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    #1

    uncomprehensible sentence

    Dear teachers,

    There is a very brief excerpt from Dickens' "Bleak House", namely:

    Mr. Skimpole was as agreeable at breakfast, as he had been over-night. There was honey on the table, and it led him into a discourse about Bees. He had no objection to honey, he said (and I should think he had not, for he seemed to like it), but he protested against the overweening assumptions of Bees. He didnít at all see why the busy Bee should be proposed as a model to him; he supposed the Bee liked to make honey, or he wouldnít do it Ė nobody asked him. It was not necessary for the Bee to make such a merit of his tastes. If every confectioner went buzzing about the world, banging against everything that came in hi way, and egoistically calling upon everybody to take notice that he was going to his work and must not be interrupted, the world would be quite an unsupportable place. Then after all, it was a ridiculous position, to be smoked out of your fortune with brimstone, as soon as you had made it. You would have a very mean opinion of a Manchester man, if he spun cotton for no other purpose.

    I caught the edifying and topical even nowadays meaning of it with the exception of the last sentence. It is above my head.

    Would you be kind enough explain to me in comprehensible English the chippered root of the matter ?

    Thank you in advance for your efforts.

    Regards.

    V.


    • Join Date: Oct 2006
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    #2

    Re: uncomprehensible sentence

    Manchester was a great centre of cotton spinning and textile manufacture - so a Manchester man who only span cotton for his own purpose and use would be a very mean man.


    • Join Date: Nov 2007
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    #3

    Re: uncomprehensible sentence

    How mean and selfish bees are. They scurry around, gathering the nectar they need, then scurry back to their hives and make honey - and why? Just to store it up. They don't pop back to your garden and ask if you'd like a bit! No- we have to smoke them out of their hive, and forcibly take it if we are to share in it.
    Manchester is a city once world famous for the amount of cotton it imported, spun, made into linen, and then sold to the world. But imagine if some manufacturer, a Manchester man, did what bees did? Just take all the imported cotton and spin it and weave it, but not give the world access to either spun cotton or linen goods. We'd regard him as just as mean and selfish as the bees.


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    #4

    Re: uncomprehensible sentence

    Anglika's reply is more succinct - I do tend to rave on!


    • Join Date: Oct 2006
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    #5

    Re: uncomprehensible sentence


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    #6

    Re: uncomprehensible sentence

    Hi Anglika,

    Thank you very much for your utmost clear reply. Whereas the first section was very clear and accessible for my brain, th last sentence was as a storm-proof forest. I wouldn't never manage alone to draw this parallel between the Bees and the Manchester man.

    Thank you again for your attention.

    Regards.

    V.

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      • Bulgaria
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    #7

    Re: uncomprehensible sentence

    Hi DavidL,

    Thank you for your unlimited readiness to help me in the hour of need.

    Thank you also for your thorough reply. I think, you are prepared for every question of me. I suppose, nothing could hamper you.

    I am honored to be called your friend.

    Regards.

    V.

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