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PREPOSITIONS. Of used locally for "on"

Of signifying proximity of any kind is sometimes used locally in the sense of "on." The connection between of and on is illustrated by M. of V. ii. 2, where old Gobbo says: "Thou hast got more haire on thy chin than Dobbin my philhorse has on his taile;" and young Gobbo retorts, "I am sure he had more haire of his taile than I have of my face."

Gra. My master riding behind my mistress--
Cart. Both of one horse.

Of is sometimes used metaphorically for "on." Compare

“A plague of all cowards!


“A plague upon this howling.

“Who but to-day hammer'd of this design.

“I go of message.

A message may be regarded as a motive from which, or as an object towards which, an action proceeds, and hence either of or "on" may be used. Compare

“He came of an errand.


“I will go on the slightest errand.

“Sweet mistress, what your name is else I know not,
Nor by what wonder you do hit of mine.

Add also--

“And now again
Of him that did not ask, but mock, bestow
Your sued-for tongues.

“I shall bestow some precepts of this virgin.

; T. N. iii. 4. 2. “Trustyng of (comp. "depending on") the continuance.” ASCH. Ded.

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