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I don't understand this passage from a Sherlock Holmes story (the second stain).

It was only upon my representing to him that I had given a promise that “The Adventure of the Second Stain” should be published when the times were ripe,...

What does Watson mean by "representing to him"?

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2 Answers 2

up vote 4 down vote accepted

To render perceptible, make plain or manifest; to communicate to the senses, esp. the sight.

(OED, represent 8(a) )

In this case, Watson is more reminding Holmes of the promise, but the word usually means 'point out'.

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I would assume it means the same thing as the verb 'present,' or in this case 'to inform.' See the Online Etymological Dictionary which says:

from L. repraesentare, from re-, intensive prefix, + praesentare "to present," lit. "to place before"

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