Creep time ne'er so slow, | Yet it shall come for me to do thee good. Shak, King John, III, 1, 31.
No man, be he ever so rich, can pass by those dismal walls, I think, without a shudder. Thack, Sam. Titm, Ch. XI, 134. You couldn't get a place, come ever so early. id, Ne wc, I, Ch. XXV, 285.
3) Such as contain an adnominal, substantive or adverbial clause, the whole complex being equivalent to a concessive clause with a compound of ever. Thus do all I can, in which I can (do) is an adnominal clause modifying all, the whole equivalent to whatever I do.
happen what might, in which what might (happen) is a substantive clause in the subjective relation to happen, the whole equivalent, to whatever might happen, be the weather what it may, in which what it may (be) is a substantive clause representing the nominal part of the predicate, the whole equivalent to whatever the weather may be. be this as it may, in which as it may (be) is an adverbial clause of quality correlative to a predicative so understood, the whole equivalent to however this may be. See also my Gram. of Late M od. En g., Ch. I, 21, c.
i And I must think, do all I can, | That there was pleasure there. Wordsworth, Lines wrltten in Early Spring, 19.
ii Be their import (se of the words) what it might, one thing was quite certain. Watts Dunton, A y 1 w i n, XVII, 475.
Ui Look around her as she might, she could not turn back. G. Eliot, Dan. Der, II, IV, Ch. XXIX, 76.
Be the task as hard as it may. Mason, Eng. Gram.:«, § 487. c) clauses of alternative hypothesis or disjunctive concession. See my Gram. of Late Mod. Eng., Ch. XVII, 99. I charge thee walt upon me whilst I live, | To do whatever Faustus shall command, | Be it to make the moon drop from her sphere | , Or th'ocean to o'erwhelm the world. Marlowe, Doet. F a u s t, III, 39. Succeed or fall, live or die, thy name shall be among those with whom success or fallure is alike glorious, death or life allke desirable. Scott, A b b o t, Ch. IX, 90.
One peculiarlty of his black clothes and hls black stockings, be they silk or worsted, is that they never shine. Dick, Bleak House, Ch. II, 7.
Come luck or misfortune, good repute or bad, honour or shame, he (sc. the dog) is going to stick to you, to comfort you. Jbrome, Idle Thoughts, VIII, 126.
N o t e. It may be observed that in Shakespearè the use of such sentences as substitutes for conditional or concessive clauses is also extended to the lst and 2nd persons.