I’d like to ask about the following sentence from "The Illustrious Client" by Conan Doyle.

A butler, who would have adorned a bench of bishops, showed me in and…

I wanted to know what impression the author wanted to give to the readers with the underlined metaphor.

This part doesn’t mean like the butler would adorn (decollate) the attire of a benchful of bishops or some, right? It was meant to say the butler himself looked like a bishop, so much so that it wouldn’t surprise anyone if he were sitting on a bench with bunch of bishops.

If so, at the end of the day, did the butler look old or something. Or had much air of dignity, or what he wore was like the one would have normally worn by bishops maybe?

1 Answer 1


You are right. The meaning is that if the butler appeared among the bishops on a bench, he would add dignity to their appearance, thus adorning them -- since bishops should be dignified.

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