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  1. #1
    Johnyxxx is offline Senior Member
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    Old Adamīs trade

    Hello,

    Can anybody tell me what exactly Old Adamīs trade and Job himself mean in the text below?

    ‘Not that I ever took much notice of him until it came to a point past any man’s enduring. I let him rave. But duty is duty, there’s no getting away from that. And when, apart from all this fuss about his fruit, a man takes advantage of what is meant in pure friendliness, well, one’s bound to make a move. Job himself.
    ‘What I mean to say is, I used occasionally – window wide open and all that, the pantry being on the other side of the house and away from the old gentleman’s study – I say I used occasionally, and all in the way of friendliness, to offer our friend a drink. Like as with many of Old Adam’s trade, drink was a little weakness of his, though I don’t mean I hold with it because of that. But peace and quietness is the first thing, and to keep an easy face to all appearances, even if you do find it a little hard at times to forgive and forget.

    Crewe, Walter de la Mare, 1929

    Thanks a lot.
    Not a Teacher. A guy who is fond of old horror and weird literature and who is interested in English language.

  2. #2
    GoesStation is offline Moderator
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    Re: Old Adamīs trade

    "Job" is the protagonist of the Book of Job, subjected to increasingly severe torments but refusing to deny his faith. As a reward, God gives him brand-new children to replace the faithless ones whose death was one of the torments.

    "Old Adam" is apparently a reference to humans in their unredeemed state, though I don't quite see how that fits into the narrative.
    I am not a teacher.

  3. #3
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Re: Old Adamīs trade

    Could Adam's trade be a reference to cider as he ate the apple of sin?

  4. #4
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    Skrej is offline Key Member
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    Re: Old Adamīs trade

    I think the Job reference is referring more to the mythical 'patience of Job'. It seems to be a shortened version of the expression 'having the patience of Job himself'.

    Note to learners - the name 'Job' differs from the noun 'job'. The name is pronounced with a long 'O', and rhymes with 'robe'.
    Wear short sleeves! Support your right to bare arms!

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