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Sometimes two forms of the same word were combined, as

or ere.

Two long dayes journey (Lords) or ere we meete.

W. Shakspeare, King John, iv. 3. 20.

At length the second word was supposed to be ever :

And the Lyons had the mastery of them, and brake all their bones in pieces or euer they came at the bottome of the den.—Daniel vi. 24.

nevertheless. I cannot fully answer this or that objection, nevertheless I will persevere in believing.–J. Llewellyn Davies, The Gospel and Modern Life, p. xiv.

542. Conjunctions from adjectives :

least, modern lest. Lastly, followers are not to be liked, least while a man maketh his traine longer, he maketh his winges shorter.Bacon's Essays, ed. W. Aldis Wright, P. 275.

no more than.
So hote he loved that by nightertale
He slep no more then doth the nightingale.

Chaucer's Prologue, 98.

543. Conjunctions formed from substantives. Of these, one has been noticed above (534). Another is case, as in the following :

The world's a hive,
From whence thou canst derive
No good, but what thy soul's vexation brings:

But case thou meet
Some petty petty sweet,
Each drop is guarded with a thousand stings.

Quarles's Emblems, Bk. I. No. 3.

And while, the old substantive for "time.'

But, while his province is the reasoning part,
Has still a veil of midnight on his heart.

William Cowper.

Substantives embodied between pronominal factors, as

what time as.

Thou calledst upon me in troubles, and I delivered thee: and heard thee what time as the storm fell upon thee.—Psalm lxxxi. 7, elder version.

Sith is an old substantive for journey, road, turn; it is used as a conjunction :

sith thou hast not hated blood, euen blood shall pursue thee.—Eze

6. Being iustified by faith, wee haue peace with God, and ioy in our hope, that sith we were reconciled by his blood, when wee were enemies, wee shall much more be saued being reconciled.—Romans v. Contents.

chiel xxxv.

544. Conjunctions formed of verbs, or containing verbs in their composition.

Soone as my younglings cryen for the dam,
To her will I offer a milkwhite lamb;

Shee is my goddesse plaine,

And I her shepherds swayne,
Albee forswonck and forswatt I am.

Edmund Spenser, The Shepheards Calender, April.


Al be it that it is again his kind.

G. Chaucer, Canterbury Tales, 2453.


Howbeit (as evermore the simpler sort are, even when they see no apparent cause, jealous notwithstanding over the secret intents and purposes of wiser men) this proposition of his did somewhat trouble them.-Richard Hooker, Of the Laws &c., Preface, ch. ii.

545. Among these, the conjunctional use of the participle being, common enough in the seventeenth century, is now obsolete. It is notoriously frequent in Pearson On the Creed, as :

Now being the Creed comprehendeth the principles of our religion,

For, being every natural cause actually applied doth necessarily produce its own natural effect,

—and being we have placed the formality of the object of all belief in credibility, Being then I have described the true nature and notion of Belief,—

Preface, and Article 1. seeing

And one morn it chanced
He found her in among the garden yews,
And said, “Delay no longer, speak your wish,
Seeing I must go to-day.' Idylls of the King.

according Their abominations were according as they loved. ---Hosea ix, 10.

talk of.

Talk of the privileges of the Peerage, of Members' exemption from the Eighth Commandment, of the separate jurisdiction secured on the Continent to soldiers,—what are they all put together to a privilege like this?

depend upon it. Depend upon it, a good deal is lost by not looking round the corner. Mrs. Prosser, Quality Fogg's Lost Ledger.

When a sentence is opened with No doubt, this seems to claim a place among these verbal conjunctions, being a condensed expression for ‘There is no doubt that.' It has, however, a less emphatic burden than would be conveyed by the latter formula :

No doubt a determined effort would be made by many of those who are now engaged in these occupations, to prevent the admission of females to them, and to keep up the monopoly of sex.–Frederic Hill, Crime : its Amount, Causes, and Remedies, 1853 ; p. 86.

546. Here it may be objected—Do you call these words symbolic? What does presentive' mean, if such words as see, talk, depend, doubt, are not presentive? In what sense can these belong to a group which is called essentially symbolic ?

This very contradiction troubled the author of Hermes, a famous book on universal grammar, which was published in 1751. He had pitched upon the distinction of presentive and symbolic as the fundamental and essential distinction of his universal grammar. He did not, indeed, use the terms; but he spoke of words as (1) significant by themselves, or significant absolutely, and (2) significant by association, or significant relatively. When he treats of conjunctions, he regards them as belonging to the second class, and yet he cannot shut his eyes to certain refractory instances. The embarrassment of James Harris on this occasion became the sport of Horne Tooke, who published his Diversions of Purley in 1786. In his saucy manner he sums up the doctrine of the Hermes as follows: Thus is the conjunction explained by Mr. Harris :

A sound significant devoid of signification,
Having at the same time a kind of obscure signification;
And yet having neither signification nor no signification,
Shewing the attributes both of signification and no signification;
And linking a signification and no signification together.

Diversions of Purley, Part I. ch. vii. This is a caricature, and we only avail ourselves of its exaggerated features, in order to raise up before us in bolder relief the difficulty which we are here confronting.

547. The answer seems to be this :—That the essential natural of a conjunction (or of any other organic member of speech) discovers itself, not in the recent examples of the class, but in those which have by long use been purged of accidental elements. This will be clearer by an illustration drawn from familiar experience.

It is well known that many words in common use are masked, that they do not express plainly the sense which they are notwithstanding intended to convey. We do not always call a spade a spade. We have recourse in certain well-known cases to forms of expression as distant from the thing meant as is any way consistent with the intention of being understood. It will have struck every observer that it becomes necessary from time to time to replace these makeshifts with others of new device. In fact, words used to convey a veiled meaning are found to wear out very rapidly. The real thought pierces through; they soon stand declared for what they are, and not for what they half feign to be. Words gradually drop the non-essential, and display the pure essence of their nature. And the real nature of a word is to be found in the thought which is at the root of its motive. As in such cases we know full, well how this true nature pierces through all disguise, casts off all drapery and pretext and colour, and in the course of time stands forth as the name of that thing which was to be ignored even while it was indicated, -even so it is in the case now before us.

548. There are reasons why the speaker is not satisfied with the old conjunctions, and he brings forward words with more body and colour to reinforce the old conjunctions and give them a greater presence. If these words continue for any length of time to be used as conjunctions, the presentive matter which now lends them colour will evaporate, and they will become purely symbolic. Of this we may be sure from the experience of the elder examples. Even in such a conjunction as because, where the presentive matter is still very plain, it has, generally speaking, no existence to the mind of the speaker.

It is not indeed a singular quality in the conjunction, that being itself essentially symbolic, it should receive accessions from the presentive groups. This is seen also in the pronoun and in the preposition, and it is only as a matter of degree that the conjunction is remarkable in this respect.

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