and had not mentioned but for a merry passage that followed.


Senior Member
Hi everyone, this is from Colonel Jack by Defoe. (1722)
Context: Captain Jack threats a captain who kidnapped them. Meanwhile Englishmen ad Scothmen were silent.
Does this bold one belongs to Colonel Jack too? Who had not mentioned, Colonel Jack?

While this discourse lasted the two Scotchmen and the other Englishman were silent; but as I seemed to acquiesce, the Scotchmen began to talk
to the same purpose, which I need not repeat, and had not mentioned but for a merry passage that followed. After the Scotchmen had said all they could, and the captain still told them they must submit...
  • Uncle Jack

    Senior Member
    British English
    I hope you are not learning modern English idiom from Colonel Jack, enkidud68:).
    ...which I need not repeat, and would not have mentioned in the first place were it not for the merry passage that followed.​

    Since there is nothing in either your quoted sentences nor the context you have given to match "a merry passage", I imagine this is described in the next sentence or two. Or possibly, it being Defoe, the next chapter. Still, it could be worse, had you been reading Tristram Shandy by Laurence Sterne, you might have had to wait a couple of volumes to discover what was being written about :D.
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