The scene was not without a mixture of awe, such as must always invest the spectacle of guilt and shame in a fellow-creature, before society shall have grown corrupt enough to smile, instead of shuddering at it.
(Nathaniel Hawthorne,The Scarlet Letter)

‘As’ seems to take the role of relative pronoun, and as-clause modifies ‘a mixture of awe.’ Is this right understanding?

  • 1
    1) Awe such as is a permitted variant of such awe as, which I would take to be a comparative construction like same ... as or as ... as or more ... than. I haven't gotten to McCawley's Ch. 20 yet! 2) Your suggestion is certainly consistent with the as use raised by @FumbleFingers in your earlier question. 3) Check the last paragraph of this. Commented Jun 19, 2013 at 22:22
  • By the way, the whatever-it-is modifies awe, not mixure. Commented Jun 20, 2013 at 0:03
  • @StoneyB: I don't like to go out on a limb here (you're probably more familiar than I am with such archaic/pseudo-archaic forms), but I don't see how it's possible for as to refer back to anything other than the complete phrase a mixture of awe. Commented Jun 20, 2013 at 2:04
  • @FumbleFingers How it's possible is easy: The scene was mixed with the kind of awe which always invests &c. That that is the proper reading is hard, but a scene being invested with a mixture is to my mind bathetic. Commented Jun 20, 2013 at 3:43
  • @StoneyB: I guess. I don't really recognise or understand this usage of a mixture of X, where X isn't explicitly mixed with something else. I assume it's either a genuine archaism, or an attempt to appear so. Commented Jun 21, 2013 at 12:56

1 Answer 1


I agree with you that 'as' in question is a relative pronoun.

> 6 formal used to refer only to people or things of a particular group or kind

such ... as/who/that

Such individuals who take up this role often find life frustrating.

such of something/somebody as

Such of you as wish to leave may do so now. >

source: Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English.

'Such' is a pronoun and used for 'such awe'.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .