I care for the <whim> of coming to and fro

Sherwin_at

Member
Farsi
Hi,
Would someone please help me with this phrases? I'm not sure about their meanings.


‘Then let me tell him once for all, through you, that I will come into and go
out of this place as often as I like, so long as he keeps Nell here; and that if he
wants to be quit of me, he must first be quit of her. What have I done to be made
a bugbear of, and to be shunned and dreaded as if I brought the plague? He’ll tell
you that I have no natural affection; and that I care no more for Nell, for her own
sake,
than I do for him. Let him say so. I care for the whim, then, of coming to
and fro and reminding her of my existence.
< --- >


< Edited to reduce quotation to 4 sentences as required by Forum Rule 4.
Cagey, moderator >
 
Last edited by a moderator:
  • Oeco

    Senior Member
    English - US
    As has been noted before, Dickens uses language in quirky ways. That coupled with the possible meaning shifts since his time.

    Having said that, "I care for the whim..." might mean that he indulges in impulsively "encountering" Nell just to remind her that he is still around.
     

    Sherwin_at

    Member
    Farsi
    As has been noted before, Dickens uses language in quirky ways. That coupled with the possible meaning shifts since his time.

    Having said that, "I care for the whim..." might mean that he indulges in impulsively "encountering" Nell just to remind her that he is still around.
    Thank you so much for your help.
    And by "and that I care no more for Nell, for her own sake, than I do for him.", does the speaker mean that "and that I don't like Nell for herself(maybe for her money) let alone liking him?
     
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    velisarius

    Senior Member
    British English (Sussex)
    We need to see the source of your quoted text in each post. This is from Charles Dickens' The Old Curiosity Shop.
    The Old Curiosity Shop


    The speaker (Nell's brother Fred) says his grandfather knows that he doesn't feel any affection for him, and accuses him of not caring for his sister Nell either. He goes on to say that he doesn't care what his grandfather says ("let him say so") - what he does care about is that he should be able to exercise his right to come to the house to see her whenever he wants (on a "whim" - just because he wants to), and for no other reason than to remind Nell that he exists.

    I don't like Nell for herself(maybe for her money) let alone liking him
    Yes, if he doesn't care for her for her own sake he must have some other selfish reason for coming to see her.
     

    Sherwin_at

    Member
    Farsi
    We need to see the source of your quoted text in each post. This is from Charles Dickens' The Old Curiosity Shop.
    The Old Curiosity Shop


    The speaker (Nell's brother Fred) says his grandfather knows that he doesn't feel any affection for him, and accuses him of not caring for his sister Nell either. He goes on to say that he doesn't care what his grandfather says ("let him say so") - what he does care about is that he should be able to exercise his right to come to the house to see her whenever he wants (on a "whim" - just because he wants to), and for no other reason than to remind Nell that he exists.



    Yes, if he doesn't care for her for her own sake he must have some other selfish reason for coming to see her.
    Thanks a million for your detailed answer. Yes I had shared the source name and the author, the admins deleted that with the rest of the context. I have another question that I would be grateful if you help me with, what does Fred mean by ".....than I do for him" ?
     

    velisarius

    Senior Member
    British English (Sussex)
    I don't like Nell for herself(maybe for her money) let alone liking him
    I'm not sure you've grasped the meaning (and perhaps this phrase deserved a thread of its own).

    I care no more for Nell than I do for him. - I don't care for him, and I don't care for Nell either.
    I care no more for Nell, for her own sake, than I care for him. - I don't care for him, neither do I care for Nell herself (I don't love her or care about her well-being).
     

    Sherwin_at

    Member
    Farsi
    I'm not sure you've grasped the meaning (and perhaps this phrase deserved a thread of its own).

    I care no more for Nell than I do for him. - I don't care for him, and I don't care for Nell either.
    I care no more for Nell, for her own sake, than I care for him. - I don't care for him, neither do I care for Nell herself (I don't love her or care about her well-being).
    So the whole sentence means that he doesn't care for Nell herself or his grandfather. I think this time I got it. Thank you so much:)
     

    lentulax

    Senior Member
    UK English
    I care for the whim, then, of coming to
    and fro and reminding her of my existence.
    In the title of the thread, you omit 'then' - which contributes significantly to the meaning. He's being sarcastic. He doesn't really mean that his motivation is the whim of constantly visiting just to remind Nell he exists. 'Then' = 'if we accept what my grandfather says about my having no love for Nell for her own sake.' So - 'grandfather says I don't come because I really care for Nell herself. OK - whatever! In that case let's say that I'm just motivated by some fanciful impulse to keep visiting her and reminding her of my existence.' [He's not going to argue the toss about his affection or otherwise for his sister - and he's not going to stop coming to see her either.]
     

    Sherwin_at

    Member
    Farsi
    In the title of the thread, you omit 'then' - which contributes significantly to the meaning. He's being sarcastic. He doesn't really mean that his motivation is the whim of constantly visiting just to remind Nell he exists. 'Then' = 'if we accept what my grandfather says about my having no love for Nell for her own sake.' So - 'grandfather says I don't come because I really care for Nell herself. OK - whatever! In that case let's say that I'm just motivated by some fanciful impulse to keep visiting her and reminding her of my existence.' [He's not going to argue the toss about his affection or otherwise for his sister - and he's not going to stop coming to see her either.]
    Thanks a ton.:)
     
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