VERBS, AUXILIARY. Shall, original meaningShall. Shall for will. Shall meaning "to owe" is connected with "ought," "must,"1 "it is destined." Thus,
i.e. "if we are to, ought to."
“If then we shall shake off our slavish yoke,
Imp out our drooping country's broken wing,
Away with me.
i.e. "is to be." Hence shall was used by the Elizabethan authors with all three persons to denote inevitable futurity without reference to "will" (desire).
“Fair Jessica shall be my torch-bearer.
i.e. "you are sure to offend him." So probably,
“If much you note him,
You shall offend him and extend his passion.
“Nay, it will please him well, Kate, it shall (is sure to) please him.
Shall have more vices than it had before.
i.e. "it is certain that no man will pity me." There is no notion of compulsion on the part of the person speaking in
“And, if I die, no man shall pity me.
“They shall (are sure to) be apprehended by and by.
The notion of necessity, must, seems to be conveyed in
“If they do this (conquer),
As, if please God, they shall (are destined to do).
“He that parts us shall bring a brand from heaven,
And fire us hence like foxes.
shall means "is to." So in
“He shall wear his crown,
“Your grace shall understand.
“What is he that shall (is to) buy?
i.e. "men cannot help making mistakes."
“Men shall deal unadvisedly sometimes.
“He that escapes me without some broken limb shall (must, will
have to), acquit him well.
In the last passage, "I shall" has a trace of its old meaning, "I ought:" or perhaps there is a mixture of "I am bound to" and "I am sure to." Hence it is often used in the replies of inferiors to superiors.
“K. Desire them all to my pavilion.
Glost. We shall, my lord.
“King Henry. Collect them all together at my tent:
I'll be before thee.
Erpingham. I shall do't, my lord.
So A. W. v. 3. 27; A. and C. iii. 12. 36, iv. 6. 3, v. 1. 3; Hen. V. iv. 3. 126; M. for M. iv. 4. 21; A. and C. v. 1. 68. "You shall see, find," &c., was especially common in the meaning "you may," "you will," applied to that which is of common occurrence, or so evident that it cannot but be seen.
“Fear not, my lord, your servant shall do so.
Shall is sometimes colloquially or provincially abbreviated into se, s:
“You shall mark
Many a duteous and knee-crooking slave,
That, doting on his own obsequious bondage,
Wears out his time. Whip me such honest knaves.
“Thou's hear our counsel.