A Dictionary of the English Language
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Eye (noun)

View Scan · View Transcription · from pages 755, 754

View Scan · View Transcription · from pages 755, 754

Eye. n.s. obsolete plural eyne, now eyes. [auga, Gothick; aᵹ, Saxon; oog, Dutch; ee, Scottish, plur. eene.]

  1. The organ of vision; the medium of the sense of sight.

    Good sir John, as you have one eye upon my follies, turn another into the register of your own, that I may pass with a reproof off the easier. Shakesp. Merry Wives of Windsor.

    My face is but a moon, and clouded too.
    — Blessed are clouds to do as such clouds do:
    Vouchsafe, bright moon, and these thy stars to shine,
    Those clouds remov'd, upon our watry eyne.
    Shakespeare.

                      Nor doth the eye itself,
    That most pure spirit of sense, behold itself,
    Not going from itself; but eyes oppos'd,
    Salute each other with each other's form.
    Sh. Troil. and Cress.

    He kept him as the apple of his eye. Deutr. xxxii. 10.

    As long looking against the sun or fire hurteth the eye by dilatation; so curious printing in small volumes, and reading of small letters, do hurt the eye by contraction. Bacon.

    His awful presence did the crowd surprize,
    Nor durst the rash spectator meet his eyes;
    Eyes that confess'd him born for kingly sway,
    So fierce, they flash'd intolerable day.
    Dryd. Knight's Tale.

    But sure the eye of time beholds no name
    So blest as thine in all the rolls of fame.
    Pope's Odyssey.

  2. Sight; ocular knowledge.

    Who hath bewitched you, that you should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ hath been evidently set forth? Gal. iii. 1.

  3. Look; countenance.

    I'll say yon grey is not the morning's eye,
    'Tis but the pale reflex of Cynthia's brow.
    Sh. Rom. and Jul.

  4. Front; face.

        To justify this worthy nobleman,
    Her shall you hear disproved to your eyes.
    Shakespeare's Measure for Measure.

  5. A posture of direct opposition, where one thing is in the same line with another.

    Now pass'd, on either side they nimbly tack,
    Both strive to intercept and guide the wind;
    And in its eye more closely they come back,
    To finish all the deaths they left behind.
    Dryd. Ann. Mirab.

  6. Aspect; regard.

    Having an eye to a number of rites and orders in the church of England, as marrying with a ring, &c. sundry church-offices, dignities and callings, for which they found no commandment in the holy Scripture, they thought by the one only stroke of an axiom to have cut them off. Hooker, b. iii. s. 4.

    As in Scripture a number of laws, particular and positive, being in force, may not by any law of man be violated; we are, in making laws, to have thereunto an especial eye. Hooker.

    The man that is tender among you, and very delicate, his eyes shall be evil towards his brother. Deutr. xxviii. 54.

    He that hath a bountiful eye shall be blessed. Prov. xxii. 9.

    None should be put into either of those commissions, with an eye of favour to their persons, to give them countenance or reputation in the places where they live. Bacon to Villiers.

    Winds and hurricanes at land, tempests and storms at sea, have always been looked upon as evil an eye as earthquakes. Woodward's Natural History.

    In this disposal of my sister, I have had an eye to her being a wit, and provided that the bridegroom be a man of sound judgment. Tatler, № 75.

    Booksellers mention with respect the authors they have printed, and consequently have an eye to their own advantage. Addison's Spectator, № 92.

  7. Notice; attention; observation.

    Not satisfied with our oath, he appointed a band of horsemen to have an eye that we should not go beyond appointed limits. Sidney, b. ii.

    Lawmakers must have an eye to the place where, and to the men amongst whom. Hooker, b. i. s. 10.

    His majesty hath cast his eyes upon you, as finding you to be such as you should be, or hoping to make you to be such as he would have you to be. Bacon.

    If the English had driven the Irish into the plains and open countries, where they might have an eye and observation upon them, the Irish had been easily kept in order. Davies on Irel.

    Spenser has followed both Virgil and Theocritus in the charms which he employs for curing Britomartis of her love; but he had also our poet's Ceiris in his eye. Dryden's Æn.

