COLLECTED SHORT STORIES VOLUME 1 by W. Somerset Maugham
It has thirty stories. The first story is RAIN and the last one is THE YELLOW STREAK. I cannot remember when I started reading the first story. Around midnight, about nine hours ago, I finished reading the last story of the book and found that the number of the last page was 536.
I noticed that Maugham used some expressions often that I had not been familiar with until I started reading his novels last year. For example, he often used “presently” to convey the meaning of “after a while”; “a trifle”, “a little”.
“,” → “;”
“to” → “with”
‘Presently’ used to convey “after a while” is normal, as well as “at the moment” and “for the time being”. But I can’t recall 'it used for ‘a trifle’ or ‘a little’ - got any examples?
“Perfection is a trifle dull. It is not the least of life’s ironies that this, which we all aim at, is better not quite achieved. ”
― W. Somerset Maugham
Ah, I thought you saw the word "presently’ used somewhere to mean ‘trifle’ or ‘a little’ - and I was asking if you had an example of that usage.
As for “a trifle dull” - yes, that means a little boring, though I don’t commonly use it in writing or speech. I’m very familiar with such phrases from a lifetime of reading, same as everyone else who grew up with British English,
Maugham is right about perfection being a trifle dull !
Happily enough, I have read through only the first volume and am now reading the first story of the second volume. The title of the story is THE VESSEL OF WRATH.
Seriously Yutaka, many of us I’m certain envy the level you’ve reached in a foreign language. I think I can only dream of reaching your equivalent level in my Japanese and Chinese - but I won’t give up! Of course, that’s not to say that I’m interested in dull perfection ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)