PRONOUNS, RELATIVE AND INTERROGATIVE. Who personifies irrational antecedentsWho personifies irrational antecedents. (b） Who is often used of animals, particularly in similes where they are compared to men.
“I am the cygnet to this pale faint swan,
Who chants a doleful hymn to his own death.
So 1 Hen. IV. v. 2. 10; 2 Hen. VI. iii. 1. 253, v. 1. 153; but also in other cases where action is attributed to them, e.g.
“Or as a bear encompass'd round with dogs,
Who having pinch'd a few and made them cry.
“A lion who glared.
Who is also used of inanimate objects regarded as persons.
“A lioness who quickly fell before him.
So R. and J. i. 1. 119; i. 4. 100: "The winds . . . who."
Who take the ruffian billows by the tops.
“Rotten opinion, who hath writ me down
After my seeming.
“Night . . . who.
“Your anchors, who
Do their best office if they can but stay you.
So probably in
Over her passion, who most rebel-like
Sought to be queen o'er her.
i.e. "your eye which has cause to give tearful expression to the sorrow for your folly."
Who hath cause to wet the grief on 't.
But is who the antecedent here to "me" implied in "my?" (See 218.)
“My arm'd knee
Who bow'd but in my stirrups.
So V. and A. 191 and 1043, "her heart . . . who;" T. A. iii. 2. 9, "my breast . . . who." The slightest active force, or personal feeling, attributed to the antecedent, suffices to justify who. Thus:
Who great and puff'd up with this retinue.
“The dispers'd air who answer'd.
Who like an arch reverberates.
“Therefore I tell my sorrows to the stones
Who though they cannot answer, &c.
So "her body . . . who," R. of L. 1740; "the hairs who wave," V. and A. 306; "lips who . . . still blush," R. and J. iii. 3. 38; "sighs who," R. and J. iii. 5. 136; "mouths who," P. of T. i. 4. 33; "palates who," P. of T. i. 4. 39; "her eyelids who like sluices stopped," V. and A. Sometimes who is used where there is no notion of personality:
As fearful of him, part, through whom he rushes.
where perhaps who is used because of the pause after "world," in the sense "though it." (See 263.) If there had been no comma between "world" and the relative, we should have had that or which. Perhaps in this way we may distinguish in
“The world, who of itself is peised well,
i.e. "the first of gold, and it bears this inscription; the second, (silver,) which carries," &c. In the first the material, in the second the promise, is regarded as the essential quality. [Or does euphony prefer which in the accented, who in the unaccented syllables?] In almost all cases where who is thus used, an action is implied, so that who is the subject. Whom is rare.
“The first, of gold, who this inscription bears;
The second, silver, which this promise carries.
Of whom your swords are temper'd.