gb   United Kingdom

Usage of eût in this sentence?!

Wednesday at 16:49

Hi all,

I have been reading 'Les Rois Maudits' and have come across the phrase:

"Et comme premier frère du roi mort, sa place était manifestement à Paris, au moment qu'on y débattait de la régence. Un autre eût déjà donné l'ordre de seller les chevaux."

My question is, why is "eût" used in the emboldened phrase? I read this sentence as "any other would have already saddled the horses." Why is the conditional "aurait" not used instead of this imparfait subjonctif "eût"?

P.S.

The book is written in a little more formal/old-style French (e.g. "ne ... point" is used instead of "ne ... pas"). Is this a construction that it isn't worth worrying about due to its formal/literary nature or am I missing a point of grammar?

Thanks for any replies :)

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