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CONJUNCTIONS. But for "than" after negative comparatives

But in the sense of except frequently follows negative comparatives, where we should use than.

“No more but instruments.

Here two constructions are blended, "Nothing except instruments" and "only instruments; no more." So--

“No more dreadfully but as a drunken sleep.

“The which no sooner had his prowess confirm'd,
But like a man he died.

“I think it be no other but even so.

“No more but that.

“With no worse nor better guard but with a knave.

“Thou knowest no less but all.

Sometimes but follows an adjective qualified by the negative with "so."

“Not so dull but she can learn.

So Chaucer: “I nam but dede,” Knighte's Tale. where, omitting the negative n, we should say "I am but dead."

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