Naturally he addressed himself very often to Marian Yule, whose attention complimented him.

Tea Addict

Senior Member
Republic of Korea Korean
Hello everyone. I would like to know what "Naturally he addressed himself very often to Marian Yule, whose attention complimented him." means in the following sentences:

"Jasper, relieved by the veteran’s departure, began at once to make himself very agreeable company. When he chose to lay aside the topic of his own difficulties and ambitions, he could converse with a spontaneous gaiety which readily won the good-will of listeners. Naturally he addressed himself very often to Marian Yule, whose attention complimented him. She said little, and evidently was at no time a free talker, but the smile on her face indicated a mood of quiet enjoyment."

- George Gissing, New Grub Street, Chapter 2

In this novel, which was published in 1891 in the United Kingdom, Jasper Milvain, the protagonist who was aspiring to become a literary critic, was invited to the Yules' house. He conversed with Alfred Yule, an established literary critic, for a while, and when he departed excusing himself that he had two or three letters to write before the post time, Jasper began to become a very agreeable talker, "naturally" addressing himself very often to Marian Yule, the daughter of Alfred Yule.

In this part, I could not understand the "naturally" part.
Does it mean that Jasper talked to Marian in a casual, natural, spontaneous manner?
Or that, because her attention complimented him, as a consequence, it was only natural that Jasper talked to Marian very often?

I would very much appreciate your help. :)
 
  • bennymix

    Senior Member
    He found someone with whom he could converse with spontaneous gaiety. He had a 'natural' leaning and ability in that direction. He talked to the daughter, Marian, and found her attention--shown in silence-- a compliment. She appeared, to him at least, to be mildly receptive and responsive.

    I must add that it is my impression that the author is being a bit slyly critical of Jasper and perhaps being somewhat condescending to him without saying anything obviously negative. Jasper had talked to a serious intellectual, Alfred, which perhaps required some effort, and now he's easily and successfully chatting up A's daughter, who, it seems didn't say much, but looked suitably interested and impressed.
     
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    Tea Addict

    Senior Member
    Republic of Korea Korean
    Dear bennymix,

    Thank you very much for the detailed explanation.
    Then there was nothing like cause and effect in that "naturally" part, which only meant that, as his nature goes, he found it easier to talk with Marian.

    I agree with you that the author is constantly disapproving of Jasper in a nonexplicit manner. Truly Jasper is the exactly opposite person from Gissing as far as I know, and Gissing shows that in his expressions describing him. :)
    I sincerely appreciate your help.
     
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