Would you be kind enough to tell me whether I am right with my interpretation of the expressions in bold in the following sentences?
This drove me to the verge of distraction.
drive me to the distraction = to cause me to be unable to think or work
verge = the extreme edge or margin, the point beyond which an action, state, or condition is likely to begin or occur; the brink
I was fully committed, and must go on with the fight.
go on = continue
Let us leave him to the agony of a lacerated conscience.
lacerated = cut or wounded in a jagged manner
The ingenious closing sentence had the effect of moving me out of bed with dispatch that night.
moving me out of bed with dispatch = liquidate, kill, make away with
I can lay my hand upon the book and say that I never slander Governor Hoffman’s grandfather.
lay my hand upon the book = take a tow/swear fidelity
I hauled down my colors.
I hauled down my colors = I surrendered without a fire
I lowered my colors. (see above)
But at the very moment that I was exalting my advantage and joying in it in secret, there was a muddy undercurrent of discomfort “riling” the deeps of my happiness.
to rile = to upset and to stir up as in: It riled me to have to listen to such lies.
riled = annoyed as in: She was riled that nobody believed her story.
Thank you for your efforts.
I am not a fan of using must in the past the way you do in the second.