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Simple past for complete present with "since," &c.

This is in accordance with the Greek use of the aorist, and it is as logical as our more modern use. The difference depends upon a difference of thought, the action being regarded simply as past without reference to the present or to completion.

“I saw him not these many years, and yet
I know 'tis he.

“I saw not better sport these seven years' day.

Since death of my dear'st mother
It did not speak before.

“I did not see him since.

“I was not angry since I came in France
Until this instant.

“I can tell you strange news that you yet dreamed not of.

It will be noticed that the above examples all contain a negative. The indefinite tense seems to have peculiar propriety when we are denying that an action was performed at any time whatever. Hence the contrast: “Judges and senates have been bought with gold,
Esteem and love were never to be sold.” POPE, Essay on Man, iv. 187. But we have also, without a negative,

“And since I saw thee,
The affliction of my mind amends.

The simple present is in the following example incorrectly combined with the complete present. But the two verbs are so far apart that they may almost be regarded as belonging to different sentences, especially as "but" may be regarded as semi-adversative.

“And never since the middle summer's spring
Met we . . . but . . . thou hast disturbed our sport.

On the other hand, the complete present is used remarkably in--

D. Pedro. Runs not this speech like iron through your blood?
Claud. I have drunk poison whiles he utter'd it.

This can only be explained by a slight change of thought: "I have drunk poison (and drunk [339] poison all the) while he spoke."

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