The Return of Sherlock Holmes
Respect and Reputation Quotes
How we cite our quotes:
"I appreciate your conduct in coming here before you spoke to anyone else," said he. "At least, we may take counsel how far we can minimize this hideous scandal." (Priory School.2.53)
"Minimizing" scandal is a primary concern for tons of Holmes's clients, and for Holmes himself at times. People guarded their reputations in this era and any hint of a scandal could be completely disastrous for people socially.
As a flash of lightning in the night shows up in an instant every detail of a wild landscape, so at one glance I seemed to see every possible result of such an action - the detection, the capture, the honoured career ending in irreparable failure and disgrace, my friend himself lying at the mercy of the odious Milverton. (Milverton.1.64)
Watson's use of metaphor and imagery crops up again in this passage. It's notable that Watson panics more over Holmes's reputation and career than he does his own, even though he's as likely to go to jail as Holmes is if the two get caught burgling Milverton's house.
"Between ourselves, Watson, it's a sporting duel between this fellow Milverton and me. He had, as you saw, the best of the first exchanges, but my self-respect and my reputation are concerned to fight it to the finish." (Milverton.1.71)
Holmes's reference to a "duel" helps to shed light on how he views his fight with Milverton. Holmes sees it as a competition and, as with any duel, his own respect, reputation, and honor are on the line.