a leaden otter for ever preyed on a leaden salmon.

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sunnyseason

Senior Member
japanese
Hi,
I would be very grateful if you could help me with this sentence.I have some difficulty understanding this sentence (a story from Saki, "The Unbearable Bassingtonby Saki CHAPTER XVI)

It had been going on in all its trifling detail, all its serious
intensity, when his father and his grandfather in their day had
been little boys at school, it would go on just as intently as ever
long after Comus and his generation had passed away, just as the
shadows would lengthen and fade under the mulberry trees in that
far away English garden, round the old stone fountain where a
leaden otter for ever preyed on a leaden salmon
.

What does the underlined part mean?
 
  • ain'ttranslationfun?

    Senior Member
    US English
    It means that the fountain included a sculpture of an otter preying on (capturing) a salmon. The sculpture, and the scene it portrays, will not change over time, will be there as it is 'for ever'.
     
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    natkretep

    Moderato con anima (English Only)
    English (Singapore/UK), basic Chinese
    Yes, in case you are wondering, 'leaden' means 'dull grey' - the colour of stone.
     

    ain'ttranslationfun?

    Senior Member
    US English
    Yes, in case you are wondering, 'leaden' means 'dull grey' - the colour of stone.
    Although the fountain is made of stone, mightn't the sculpture be made of lead (presuming it was cast before the dangers of saturnism were known - see Flint, MI, USA)?*
    _________________

    *Edit: Actually, since the fountain was decorative, it presumably didn't supply drinking water.
     
    Last edited:
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