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Wu Ting
How would you interpret this last clause of the first sentence? How would you interpret this last clause “as became the half of him which was barbaric” in the first sentence? Thank you. PS: the excerpt is taken from “The Lady, or the Tiger?” written by Frank R. Stockton. the context: In the very olden time there lived a semi-barbaric king, whose ideas, though somewhat polished and sharpened by the progressiveness of distant Latin neighbors, were still large, florid, and untrammeled, as became the half of him which was barbaric. He was a man of exuberant fancy, and, withal, of an authority so irresistible that, at his will, he turned his varied fancies into facts. He was greatly given to self-communing, and, when he and himself agreed upon anything, the thing was done. When every member of his domestic and political systems moved smoothly in its appointed course, his nature was bland and genial; but, whenever there was a little hitch, and some of his orbs got out of their orbits, he was blander and more genial still, for nothing pleased him so much as to make the crooked straight and crush down uneven places.
Aug 14, 2019 10:47 AM
Answers · 3
There is a phrase in English "becoming of". It's a bit formal and old-fashioned. A synonym is perhaps "befitting of" (and perhaps this is easier to google) e.g. "Stop slouching - it's not very becoming of a young lady." = slouching is not befitting of a young lady, it does make you into a young lady Or "It's not very becoming of you [to say nasty things]" = it's not very nice of you, it does not reflect well on you. So I THINK that this sentence is a poetic, past tense way to use this phrase. At the beginning we learn he is "semi-barbaric" i.e. (literally) 50% barbaric. "blah blah blah... as became the half of him which was barbaric" means the blah blah blah was "befitting of" the barbaric part of his nature. The language sounds very formal, old-fashioned and literary. It's actually beautiful to read, but I would not add this to your own vocabulary for every day use!
August 14, 2019
Wu Ting
Language Skills
Chinese (Mandarin), English, French
Learning Language