this a gentleman sang as an encore obliged <with> Sing me to Sleep

park sang joon

Senior Member
The protagonist, Philip is interviewing for the job of a shop-walker.
He attended a social evening.
After this a gentleman sang a song called Bid me Good-bye, and as an encore obliged with Sing me to Sleep. The audience measured their enthusiasm with a nice discrimination. Everyone was applauded till he gave an encore, and so that there might be no jealousy no one was applauded more than anyone else.
[Of Human Bondage by Somerset Maugham]
I'd like to know why there is "with" after "obliged."
Thank you in advance for your help.
  • Loob

    Senior Member
    English UK
    As opposed to what, PSJ?

    (I guess you've seen the relevant dictionary definition:
    3. to do a favor or perform some service for (another):
    The singer obliged us with a song.)​


    Senior Member
    English - England
    We use with to indicate the causes of various emotions.
    I was pleased/delighted with the performance.
    I think that in #1 obliged is a near synonym of rendered (the audience) grateful (to him), though literally it means more exactly put (the audience) in debt (to him).

    The various meanings of prepositions, including with, are horribly difficult to categorize. The OED sorts the meanings of with into over 40 headings, many of which have sub-definitions.
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