129. “unto bad causes s. such creatures as men doubt,” Caes. II, 1, 129 “then I swore thee . . . that thou shouldst . . . ,” V, 3, 38.
Hence to be sworn == a) to have sworn: “if you are armed to do as sworn to do,” LLL I, 1, 22. “my hand is sworn ne'er to pluck thee,” IV, 3, 111. “yet am I sworn and I did purpose, boy, with this same very iron to burn them out,” John IV, 1, 124. “whom thou wert sworn to cherish,” R3 I, 4, 213. “thou art sworn as deeply to effect what we intend as . . . ,” III, 1, 158. “I am sworn not to give regard to you,” Tim. I, 2, 251. “thou art sworn that, when the exigent should come, . . . thou then wouldst kill me,” Ant. IV, 14, 62. “I am sworn to do my work with haste,” Per. IV, 1, 70. “to Bolingbroke are we sworn subjects now,” R2 V, 2, 39. “we his subjects sworn in all allegiance,” H6C III, 1, 70. “you were sworn true subjects unto me,” H6C III, 1, 70 “I am sworn of the peace,” Wiv. II, 3, 55 (have taken an oath as justice of peace). “the sworn twelve,” Meas. II, 1, 20 (the jury). “I should blush to see you so attired, sworn, I think, to show myself a glass,” Wint. IV, 4, 13. “Madam, as thereto sworn by your command, I tell you this,” Ant. V, 2, 198. Thus the participle passed into the sense of closely tied, engaged, intimate (the idea of an oath taken, however, never quite lost sight of): “the king is my love sworn,” LLL V, 2, 282. “be but sworn my love,” Rom. II, 2, 35. “being sworn my soldier,” John III, 1, 125. “being my sworn servant, the duke retained him his,” H8 I, 2, 191. “her attendants are all sworn and honorable,” Cymb. II, 4, 125. “now my sworn friend,” Wint. I, 2, 167. “friends now fast sworn,” Cor. IV, 4, 12. “commit not with man's sworn spouse,” Lr. III, 4, 84. Especially in the phrase sworn brother (cf. the mediaeval fratres jurati), originally one of two who have covenanted to share each other's fortunes, == bosom friend (cf. “they shook hands and swore brothers,” As V, 4, 107): “he hath every month a new sworn brother,” Ado I, 1, 73. “trust, his sworn brother,” Wint. IV, 4, 607. “I am sworn brother to grim Necessity,” R2 V, 1, 20. “I am sworn brother to a leash of drawers,” H4A II, 4, 7. H4B III, 2, 345. H5 II, 1, 13 (we'll be sworn brothers to France; quibbling). III, 2, 47. Cor. II, 3, 102. Applied, in the same manner, to the contrary: “thy sworn enemy,” Tw. III, 4, 187. “his sworn and mortal foe,” H6C III, 3, 257. And to inveterate propensities: “a sworn rioter,” Tim. III, 5, 68.
b) to swear, in the phrases I dare be sworn and I'll be sworn (== I protest): “I dare be sworn for him he would not leave it,” Merch. V, 172. “I can swim like a duck, I'll be sworn,” Tp. II, 2, 134. “I'll be sworn 'tis true,” III, 3, 26. Gent. IV, 4, 33. Wiv. I, 4, 156. II, 2, 39. III, 3, 29. Err. V, 259. Ado II, 1, 308. II, 3, 25 “(I will not be sworn).” LLL V, 2, 720. Merch. II, 2, 97. Tw. I, 5, 86 “(Sir Toby will be sworn).” Wint. II, 1, 63. H4A II, 4, 55. III, 1, 61. Troil. I, 2, 188 etc.
5) to use profane language (f. i. zounds, 'sblood etc.): “another smothered seems to pelt and s.” Lucr. 1418. “he would not s.” Wiv. II, 1, 58. “this would make mercy s. and play the tyrant,” Meas. III, 2, 207. Merch. II, 2, 200. Shr. II, 290. III, 2, 169. IV, 1, 81. IV, 1, 81 Tw. III, 4, 196. H4A III, 1, 253. II, 4, 490. H6B I, 1, 188. H6C II, 6, 76. R3 I, 4, 140. III, 7, 220. Tim. IV, 3, 122 (cf. Object). Cymb. II, 1, 5 etc. Transitively, or rather with an accusative expressing the effect: “being thus frighted --s a prayer or two and sleeps again,” Rom. I, 4, 87 (utters some profaneness which must serve him for a prayer). “--est grace o'erboard,” Tp. V, 219. Perhaps Lr. I, 1, 163.
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