I should scruple to entreat the <indulgence> of

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park sang joon

Senior Member
Korean
The narrator recalls his adolescence.
His very poor, old friend Mr. Micawber's family along with the narrator's old nurse's elder brother Mr. Peggotty and his niece are going to emigrate to Australia before long.
He, his great aunt Miss Trotwood, and his best friends Wickfield Agnes and Traddles visited Mr. Micawber.
Chapter 57 THE EMIGRANTS
.................................
'Emma, my love,' said Mr. Micawber, clearing his throat in his magnificent way, 'my friend Mr. Thomas Traddles is so obliging as to solicit, in my ear, that he should have the privilege of ordering the ingredients necessary to the composition of a moderate portion of that Beverage which is peculiarly associated, in our minds, with the Roast Beef of Old England. I allude to - in short, Punch. Under ordinary circumstances, I should scruple to entreat the indulgence of Miss Trotwood and Miss Wickfield, but-'
'I can only say for myself,' said my aunt, 'that I will drink all happiness and success to you, Mr. Micawber, with the utmost pleasure.'
[David Copperfield by Charles Dickens]
I'd like to know what "indulgence" means here.
Thank you in advance for your help.
 
  • velisarius

    Senior Member
    British English (Sussex)
    The phrase usually means "ask to bear with me/be patient with me", as in:

    "I entreat the indulgence of my readers if I seem to digress, but..."

    Here I think it seems more likely to mean "ask permission".

    Edit: Having looked at the context, I think the whole phrase, I should scruple to entreat the indulgence of Miss Trotwood and Miss Wickfield, means "I would normally hesitate to invite the ladies (to drink punch with me)"
     
    Last edited:

    Franco-filly

    Senior Member
    English - Southern England
    The thing(s) that give them pleasure. Presumably punch in this context.
    [I've taken it to mean that he "would be willing to treat them to some punch but....."]
     
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    park sang joon

    Senior Member
    Korean
    Thank you, velisarius and Franco-filly, for your so very helpful answers. :)
    velisarius said:
    "I entreat the indulgence of my readers if I seem to digress, but..."
    I was wondering if "I entreat the indulgence of my readers" means "I entreat my readers the indulgence."
     

    park sang joon

    Senior Member
    Korean
    Thank you, velisairus, for your continuing support. :)

    1. I entreated him to help me.
    2. I entreated help of him.

    Then I was wondering if I can say #2 in lieu of #1.
     

    PaulQ

    Banned
    UK
    English - England
    You cannot use 2. Although both mean the same thing, currently, 2. is an obsolete construction. (Entreat, currently, is also a rare verb.)
     

    park sang joon

    Senior Member
    Korean
    Thank you, Glasguensis, for another so very kind answer from you. :)
    Thank you, PaulQ, for your so very helpful answer. :)
    3. "I entreat the indulgence of my readers if I seem to digress, but..."

    Then how about #3?
    I was wondering why it is idiomatic in present English.
     

    Glasguensis

    Signal Modulation
    English - Scotland
    This cannot be considered idiomatic in modern English. "Entreat" is archaic, and "indulgence" is not a common word.
     
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