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    #1

    Idle

    Please explain to me the meaning of the following sentence.

    It would follow as well that the schemes of the statesman Sully were as idle as the dreams of the French monk Cruce - idle, that is, the pride and petulance that have produced the wars as they have the other ills that plague mankind.

    In particular, I am wondering whether the phrase as they have the other ills that plague mankind describes the pride and petulance in the way that namely they negatively effect mankind in some other way than being the cause of wars as the referred persons were trying to indicate. Thanks.

  1. BobK's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: Idle

    Quote Originally Posted by svetlana14 View Post
    Please explain to me the meaning of the following sentence.

    It would follow as well that the schemes of the statesman Sully were as idle as the dreams of the French monk Cruce - as idle, that is, as the pride and petulance that have produced the wars (as they have [produced] the other ills that plague mankind).

    ...
    I think this is what the writer means. He (very probably a He, judging by its verbosity, pomposity, and grandiloquence () was trying to avoid repeating words, and left the resulting meaningless heap of words for the poor reader to sort out.

    (I'm running the risk here of you saying it was written by someone deserving a greater degree of respect. But I can take it!

    b

  2. Roman55's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: Idle

    I am not a teacher.

    I found the original text, and it is from a doctoral dissertation called 'Man, the State, and the State System in Theories of the Causes of War' written in 1950 by the late American political scientist Kenneth N. Waltz.

    Here is the unabridged version.
    "It would follow as well that the schemes of the statesman Sully, if seriously intended to produce a greater peace in the world, were as idle as the dreams of the French monk Crucé - idle, that is, unless one can strike at the roots, the pride and petulance that have produced the wars as they have the other ills that plague mankind."

    All of which being in reference to a quoted passage of John Milton on the previous page, without which it is not easy to decipher.

    All in all, rather stodgy.

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