The word "Don't" is "if"?

Fire Unknown

Member
vietnamese
Hello everyone. I need your help again.
I'm translating "The dancing partner" of Jerome (1893). I've come across this problem:
...
"During the afternoon of the next day some three or four of Olga's bosom friends, who had also been present at the ball, dropped in to have a chat about it. They naturally fell to discussing the men, and to criticizing their dancing. Old Geibel was in the room, but he appeared to be absorbed in his newspaper, and the girls took no notice of him.

"'There seem to be fewer men who can dance at every ball you go to,' said one of the girls.

"'Yes, and don't the ones who can, give themselves airs,' said another; 'they make quite a favor of asking you.' ...
The word "don't" here, I don't really know what it is. As far as I can research, "don't" can be used as a noun (merriam-webster). But I can't figure out what kind of grammar is used here. I think word "don't" here means "if" - as a way to emphasize?
Please help me.
 
  • Chasint

    Senior Member
    English - England
    Yes, and don't the ones who can, give themselves airs

    A paraphrase

    Yes, and is it not true that the ones who can give themselves airs, do so?

    As The Newt says, it's a rhetorical question. The assumptive answer would be, "It is true", or simply "True"; or maybe just a wise nod of the head.
     
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