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Tell (impf. and partic. told) 1) to count, to number: “sometime he trots, as if he told the steps,” Ven. 277. are they (ten hundred touches) “not quickly told?” Ven. 277 “t. o'er the sad account of fore-bemoaned moan,” Sonn. 30, 10. “age in love loves not to have years told,” 138, 12. “one: t.” Tp. II, 1, 15. “they'll t. the clock to any business,” Tp. II, 1, 15 “how many is one thrice told?” LLL I, 2, 41. “the measure then of one is easily told,” V, 2, 190. “you may t. every finger I have with my ribs,” Merch. II, 2, 114 (Launcelot's speech). “faster than you'll t. money,” Wint. IV, 4, 185. “you t. a pedigree of threescore and two years,” H6C III, 3, 92. shall we (instead of numbering Ave-Maries) “on the helmets of our foes t. our devotion?” II, 1, 164. “while one would t. twenty,” R3 I, 4, 122. “t. the clock there,” V, 3, 276. “and front but in that file where others t. steps with me,” H8 I, 2, 43. “longer than I have time to t. his years,” II, 1, 91. “t. out my blood,” Tim. III, 4, 95. “while they have told their money,” III, 5, 107. “while one with moderate haste might t. a hundred,” Hml. I, 2, 238. “as many dolours as thou canst t. in a year,” Lr. II, 4, 55. “when usurers t. their gold i' the field,” III, 2, 89. cf. the following phrases: “when I do count the clock that --s the time,” Sonn. 12, 1. “the iron tongue of midnight hath told twelve,” Mids. V, 370. “the sound that --s what hour it is,” R2 V, 5, 55. “till the bell have told eleven,” Oth. II, 2, 11. To t. over == to reckon up, to sum up: “but all the story of the night told over, and all their minds transfigured so together, more witnesseth than fancy's images,” Mids. V, 23. “t. o'er your woes again,” R3 IV, 4, 39. “what damned minutes --s he o'er who dotes, yet doubts,” Oth. III, 3, 169.
2) to narrate: “I'll t. you my dream,” Wiv. III, 3, 171. “t. Mistress Anne the jest, how my father stole two geese,” III, 4, 40. “I t. this tale vilely,” Ado III, 3, 157. “to t. sad stories,” Err. I, 1, 121. “t. her the process of Antonio's end,” Merch. IV, 1, 274. Merch. IV, 1, 274 “t. us the manner of the wrestling,” As I, 2, 118. “to t. this story,” IV, 3, 154. “t. us a tale,” Wint. II, 1, 23. “we'll t. tales,” R2 III, 4, 10. “a tale told by an idiot,” Mcb. V, 5, 27 etc.
3) to communicate, to inform, to show by words: “thou told'st me thou wouldst hunt the boar,” Ven. 614. “shall t. my loving tale,” Lucr. 480. “that we before have heard them told,” Sonn. 123, 8. “t. your piteous heart there's no harm done,” Tp. I, 2, 14. Tp. I, 2, 14 Tp. I, 2, 14 100 (see Into. As for the construction, cf. Wint. I, 2, 337: and thereby for sealing the injury etc. == for sealing thereby). Wint. I, 2, 337 Wint. I, 2, 337 III, 2, 48. Gent. I, 3, 1. II, 4, 87. II, 7, 5. Wiv. I, 1, 137. III, 4, 9. IV, 4, 60. Err. IV, 3, 89 etc. etc. “to t. fortune,” Sonn. 14, 5. Ant. I, 2, 43. Ant. I, 2, 43 “to t. a lie,” Tp. I, 2, 248. III, 2, 32. Wiv. I, 1, 69. Ado IV, 1, 324. Merch. III, 4, 69 etc. “to t. one's mind,” Gent. I, 1, 148. Err. II, 1, 48 (cf. Mind). to t. tales (see Tale), Tp. V, 129. Meas. IV, 3, 175. Tw. II, 1, 43 etc. cf. Sonn. 76, 7. 89, 12. R3 I, 3, 113 (threat you me with --ing of the king? a construction only possible in the supposition, that in the phrase to tell the king the latter word is accus., not dative). “he --s you rightly. Ye t. me what you wish for both, my ruin,” H8 III, 1, 97. 98 (i. e. he counsels you well). With of: “--s him of trophies,” Ven. 1013. “not to t. of good or evil luck,” Sonn. 14, 3. Tp. III, 3, 96. IV, 168. Wiv. III, 3, 31. Meas. II, 4, 186. Err. II, 2, 18. Mids. III, 2, 310. As I, 2, 243. John II, 348. R2 V, 3, 1. H4A V, 2, 37. Ant. II, 2, 78 (I told him of myself, i. e. I gave him an account of my manner of living). III, 6, 45 etc. To before the person: “nor can I fortune to brief minutes tell,” Sonn. 14, 5. “she --s to your highness simple truth,” Err. V, 211. “I heard him t. it to one of his company,” H4A II, 1, 62. “I could t. to thee, as to one it pleases me to call my friend,” H4B II, 2, 44. “t. this heavy message to the king,” H6B III, 2, 379. “no jocund health . . . but the great cannon to the clouds shall t.” Hml. I, 2, 126. The person subject of the passive: “I was told you were in a consumption,” Ado V, 4, 96. “I have been told so of many,” As III, 2, 361. “has been told so,” Tw. I, 5, 156. “he must be told on't,” Wint. II, 2, 31. John IV, 2, 114. H5 III, 7, 113 “(I was told that).” Troil. II, 3, 88. Tim. IV, 3, 214. The thing subject of the passive: “my tale is told,” LLL V, 2, 729. Merch. IV, 1, 276. “'twas told me you were rough,” Shr. II, 245. Wint. III, 3, 121. “were it but told you,” V, 3, 116. “the news was told,” H4A I, 1, 58. “this shall be told our lovers,” Troil. I, 3, 284. “two truths are told,” Mcb. I, 3, 127. “'tis told me he hath oft given private time to you,” Hml. I, 3, 91. “when 'tis told,” Lr. V, 3, 182. “our ills told us,” Ant. I, 2, 114. what by me is told, Per. III Prol. 57.
