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Temper, subst. 1) the state of a metal as to its hardness; the quality of a sword: “to stain the t. of my knightly sword,” R2 IV, 29. “a sword, whose t. I intend to stain with the best blood,” H4A V, 2, 94. which (blade) “bears the better t.” H6A II, 4, 13. “sword, hold thy t.” H6B V, 2, 70. “it is a sword of Spain, the ice-brook's t.” Oth. V, 2, 253.
2) disposition, constitution, temperament: “never could the strumpet . . . once stir my t.” Meas. II, 2, 185. “a hot t. leaps o'er a cold decree,” Merch. I, 2, 20. “you know your father's t.” Wint. IV, 4, 478. “a noble t. dost thou show in this,” John V, 2, 40. “he holds your t. in a high respect,” H4A III, 1, 170. “what man of good t. would endure this tempest of exclamation?” H4B II, 1, 87. “his t. must be well observed,” IV, 4, 36. “O that the living Harry had the t. of him,” V, 2, 15. “if thou canst love a fellow of this t.” H5 V, 2, 153. “hearts of most hard t. melt and lament for her,” H8 II, 3, 11. “you have a gentle, noble t.” III, 1, 165. “in whom the --s and the minds of all should be shut up,” Troil. I, 3, 57. “you keep a constant t.” Cor. V, 2, 100. “thy beauty hath made me effeminate and in my t. softened valour's steel,” Rom. III, 1, 120. “his comfortable t. hath forsook him,” Tim. III, 4, 71. “a man of such a feeble t.” Caes. I, 2, 129. “our hearts of brothers' t.” III, 1, 175. that dauntless t. of “his mind,” Mcb. III, 1, 52. “after the noble t. of your lordship,” Cymb. II, 3, 6.
Emphatically, == wonted disposition, freedom from excess or extravagance, equanimity: “keep me in t.: I would not be mad,” Lr. I, 5, 51 (cf. Distemper). “his captain's heart . . . reneges all t.” Ant. I, 1, 8.
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