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PRONOUNS, RELATIVE AND INTERROGATIVE. Relative with plural antecedent often takes singular verb; and with antecedent in the second person, takes verb in the third

The Relative (perhaps because it does not signify by inflection any agreement in number or person with its antecedent) frequently (1) takes a singular verb, though the antecedent be plural, and (2) the verb is often in the third person, though the antecedent be in the second or first.

(1) “All things that belongs” (so Folio; Globe, belong). T. of Sh.
ii. 1. 357.

“Whose wraths to guard you from,
Which here in this most desolate isle else falls
Upon your head.

“Contagious fogs which falling on our land
Hath every pelting river made so proud.” M: N. D. ii. 1. 91.

This, however, might be explained by 337.

“'Tis not the many oaths that makes the truth.

; K. J. ii. 1. 216.

“With sighs of love that costs the fresh blood dear.

“My observations
Which with experimental seal doth warrant
The tenour of my book.

“'Tis your graces that charms.

“So, so, so: they laugh that wins1

“So are those crisped snaky golden locks
Which makes.

“Those springs
In chalic'd flowers that lies.

“Each substance of a grief hath twenty shadows
Which shows like grief itself.

“It is not words, that shakes me thus.

“But most miserable
Is the desires that's glorious.2

“'Tis such fools as you
That makes the world full of ill-favour'd children.

“(The swords) That makes such waste in brief mortality.

“There are some shrewd contents in yon same paper
That steals the colour from your cheeks.

“Is kindling coals that fires all my heart.

“With such things else of quality and respect
As doth import you.

“Such commendations as becomes a maid.

“Such thanks as fits a king's remembrance.

“Like monarch's hands that lets not bounty fall.

(Globe, let).

“If it be you (you gods) that stirs these daughters' hearts.

(Globe, stir).

“To be forbod the sweets that seems so good.

(Globe, seem).

The distance of the relative from the antecedent sometimes makes a difference, as in

“I that please some, try all, both joy and terror
Of good and bad, that makes and unfolds error.

This construction is found as late as 1671: “If it be true that monstrous births presage
The following mischiefs that afflicts the age.” The Rehearsal, Epilogue.


“Antiochus, I thank thee who hath taught.

“Casca, you are the first that rears your hand.

"Rears his" or "rear your" would be right.

“To make me proud that jests.

“For it is you that puts us to our shifts.

So Temp. v. 1. 79.

“O Lord, that lends me life!

“They do but greatly chide thee who confounds.

The last two examples may also be explained (see 340) by the northern inflection of s for st: and the examples in (1) might come under the cases of plural nominative with apparently singular inflection considered in 333. But taking all the examples of (1) and (2) we are, I think, justified in saying that the relative was often regarded like a noun by nature third person singular, and, therefore, uninfluenced by the antecedent.

On the other hand, the verb is irregularly attracted into the second person in

“That would I learn of you
As one that are best acquainted with her person.

1 (Globe, win

2 (Globe, "desire.")

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