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  1. #1
    sympathy is offline Junior Member
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    Could you please kindly explain the bold portions of this passage for me

    The following passage is adapted from a novel set in
    the early twentieth century. Mr. Beebe, a clergyman, is
    speaking with Cecil Vyse about a mutual acquaintance,
    Lucy Honeychurch. Miss Honeychurch has recently
    returned from a journey with her older cousin and
    chaperone, Miss Bartlett.


    “Lucy Honeychurch has no faults,” said Cecil,
    with grave sincerity.
    “I quite agree. At present she has none.”
    “At present?”
    “I’m not cynical. I’m only thinking of my pet theory
    about Miss Honeychurch. Does it seem reasonable that
    she should play piano so wonderfully, and live so quietly?
    I suspect that someday she shall be wonderful in both.
    The water-tight compartments in her will break down,
    and music and life will mingle. Then we shall have her
    heroically good, heroically bad—too heroic, perhaps,
    to be good or bad.”

    Cecil found his companion interesting.
    “And at present you think her not wonderful as far
    as life goes?”
    “Well, I must say I’ve only seen her at Tunbridge
    Wells, where she was not wonderful, and at Florence.
    She wasn’t wonderful in Florence either, but I kept
    on expecting that she would be.”
    “In what way?”
    Conversation had become agreeable to them, and
    they were pacing up and down the terrace.
    “I could as easily tell you what tune she’ll play next.
    There was simply the sense that she found wings and
    meant to use them. I can show you a beautiful picture
    in my diary. Miss Honeychurch as a kite, Miss Bartlett
    holding the string. Picture number two: the string breaks.”
    The sketch was in his diary, but it had been made afterwards,
    when he viewed things artistically. At the time he
    had given surreptitious tugs to the string himself.

    “But the string never broke?”
    “No. I mightn’t have seen Miss Honeychurch rise,
    but I should certainly have heard Miss Bartlett fall.”
    “It has broken now,” said the young man in low,
    vibrating tones.
    Immediately he realized that of all the conceited,
    ludicrous, contemptible ways of announcing an engagement
    this was the worst. He cursed his love of metaphor;
    had he suggested that he was a star and that Lucy was
    soaring up to reach him?
    “Broken? What do you mean?”
    “I meant,” Cecil said stiffly, “that she is going
    to marry me.”
    The clergyman was conscious of some bitter
    disappointment which he could not keep out of his
    voice.
    “I am sorry; I must apologize. I had no idea you
    were intimate with her, or I should never have talked
    in this flippant, superficial way. You ought to have
    stopped me.” And down in the garden he saw Lucy
    herself; yes, he was disappointed.
    Cecil, who naturally preferred congratulations
    to apologies, drew down the corner of his mouth. Was
    this the reaction his action would get from the whole
    world?
    Of course, he despised the world as a whole;
    every thoughtful man should; it is almost a test of
    refinement.

    “I’m sorry I have given you a shock,” he said
    dryly. “I fear that Lucy’s choice does not meet with
    your approval.”


    Could you please kindly explain the bold portions of this passage for me? I don't have any idea about every one of them?

    The sketch was in his diary, but it had been made afterwards,
    when he viewed things artistically. At the time he
    had given surreptitious tugs to the string himself.
    What sketch is this? And what does "afterwards" mean? After when does he begin to view things artistically and "make" that sketch? Does he draw the sketch himself? Of the two pictures he present, which is photograph or which does he draw? What does "surreptitous tugs" mean? Everything is on photo/paper, why can the man tug the kite?

    Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
    Anglika is offline No Longer With Us
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    Re: Could you please kindly explain the bold portions of this passage for me

    Quote Originally Posted by sympathy View Post
    You could be specific = "A Room with a View" by Henry James.

    Then we shall have her heroically good, heroically badtoo heroic, perhaps, to be good or bad. A suggestion that she may be very self-sacrificing, and therefore just ordinary despite her skill at music.


    The sketch was in his diary, but it had been made afterwards,
    when he viewed things artistically. In his diary,
    he had drawn a little picture [a sketch] of Miss Honeychurch as a kite and Miss Bartlett holding the kite string in his diary, and another in which the string has broken and presumably Miss Honeychurch escapes/flies away. At some time in his past, he must have been in the habit of seeing things in visual terms.
    At the time he had given surreptitious tugs to the string himself. He himself has also tried to influence Miss Honeychurch. "surreptitious" = cautious, hidden, with an ulterior motive.


    Cecil, who naturally preferred congratulations to apologies, drew down the corner of his mouth. A facial expression, in which one side of the mouth is tightened so that it is lower than the other. It usually indicates distaste for something
    Was this the reaction his action would get from the whole world? Everyone he knows
    Of course, he despised the world as a whole; every thoughtful man should; it is almost a test of refinement. Cynical comment about society.
    Im sorry I have given you a shock, he said dryly. I fear that Lucys choice does not meet with your approval. Sarcastic comment that Mr Beebe does not like what Lucy has done, with an underlying implication that it is not Mr Beebe's business
    What sketch is this? And what does "afterwards" mean? After when does he begin to view things artistically and "make" that sketch? Does he draw the sketch himself? Of the two pictures he present, which is photograph or which does he draw? What does "surreptitous tugs" mean? Everything is on photo/paper, why can the man tug the kite? See comments above

    Thanks in advance.
    ..

  3. #3
    sympathy is offline Junior Member
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    Re: Could you please kindly explain the bold portions of this passage for me

    THank you for your help, Anglika.
    Everything is clear to me now, haha. Thank you.

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