Archive for April, 2010

umbrella & parasol

“He found an enormous old umbrella in the trunk. His wife had won it in a raffle head to collect funds for the colonel’s party. That same night they had attended an outdoor show which was not interrupted despite the rain. The colonel, his wife, and their son, Agustín — who was then eight — watched the show until the end, seated under the umbrella. Now Agustín was dead, and the bright satin material had been eaten away by the moths.” (5)

Gabriel García Márquez, “No One Writes To The Colonel”

Francisco de Goya. The Parasol (1777). Museo del Prado, Madrid.

1. Light circular canopy of silk or other material attached to radiating folding frame sliding on a stick carried in the hand as protection against rain or (now usually sunshade, parasol) sun;
Hence umbrella’d [-ed], an adjective.

[from Italian ombrella, a diminutive of ombra, shade from UMBRA]

[umbra -ae f. [a shade, shadow; a shady place; protection; idleness, pleasant rest; a phantom, ghost, shade, semblance; an uninvited guest; a fish, perhaps a grayling].

A fellow will remember a lot of things you wouldn’t think he’d remember. You take me. One day, back in 1896, I was crossing over to Jersey on the ferry, and as we pulled out, there was another ferry pulling in, and on it there was a girl waiting to get off. A white dress she had on. She was carrying a white parasol. I only saw her for one second. She didn’t see me at all, but I’ll bet a month hasn’t gone by since that I haven’t thought of that girl.
“Citizen Kane”

Read Full Post »

At ex agricolis et viri fortissimi et milites strenuissimi gignuntur, maximeque pius quaestus stabilissimusque consequitur minimeque invidiosus, minimeque male cogitantes sunt qui in eo studio occupati sunt.

De Agri Cultura, Marcus Porcius Cato

“Farmers indeed in the early and middle Republic formed the vast majority of the Roman electorate. The earliest codification of Roman law, the Twelve Tables of the middle of the fifth century BC, already takes for granted the distinction between assiduus, the self-supporting freeholder, and the proletarius; Cato in the second century BC, and other writers after him, painted a no doubt idealized position of an early Rome composed of yeomen ever ready to defend their country, but the fact that service as a legionary was before 107 in principle a right and a duty of the assiduus alone makes it clear that early Rome was indeed a community of freeholders, for whom military service was as central an element of the citizenship as voting in the assembly. It is no accident that the variety of Roman assembly which elected the consuls was the people organized as an army.” (p. 29)

The Roman Republic, Michael Crawford
Harvard University Press.

(yo-), a noun. (pl. -men)
1. (historically) Person qualified by possessing free land of 40/- annual value to serve on juries, vote for knight of shire, etc.
2. ||Small landowner, farmer, person of middle class engaged in agriculture; || member of yeomanry force.

Hence yeo’manly, adjective

[Middle English yoman, yeman, probably = young man]

yeo’manry (yo-), a noun
Yeomen; || volunteer cavalry force raised from farmers etc.

Read Full Post »