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Villain, originally == bondman, slave, servant: “the homely v. courtesies to her low,” Lucr. 1338. “I am no v.; I am the youngest son of Sir Rowland,” As I, 1, 59. “who should find them but the empress' v.” Tit. IV, 3, 73. “my v.” Lr. III, 7, 78.
But usually as a term of reproach, == a vile and wicked person, a wretch, a rascal<*> Tp. I, 2, 309. Gent. III, 1, 202. IV, 1, 5. Wiv. IV, 2, 121. Meas. V, 304. Meas. V, 304 Err. II, 2, 17. Ado I, 3, 34. II, 3, 272. III, 3, 121. IV, 1, 93. IV, 1, 93 LLL I, 2, 158. Mids. III, 2, 402. Mids. III, 2, 402 Merch. I, 3, 101. Merch. I, 3, 101 As I, 1, 58. Tw. III, 4, 180 etc. etc. Adjectively: “the v. Jew,” Merch. II, 8, 4. “thou v. slave,” R3 IV, 4, 144. “v. boy,” Tit. I, 290. “that v. cousin,” Rom. III, 2, 101. “some v. mountaineers,” Cymb. IV, 2, 71.
Sometimes used in a less opprobrious sense, particularly in addresses: Gent. III, 1, 337. IV, 1, 41. Wiv. IV, 5, 73. Wiv. IV, 5, 73 Meas. I, 2, 27. Err. I, 2, 96. II, 1, 58 etc. Even as a term of endearment: “a trusty v.” Err. I, 2, 19. “sweet v.” Wint. I, 2, 136. “v., thou might' st have been an emperor,” Tit. V, 1, 30. Applied to females: “here comes the little v.” Tw. II, 5, 16 (Maria). “it is the prettiest v.” Troil. III, 2, 35 (Cressida).
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