Date: Thu, 16 Nov 1995 17:18:13 -0500

From: "Suzanne Legault: English" E7E4LEG[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]TOE.TOWSON.EDU

Subject: Re: Xmas pronouns

Subj: Xmas pronouns

How would you parse "God rest ye merry gentlemen"? so that {ye} is a nominal

plural rather than dative/accus as object of {bless}?

In an old-fashioned Reed & Kellogg diagram, "rest" is a transitive verb which

takes both a direct object, "ye" [yes, it should be objective "you," but

allowances must be made for confusion on the archaisers' part] and an

object(ive) complement, "merry, " while "gentlemen" is a vocative, outside the

structure of the main sentence. The lack of a third-person singular marker on

"rest" indicates a hortatory subjunctive.

The punctuation in this analysis: "God rest you/ye merry, Gentlemen!

Let nothing *you* dismay. . . ."