How they pile the poor little craft mast-high with fine clothes and big houses

tufguy

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"How they pile the poor little craft mast-high with fine clothes and big houses; with useless servants, and a host of swell friends that do not care twopence for them."

This sentence is from "Three Men In A Boat" novel written by Jerome K Jerome in 1989.

Please explain its meaning to me.
 

Rover_KE

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jutfrank

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We need more context.
 

GoesStation

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Jerome must be speaking metaphorically here. The "craft" he writes of is not a boat but something like the ensemble of his subjects' lives, which he feels are overloaded with material things, unnecessary domestic servants, and egotistical friends.
 

tufguy

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Jerome must be speaking metaphorically here. The "craft" he writes of is not a boat but something like the ensemble of his subjects' lives, which he feels are overloaded with material things, unnecessary domestic servants, and egotistical friends.

No he is talking about a boat. Can we say "he wanted to go on a voyage with his friends or on a boat trip"? These people were planning to go up the river in a boat. But yes he is actually using these words metaphorically here.
 
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tufguy

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[FONT=&quot]How they pile the poor little craft mast-high with fine clothes and big houses; with useless servants, and a host of swell friends that do not care twopence for them, and that they do not care three ha’pence for; with expensive entertainments that nobody enjoys, with formalities and fashions, with pretence and ostentation, and with – oh, heaviest, maddest lumber of all! – the dread of what will my neighbour think, with luxuries that only cloy, with pleasures that bore, with empty show that, like the criminal’s iron crown of yore, makes to bleed and swoon the aching head that wears it!

This is the whole paragraph.[/FONT]
 

emsr2d2

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Tufguy, why on earth are you reading that book? Quite honestly, some of it uses such archaic, flowery language that native speakers are having trouble fighting their way through it! If you are trying to improve your English (as you always tell us you are), reading a novel from 1889 is not going to help you.
 

Tarheel

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Tufguy, he is speaking metaphorically. They don't make boats big enough to put houses on them.
 

andrewg927

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Tufguy, why on earth are you reading that book? Quite honestly, some of it uses such archaic, flowery language that native speakers are having trouble fighting their way through it! If you are trying to improve your English (as you always tell us you are), reading a novel from 1889 is not going to help you.

I agree. The language was used 128 years ago. A lot of it is obsolete.
 
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