a little lower than the angels

a little lower than the angels
"почти ангел", сущий ангел (о человеке необыкновенных достоинств) [этим. библ. Psalms VIII, 5]

No man, not even one who was only a little lower than the angels, could live through the work that Shakespeare did, from Hamlet to Antony and Cleopatra, without paying for it in health. (W. Raleigh, ‘Shakespeare’, ch. IV) — Никто, даже небожитель, не смог бы проделать титанической работы Шекспира, начиная от создания "Гамлета" и кончая образами "Антония и Клеопатры", не поплатившись за это здоровьем.

...she refuses to leave her father for any one lower than an angel. (Kenk) — Она покинет отца только ради человека, который лишь ангелу уступит в благородстве и доброте.

Большой англо-русский фразеологический словарь. - М.: «Русский язык-Медиа».. 2006.

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