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    #1

    There's no claim on me

    Hello,

    I am a little bit confused by the bold text; does it mean the guy is not going to make no claims (to a property or something like that)?

    His half-brother had nodded toward a dingy portfolio that stood leaning against a half-empty book-case. And at that his guest had laid about him with a will. "So that's the kind of profit you are hoping to make out of your old bee-bush! That's your profit? That's your fine airs—your miserable scribblings and scragglings?" He had once more slammed down his huge fist on the table and delivered his ultimatum. "See here, I give you a hundred pounds here and now. There's no claim on me, not a shred.

    Walter de la Mare, The Tree, 192?

    Thank you very much.
    Last edited by Johnyxxx; 10-Feb-2016 at 20:21.
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  1. bhaisahab's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: There's no claim on me

    Some wider context might help.
    “Every miserable fool who has nothing at all of which he can be proud, adopts as a last resource pride in the nation to which he belongs; he is ready and happy to defend all its faults and follies tooth and nail, thus reimbursing himself for his own inferiority.”

    — Arthur Schopenhauer

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    #3

    Re: There's no claim on me

    The cottage had fairly shaken to his abuse; the raw onions had danced under his fist on the table. And twining in and out between his roarings and shoutings had meandered on that other low, groping, dispassionate voice—his brother's. He had found his own place, and there he intended to remain. Rather than sit on a stool in a counting-house writing invoices for crates of oranges and pineapples, he would hang himself from the topmost branches of the tree. You had your own life to lead, and it didn't matter if you died of it. He was not making any claims. There was nothing the same in this world for any two persons. And the more different everything was, the more closely you should cling to the difference. Oh, yes, it was mere chance, or whatever you liked to call it, that had brought him here, mere chance that the tree had not even been charged for in the rent. There it was, and it would last him his lifetime; and, when that was over, he wouldn't complain. He had wagged his skimpy beard, a pencil between his fingers. No, he wouldn't complain if they just dug a hole in the garden and shoveled his body in under the grass within reach of the rootlets. What 's your body? "They'll bury me all right when I'm safely dead. Try it; it's a fair speculation." "Try what?" The fruit merchant's countenance had suddenly set like a gargoyle in cast-iron. His half-brother had nodded toward a dingy portfolio that stood leaning against a half-empty book-case. And at that his guest had laid about him with a will. "So that's the kind of profit you are hoping to make out of your old bee-bush! That's your profit? That's your fine airs—your miserable scribblings and scragglings?" He had once more slammed down his huge fist on the table and delivered his ultimatum. "See here, I give you a hundred pounds here and now. There's no claim on me, not a shred.
    We don't even share the same mother, even if we share the same dad. You talk this abject rubbish to me. You have never earned a decent penny in your life. You never will. You are a fool and a loafer. Go to the parish and go for good. I'm sick of it, d'ye hear? Sick of it. You sit there whiffling that I haven't eyes in my head, that I don't know black from white, that you'd rather hang your miserable carcass in your wretched old tree than take a respectable job. Well, hang it there. It won't break the branches if this is the only kind of meal you can give a visitor! I 'm done with you, I wash my hands of you." He had, inaccurately, pantomimed the operation, sweeping over the jampot as he did so; and now drew in his breath—a cold breath, too, as, with eyes fixed on the ever-lightening hedgerows beyond his oblong window, he remembered the renewed redhot stab of pain that had transfixed the ball of his thumb.
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