ADVERBS Much; never; none; notNever is used where we now more commonly use "ever" in phrases as:
So 1 Hen. VI. v. 3. 98; Rich. II. v. 1. 64. There is probably here a confusion of two constructions, (1) "And though time creep so slow as it never crept before," and (2) "And though time never crept so slow as in the case I am supposing." These two are combined into, "And though time creep--(how shall I describe it? though it crept) never so slow." Construction (2) is illustrated by
“And creep time ne'er so slow,
Yet it shall come for me to do thee good.
Here, strictly speaking, the ellipsis is "I have been," or "having been;" "I have never been so weary." But it is easy to see that "never so weary" being habitually used in this sense, Hermia might say, "I am never-so-weary," or still more easily, "though I were never-so-weary." In such phrases as "never the nearer," never seems to mean "nought." So Wickliffe, John xix. 21: “But how he now seeth we wite nere, i.e. we know not.”
“Never so weary, never so in woe,
I can no further crawl, no further go.