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    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Japanese
      • Home Country:
      • Japan
      • Current Location:
      • Japan

    • Join Date: Aug 2007
    • Posts: 158
    #1

    eating salt with red herrings

    Hi, teachers.
    Would you please explain what the last sentence means in the following paragraph from a novel which describes a Dorset town in the late 19th century?

    (Two people are discussing the love affair between a lord and a common town girl. One deplores it, while the other simply accepts the fact believing "the Divine right of peers was firmly established". The latter says to the former:)
    Your parents was Dissenters, Mr Joliffe, and never taught
    you the Catechism when you was young; but as for me, I order myself to
    my betters as I should, so long as they orders themselves to me. 'Taint
    no use to say as how we're all level; you've only got to go to Mothers'
    Meetings, my old missus says, to see that. 'Tis no use looking for too
    much, nor eating salt with red herrings.

    I suspect that the speaker is using Dorset dialect. Anyway I have no clue what the last sentence means. I appreciate very much if you would explain this to me. Thanks!!


    • Join Date: Oct 2006
    • Posts: 19,434
    #2

    Re: eating salt with red herrings

    "red herrings" are kippers - smoked and preserved herrings, which are VERY salty.

    So essentially the speaker is saying there is not much point to eating red herrings with salt as they are already salty.

    Metaphorically, in this passage he/she is saying don't look for more than you deserve.

    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Japanese
      • Home Country:
      • Japan
      • Current Location:
      • Japan

    • Join Date: Aug 2007
    • Posts: 158
    #3

    Re: eating salt with red herrings

    Thank you, Anglika. Your explanation is very clear. Thanks!!

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