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    #1

    Vehemently factious feuille ...

    Hello,

    Can a good soul help me to understand what I have trouble with in the text below?


    Another case which I detailed produced a profound impression upon my friend. A young man, a toy-maker of S. Antoine, suffering from chronic congenital phthisis, attained in the ordinary way his twenty-fifth year. He was frugal, industrious, self-involved. On a winter's evening, returning to his lonely garret, he happened to purchase one of those vehemently factious sheets which circulate by night, like things of darkness, over the Boulevards. This simple act was the herald of his doom. He lay a-bed, and perused the feuille. He had never been a reader; knew little of the greater world, and the deep hum of its travail. But the next night he bought another leaf.

    M.P.Shiel, Vaila, 1895

    Are those vehemently factious sheets which circulate by night some riotous political pamphlets distributed by newsboys in evening? And what about the deep hum of its (the world) travail? I cannot get the hang of it at all ...

    Thank you

  1. Eckaslike's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: Vehemently factious feuille ...

    Quote Originally Posted by Johnyxxx View Post
    Are those vehemently factious sheets which circulate by night some riotous political pamphlets distributed by newsboys in evening?
    I have had a look at the book online. I believe you are definitely on the right track. The book was published in 1896, is set in France, and at its start it says "A good many years ago, a young man, student in Paris.....". This makes me believe that it is probably referring to revolutionary pamphlets circulating around the time of the 1848 French Revolution.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/French_Revolution_of_1848

    Political activities would have been severely restricted at the time, and so the only relatively safe time for pamphlet producers and sellers to circulate their "vehemently factious sheets" would be at night.


    Quote Originally Posted by Johnyxxx View Post
    And what about the deep hum of its (the world) travail? I cannot get the hang of it at all ..

    Travail means unpleasant and very hard work, and combined with "hum" imply the sound of dissatisfied people, probably in the build up to the revolution.

    So, because the man, we are told, doesn't read and is very self-involved, he is unaware of the dissatisfaction and problems of hard-working people which are developing in the country, until he buys the first pamphlet.

    That's my understanding of it anyway.
    Last edited by Eckaslike; 29-Jul-2015 at 19:50.

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    #3

    Re: Vehemently factious feuille ...

    I never thought it could be about Paris in 1848, though I know what happened in the revolutionary year.

    Thanks

  2. Eckaslike's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: Vehemently factious feuille ...

    Quote Originally Posted by Johnyxxx View Post
    though I know what happened in the revolutionary year.
    Yes, of course, especially because of the events in Prague in the same year.

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