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  1. #1
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    the meanng of "A chaise and four" (Pride and Prejudice)

    Hi

    First of all, I want to tell you that I really love this web site. I could learn so much just by reading some of the posts here.

    I am currently working on the comparison of a Chinese transalation of the book Pride and Prejudice and its original text. I have the same question which was asked a while ago in this forum by MadHorse and I read Bob's replies to it. (http://www.usingenglish.com/forum/as...aise-four.html)

    I still have doubts about the meaning of "A chaise and four". I understand that Mrs. Bennet was merely emphasizing that Mr. Bingley was rich. But when speaking of translation, its exact meaning becomes important. I did a little research online about the types of carriage available in England during the early 19th century, I was convinced that the type of carriage available at that time was pulled by either 1 horse or 2 horses. So here "A chaise and Four" should refer to the type of carriage that has four wheels, not a chaise with four horses.

    Could someone please clarify? I really appreciate your help.
    Last edited by ENuts; 22-Oct-2009 at 20:28. Reason: correct sentences

  2. #2
    bhaisahab's Avatar
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    Re: the meanng of "A chaise and four" (Pride and Prejudice)

    Quote Originally Posted by ENuts View Post
    Hi

    First of all, I want to tell you that I really love this web site. I could learn so much just by reading some of the posts here.

    I am currently working on the comparison of a Chinese transalation of the book Pride and Prejudice and its original text. I have the same question which was asked a while ago in this forum by MadHorse and I read Bob's replies to it. (http://www.usingenglish.com/forum/as...aise-four.html )

    I still have doubts about the meaning of "A chaise and four". I understand that Mrs. Bennet was merely emphasizing that Mr. Bingley was rich. But when speaking of translation, its exact meaning becomes important. I did a little research online about the types of carriage available in England during the early 19th century, I was convinced that the type of carriage available at that time was pulled by either 1 horse or 2 horses. So here "A chaise and Four" should refer to the type of carriage that has four wheels, not a chaise with four horses.

    Could someone please clarify? I really appreciate your help.
    It means four horses.

  3. #3
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    Re: the meanng of "A chaise and four" (Pride and Prejudice)

    Quote Originally Posted by bhaisahab View Post
    It means four horses.
    Thanks for your time. Is "a chaise and four" commonly known as a carriage with four horses in English language? Because it seems that no one except me has mistaken it for a carriage with four wheels?

    I was reading about the types of carriage in wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carriage) and was not able to find any image of four horses drawn carriages from the early 19th century. Even for the type of chaise(Brougham) Lady Caherine has, I was only able to find images with 2 horses.

    Thanks again.

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    Ann1977 is offline Senior Member
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    Re: the meanng of "A chaise and four" (Pride and Prejudice)

    Quote Originally Posted by ENuts View Post
    Thanks for your time. Is "a chaise and four" commonly known as a carriage with four horses in English language? Because it seems that no one except me has mistaken it for a carriage with four wheels?

    I was reading about the types of carriage in wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carriage) and was not able to find any image of four horses drawn carriages from the early 19th century. Even for the type of chaise(Brougham) Lady Caherine has, I was only able to find images with 2 horses.

    Thanks again.
    I think the point is that a brougham with FOUR horses is a rich extravagance indeed!

    Keeping horses is expensive, and they need people hired just to look after them, magnifying the expense. So to keep more horses than necessary -- just for the sake of the grand and magnificent show... that is wealth!

    But don't forget that Austin was an acute observer of social behavior. That means that many small details she records would be full of significance -- but the significance is lost on modern people. We haven't seen a chaise with ANY number of horses in our lifetimes -- never mind have the ability to catch these tiny remarks about what each detail means.

    Today we might read a book about a character who wears a Metallica tee shirt to a job interview. We might understand what the author is telling us about this person, but possibly two hundred years from now, it would just be a mystery -- if anyone even realized it had some social signal attached to it at all.

