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such condition as, 'if I might speak on the subject'. This is a mild unassuming way of saying 'I advise you to do so'.
'I know what I would obtain' (Bunyan): that is, if I had my wish. 'I know what I wish to obtain ’ is scarcely different in sense.
‘All they wanted, in return, was that, in pursuing our own object side by side with them, we would promise not to suffer ourselves to be clogged by our old scruples against breaches of the peace; and that, in order to make our favour the more signal, we would consent to turn aside a little from our old friends; that was all'. (Kinglake-The men of the coup d'etat.) 'Would' means 'should be willing'. Were it not for bringing out our will in the matter, the writer would have given 'should'.
'I would have Corinth destroyed' becomes in Latin Corinthum extinctam esse volo' (Donaldson, Lat. Gram.). “I wish to have Corinth destroyed'.
Again, 'would' expresses habitual or intermittent past action on the part of any of the three persons.
'At certain intervals my ambition would revive; I would despise myself for my tame resignation to my sordid fate'. (Smollett.)
The Jew would hear the merchant's reproaches with seeming patience'. (Lamb.)
• He would also walk solitarily in the fields, sometimes reading, sometimes praying'. (Bunyan.)
*They also thought to drive away his distemper by harsh and surly carriage to him ; sometimes they would deride, sometimes they would chide, and sometimes they would quite neglect him'. (Bunyan.)
The corresponding usage of 'will' has already been mentioned and exemplified.
Interrogative use of Should and Would. This follows from the first and second heads.
Under the first head is included narrative of the past, with a future bearing. Was it known that I should be there, and that he would be there ?' Compulsion and obligation
INTERROGATIVE OF FUTURE CONTINGENCY.
are alike excluded; the simple fact of futurity is referred to in narrating the past.
Under the same head falls Future Contingency. The meaning is somewhat modified, however, when a question is asked. “I shall be there'is a simple declaration of a future fact, without any reference to my motives; if a motive be implied, it is that I am to be there, in the course of events, and not from my own express resolution. But to ask 'shall I be there ?'—is to enquire whether it will be permitted me to be there, or whether the arrangements that are made are to be such as to cause my presence. It does not ask simple futurity.
Still less is simple futurity asked by the form, . Should I be there ?' This is an appeal to the authority or to the judgment of another person, as to what I ought to do, or what my resolution is to be. In point of fact, therefore, this question falls under the second head, above given, the forms of determination and compulsion, qualified by the position of a questioner. “Should I, you, they, be there ?' is an enquiry as to whether the several parties are under some motive from without; it is the compulsory power attaching to 'shall’ by its own intrinsic meaning.
We may say to one, ‘I am afraid your strength will fail you', and receive for reply the question, 'Should you think so ?', a question implying doubt or negation, and capable of being interpreted thus : ‘Are the facts and appearances such as to lead you to think so ?' which comes strictly under the second situation—the appeal to outward control as affecting the person's conduct.
• Wherefore should I fear in the days of evil, when the iniquity of my heels shall compass me about?'
· What are the circumstances or reasons that are to make me afraid ?'
Should I, you, he ?' is also used to enquire as to the duty of the subject.
Would I ?' like Will I ?' is a question that cannot be put.
Wouldst thou ? would he ?' may be asked; it enquires the determination of the person addressed, and of the person spoken of, respectively.
A few more instances may be given as miscellaneous examples.
• Though I should receive a thousand shekels of silver in mine hand, yet would I not put forth my hand against the king's son'. "Though I were to receive'-future subjunctive or conditional, the action not depending on the subject. • Would I not’-resolution or determination, under circumstances supposed.
you would shun worse, walk quietly on'. (Scott.) 'If you wish or desire to shun worse'. The subject may choose for himself.
Though I should die with thee, I will not deny thee'. * Though I were to die’; the subject being under supposed future compulsion. 'I will not’is 'I am determined not to', the speaker's will being the source of influence.
