as much sincerity as I will endeavour to make you a suitable return

enkidu68

Senior Member
turkish
Hi everyone, this is coming from Colonel Jack by Defoe.
What does bold mean?
Does it mean that “you will hate me, and I will respond your hate as much as you do”?

"It is only, sir, that you would promise to hate me with as much sincerity as I will endeavour to make you a suitable return."
 
  • Orble

    Senior Member
    Australian English
    Yes, not much context here, but I believe he is saying that he will return as much hate as the other man gives him. In this awkward outdated language, he expresses it around the other way - as if it’s worth being polite between people who seem to hate each other! He isn’t asking him to hate him (as it seems he already does), but asking him to hate him with a level of sincerity that is in proportion to the sincerity with which he will return the hatred. It’s actually a very strange thing to say!
     

    lingobingo

    Senior Member
    English - England
    It’s a woman. I’m not sure of the storyline, but she seems to be “playing” Jack very effectively.



    cross-posted
     
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