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‘One is so near to another that no air can come between them.”—job xli. I6.
“Rich young men become so valuable a prize that selection is renounced.' —John Boyd-Kinnear, Woman's Work, p. 353.
then or than.
“A wise man will make better use of an idle pamphlet, then a fool will do of sacred Scripture.'—John Milton, Areopagitica.
where or whereas.
‘Where in former times the only remedy for misgovernment real or supposed was a change of dynasty, the evil is now corrected at no greater cost than that of a ministerial crisis. Where in former times serious evils were endured because the remedy was worse than the disease, trivial inconveniences now excite universal complaints and meet with speedy remedy. Where formerly ministers clung to office with the tenacity of despair, and rival statesmen persecuted each other to the death, the defeated premier now retires with the reasonable prospect of securing by care and skill a triumphant return; and both he and his successors mutually entertain no other feelings than those to which an honourable rivalry may give rise. Where formerly every subsidy was the occasion of the bitterest contention, and was given at last grudgingly and with mistrust, the House of Commons has never since the Revolution refused to the Crown the maintenance of a single soldier or reduced the salary of a single clerk."—W. E. Hearn, The Government of England, 1867, p. 126.
Whether. This interesting word is a substantive-pronoun in such passages as
“Whether of them twaine did the will of his father? They say vnto him, The first.”—Matthew xxi. 31.
“Whether is greater, the gold, or the Temple?'—Id. xxiii. 17.
But this pronominal use is now antiquated, and whether is used only as a conjunction:
“Whether they wil heare, or whether they will forbeare.”—Ezekiel ii. 5.
To this same group belongs a conjunction, not so common as it once was, but one that has a fine old English ring with it, albeit a translation from the French. We mean the how before narratives, or the summary of a narrative, as in the heading of chapters. It comes from the age of chivalry; almost every chapter in Froissart begins with Comment. Nor has it quite lost the romantic character. Sometimes it has a sort of archness about it, as if it would prepare the reader for something droll:—
‘I have related how an eminent physicist with whose acquaintance I am honoured, imagines me to have invented the author of the Sacra Privata; and that fashionable newspaper, the Morning Post, undertaking—as I seemed, it said, very anxious about the matter—to supply information as to who the author really was, laid it down that he was Bishop of Calcutta, and that his ideas and writings, to which I attached so much value, had been among the main provocatives of the Indian mutiny.”—Matthew Arnold, St. Paul and Protestantism, p. 75.
There are also of this group that run into phrasal for
“Yet for all that it cannot be dissembled, that partly to exercise and whet our wits, partly to weane the curious from loathing of them for their euerywhere-plainenesse, partly also to stirre vp our deuotion to craue the assistance of Gods spirit by prayer, and lastly, that we might be forward to seek ayd of our brethren by conference, and neuer scorn those that be not in all respects so complete as they should bee, being to seeke in many things our selues, it hath pleased God in his diuine prouidence, heere and there to scatter wordes and sentences of that difficultie and doubtfulnesse,' &c.—The Translators to the Reader, 1611.
Of all the elements that go to make conjunctions, none come near the pronouns in importance. Often where other parts of speech get a footing in this office, it has been by pronominal ushering. Thus, in the case of directly, quoted below, it is clear that this word originally came in as an adverb to a pronominal conjunction: it was at first ‘directly as' or ‘directly that.'
Of the conjunctions which are of pronominal extraction the so and the as are our Saxon inheritance, whereas the con
junctional use of who, whose, whom, which, what, whence, &c., G g
are French imitations. In the Latin language, and in those which spring from it, the relative pronoun is the chief conjunction. In French, for example, qui and que play a part which their equivalents in English do not come near. Indeed, the degree in which these relatives act as conjunctions is almost the touchstone of a Latinised or Frenchified style. For the Latin scholar, one has only to name a few of such sentence-links as the following: quae quum ila sint, quo facto, quibus peractis, quod si, quare, quom or quum, &c. For a French instance, I quote the following example from Père Lacordaire, Quarantième Conference, with the anonymous translation as published by Chapman and Hall, 1869:— ‘Wous ne fonderez donc pas une doctrine, eussiez-vous devant vous mille ans multipliés par mille ans. Que si vous sortez des principes de l'incre
dulité, a l'instant même vous retombez en Jésus-Christ, le seul maitre possible de quiconque reconnait une autorité.’
