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Tag Archives: Caspar Goodwood

Not Lying Down on the Job

As we’ve discussed earlier, James isn’t a big fan of dropping his character’s names into every paragraph, or even page.  Sometimes it seems he’s set himself a one-use-per-chapter rule.  And while that can be mildly annoying/confusing it does allow for some entertainingly descriptive moments.

It was in virtue of this principle that he [Osmond] gave himself the entertainment of taking a fancy to a perpendicular Bostonian whom he had been depended upon to treat with coldness.

I plan to use this helpful adjective next time I’m asked to describe someone.  You know, when asked who it was at church that we prayed for because he fell and broke his arm I’ll reply, “Oh, that formerly perpendicular man that sits on the front right side.”

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Posted by on February 22, 2013 in The Portrait of a Lady

 

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Stupid Question: What to Expect Edition

What does “knocked-up” mean?

And if Caspar was in that delicate condition shouldn’t Isabel have married him?

Um, I mean . . . uh . . . okay, I don’t know what I mean, or what James meant either, for that matter.

Here’s the quote at the very end of Chapter XXXII.  Mr. Goodwood has come to see his former love after she’s written to inform him of her engagement.  There conversation is all but over, and he’s headed out the door.

‘How little you make of these terrible journeys,’ she felt the poverty of her presently replying.
‘If you’re afraid I’m knocked up – in such way as that – you may be at your ease about it.’ He turned away, this time in earnest, and no hand-shake, no sign of parting, was exchanged between them.

I’m guessing that he meant “put out, what do you think?

 
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Posted by on February 18, 2013 in The Portrait of a Lady

 

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