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ADJECTIVES More, most, used for greater, greatest

More (mo-re) and most (mo-st) (comp. E. E. ma or mo; mar or mor; maest, mast, or most) are frequently used as the comparative and superlative of the adjective "great." [Moe, or mo, as a comparative (Rich. II. ii. 1. 239; Rich. III. iv. 4. 199), is contracted from more or mo-er. Compare "bet" for "bett-er," "leng" for "leng-er," and "streng" for "streng-er," in O. E. See also "sith," 62.]

“At our more leisure.

“A more requital.

“With most gladness.

“Our most quiet (our very great quiet).

“So grace and mercy at your most need help you.

Hence we understand:

“Not fearing death nor shrinking for distress,
But always resolute in most extremes.

i.e. not "in the majority of extremities," as it would mean with us, but "in the greatest extremes."


“More (instead of greater) and less came in with cap and knee.

“And more and less do flock to follow him.

“Both more and less have given him the revolt.

That "less" refers here to rank, and not to number, is illustrated by

“What great ones do the less will prattle of.

So Chaucer: “The grete giftes to the most and leste.” C. T. 2227.

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