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  1. #1

    sally of scorn to relieve her

    I don't understand the meaning of to relieve her in this excerpt:


    "Do you want him to--say? I'll have him here in an hour if you do. I
    ain't been in the law thirty years for nothing. He's hired Carrick Fry's
    team to take him to Hepburn, but he ain't going to start for another
    hour. And I can put things to him so he won't be long deciding.... He's
    soft: I could see that. I don't say you won't be sorry afterward--but,
    by God, I'll give you the chance to be, if you say so."

    She heard him out in silence, too remote from all he was feeling and
    saying for any sally of scorn to relieve her.


    Comments, please!

  2. #2

    Re: sally of scorn to relieve her

    [CAUTION: I am not a teacher:take the advice and or corrections offered in this post at your own risk.
    If you doubt the information, please get a qualified opinion from one of the teachers on these forums.]



    Is the phrase "to relieve her" really what you don't understand? Or is it why she might be relieved in the first place?

    "To relieve her" could mean "to make her feel better, to make her less anxious, to take away her worry or anger". However, if you understand the extremely complex passage above, this should be simple for you.

    The indication of why she needs relieving is not revealed in the passage you have included, we would have to first see why she is upset/worried/angry.

  3. #3

    Re: sally of scorn to relieve her

    Well, the problem I have has to do with the overall context, I think. You see, the woman in question was sort of adopted when she was, I think, around 8 years old (she is now 18-20), by the man who is talking to her in the excerpt. Their relationship hasn't been good for a long time, and he sort of "claims" her. Now, she has fallen in love with a young man, and things have happened that makes her "foster-father" very upset. So, what I'm wondering is thus why she would be relieved by him "sallying scorn" at her. Psychologically, that would be a bit strange, wouldn't it?

  4. #4

    Re: sally of scorn to relieve her

    [CAUTION: I am not a teacher:take the advice and or corrections offered in this post at your own risk.
    If you doubt the information, please get a qualified opinion from one of the teachers on these forums.]



    Ah, and so now we come closer to the question that I imagined you were asking.

    The writing you present looks just a little dated, and as such I think the use of "relieve" might be closer to "allow someone to stop doing" as in being relieved of a responsibility, burden or task.

    Of what then would she be relieved? I think here it is referring to the cool remoteness that she is feeling. The author seems to see this emotional distance as a negative state that she might be relieved of by the attack of scorn.

    I have to agree with you though that that reasoning is a bit twisted and struck me ass odd when I read it through. On the other hand, I could easily be wrong in my interpretation.

  5. #5

    Re: sally of scorn to relieve her

    Quote Originally Posted by weiming View Post
    Of what then would she be relieved? I think here it is referring to the cool remoteness that she is feeling. The author seems to see this emotional distance as a negative state that she might be relieved of by the attack of scorn.
    Thank you for your input weiming, but I don't think that your interpretation is the one the author wants to convey. The author is telling a story about a young woman who, due to the circumstances, can be said to be trapped, on many levels, and she (the author) is always on her side. There would be no reason for her to think that the emotional distance the young woman feels in this particular situation isn't justified, quite the opposite! It's my impression that the word relieve in this instant has a different meaning than the, perhaps, obvius. But then again, I'm not a native English speaker!

    .


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    #6

    Re: sally of scorn to relieve her

    Quote Originally Posted by Caorthine View Post
    I don't understand the meaning of to relieve her in this excerpt:


    "Do you want him to--say? I'll have him here in an hour if you do. I
    ain't been in the law thirty years for nothing. He's hired Carrick Fry's
    team to take him to Hepburn, but he ain't going to start for another
    hour. And I can put things to him so he won't be long deciding.... He's
    soft: I could see that. I don't say you won't be sorry afterward--but,
    by God, I'll give you the chance to be, if you say so."

    She heard him out in silence, too remote from all he was feeling and
    saying for any sally of scorn to relieve her.


    Comments, please!
    She [certainly from reading other bits of the story] can be scathing in comment. Here she is so far from understanding his outburst or the reason for it that her own feelings cannot be relieved by a sarcastic comment.

  6. #7

    Re: sally of scorn to relieve her

    Quote Originally Posted by Anglika View Post
    She [certainly from reading other bits of the story] can be scathing in comment. Here she is so far from understanding his outburst or the reason for it that her own feelings cannot be relieved by a sarcastic comment.
    Thank God, or, rather, thank Anglika . That was exactly what I was looking for.


    .

  7. #8

    Re: sally of scorn to relieve her

    Unfortunately, I did not have access to the other information mentioned, indeed it might have coloured my response, or perhaps not.

    And suddenly it makes sense. The attack of scorn referred to is one that she might make as an answer, and not the one just made against her.

    As the speaker has just seemingly made remarks against her, I think it would be clearer if a word like "retort" were used instead of "sally".

  8. #9

    Re: sally of scorn to relieve her

    [CAUTION: I am not a teacher:take the advice and or corrections offered in this post at your own risk.
    If you doubt the information, please get a qualified opinion from one of the teachers on these forums.]



    Of course! The fault is entirely mine for not seeing it earlier. I was operating on the more common definition of the word "sally"-a wisecrack or witty remark, which could have indicated the remarks the man had just made.

    However, I did note immediately that the writing seemed a bit dated, I should have seized upon this earlier and more literal definition:

    "To issue suddenly from a defensive or besieged position to attack"

    Which in this case is almost exactly the same as "retort".

    Sorry! I'll have to investigate more closely in the future.

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