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Modern Gallantry Essayist Lamb


  1. #110-Aug-2008, 09:27

    Modern Gallantry By Charles Lamb

    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!








    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.
    Last edited by thedaffodils; 16-Aug-2008 at 18:28. Reason: Removing icons of eye-rolling
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  2. #410-Aug-2008, 12:47

    Re: Modern Gallantry By Charles Lamb

    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
    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.
    Last edited by thedaffodils; 16-Aug-2008 at 18:29. Reason: Removing an icon of eye-rolling
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  3. #510-Aug-2008, 19:11

    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.
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  4. #711-Aug-2008, 09:55

    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
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  5. #811-Aug-2008, 19:47

    Re: Modern Gallantry By Charles Lamb

    .
    Originally Posted by thedaffodils
    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!
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  6. #1012-Aug-2008, 16:39

    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:

    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
    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.
    Harmless drudge
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Charles Lamb

Biography

(1775-1834)

Charles Lamb grew up in downtown London and went to school at Christ’s Hospital where he first met lifelong friend Samuel Taylor Coleridge. He served in various office positions as the needs of his family required, and at age 24, with the death of his father, was placed in charge of all the family’s needs. He published his first poems in 1796 in a Coleridge collection, and published various works through the early years of the 19th century, when he had his first break with Tales of Shakespeare (1807), a joint project with his sister Mary. By this time he had gained a footing in London’s literary elite circle and had become friends with William Wordsworth, Percy Shelley, William Hazlitt, Leigh Hunt, and others. All his adult life he wrote for periodicals in England, particularly London Magazine, and covered everything from dreams, religion, and politics, to marriage, food, and love. Before he died he published Essays of Elia (1823), and Final Essays of Elia (1833), both collections of his contributions to London Magazine.

See also

Essays by Charles Lamb

All fool’s day

The more laughable blunders a man shall commit in your company, the more tests he giveth you, that he will not betray or overreach you.

A bachelor’s complaint of the behaviour of married people

Nothing is to me more distasteful than that entire complacency and satisfaction which beam in the countenances of a new-married couple.

A chapter on ears

Sentimentally I am disposed to harmony. But organically I am incapable of a tune.

A complaint of the decay of beggars in the metropolis

There was a dignity springing from the very depth of their desolation; as to be naked is to be so much nearer to the being a man, than to go in livery.

Detached thoughts on books and reading

I love to lose myself in other men's minds. When I am not walking, I am reading; I cannot sit and think. Books think for me.

A dissertation upon roast pig

Pig—let me speak his praise—is no less provocative of the appetite, than he is satisfactory to the criticalness of the censorious palate.

Dream children: A reverie

We are nothing; less than nothing, and dreams. We are only what might have been, and must wait upon the tedious shores of Lethe millions of ages before we have existence, and a name.

Edax on appetite

An original peculiarity of constitution is no crime; that not that which goes into the mouth desecrates a man, but that which comes out of it.

The genteel style in writing

the rank of the writer is never more innocently disclosed, than where he takes for granted the compliments paid by foreigners to his fruit-trees.

Grace before meat

The form then of the benediction before eating has its beauty at a poor man's table, or at the simple and unprovocative repasts of children. It is here that the grace becomes exceedingly graceful.

The Londoner

I was born, as you have heard, in a crowd. This has begot in me an entire affection for that way of life, amounting to an almost insurmountable aversion from solitude and rural scenes.

Mackery end, in Hertfordshire

Those slender ties, that prove slight as gossamer in the rending atmosphere of a metropolis, bind faster, as we found it, in hearty, homely, loving Hertfordshire.

Modern gallantry

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

Mrs. Battle's opinions on whist

Man is not a creature of pure reason he must have his senses delightfully appealed to.

New Year’s Eve

Every man hath two birth-days: two days, at least, in every year, which set him upon revolving the lapse of time, as it affects his mortal duration.

The old and new schoolmaster

The modern schoolmaster is expected to know a little of every thing, because his pupil is required not to be entirely ignorant of any thing.

On some of the old actors

Of all the actors who flourished in my time--a melancholy phrase if taken aright, reader--Bensley had most of the swell of soul, was greatest in the delivery of heroic conceptions, the emotions consequent upon the presentment of a great idea to the fancy.

Oxford in the vacation

The mighty future is as nothing, being every thing! the past is every thing, being nothing,

Popular fallacies

Coolness is as often the result of an unprincipled indifference to truth or falsehood, as of a sober confidence in a man's own side in a dispute.

Preface to The Last Essays of Elia

Better it is, that a writer should be natural in a self-pleasing quaintness, than to affect a naturalness (so called) that should be strange to him.

A Quaker’s meeting

For a man to refrain even from good words, and to hold his peace, it is commendable; but for a multitude, it is great mastery.

Sanity of true genius

So far from the position holding true, that great wit (or genius, in our modern way of speaking), has a necessary alliance with insanity, the greatest wits, on the contrary, will ever be found to be the sanest writers.

The south-sea house

To the idle and merely contemplative, to such as me, old house! there is a charm in thy quiet:--a cessation--a coolness from business--an indolence almost cloistral--which is delightful!

The two races of men

There is a class of alienators more formidable than that which I have touched upon: I mean our borrowers of books--those mutilators of collections, spoilers of the symmetry of shelves, and creators of odd volumes.

Valentine’s day

Not many sounds in life, and I include all urban and all rural sounds, exceed in interest a knock at the door.

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