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Thread: lobster salad

  1. Junior Member
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    #1

    lobster salad

    I always think those people fortunate who are content to stand by the ten commandments, knowing exactly how to conduct themselves, and propped up by the hope of Paradise on the one hand, and by the fear of a cloven-footed devil with pincers, on the other…… But we who answer Why to the crude Thou Shalt Not, are like sailors on a wintry sea without a compass. Reason and instinct say one thing, and convention says another. But the worst of it is that one’s conscience has been reared on the Decalogue, and fostered on hell-fire—and one’s conscience has the last word. I dare say it’s cowardly, but it’s certainly discreet, to take it into consideration. It’s like lobster salad; it’s not actually immoral to eat it, but it will very likely give you indigestion....

    From Mrs. Craddock
    (set in the late 19th century) by W Somerset Maugham
    What does the underlined sentence mean?

    What does "it" and "lobster salad" refer to?

  2. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: lobster salad

    I'm about to go out so I don't have time to scroll back through the piece and work out what that "it" refers to. Someone else will.

    "Lobster salad" is literal. It's a specific dish. See HERE.
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

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    #3

    Re: lobster salad

    Quote Originally Posted by emsr2d2 View Post

    "Lobster salad" is literal. It's a specific dish.
    ... and an expensive one at that – but delicious, and not renowned for causing indigestion.

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    #4

    Re: lobster salad

    Quote Originally Posted by Rover_KE View Post
    ... and an expensive one at that – but delicious, and not renowned for causing indigestion.
    Not nowadays. I imagine dishes made from cold, cooked shellfish were considerably more dangerous in the late nineteenth century, before refrigeration.
    I am not a teacher.

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    #5

    Re: lobster salad

    I can't make out exactly what it was supposed to refer to. The sense of the sentence is clear enough, though: the speaker thinks it's wise to consider the possibility that hell exists.
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    #6

    Re: lobster salad

    Since it is wise for the conscience to be "reared on the Decalogue, and fostered on hell-fire", why is "the worst of it"?

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    #7

    Re: lobster salad

    Quote Originally Posted by Peter Jiong View Post
    Since it is wise for the conscience to be "reared on the Decalogue, and fostered on hell-fire", why is "the worst of it"?
    I don't quite understand the question. Why is "the worst of it" what?

    "The worst of it" is the thing that's most difficult to accept.
    I am not a teacher.

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    #8

    Re: lobster salad

    But the worst of it is that one’s conscience has been reared on the Decalogue, and fostered on hell-fire—and one’s conscience has the last word.

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    #9

    Re: lobster salad

    I think it refers to what one's conscience is urging you to do.

    Lobster salad is a metaphor of the situation of taking a decision that goes against what your conscience is telling you to do.

    In this sense, 'conscience' is used with respect to its having been reared on the Decalogue.

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    #10

    Re: lobster salad

    But the worst of it is that one’s conscience has been reared on the Decalogue, and fostered on hell-fire—and one’s conscience has the last word.

    Why is it the "worst of it" that the conscience has the last word?

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