Quil (switchercat) wrote in linguaphiles,

help me bushwhack through a sentence

I am a native English speaker reading The Turn of the Screw by Henry James, and -- I might just be sleep-deprived -- but I'm having a lot of difficulty parsing this (bolded) piece of text:

"The good thing, after all, was that we should surely see no more of him." (paragraph break) "This was not so good a thing, I admit, as not to leave me to judge that what, essentially, made nothing else much signify was simply my charming work."

Can anybody clarify what the narrator means? The two instances of "not," combined with "nothing," are making my head go round. I don't think it's integral to my understanding of the story, but it always bugs me to completely miss out on a sentence like this. The first line in the third paragraph of chapter four.
Tags: english

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