but that she was there to subdue me

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Gabriel Aparta

Senior Member
Español - Venezuela
Hi there, please, from Frankenstein:

She was the living spirit of love to soften and attract: I might have become sullen in my study, rough through the ardour of my nature, but that she was there to subdue me to a semblance of her own gentleness.

I don't quite get the but that and the idea of subdue to a semblance, could you please help me?

  • Dretagoto

    Senior Member
    Inglés británico
    "But that she was there" is a very literary way of saying, basically, "if she had not been there".

    As for "subdue to a semblance", it means that she soothed him (perhaps "tamed" is also an appropriate word in this context) and calmed him, and affected him enough so that he gained the appearance or approximation of the woman's gentle nature.

    Does that help you at all?
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