VERBS, INFLECTIONS OF:-- Apparent cases of the inflection in -sApparent cases of the inflection in "s." Often, however, a verb preceded by a plural noun (the apparent nominative) has for its real nominative, not the noun, but the noun clause.
i.e. "The fact that the combatants are kin."
“The combatants being kin
Half stints their strife before they do begin.
i.e. "The beating of his brains on this."
“Wherein his brains still beating puts him thus
From fashion of himself.
i.e. "The telling us of our faults is like ploughing us."
“And our ills told us
Is as our earing.
“And great affections wrestling in thy bosom
Doth make an earthquake of nobility.
“To know our enemies' minds we 'ld rip their hearts:
(To rip) Their papers is more lawful.
"which" has for its antecedent "having one's honest will." Conversely, a plural is implied, and hence the verb is in the plural, in
“Blest be those,
How mean soe'er, that have their honest wills,
Which seasons comfort,
i.e. "when men are too careful about their safety they seldom win."
“Men's flesh preserv'd so whole do seldom win.
It may be conjectured that this licence, as well as the licence of using the -s inflection where the verb precedes, or where the noun clause may be considered the nominative, would in all probability not have been tolerated but for the fact that -s was still recognized as a provincial plural inflection. The following is simply a case of transposition:
“Smile heaven (the gods, or the stars) upon this fair conjunction,
That long have frowned upon their enmity.
“Now, sir, the sound that tells what hour it is
Are clamorous groans.