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instance a word used by Shakespeare with various shades of meaning which it is not always easy to distinguish,— “motive, inducement, cause, ground; symptom, prognostic; information, assurance; proof, example, indication:” “my desires had instance and argument,” THE MERRY WIVES OF WINDSOR, ii. 2. 221 ; “Gives me this instance,” MEASURE FOR MEASURE, iv. 3. 126 ; “Gave any tragic instance of our harm,” THE COMEDY OF ERRORS, i. 1. 65 ; “what's the instance?” ALL'S WELL THAT ENDS WELL, iv. 1. 38 ; “A certain instance that Glendower is dead,” 2 HENRY IV., iii. 1. 103 ; “his fears are shallow, wanting instance,” RICHARD III., iii. 2. 25 ; “Instance, O instance,” TROILUS AND CRESSIDA, v. 2. 151 ; “no guilty instance gave,” THE RAPE OF LUCRECE, 1511 ; “But not with such familiar instances,” JULIUS CAESAR, iv. 2. 16 (where Mr. Craik chooses to explain instances by “assiduities”); “The instances that second marriage move,” HAMLET, iii. 2. 177.

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