Archive for June, 2010

The dangers of the road produce, also, a mode of travelling, resembling, on a diminutive scale, the caravans of the East. The arrieros or carriers congregate in troops, and set off in large and well-armed trains on appointed days, while individual travelers swell their number, and contribute to their strength. In this primitive way is the commerce of the country carried on. The muleteer is the general medium of traffic, and the legitimate wanderer of the land, traversing the Peninsula from the Pyrenees and the Asturias, to the Alpuxarras, the Serrania de Ronda, and even to the gates of Gibraltar. He lives frugally and hardily ; his alforjas of coarse cloth hold his scanty stock of provisions ; a leathern bottle hanging at his saddle-bow contains wine or water for a supply across barren mountains and thirsty plains; a mule-cloth spread upon the ground is his bed at night, and his pack-saddle is his pillow. His low but clear-limbed and sinewy form betokens strength; his complexion is dark and sun-burnt; his eye resolute, but quiet in its expression, except when kindled by sudden emotion ; his demeanor is frank, manly, and courteous, and he never passes you without a grave salutation— “¡ Dios guarda a usted ! “—” ¡ Vay usted con Dios, caballero !” — ” God guard you ! ” — ” God be with you, cavalier ! ” (17-18)

Washington Irving, Tales of the Alhambra (1831)



n. & adj.

1.  a horseman; courtly gentleman, gallant, especially as escorting a lady;

2.  adjective.  offhand, curt, supercilious, whence cavalierly, adverb.

[earlier -llero, -liero, from Spanish; present form French, from Italian cavaliere; cf CHEVALIER]

chevalier (sh-), noun.

member of certain orders of knighthood, & of French Legion of Honour etc;

soldier cadet of old French noblesse; chevalier of industry, an adventurer, swindler.

[Middle English and Anglo-French chevaler (Old French -ier) from Medieval Latin caballarius from Latin caballus horse; cf. CAVALIER]

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Old Laertes

Laertes, who, they say no longer comes to the city now,
but away by himself in his own land
leads a hard life with an old woman to look after him,
who serves him his victuals and drink,
at times when weariness has befallen his body
from making his toilsome way
on the high ground of his vineyard.

Homer, Odyssey

victuals (vi’tl)
1. (Usually plural) food, provisions

[Middle English, from Old French vitaile, -aille, from Late Latin victualia, neuter plural of Latin victualis from victus food]

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