for anxiety ill fits one...

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gil12345

Senior Member
chinese
Hi,

“There was nothing he didn't offer, from his own dressing gown to himself as escort. But the last was impossible. Mrs. March would not hear of the old gentleman's undertaking the long journey, yet an expression of relief was visible when he spoke of it, for anxiety ill fits one for traveling.”

Excerpt From: Louisa May Alcott. “Little Women.” iBooks. https://itun.es/cn/IcTzx.l

Based on the context, I don't think "for"here means "because." It is kind of "after all," but I am not sure.
So what do you say?

Gil
 
  • BLUEGLAZE

    Senior Member
    English - USA
    'because' does fit. Mrs. March would not hear of the old gentleman's undertaking the long journey , yet an expression of relief was visible when he spoke of it, because anxiety ill fits one for traveling.”
     

    gil12345

    Senior Member
    chinese
    'because' does fit. Mrs. March would not hear of the old gentleman's undertaking the long journey , yet an expression of relief was visible when he spoke of it, because anxiety ill fits one for traveling.”
    You are great. I was thinking its relationship with the "yet" part.
     

    velisarius

    Senior Member
    British English (Sussex)
    I think you were right to make the connection between these two clauses:

    ...yet an expression of relief was visible when he spoke of it, for anxiety ill fits one for traveling.

    The woman was anxious and just the idea of having a travelling companion gave her a sense of relief. I agree that "for" here means "since", or "because". It explains why relief showed on her face.

     

    gil12345

    Senior Member
    chinese
    I think you were right to make the connection between these two clauses:

    ...yet an expression of relief was visible when he spoke of it, for anxiety ill fits one for traveling.

    The woman was anxious and just the idea of having a travelling companion gave her a sense of relief. I agree that "for" here means "since", or "because". It explains why relief showed on her face.
    If so, it would make little sense. That would mean "because anxiety makes one not suitable to travel, she was relieved when someone offered to escort." I think BLUEGLAZE made a good point, which fits the context.
    Let's see what others say.
     

    velisarius

    Senior Member
    British English (Sussex)
    If you are anxious about travelling (I believe Mrs March was anxious about her very sick husband), when someone offers to go with you on the journey and keep you company, that is likely to be a relief and your anxiety is lessened.
     

    gil12345

    Senior Member
    chinese
    If you are anxious about travelling (I believe Mrs March was anxious about her very sick husband), when someone offers to go with you on the journey and keep you company, that is likely to be a relief and your anxiety is lessened.
    I see you point. But here, Mr Lawrence was so concerned about Mrs. March taking a long journey alone that Mrs. March, in turn, was concerned about Mr Lawrence and stopped him because anxiety made him unsuitable for the task.
     

    velisarius

    Senior Member
    British English (Sussex)
    No - Mrs March didn't want the old gentleman to be put to the discomfort of travelling, but he was not anxious. He wanted to help in any way he could. Mrs March was the anxious one, since her husband was very ill and she had to borrow money for the journey. Her daughter says: "Mother will accept, I'm sure, and it will be such a relief to know that she has someone to take care of her".
     

    gil12345

    Senior Member
    chinese
    No - Mrs March didn't want the old gentleman to be put to the discomfort of travelling, but he was not anxious. He wanted to help in any way he could. Mrs March was the anxious one, since her husband was very ill and she had to borrow money for the journey. Her daughter says: "Mother will accept, I'm sure, and it will be such a relief to know that she has someone to take care of her".
    So we are assuming that Mrs.March wanted to be calm when taking the journey, so when Mr Lawrence made the offer, she felt comfortable even though she didn't want to trouble the old gentleman. Right?
     

    velisarius

    Senior Member
    British English (Sussex)
    Exactly. I don't think anyone in an acute state of anxiety would relish the idea of setting out on a long journey alone. She may even have been worrying about finding her husband dead when she reached her destination.
     

    gil12345

    Senior Member
    chinese
    Exactly. I don't think anyone in an acute state of anxiety would relish the idea of setting out on a long journey alone. She may even have been worrying about finding her husband dead when she reached her destination.
    Thank you. "How friendly such things make strangers feel, don't they?" It was a very good book.
     

    velisarius

    Senior Member
    British English (Sussex)
    Reading a couple of paragraphs brought back happy memories of Alcott's books.:) I devoured them all when I was a young girl.
     
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