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IRREGULARITIES. Confusion of proximity

Confusion of proximity. The following (though a not uncommon Shakespearian idiom) would be called an unpardonable mistake in modern authors:--

“The posture of your blows are yet unknown.

“Whose loss of his most precious queen and children
Are even now to be afresh lamented.

“Which now the loving haste of these dear friends
Somewhat against our meaning have prevented.

“The venom of such looks, we fairly hope,
Have lost their quality.

“But yet the state of things require.” DANIEL, Ulysses and Siren.

“The approbation of those . . . are, &c.

“How the sight
Of those smooth rising cheeks renew the story
Of young Adonis.” B. F. F. Sh. i. 1.

Equality of two domestic powers
Breed scrupulous faction.

“The voice of all the gods
Make heaven drowsy.

Here, however, "voice" may be (471) for "voices."

“Then know
The peril of our curses light on thee.

“The very thought of my revenges that way
Recoil upon myself.

“More than the scope
Of these delated articles allow.

The subjunctive is not required, and therefore "have" is probably plural, in

“If the scorn of your bright eyne
Have power to raise such love in mine.

In these cases the proximity of a plural noun seems to have caused the plural verb, contrary to the rules of grammar. The two nouns together connected by "of" seem regarded as a compound noun with plural termination. So

“These kind-of-knaves.

“Those blest-pair-of-fixed-stars.” B. and F. F. Sh. ii. 1. “These happy-pair of lovers meet straightway.” Ib.


“Where such as thou mayest find him.

In the following instance the plural nominative is implied from the previous singular noun--

“As every alien pen hath got my use,
And under thee their poesy disperse.

In “And the stars whose feeble light
Give a pale shadow to the night,” B. and F. F. Sh. iii. 1. perhaps "give" may be subjunctive after the relative. (See 367.)

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