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ARTICLE. A and the omitted after "as," "like," "than"

A and The are also sometimes omitted after as, like, and than in comparative sentences:

“As falcon to the lure away she flies.

“The why is plain as way to parish church.

“More tuneable than lark to shepherd's ear.

This is, however, common both in early and modern English. In such sentences the whole class is expressed, and therefore the article omitted. It might be asked, however, why "the lure" on this hypothesis? The is put for its. So in E. E. (MÄTZNER, iii. 195) "ase hound doth (chase) the hare," i.e. "its prey the hare."

A is still omitted by us in adverbial compounds, such as "snail-like," "clerk-like," &c. Then it was omitted as being unnecessarily emphatic in such expressions as:

“Creeping like snail.

“Sighing like furnace.” Ib. 148.

“And like unletter'd clerk.

"Like snail" is an adverb in process of formation. It is intermediate between "like a snail" and "snail-like."

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