that do not savor of a rigid morality;

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enkidu68

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

Q: Can you explain bold part? Does it mean Jack (any common sailor) does unlegal things that were not expected by a honest person?



I often saw sailors in a state of intoxication rushing from a spirit-vault into a pawnbroker's; stripping off their boots, hats, jackets, and neckerchiefs, and sometimes even their pantaloons on the spot, and offering to pawn them for a song. Of course such applications were never refused. But though on shore, at Liverpool, poor Jack finds more sharks than at sea, he himself is by no means exempt from practices, that do not savor of a rigid morality; at least according to law. In tobacco smuggling he is an adept: and when cool and collected, often manages to evade the Customs completely, and land goodly packages of the weed, which owing to the immense duties upon it in England, commands a very high price.
 
  • velisarius

    Senior Member
    British English (Sussex)
    (Agreeing with sattu)


    he himself is by no means exempt from practices, that do not savor of a rigid morality;

    He .......................does..............................................things...........that........are not strictly moral.

    If you are "not exempt from" something, you are included in that thing.
    He is not exempt from criticism: he is liable to be criticised.

    Often it refers to an obligation:
    You are not exempt from taxation: you have to pay taxes.

    "Savour of" means "has the flavour of", so here it means "practices that don't have the flavour of perfect morality -- they are generally considered immoral, and in this case (smuggling) they are illegal.
     
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