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VERBS, MOODS OF:-- SUBJUNCTIVE: irregular sequence of tenses

Irregular sequence of tenses. Sometimes the sequence of tenses is not observed in these dependent sentences:

“Therefore they thought it good you hear a play.

“'Twere good you do so much for charity.

In both cases a present is implied in the preceding verb: "They thought and think," "It were and is good."

Reversely in

“But do not stain
The even virtue of our enterprise
To think that or our cause or our performance
Did need an oath.

"Did need" means "ever could need," and is stronger than "need" or "can need." In

“Is it not meet that I did amplify my judgment?

as in "It is time he came," the action is regarded as one "meet" in time past, as well as in the future.

“It hath been taught us from the primal state
That he which is is wished until he were.

Here "were" is used partly for euphony and alliteration, partly because the speaker is speaking of the past, "is and was always wished until he were."

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