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“ He scarce had ceased when the superior Fiend
Was moving toward the shore ; his ponderous shield,
“ feathered mail,
“ Up led by thee,
Man-like, but different sex.”—P. L., VIII. 470, 471. Miscellaneous Ellipses.—The variety of these may be indicated by the following specimens. Some, it will be seen, are again Latinisms in reality
Daily devours apace, and nothing said.”—Lycid. 129. " While smooth Adonis from his native rock
Ran purple to the sea, supposed with blood
Of Thammuz yearly wounded.”—P. L., I. 450—452.
- Let us not then pursue,
Of splendid vassalage.”—P. L., II. 249–252.
“ Direct my course : Directed, no mean recompense it brings
To your behoof.”—P. L., II. 980—982. “ Man shall not quite be lost, but saved who will.”—P. L., III. 173. " The rest shall hear me call, and oft be warned
Their sinful state.”—P. L., III. 185, 186.
Perceive thee purposed not to doom frail Man
offered himself to die
Numberless, as thou seest, and how they move.”—P. L., III. 718,719.
whereof here needs no account,
Or undiminished brightness, to be known
“ Freely we serve,
“ Hast thou turned the least of these
“greater now in thy return
“Such pleasure she reserved,
“Let it suffice thee that thou know'st
6. This had been
For self-offence.”—S. A. 514, 515.
GRAMMATICAL SUPERFLUITIES. - These are, as might be expected, not nearly so numerous in Milton. Indeed, it would be very difficult to find a distinct and positive instance. The little prose-note appended to the early poem called The Passion might seem to be one: “This subject the author finding to be above the years he had when he wrote it, and nothing satisfied with what was begun, left it unfinished.” But, though this is an anomalous construction now, the anomaly does not lie in superfluity. Read “The author, finding this subject to be,” etc., and all is rectified without the loss of a word. So with the following apparent instances : “I know thee, stranger, who thou art.”—P. L., II. 990.
" The other sort
Adam, misthought of her to thee so dear ? ”—P. L., IX. 288, 289.
He leaves his gods.”—P. L., XII. 128, 129. In each of these cases, though there seems to be a grammatical excess, it will be found that the excess is required by the meaning. Take the first and the last of the quoted passages. They are
examples of a usage which Mr. Abbott finds frequent in Shakespeare, and which he calls “ The redundant object.” It may easily be defended. “I know, stranger, who thou art,” and “I see, but thou canst not, with what faith he leaves his gods,” would not convey what is meant-viz., first, the recognition or optical discernment of a person, and, secondly, a fact about that person. Nor, even by present usage, could the word he in “To whom Michael thus, he also moved, replied," be omitted without loss of the intended emphasis. In the two remaining examples retrenchment would equally enfeeble the sense. The phrase “The other sort,” in the one, and the noun “Thoughts” in the other, may be taken as instances of an emphatic Elizabethan form which Mr. Abbott names “the noun absolute"; or the two whole sentences may be taken as instances of a subtle grammatical figure, which Mr. Abbott calls “Construction changed by change of Thought," and of which we have more to say.
Seeming redundancies also rather than real are Milton's occasional double negatives. There are two forms, however, of this idiom. There is, first, the double negative, usually so called, of such Shakespearian and Early English phrases as “He denied you had in him no right,” “ Forbade the boy he should not pass these bounds,” where the second negative word does not undo the first, but only intensifies the negation already made in it. Distinct from this is another double negative, constructed on the ordinary grammatical principle that “two negatives make an affirmative," and serving, in fact, as a rather emphatic affirmative. Of the following four passages the first two are examples of the first kind of double negative, the last two of the second ; and it will be seen that in none of them is there properly redundancy :
nor from Hell One step, no more than from himself, can fly."-P. L., IV. 21, 22. “ Nor in their liquid texture mortal wound
Receive, no more than can the fluid air.”—P. L., VI. 348, 349. “ Nor did they not perceive the evil plight
In which they were, or the fierce pains not feel :
nor could his eye not ken The empire of Negus.”—P. L., XI. 396, 397. Thus hard pressed for examples of real grammatical superfluity in Milton, I may present these as the best I have found" Yet to their General's voice they soon obeyed.”—P. L., I. 337.
