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VERBS, MOODS OF:-- INFINITIVE: to omitted and inserted after the same verb

"To" omitted and inserted in the same sentence. The to is often omitted in the former of two clauses and inserted in the latter, particularly when the finite principal verb is an auxiliary, or like an auxiliary.

“Whether hadst thou rather be a Faulconbridge
And, like thy brother, to enjoy thy land.

“I would no more
Endure this wooden slavery than to suffer
The flesh-fly blow my mouth.

“Who would be so mock'd with glory, or to live
But in a dream of friendship?

So K. J. v. 2. 138-9; J. C. iv. 3. 73; T. N. v. 1. 346.

“Sir, I desire you (to) do me right and justice,
And to bestow your pity on me.

Bids you
Deliver up the crown and to take pity.

“Makes both my body pine and soul to languish.

Make thy two eyes like stars start from their spheres,
Thy knotted and combined locks to part.

“Brutus had rather be a villager
Than to repute himself a son of Rome.

“She tells me she'll wed the stranger knight,
Or never more to view nor day nor night.

“Some pagan shore,
Where these two Christian armies might combine
The blood of malice in a vein of league,
And not to spend it so unneighbourly.

Thus probably we must explain:

“And let them all encircle him about,
And fairy-like to pinch the unclean knight.

The common explanation "to-pinch," attributes to Shakespeare an archaism which is probably nowhere found in his works (not even in P. of T. iii. 2. 17). See All to, 28.

It is a question how to explain

“She is abus'd, stol'n from me and corrupted
By spells and medicines bought of mountebanks:
For nature so preposterously to err,
Being not deficient, blind or lame of sense,
Sans witchcraft could not.

Here, either as above, (1) "to err" depends on "could," i.e. "Nature was not able to err;" or (2) "could not" might perhaps stand for "could not be," "was impossible," having for its subject "Nature to err." (See 354.) In (2) "for" may be either (a) a conjunction, or (b) a preposition: "It was not possible for Nature thus to err." I prefer (1).


“For little office
The hateful commons will perform for us
Except, like curs, to tear us all to pieces,

"to tear" may be considered as a noun, the object of "except."

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