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not confuse this case with the modern construction 'to speak of it is shameful,' where the verb is now detached and formed into the modern infinitive, and put as the subject of the sentence. These verbs To Tellanne and To Donne I call phrasal adverbs; even as in the modern sentence, ' He has three shillings a week to live on,' I call to live on a phrasal adverb.
454. In modern English this adverbial use is eclipsed to our eyes by the far greater frequency of the substantival or infinitive use; but still it is not hard to find instances of the former, and there are two in the close of the following paragraph. Mr. Sargent, pleading for colonies and emigration, says:—
We are told also that those who go are the best, the backbone of the nation; that the resolute and enterprising go abroad, leaving the timid and apathetic at home. This is not the whole truth. ... In one sense these are our best men; they are the best to go, not the best to stay.—Essays by Members of the Birmingham Speculative Club, p. 26.
455. As in French the phrase a/aire, occurring often in such connection as quelque chose a /aire, beaucoup a /aire, something to do, a great deal to do, became at length one vocable, and that a substantive affaire, English affair, so likewise in provincial English did to-do become a substantive, as in the Devonshire exclamation,' Here's a pretty to-do!' In place of this to-do the King's English accepted a composition, part French, part English, and hence the substantive ado.
If it be admitted that affair and ado are now separate substantives formed from an adverbial phrase, the strangeness of supposing a like origin for our formal English infinitive is much lessened.
The above explanation may be confirmed or corrected by the young philologer; only he should consider in what way the infinitives may appear to have been formed in other languages. It might be worth while to trace the origin
in oi the Danish infinitive, which like ours is phrasal (9); he should also cast a glance at the flexional infinitives of the Greek and Latin, and see what sort of an account has been rendered of these by the Sanskrit scholars '.
By way of reflection upon this trilogy of adverbs, be it observed, that the subtleness of their utility lies not merely in the choice of three forms for the fitness of every occasion, though that is a great advantage; but still more in the power of adverbial variation which they render possible. The repetition of one cast of adverb is liable to become monotonous, and accordingly when adverbs press for admission more than one at a time, it is well to provide them each with a several garb. In the following comparison between French and English, see how great a difference this makes. In Micah vii. 3 we read (1611) 'That they may doe euil with both hands earnestly'; but if we look at the Rochelle Bible (1616), we find, 'Pour faire mal a deux mains a bon escient,' with adverbial monotony; whereas the English wins a certain force by varying the cast of the adverb.
§ The Numerals.
456. The numerals make a little noun-group by themselves, and are (like the chief noun-group) distinguished by the threefold character of substantive, adjective, and adverb.
The distinction between substantive and adjective is not indeed so sharp here as in other presentive words. It is however plain that the Cardinals when used arithmetically are substantives, as in two and two make four.
The Cardinal has also this aspect when any person or thing is designated as number one, number two, &c, the
1 Consult F. Max Miiller Chips, iv. 33.
word 'number' being in the nature of a mere prefix, as is felt when we look at the oblique-cased Latin word which the French use in this connection.
'En Angleterre,' said a cynical Dutch diplomatist, 'numero deux va chez numero un, pour s'en glorifier aupres de numero trois.'—Laurence Oliphant. Piccadilly, Part v.
Moreover, when the numeral takes a plural form, it must be regarded as a substantive, e. g.
There are hundreds of genuine letters of Mary Queen of Scots still extant. —John Hosack, Mary Queen of Scots and her Accusers, p. 198.
There is in some languages an abstract substantive which is formed upon Cardinals, and it has a peculiar utility in expressing the more conventional quantities or Round numbers. Thus in French there is huilaine, a quantity of eight, which is only used in talking of the huit jours, 'eight days' of the week. So they have their dixaine, douzaine, quinzaine, vingtaine, trenlaine, quaranlaine, cinquantaine, soixaniaine, centaine. Of all this we have nothing. Only we have borrowed their word for a tale of twelve, and have anglicised it into dozen. Then we have a native substitute for vingtaine, not originally a numeral at all, but a word that practically fills the place of one. This is the word score, an elongate form of scar, meaning a notch on the rind of a stick or some such ledger. Our special use of this word seems to indicate that in the rude reckoning of our ancestors a larger notch was made at every twenty.
457. When used numerically, as two stars, three graces, four seas, five senses, then the numerals are assimilated to adjectives.
But while we trace in the functions of the numeral a broad and general resemblance to the distinctions which mark the nounal group, we should just notice that there is not in thought the same adjectival character in the numeral as there is in the nounal group. If I say bright stars, fabled graces, uncertain seas, receptive senses, these adjectives have the same relation to their substantives, whether those substantives be taken in the plural or in the singular. Whereas the numerals two, three, four, five, belong to their substantives only conjointly and not severally. It may have been a dim sense of this difference that caused the vacillation which has appeared in language about the adjectival declension of numerals. In Saxon the first three numerals were declined. Thus, preora is genitive of preo: 'pis is baera breora hida land gemaere'—' This is the landmeer of the three hides.' (a.d. 749.)
458. This group is exceedingly retentive of antiquity. Not only is there a radical identity in the numerals throughout the Gothic family, but these again are identical with the numerals of other families of languages. This indicates a very high antiquity. We may illustrate this fact by comparative tables. First, we will compare the different forms assumed by the numerals in some of the chief branches of our own Gothic family, and then we will pass beyond that limit and take into our comparison some of the most illustrious languages of the Indo-European stock.
THE TALE OF CARDINAL NUMBERS IN
an and twentig, &c,
Hund or hundte
hundred & twenty
een og tyve
hundrede og tyve ^unbert unb jtoattjig
to hundrede j»ei ftunbert
tre hundrede brei Ijunbert