In "The Chief Mourner of Marne" by G. K. Chesterton, Father Brown was talking to an old general about James Mair:

“First, it was stated that James Mair was engaged to be married, but somehow became unattached again after the death of Maurice Mair. Why should an honourable man break off his engagement merely because he was depressed by the death of a third party? He’s much more likely to have turned for consolation to it; but, anyhow, he was bound in decency to go through with it.”

It seems that the bolded "it" meant "completing the marriage"?

So does "have turned for consolation to it" mean "have put it off for consolation"? As I don't find the meanings of "turn to" any meaning similar to "put off"!

  • 1
    That's what Chesterton says: he is more likely to have continued with the marriage proposal (for consolation), than to have put off the marriage. They are opposites. Commented Jun 18, 2020 at 23:46
  • @WeatherVane Thank you so much. Actually "but" confused me at first. Commented Jun 19, 2020 at 0:20

1 Answer 1


The claim is that in his state, the most reasonable thing would have been to seek out his fiancee's love and support, which would have consoled him -- as opposed to avoiding her

The second "it" is indeed getting married -- that is, he is honor bound, having promised to marry her, to marry her.

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