in the abandonment of this soul and body subduing malady,

enkidu68

Senior Member
turkish
Hi folks, this is cited from Wellingborough Redburn by Hermann Melville (1849)

Question: Should I understand from this bold one “soul and body which is conquered by a malady?” In other words, since soul and budy is subdued to a malady, they feel themselves alone. Your comments please.

Bad enough is it at such times with ladies and gentlemen in the cabin, who have nice little state-rooms; and plenty of privacy; and stewards to run for them at a word, and put pillows under their heads, and tenderly inquire how they are getting along, and mix them a posset: and even then, in the abandonment of this soul and body subduing malady, such ladies and gentlemen will often give up life itself as unendurable, and put up the most pressing petitions for a speedy annihilation; all of which, however, only arises from their intense anxiety to preserve their valuable lives.
 
  • anthox

    Senior Member
    English - Northeast US
    You might read it as "in the abandonment of this soul-and-body-subduing malady," that is, 'in the state of being completely subjected to this malady, which subdues both body and soul.'

    This is quite a text to choose as an English learner...
     

    enkidu68

    Senior Member
    turkish
    I think I told same:)
    Plus I am not an English learner in the sense of a beginner even an advanced one.
    But languages are alike oceans which you cannot find the bottom.
    Thanks a lot for your help.
     

    Hildy1

    Senior Member
    English - US and Canada
    You might read it as "in the abandonment of this soul-and-body-subduing malady," that is, 'in the state of being completely subjected to this malady, which subdues both body and soul.'

    This is quite a text to choose as an English learner...
    I agree that it needs hyphens to make the meaning clear.

    It could also be written "soul- and body-subduing malady".
     

    Truffula

    Senior Member
    English - USA
    I think that this is one of the rare cases where "abandonment" is using the noun sense of "abandon" rather than the verb sense. The noun sense of "abandon" is "complete lack of inhibition or restraint" and I think this is what Melville is describing
     
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