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  1. #1
    thedaffodils's Avatar
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    Smile Modern Gallantry By Charles Lamb


    Lastly, I shall begin to believe that there is some such principle influencing our conduct, when more than one-half of the drudgery and coarse servitude of the world shall cease to be performed by women.

    Until that day comes, I shall never believe this boasted point to be any thing more than a conventional fiction; a pageant got up between the sexes, in a certain rank, and at a certain time of life, in which both find their account equally.
    Hello! The quote is an excerpt from Mordern Gallantry by Charles Lamb. Here're some of my questions. Could someone give me a hand?

    Q1: What does 'that day' refer to? Did it refer to the day when women don't do any drudgery?


    Q2: What does 'this boasted point' refer to? =women don't do any drudgery?

    Q3: a pageant got up between the sexes, in a certain rank, and at a certain time of life, in which both find their account equally=?

    a pageant got up between the sexes=? a celebration about men and women?

    I shall believe in it, when Dorimant hands a fish-wife across the kennel; or assists the apple-woman to pick up her wandering fruit, which some unlucky dray has just dissipated. I shall believe in it, when the Dorimants in humbler life, who would be thought in their way notable adepts in this refinement, shall act upon it in places where they are not known, or think themselves not observed


    Q4: Who was Dorimant?

    Thanks in advance!







    Last edited by thedaffodils; 16-Aug-2008 at 18:28. Reason: Removing icons of eye-rolling

  2. #2
    heidita's Avatar
    heidita is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: Modern Gallantry By Charles Lamb

    Quote Originally Posted by thedaffodils View Post

    Q1: What does 'that day' refer to? Did it refer to the day when women don't do any drudgery?

    the day when: more than one-half of the drudgery and coarse servitude of the world shall cease to be performed by women.


    Q2: What does 'this boasted point' refer to?

    This is what Lamb says:
    I shall believe that this principle (gallantry) actuates our conduct,


    Q4: Who was Dorimant?

    Very interesting :
    the cunning and coldhearted bachelor Dorimant in a British stage play called Man of Mode.

    So Dorimant is a convinced bachelor and only "uses" women . He would never get married to a fish.woman or help a woman pick up anything from the floor. Gallantry does not exist in his vocabulary.

    Very interesting post.

    (You might wish to include more info next time)

    Charles Lamb - Modern Gallantry

  3. #3
    thedaffodils's Avatar
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    Smile Re: Modern Gallantry By Charles Lamb

    Hello Heidita,

    You are helpful. Thank you very much!

  4. #4
    thedaffodils's Avatar
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    Smile Re: Modern Gallantry By Charles Lamb

    I shall believe it to be something more than a name, when a well-dressed gentleman in a well-dressed company can advert to the topic of female old age without exciting, and intending to excite, a sneer: -- when the phrases "antiquated virginity," and such a one has "overstood her market," pronounced in good company, shall raise immediate offence in man, or woman, that shall hear them spoken.
    Q5: antiquated virginity=?

    Q6: overstood her market=?


    Thanks in advance!

    For more context, please go to the article. Here's the website link.

    Charles Lamb - Modern Gallantry
    Last edited by thedaffodils; 16-Aug-2008 at 18:29. Reason: Removing an icon of eye-rolling

  5. #5
    Anglika is offline No Longer With Us
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    Default Re: Modern Gallantry By Charles Lamb

    "Antiquated virginity" = a woman who is of a certain age and who has never been with a man.

    "Overstood her market" = a woman who is now too old to be considered a good possibility as a wife.

    Both rude comments about those women who failed to find a husband.

  6. #6
    thedaffodils's Avatar
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    Smile Re: Modern Gallantry By Charles Lamb

    Hello Anglika, thank you very much!

  7. #7
    thedaffodils's Avatar
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    Smile Re: Modern Gallantry By Charles Lamb

    Q7: He took me under his shelter at an early age, and bestowed some pains upon me.

    Does the sentence above means Joseph Paice helped me when I was young? Why did Lamb say Paice bestowed some pains upon him?

    Q8: I owe to his precepts and example whatever there is of the man of business (and that is not much) in my composition.

    Could someone interpret the sentence, specially, the part I highlight in bold?

    Q9: To the reverend form of Female Eld he would yield the wall

    What does 'yield the wall' mean?

    Q10: He was the Preux Chevalier of Age; the Sir Calidore, or Sir Tristan, to those who have no Calidores or Tristans to defend them.

    Who was Preux Chevalier of Age, Sir Tristan respectively? And was Sir Tristan the Knight of Round Table?

    I have searched them via Google but found little useful info. about them.

