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|Ch.1 Opening lines
Written by Rachel G
(10/6/2008 7:16 a.m.)
Sir Walter Elliot, of Kellynch Hall, in Somersetshire, was a man who, for his own amusement, never took up any book but the Baronetage: ...
Since the 'audience' are, almost by definition, people who read novels, and perhaps other stuff, for pleasure, it is plain from the very beginning that Sir Walter is 'not one of us'. By the end of the opening paragraph it is very clear that he is a character who's values are seriously out of kilter!
The complicated first sentence continues:
...there he found occupation for an idle hour, and consolation in a distressed one; there his faculties were roused into admiration and respect, by contemplating the limited remnant of the earliest patents; there any unwelcome sensations, arising from domestic affairs, changed naturally into pity and contempt. As he turned over the almost endless creations of the last century, and there, if every other leaf were powerless, he could read his own history with an interest which never failed...
Sorry to quote at length but I could use some help here. I read this as follows: Sir W's admiration and respect are roused by the limited remnant of the earliest patents, of which his own is one (I think), dating back to 1660, the first year of Charles II. Presumably then, his pity and contempt are for the endless creations of the last (18th) century, which are more recent than his own. It seems odd that the first sentence ends after the word 'contempt'. Is this full stop a typographic error? Am I reading this correctly?
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