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I don't understand this sentence from "The Reluctant Dragon" (1898) by Kenneth Graham:

"It's all right, father. Don't you worry. It's only a dragon."

"Only a dragon?" cried his father. "What do you mean, sitting there, you and your dragons? Only a dragon indeed! And what do you know about it?"

"'Cos it is, and 'cos I do know," replied the Boy, quietly. "Look here, father, you know we've each of us got our line. You know about sheep, and weather, and things; I know about dragons. … You don't understand 'em a bit, and they're very sensitive, you know!"

"He's quite right, father," said the sensible mother. "As he says, dragons is his line and not ours. He's wonderful knowing about book-beasts, as every one allows. And to tell the truth, I'm not half happy in my own mind, thinking of that poor animal lying alone up there, without a bit o' hot supper or anyone to change the news with; and maybe we'll be able to do something for him; and if he ain't quite respectable our Boy'll find it out quick enough. He's got a pleasant sort o' way with him that makes everybody tell him everything."

Does this sentence mean because of the knowledge he has, all people give him permission?

  • The sentence is technically grammatical I think, but it just seems like a jumble of words that doesn't mean anything. – Matt Samuel Feb 12 '16 at 0:25
  • It is from the book'The Reluctant Dragon'written by Kenneth Grahame.so I assume it might mean something. – colona Feb 12 '16 at 0:29
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"Allows" used in this sense means "acknowledges" or "admits." See definition number 4 here: http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/allow

It's not a common usage nowadays. A more casual way to express this idea today might be, "as everyone knows," or, "as everyone would agree."

The etymology note on the page linked above suggests two separate sources which would explain the differing senses of "approve" and "praise."

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