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PARTICIPLES AND VERBALS: Participles without noun or pronoun

Participle without Noun. This construction is rare in earlier English. “My name is gret and merveylous, treuly you telland.” Cov.
Myst. (Mätzner).

Here again, as in 93, we must bear in mind the constant confusion between the infinitive, the present participle, and the verbal. In the above example we should expect the infinitive, "to tell you the truth," and perhaps "telland" is not exactly used for, but confused with, "tellen."1

It is still a usual idiom with a few participles which are employed almost as prepositions, e.g. "touching," "concerning," "respecting," "seeing." "Judging" is also often thus incorrectly used, and sometimes "considering;" but we could scarcely say--

“Or in the night imagining (if one imagines) some fear,
How easy is the bush suppos'd a bear.

“Here, as I point my sword, the sun arises,
Which is a great way growing on the south,
Weighing the youthful season of the year.

Note especially--

“I may not be too forward,
Lest (I) being seen thy brother, tender George,
Be executed.

“(It must be done) something from the palace, always thought
That I require a clearness.

i.e. "it being always borne in mind."

“(Death sits) infusing him (man) with self and vain conceit,
And, (man having been) humour'd thus,
(Death) comes at the last.

This use is common in prose. “He was presently suspected, judging (since men judged) the ill
success not in that he could not, but . . . for that he would not.” N. P. 182.

So "being," i.e. "it being the fact," is often used where we use "seeing."

“You loiter here too long, being you are to take soldiers up in
counties as you go.

; M. Ado, iv. 1. 51.

“Though I with death and with
Reward did threaten and encourage him,
Not doing't and (it) being done.

i.e. "I threatened him, not doing it, with death, and encouraged him with reward, (it) being done;" a specimen of irregular terseness only to be found in Elizabethan authors and in Mr. Browning's poems.

The context often suggests a noun or pronoun:

“If not that, I being queen, you bow like subjects,
Yet that, (I being) by you deposed, you quake like rebels.

“But her eyes--
How could he see to do them? Having made one,
Methinks it should have power to steal both his.

i.e. "when he had made one."

“Had, having, and in quest to have, extreme.

i.e. "when an object is had, possessed," unless it is still more irregularly used for "having had."

This irregularity is perhaps in some cases explained by 372.

1 It would be interesting to trace the corresponding process in French by which the gerund "dicendo" and the participle "dicens" were blended in "disant." It was not till the beginning of the eighteenth century that the Academy definitely pronounced "La règle est faite. On ne fera plus accorder les participes présents." But from the earliest times the d of the gerund became t.

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