as only Andalusian beggars are

enkidu68

Senior Member
turkish
Hi folks, this is cited from Wellingborough Redburn by Hermann Melville (1849)

Question: If we look at following descriptions or portrayals about Carlo, an Italian musician among emigrants in ship. I cannot find any verb which modifies the phrase “such a boy” in the last sentence. If who gushes from every rent are Andalusian beggars (who are full of poetry), what relevance to “such a boy”? I hope I could tell what I meant.

From the knee downward, the naked leg was beautiful to behold as any lady's arm; so soft and rounded, with infantile ease and grace. His whole figure was free, fine, and indolent; he was such a boy as might have ripened into life in a Neapolitan vineyard; such a boy as gipsies steal in infancy; such a boy as Murillo often painted, when he went among the poor and outcast, for subjects wherewith to captivate the eyes of rank and wealth; such a boy, as only Andalusian beggars are, full of poetry, gushing from every rent.
 
  • Andygc

    Senior Member
    British English
    He is mentioned four times in a list:
    "His whole figure was free, fine, and indolent; he was such a boy as might have ripened into life in a Neapolitan vineyard; such a boy as gipsies ...; such a boy as ...; such a boy, as only ..."
     

    Loob

    Senior Member
    English UK
    It looks to me as though there's a superfluous comma in the bolded part (though that comma appears in all the versions I've checked on line). I think the last clause should read such a boy as only Andalusian beggars are, full ...
     

    enkidu68

    Senior Member
    turkish
    I am aware of this. If it was "such a boy as only Andaluisan beggars grow up" it would be more meaningful for me.
    According to comments, Melville draws a paralel between Andalusian beggars and this boy.
    In other words, he was such a boy only Andalusian beggars full of poetry... would be this kind of boy, right?
     

    Loob

    Senior Member
    English UK
    I don't think there's any reference to growing up: he's comparing the boy Carlo to Andalusian boy-beggars.
     

    Loob

    Senior Member
    English UK
    I think he's simply saying that Carlo reminds him of an Andalusian boy-beggar, a boy-beggar who is so full of poetry that it comes gushing out of every rent in his (the beggar's) clothing.
     
    < Previous | Next >
    Top