Student or Learner
Would you tell me whether I am right with my interpretation of the expression in bold in the following sentence?
Is it for me to stir up strife betwixt them, and put as it were my finger between the bark and the tree? (W. Scott, “The Abbot”)
come (go, put one’s finger or hand) between the bark and the tree = butt in on someone’s family business, to place oneself between the husband and the wife
Thanks for your efforts.
You are correct.
Relations of family, however, do not exhaust the phrase. It is more general.
The wood of the tree and the bark are inseparable if the tree is not to die.
To put your hand between the tree and the bark is intrude where your presence is so extraneous it does only harm.