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Passive, use of, with verbs of motion, &c.

Verbs Passive. With some few intransitive verbs, mostly of motion, both be and have are still used. "He is gone," "he has gone." The is expresses the present state, the has the activity necessary to cause the present state. The is is evidently quite as justifiable as has (perhaps more so), but it has been found more convenient to make a division of labour, and assign distinct tasks to is and has. Consequently is has been almost superseded by has in all but the passive forms of transitive verbs. In Shakespearian English, however, there is a much more common use of is with intransitive verbs.

“My life is run his compass.

“Whether he be scaped.

“Being sat.

“Being deep stept in age.” ASCH. 189.

“An enter'd tide.

“I am arrived for fruitful Lombardy.

“Pucelle is entered into Orleans.

; Cymb. v. 4. 120.

“Five hundred horse . . . are marched up.

“The king himself is rode to view their battle.

“His lordship is walk'd forth.

“The noble Brutus is ascended.

“You now are mounted
Where powers are your retainers.

“I am descended of a gentler blood.

“Through his lips do throng
Weak words, so thick come (particip.) in his poor heart's aid.

Compare our "welcome."

“How now, Sir Proteus, are you crept before us?

So Rich. III. i. 2. 259.

“Prince John is this morning secretly stolen away.

This idiom is common with words of "happening:"

“And bring us word . . . how everything is chanced.

; 2 Hen. IV. i. 1. 87.

“Things since then befallen.

“Of every one these happen'd accidents.

“Sad stories chanced in the days of old.

Hence a participial use like "departed" in

“The treachery of the two fled hence.

In some verbs that are both transitive and intransitive this idiom is natural:

“You were used to say.

Perhaps this is sometimes a French idiom. Thus, "I am not purposed" (MONTAIGNE, 38), is a translation of "je ne suis pas délibéré."

This constant use of "be" with participles of verbs of motion may perhaps explain, by analogy, the curious use of "being" with the present participle in

“To whom being going.

As above mentioned, the tendency to invent new active verbs increased the number of passive to the diminution of neuter verbs:

“Poor knave, thou art overwatch'd.

“Be wreak'd (i.e. avenged) on him.

So, N. P. 194.

"Possess" was sometimes used for to "put in possession," as in "Possess us, possess us" (T. N. ii. 3. 149): i.e. "inform us." So M. of V. iv. 1. 35. Hence the play on the word.

“Deposing thee before thou wert possess'd (of the throne),
Which art possessed (with a spirit of infatuation) to destroy
thyself.

; M. of V. i. 3. 65. We still say a man "is well read." But in Macb. i. 4. 9, there is--
As one that had been studied in his death.

“For Clarence is well-spoken.

“I am declined into the vale of years.

“How comes it, Michael, you are thus forgot?” Ib. ii. 3. 188. i.e. "you have forgotten yourself."

“If I had been remembered.

We still say "well-behaved," but not

“How have I been behaved.

It was perhaps already considered a vulgarity, for Dogberry says (M. Ado, iv. 2. 1):
Is our whole dissembly appear'd?
and in a prose scene (Coriol. iv. 3. 9)--
Your favour is well appear'd (fol.) by your tongue.

Perhaps, however, appear was sometimes used as an active verb. See Cymb. iv. 2. 47, iii. 4. 148, quoted in 296.

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