66 without more train Accompanied than with his own complete
Perfections.”—P. L., V. 351-353. With these I may associate Milton's pretty frequent use of the
adverbial forms from hence, from thence, from whence, instead of the simpler adverbs hence, thence, whence. He uses these simple adverbs too, and hence and whence oftener in proportion than thence.
CONSTRUCTION CHANGED BY CHANGE OF THOUGHT.—Perhaps there is no subtler observation in Mr. Abbott's Shakespearian Grammar than that which occasioned his invention or adoption of this useful name for a rather frequent and troublesome, but very interesting, class of Shakespearian idioms (Sh. Gr. $ 415). the more welcome because it is a recognition of the more general and far-reaching principle that all the so-called Figures of Speech, including all grammatical variations and irregularities, however minute, are to be referred ultimately to equivalent turns, modifications, changes of manoeuvre, in the act of thinking. First let us give two of Mr. Abbott's Shakespearian instances :
“ Purpose is but the slave to memory,
Which now, like fruit unripe, sticks on the tree,
But fall unshaken when they mellow be."-Hamlet, III. 2. Here the change of number from sticks to fall evidently indicates a change in Shakespeare's act of thinking as he wrote. He was first thinking of one piece of fruit, or of fruit as one mass, sticking to a tree; but next moment he sees the shower of separate pieces of fruit falling numerously. Again, in the passage
That he which hath no stomach to this fight
Let him depart.”—Henry V. IV. 3, we see the King first only telling Westmoreland what to proclaim, but immediately, in his indignation at the idea called up, passing into the direct imperative, as if he were facing the army and making the proclamation himself.
If the reader will now go back on our collection of Miltonic Ellipses (pp. 78—82) he will be able to explain some of the most puzzling of them on this principle. Here, however, are a few cases in which the afterthought, or change of front, if we may so call it, in Milton's mind, and the corresponding change of construction in the sentence, may be better observed :
“ Or did of late Earth's sons besiege the wall
66 the stars That Nature hung in heaven, and filled their lamps With everlasting oil.” —Com. 197—199.
6. There does a sable cloud Turn forth her silver lining to the Night, And casts a gleam over this tufted grove.”—Com. 223—225.
" So little knows Any, but God alone, to value right
The good before him, but perverts best things.”—P. L., IV. 201—203. 66 Much less can bird with beast or fish with fowl
So well converse, nor with the ox the ape.”—P. L., VIII. 395, 396. “ [O flowers] . . . which I bred up with tender hand
From the first opening bud, and gave ye names.”—P. L., XI. 276, 277. " Who was that just man, whom had not Heaven Rescued, had in his righteousness been lost.”—P. L., XI. 681, 682.
6. Let no man seek
Grievous to bear.”—P. L., XI. 770—776. “ Deservedly thou griev'st, composed of lies
From the beginning, and in lies wilt end.”—P. R., I. 407, 408. “ Did I not tell thee, if thou didst reject
The perfect season offered with my aid
“ thoughts that, like a deadly swarm
Change of tense, it will be noted, is a very natural form of this curious kind of change of construction; and a few more examples may be given, illustrating this fact :
" It was the winter wild
While the heaven-born child All meanly wrapt in the rude manger lies.”_Od. Nat. 29—31. " And the full wrath beside
Of vengeful justice bore for our excess,
And seals obedience first with wounding smart.”—Upon the Circ. 23—25. “I did but prompt the age to quit their clogs
By the known rules of ancient liberty,
When straight a barbarous noise environs me.”—Sonnet XII.
The most frequent of these by far is the use of an Adjective for an Adverb. This, common in the Elizabethan writers, is incessant in Milton. Examples are “ Meanwhile inhabit lax, ye Powers of Heaven (Par. Lost, VII. 162), “which plain infers” (Par. Lost, IX. 285), "I bring thee voluntary” (Par. Reg., II. 394). And so in every page we have