always points to one end, — viz, to honour that which those around him consider honourable. Lytton, C a x t o n s, III, Ch. II, 58
II. In like manner as in the phrase as it were the indicative was is never substituted for the conditional were, the latter would not bear replacing by the former in a clause of hypothetic similarity with inverted word-order introduced by as.
A man lived who could measure it (sc. love) from end to end; foretell its term; handle the young cherub, as were hea shotowl. Mered, O r d. of Rich. F e v, Ch. XXIV, 176.
III. Sometimes we find the present indicative in clauses introduced
by as if or as though, if they are intended as emphatic statements of actuai fact. See the King's English (157), from which we quote the following instances: We will not appear like fools in this matter, and as if we have no authority over our own daughter. Richardson. (Underlying notion: We have authority over our own daughter.)
As if the fruit or the flower not only depends on a root as one of the conditlons among others of its development, but isitseif actually the root Morley. (Underlying notion: The fruit or the flower distinctly depends on a root as one of the conditions, among others, of its development. The use of is instead of were appears to be utterly indefensible.)
In narrating past events the preterite indicative is sometimes analogously used instead of the preterite co n d i t i o n a 1. He wanted me to cut off my hair. The old story about its sapping up my strength. As if it wasn't just my hair that keeps me alive. Dor. Gerard, E x o t i c Martha, Ch. XIV, 175.
It should be remembered that be as a finite verb is used not only as a subjunctive, but also as an indicative.
a) As a singular the indicative be is now confined to dialects, especially such as are spoken in the Southern and some Midland counties. See Murray, s. v. be, page 716, a.
Good night, good rest. Ahl neither be my share. Shak., The Passionate Pilgrim, 181.
Ha-ha — how cust odd it is! Here be I, his former master, working for him as man, and he the man standing as master [etc] Hardy, The Mayor of C a s t, Ch. XXXII, 276. Now I be poot, I can't have what I need. ib, Ch. XXXIII, 282. How be ye, Mr. Henchard? Quite a stranger here? ib, Ch. XXXIII, 279. (Compare: Where beest thee, Joe, under or top? ib, 310.)