After the outbreak of World War I the Defence of the Realm Act was
passed by Parliament in 1914. One section of the Act concerned the
hours pubs could sell alcohol, as it was believed that alcohol
consumption would interfere with the war effort. It restricted
opening hours for licensed premises to luncheon (12:00 to 14:40) and
Walkinshaw has just said that the two men who were with Markenmore were strangers. Chilford's response is:
You cannot be sure they were strangers. Markenmore might have known them from before, as he has business dealings with a wide range of people. You are assuming that Markenmore came to this area to meet his brother and sister. But it is equally probable ...
I believe the farmstead here refers to the buildings on the farm, while the paddock refers to the fenced-in land associated with the farm. The definition in the OED is.
A plot of farmland and the buildings upon it; a homestead; a farmhouse and its adjacent outbuildings.
The third of these possibilities seems to limit the definition of farmstead to just the ...
In the Victorian and Georgian periods, the killing of a fox other than by hunting was considered by many to be tantamount to a crime, de facto, if not de jure (and referred to semi-seriously as 'vulpicide'). Shooting a fox mid-hunt would, in particular, deprive the hunt of its raison d'être and ruin a perfectly good afternoon for a hundred or more people.
Because it's considered unsporting.
Fox hunters don't shoot foxes; they allow foxhounds to chase down the fox and kill it. The fox therefore has a good chance at escaping—at least in theory. It can evade the dogs by going underground or by running into private land whose owner does not permit hunting.
On the other hand, a fox has little chance against a gun. ...
"Never rains but it pours" is not necessarily associated with bad things. The general meaning is simply that when one thing happens, then many things happen at once. If there are lots of visitors/events in this day, the meaning would be that "oh, it's not just one visitor/event, but many!". Mrs. Braxfield explains her reasons for using ...
The words "access" and "excess" ultimately derive from Latin. The Online Etymology Dictionary has the following entry for access (emphasis added):
(...), from Old French acces "onslaught, attack; onset (of an illness)" (14c.), from Latin accessus "a coming to, an approach; way of approach, entrance," noun use of past ...
The word institution in that passage does not refer to Markenmore Court. The ancient institution is the coroner's inquest itself. This is definition 1c in Merriam-Webster:
a significant practice, relationship, or organization in a society or culture
// the institution of marriage
The sentence would perhaps be easier to understand with the insertion of two ...
Fidgety about not being left in the sense that Harry is using it means something like he nervously insists that he not be left alone. You are correct that this is an unusual way to describe Sir Anthony's feeling. It would be more typical to say He's fidgeting at being left [alone]. But from Harry's point of view, his father would fidget and say something ...
One of the definitions of commodity is "something useful or valued." See meaning 2a at Merriam-Webster, where the example given is:
that valuable commodity, patience.
Even more than patience, religion and nature are significant forces highly valued in society, so they are powerful commodities. It is worth mentioning that agin ... nature here ...
to form, mould, shape
and ‘delicately’ means
In a way that is exquisitely fine, soft, graceful, etc.
(All definitions taken from the Oxford English Dictionary)
Therefore fingers which have been ‘delicately fashioned’ will have a shape that is elegant and probably slender.
For a body part to be delicately made does not, absent other ...
It's double negation — something that is not allowed in formal English, but is very common in informal English. (For example, in the Rolling Stones song "I Can't Get No Satisfaction".)
What does it mean? It means exactly the same thing as the positive form would:
No one knows what the morrow may bring forth!
Why did the author use the negative ...
Yes, that is from Harborough. It's an expansion on "Stiff proposition, that," to explain why it is a "stiff proposition" (why it would be hard to convince the renters to agree to a rent-raise). This is further confirmed when Valencia's response to "you" is answered by Harborough.
Or, use process of elimination. It doesn't make ...
The phrase is essentially an abbreviated version of ‘a good deal of sense’, which online searches will show you is a common phrase in British English (and probably other Englishes as well). It has a slightly dated feel as a phrase, having increased steeply in popularity between the 1950s and 1980 then dropped away again:
Both ways work
"Not being left [alone]" is what the father is fidgety about. He is fidgety about this not happening. When he is not not left alone, he is fidgety. This communicates the same meaning, in perhaps a more complicated way, as "he's fidgety about being left [alone]", where the father would be fidgety about this happening.