; and die by death we all must at last.

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enkidu68

Senior Member
turkish
Hi folks, this is cited from Wellingborough Redburn by Hermann Melville (1849)
Question: Is this bold sentence independent? From the coming of the sentence, it seems as if it is bound to the sentence starting with “when an everlasting….”



Strange, though almost universal, that the seemingly nearer prospect of that death which any body at any time may die, should produce these spasmodic devotions, when an everlasting Asiatic Cholera is forever thinning our ranks; and die by death we all must at last.
 
  • Glasguensis

    Signal Modulation
    English - Scotland
    If you ask us to judge whether a particular grammatical label is appropriate you need to give us the definition you are using or a source. There are many different ways of analysing grammar and the labels don’t always have the same meaning
     

    enkidu68

    Senior Member
    turkish
    My question is very clear to me. What I am asking here if this sentence is independent.
    If I know this, I can solve out why the writer uses "die" and "death" which seems to me redundant.
     

    suzi br

    Senior Member
    English / England
    I can tell you it’s not a clear question to me, because I don’t share your grammatical terminology.

    Die by death is the writer’s “rhetorical flourish”. It’s not necessary to have both words in there but it serves to focus his audience on the inevitable end we all face. It’s not something you’d say in a general chat but it works OK as a stylistic device. It echoes a more well-known phrase
    “Die by the sword”.
     

    Loob

    Senior Member
    English UK
    I see the structure as
    ... when
    (1) an everlasting Asiatic Cholera is forever thinning our ranks
    and
    (2) die by death we all must at last.

    In other words, I think you can ignore the semicolon.:)
     

    enkidu68

    Senior Member
    turkish
    I see "when an everlasting......." and "when die by death...." In other words, it seems to me word "when" modifies the second sentence in your post.

    That is why I asked this question.
     
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