    Misdoubt my constancy, and do not try;
    But stay and ever keep me in your eye.
    Dryd. Ind. Emperor.

    After this jealousy he kept a strict eye upon him. L'Estrange.

    This method of teaching children by a repeated practice, under the eye and direction of the tutor, 'till they have got the habit of doing well, has many advantages. Locke.

    These are intrinsick difficulties arising from the text itself, as the uncertainty sometimes who are the persons he speaks to, or the opinions or practices which he has in his eye. Locke.

    Several performances have been justly applauded for their wit, which have been written with an eye to this predominant humour of the town. Addison's Freeholder, № 35.

    We were the most obedient creatures in the world, constant to our duty, and kept a steddy eye on the end for which we were sent hither. Spectator, № 577.

  8. Opinion formed by observation.

    She told her husband, she designed to be beautiful in no body's eye but his. Sidney.

    It hath, in their eye, no great affinity with the form of the church of Rome. Hooker, b. v. s. 27.

    Like one of two contending in a prize,
    That thinks he hath done well in people's eyes.
    Shakespeare.

    I was as far from meditating a war as I was, in the eye of the world, from having any preparations for one. K. Charles.

    Though he in all the people's eyes seem'd great,
    Yet greater he appear'd in his retreat.
    Denham.

  9. Sight; view; the place in which any thing may be seen.

    There shall he practise tilts and tournaments,
    Hear sweet discourse, converse with noblemen;
    And be, in eye of every exercise,
    Worthy his youth and nobleness of birth.
    Shakespeare.

  10. Any thing formed like an eye.

    Or see colours like the eye of a peacock's feather, by pressing our eyes on either corner, whilst we look the other way. Newton's Opt.

  11. Any small perforation.

    This Ajax has not so much wit as will stop the eye of Helen's needle. Shakesp. Troilus and Cressida.

    Does not our Saviour himself speak of the intolerable difficulty which they cause in men's passage to heaven? Do not they make the narrow way much narrower, and contract the gate, which leads to life to the streightness of a needle's eye? South's Sermons.

  12. A small catch into which a hook goes.

    Those parts, if they cohere to one another but by rest only, may be much more easily dissociated, and put into motion by any external body, than they could be, if they were by little hooks and eyes, or other kind of fastenings entangled in one another. Boyle.

  13. Bud of a plant.

    Prune and cut off all your vine-shoots to the very root, save one or two of the stoutest, to be left with three or four eyes of young wood. Evelyn's Kalendar.

  14. A small shade of colour.

    The ground indeed is tawny.
    — With an eye of green in't.
    Shakesp. Tempest.

    Red with an eye of blue, makes a purple. Boyle on Colours.

  15. Power of perception.

    The eyes of your understanding being enlightened. Eph. i.

    A gift doth blind the eyes of the wife. Deutr. xvi. 19.

Sources: Addison, Joseph (408) · Bacon, Francis (396) · Boyle, Robert (84) · Charles I (27) · Davies, John (45) · Denham, John (75) · The Bible - Deuteronomy (21) · Dryden, John (788) · The Bible - Ephesians (3) · Evelyn, John (10) · The Bible - Galatians (3) · Hooker, Richard (175) · L'Estrange, Roger (131) · Locke, John (269) · Shakespeare's Love's Labours Lost (33) · Shakespeare's Measure for Measure (39) · Shakespeare's Merchant of Venice (83) · Shakespeare's Merry Wives of Windsor (95) · Newton, Isaac (40) · Pope, Alexander (393) · The Bible - Proverbs (19) · Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet (46) · Sidney, Philip (140) · South, Robert (158) · Spectator (140) · Tatler (23) · Shakespeare's Tempest (50) · Shakespeare's Troilus and Cressida (36) · Shakespeare's Two Gentlemen of Verona (41) · Woodward, John (78)

Attributes: Dutch (90) · Gothic (10) · Noun Substantive (1269) · Saxon (215) · Scottish (7)

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Cite this page: Johnson, Samuel. "Eye (noun)." A Dictionary of the English Language: A Digital Edition of the 1755 Classic by Samuel Johnson. Edited by Brandi Besalke. Last modified: January 12, 2014. http://johnsonsdictionaryonline.com/?p=2668.


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