Would you be good enough to oblige me with a flve-pound note? Molloy, The Irish Diff iculty, Ch. VI, § 2, 54.
2) the expression of an opinion.
"How far is it?" — "t should say about two mi les." Mrs. Ward, The Mating of Lydia, I, Ch. IX, 187. Conversely in colloquial English / should think (or suppose) so often implies strong conviction, being used "as a strong affirmation in reply to a tentative suggestion, e. g.: Ishould (rather) think he did object'. Murray, s.v. shall, 10, d. I should (rather) think not. Sweet, N. E. O r., § 2286. 'The flrst time I heard lts (sc. the cricket"s) cheerful note, John, was on that night you brought me home — when you brought me to my new home here; lts little mistress. Nearly a year ago. You recollect, John?" — 'Oh 'yes, John remembered, I should think so." Dick., Cr lek, I, 17.
3) a piece of advice. Murray, s.v. shall, 19, f.
I should forswear his company (almost = You had better forswear his company, or, I would advise you to forswear his company).
b) to soften down the positiveness of a statement
The servants sleep so far off, Miss, they would not be llkely to hear. Ch. Brontë, J an e Eyre, Ch. XVI, 185.
In the natural spoken language the indicative would always be kept here. Sweet, n. E. Gr., § 2276.
The Squire once brought a niece of his down with him — but that would be years ago. Rich. Baoot, Darneley Place, I, Ch. II, 21. Note. // would appear (or seem) varies with it should appear (or seem), the latter being the original, but now, perhaps, the less common phrase. Compare Sweet, N. E. Gr., § 2290; Murray, s.v. shall, 9, d. The difference which Dean Alford (The Queen's English, § 327) tries to establish between the two phrases, seems to be fancifui. For illustration see also my Gram. of Late Mod. Eng., Ch. II, 34, Obs. II. It would appear that, when circumstances permitted, a quasi-religious formula was the custom. G r a p h
It was then perfoimed in Salisbury Court, but, as it should seem, with no better event. Mac, Com. Dram., (5746).
c) to qualify the certainty on the part of the speaker regarding the fulfilment of a future action or state.
I think you would like It (if you were to try it). (i am sure) I should like It — it would suit me exactly. I am going to call on some ladies, will you come too? (I have no doubt) they would be very happy to make your acquaintance. Sweet, n. E. Gr, § 2287.