Peculiar phrases: a) I can t. you == you shall see; trust me; you may rely on it; take warning: “this will shake your shaking, I can tell you,” Tp. II, 2, 88. “there are pretty orders beginning, I can t. you,” Meas. II, 1, 250. “you will take little delight in it, I can t. you,” As I, 2, 169. “'tis in request, I can t. you,” Wint. IV, 4, 297. “it jumps with my humour, . . . I can t. you,” H4A I, 2, 79. “you shall find no boys' play there, I can t. you,” V, 4, 76. “he'll lay about him to-day, I can t. them that,” Troil. I, 2, 58. “let them take heed of Troilus, I can t. them that too,” Troil. I, 2, 58 “I can t. you,” III, 2, 120. Cor. IV, 3, 26. Similarly: “you are a churchman, or, I'll t. you, cardinal, I should judge now unhappily,” H8 I, 4, 88. “when his disguise and he is parted, t. me what a sprat you shall find him,” All's III, 6, 113. b) I cannot t. == I don't know what to say or what to do: “I cannot t.; I make it breed as fast,” Merch. I, 3, 97. “good Grumio, fetch it me. I cannot t.; I fear 'tis choleric,” Shr. IV, 3, 22. “I cannot t., but I had as lief take her dowry with this condition,” I, 1, 135. IV, 4, 91. “and yet, in some respects, I grant I cannot go: I cannot t.; virtue is of so little regard,” H4B I, 2, 190. “she did you wrong, for you were troth-plight to her. I cannot t.: things must be as they may,” H5 II, 1, 22. “I cannot t., the world is grown so bad,” R3 I, 3, 70. “I cannot t.; we must proceed as we do find the people,” Cor. V, 6, 15. c) when? can you tell? an expression of contemptuous defiance or refusal: “have at you with a proverb -- shall I set in my staff? Have at you with another; that's -- when? can you tell?” Err. III, 1, 52. “lend me thine. Ay, when? canst t.?” H4A II, 1, 43. cf. “we have French quarrels enow, if you could t. how to reckon,” H5 IV, 1, 241. “proud and ambitious tribune, canst thou t.?” Tit. I, 201. d) t. not me == go to; nonsense! “t. not me; when the butt is out, we will drink water,” Tp. III, 2, 1. “but t. not me: I know, Antonio is sad to think upon his merchandise,” Merch. I, 1, 39. “t. not me of mercy,” III, 3, 1. “tilly-fally, Sir John, ne'er t. me,” H4B II, 4, 90. “tush! never t. me; I take it much unkindly,” Oth. I, 1, 1. Cor. IV, 6, 55.
4) to say, to speak: “wilt thou make the match? He --s her, no,” Ven. 587. “more I could t., but more I dare not say,” Ven. 587 as if they heard the woeful words she told, 1126 (rhyming). “marking what he --s with trembling fear, as fowl hear falcon's bells,” Lucr. 510 (rhyming). “remember what I told you: if the prince do solicit you, you know your answer,” Ado II, 1, 69. “but t. me then, 'tis so,” All's I, 3, 182. “my dear dear love to your proceeding bids me t. you this,” Caes. II, 2, 103 (i. e. my love bids me say this to, i. e. with respect to, your proceeding). to t. true, to t. truly, to t. truth, to t. plain etc. (cf. the resp. words) == to speak truth etc.: Gent. II, 5, 35. Wiv. III, 4, 11. LLL IV, 3, 272. Mids. III, 2, 68. All's I, 3, 181. All's I, 3, 181 Tw. IV, 2, 121. H4A III, 1, 59 etc. -- In Cor. II, 1, 67 O. Edd. t. you have.
5) to explain, to solve: “whoso asked her for his wife, his riddle told not, lost his life,” Cor. II, 1, 67.
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