I seldom pass him but there comes a pleasant word.

melody_wxf

Member
中文
Hi, I am reading a short novel entitled "Billy Budd" by Herman Melville, and I am not sure about the meaning of the following underlined sentence.
Does it mean that Billy Budd seldom passes the master-at-arms, but when he does meet with the master-at-arms, he can always hear some pleasant words from the latter? Or it means that wheneven Billy passes the master-at-arms, he can always hear some pleasant words from the latter? Thanks very much!


The old man, shoving up the front of his tarpaulin and deliberately rubbing the long slant scar at the point where it entered the thin hair, laconically said, “Baby Budd, Jimmy Legs” (meaning the master-at-arms) “is down on you.”

Jimmy Legs!” ejaculated Billy, his welkin eyes expanding; “what for? Why, he calls me ‘the sweet and pleasant fellow,’ they tell me.”

“Does he so?” grinned the grizzled one; then said, “Ay, Baby Lad, a sweet voice has Jimmy Legs.”

“No, not always. But to me he has. I seldom pass him but there comes a pleasant word.

“And that’s because he’s down upon you, Baby Budd.”
 
  • velisarius

    Senior Member
    British English (Sussex)
    Nearly every time I pass him there comes a pleasant word.

    (I seldom pass him without hearing a pleasant word from him.)
     
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