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cometrue

what does " if she engaged a cook she drank. "mean

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cometrue

i m totally confused, thank you in advance! :-)

She was apparently one of those unfortunate persons with whom nothing by any chance goes right. If she married a husband he beat her; if she employed a broker he cheated her; if she engaged a cook she drank. She never had a little lamb but it was sure to die.

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tetsuo500

Guess what?

I'm totally confused too.

I think that is just a bad sentence. Just forget about that sentence. 8)

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cometrue
Guess what?

I'm totally confused too.

I think that is just a bad sentence. Just forget about that sentence. 8)

really?

r u sure it's not a slang or what?

it's from a literature work! :)

The escape

I have always been convinced that if a woman once made up her mind to marry a man nothing but instant flight could save him. Not always that; for once a friend of mine, seeing the inevitable loom menacingly before him, took ship from a certain port (with a tooth-brush for all his luggage, so conscious was he of the danger and the necessity for immediate action) and spent a year travelling round the world; but when, thinking himself safe (women are fickle, he said, and in twelve months she will have forgotten all about me), he landed at the selfsame port the first person he saw gaily waving to him from the quay was the little lady from whom he had fled. I have only once known a man who in such circumstances managed to extricate himself. His name was Roger Charing. He was no longer young when he fell in love with Ruth Barlow and he had had sufficient experience to make him careful; but Ruth Barlow had a gift (or should I call it a quality?) that renders most men defenceless, and it was this that dispossessed Roger of his commonsense, his prudence, and his worldly wisdom. He went down like a row of ninepins. This was the gift of pathos. Mrs Barlow, for she was twice a widow, had splendid dark eyes and they were the most moving I ever saw; they seemed to be ever on the point of filling with tears; they suggested that the world was too much for her, and you felt that, poor dear, her sufferings had been more than anyone should be asked to bear. If, like Roger Charing, you were a strong, hefty fellow with plenty of money, it was almost inevitable that you should say to yourself: I must stand between the hazards of life and this helpless little thing, oh, how wonderful it would be to take sadness out of those big and lovely eyes! I gathered from Roger that everyone had treated Mrs Barlow very badly. She was apparently one of those unfortunate persons with whom nothing by any chance goes right. If she married a husband he beat her; if she employed a broker he cheated her; if she engaged a cook she drank. She never had a little lamb but it was sure to die.

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cometrue

the author is english writer"somerst Maugham" :)

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tetsuo500

Well, that shows how well read I am! :D

Someone else more educated than myself may be able to help you out.

....but I'm still not liking that sentence. :D

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cometrue

seems it's really a tough one! help! somebody? any body! :)

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Guest brad

I'm not sure why you would send me a PM asking to help with this, as I don't think you know me. However, I might be able to help.

My best guess is:

If she (Ruth) engaged (hired/employed) a cook, she (the cook) drank (drank alcohol, probably the cooking wine or sherry, and probably not cooking very much or very well.)

Cooks have had a reputation for drinking a lot, maybe because of their easy access to wine in the kitchen. Or, that may be a reference to the Manciple's Prologue from The Canterbury Tales. The passage you quoted is describing how unlucky Ruth Barlow was -- or at least how unlucky her husband perceived her to be -- having met the worst of every kind of person (abusive husband, cheating broker, drunk cook).

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cometrue
I'm not sure why you would send me a PM asking to help with this' date=' as I don't think you know me. However, I might be able to help.

My best guess is:

If she (Ruth) engaged (hired/employed) a cook, she (the cook) drank (drank alcohol, probably the cooking wine or sherry, and probably not cooking very much or very well.)

Cooks have had a reputation for drinking a lot, maybe because of their easy access to wine in the kitchen. Or, that may be a reference to the Manciple's Prologue from The Canterbury Tales. The passage you quoted is describing how unlucky Ruth Barlow was -- or at least how unlucky her husband perceived her to be -- having met the worst of every kind of person (abusive husband, cheating broker, drunk cook).[/quote']

sorry for the ventured asking, hope it didnt offence you! i was a little hurrying and you are online that time, so i did make such a ventured asking! thank you for you warm hearted response! hoping i can help you with mandarin someday too.

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roddy
I'm not sure why you would send me a PM asking to help with this

Neither am I. I'm sure it won't happen again. Will it?

Roddy

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cometrue
I'm not sure why you would send me a PM asking to help with this

Neither am I. I'm sure it won't happen again. Will it?

Roddy

sorry, Mr.big, yeah,i mean no! it won't happen again!

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Quest
sorry, Mr.big, yeah,i mean no! it won't happen again!

Should be Mr. Police :P

对不起, 我是警察

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cometrue
sorry, Mr.big, yeah,i mean no! it won't happen again!

Should be Mr. Police :P

对不起, 我是警察

不,我要做好人! :D

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Guest MienhSieqv

did you get the answer? let me try...

She was apparently one of those unfortunate persons with whom nothing by any chance goes right.

If she married a husband he beat her;

--abusive husband.

if she employed a broker he cheated her;

--steal's her money

if she engaged a cook she drank.

--he flirts

She never had a little lamb but it was sure to die.

--she never had a child/life (the "lamb") and her life ("it") will soon end...

--i'll have to read more, to know what she meant by this line...

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chapka
She was apparently one of those unfortunate persons with whom nothing by any chance goes right. If she married a husband he beat her; if she employed a broker he cheated her; if she engaged a cook she drank. She never had a little lamb but it was sure to die.

Pronouns are the problem here (as they often are for non-native English speakers). Try reading the sentence this way, slightly modernized and with fewer pronouns.

"Mary was one of those unfortunate people for whom nothing ever went right. If Mary married a husband, the husband beat Mary. If Mary hired an accountant, the accountant cheated Mary. If Mary hired a cook (as a servant), the cook turned out to be an alcoholic (who drank on the job). Every time Mary got a lamb (as a pet), it would always die."

The "never X but Y" construction is archaic; it literally means "every time X happens, Y also happens." One colloquial phrase that still uses this construction is "It never rains but it pours," meaning "Every time it rains is a downpour (heavy rain);" i.e., it never just rains a little bit. This is used colloquially to mean "Everything bad always happens at the same time."

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satkoj

1)I just read the "she" as "he" and it made perfect sense. I think it was a typo, or an oversight on the part of the author that caused him to forget about the benefits of parallel sentence structure.

2)"Mary had a little lamb,

its fleece was white as snow;

and everywhere that mary went,

the lamb was sure to go."

The author has cleverly changed "go" to "die" to illuminate the widow's ill fortune.

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chapka
1)I just read the "she" as "he" and it made perfect sense. I think it was a typo, or an oversight on the part of the author that caused him to forget about the benefits of parallel sentence structure.

No; "she" is correct. At that time, roles for servants (and other professions) were strictly sex-segregated. A broker was always male (he cheated her); a cook would always have been female (she drank).

The masculine pronoun is usually the default in English, but in a case like this, "she" is correct.

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