Author Topic: ---- three words of gallantry  (Read 252 times)

Offline t k

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1261
---- three words of gallantry
« on: April 23, 2021, 03:13:15 am »
She would like to live in town and dance polkas every evening. Poor little woman! She is gaping after love like a carp after water on a kitchen-table. With three words of gallantry she?d adore one, I?m sure of it.   (from Madame Bovary, by Gustave Flaubert; a larger context is here; use ctrl-f to locate the sentence)

Please explain "three words of gallantry".  I think I know the definition, but I need examples.  Thanks.  --- tk

Offline Bertha

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1209
Re: ---- three words of gallantry
« Reply #1 on: April 23, 2021, 11:56:14 am »
The character of Rudolphe is anything but gallant, but he would use whatever words he could to woo Emma. It wouldn't take much if it were just uttering three words that represent being gallant.  Take your pick since Flaubert doesn't specify which words: https://www.thesaurus.com/browse/gallantry

Also, I think there is a typo in your quoted text which makes  a difference.  It would be "she is gasping after love like a carp after water" because she is desperate for "air."  Air would be some freedom from her humdrum, unromantic life.

You might enjoy this website, too: https://www.normandythenandnow.com/a-wicked-cab-ride-around-rouen-with-madame-bovary/
Bertha

Offline t k

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1261
Re: ---- three words of gallantry
« Reply #2 on: April 23, 2021, 01:15:39 pm »
Thanks, Bertha.

What I'm curious about is the words of gallantry that a man would say to a woman in order to be adored.

"She is gaping after love" is a translation of "?a b?ille apr?s l'amour", which literally means "It yawns after love".

Thanks for the URL; the page is interesting and in fact it contains the quote "Gaping after love like a carp after water on a kitchen-table".  --- tk

Offline Bertha

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1209
Re: ---- three words of gallantry
« Reply #3 on: April 24, 2021, 12:47:45 pm »
It could be "gaping" but I've also seen it transcribed as "gasping".

A "gallant" is a man with great politeness and attentiveness to a woman. In Medieval times, gallantry was part of chivalry practiced by the knights, and part of those qualities continued afterward.  Of course, in England and other European countries, several elements of knighthood exist today, since a person can be "knighted" and called Sir.  In any case, words of gallantry would be those kinds of words that would make the speaker seem to be respectful, polite, and so forth even if he has ulterior motives to seduce her.   In today's language, we might say he's coming on to her.
Bertha

Offline admin

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3921
  • In the heart of Shropshire
    • Lydbury English Centre Ltd
Re: ---- three words of gallantry
« Reply #4 on: April 25, 2021, 05:11:04 pm »
Yes - I think gasping fits here the best.
Best wishes,

Duncan