Source: p 175, The Catholic Christian Instructed in the Sacraments ..., by Richard Challoner, 1786

But as for those that have vowed a chastity, they must make use of other means to prevent this burning, particularly prayer and fasting. But what a wretched case must that of the adversaries of the celibacy of the clergy be, when to maintain it they nave in so many places wilfully corrupted the scripture ? and what a melancholy case It must be, that so many thousands of well-meaning souls should be wretchedly deluded with the pretence of God's pure word, when instead of this, they have nothing put in their hands but corrupted translations, which present them with a mortal poison, instead of the food of life ?

How do you determine/deduce the syntax of the subordinate clause with the bolded? Please explain and show all steps and thought processes. I first tried to ignore 'nave in so many places':

...when to maintain it [= a wretched case]
they [ie = the adversaries of the celibacy of the clergy]
wilfully corrupted the scripture ?

Yet afterwards, I still can't resolve where nave in so many places fits?

Footnote: I lit on this work only while reading definition c. for 'to vow' on OED.

2 Answers 2


Although nave is an obsolete contraction equivalent to not have or have not, that does not work in this sentence. Rather, here you have a simple misreading for have, as shown in other scans of the self-same text¹ such as this one:

except from catholic prayer book

  1. Op. cit.
  • Attribution? meta.english.stackexchange.com/a/4981/71783. I would have checked by myself but I wasn't following your shortened goo.gl link to whatever site it might take me.
    – Frank
    Feb 15, 2015 at 14:09
  • @Frank Don’t be a pill. That’s pure bloody mindedness that has no business here. Shame on you! The attribution is given in the OP. You are only trying to be an annoying trouble-maker. Stop that.
    – tchrist
    Feb 15, 2015 at 14:10
  • 2
    No need to get upset, I'm just asking that your follow the site rules for attribution.
    – Frank
    Feb 15, 2015 at 14:21
  • @Frank Op. cit.
    – tchrist
    Feb 15, 2015 at 15:21

I believe the "n" in "nave" from "nave in so many places wilfully corrupted the scripture" is likely to be the result of a poor printing or an issue with the scan of the text. E.g., look at page 175 of the scanned version of the book available on Google Books, which is a Google project to digitize the world's books - see the Wikipedia article Google Books - making many out of copyright books available for free. Zoom in on the page several levels of magnification and then compare the letter at the beginning of the word to other instances of "n" and "h" on the same page. It appears to me that the ascender for the letter "h" has been cut off rather than the letter being an "n".

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