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IRREGULARITIES. Transposition after an emphatic word or expression

Transposition after Emphatic Words. The influence of an emphatic word at the beginning of a sentence is shown in the transposition of the verb and subject. In such cases the last as well as the first word is often emphatic.

“In dreadful secrecy impart they did.

“And so have I a noble father lost,
A sister driven into desperate terms.” Ib. iv. 7. 25.

Here note, that though the first line could be re-transposed and Laertes could naturally say "I have lost a father," on the other hand he could not say "I have driven a sister" without completely changing the sense. "Have" is here used in its original sense, and is equivalent to "I find." When "have" is thus used without any notion of action, it is separated from the participle passive.

“But answer made it none.

“Pray can I not.” Ib. iii. 3. 38.

To make the dear loss have I means much weaker.

The influence of an emphatic adverbial expression preceding is shown in the difference between the order in the second and the first of the two following lines:--

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

I did, my lord,
But loath am to produce so bad an instrument.

Before the time I did Lysander see,
Seem'd Athens as a paradise to me.

When the adverbs "never," "ever," are emphatic and placed near the beginning of a sentence, the subject often follows the verb, almost always when the verb is "was," &c. We generally write now "never was," but Shakespeare often wrote "(there) was never."

“Was never widow had so dear a loss.

Sometimes a word is made emphatic by repetition:

Sec. O. Peace! We'll hear him.
Third O. Ay, by my beard will we.

Hamlet. Look you, these are the stops.
Guild. But these cannot I command.

Or partly by antithesis, as well as by its natural importance:

I your commission will forthwith despatch,
And he to England shall along with you.

“My soul shall thine keep company to heaven.

The following is explained by the omission of "there:"

“I am question'd by my fears . . . that (there) may blow
No sneaping winds at home.

There seems a disposition to place participles, as though used absolutely, before the words which they qualify.

“And these news,
Having been well, that would have made me sick,
Being sick, have in some measure made me well.

It is rare to find such transpositions as

“Then the rich jewell'd coffer of Darius,
Transported shall be at high festivals.

Transpositions are common in prose, especially when an adverb precedes the sentence. “Yet hath Leonora, my onely daughter, escaped.” MONTAIGNE (Florio), 225. “And, therefore, should not we marry so young.” Ib.

“Now, sir, the sound that tells what hour it is
Are clamorous groans,

is rather a case of "confusion of proximity" ("are" being changed to "is") than transposition. (See 302.)

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