‘You would not then found a doctrine, even if you had a thousand years multiplied by another thousand before you. If you quit the principles of unbelief, at that very moment you fall back upon Jesus Christ, the only possible master for whosoever acknowledges an authority.”
Although this translation is almost in the extreme of verbal fidelity, yet the Que is passed over in silence. And rightly so.
As we turned who and which from interrogatives into relatives under French influence, as already shewn, so it followed that these words took a place also as conjunctions, just as the French qui and que do. Moreover, we accepted also the symbol-cases of these words as conjunctions, namely, of whom, in which, &c, and we said, “There is the man to whom I sent you,” “This is the thing of which I spoke’; instead of ‘The man I sent you to,” “The thing I spoke of.” This Romanesque form of speech was wellestablished among us in the seventeenth century, and it still
retains its place, though there has been a reaction, which Addison has the credit of. It often happens that when foreign idioms are admitted into a language, they make awkward combinations with the native material, at least in unskilled hands. So this relative conjunction is always getting into trouble. It is much complained of that even the correspondents of first-class newspapers will write “and which,’ ‘and where,’ &c., inappropriately. Of course there is a position in which such expressions would be unimpeachable. If two clauses, each of them beginning with which, have to be combined by and, the second clause will necessarily begin with and which. But this will not justify examples like the following, drawn from the Bath Chronicle, where the subject has been recently noticed :— “The Oxford correspondent of the Standard, in his letter of Saturday, writes—“In the afternoon the Flower Show will be held in the gardens of Worcester College, and at which the band of the Coldstreams will assist;” and again, “At night Miss Neilson, the well-known actress, and who has obtained in a very short time a considerable reputation as a reader, will give a dramatic reading from the Ingoldsby Legends, Tennyson, &c., in the Clarendon-rooms, and where one may expect a crowded audience.” In yesterday's paper he writes, “Then again parties without number were lionising, &c. &c., while some went to see an assault of arms conducted by
Mr. Blake, at the Holywell Concert-room, and where Mr. Buller, of the Guards, exhibited some feats, &c. &c.””
“There are two kinds of biographies, and of each kind we have seen examples in our own time. One is as a golden chalice, held up by some wise hand, to gather the earthly memory ere it is spilt on the ground. The other is as a millstone, hung by partial yet ill-judging friend, round the hero's neck to plunge him as deep as possible in oblivion.’—J. C. Shairp, jobn Keble, p. 69.
This old conjunction is often strengthened by the addition of 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.
Sometimes two forms of the same word were combined, as
‘I cannot fully answer this or that objection, nevertheless I will persevere in believing.”—J. Llewelyn Davies, The Gospel and Modern Life, p. xiv.
‘On the contrary, is it not the case that everybody and every section are telling us continually that the religious difficulty, directly you come to practice, becomes insignificant, and that it is a difficulty made rather for Parliament and for debate than one which would be raised within the schools 2'-House of Commons, June 25, 1870.
just. . “Just as the confusion of tongues thwarted the bold attempt which men once made to ascend the heavens, so a confusion of ideas seems to wait upon all attempts to build up theories with reference to those dealings of
God with man, for which Scripture affords no sufficient materials.”—Scrip. ture Revelations [J. W. Flower, Esq.] 1860, p. 338.
“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. Aldi, Wright, p. 275.
no more than. This is now little more than an illustrative way of saying not at all. But it once had its literal and quantitative signification:—
“So hote he loved that by nightertale
Chaucer's Prologue, 98.