Howe'er by stealth to snatch the corse away, We will not:

Discussion in 'English Only' started by nkaper, Feb 18, 2019.

  1. nkaper

    nkaper Senior Member

    russian
    The Project Gutenberg EBook of The Iliad of Homer by Homer
    Title: The Iliad of Homer
    Author: Homer


    But mine, and every god's peculiar grace Hector deserves, of all the Trojan race: Still on our shrines his grateful offerings lay,(The only honours men to gods can pay,)
    Nor ever from our smoking altar ceased The pure libation, and the holy feast: Howe'er by stealth to snatch the corse away, We will not: Thetis guards it night and day.

    Is the normal word order of this part "however, we will not snatch the corse away by stealth", and "to" in the inverted original needed only to introduce the verb "snatch"? Or the normal word order is "however, we will not to snatch the corse away by stealth" with 'to' included?

    Thanks in advance.
     
  2. lingobingo

    lingobingo Senior Member

    London
    English - England
    Yes – and to fit the metre.
     
  3. nkaper

    nkaper Senior Member

    russian
    Thanks. So when a phrase like "We can't do that" is inverted into this Yoda-like order, then "To do that we can't" is the correct way?
     
  4. lingobingo

    lingobingo Senior Member

    London
    English - England
    I don’t think it’s a standard construction, no.
     
  5. velisarius

    velisarius Senior Member

    Greece
    British English (Sussex)
    However, [to snatch the corpse away] is something we don't want to do.

    I think it's a noun clause (fronted for emphasis), and "we will not" is an elided form of the above.
     

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