Lisbeth, Adam Bede’s mother, is both proud and jealous when she senses her son slipping away from her, and she chides him for it, describing him as a ripe nut casting her off like an old husk.  A neat simile, though untrue in this case.

‘She’s nought but th’ old husk, and thee’st slipped away from her, like the ripe nut.’

Source: George Eliot, Adam Bede (Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1985 (1859)), p. 326

Photo credit: Lubos Houska at


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