As most people rather enjoy the spectacle of a man making a fool of himself the town hall was absolutely jammed on Friday night, half an hour before the usual time for the appearance on the platform of such strolling entertainers as did not know of the impecuniosity of the natives.

What does as function in this sentence?
Original Post
As/Because most people rather enjoy the spectacle of a man making a fool of himself the town hall was absolutely jammed on Friday night, half an hour before the usual time for the appearance on the platform of such strolling entertainers as/that did not know of the impecuniosity of the natives.
quote:
entertainers as did not know of the impecuniosity of the natives.

It's hard to know exactly what 'as' means here.

This passage is from a short story, in formal language, written in 1905, and the language is a bit different from that used today.

  • We could say that this 'as' is a preposition, meaning 'like,' and ellipting 'those who':

    '...entertainers like those who did not know...'

  • Or, 'as' might mean the conjunction 'as if':

    '...entertainers as if they did not know...'

    Or, perhaps we could substitute a relative pronoun, 'who' -- or 'that,' as Jerry suggests:

    '...entertainers who did not know...'
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