I came across a sentence in an English book of the eighteenth century which compelled me to puzzle about its word usage. The context behind this sentence is the story about the Roman emperor, Marcus Aurelius, who being on his deathbed, appeals to his son to reign in such a way to deserve sincere affections of the citizens and make use of no cruelty. In particular, he says:
Such alone, as obey with good-will, and not from necessity, are to be confided in, and will obey their prince, or suffer for him, without flattery and dissimulation.
Even though I am able to recognize the general meaning of the sentence, still the bolded words go over my head:
- What does such alone mean here? I can't find this word combination in the internet at all.
- May as be used as a relative pronoun (instead of which/that)? Does it sound OK in the modern (formal) English?
- Nowadays one should say 'I do something (out) of necessity', but here the preposition from put in action. Does it sound old-fashioned/formal today?