'A minister who should in the present day address to a general on active service such a letter
would be driven from office by universal indignation'. The relative clause implies the notion of conditionality: 'If any minister should address -'. “Would', because the action is stated as a merely supposed case.
Macbeth says to the witches, ‘You should be women’. The general appearance leads the speaker to this conclusion, although the special fact of their having beards forbids him to say positively “You are women’.
'Why should you suppose so ?' What are the facts that bring you to suppose so ? The question is put with some indirectness, by means of 'should'.
'Be not righteous overmuch; neither make thyself overwise; why shouldest thou destroy thyself? Be not overmuch wicked, neither be thou foolish ; why shouldest thou die before thy time?'
“Why should ye be stricken any more?'
• What should he be doing ?' Where should this music be?' The speaker seems to be hesitating, revolving in his mind the possible ways of satisfactorily answering the question. I wonder where this music is; and, at the same time, I am trying to make it out.
'Knock, sir ! whom should I knock ?' The puzzled, doubtful state of the speaker's mind is indicated. He might say at length :: ‘Be so good as to tell me whom I should knock-whom you wish me to knock'.
• What good should follow this, if this were done?' (Tennyson.) What good ought to-do you expect to-follow this? I wonder what good would follow. Hesitation or doubt is expressed.
“Now that the Saxon landowners were dispossessed, who should patronise the Saxon bard?' (Earle, Phil. of Engl. Tongue, $ 40.) The whole position is in past time; the present forin would be-_ Now that the landowners are dispossessed, who shall patronise ? '- an open question.
Should I have answered Caius Cassius so?' Future contingency interrogative; looked back upon as a supposed case.
* Here I would remark that -'. A conditional statement is implied, the speaker deprecating opposition or insinuating a request for leave. A diffident way of saying • I will, I wish to, remark’; if you would allow me, I would remark' (contingent determination, softened).
• Would the night were come!' Would Banquo were here!' 'I would I had been there!' Indirect, yet very strong, expression of a wish.
· Wast thou a monarch, Me wouldst thou make thy queen ?' (S. Knowles.) Contingent determination, or contingent futurity.
* I should rejoice now at this happy news': I ought to. Were it not for the counter action of certain circumstances, I should &c.; hence the meaning passes to 'I ought'.
· He wanted that which should have been his pass into the Celestial City'.
And as they should have been slain, there caine four ladies and besought -'. Destiny, or pre-appointment.
Why, 'tis well known that, while I was protector,
Mätzner interprets 'should' as expressing the nature of the subject; perhaps thus- it was my nature to melt'. Gloucester may, however, imagine himself again in the posi. tion of protector with a case before him : Were the offender to shed tears, I should melt, and lowly words were (would be) ransom': I could not help melting.
• Would I describe a preacher such as Paul, Were he on earth, would hear,
I would express him simple -'. • If the lions should meet with me in the dark, how should I shift them ? How should I escape being by them torn in pieces ?' (Bunyan.)
* Lewis was willing that the Irish regiments should be sent to him in rags and unarmed, and insisted only that the men should be stout, and the officers should not be bankrupt traders and discarded lacqueys'. (Macaulay.)
Gentlemen, the dread of any such reflection would be as unmanly and unworthy of you as the reflection itself would be unjust.
But even if there should, in the eyes of some, be room for the reflection, light indeed would that reflection be, compared with the opposite one, which as surely awaits you, if you shall have the boldness, or I should call it the rashness, to follow the course that the public prosecutor has pointed out.' (Duncan M'Neill.)
The following is from 'Abbott's Shakespearian Granımar' (1st edition, p. 77, § 146): Applied to inanimate objects, a • wish' becomes a 'requirement':-
• I have bought Golden opinions from all sorts of people, Which would (require to) be worn now in their newest gloss.'
• Words Which would (require to) be howled out in the desert air.” Clearly, there is a close connection between ‘it requires' and ‘it ought. Thus : * This would (require to) be done