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I have a question about a sentence from the novel Persuasion, written by Jane Austen.

Mr Shepherd, a civil, cautious lawyer, who, whatever might be his hold or his views on Sir Walter, would rather have the disagreeable prompted by anybody else, excused himself from offering the slightest hint, and only begged leave to recommend an implicit reference to the excellent judgement of Lady Russell, from whose known good sense he fully expected to have just such resolute measures advised as he meant to see finally adopted.

Could I rewrite the original sentence:

  • "from whose known good sense he fully expected to have just such resolute measures advised as he meant to see finally adopted"

as

  • "he fully expected to have just such resolute measures advised from the well-known good sense of Lady Russell as he meant to see finally adopted"?

Or could I rewrite it as

  • "he fully expected to have just such resolute measures advised as he meant to see finally adopted from the well-known good sense of Lady Russell?

Does "as he meant to see finally adopted" mean "the same as he intended to see just such resolute measures finally adopted"?

  • You could rewrite it as both, and both would mean the same thing. If you wanted to rephrase it into more modern, straightforward English, you could also rephrase it as, “He fully expected that Lady Russell's well-known good sense would advise (or provide) just the kind of resolute measures that he intended to see adopted in the end”. Given the length and complexity of the sentence, there are at least a dozen other ways you could rephrase it, in fact. – Janus Bahs Jacquet Aug 28 '16 at 0:31
  • Thank you very much for your help. I really appreciate it. – Li Xiaodong Aug 28 '16 at 12:51
  • I want to know where "from known good sense of Lady Russell" should be put in the rephrased sentence. Thank you so much for your help again. – Li Xiaodong Aug 28 '16 at 12:59
  • It’s a prepositional phrase, and as such it can go in many different places; word order in English is not as fixed as it is in Chinese. If we mark the prepositional phrase here as (X), it can basically go all these places: “(X), he fully expected (X) to have (X) just such resolute measures advised (X) as he meant to see finally adopted (X)”. So there are at least five possible places you can put it. The entire sentence is old-fashioned and doesn’t sound natural in modern English, so it’s not even like any one place is going to sound much better and more idiomatic than the others. – Janus Bahs Jacquet Aug 28 '16 at 13:03
  • Thank you so much for your help again. "from known good sense of Lady Russell" should be put between "just such resolute measures advised" and "as he meant to see" in the rephrased sentence. – Li Xiaodong Aug 28 '16 at 13:11
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Yes, I think the first sentence you provide

"he fully expected to have just such resolute measures advised from the well-known good sense of Lady Russell as he meant to see finally adopted"

makes sense. Or you could say

'he fully expected Lady Russell, with her known good sense, to advise the same resolute measures that he himself meant to see finally adopted'.

I don't think the second sentence works so well.

I think "as he meant to see finally adopted" means 'as those resolute measures he intended to see finally adopted'.

| improve this answer | |
  • Thank you very much for your help. I really appreciate it. – Li Xiaodong Aug 28 '16 at 12:54
  • I want to know where "from known good sense of Lady Russell" should be put in the rephrased sentence. Thank you so much for your help again. – Li Xiaodong Aug 28 '16 at 12:58

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