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Thread: easy virtue

  1. #1

    easy virtue


    I have a question about the phrase easy virtue below. When I look it up, all I find are references to sexual behaviour, which can't be accurate considering the context. I think that the word virtue in this case could mean that resignation had its merits or advantages, but I'm not entirely sure. Or does the phrase simply mean that resignation was easy?

    After the last fourteen years spent sword in hand in the saddle, and with the sense of his duty done to the very end, General D'Hubert found resignation an easy virtue.

    • Join Date: Oct 2006
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    Re: easy virtue

    As I read it, he found resignation to be easy.

  2. BobK's Avatar
    Harmless drudge
    English Teacher
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    Re: easy virtue

    Its not the idiom 'easy virtue'; it's just a virtue that happens to be easy to practice. (Incidentally, if it's Conrad again, it's quite possible that he had in mind the fact that etymogically 'virtue' was associated with men.)


  3. #4

    Re: easy virtue

    Yes its Conrad again, and I will soon stop pestering you with questions about his style of writing; just a few sentences left to translate before I'm finished with him - for good I think (or hope ) ... easy to practice sounds excellent. I'll use that one.

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