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VERBS, AUXILIARY. May, antiquity of

May in "I may come" is therefore ambiguous, since it may signify either "lawfulness," as in "I may come if I like," or "possibility," as in "I may come, but don't wait for me." In the latter sentence the "possibility" is transposed so as to include the whole sentence "it is possible that I may come," just as--

“He needs not our mistrust,

means "it is not necessary that we should mistrust him."

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