IRREGULARITIES. Construction changed by change of thoughtConstruction changed by change of thought.
The narrator first intends to narrate the point of time, then diverges into the manner, of the action.
“One of the prettiest touches was when, at the relation of the queen's death, . . . how attentiveness wounded his daughter.
The subject, which is singular, is here confused with, and lost in, that to which it is compared, which is plural. Perhaps this explanation also suits:
“Purpose is but the slave to memory,
Which now, like fruit unripe, sticks on the tree,
But fall unshaken when they mellow be.
though this may be a case of plural nominative with singular verb. (See 334.) In the following, Henry V. begins by dictating a proclamation, but under the influence of indignation passes into the imperative of the proclamation itself:
“And then our arms, like to a muzzled bear,
Save in aspect hath all offence sealed up,
This is more probable than that "he" (224) is used for "man." "Should" is treated as though it were "should have" (owing to the introduction of the conditional sentence with "had") in the following anomalous passage:
“Rather proclaim it, Westmoreland, through our host
That he which hath no stomach to this fight
Let him depart.
So Rich. III. iii. 5. 56 (411). The way in which a divergence can be made from the subject to the thing compared with the subject is illustrated by
“We should by this to all our lamentation,
If he had gone forth consul, found it so.
“Whose veins, like a dull river far from spring
“So the proportions of defence are filled:
Which, of a weak and niggardly projection,
Doth, like a miser, spoil his coat with scanting
A little cloth.
Is still the same, slow, heavy, and unfit
For stream and motion, though the strong winds hit
With their continual power upon his sides.” B. and F. F. Sh. i. 1.
instead of "whiles you tread." But in
“But, good my brother,
Do not, as some ungracious pastors do,
Show me the steep and thorny way to heaven,
Whiles, like a puffed and reckless libertine,
Himself the primrose path of dalliance treads.
"doth," probably, has "that" for its subject. See Relative, 247. In
“Those sleeping stones
That, as a waist, doth girdle you about,
Had been dishabited,
the transition is natural from "Are not you the person who?" to "Do not you?"
“Are not you he
That frights the maidens of the villagery,
Skim milk, and sometimes labour in the quern
And bootless make the breathless housewife churn?