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CONJUNCTIONS. But after an execration expressed or implied

But is not adversative, but means "if not," after "beshrew me," &c.:

“Beshrew my soul but I do love, &c.

So 3 Hen. VI. i. 4. 150.

“The Gods rebuke me but it is tidings
To wash the eyes of kings.

; ib. 103. Thus we explain:

“I'll plead for you myself but you shall have him.

i.e. "I'll plead for you myself if you shall not have him otherwise;" but it must be admitted that the above construction may be confused with "I may have to plead for you myself, but (adversative) in any case you shall have him." So

“I should woo hard but be your groom,

is, perhaps, a confusion between "if I could not be your groom otherwise" and "but in any case I would be your groom." In the last example, however, it is possible that there is an additional confusion arising from the phrase: "It would go hard with me but."

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