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While reading Oscar Wilde's, The Picture of Dorian Gray, I came across this:

There was a silence. The evening darkened in the room. Noiselessly and with silver feet the shadows crept in from the garden. The colours faded wearily out of things.

I tried searching for what it meant to move with silver feet but found only discussions of Bush having a silver foot in his mouth. On this site I found mentions of clay feet, but nothing of silver feet.

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    Welcome to English Language and Usage! Perhaps it is a metaphor describing the color of the shadows at that particular hour... – Cascabel Jun 25 '17 at 3:16
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    May be a reference to "quicksilver" ie liquid metal (mercury), implying silence and smooth movement. – John TerMaat Jun 25 '17 at 3:55
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    It's literary criticism. Interpret it how you like. – Arm the good guys in America Jun 25 '17 at 4:01
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    The light areas in the shadow patterns are silvery and move gradually as the moon rises.. – Greg Lee Jun 25 '17 at 5:03
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Move with silver feet is most likely a reference to quicksilver, which is another name for the liquid metal mercury. So, it's the movement of shadows being described here.

Quicksilver -- ODO

(noun) 1.1 Used in similes and metaphors to describe something that moves or changes very quickly, or that is difficult to hold or contain.

His mood changed like quicksilver
The achievement is palpable: the quicksilver movements of fish, the movement of water and the play of light through it, the interior of a whale's mouth.

  • Excellent! I appreciate everybody pitching in to clear that up for me. Hopefully I can return the favor. – SaucyDave Jun 25 '17 at 11:32
  • @SaucyDave you realize this is no more than speculation at this point. There is no evidence presented here of any connection. – Mitch Jun 25 '17 at 12:26
  • How can anything creep very quickly? – Greg Lee Jun 27 '17 at 22:33
  • @GregLee maybe they're like ninjas. – NVZ Jun 28 '17 at 2:37

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