a handsome man except for a reserved and secret air

diegoclegane

Senior Member
Mandarin-China
Hi,

Here is a dialogue from To Be Read at Dusk, by Charles Dickens:

'A terrible face?'

'No. The face of a dark, remarkable-looking man, in black, with black hair and a grey moustache - a handsome man except for a reserved and secret air.


I was wondering the meaning of the part of the underlined, especially 'except for':

1) He would be a handsome man if he didn't has a reserved and secret air. (Actually he does, so he can't be regarded as a handsome man)

2) He is still a handsome man, although he has a reserved and secret air.

What do you think?
 
Last edited:
  • grassy

    Senior Member
    Polish
    I'd take it to mean that generally he was a handsome man but there was one thing that wasn't "handsome" about him, namely his reserved and secret air.
     
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