bids you weep

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Gabriel Aparta

Senior Member
Español - Venezuela
Hello, please, from Frankenstein:

Frankenstein, your son, your kinsman, your early, much-loved friend; he who would spend each vital drop of blood for your sakes, who has no thought nor sense of joy except as it is mirrored also in your dear countenances, who would fill the air with blessings and spend his life in serving you—he bids you weep, to shed countless tears; happy beyond his hopes, if thus inexorable fate be satisfied, and if the destruction pause before the peace of the grave have succeeded to your sad torments!


About the context, they just killed a little girl who was friend of the family, because of Frankenstein. I'm having a lot of trouble understanding this last part, what does bid mean? be, pause, have are subjunctives right? What does that final part, since happy beyond... is trying to say? Could you maybe, please, paraphrase that?

Thanks a lot!
 
  • Keith Bradford

    Senior Member
    English (Midlands UK)
    he bids you weep = he asks you to cry
    if thus inexorable fate be satisfied = if inexorable fate is satisfied in this way
    if the destruction pause before the peace of the grave have succeeded to your sad torments! No idea what this means - are you sure it's copied correctly?
     

    FinWa

    Senior Member
    English - USA
    That "have" is also really confusing to me, because it is a plural form of "to have", but my mind is expecting "has" (singular form) there. Quite a wordy sentence, even for Mary Shelley.
     

    Hildy1

    Senior Member
    English - US and Canada
    ...happy beyond his hopes, if thus inexorable fate be satisfied, and if the destruction pause before the peace of the grave have succeeded to your sad torments!

    All the verbs (be, pause, have succeeded) are in the subjunctive mood.

    Rewording into a more modern, less formal style:
    [Frankenstein would be] happier than he now has any hope of being, if fate is satisfied with what has happened so far, and if the destruction stops before you die after much suffering.
     

    Trochfa

    Senior Member
    UK
    English - England
    I struggled with this, but this is what I think it means:

    Frankenstein, your son, your kinsman, your early, much-loved friend; he who would spend each vital drop of blood for your sakes, who has no thought nor sense of joy except as it is mirrored also in your dear countenances, who would fill the air with blessings and spend his life in serving you
    [Frankenstein wishes only good things to those he loves.]

    he bids you weep, to shed countless tears;
    [But because of Frankenstein the ones he loves are forced/or commanded to weep. i.e. He brings them only misery.]

    ; happy beyond his hopes, if thus inexorable fate be satisfied, and if the destruction pause before the peace of the grave have succeeded to your sad torments!
    [Frankenstein will be beyond happiness if unstoppable fate and destruction are satisfied by what has happened so far, and pause before his friends' sad torments are replaced by the peace of the grave! i.e. Frankenstein will be beyond happiness if all this horror stops before his friends are also killed!]
     

    FinWa

    Senior Member
    English - USA
    ...happy beyond his hopes, if thus inexorable fate be satisfied, and if the destruction pause before the peace of the grave have succeeded to your sad torments!

    All the verbs (be, pause, have succeeded) are in the subjunctive mood.

    Rewording into a more modern, less formal style:
    [Frankenstein would be] happier than he now has any hope of being, if fate is satisfied with what has happened so far, and if the destruction stops before you die after much suffering.
    I understand why be and pause are in the subjunctive form. However, I do not know what "to have" is in the subjunctive. It is my understanding that the subjunctive can only form in certain contexts that trigger it. Here I see:

    "if thus..." causes "be"
    "if the destruction..." causes "pause"
    "???" causes "have succeeded"
     
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