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VERBS, MOODS OF:-- Infinitive complete present after verbs of intending, &c.

Infinitive, complete Present. It is now commonly asserted that such expressions as "I hoped to have seen him yesterday" are ungrammatical. But in the Elizabethan as in Early English authors, after verbs of hoping, intending, or verbs signifying that something ought to have been done but was not, the Complete Present Infinitive is used. We still retain this idiom in the expression, "I would (i.e. wished to) have done it." "I ought (i.e. was bound) to have done it." But we find in Shakespeare--

“I hoped thou shouldst have been my Hamlet's wife;
I thought thy bride-bed to have deck'd, sweet maid.

“Thought to have begg'd.


“Levied an army weening to redeem,
And have install'd me in the diadem,

it is difficult to explain the juxtaposition of the simple present with an apparently complete present infinitive. Probably have is here used in the sense of "cause," i.e. "thinking to redeem me and to have me install'd," "to cause me to be install'd." So in

“Ambitious love hath so in me offended
That barefoot plod I the cold ground upon
With sainted vow my faults to have amended,

"to have amended" seems to mean "to cause to be amended." But possibly there is no need for this supposition of transposition. The thought of unfulfilment and disappointment growing on the speaker might induce her to put the latter verb in the complete present infinitive. “Pharnabazus came thither thinking to have raised the siege.” N. P. 179.

Sometimes the infinitive is used without a verb of "thinking," to imply an unfulfilled action.

“I told him of myself, which was as much
As to have ask'd him pardon.

But often it seems used by attraction to "have," expressed or implied in a previous verb.

“She would have made Hercules to have turned spit.

“I had not (i.e. should not have) been persuaded to have hurled
These few ill-spoken lines into the world.” BEAUMONT on Faithful Shepherdess. So Milton: "He trusted to have equall'd the Most High."

The same idiom is found in Latin poetry (Madvig, 407. Obs. 2) after verbs of wishing and intending. The reason of the idiom seems to be a desire to express that the object wished or intended is a completed fact, that has happened contrary to the wish and cannot now be altered.

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