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ADJECTIVES possessive transposed

The possessive Adjectives, when unemphatic, are sometimes transposed, being really combined with nouns (like the French monsieur, milord).

“Dear my lord.

“Good my brother.

“Sweet my mother.

“Oh ! poor our sex.

“Art thou that my lord Elijah?” 1 Kings xviii. 7.

“Come, our queen.

So probably, vocatively:

“Tongue-tied our queen speak thou.


“Come on, our queen.

“Good my knave.

“Good my friends.

“Good your highness, patience.

“Good my girl.

Hence, by analogy, even

“Good my mouse of virtue.

The emphatic nature of this appellative "good" is illustrated by

“Good now, sit down.

where the noun is omitted. So W. T. v. 1. 19; Tempest, i. 1. 16. "Gunnow" (good now) is still an appellative in Dorsetshire.

Sometimes, but very rarely, the possessive adjective used vocatively is allowed to stand first in the sentence:

“Our very loving sister, well be met.

It is possible that this use of "my," "our," &c. may be in part explained from their derivation, since they were originally not adjectives, but the possessive cases of pronouns. Thus, "sweet my mother," = "sweet mother of me," or "sweet mother mine."

Similar vocatives are

“The last of all the Romans, fare thee well.

The jewels of our father, with wash'd eyes,
Cordelia leaves you.

So Folio,

“Take that, the likeness of this railer here.

(Globe "thou").

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