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6

Yes, "at all" can be used in a positive sense: think of it as the opposite of "not at all". See for example Macmillan and Cambridge for the usage of "at all" in a positive sense. In this context, the implication is that much of the populace does not go to church at all: hence the parenthetical "which is pretty pagan". ...


4

I'm not certain what you mean by a "positive statement" here, but what Father Brown is saying here is that most of the town's populace are "pagan" (not Christian) and that the ones who do go to church go to Dutton-Abbot. The "at all" here kind of means "even once" or "occasionally" with an implication that ...


1

Not even in imagination. She would have thought that even thinking about such a place would taint her.


2

A clergyman's son was often expected to a little wild, in revolt against a strict upbringing. Therefore a perfectly regular clergyman's son would be irregular -- that is, not what was expected. The "were" is used because it's in the subjunctive mode, expressing a hypothetical condition. The Blue Lion is a pub.


3

I can't get what's meant by "It would be almost irregular, if the clergyman’s son were quite regular". It's pretty close to what you think. They're saying this would be abnormal behavior in general for the sober individual that you might expect of the son of clergy, but it's normal for him. So he is abnormal, but that's normal behavior for him. And ...


1

My read on it is more than he is alluding to the idea that Yggdrasil was present in all of the Nine Worlds. Similarly, among the trees, seeing them reach up into the heavens, he was entertaining the conceit that they, too, stretched into another world, that of the stars, such that one could traverse the tree and arrive there.


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 ...


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