the quarter from whence it came

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chong lee

Senior Member
türkçe
Hi,
The quote is from the story "The Interlopers" by H. H. Munro.

whence means "from what place" . But I did not understand "the quarter from whence it came".

Could you help;thanks.


The feud might, perhaps, have died down or been compromised if the personal ill-will of the two men had not stood in the way; as boys they had thirsted for one another's blood, as men each prayed that misfortune might fall on the other, and this wind-scourged winter night Ulrich had banded together his foresters to watch the dark forest, not in quest of four-footed quarry, but to keep a look-out for the prowling thieves whom he suspected of being afoot from across the land boundary. The roebuck, which usually kept in the sheltered hollows during a storm-wind, were running like driven things to-night, and there was movement and unrest among the creatures that were wont to sleep through the dark hours. Assuredly there was a disturbing element in the forest, and Ulrich could guess the quarter from whence it came.
 
  • dojibear

    Senior Member
    English - Northeast US
    It is talking about direction, like on a compass. A crude definition of direction splits the circle into 4 quarters: either N, S, E, W or NE, SE, NW, SW. So here the quarter from whence it came means approximately what direction it came from.
     

    dojibear

    Senior Member
    English - Northeast US
    Hmmm...the MRF says "from whence" was used by Shakespeare, and in the Bible. And still today, so it is "correct".
     

    Parla

    Member Emeritus
    English - US
    You're right, Chong Lee: whence does mean "from where", and careful writers don't write "from whence", because it's now considered incorrect.

    But that doesn't mean that it was considered incorrect when Munro was writing, more than a century ago.
     

    RM1(SS)

    Senior Member
    English - US (Midwest)
    See that box labelled "Dictionary and thread title search:" near the top of the page? Type in a word you want to look up, and that will take you to three dictionaries: Random House (AmE), Random House Unabridged (AmE), and Collins (BrE).
     

    RM1(SS)

    Senior Member
    English - US (Midwest)
    (It is perhaps a typo for WRF - WordReferenceForum's dictionary function - for any word you have a question about, you should always search for it to see the definition and any previous discussions in threads that will be shown when you use the search box)
    Oops. :oops: Fixed.
     
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