IRREGULARITIES. Neither, nor, used like both, and"Neither . . . nor," used like "Both . . . and," followed by "not."
This very natural irregularity (natural, since the unbecomingness may be regarded as predicated both of the "king's crown," the "deputed sword," and the "marshal's truncheon") is very common.
“Not the king's crown nor the deputed sword,
The marshal's truncheon nor the judge's robe,
Become them, &c.
The following passage may perhaps be similarly explained:
“He nor that affable familiar ghost
That nightly gulls him with intelligence
As victors of my silence cannot (406) boast.
But it is perhaps more correct to say that there is here a confusion of two constructions, "He waived 'twixt good and harm, doing them neither good nor harm." The same confusion of two constructions is exemplified below in the use of the superlative.
“He 1 waived indifferently 'twixt doing them neither good nor