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PARTICIPLES AND VERBALS: Participles passive, confusion in

Participles, Passive. It has been shown (294) that, from the licence of converting nouns, adjectives, and neuter verbs into active verbs, there arose an indefinite and apparently not passive use of Passive Participles. Such instances as

“Of all he dies possess'd of,

(possess being frequently used as an active verb,) may thus be explained.


“And, gladly quaked (made to quake), hear more,

may be similarly explained. Compare also:

“All the whole army stood agazed on him.

But, in the following, we can only say that, in the excessive use of this licence, -ed is loosely employed for -ful, -ing, or some other affix expressing connection.

“Revenge the jeering and disdain'd contempt.

“Brooded-watchful day.

As we talk of "watching (during) the night," this may explain

“The weary and all-watched night.

But more probably "all-watched" (like "o'er-watched," J. C. iv. 3. 241) resembles "weary," and means "tired with watching." For this use of adjectives see 4.

“Grim-look'd night.

“The ebbed man.

It is perhaps still not unusual to say "the tide is ebbed."

“A moulten raven.

“With sainted vow.

“And at our more considered time we'll read.

“Unconstrained gyves.

Sometimes passive participles are used as epithets to describe the state which would be the result of the active verb. Thus:

“Why are you drawn?

; M. N. D. iii. 2. 402. i.e. "Why do I find you with your swords drawn?"

“Under the blow of thralled discontent.

"The valued file" (Macb. iii. 1. 95) perhaps means "the file or catalogue to which values are attached."

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