thinking over the long pilgrimage of his past he accepted <it> joyfully.

park sang joon

Senior Member
Korean
The protagonist, Philip, got the appointment as assistant house-physician at St. Luke's.
But he came to know he made pregnant his middle-aged friend's eldest daughter Sally.

But his thoughts returned to the son who would be his and hers. Already he felt in himself a passionate devotion to it. He thought of passing his hands over his little perfect limbs, he knew he would be beautiful; and he would make over to him all his dreams of a rich and varied life. And thinking over the long pilgrimage of his past he accepted it joyfully.
[Of Human Bondage by Somerset Maugham]
I think "it" refers to "thinking over the long pilgrimage of his past."
If so I was wondering which is more idiomatic between "thinking over the long pilgrimage of his past he accepted it joyfully" and "he accepted it joyfully thinking over the long pilgrimage of his past."
Thank you in advance for your help.
 
  • DaylightDelight

    Senior Member
    Japanese - Tokyo
    I think "it" refers to "the long pilgrimage of his past."
    Doesn't "thinking over <his past>, he accepted <his past> joyfully" make more sense?
     
    Last edited:

    velisarius

    Senior Member
    British English (Sussex)
    I agree with DD.

    The next sentence goes on: He accepted the deformity which had made life so hard for him; he knew that it had warped his character, but now he saw also that by reason of it he had acquired that power of introspection which had given him so much delight.

    "The long pilgrimage of his past" seems to refer to "the deformity that had made life hard for him". He feels now that he can accept "it", i.e. that long pilgrimage, since he has gained insight from it.

    It's the same sentence structure as "And, thinking back over his long and happy life, he gave thanks for it" ("it" is "his long and happy life").

     
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