Also when the subject is we, the ordinary auxiliary is shall (should), irrespective of the meaning of we, which may include or exclude the person(s) spoken to. See, however, 31, Obs. VI.
We shall have the first of the fight, sir; and depend on it, Boney will take care that it shall be a hard one. Thack, Van. Fair, I, Ch. XXIV, 242. "Then, perhaps, we may meet. I, too, am going to town." — "Oh, we shall be sure to meet there." Lytton, Caxtons, IV, Ch. V, 103. "Shall I be given up to him?" I faltered. — "I don't know", said my aunt. "We shall see." Dick, C o p, Ch. XIV, lOOö.
We shall not be separated long. id, A Tale of Two Cities, III, Ch. XI, 371.
We should only spoil it (sc. the quarrel) by trying to explain it. Sher, The Ri vals. IV, 3
We shall not hurt you, my lord, as you have only employed words, but we shall put it out of your power to hurt us. Marryat, The Three Cutters.
We shall always be happy of your company. Thack, Sam. Titm, Ch. III, 35.
When my wife and I settle down at Wlilowmere, it's possible that we shall come together. Pinero, The Second Mrs. Tanqueray, I, (8). Besides, we shall do well together, after all, 1 believe — she and I. id, ■ The Notorious Mrs. Ebbsmith, II.
Obs I. It stands to reason that shall (should) is also the normal auxiliary of the future tense after we,
when meant to indicate only the speaker himself, i. e. when it is a plural of majesty or modesty. Ch. XXXV, 4.
"I have no doubt, Mrs. Raddie", said Bob Sawyer, "that before the middie of next week we shall be able to set ourselves quite square." Dick, Pickw, Ch. XXXII, 286.
when used indefinitely as one of the approximate equivalents of the Dutch men, German man or French o n, or in another equally comprehensive meaning.
Whe shall never have friends if we expect to find them without fault. P r o v e r b.
We know what we are, but we know not what we shall be. id. If we compare the English of the present day with the English of King Alfred, we shall find that many of the sounds of Old English have been lost in the present Standard English. Sweet, Sounds of Eng., § 172. It may be that we shall have a Labour Government. Westm. Gaz, No. 8569, 2a.
It will be in the autumn that we shall get the answer to the many interesting speculations about the Prime Minister's intenUons. ib, No. 8121, 4a.
Sweet (Prim. of Spoken Eng, 40; N. E. Gr, § 2202,6) observes that such combinations as we two, we three, we all take will as the auxiliary of the future tense. He gives the following instances: We three will get there first. We two will be able to manage it quite well. It is, however, doubtful that this rule is observed with anything like regularity by the majority of English speakers and writers. The tendency seems to be rather the other way, i. e. to use shall (should) after these combinations