"Sir," says I, "I am very — very sorry: it was a matter of delicacy, rather than otherwise, which induced me not to speak to my aunt about the West Diddlesex."...
"It was folly and ingratitude, Mr. Brough," says I; "I see it all now; and I'll write to my aunt this very post"
"You had better do no such thing", says Brough bitterly; "the stocks are at ninety, and Mrs. Hoggarty can get three per cent for her money." Thack, Sam. Titm., Ch. Vf.
Thus passim in this work of fiction, and many others by Thackeray. In dialects says he is often used as a needless piece of padding.
My old master, as War a knowin' man, used to say, says he, "If e'er I sow my wheat wi'out brinin', I'm a Dutchman", says he. G. Eliot, Mi 11, I, Ch. IV, 23.
"Reub", he said, says he, "that there cask, Reub, is as good as new." Hardy, U n d e r t h e G r e e n w o o d Tree, I, Ch. II, 13.
III- Different from the above are descriptions of past events in the present tense which are introduced by a statement giving notice that what follows happened in the past.
Let me remember how it used to be and bring one morning back again. I come into the second-best parlour after breakfast, with my books, and an exercise-book and a slate. My mother is ready for me at her writing-desk, but not half so ready as Mr. Murdstone in his easy-chair by the window (though he pretends to be reading a book) or as Miss Murdstone, sitting near my mother, stringing steel beads...
I hand the first book to my mother. Perhaps ft is a grammar, perhaps a history or geography. I take a last drowning look at the page as I give it into her hand, and start off aloud at a racing pace while I have got it f resh. I trip over a word. Mr. Murdstone looks up. 1 trip over another word. Miss Murdstone looks up. I redden, tumble over half-a-dozen words and stop. I think my mother would show me the book if she dared, but she does not dare, and she says sof tl y: "Oh, Davy, Davy!" Dick, Cop., Ch. IV.
Similar to the above is the practice of placing the outline of a story or the plan of a literary composition in the present tense.
The story of the poem is briefly this: — Sir Aylmer Aylmer is one of the English landed gentry, proud of his birth and station; his wife, once a vvellknown beauty, is a mere shadow of himself. They have one lovely daughter, Edith, sole heiress to their wealth and name, [etc.]. Webb, lhtrod. to T e n.'s Aylmer's Field (Macmiilan's Eng. Cla s). In the Tatler there had been no machinery or next to none; theautborship is supposed to be in the hands of the snuffy astrologer, mountebank, and quack-doctor, Isaac Bickerstaff, assisted sometimes by his half-sister Jenny Distaff; no one else Aas anything to do with it T. Arnold, Introd, to Addison, 16 (Clar. Press).
IV. Shifting from the past to the present tense is often practised in picturing a string of incidents and circumstances which is to serve as a background for the representation of subsequent events. It is the evening of the 21 st of June 1788. The day has been bright and the sun will be more than an hour above the horizon, but his rays, broken by the leafy fretwork of the elms that border the park, no longer prevent the iadies from carrying out their cushions and embroidery, and seating