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"It would be well for us to admire what is worthy of admiration in such a people, rather than to carp about their errors."

what is meant by in such a people? Is it (in such a people) a phrase or a clause and of which kind?

Reference-Wren and Martin English Grammar and Composition Exercise in composition 91,Question no 25,page 144.

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what is meant by in such a people?

It means

about a population that fits the description that was earlier give.

I did a lot of substitutions there, because you fail to tell us what you doe not understand.

A people is a population: a group of persons that share a common ethnicity or habitat, as in the Spanish people or the indigenous people of an island.

Such means like that, where that refers back to something that was earlier said: The people had lived on that island for a very long time. Such a people usually develop a fishing industry. -> People like that usually develop a fishing industry.

In means about.


Is it(in such a people) a phrase or a clause and of which kind?

Yes, it is a phrase, it is a prepositional phrase and it modifies what is worthy of admiration.

Since a clause is a type of phrase that contains a verb/predicate, I would not consider this phrase a clause.

The phrase what is worthy of admiration in such a people is the subject of the sentence.

To admire what is worthy of admiration in such a people

Can be reworded as

To admired what is admirable about a population like that.

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"It would be well for us to admire what is worthy of admiration in such a people, rather than to carp about their errors."

Paraphrased:

It would be well for us to admire ~ we should admire

what ~ that which

is worthy of admiration ~ is admirable

in such a people ~ in a people of that character

rather than to carp about their errors ~ instead of finding fault with them

We should admire that which is admirable in a people of that character instead of finding fault with them.

NOTE: such there means "of a kind|type|variety|character|sort previously mentioned or implied".

Consider:

What don't you like about such a hat?
-- It is made of rat fur.

What don't you like about such a dog?
-- It eats too much.

What can one say on such an occasion?
-- Gesundheit! Do you need a tissue?

What should we do in such a storm?
-- Stay indoors.

Why are you in such a hurry?
-- I'm late for an English exam.

To my ear, such feels as though it is modifying the noun-phrase—that such is not nominal and is not itself the object of the preposition that precedes it. It feels like a demonstrative: the indefinite article raises "hurry" to hurries of any and all kinds and such narrows the set down to this hurry you are in right now. "Why are you in this particular hurry?"

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The key word is "such". You can use "such" to refer to a type of something that was mentioned before. Like in this sentence:

That dog was huge. Such dogs must eat a lot of food.

In this sentence "such dogs" refers to "huge dogs".

It is dangerous to go outside during a storm. In such circumstances, you should remain indoors.

In this sentence "in such circumstances" means the same as "when it is stormy."

People who live in a desert or the tundra must survive harsh weather. You have to wonder about the toughness in such a people.

Here, "in such a people" refers to a (type of) people who live in harsh weather.

In your example "in such a people" refers to a type of people that were described earlier. To help understand that sentence better, it can be reworded into :

We should admire the good things about such people instead of complaining about their problems.

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"It would be well for us to admire what is worthy of admiration in such a people, rather than to carp about their errors." It is difficult to give a precise answer to your question without perusing the context from which sentence has been extracted.There must have been references to the prepositional phrase - "in such people" in the text from which the sentence is purportedly quoted.In other words ennobling qualities of such people must have been described in the preceding part of the sentence. However,the particular sentence may be reworded to make it self explanatory as given below. Look at the brighter side of life of others and just ignore blemishes if any.

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