Dear Sir/Madam,

I would immensely appreciate your help on the following use of the grammatical construction "such ..... as" as used by Jane Austen in her book titled "Persuasion", chapter 7 3rd paragraph:

"His collar-bone was found to be dislocated, and such injury received in the back, as roused the most alarming ideas."

Isn't this use of "such ..... as" weird ? Or is it just a figure used in litterary english only ?
I would expect a subject to be placed after as i.e. "as it roused" or an infinitive construction with "as to rouse". Could someone give me a qualified answer ?

Many thanks,

Hi Witold, welcome to the forums.

We would, of course, write it thus: (these days)

"His collar-bone was found to be dislocated, and such injury received in the back, gave rise to the most alarming ideas."

It is a classic example of the changes English has undergone..
It would be great to have the whole paragraph. Do you think you could post it here?
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Sure. I didn't do it because I am convinced it does not clarify anything. But of course since you ask for it .... and besides this is really fine classic litterature:

"Captain Wentworth made a very early return to Mr Musgrove's civility, and she was all but calling there in the same half hour. She and Mary were actually setting forward for the Great House, where, as she afterwards learnt, they must inevitably have found him, when they were stopped by the eldest boy's being at that moment brought home in consequence of a bad fall. The child's situation put the visit entirely aside; but she could not hear of her escape with indifference, even in the midst of the serious anxiety which they afterwards felt on his account.

His collar-bone was found to be dislocated, and such injury received in the back, as roused the most alarming ideas. It was an afternoon of distress, and Anne had every thing to do at once; the apothecary to send for, the father to have pursued and informed, the mother to support and keep from hysterics, the servants to control, the youngest child to banish, and the poor suffering one to attend and soothe; besides sending, as soon as she recollected it, proper notice to the other house, which brought her an accession rather of frightened, enquiring companions, than of very useful assistants."
 hitchhiker's reply was promoted to an answer.
Reasonable answer, Hitch.
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Yes, the "as to rouse" is probably what we would do today. But the construction makes sense. It's just a little out of date.
Also, isn't it interesting to note the commas, folks? We wouldn't do that today! You know, it would be really interesting to do a study of the evolution of comma usage, eh?
Also, as a side note, perhaps you ought to know that "literature" is spelled with only one "t."
Well, thank you for this side comment. A reminder is always welcome.

The idea behind my submitting this grammatical construction was in fact to try to absorb such construction into my language (I am perfecting my English, am not a native speaker) by deducting a grammatic rule from this use.
But maybe I shouldn't try to learn late 19th century english grammar ? What's your opinion ?
But on the other side are we able to express ourselves with such style (class ?) in modern English ?


W. Marton
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