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Theme, 1) a subject on which one speaks or writes: “leave this idle t., this bootless chat,” Ven. 422. “you will fall again into your idle over-handled t.” Ven. 422 if that (my good name) “be made a t. for disputation, the branches of another root are rotted,” Lucr. 822. “fair, kind and true, . . . three --s in one,” Sonn. 105, 12. “I am your t.” Wiv. V, 5, 170. “to me she speaks; she moves me for her t.” Err. II, 2, 183. “this weak and idle t., no more yielding but a dream,” Mids. V, 434. “a son who is the t. of honour's tongue,” H4A I, 1, 81. “it is a t. as fluent as the sea,” H5 III, 7, 36. “she is a t. of honour and renown,” Troil. II, 2, 199. “O deadly gall, and t. of all our scorns,” IV, 5, 30. “she's a deadly t.” IV, 5, 30 “handle not the t., to talk of hands,” Tit. III, 2, 29. “that is the very t. I came to talk of,” Rom. I, 3, 63. “to reason most absurd, whose common t. is death of fathers,” Hml. I, 2, 103. “big of this gentleman our t.” Cymb. I, 1, 39. “will to ears and tongues be t. and hearing ever,” III, 1, 4. “when a soldier was the t.” III, 3, 59.
2) discourse on a certain subject: “it was the subject of my t.” Err. V, 65. “your writing now is colder than that t., 'She had not been, nor was not to be equalled'; thus your verse flowed with her beauty once,” Wint. V, 1, 100; cf. above Err. II, 2, 183 (most commentators: colder than dead Hermione, the former subject of your praise).
3) subject, question, cause, matter: “have just our t. of woe,” Tp. II, 1, 6. “shall I to this lady? Ay, that's the t.” Tw. II, 4, 125. “the gracious queen, part of his t., but nothing of his ill-ta'en suspicion,” Wint. I, 2, 459.* “in a t. so bloody-faced as this, conjecture . . . should not be admitted,” H4B I, 3, 22. “you are pleasant. With your t. I could o'ermount the lark,” H8 II, 3, 93. “stubborn critics, apt, without a t., for depravation,” Troil. V, 2, 131. “it will in time win upon power and throw forth greater --s for insurrection's arguing,” Cor. I, 1, 224. “to honour and advance the t. of our assembly,” II, 2, 61 (him for whose sake we are assembled, i. e. Coriolanus). “here he comes, and I must ply my t.” Tit. V, 2, 80 (that which I am about). “happy prologues to the swelling act of the imperial t.” Mcb. I, 3, 129. “I will fight with him upon this t.” Hml. V, 1, 289. Hml. V, 1, 289 “their contestation was t. for you; you were the word of war,” Ant. II, 2, 44 (a matter, an enterprise undertaken in your interest).
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