a weary dignity of caste

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Anya Smitty

Senior Member
On one side the lawn sloped gently down to a small lake, whereon floated a quartette of swans, their movements suggestive of a certain mournful listlessness, as though a weary dignity of caste held them back from the joyous bustling life of the lesser waterfowl.

What's the meaning of "a weary dignity of caste"?
source: The Unbearable Bassington by Saki.
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  • natkretep

    Moderato con anima (English Only)
    English (Singapore/UK), basic Chinese
    The swans and the 'lesser waterfowl' are compared to a society that is divided up into different castes. Those in the higher caste are thought to need to show a good example to those below. So the swans are acting as if they were people from a high caste who feel that they cannot be frivolous and should always be dignified. And they are tired of (weary of) adopting this dignified stance.
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