Posted by Natty on June 24, 2004
1. The author talks about "dwellers in damp cellars and windy attics":
...the *clod-like* life of these human logs never knows one ray of light. From the hour when they crawl from their comfortless bed to the hour when they lounge back into it again they never live one
moment of real life.
What "clod-like" means in this context?
2. The baby! We hardly *trust ourselves to speak*. The usual baby - we have seen it. As a rule, to be candid, we never could detect much beauty in babies - have always held the usual gush about them *to be insincere*. But this baby! We are almost on the point of asking them where they got it.
What is the meaning of:
a. trust ourselves to speak.
b. to be insincere.
3. At every public meeting the *chief speaker* is always "a jolly good fellow."
What is the meaning of *chief* speaker?
4. The days are gone by when it was considered manly to go to bed intoxicated every night, and a clear head and a firm hand no longer draw down upon their owner the reproach of effeminacy. On the contrary, in these *sadly* degenerate days an evil-smelling breath, a blotchy face, a reeling gait, and a husky voice are regarded as the hall marks of the cad rather than or the gentleman.
Is it correct to replace "sadly" by "regrettably" in this context?