Verbal constructions should be dealt with in a similar way. The
possibilities after conjunctions should, in particular, be entirely familiar.
Given a quamquam
or a quamvis
, the student should be able
to tell instantly what is coming. Given an antequam
, he should
know precisely what the two ideas are, either one of which may possibly
be in the speaker's mind, and by what mode each was expressed by the Romans.
Given an ut
, he should know the full range of ideas possible for
the speaker to have when he so begins a clause, and by what construction
each of these ideas is expressed. And in particular it will be found
useful to set before the class the whole range of verbal constructions
that are capable of serving as the object or the subject or a verb (substantive
clauses), and to ask them which and how many of these a given verb or phrase
may take. These substantive clauses are as follows: —
- The indirect statement of fact (infinitive).
- The indirect question of fact.
- The indirect deliberative question.
- The final clause.
- The consecutive clause.
Now give the class a verb, dicit
, and ask what possible completing
verbal ideas there may be, and what phase of meaning one and another of
these would indicate for the word dicit
itself. The answer
should be: the infinitive
, if dicit means that a statement
is made; the subjunctive introduced by an interrogative
of course ut
), if dicit
means the giving of an answer to
a question of fact or a deliberate question; the subjunctive with
ut or ne
, if dicit
means the giving of a direction.
The substantive consecutive clause, it is, of course, impossible for dicit
to take. On the other hand, the meaning of a word like effecit
is such that it can take the substantive consecutive clause and can take
no other; so that, unless we find a clear accusative object, we are
sure, upon meeting an efficit
, that a verbal object introduced by
or ut non
is sooner or later to come. A verb like
can take only a substantive final clause, a verb like quaero
only an interrogative substantive clause (either a question of fact, or
a deliberative question), etc. To look at these matters in this particular
way is of great usefulness
. If, for
example, the clas is translating at hearing, in Cat. Mai. 63
anecdote beginning quin etiam memoriae proditum est
, everybody should
at this point instantly recognize that an infinitive of statement is sooner
or later inevitable, and, knowing the Latin habit of arrangement, should
at once associate with that impending infinitive statement all the intervening
matter, cum Athenis ludis quidam in theatrum
, etc. The same
thing is seen, with a much briefer suspense, in Caesar's “id si fieret,
intellegebat magno periculo, etc.,
” B.G. 1.10.2.