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Touch, subst. 1) contact, reach of any thing so that there is no space between: “scape the dreadful t. of merchant-marring rocks,” Merch. III, 2, 273. “the t. of holy bread,” As III, 4, 15. “whose simple t. is powerful to araise King Pepin,” All's II, 1, 78. “their t. affrights me as a serpent's sting,” H6B III, 2, 47. H6B III, 2, 47 Rom. I, 5, 98. Mcb. IV, 3, 143. Hml. V, 2, 297. Ant. II, 2, 215. Cymb. I, 6, 100.
2) the act of touching, a contact sought and performed; either for an injurious purpose: “let go that rude uncivil t.” Gent. V, 4, 60. Gent. V, 4, 60 “a sweet t., a quick venue of wit,” LLL V, 1, 62 (== hit? cf. Hml. V, 2, 297. Armado's speech). whose (adders') “double tongue may with a mortal t. throw death upon . . .,” R2 III, 2, 21. “the least word that might be to the prejudice of her present state, or t. of her good person,” H8 II, 4, 155. or out of love: what is ten hundred --es (i. e. kisses) “unto thee?” Ven. 519. “enforced hate, instead of love's coy t., shall rudely tear thee,” Lucr. 669. “--es so soft still conquer chastity,” Pilgr. 50. Err. II, 2, 118. H5 V, 2, 303. Oth. IV, 3, 39. Cymb. III, 4, 165.
Hence euphemistically, == sexual commerce: “to base --es prone,” Sonn. 141, 6. “from their beastly --es I drink, I eat,” Meas. III, 2, 25. “free from t. or soil with her,” V, 141. “to preserve this vessel from every other foul unlawful t.” Oth. IV, 2, 84.
3) the sense of feeling: “the ear, taste, t. and smell,” Tim. I, 2, 132. “might I but live to see thee in my t.” Lr. IV, 1, 25.
4) affection, sensation, feeling: “hast thou a t., a feeling of their afflictions,” Tp. V, 21. “didst thou but know the inly t. of love,” Gent. II, 7, 18. “have you no modesty, no maiden shame, no t. of bashfulness,” Mids. III, 2, 286. “this she delivered in the most bitter t. of sorrow that e'er I heard virgin exclaim in,” All's I, 3, 122. “no beast so fierce but knows some t. of pity,” R3 I, 2, 71. “some --es of remorse,” Troil. II, 2, 115. “I know no t. of consanguinity,” IV, 2, 103. “he wants the natural t.” Mcb. IV, 2, 9. “the death of Fulvia, with more urgent --es, do strongly speak to us,” Ant. I, 2, 187. “I am senseless of your wrath; a t. more rare subdues all pangs, all fears,” Cymb. I, 1, 135.
5) touchstone: “to-morrow is a day wherein the fortune of ten thousand men must bide the t.” H4A IV, 4, 10. “now do I play the t., to try if thou be current gold indeed,” R3 IV, 2, 8. thou t. of hearts (viz. gold) Tim. IV, 3, 390.
Hence == test, proof: “hast thou killed him sleeping? O brave t.! could not a worm, an adder, do so much?” Mids. III, 2, 70 (== test or proof of bravery). “my friends of noble t.” Cor. IV, 1, 49 (of tried nobleness).
6) any single act in the exercise of an art; a) a stroke of a pen: “what strained --es rhetoric can lend,” Sonn. 82, 10. b) the act of the hand on a musical instrument: “whose heavenly t. upon the lute doth ravish human sense,” Pilgr. 107. “Orpheus' lute, whose golden t. could soften steel and stones,” Gent. III, 2, 79. “stillness and the night become the --es of sweet harmony,” Merch. V, 57. “with sweetest --es pierce your mistress' ear,” Merch. V, 57 “put into his hands that knows no t. to tune the harmony,” R2 I, 3, 165. I know no t. of it (a recorder) Hml. III, 2, 371. c) a stroke of a pencil: “such heavenly --es ne'er touched earthly faces,” Sonn. 17, 8. “here is a t., is't good?” Tim. I, 1, 36. “artificial strife lives in these --es,” Tim. I, 1, 36
7) trait: “to have the --es dearest prized,” As III, 2, 160. “some lively --es of my daughter's favour,” V, 4, 27. “one of the prettiest --es of all,” Wint. V, 2, 89. “one t. of nature makes the whole world kin, that all with one consent praise new-born gawds,” Troil. III, 3, 175.*
Hence 8) a dash, a spice, a smack: “I perceive in you so excellent a t. of modesty,” Tw. II, 1, 13.* “behold . . . a little t. of Harry in the night,” H5 IV Chor. H5 IV Chor. “I have a t. of your condition, which cannot brook the accent of reproof,” R3 IV, 4, 157. “give your friend some t. of your late business,” H8 V, 1, 13 (== hint).
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