2) to express doubt or diffidence on the part of the speaker or writer as to a future action or state coming into fulfilment.
If ii assume my noble father's person, | 111 speak to it, though heli itself should gape | And bid me hold my peace. Shak, Ha ral, 1,2,243.
3) to express that the fulfilment of the condition is necessary for the action or state in the apodosis becoming matter of fact, if ha ving the value of provided, Dutch mits. Ordinary verse may pass muster if lts manner be finished, but comlc verse must have some matter as well. TomHood, Versification, 54 I will come to-morrow, //the weather be fine. Mason, Eng. O r a m.34, § 435.
4) to express the fact that a case is assumed for argument or is put in a general way.
If thy right eye off end thee, pluek it out. Bib le, Matth, V, 29. If England be the heart of international and cosmopolitan finance and London be the heart of England, the City is the heart of London. Escott, England, Ch. VIII, 105.
If the bill pass the second reading, the House proceeds to conslder and vote upon each clause in the bill separately. Royal Readers (Stof, Leesb, I, 49).
Note. a) In not a few cases the subjunctive appears to be used for no other purpose than that of imparting a dignified tinge to the language. Compare Sweet, N. E. Or., §§ 2272 and 2275. Thus clearly in:
O Lancelot, get thee hence to thine own land, | For if thou tarry we shall meet again. Ten, O u I n, 89. If thou love me, get thee hence. ib, 94.
It ought to weigh heavlly on a man's consclence, if he have been the cause of another's deviating from sincerity. W. J. Fox, Works, III, 283. i)
B) The subjunctive is regularly used in the phrase ifneedbe, in which be is, perhaps, partly feit as an Infinitive, i. e. if need be is understood more or less as a variant of if it need be. See aiso Ch. I, 37 of my Gram. of Late Mod. E n g., and Murray, s. v. need, 3.
My heart must break too, if need be. Grant Allen, The T e n t s of Shem, Ch. XXVÜ.
b) One or other of the above notions underlies the use of
) Hodoson, Errors in the Use of Eng.8, 95.