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have been told, they have not the sense to see it, and they will persist to be rude.
I confess I can hardly treat such an argument seriously. I fail to perceive the politeness of a man who says, “I shall be obliged, if you lend me L5," or the rudeness of another who says, “I will be obliged.” The shall and will have nothing whatever to do with politeness or the want of politeness. It is not in these words, but in what accompanies them that we can show our good breeding. Grammatical forms are quite independent of such considerations.
The fact is, the Scotch went one way in forming the modern Future, the English went another. If Scotland had been the seat of government; of the court; of the capital of Great Britain, we should have adopted the northern practice, as now we follow the southern. In itself the one is as good as the other; but, as England has acquired the lion's share in grammatical as well as political legislation, the Scotch must simply bow to the majority, and add another to the long list of grievances under which they suffer.
The English Future, in Wiclif's time, was formed exclusively by shall. It is quite possible to show a few faint traces of the introduction of will in Chaucer, and, perhaps, some other writers of the time. But in Wiclif's Bible I can discover only shall. Now, this was found to be, in some instances, very inconvenient, as shall retained its meaning of obligation, besides serving to form the future. I believe that the inconvenience began to be felt when popular preaching in the vernacular became more common. The preachers had necessarily to deal largely in religious and moral injunctions. “Thou shalt not steal; thou shalt not commit adultery.” As long as such commandments could be interpreted as Future tenses, the preachers would fail to produce the desired effect. They had, therefore, either to substitute another word to convey the idea of obligation, or the future had to be expressed by some other auxiliary. If the old Saxon word weorthan had been preserved, and used like the German werden, to express the future, the problem would have been solved in a most satisfactory way, as it was in German.
But, unfortunately, will was employed, and now the Scotch went to work in a more systematic way, and used will throughout. The English, faithful to their national character, did not care about regularity and symmetry. As in everything else, they made a compromise between the old and the new. They preserved the shall in the first person, because the notion of commanding one's self could not be entertained, just as the imperative mood bas no first person. In the second and third person they substituted will. In questions the shall was even serviceable in the second person, because if a question is asked, it cannot be mistaken for a command. In secondary sentences the shall was not so much restricted by the will, because the comparatively rare use of the Future in secondary sentences did not work out a decided general feeling and unanimity. On the whole, the words shall and will, should and would, retained more of their primitive meaning in these secondary sentences; but now, in the time of grammarians, who lay down positive rules, it is not unlikely that we shall see the secondary sentences more and more brought under the same law as the principal sentences.
It is interesting to watch the gradual introduction of the modern future. It can be most satisfactorily traced in the successive translations of the Bible. Wiclif, as I have already stated, invariably uses shall, but none of the succeeding translators follow his example. Whenever the Greek Future can be conceived to contain the idea of volition, they more or less use will, even in the first person;*) but they are by no means agreed among themselves, and often the same translator seems to waver in the use of the two auxiliaries. It will be interesting to adduce a few examples.
The Prayer Book translation of Psalm xviii., v. 25, runs thus:
*25. With the holy thou shalt be holy: and with a perfect man thou shalt be perfect. 26. With the clean thou shalt be clean: and with the froward thou shalt learn frowardness. 27. For thou shalt save the people that are in adversity: and shalt bring down the high looks of the proud. 28. Thou also shalt light my candle: the Lord my God shall make my darkness to be light.”
The authorized version has,
*25. With the merciful thou wilt show thyself merciful: with an upright man thou wilt show thyself upright. 26. With the pure thou wilt show thyself pure: and with the froward thou wilt show thyself froward. 27. For thou wilt save the afflicted people: but wilt bring down high looks. 28. For thou wilt light my candle: the Lord, my God, will enlighten my darkness."