    Q11: The roses, that had long faded thence, still bloomed for him in those withered and yellow cheeks.

    Could someone please interpret the sentence above for me?


    Thanks in advance!

    Joseph Paice, of Bread-street-hill, merchant, and one of the Directors of the South-Sea company -- the same to whom Edwards, the Shakspeare commentator, has addressed a fine sonnet -- was the only pattern of consistent gallantry I have met with. He took me under his shelter at an early age, and bestowed some pains upon me. I owe to his precepts and example whatever there is of the man of business (and that is not much) in my composition. It was not his fault that I did not profit more. Though bred a Presbyterian, and brought up a merchant, he was the finest gentleman of his time. He had not one system of attention to females in the drawing-room, and another in the shop, or at the stall. I do not mean that he made no distinction. But he never lost sight of sex, or overlooked it in the casualties of a disadvantageous situation. I have seen him stand bare-headed -- smile if you please -- to a poor servant girl, while she has been inquiring of him the way to some street -- in such a posture of unforced civility, as neither to embarrass her in the acceptance, nor himself in the offer, of it. He was no dangler, in the common acceptation of the word, after women: but he reverenced and upheld, in every form in which it came before him, womanhood. I have seen him -- nay, smile not --tenderly escorting a market-woman, whom he had encountered in a shower, exalting his umbrella over her poor basket of fruit, that it might receive no damage, with as much carefulness as if she had been a Countess. To the reverend form of Female Eld he would yield the wall (though it were to an ancient beggarwoman) with more ceremony than we can afford to show our grandams. He was the Preux Chevalier of Age; the Sir Calidore, or Sir Tristan, to those who have no Calidores or Tristans to defend them. The roses, that had long faded thence, still bloomed for him in those withered and yellow cheeks.
    Last edited by thedaffodils; 16-Aug-2008 at 18:29. Reason: Removing an icon of eye-rolling

  8. #8
    Anglika is offline No Longer With Us
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    Default Re: Modern Gallantry By Charles Lamb

    Quote Originally Posted by thedaffodils View Post
    Q7: He took me under his shelter at an early age, and bestowed some pains upon me.

    Does the sentence above means Joseph Paice helped me when I was young? Why did Lamb say Paice bestowed some pains upon him? Paice took pains to ensure that Lamb was given the best training he could get.

    Q8: I owe to his precepts and example whatever there is of the man of business (and that is not much) in my composition.

    Could someone interpret the sentence, specially, the part I highlight in bold?
    Lamb is suggesting that Paice's example of exactness in his business dealings is an influence on his writing - ir, it is simple and straighforward.

    Q9: To the reverend form of Female Eld he would yield the wall

    What does 'yield the wall' mean? He would give in to her [ yield the wall - comes from giving in to opposing forces when under siege. You give up the wall to the stronger force]

    Q10: He was the Preux Chevalier of Age; the Sir Calidore, or Sir Tristan, to those who have no Calidores or Tristans to defend them.

    Who was Preux Chevalier of Age, Sir Tristan respectively? And was Sir Tristan the Knight of Round Table? Both were Preux Chevaliers - Knights of particular valour and merit. Both Calidor and Tristan were Knights oft he Round Table.

    I have searched them via Google but found little useful info. about them.

    Q11: The roses, that had long faded thence, still bloomed for him in those withered and yellow cheeks.

    Could someone please interpret the sentence above for me? He still sees her as she was when she was a young, pretty, girl with pink cheeks.


    Thanks in advance!
    .

  9. #9
    thedaffodils's Avatar
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    Smile Re: Modern Gallantry By Charles Lamb

    Anglika, you're absolutely a gem. Thank you very much for your help again and again! I take some time to chew the answers.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Modern Gallantry By Charles Lamb

    Anglika - far be it from me to detract from your "gemliness" (), but I think Lamb may have been using "composition" here in a less literary sense than you suppose:

    Q8: I owe to his precepts and example whatever there is of the man of business (and that is not much) in my composition.

    ...
    Lamb is suggesting that Paice's example of exactness in his business dealings is an influence on his writing - ir, it is simple and straighforward.
    It seems to me possible that by 'my composition' he means "my temperament/make-up/up-bringing". (This is a problem with old texts, the daffodils: the words sometimes have unexpected meanings - you will find them in some dictionaries, but not learners' dictionaries. For example, the OED is called, in its full title, a 'dictionary on historical principles'. To take an extreme example, Chaucer used the word 'dangerous' [he didn't use that spelling, but it was good enough for the time ] to mean 'hard to please'. The older a text is, the more likely it is that a familiar-looking word will have changed its meaning.)

    b

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