Results 1 to 6 of 6
  1. blueeye's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Serbian
      • Home Country:
      • Serbia
      • Current Location:
      • Serbia

    • Join Date: Sep 2008
    • Posts: 96
    #1

    Troubles with appereance

    In P. D. James' Cover Her Face there is a sentence I don't quite understand:

    The dinner, like all unsuccessful occasions, seemed to last three times its normal length. Catherine thought that never had a family lingered so long over their coffee, never had been the men so dilatory in putting in their appearance.

    Can anyone help me?

    Thank you.


    • Join Date: Jul 2006
    • Posts: 2,886
    #2

    Re: Troubles with appereance

    Quote Originally Posted by blueeye View Post
    In P. D. James' Cover Her Face there is a sentence I don't quite understand:

    The dinner, like all unsuccessful occasions, seemed to last three times its normal length. Catherine thought that never had a family lingered so long over their coffee, never had been the men so dilatory in putting in their appearance.

    Can anyone help me?

    Thank you.
    to put in an appearance is an idiom, which means to appear at a meeting
    dilatory means sluggish, slow

    Catherine meant the passing of time, as she felt it, was painstakingly slow.


    • Join Date: Nov 2007
    • Posts: 5,409
    #3

    Re: Troubles with appereance

    Immediately after a meal at the dining table, men withdraw to another room for port and cigars. After that, they rejoin the ladies in the sitting room for coffee. The men were reluctant to rejoin the ladies and again suffer the boring or tedious conversation, and preferred to keep downing the port and brandy in the library instead. They were reluctant to leave the library, and hence, slow to put in their appearance for coffee in the withdrawing room with the ladies.


    • Join Date: Oct 2006
    • Posts: 19,434
    #4

    Re: Troubles with appereance

    Quote Originally Posted by David L. View Post
    Immediately after a meal at the dining table, men withdraw to another room for port and cigars. After that, they rejoin the ladies in the sitting room for coffee. The men were reluctant to rejoin the ladies and again suffer the boring or tedious conversation, and preferred to keep downing the port and brandy in the library instead. They were reluctant to leave the library, and hence, slow to put in their appearance for coffee in the withdrawing room with the ladies.

    To be accurate, the men would remain in the dining room to smoke, drink port, and talk about "serious matters" such as sex, money and politics. They might also retire to the billiard room for a game or two. The ladies withdrew, to allow them a private time in which to refresh themselves (very necessary after a two-hour dinner) and then go to the drawing room for tea and/or coffee. The men would eventually drift in to get their coffee and rejoin the general conversation It was not acceptable to smoke in front of women until after the First World War.

    It is only in Oxbridge Colleges that the custom of taking "dessert" in another room continues, and not in all of them.


    • Join Date: Nov 2007
    • Posts: 5,409
    #5

    Re: Troubles with appereance

    Of course. How often in movies have I heard, "Ladies, let's leave the gentlemen to their port and cigars."

    My recollection is clouded by the current climate, whereby anyone who wants to smoke vacates present company!
    Last edited by David L.; 08-Apr-2009 at 21:20.

    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • German
      • Home Country:
      • Germany
      • Current Location:
      • Canada

    • Join Date: Nov 2008
    • Posts: 1,032
    #6

    Re: Troubles with appereance

    Quote Originally Posted by David L. View Post
    Of course. How often in movies have I heard, "Ladies, let's leave the gentlemen to their port and cigars."

    My recollection is clouded by the current climate, whereby anyone who wants to smoke vacates present company!
    And, in Canada, they vacate the building to do so.

Similar Threads

  1. Troubles with address
    By vinaria in forum General Language Discussions
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 14-Jun-2008, 20:36
  2. my troubles with prepositions...
    By forum_mail in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 22-Mar-2008, 13:15
  3. trouble(s)
    By kohyoongliat in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 13-Oct-2007, 17:56
  4. Essay troubles
    By brinker2516 in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 13-Jun-2007, 02:15
  5. memory troubles
    By Unregistered in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 18-May-2007, 19:36

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •