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Then one night, some villain sneaked into my chamber, and carved a device by the window …’ And next morning, a shaft of early sun, creeping through mist and rain, had picked out a gallows, from which dangled a cardinal's hat.

— Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel

What is the meaning of "to carve a device" here?

  • I think that "device" here is a very vague word, imprecise and wishy-washy. – rogermue Sep 10 '15 at 6:05
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"Device" is a picture or emblem. In this case, someone carved into a wall or window frame, a hangman's gallows and a cardinal's hat hanging from the rope.

| improve this answer | |
  • 1
    Hat's off to you for that one! That is pretty obscure, and I was pretty confused. – Dan Sep 10 '15 at 0:08

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