which is intended or has been foremost in the speaker's thoughts. This also applies to such as open with the vulgar so as.
Clauses introduced by lest may often be apprehended to express rather a relation of cause (reason or ground) than purpose, this conjunction frequently appearing to have the value of because it is (or was) feared or a phrase of like import. The causal meaning of these clauses opening with lest sometimes becomes evident from their being exchangeable for sentences or clauses with modal may (or might) opening with for or because, and vice versa.
0, Faustus, lay that damned book aside, | And gaze not on it, lest it tempt thy soul. Marlowe, Doctor Faustus, I, 69. (=... for [or because] it may tempt thy soul.)
You were best teil Antonlo what you hear; j Yet do not suddenly for it may grieve him. Shak, Merch of Ven, II, 8, 34. (=... lest it [should] grieve him.)
The relation of purpose always stands out most dlstinctly when the head-sentence contains an imperative or a verb denoting some form of compulsion, such as must, tobe obliged, etc. This is shown by the following quotations with the inflectional subjunctive:
1. Come, thick night, And pall thee In the dunnest smoke of heli, | That my keen knife see not the wound it makes, I Nor heaven peep through the blanket of the dark, | To cry 'Hold, holdl' Shak, Macb, I, 5, 51—53.
Not enjoy ment and not sorrow, | Is our destlned end or way; I But to act, that each to-morrow | Find us farther than to-day. Lonof, Psalm, III.
And charge the gardeners now I To piek the faded creature from the pool, I And cast it on the mixen, that it die. Ten, Mar. of Q e r, 6, 72.
And busy caterpillars basten, I That no time be lost. Christ.
Rossetti, S u m m e r. II. Doubt not but I will use my utmost skill, I So that the Pope
attend to your complaint Shelley, The C e n c I, I, 2, 42. iii. Most mighty Caesar, let me know some cause, I Lestlbe laughed
at when I teil them so. Shak, J ui. Caes, II, 2, 69.
Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed, lest he
fall. B i b I e, C o r, A, Ch. X, 12.
Govern well thy appetite, I lest sin surprise thee. Milton, P a r. Lost, VB, 545.
Take heed, lest passion sway thy judgment. ib, VIII, 635. Drug thy memories, lest thou learn it, lest thy heart be put to proof. Ten, Locksley Hall, 77.