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Remarks on the Forms signed with an Asterisk.
302. lift, preterite. The two forms were used indiscrimin
ately in the sixteenth century, as we see in the Bible translations. Our current Bibles have lifted nearly everywhere, but in the Bible of 1611 it is difficult to say which form prevails.
Thus was Midian broght lowe before yo childrē of Israel, so that they lift vр
their heads nomore. - - Judges viii. 28. Geneva. Thus was Midian subdued before the children of Israel; so that they lifted up their heads no more.—Ibid. 1611. lift, participle. Familiar chiefly through the Psalter of 1539:
Lift vp youre heades, O ye gates, and be ye lift vp ye euerlastyng dores. Psalm xxiv. bis.
The floudes are rysen, O Lord, the floudes have lyft vp theyr uoyse. xciij. 4.
went. This participle is provincial, and very widely spread
I know not how wide. I should say that “to have gone' is literary English, and that the popular form almost everywhere is to have went. Certainly it is so in the west. Those who still travel by the highways will know the sound of this: You should have went on the other side of the road.'
303. Of the usual form of the weak verb it will not be necessary to give many examples. They are all of the following pattern, and the list is alphabetic, to intimate the indefiniteness of their extent.
PRETERITE and PARTICIPLE
allow believe change defend educate
PRETERITE and PARTICIPLE. figure
yielded 304. To this third class belongs the bulk of English verbs. It is regarded as the youngest form of verbal inflection, from the relation in which we find it standing towards the two classes previously described. It is the only verbal inflection which can be properly said to be in a living and active state, because it applies to new words; whereas the others cannot make new verbs after their own pattern. And, besides this, there is a constant tendency of the strong and mixed verbs to fall into the forms of the weak, but no corresponding movement in the reverse direction.
There is, however, what may at first sight look like it there is a recoil movement. Writers of the last century went further in the translation of strong verbs into weak forms than the sense of the nation has approved, and consequently there are in the literature of the eighteenth century many weak forms like the following, where we should now use the strong or mixed form :
shaked. The very point I shaked my head at.-Richard Steele, Spectator, March 5, 1711.
meaned. The sovereign meaned Charles, Duke of Somerset.... The patriots meaned to make the king odious.—Horace Walpole, Royal and Noble Authors.
creeped. Perhaps some secret animosities, naturally to be expected in that situation, had creeped in among the great men, and had enabled the king to recover his authority.-David Hume, History of England, ch. xvii.
While we consider this to be the most recent of our verbal inflections, it is of high antiquity nevertheless. It is common to all the dialects of our family, and in the oldest monuments it is already established. But whatever tokens of antiquity it may boast, the single fact that it has produced no symbolic verb would seem to place it far in the rear of the two previous classes. 1
305. It has been shewn at 216, 260, that the English language can turn a noun or any other word into a verb, and use it as a verb, without any alteration to the form of the word, such as would be caused by the addition of a verbal formative. This does not hinder, however, but that there always have been verbal formatives in the language, and that the number and variety of these is from time to time increased. By Verbal Formative is meant any addition to a word, whether prefix or suffix, which stamps that word as a verb independently of a context.
Such is the suffix -en, by means of which, from the sub
1 The -ED of the weak conjugation has been explained as a relic of the verb do, did; as if hoped were a condensation of hope-did. Max Müller, Science of Language, 1861, p. 219.
stantives height, haste, length, strength, are formed the verbs heighten, hasten, lengthen, strengthen. From the adjectives bright, deep, fast, quick, short, wide, right, are formed the verbs brighten, deepen, fasten, quicken, shorten, widen, tighten. Belonging to the same group, are—broaden, christen, frighten, glisten, harden, lighten, madden, sicken, slacken. This verbal formative n is of Saxon antiquity; but it is quite separate and distinct from the Saxon infinitive form -AN.
306. Such again is the prefix be-, by means of which, from the substantives head, friend, tide, are formed the verbs behead, befriend, betide. This formative is still in operation, but is less active than it formerly was. It enters into sixtysix different verbs in Shakspeare, as appears in Mrs. Cowden Clarke's Complete Concordance. They are the following: bechance, become, befal, befit, befriend, beget, begin, begnaw, begrime, beguile, behave, behead, behold, behove, behowl, belie, believe, belong, belove (* more beloving than beloved' Ant. and Cleop. i. 2), bemad, bemele, bemoan, bemock, bemoil, bepaint, bequeath, berattle, bereave, berhyme, beseech, beseek, beseem, beset, beshrew, besiege, beslubber, besmear, besmirch, besort, besot, bespeak, bespice, bestain, bestead, bestill, bestir, bestow, bestraught, bestrew, bestride, betake, beteem, bethink, bethump, betide, betoken, betoss, betray, betrim, belroth, bewail, beweep, bewet, bewitch, bewray.
307. Such again is the prefix un-, by means of which other words are made beside verbs, as the substantives and adjectives unbeliever, unjust, unmeel; yet it is also a verbal formative because it transforms other words into verbs which even without a context cannot be regarded as being anything else than verbs. Examples :-—unchurch, unfrock, unlink, unlock, untie.
308. The above examples of verbal formatives are all genuine natives: the next two are after French models.
The prefix en- is not only adopted with the French verbs in which it is embodied, as encroach, enhance; but it also has •been used by us to make new verbs, and still is so used, as in the following line : Encharnelled in their fatness, men that smile,
Frederick W. H. Myers, St. John the Baptist. The suffix -fy is taken from those French words which end in fier, after Latin verbs ending in facere. Examples :beatify, beautify, codify, deify, dignify, dulcify, edify, electrify, horrify, modify, mollify, mortify, nullify, qualify, ratify, satisfy, scarify, stullify, unify.
dulcify. He never condescended to anything like direct flattery; but he felicitously hit upon the topic which he knew would tickle the mour propre of those whom he wished to dulcify.-Lord Campbell, Life of Lord Lyndhurst, 1869.
309. The Latin formative -ate is from the participle passive of the first conjugation : as aestimatus, valued. Examples : — abdicate, captivate, decimate, eradicate, estimate, exculpate, expostulate, fabricate, indicate, invalidate, liquidate, mitigate, nominate, operate, postulate, ruinate, venerate.
the city ruinated, the people captiuated.—Jeremiah xxxix, Contents. 310. The above formatives are of great standing in the language; but that which we have now to mention, the formative -ize, is comparatively modern. It occurs in Shakspeare, as tyrannize in King John, v. 7. 47; partialize, in King Richard II, i. 1. 120; monarchize, Id. iii. 2. 165, but was not in general use until the time of the living generation. This is a formative which we have identified with the Greek verbs in Selv. Examples:--advertize, anathematize, anatomize, cauterize, christianize, deodorize, evangelize, fraternize, generalize, macadamize, monopolize, patronize, philosophize, soliloquize, subsidize, symbolize, sympathize, systematize, utilize.