9

The context of the phrase here is that the phrase, "the humility of a charge too great for men", refers to the idea that someone has been given a very important task which they may not completely understand, but which they know they must complete. And so they are humble because it is the task that is great, not them. They are merely a tool being ...


7

"The Worst Crime in the World" was published in 1927 in the collection The Secret of Father Brown. At that time, cubism was roughly 20 years old. Some cubist painters depicted human bodies as made up of geometric shapes such as cones and cylinders. One can see examples of this in Marcel Duchamp's Nude Descending a Staircase, No. 2 (1912), below: Another ...


7

I can think of only two possibilities. One is that as the children gathered for a service, he would play along with the children in the sand with a spade, and then, as it transitioned, he would gesture with the spade in hand. The other is that the Band would sing or play instruments (a musical service) and that he would use the spade as a baton because it ...


6

The phrase "the sort of lunacy allowed in the gentry" is an allusion to the (real or perceived) eccentricity of the English aristocracy, i.e. that eccentricity is more common among the gentry or the aristocrats than among the rest of the population. In fact, a search for eccentric English aristocrats gives quite a lot of results. For the narrator ...


6

Tsundoku's answer explains the meaning in context of the geometric objects referred to, but the structure of the whole sentence is a bit confusing too: He would indeed be of an inflammable temperament who was stirred to any of the more pagan passions by the display of interrupted spirals, inverted cones and broken cylinders with which the art of the ...


5

According to general Outram, Maurice Marne had been taking acting lessons with Hugo Romaine. At that time, Romaine was not yet a celebrated actor, so giving acting lessons was a very welcome source of income. The general says, "Romaine was then, I suppose, practically dependent on his rich friend." In other words, at that time, the acting lessons ...


4

In the above excerpt, "about" is not directly connected to the verb "entertain", so it does not work like, e.g. "talk about". The structure is as follows: "we had the honour of entertaining ..." Where? "in this bar-parlour" When? "yesterday" Whom? "about the biggest and loudest and most fat-...


4

A fourth position: I do not hold a position of public trust. As an official, it would be his duty to deal with odious people. As a private individual, he has no such duty. The reason why I think this likely is the anecdote about Douglas. His castle was a public trust -- the king had installed him and his family in it, in return for his services as an ...


4

It carries the implication that if Romaine had not acted as his second, even if he thought Maurice ought not to fight the duel, Maurice might have cut off the money, which he was dependent on. (This could be Maurice exploiting his dependence, or it could be Maurice regarding his acting as a second as part of their friendship, and so refusing is showing ...


3

To offer a contrasting view to that given: the nineteen hundred years are since the time of Jesus. Father Brown is a Catholic priest, and Catholicism is a rather hierarchical faith. The "charge too great for men", of which he is unworthy, is to speak on behalf of God and uphold his religion. With Father Brown, his comic appearance and humility ...


3

I believe that, in that first paragraph, Granby is actually just talking about himself and the Captain. He was only asking Father Brown's opinion of the man initially, not looking to invite him to come along. It is a little bit odd that he twice discusses them driving up together, but I suspect it's just a conversational flourish, mentioning that they're ...


3

Partial answer You've asked a few different interrelated questions about this short passage, but I can answer just one of them: who is "the man in Dickens"? The answer is that Chesterton is referring to the following passage from Charles Dickens's The Old Curiosity Shop, in which the question "is the old [man] friendly" is repeated twice ...


3

The man is obviously a bit nuts. However, there's a degree of insanity required before you can be institutionalized, and the degree would be higher for people of higher social status (and more clout). Therefore, having concluded that the man, though lunatic, will not be institutionalized, he regards him with a degree of respect.


3

Technically, he remains James Mair. Any children would have the name Mair. However, a noble is addressed by title, not by name -- Lord Marne. And uses it, too. He would sign things James Marne.


3

"Entertain" and "about" are not linked. They (honestly, in this case, the "we" is a more general usage of the pronoun, not any indication that he himself was doing the entertaining) were "entertaining" or "showing hospitality to" the people in the hotel lounge. The man they are speaking of is being stated to ...


3

I think Chesterton is packing multiple allusions and metaphors into the opening paragraphs of that short story. The first paragraph says there was "something that blasted like lightning", which is followed in the second paragraph by "when the Gothic fell from heaven". These phrases are reminiscent of Luke 10, 18: He replied, "I saw ...


2

"there’s so much of it that deserve to be down on" The Master is trying to indicate that Communism is not nearly as prevalent or as dangerous as they think. They're taking what is a minor issue, that the tendency of young students to profess an admiration for Socialism or Communism isn't some indicator that there's a great movement that must be ...


1

I do not know of any explicit statement of what was meant there, but my interpretation of it was that he was being met by a gesture of appreciation by Inspector Greenwood for his inspiring speech, and was trying to fend off that implied praise. My impression was that Father Brown started making this grand speech about Raggley being the best sort of ...


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