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    #1

    The essential prince

    Hello,

    I cannot get the hang of what the author means by the phrase the essential prince. Any suggestions?

    Even as a boy I had discerned in my friend the genuine Noble, the inveterate patrician. One saw that in him. Not at all that his personality gave an impression of any species of loftiness, opulence; on the contrary. He did, however, give an impression of incalculable ancientness. He suggested the last moment of an ?on. No nobleman have I seen who so bore in his wan aspect the assurance of the inevitable aristocrat, the essential prince, whose pale blossom is of yesterday, and will perish to-morrow, but whose root fills the ages. This much I knew of Harfager; also that on one or other of the bleak islands of his patrimony north of Zetland lived his mother and a paternal aunt; that he was somewhat deaf; but liable to transports of pain or delight at variously-combined musical sounds, the creak of a door, the note of a bird. More I cannot say that I then knew.

    M.P.Shiel, Vaila, 1896

    Thank you very much

  1. Skrej's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: The essential prince

    He is the very embodiment of the concept of what a prince is and should be. He exhibits all the true values of a quintessential prince.

  2. bhaisahab's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: The essential prince

    Quote Originally Posted by Skrej View Post
    He is the very embodiment of the concept of what a prince is and should be. He exhibits all the true values of a quintessential prince.

    Inbred, stupid, arrogant etcetera?

  3. Piscean's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: The essential prince

    Quote Originally Posted by bhaisahab View Post
    Inbred, stupid, arrogant etcetera?
    That's only foreign princes. Nothing to do with our own princes (Charles, Andrew, Edward, Harry, etc) who are universally admired for their wit, wisdom, selflessness, humility, generosity, etc.

  4. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: The essential prince

    Learners certainly get their money's worth on this site. 2 for the price of 1 on this thread - the original question answered and then 2 posts demonstrating good old British sarcasm!
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

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    #6

    Re: The essential prince

    Quote Originally Posted by Piscean View Post
    That's only foreign princes. Nothing to do with our own princes (Charles, Andrew, Edward, Harry, etc) who are universally admired for their wit, wisdom, selflessness, humility, generosity, etc.
    If you had named one more, they'd be the quint-essential princes.

  5. Skrej's Avatar
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    #7

    Re: The essential prince

    Quote Originally Posted by bhaisahab View Post
    Inbred, stupid, arrogant etcetera?
    Hard for me to say - the last time we Americans dealt directly with royalty was something like 239 years ago.

    Not sure if things have changed much since then or not.

  6. Piscean's Avatar
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    #8

    Re: The essential prince

    Quote Originally Posted by Skrej View Post
    Not sure if things have changed much since then or not.
    Their wigs are less obvious these days,

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    #9

    Re: The essential prince

    Quote Originally Posted by Skrej View Post
    He exhibits all the true values of a quintessential prince.
    That works better today- the essential prince make have worked then, but it sounds a bit odd now with that intended meaning.

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