Meaning of dailogue

This is a discussion thread · 1 replies
I couldn't make the head or tail of this excerpt is from right ho, jeeves. Can anyone please explain it.

"Letting 'I dare not' wait upon 'I would', sir."
"That's right. But how about the cats?"
"Like the poor cat i' the adage, sir."
"Exactly. It beats me how you think up these things. And Gussie, you say,
is in the same posish?"
New Member44
Oh dear. P.G. Wodehouse's humour is difficult enough sometimes, even for native readers, unless they are to the manner born. I will certainly need more context to see what the 'cats' are. However, Jeeves' comment refers to this maxim:

Don’t, as Macbeth’s wife accused her husband of doing, let “I dare not?” wait upon “I would”, like the poor cat in the adage that wanted to eat fish but hesitated to go into the water because it would get its feet wet! = Don’t let timidity prevent you from being the man you want to be.

'Posish' = position, situation.

(from Macbeth Act I sc vii:

LADY MACBETH

Was the hope drunk
Wherein you dress'd yourself? hath it slept since?
And wakes it now, to look so green and pale
At what it did so freely? From this time
Such I account thy love. Art thou afeard
To be the same in thine own act and valour
As thou art in desire? Wouldst thou have that
Which thou esteem'st the ornament of life,
And live a coward in thine own esteem,
Letting 'I dare not' wait upon 'I would,'
Like the poor cat i' the adage?

MACBETH

Prithee, peace:
I dare do all that may become a man;
Who dares do more is none.)
Veteran Member88,943
SystemAdministrator: A system administrator takes care of the inner workings of the entire system. These users have the ability to promote, ban and modify other users.Teachers: Users in this role are certified teachers. This may include DELTA, CELTA, TESOL, TEFL qualified professionals. Email a scan of your qualification to an admin, if you wish to be considered.
Live chat
Registered users can join here