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breach “than the observance—More honour'd in the,” HAMLET, i. 4. 16. Samuel Rogers used to maintain that this line, though it has passed into a sort of proverbial expression, is essentially nonsense:“how,” he would ask, “can a custom be honour'd in the breach?” Compare the following line of a play which has been printed as a joint production of Jonson, Fletcher, and Middleton: “He keeps his promise best that breaks with hell.”
The Widow, act iii. sc. 2.

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  • Cross-references in text-specific dictionaries from this page (1):
    • William Shakespeare, Hamlet, Prince of Denmark, 1.4
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