I have a question about a sentence in this extract:
The London Library was Roland's favourite place. It was shabby but civilised, alive with history but inhabited also by living poets and thinkers who could be found squatting on the slotted metal floors of the stacks, or arguing pleasantly at the turning of the stair. Here Carlyle had come, here George Eliot had progressed through the bookshelves. Roland saw her black silk skirts, her velvet trains, sweeping compressed between the Fathers of the Church, and heard her firm foot ring on metal among the German poets.
Possession A Romance by A. S. Byatt.
Does the word sweep in the sentence mean to remove dust, dirt, etc., from (something) with a broom or brush?
Does the word compress in the sentence mean to press or squeeze (something) so that it is smaller or fills less space?
I am not very clear about the meaning of sweeping compressed.
- Also, Does the word ring mean make a sound in the sentence and heard her firm foot ring on metal among the German poets?
I am not very clear about the meaning of ring on metal.