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About, adv. 1) round, circularly: “do not turn me a.; my stomach is not constant,” Tp. II, 2, 118. “burn him, and turn him a.” Wiv. V, 5, 105. “he turned me a. with his finger,” Cor. IV, 5, 160.
2) round, on every side: “compass thee a.” Tp. V, 180. “encircle him a.” Wiv. IV, 4, 56. I, 3, 46. John II, 217. H6C IV, 2, 15. R3 I, 4, 59. Hml. I, 5, 71. round a.: “the gentle day, before the wheels of Phoebus, round a. dapples the drowsy east with spots of grey,” Ado V, 3, 26. Troil. V, 7, 5. Tit. IV, 2, 18. Caes. V, 3, 28. Oth. III, 3, 464. to look a. == a) to look on all sides, or in different directions: “how it looks a.!” Tp. I, 2, 410. b) to be on the watch: “look a., Davy,” H4B V, 1, 59. “be wary, look a.” Rom. III, 5, 40. “'tis time to look a.” Lr. IV, 7, 93.
3) by a circuitous way: “to wheel three or four miles a.” Cor. I, 6, 20. “his horses go a.” Mcb. III, 3, 11. “my purposes do draw me much a.” Ant. II, 4, 8. Metaphorically. “go not a.” Alls I, 3, 194 (do not shuffle, use no quibbling). “something a., a little from the right,” John I, 170. “why do you go a. to recover the wind of me?” Hml. III, 2, 361. cf. R3 IV, 4, 461.
4) here and there, up and down: “a. he walks,” Lucr. 367. Sonn. 113, 2. Tp. I, 2, 417. Err. V, 187. LLL V, 1, 72. Troil. V, 10, 56 etc. “you might have heard it else proclaimed a.” Shr. IV, 2, 87, i. e. here and there, in divers places.
5) to a certain point, to an appointed or desired place: “I will bring the doctor a. by the fields,” Wiv. II, 3, 81 (i. e. to the appointed place). “brought a. the annual reckoning,” LLL V, 2, 888 (accomplished). “the wind is come a.” Merch. II, 6, 64 (has become favourable). “how a jest shall come a.” Rom. I, 3, 45 (come to pass, be effected). “how these things came a.” Hml. V, 2, 391.
6) upon the point, ready, going: “I was a. to protest,” Ado IV, 1, 286. As II, 3, 21. Alls IV, 5, 73. Wint. II, 1, 65. H4A I, 3, 22. H8 II, 4, 70. Hml. I, 1, 147. II, 1, 50 etc. “what is a. to be?” Cor. III, 1, 189 (== what will become of this?) to go a. == to be going, to have in hand, to make it one's task: “his testy master goeth a. to take him,” Ven. 319. “who went a. from this fair throne to heave the owner out,” Lucr. 412. “see how he goes a. to abuse me!” Meas. III, 2, 215. “that thou goest a. to apply a moral medicine to a mortifying mischief,” Ado I, 3, 12. “have gone a. to link my friend to a common stale,” IV, 1, 65. Mids. IV, 1, 212. Merch. II, 9, 37. Wint. IV, 4, 219. Wint. IV, 4, 219 H5 IV, 1, 212. H6B II, 1, 146. I will go a. with him (== I will go to work with him, he shall find his match in me) Ado IV, 2, 28. to set a. == to prepare, to arrange: “shall we set a. some revels?” Tw. I, 3, 145. About! == to work! be not idle! “a., a.; search Windsor castle, elves, within and out,” Wiv. V, 5, 59. “revenge! a.! seek! burn!” Caes. III, 2, 208. “a., my brain!” Hml. II, 2, 617. “and a would a. and a.” H4B III, 2, 302 (he would go on with a vengeance).
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