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  1. #1
    vil is offline VIP Member
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    Default failure of his ammunition

    Dear teachers,

    Would you be kind enough to give me your considered opinion concerning the interpretation of the expression in bold in the following sentence?

    The mall was waylaid by seven robbers, and the guard shot three dead, and then got shot dead himself by the other four, "in consequence of the failure of his ammunition". (Ch. Dickens, “A Tale of Two Cities”)

    failure = shortage, insufficiency, lack, want

    V.

  2. #2
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    emsr2d2 is offline Moderator
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    Default Re: failure of his ammunition

    Quote Originally Posted by vil View Post
    Dear teachers,

    Would you be kind enough to give me your considered opinion concerning the interpretation of the expression in bold in the following sentence?

    The mall was waylaid by seven robbers, and the guard shot three dead, and then got shot dead himself by the other four, "in consequence of the failure of his ammunition". (Ch. Dickens, “A Tale of Two Cities”)

    failure = shortage, insufficiency, lack, want

    V.
    I think it probably means that something actually went wrong with his ammunition - perhaps a bullet got jammed in his gun or something.

  3. #3
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    BobK is offline Harmless drudge
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    Default Re: failure of his ammunition

    I have a feeling (no more than that) that in the 19th century 'failure' could be used to mean 'running out' - either this, or as presumably the report came from the French authorities [not everyone may know - though vil almost certianly does - the 'two cities' of the title are London and Paris], they are trying to translate manquer - which is used in this sense in the song Il était un petit navire :
    Au bout de cinq ŕ six semaines
    Les vivre vin- vin- vinrent ŕ manquer
    b
    Last edited by BobK; 28-Aug-2011 at 13:17. Reason: Fix typo

  4. #4
    vil is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: failure of his ammunition

    Hi BobK,

    Thank you for your educational explanation masterly dressed with a spot of palatable French garnish.

    In the majority of cases we took different views. The case in question is a pleasant exception.
    We are the same mind, aren't we?

    run out of

    1. To exhaust the supply of: ran out of fuel

    failure of ammunition = running out of ammunition

    Thank you for your gallantry.

    V.
    Last edited by vil; 28-Aug-2011 at 14:29.

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