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PRONOUNS, PERSONAL. Me, thee, him, &c., used as datives

Me, thee, him, &c. are often used, in virtue of their representing the old dative, where we should use for me, by me, &c. Thus:

“I am appointed (by) him to murder you.

“John lays you plots.

This is especially common with me.

Me is indirect object in

“But hear me this.

“What thou hast promis'd--which is not yet perform'd me.

We say "do me a favour," but not "to do me business."-- Tempest, i. 2. 255.

“Give me your present to one Master Bassanio.

“Who does me this?

“Sayest thou me so?

Me seems to mean "from me" in

“You'll bear me a bang for that.

"with me" in

“And hold me pace in deep experiment.

Me means "to my injury" in

“See how this river comes me cranking in,
And cuts me, from the best of all my land,
A huge half-moon.

"at my cost" and "for my benefit" in

“The sack that thou hast drunk me could have bought me lights
as good cheap at the dearest chandler's in Europe.

Me in narrative stands on a somewhat different footing:

“He pluck'd me ope his doublet.

“He steps me to her trencher.

“The skilful shepherd peel'd me certain wands.

“He presently, as greatness knows itself,
Steps me a little higher than his vow.

Falstaff, when particularly desirous of securing the attention of the Prince ("Dost thou hear me, Hal?"), indulges twice in this use of me.

“I made me no more ado, . . . I followed me close.

Here, however, the verbs are perhaps used reflexively, though this would seem to be caused by the speaker's intense desire to call attention to himself. So in “Observe me judicially, sweet sir; they had planted me three
demi-culverins,” B. J. E. in &c. iii. 2. the me seems to appropriate the narrative of the action to the speaker, and to be equivalent to "mark me," "I tell you." In such phrases as

“Knock me here,

the action, and not merely the narrative of the action, is appropriated.

You is similarly used for "look you:"

“And 'a would manage you his piece thus, and come you in
and come you out.


“Study me how to please the eye indeed
By fixing it upon a fairer eye,

me probably means "for me," "by my advice," i.e. "I would have you study thus." Less probably, "study" may be an active verb, of which the passive is found in Macb. i. 4. 9.

There is a redundant him in

“The king, by this, is set him down to rest.

where there is, perhaps, a confusion between "has set him(self) down" and "is set down."

Her seems used for "of her," "at her hands," in

“I took her leave at court.

i.e. "I bade her farewell."

Us probably is used for "to us" in

“She looks us like
A thing made more of malice than of duty.

But possibly as "look" in Hen. V. iv. 7. 76, A. and C. iii. 10. 53, is used for "look for," so it may mean "look at." So “Twa brooks in which I look myself.” B. J. Sad Sh. ii. 1. i.e. "I view myself."

Us seems equivalent to "for us" in

“We have not spoke us yet of torch-bearers.

i.e. "spoken for ourselves about torch-bearers."

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