against too great indulgence in which...

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wholegrain

Senior Member
French
HERMAN MELVILLE - THE CONFIDENCE MAN

The other was about expressing his thanks when the gentleman in his pleasant way checked him: the gratitude was on the other side. To him, he said, charity was in one sense not an effort, but a luxury; against too great indulgence in which his steward, a humorist, had sometimes admonished him.

Can the last part be reformulated this way: "against too great indulgence, his steward, a humorist, has sometimes admonished him his indulgence."?
 
  • Jacobtm

    Senior Member
    NY
    English - New York
    HERMAN MELVILLE - THE CONFIDENCE MAN

    The other was about expressing his thanks when the gentleman in his pleasant way checked him: the gratitude was on the other side. To him, he said, charity was in one sense not an effort, but a luxury; against too great indulgence in which his steward, a humorist, had sometimes admonished him.

    Can the last part be reformulated this way: "against too great indulgence, his steward, a humorist, has sometimes admonished him his indulgence."?
    2 issues with this:

    1: "had sometimes" vs. "has sometimes"

    To me, "had sometimes" implies something wholly in the past and done with, while "has sometimes" implies that the admonishment may have occurred recently and that it isn't at all unlikely to happen again in the future.

    2: "against too great indulgence, his steward, a humorist, has sometimes admonished him his indulgence."

    Having already said "indulgence", repeating it at the end of the sentence is superfluous and makes the sentence awkward.

    Here are two preferable alternatives to your reformulation:

    "against too great indulgence, his steward, a humorist, had sometimes admonished him."

    "against which, his steward, a humorist, had sometimes admonished him his indulgence."
     

    wholegrain

    Senior Member
    French
    2 issues with this:

    1: "had sometimes" vs. "has sometimes"

    To me, "had sometimes" implies something wholly in the past and done with, while "has sometimes" implies that the admonishment may have occurred recently and that it isn't at all unlikely to happen again in the future.
    I don't understand why you tell me that. If there was a problem, it wouldn't be that one.
     
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