Ellipses of it, thereEllipsis of It and There.
“Whose wraths to guard you from,
Which here in this most desolate isle else falls
Upon your head, (there) is nothing but heart-sorrow,
And a clear life ensuing.
“Satisfaction (there) can be none but by pangs of death.
; Ib. ii. 2. 20.
“D. Pedro. What! sigh for the toothache?
Leon. Where (there) is but a humour or a worm.
“At the Elephant (it) is best to lodge.
“Be (it) what it is.
The omission is common before "please."
“The less you meddle with them the more (it) is for your
“Is (it) then unjust to each his due to give?” SPENS. F. Q. i. 9. 38.
“So please (it) him (to) come unto this place.
This construction is quite as correct as our modern form with "it." The sentence "That in . . . . Senate," is the subject to "remains." So-- “And that in Tarsus (it) was not best
That in the official marks invested you
Anon do meet the Senate.
Longer for him to make his rest.” Pericl. ii. Gower, 25.
We see how unnecessary and redundant our modern "it" is from the following passage:--
“Happiest of all is (it or this), that her gentle spirit
Commits itself to you to be directed.
This is (if the order of the words be disregarded) as good English as our modern "Unless it be a sin to defend ourselves." The fact is, this use of the modern "it" is an irregularity only justified by the clearness which it promotes. "It" at the beginning of a sentence calls attention to the real subject which is to follow. "It is a sin, viz. to defend oneself." The sentence is sometimes placed as the object, "it" being omitted.
“Unless self-charity be sometimes a vice,
And to defend ourselves it be a sin.
"Being" is often used for "it being," or "being so," very much like ὄν and its compounds in Greek.
“But long she thinks (it) till he return again.
“That Lepidus of the triumvirate
Should be deposed; and, (it) being (so), that we detain
All his revenue.
“I learn you take things ill which are not so
Or, being (so), concern you not.