Only occasionally would glimpses burst out

< Previous | Next >

ShareisBeauty

Senior Member
Chinese
(To describe the Kaiser=old insane rage =royal master in exile after WWI )Many a retired major in Cheltenham or Bath would have thought the same at that date. Only occasionally would glimpses of the old insane rage burst out to disturb the quiet routines of his secretaries and ADCs: then there would be furious denunciations by their royal master of the disloyalty of the army, the navy, the Prussian nobility, which had allowed him to come to such a pass. Sometimes, his bitterness was directed against the Jews. (A N Wilson After the Victorians)
Q: To describe the Kaiser=old insane rage =royal master, "Only occasionally would glimpses of the old insane rage burst out to disturb the quiet routines of his secretaries and ADCs":
Only is placed at the beginning of the S , and partial inversion is followed. But glimpses serving as the subject of burst out appears not as normal as that the old insane rage as subject , or my identification is all misunderstanding. the Kaiser=old insane rage =royal maste my equation is right?
Many thanks
 
  • Uncle Jack

    Senior Member
    British English
    I don't understand what you mean in the equation "the Kaiser=old insane rage =royal master".

    You are right that the underlined sentence is inverted, and that "only occasionally" is an adverb. The reason of the inversion is "only"; without it, the sentence would be:
    Glimpses of the old insane rage would occasionally burst out to disturb the quiet routines of his secretaries and ADCs .​
    "Occasionally" does not have to be placed where I have placed it.
     

    ShareisBeauty

    Senior Member
    Chinese
    Thank Uncle Jack for clarifying the structure. With "the Kaiser=old insane rage =royal master" , I wanted to confirm that the three phrases all refer to the Kaiser in the description of his mental and behavioral reactions as a old man in exile.
     

    Uncle Jack

    Senior Member
    British English
    If "his" in your underlined sentence refers to the Kaiser, then it is he who used to have an insane rage (and occasionally still does), and it is he who is the "royal master". Grammatically,it could be that the secretaries and ADCs' "royal master" is not the same person who had occasional bursts of insane rage; the secretaries and ADCs could have more than one master. However, even if it were remotely plausible that there were two masters, the use of "his" in the final sentence points to "his" in the underlined part and "their royal master"/"him" later on in the sentence being the same person, for otherwise it would not be clear who "his" in the final sentence referred to.
     

    GreenWhiteBlue

    Senior Member
    USA - English
    Since the Kaiser was a king (specifically, King of Prussia), he was "royal", since royal is the adjective that corresponds to a king. Because the secretaries and aides-de-camp serve the Kaiser, he is their "master", and since he is their king, he is their "royal master."

    The actual style that was used at the German Court before the war was to note the monarch's standing both as King of Prussia and German Emperor, and so he would be referred to in writing as "His Imperial and Royal Majesty."
     
    < Previous | Next >
    Top