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And the feet of those he fought for,
Echo round his bones for evermore."

TENNYSON, Ode on the Death of the Duke of Wellington.

6. "An old man broken with the storms of state, Is come to lay his weary bones among ye,

Give him a little earth for charity."

King Henry VIII., iv. 2.

7. Gloucester. "Ay, all of you have laid your heads


And all to make away my guiltless


2 King Henry VI., iii. 1.


The verb "to do" may be used in place of any verb expressing action; e.g.

"I learned half the odes by heart, merely to please myself, and learned with certainty

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that the Greeks liked doves, swallows, and roses just as well as I did."


"I had never examined its structure before, and by this afternoon sunlight did so with care."


"To do" may not be used in place of a neuter verb except as an emphatic auxiliary, the infinitive being understood after it; e.g.

"Considering that he was not altogether inexperienced in such a question, it might be strange that he should feel so uncomfortable in the present case as he really did." I.e. "as he did [feel]." JANE AUSTEN, Sense and Sensibility.

Do not write, for instance, "He felt happier than she did; It seemed more beautiful than it did before."


"Had better," "would better"; "had rather," "would rather," are used with the present infinitive to denote respectively advisability and preference. "Had rather " and "would rather" are used interchangeably by the best English writers; of the two forms, "had better" and "would better," "had better" is the more idiomatic and is to be preferred.1



"He had better starve

King Henry VIII., v. 3.

Than but once think this place becomes thee not."

2. "The dismal Hecate, who loved to take the darkest view of things, told Ceres that she had better come with her to the cavern, and spend the rest of her life in being miserable." Tanglewood Tales, The Pomegranate Seeds.

3. "And he had lever talken with a page

Than to commune with any gentil wight."

The Canterbury Tales, The Frankeleyne's Prologue. 4. "Will Wimble's is the case of many a younger brother of a great family, who had rather see their

1 The "had" in these idiomatic expressions is thought to be the notional verb have, meaning to hold, to consider. See A New English Dictionary, ed., J. A. H. Murray, have. Why the form should be "had" to express present time, instead of "have," seems to be an undecided point.

The "would" in "would better" is the subjunctive form used in the conclusion of an unreal condition; the "would" in "would rather" is the subjunctive used to express desire. See Lesson XXIII., Subjunctive Mood.

children starve like gentlemen than thrive in a trade or profession that is beneath their quality."

ADDISON, The Spectator, July 4, 1711.

5. "I won't dispute it, friend,' answered Josiah, 'but I know I had rather have fifty acres of this good land than a whole sheet of thy paper.""

HAWTHORNE, The Canterbury Pilgrims.

6. "Full looth were hym to cursen for his tithes, But rather wolde he geven out of doute,

Unto his povre parisshens aboute,

Of his offryng and eek of his substaunce."

Prologue to the Canterbury Tales.

7. "When I was with him I have heard him swear

That he would rather have Antonio's flesh
Than twenty times the value of the sum

That he did owe him." The Merchant of Venice, III. 2.

8. "Because I love a wood-walk better than a London street, and would rather watch a sea gull fly than shoot it, and rather hear a thrush sing than eat it, . therefore the hacks of English art and literature wag their heads at me." Fors Clavigera, Letter XLI.



I. "Will," ("would,") "should," notional verbs.

a. "Will" ("would") meaning "to be willing," "to desire" (sometimes followed by the infinitive).


1. King Richard. "Why then, give me leave to go. Bolingbroke. Whither?


King Richard. Whither you will, so I were from

your sight."

King Richard II., vi. 1.

"He that will not when he may,

When he will he shall have nay."

3. "Give then the tablet to him. He shall take it to the city of Argos, and thou shalt have what thou wilt. But as for me, let them slay me if they will."

Iphigenia among the Taurians.

4. "The blackbird 'mid the leafy trees,
The lark upon the hill,

Let loose their carols when they please,
Are silent when they will."

WORDSWORTH, The Fountain.

5. "... There came to Cameliard,

Lot's wife, the Queen of Orkney, Bellicent;
Whom as he could, not as he would, the king
Made feast for."

Idylls of the King, The Coming of Arthur.

6. "Then Orestes would know the manner of the death by which he must die."

Iphigenia among the Taurians.

b. "Will" ("would"), denoting tendency, or habit (completed by the infinitive).

1. "Many will swoon when they do look on blood."

SHAKESPEARE, As You Like It, V. 2.

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At evening, when the earliest stars began
To move along the edges of the hills,
Rising or setting, would he stand alone

Beneath the trees, or by the glimmering lake."
WORDSWORTH, There was a Boy.

3. "Once a year also the neighbors would gather together, and go on a gypsy party to Epping forest."

The Sketch-Book, Little Britain.

4. "Sometimes his crew would be heard dashing along past the farm houses at midnight with whoop and halloo, like a troop of Don Cossacks."

Ibid., The Legend of Sleepy Hollow. c. "Should" (past of verb "shall," meaning "to be obliged") used in the sense of "ought" (completed by the infinitive).

1. Cassius. "You are dull, Casca, and the sparks of life That should be in a Roman you do lack."

Julius Cæsar, I. 3.

2. Rosalind. "I pray you, what is it o'clock ? Orlando. You should ask me what time o' day. There's no clock in the forest."

As You Like It, III. 2.

II. "Shall" ("should"), "will" (" would "), auxiliary


"Shall" ("should"), "will" ("would"), are used as follows, to express simple futurity, determination, promise, command, and foretelling (prophecy).

In all independent clauses (a) use "shall" ("should") in the first person, "will" ("would") in the second and third, to express simple futurity; (b) use "will"

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