« IndietroContinua »
by ours, that is to say, by episcopal regiment, sithence the time that the blessed Apostles were here conversant.-Richard Hooker, Of the Laws &c. Preface, iv. 1,
near (comparative of nigh).
Paradise Lost, x. 562.
Alexander Pope, Windsor Forest, 235. 528. Perhaps we ought to range in this series such a preposition as save, which having come to us through the French sauf, from the Latin salvo, is still, at least to the perceptions of the scholar, redolent of the ablative absolute.
In one of the public areas of the town of Como stands a statue with no inscription on its pedestal, save that of a single name, VoLTA.—John Tyndall, Faraday as a Discoverer.
Another instance of an old participle and a young preposition is except.
... with all her unrivalled powers of mendacity, she very rarely succeeded in deceiving any one except her friends.—John Hosack, Mary Queen of Scots, p. 35.
529, A third series of prepositions are the phrasal prepositions, consisting of more than one word. In the development of this sort of preposition, we have been expedited by French tuition. A constant and almost necessary element in their formation is the preposition of. They are the analogues of such French prepositions as aupres de, autour de, au lieu de; as
in lieu of. A burnt stick and a barn door served Wilkie in lieu of pencil and canvas.Samuel Smiles, Self Help, ch. iv.
aboard of Every officer and man aboard of her entertained unbounded confidence in her qualities.—Oct. II, 1870.
long of ; along of:
i Henry VI, iv. 3. 33.
A ruder form of this preposition was long on or along on, still heard in country places. Chaucer has
I can not tell whereon it was along,
The Canones Yemannes Tale, 16398; ed. Tyrwhitt.
out of it cannot be that a Prophet perish out of Hierusalem.---Luke xiii. 33.
in spight of ; in spite of.
2 Henry VI, v. 1. 206.
in despight of
John Milton, Psalm cxxxvi.
Antecedent to this was the genitival formula ‘in my despite,' Titus Andronicus, i. 2; in your despite,' Cymbeline, i. 7; 'in thy despite,' i Henry VI, iv. 7; in Love's despite,' John Keble, Christian Year, Matrimony.
for sake (with genitive between). Now for the comfortless troubles' sake of the needy.—Psalm xii. 5.
But if any man say vnto you, This is offered in sacrifice vnto idoles, eate not for his sake that shewed it, and for conscience sake.-I Cor. x. 28. For Sabrine bright her only sake.
Ballad Society, vol. i. p. 386. 530. This is the formula throughout the English Bible, and throughout Shakspeare with three exceptions, according to Mrs. Cowden Clarke. In the above examples, troubles', his, conscience are in the genitive case. The s genitival is not added to conscience, because it ends with sibilant sound, and where there are two sibilants already, a third could hardly be articulated. The s of the genitive case is, however, often absent where this reason cannot be ssigned Thus :
For his oath sake.—Twelfth Night, iii. 4.
Troilus and Cressida, ii. 3. Instead of this genitive the present use of the language substitutes an of-form, which occurs in Shakspeare three times :
for the sake of. And for the sake of them thou sorrowest for.
Comedy of Errors, i. 1. 122. If for the sake of Merit thou wilt hear mee.
Antony and Cleopatra, ii. 7. 54. A little Daughter, for the sake of it Be manly, and take comfort. Pericles, iii, 1, 21.
531. Through the phrasal prepositions we are able to see how the older prepositions came into their place, and (to speak generally) how the symbolic element sustains itself and preserves itself from the natural decay of inanition. Here is a presentive word enclosed between two prepositions, as if it had been swallowed by them, and were gradually undergoing the process of assimilation. By and bye the substantive becomes obsolete elsewhere, and lives on here as a preposition, with a purely symbolic power.
Thus in despite of becomes first despite of – despite of all controversy, Measure for Measure, i. 2; despite of death,' Richard II, i. 1; and then in a further stage despite stands alone—despite his nice fence,' Much Ado, v. 1; despite thy victor sword,' Lear, v. 3; and in these latter cases the old substantive despite is as purely a preposition as the French malgré. And it may be added that despite as a substantive is as good as obsolete, except in poetry, but the prepositional use is well established.
2. OF CONJUNCTIONS.
532. Of all the parts of speech the conjunction comes last in the order of nature. The office of the conjunction is to join sentences together, and therefore it presupposes the completion of the simple sentence; and as a consequence it would seem to imply the pre-existence of the other parts of speech, and to be the terminal product of them all. It is essentially a symbolic word, but this does not hinder it from comprising within its vocabulary a great deal of half-assimilated presentive matter. This is a point to which we shall return in the course of the section.
The necessity for conjunctions (other than and, or, also) does not arise until language has advanced to the formation of compound sentences. Hence the conjunctions are as a whole a comparatively modern formation. Almost all the conjunctions are recent enough for us to know of what they were made. And indeed they may conveniently be arranged according to the parts of speech out of which they have been formed.
533. Of the derival of a conjunction from a preposition we have a ready instance in the old familiar but, at first a preposition, compounded of by and out; in Saxon BUTAN, from bE and UTAN.
Others of the same character are
For thou, for thou didst view,
The notice which you have been pleased to take of my labours, had it been early, had been kind: but it has been delayed till I am indifferent, and cannot enjoy it; till I am solitary, and cannot impart it; till I am known, and do not want it.-Samuel Johnson, to Lord Chesterfield.
As there are a thousand thoughts lying within a man that he does not know till he takes up the pen to write, so the heart is a secret even to him (or her) who has it in his own breast.-W. M. Thackeray, Esmond, Bk. II. ch. i.
Shakspeare was quite out of fashion until Steele brought him back into the mode.—W. M. Thackeray, Esmond, Bk. II, ch. x.
No character is natural until it has been proved to be so.-W. S. Macleay, quoted by Professor Rolleston, Forms of Animal Life, p. xxi.
534. Then there are conjunctions formed by the symphytism of a preposition with a noun, as in the Shakspearian belike, which is pure English, or peradventure, which is pure French, or perhaps, which is half French and half Danish.
In Chaucer, Knight's Tale, 2488, we find the full phrase out of which has been made the compressed form