<wheeling me face about> towards the town

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park sang joon

Senior Member
Korean
The narrator recalls his adolescence.
He came to the local lawyer, Mr. Wickfield' house, which he boarded at as he went to a school, after a long time.
Mr. Wickfield's only daughter Agnes is his best friend and counselor.
Mr. Wickfield's partner Uriah Heep and his mother live with Mr. Wickfiled in Mr. Wickfiled's.
Uriah Heep had confided to the narrator that he was crazy for Agnes in London.
When the narrator had a walk, Uriah followed him, and a skirmish ensued.

....................
All this time he was squeezing my hand with his damp fishy fingers, while I made every effort I decently could to get it away. But I was quite unsuccessful. He drew it under the sleeve of his mulberry-coloured great-coat, and I walked on, almost upon compulsion, arm-in-arm with him.
'Shall we turn?' said Uriah, by and by wheeling me face about towards the town, on which the early moon was now shining, silvering the distant windows.
[David Copperfield by Charles Dickens]
I'd like to know why it is "wheeling me face about," not "wheeling me to face about."
Thank you in advance for your help.
 
  • Glasguensis

    Signal Modulation
    English - Scotland
    Because Dickens chose to write it that way. It is not something I would expect to see in modern English, but nor is the version with "to".
     

    park sang joon

    Senior Member
    Korean
    Thank you, JulianStuart, for your So very kind answer.:)
    I was wondering why it is impossible to say ""wheeling me to face about."
    Are you asking how this might be expressed in modern (I.e. over 130 years later) English?
    But I'd also much like to know it, if I may.
     

    Glasguensis

    Signal Modulation
    English - Scotland
    Sorry if I was unclear. It is not impossible to say it, but it is not idiomatic. In BE, we do not use "face" and "about" like this any more, although it exists in AE. The drill instruction given to soldiers to make them turn around is "About face" in AE and "About turn" in BE. In this sentence I would personally say "wheeling me around to face the other way", even though this is longer than the original.
     
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