Here is a complete change in less than half a century, (from 1568 to 1611.) But it appears the translator of the Prayer Book lagged rather behind his time, as will be seen from a comparison of Tyndale's (1535), Cranmer's (1539), the Geneva Bible (1557), and the Rheims Bible (1582). I quote from the authorized version, Matthew iï., 11:
*) For instance, Matt. iv. 9, Wiclif translates, “All these I shall give (8000)) to thec." All the other translators have "I will give,” which is more an interpretation than a translation of the original. Matt. vi. 21. “For where your treasure is, there will your heart be (total) also." No translator here has shall. Wiclif uses the present tense is. Possibly he intentionally avoided shall, as it might have conveyed the notion of cominand. So also the Rheims version. The other translators have will, by which, very appropriately, the idea was imparted to the text, that the heart inclines to be with its treasure. No such reasoning, however, prevented the use of shall in the following verse, (22.) “The light of the body is the eye: if, therefore, thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of ligbt." Here all translator have shall.
On the other hand, the Greek Future was rendered sometimes by shall on purpose to convey the idea of obligation, as wepeuvňoei, (Luther, wird sorgen,) in_Matt. vi. 34. “The morrow shall take thought for the things of itself." Tyndale goes even further, and says, “Let the morrow care for itself;” which is going beyond the province of a translator.
“But he that cometh (1) after me, is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear; he shall (2) baptize (Bantiget) you with the Holy Ghost and with fire. Whose fan is in bis hand, and he will (3) throughly purge (diaxa faptei) his floor, and gather (4) (ovtágei) his wheat into the garner; but will (5) burn up (xaraxavosi) the chaff with unquenchable fire."
Wiclif, of course, renders all the Greek futures by shall. Tyndale has shall only once, viz., se shall (2) baptize (like the authorized version). Cranmer has sball twice, viz., shall (2) come and shall (2) baptize. The Geneva Bible, agreeing with Tyndale, bas shall once, viz., he shall () baptize. The Rheims Bible has shall three times, viz., shall (1) come, sball (2) baptize, shall (3) clean purge, and will twice, viz., will (4) gather, will (5) burn.
Here we can distinctly discover a state of transition, and unsettledusage. The authorized version itself is here, as elsewhere, at variance with itself; for instance, Psalm v. 6,
“Thou shalt destroy them that speak leasing: the Lord will abhor the bloody and deceitful man.
Here we see the Future in the second person, expressed by shall; but in the same Psalm, v. 12, it is rendered by will:
“For thou, Lord, wilt bless the righteous; with favour wilt thou compass bim as with a shield.”
Curiously enough, the Prayer Book agrees with the authorized version, thus showing that, in 1568, the interregnum, if I can call it so, had already begun. Matt. vi. 4:
“And the Father, which seeth in secret, hiinself shall reward thee openly.”
This is evidently the simple Future, and ought to bave been translated by will reward; but the Rheims translation alone bas “will repay thee." Matt. vi. 14:
"For if ye forgive (1) men their trespasses, your Heavenly Father will (2) also forgive you; but if ye forgive (3) not men their trespasses, neither will (4) your Father forgive your trespasses.”
We have here four verbs, (1) if ye forgive; (2) he will forgive; (3) if ye forgive not; (4) neither will he forgive. It is curious to see how these four verbs have been handled by the different translators.
Wiclif has the present tense in (1) and (3), like the authorized version; but shall in (2) and (4). Tyndale has shall, in (1) (2) and (4); will, in (3). Cranmer has the present tense in (1); shall, in (2) and (4); will in (3). The Geneva Bible agrees with the authorized version. The Rheims Bible bas will in all the four cases.
If we carefully compare this passage with Matt. iii. 11, quoted above, we see that the translators had no fixed rule, or even predilection in the use of shall and will. For instance, whe s, in the former, Tyndale and Craniner favor will, in the latter they favor shall, and the Rheins translations does just the reverse.
It is unnecessary to produce more evidence to prove that, in the age of the Reformation, the present form of the Future was not yet elaborated, and acknowledged by the several translators of the Scriptures. Other writers are equally at variance with the modern use. Ascham writes
“The scholar shall win nothing by paraphrases."
