THE IMPERATIVE MOOD.
55. The applications of the imperative in English are essentially
the same as those of the imperative in Dutch. It should, however, be observed that in ordinary language it is rarely, if ever, used in English to express a hope or a wish. Thus for the Dutch Leef gelukkig! Slaap wel! we could hardly say Live happy! (or happily!) Sleep well!
In literary English instances of the imperative in this function occur occasionally. In the first of the following quotations it stands side by side with the construction which is mostly used instead.
Be prosperous in this journey, as in all, | And may you light on all things that you love, | And live to wed with her whom first you love. Ten, Mar. of Oer, 225—227.
Enjoy the honey-heavy dew of slumber, | Thou hast no figures nor no fantasies, | Which busy care draws in the brains of men. Shak., Jul. Cses, II, 1, 230.
"Good friend," said Hal, and sighed the while, I Farewell I and happy be. Charles Mackay, The Miller of the Dee, IV.
56. The imperative expressing a command sometimes varies
with a construction with shall.
You, Capulet, shall go along with me; | And Montague, come you this afternoon. | To know our farther pleasure in this case. Shak, Rom. and Jul, I, 1, 103-5.
57. a) The imperative, from the nature of its meaning, is used
only in the present tense. When the imperative let is found in a description of past events, it is, for all that, a present, standing as it does, in a direct quotation depending on a sentence which has to be supplied.
I had been unusually restless, cross and exacting during the day, and my old nurse — Heaven reward her! — was serving me for love, not for money. Why should I disturb her? Let me begin to learn to help myself like others in my wretched plight. Conwat