at God's good pleasure,

enkidu68

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


Question: Melville describes the finding of New World (Earth’s paradise??) as if this Paradise was under the sea, I think. I need a bit assistance about the bold sentence. Does it mean if God could not give consent that Paradise to be made, it would not exist?

The other world beyond this, which was longed for by the devout before Columbus' time, was found in the New; and the deep-sea-lead, that first struck these soundings, brought up the soil of Earth's Paradise. Not a Paradise then, or now; but to be made so, at God's good pleasure, and in the fullness and mellowness of time.
 
  • Greyfriar

    Senior Member
    Question: Melville describes the finding of New World (Earth’s paradise??)

    The other world beyond this, which was longed for by the devout before Columbus' time, was found in the New; and the deep-sea-lead, that first struck these soundings, brought up the soil of Earth's Paradise. Not a Paradise then, or now; but to be made so, at God's good pleasure, and in the fullness and mellowness of time.
    There wasn't a paradise then or now. It would be made when God was pleased to do so, in the fullness and mellowness of time."

    Remember that these writings were in the Victorian era and therefore archaic.
     

    Uncle Jack

    Senior Member
    British English
    Actually I got what it meant, but whole sentence is structured as if not whole one.
    You are correct. I take the entire "sentence" to modify "Earth's Paradise", and in modern English we would use something other than a full stop to separate it from the noun it modifies. An alternative reading is that "It was" has been omitted at the beginning.
     

    PaulQ

    Banned
    UK
    English - England
    The other world beyond this, -> Paradise
    which was longed for by the devout before Columbus' time, -> which pious men had desired even before Columbus was born
    was found in the New; -> had been discovered in the Americas (The New [World] = the Americas)
    and the deep-sea-lead, -> lead (rhymes with "bed") is a lead weight on the end of a rope. This is used to discover how deep the water below a ship is.
    that first struck these soundings, -> that was the first one to give some results
    brought up the soil of Earth's Paradise. -> showed people a land that was like Paradise
    Not a Paradise then, or now; -> It was not like Paradise then, and it is not Paradise now
    but to be made so, -> but that land was there so that men could turn it into Paradise
    at God's good pleasure, -> in accordance with God's will
    and in the fullness and mellowness of time. -> and could do this in an unhurried way.
     
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