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English citations of dross

  1. Worthless matter.
    • c. 1596–1598, William Shakespeare, “The Merchant of Venice”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies [] (First Folio), London: [] Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, OCLC 606515358, [Act II, scene vii], page 171:
      Mor. [] What ſaies this leaden casket? / Who chooſeth me, muſt giue and hazard all he hath. / Muſt giue,for what? for lead, hazard for lead? / This casket threatens men that hazard all / Doe it in hope of faire aduantages : / A golden minde ſtoopes not ſhowes of droſſe, / Il then nor giue nor hazard ought for lead.
    • 1843, Thomas Carlyle, Past and Present, book 1, ch. 1, "Midas'":
      Valiant manful habits, soul of a Nation's worth, which all the metal of Potosi cannot purchase back; to which the metal of Potosi, and all you can buy with it, is dross and dust!
  2. Residue (of metals).