However it be (archaic)

bet2173

Senior Member
Turkish
Greetings,
I couldn't get the sentence in bold below. Let me summarize the context first. The dialogue takes place during an archery competition between two competitors (Locksley and Hubert). Locksley challenges all the archers with a very difficult mark. Hubert gives up immediately he sees the mark and the Prince says:
"Cowardly dog!" said Prince John.---"Sirrah Locksley, do thou shoot; but, if thou hittest such a mark, I will say thou art the first man ever did so. However it be, thou shalt not crow over us with a mere show of superior skill." (Ivanhoe- Chap. 13)

What I make of this sentence is "whatever the result may be in the end, you will certainly not brag us and your competitor with your talent." But I'm not sure if it's correct.


Thanks
 
  • PaulQ

    Banned
    UK
    English - England
    "whatever the result may be in the end, you will certainly not brag impress us and your competitor with a simple display of your talent." :tick:

    (Note transitive use of to brag - today this is obsolete or very rare)
     

    natkretep

    Moderato con anima (English Only)
    English (Singapore/UK), basic Chinese
    If you're thinking of the grammar of however it be, it might be helpful to point out that this is in the subjunctive (therefore be rather than is). The subjunctive was used more extensively in the past.

    I'm not sure I would gloss 'crow' as 'impress' though. Perhaps 'gloat' or 'be gleeful'? (I'm not sure to interpret 'thou shalt not' as a statement or a prohibition though.)
     

    PaulQ

    Banned
    UK
    English - England
    You're right about crow and impress. Chinese whispering converted crow -> brag -> impress. Gloat is good.
     
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