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during a considerable time, a middle party'; 'at the same time came the disciples unto Jesus'; 'the same day went Jesus out of the house'; 'at length did cross an albatross ’; into the valley of death rode the Six Hundred'.
Within a window'd niche of that high hall
Sate Brunswick's fated chieftain '. Darwin, speaking of the two highest forms of the anthropoid apes, says : ‘and from the latter, at a remote period, Man, the wonder and the glory of the Universe, proceeded'. He could have said—' from the latter, at a remote period, proceeded Man, the wonder and the glory of the Universe'.
Mätzner quotes examples showing an adverbial clause in the foreground.
Wherever flagged his own, or failed the opposing force, glittered his white robe, and rose his bloody battle-axe'. (Lytton.)
• While the government of the Tudors was in its highest vigour took place an event which &c'. (Macaulay.). *Not as the world giveth give I unto- you'.
*But when the day-blush bursts from high,
Expires that magic melody'. (Byron.) The complement sometimes has an adverbial force: • Fair laughs the morn'. 'Full knee-deep lies the winter snow'. * High rode in cloudless blue the moon'.
Open fly th' infernal doors '. * All bloodless lay th’untrodden snow'. • Still stood the Bruce'. • Nor second he, that rode sublime '.
• If love can sigh
For one alone,
To be that one'. (Moore.) This inversion is used to reserve the statement of the subject to the end ; an effect sometimes sought in prose, but far oftener in poetry. The following are examples from Gray, who used it very largely:
Far from the sun and summer-gale,
In thy green lap was Nature's darling laid'. But for the rhyme, it could have been 'was laid Nature's darling'.
* From yonder realms of empyrean day
Burst's on my ear th' indignant lay:
• Uprose the King of Men with speed'. Otherwise,
* Uprose with speed the King of Men'. The 'up' should be viewed, not as compounded with rose', but as a detached adverb.
Without an adverb, the inversion can hardly be allowed ; it occurs, however, in poetry :
*Smiled, then, well pleased the aged man'. (Scott.)
With an incomplete verb and complement, we may at any time invert the order, by prefixing the complement: 'blessed are the poor in spirit'; 'short was his joy'; 'cold is Cadwallo's tongue'; 'sweet is the breath of vernal showers'; inclosed is a letter from '; 'very civil were the salutations on both sides '; 'bitter but unavailing were my regrets';
many are the roofs once thatched with reeds'; 'wise are all his ways'.
• A traveller to thee unknown,
Is he that calls'. The foregoing examples amount to a complete inversion of the Subject and Predicate of the Sentence; an inversion often demanded in composition both for clearness and for strength. It is usually quite easy when the predicate is an incomplete verb completed by an adjective, as in the instances last given. When the completing word is a noun, the expression is ambiguous. In saying the commander was the grand-master', we distinguish subject and predicate solely by the order.
INVERSION OF SUBJECT AND PREDICATE.
As examples free from ambiguity, take the following: * Prophet of evil I ever am to myself'; Childe Harold was he hight'; 'Merry brides are we'; Victories indeed they were'.
• No boding maid of skill divine
It is not a regular construction to begin with an adverb, or even an adverbial phrase. There are many circumstances that render it frequently appropriate, as will be seen more particularly afterwards. The natural place of the adverb is immediately before or immediately after the verb, the subject being first of all : ‘he boldly seized the oar, and rowed vehemently'. In placing the adverb first, we often become rhetorical or figurative, and it is then better to make the inversion thorough : 'boldly did he seize '.
Under the Pronoun were pointed out cases where the grammatical subject is a neuter pronoun-'it', 'this'standing as a provisional anticipation of the real subject or fact predicated about, which comes after the predicate in the form of an infinitive phrase. In such cases the predicate is usually short, and less important than the subject (inf.). The formal predication being thus lightly disposed of, the main attention is free for the consideration of the logical subject. Farther exemplification is not necessary here.
But there may be added a few examples where the infinitive as subject follows the predicate, the anticipating pronoun being absent. * Him booteth not resist, nor succour call'. (Faery Queen.)
• As good dissemble that thou never mean'st,
Than reign in this horrible place'. (Cowper.) Best stand upon our guard'. ( Tempest.)
• Far better with the dead to be
*Theirs not to reason why, &c.' Under the Pronoun were also mentioned instances where a neuter pronoun anticipates the noun clause. In formal grammar, the pronoun is the subject, the clause being looked upon as an apposition ; logically, however, the clause is subject. It is but seldom that the clause follows the predicate in the absence of the anticipating pronoun.
OBJECT AND VERB. It is not easy in our language to place the object in advance; there being a clash between it and the subject, we are uncertain which is which :
And all the air a solemn stillness holds'. It is by this construction that we can practise oracular ambiguity: 'the duke yet lives that Henry shall depose'. * When riseth Lacedæmon's hardihood,
When Thebes (subj.) Epaininondas (obj.) rears againHere it is not obvious which is subject.
If there were a rule to place the subject always first, the doubt would be prevented. But the instances of the inversion, which occurs chiefly in poetry, do not adhere to any order.
Apart from the meaning or context, inversion is admissible when either the subject or the object is a pronouu: • their hundred arms they wave'; such a changed France have we'; 'two men I honour, and no third'.
* Night, and all her sickly dews,
He gives to range the dreary sky'. * Silver and gold have I none, but such as I have give I
me he restored unto mine office, and him he hanged'; every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgment thou shalt condenin'; one thing thou lackest'; so towards old Sylvanus they her bring'.
Another case is when the subject and the object are not of the same number, and when the verb shows the number; ' time works wonders’, might be time wonders works', wonders time works'.
We may not say the heavens and the earth God created'; but we might say 'the heavens and the earth God governs.'
• With joy I see
Hark, his hands the lyre explore’.
• Such evils sin hath wrought'.
'In vain the spring my senses greets'. The Imperative readily allows of the placing of the object first: once again my call obey'; 'the rich repast prepare'; ' praise to the Lord give ye’; "the doors wide
open fling'; cease then, nor order imperfection name’; ‘wait the great teacher Death, and God adore'; 'to him thy woes, thy wishes bring'; 'Him serve with mirth, his praise forth tell’; 'these things command and teach'; "them that sin rebuke before all'.
When the object is expressed in the form of an infinitive or of a clause, it is somewhat heavy for the opening of the sentence. Still, emphasis not unfrequently brings it forward, especially in the clause form: “ how the truth came to the prophet he himself knew not'; what I did I did in honour'; 'where her father's grave was no one knew'; 'at what time Solcrates relinquished his profession as a statuary we do not know'.
he following shows what is aimed at in placing the objorst before the verb: 'neither force do I worship in Crom'vell, nor arbitrary power'. The intention of the writer seems to be to make · force' and 'arbitrary power'emphatic by position; the one being placed first, and the other last, in the sentence. The example might be variously turned : 'not force do I worship in Cromwell, nor yet arbitrary power'. There is emphasis, moreover, in the following un. inverted arrangement-'I worship in Cromwell neither force nor arbitrary power'. Or, by a different inversion, starting with the adverbial phrase : ‘In Cromwell I worship---
Another use of inversion is to make a closer connection