"No; I will not be afraid to say unto a Pope or Cardinal, in this plight.”
This is clearly Scotch. We find this even in Shakspere. For instance, in the Merchant of Venice, I. 3
Bassanio "You shall not seal to such a bond for me."
Antonio "Why, fear not, man, I will not forfeit it." It would be absurd for Antonio empbatically to deny that he intended forfeiting the bond. He means to say, that the contingency which could make him forfeit it, is not at all likely to arise.
Merchant of Venice, II. 3. Jessica says to Launcelot, who is going to wait upon his new master
"And, Launcelot, soon at supper shalt thou see Lorenzo.”
Merry Wives, i, 1. “I am of the church, and will be glad to do my benevolence to make atonements and compromises between you."
Merry Wives, i, 1. "I hope, sir, I will do, as it shall become one that it would do reason.'
Merry Wives, i, 3. "It is a life that I have desired; I will thrive.”
Merry Wives, ii, 2. "See the hell of having a false woman! my bed shall be abused, my coffers ransacked."
Measure for Measure, iii, 1. "Be absolute for death; either death or life shall thereby be the sweeter."
King Kenry VI, 1st pt., i, 1. "Henry is dead and never shall revive.”
Merchant of Venice, iii. 2. "Look on beauty, and you shall see it is purchased by the weight."
Ibid., iii. 1. "Our feast shall be much honoured in your marriage.”
you in love shall not deny me this." Ibid, i. 3. "If be should offer to choose, and choose the right casket, you should refuse to perform your father's will, if you should refuse to
Here should refuse stands for the modern would refuse.
day so much so, that I am doubtful, if it is not more correct than would
Merry Wives, ii, 4. "If he had been thoroughly moved, you should have heard him so loud and so melancholy."
2nd part, Henry VI, iji, 1. "Glo. Why 'tis well known that whilst I was protector pity was all the fault that was in me; For I should melt at an offender's tears, and lowly words were ransom for their faults.”
Hundreds of examples might be added from Shakspere, to prove that his use of shall and will had not yet settled down to what we now consider correct. I cannot understand, how Sir E. Head,*) taking only one passage (Hamlet V, 2), which he found quoted by M. Guest,**) tries to explain it away, and how he can fancy he has thereby proved that Shakspere has quite adopted the modern future. Sir E. Head has evidently not taken the trouble to look over a single play of Shakspere, to ascertain what were the facts.
Either. There seems to be considerable uncertainty in the use and meaning of either. It is of Anglo-Saxon origin. Aegth a means each or both. But it seems early to have been confounded with the Latin alter, (Frencb, autre.) and to have been used in the sense of one or the other, like the Latin alteruter. Bishop Lowtb in his "Introduction to English Grammar,” (p. 116,) condemns it in the following sentences: 2 Chron. xviii, 9, «The king of Israel and Jehoshaphat king of Judah sat either of them on his throne." He recommends each instead, and no doubt, correctly. Levit x. 1, «Nadab and Abihu, the sons of Aaron, took either of them his censer.” i Kings vii. 15, “For he cast two pillars of brass, of eighteen cubits high apiece: and a line of twelve cubits did compass either of them about.” Bishop Lowth says, "Each signifies both of them, taken distinctively or separately: either properly singnifies only the one or the other,” for which reason the like expression in the following passages seems also improper: “They crucified two other with him, on either side one, and Jesus in the midst." John xix. 19. (Wiclif, oon on this side and oon on that side.] «Of either side of the river was there the tree of life.” Rev. xxii, 2. (Wiclif, on eche side.] i Kings x, 19. Proposals for a truce between the ladies of either party.” Addison, Freeholder, 38.
In all the instances here quoted, each would be so far better than either, as it would not admit of any mistake. Either in the meaning the one or the other, is used most empbatically in wbat would be called a alocus classicus” in a dead language, by Milton, Par, L., I., 423, where he
*) Shall and will, p. 14.