VERBS, MOODS OF:-- INFINITIVE: "It were best (to):" "I were best (to)"It were best (to). To is often omitted after "best" in such phrases as "it were best," "thou wert best," &c. Perhaps there is in some of these cases an unconscious blending of two constructions, the infinitive and imperative, exactly corresponding to the Greek οῖσθ̓ οὖν ὃ δρᾶσον.
“'Tis best put finger in the eye.
“I were best not call.
“'Twere best not know myself.
In most of these cases the speaker is speaking of himself: but often it is impossible, without the context, to tell whether the verb is in the infinitive or imperative. Thus in
“Best draw my sword.
it is only the following line,
“Better be with the dead,
Whom we, to gain our peace, have sent to peace,that shows that be is infinitive. When we now use this idiom, we generally intend the verb to be used imperatively.