    Best wishes in your studies. Pride and Prejudice is one of the most admired novels of all time in English, and many experts claim it is the BEST novel ever written in English. I love it myself!
    Last edited by Ann1977; 22-Oct-2009 at 23:05.

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    Anglika is offline No Longer With Us
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    Re: the meanng of "A chaise and four" (Pride and Prejudice)


  6. #6
    Ann1977 is offline Senior Member
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    Re: the meanng of "A chaise and four" (Pride and Prejudice)

    Quote Originally Posted by Anglika View Post
    What a good find!

    I didn't realize that the horses were directed by riders rather than a coachman. It looks safer -- like the horses are under better control.

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    Re: the meanng of "A chaise and four" (Pride and Prejudice)

    Ann1977,

    Thank you so much for your explanations! I really enjoy reading the book. It is even more interesting if you read it in two different languages.

    It is hard to believe, but there are more than 17 translation versions of the book Pride and Prejudice available in Chinese. The quality of the translations varies greatly depends on who's done the work.

    I will come back for more questions for sure. You guys are wonderful!!

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    Re: the meanng of "A chaise and four" (Pride and Prejudice)

    Quote Originally Posted by Anglika View Post
    Thank you!!! You made my day!

  9. #9
    Ann1977 is offline Senior Member
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    Re: the meanng of "A chaise and four" (Pride and Prejudice)

    Quote Originally Posted by ENuts View Post
    Ann1977,

    Thank you so much for your explanations! I really enjoy reading the book. It is even more interesting if you read it in two different languages.

    It is hard to believe, but there are more than 17 translation versions of the book Pride and Prejudice available in Chinese. The quality of the translations varies greatly depends on who's done the work.

    I will come back for more questions for sure. You guys are wonderful!!
    I would be sad if your translation didn't showcase the hilarious absurdities of some of the characters -- that ridiculous Mr Collins (poor Charlotte! She ends up keeping for her own little drawing room a small dark place in the back of the house -- but at least it's not near Mr Collins!), and that awful Lady Catherine and her miserable daughter Anne. Hahaha! What great characters! Better than Dickens' characters, because hers are not so cartoonish and overboard. His are almost like spoofs, but Jane's are right on the money.

    The conversations between Lady Catherine and Elizabeth are consummate artistry on Austen's part. When I just happen to come across this book, with no intention to read it again at the moment, I still can't resist flipping to the visit at Rosings, and their conversation in Elizabeth's garden.

    LOL! It cracks me up!

    I love Emma too. If you like P&P, you should try to find the time to read Emma.

  10. #10
    BobK's Avatar
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    Re: the meanng of "A chaise and four" (Pride and Prejudice)

    Quote Originally Posted by ENuts View Post
    Thanks for your time. Is "a chaise and four" commonly known as a carriage with four horses in English language? Because it seems that no one except me has mistaken it for a carriage with four wheels?

    I was reading about the types of carriage in wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carriage) and was not able to find any image of four horses drawn carriages from the early 19th century. Even for the type of chaise(Brougham) Lady Caherine has, I was only able to find images with 2 horses.

    Thanks again.
    Try this article, also in wikipedia, and note the words 'A coach with four horses is a coach-and-four.'! http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coach_(carriage)

    I think all coaches had four wheels; there were plenty of horse-drawn vehicles with only two, but they weren't called 'coaches' (off-hand, there were curricles, gigs, traps .... To quote Wikipedia again (Curricle - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia ), 'In Northanger Abbey Henry Tilney drives a curricle; John Thorpe drives a gig, but buffoonishly praises it as "curricle-hung". Margaret Sullivan found that Jane Austen's assignment of vehicles to the two men was far from arbitrary.' JA used attitudes to horse-drawn vehicles as (one of many) vehicles for her satire.

    So to call them 'a coach and four' (wrongly) on account of the number of wheels they had would be like saying 'a bus and four' on the grounds that a bus has four wheels! [OK, some buses have eight, but you get the point.]

    b

    PS I'm glad my PM led you to this cornucopia of answers.

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