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contract “of eternal bond of love, Confirm'd by mutual joinder of your hands—A,” TWELFTH NIGHT, v. 1. 150. Douce, after comparing this passage with one at the end of the fourth act of the same play, “Now go with me and with this holy man,” etc., observes: “Now the whole has been hitherto regarded as relating to an actual marriage that had been solemnized between the parties; whereas it is manifest that nothing more is meant than a betrothing, affiancing, or promise of future marriage, anciently distinguished by the name of espousals, a term which was for a long time confounded with matrimony, and at length came exclusively to denote it.”

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  • Cross-references in text-specific dictionaries from this page (1):
    • William Shakespeare, Twelfth Night, Or what you will, 5.1
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