A fine metaphor for a mind incapable of original thought or phrasing.  The lady has a stock of ready-made comments to offer on almost any topic, allowing her to appear suitably interested or charmed without actually requiring any comprehension or knowledge on her part.

‘But her words were always like ready-made clothes, and never fitted individual thoughts.’

Source: Elizabeth Gaskell, Wives and Daughters (London: Penguin Classics, 1986 (1866)), p. 349


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