but much more now, To serve your pleasure, that to over-flow My tears with such cause may

nkaper

Senior Member
russian
http://www.gutenberg.org/cache/epub/48895/pg48895-images.html
Title: The Odysseys
Author: Homer

And therefore doth my mind excite me still, To tell my bleeding moan; but much more now, To serve your pleasure, that to over-flow My tears with such cause may by sighs be driven, Though ne'er so much plagued I may seem by heaven.

Maybe somebody could read the preceding context and help me to understand the underlined part. I've spent the whole evening trying to get this, at least something for once, on my own without any help and have failed.
Thanks in advance.
 
  • PaulQ

    Senior Member
    UK
    English - England
    It will help if, in future you give some background to your quotes:

    The speaker has just praised the King for to feast he has provided (by all accounts it was pretty good):

    And therefore doth my mind excite me still, -> And therefore [although] I feel compelled
    ‭ To tell my bleeding moan; but much more now, -> to mention my sorrow and anguish (literally (anguished sorrow/problem) to you; but more insistently, (my conscience tells me that)
    ‭ To serve your pleasure, that to over-flow -> I should be pleasant company to you (and any guests) otherwise
    My tears with such cause may by sighs be driv’n, -> I might start crying uncontrollably because of my sorrows.

    (The context should tell you if the guy has a problem or a sorrow... or perhaps both)
     

    nkaper

    Senior Member
    russian
    It will help if, in future you give some background to your quotes:

    The speaker has just praised the King for to feast he has provided (by all accounts it was pretty good):

    And therefore doth my mind excite me still, -> And therefore [although] I feel compelled
    ‭ To tell my bleeding moan; but much more now, -> to mention my sorrow and anguish (literally (anguished sorrow/problem) to you; but more insistently, (my conscience tells me that)
    ‭ To serve your pleasure, that to over-flow -> I should be pleasant company to you (and any guests) otherwise
    My tears with such cause may by sighs be driv’n, -> I might start crying uncontrollably because of my sorrows.

    (The context should tell you if the guy has a problem or a sorrow... or perhaps both)
    I'm still having difficulty understanding all this, but perhaps tomorrow I'll pull it all together. This " , that to over-flow" seems to be the most tricky part in this sentence. Does it really mean "otherwise"?
    As for background, it's just that I thought that everybody knew this classical story by heart and it's only I who haven't ever read it. The background of it is: The quoted text is a part of Ulysses' speech. He, in the course of his full-of-unluck return from the Trojan war, is presently a guest to this king to whom he is speaking. Before this his speech, in the preceding 8th book they all listened to a bard singing and praising Ulysses deeds (and Ulysses hadn't told them that he was Ulysses himself), and Ulysses cried and sighed (maybe it is referred to by "by sighs be driv’n"?) listening to songs about himself and the king noticed that and asked at last to tell who he really was and why he cried. And now Ulysses is beggining this a-book-long speech.
    Also why I didn't put in the background is that moderators here sometimes don't allow too much text in the start post.
     

    PaulQ

    Senior Member
    UK
    English - England
    This", that to over-flow" seems to be the most tricky part in this sentence. Does it really mean "otherwise"?
    He implies the "otherwise" rather than states it - he does not want to tell the story/his problems/sorrows, otherwise he will cry and cause everyone to sigh (which, it implies, would cause him to cry more.)

    that to over-flow ‭My tears -> that to start crying
    ....................................................with such cause -> which would be justified by the matter
    ..........................................................................................................may by sighs be driv’n -> may depress the company (which, it implies, would cause him to cry more.)

    The overview is that Ulysses is saying "I am now very tempted to tell you my unfortunate past but I think it is more important, at this moment, that I should not ruin the mood for everyone who's here - I say that because if I did start telling you, I would be in tears and you would start sighing [in sympathy] and that would make matters worse."
     

    PaulQ

    Senior Member
    UK
    English - England
    Not this edition. :)

    Its title is "THE ODYSSEYS OF HOMER Together with the shorter poems."
    Translated according to the Greek by George Chapman
     
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