Help to understand a sentence, please
Thread poster: Kuritsa
Kuritsa
English to Russian
Apr 21, 2006

Hello! Could anybody help me to understand a sentence from «The lumber room» (by Saki).

The passage is : «Only that morning he had refused to eat his wholesome bread-and-milk on the seemingly frivolous ground that there was a frog in it.«….» Older and wiser and better people had told him that there could not possibly be a frog in his bread-and-milk and that he was not to talk nonsense. «…». The dramatic part of the incident was that there really was a frog in Nicholas' basin of bread-and-milk; he had put it there himself, so he felt entitled to know something about it. The sin of taking a frog from the garden and putting it into a bowl of wholesome bread-and-milk was enlarged on at great length….»

I can’t understand the last sentence. Who did enlarge on the sin? Does it mean that Nicholas told about his sin himself or this sentence implies that «older and wiser and better people» were discussing his sing in great detail?

Thanks in advance


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Nancy Burgess  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 18:36
French to English
+ ...
The sin of putting a frog in a bowl of milk Apr 21, 2006

I think the latter interpretation is correct. Thanks for reminding me about Saki: I must have a look at some of his stories again.

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Rachel Ward  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 18:36
German to English
+ ...
"Older and wiser and better people" Apr 21, 2006

Yes, as Nancy says, the second interpretation is the right one. I've just looked up the story and he's saying that initially Nicolas is in trouble for telling lies - "There could not possibly be a frog in his bread-and-milk" - but then when he says there is because he put it there, he gets in trouble again for that and they go on at length about how naughty he was. Basically kids can't win!

"You said there couldn't possibly be a frog in my bread-and-milk; there was a frog in my bread-and-milk."

Like Nancy, I'll have to re-read these stories!


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María Teresa Taylor Oliver  Identity Verified
Panama
Local time: 12:36
English to Spanish
+ ...
Saki Apr 21, 2006

Nancy Burgess wrote:

I think the latter interpretation is correct. Thanks for reminding me about Saki: I must have a look at some of his stories again.


Oh I love his stories! They're so whimsical

I have found a lot here: http://www.short-stories.co.uk/

Enjoy!


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DGK T-I  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 18:36
Member (2003)
Georgian to English
+ ...
Saki's "Beasts and Super-Beasts" including "The Lumber Room" can be read at.... Apr 21, 2006

http://www.worldwideschool.org/library/books/lit/drama/BeastsandSuper-Beasts/chap31.html

Thanks Kuritsa, great fun.


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Kuritsa
English to Russian
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks Apr 23, 2006

Dear all!
Thanks for your comments. Your answers helped me to translate the sentence correctly.


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