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ARTICLE. A used for "one," "any"

A was used for one in such expressions as "He came with never a friend," &c.

“He and his physicians are of a mind.

“'Fore God, they are both in a tale.

“An two men ride of a horse one must ride behind.” Ib. iii. 5. 44.

“For in a night the best part of my power
Were in the Washes . . . devoured.

So “The Images were found in a night all hacked and hewed.” N. P. 172.

“We still have slept together,
Rose at an instant, learn'd, play'd, eat together.

“Myself and a sister both born in an hour.

“You, or any living man, may be drunk at a time, man.

i.e. "at one time," "for once."

“These foils have all a length.

We find "one" and "a" interchanged in

“Hear me one word:
Beseech you, tribunes, hear me but a word.

“But shall we wear these honours for a day?
Or shall they last?

We never use the possessive inflection of the unemphatic one as an antecedent; but Shakespeare writes:

“For taking one's part that is out of favour.

We also find in Early English: “Thre persones in a Godhede.” HALLIWELL. where a is for one. Compare Scotch "ae" for "one."

It seems used for "any," i.e. ane-y, or one-y, in

“There's not a one of them.

“Ne'er a one to be found.” B. J. E. in &c. iii. 2. So Cymb. i. 1. 24. And emphatically for "some," "a certain," in

“There is a thing within my bosom tells me.

“I should impart a thing to you from his majesty.

“Shall I tell you a thing?

“I told you a thing yesterday.

“And I came to acquaint you with a matter.

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