Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Quotation of the day

I was reading about the Chinese-US summit and was surprised to see that the Chinese state councillor Dai Bingguo said that the two countries were "in the same boat that has been hit by fierce wind and huge waves, with our interests connected, sharing weal and woe." Does anybody know if "weal and woe" is a quotation from the Bible? Milton referred to "weal or woe" in Paradise Lost and I have found this rather lovely passage from the Hindu text, the Ramayana, which contains the words:
"This is Sita child of Janak, dearer unto him than life
Henceforth sharer of thy virtue, be she, prince, thy faithful wife
Of thy weal and woe partaker, be she thine in every land,
Cherish her in joy and sorrow, clasp her hand within thy hand,
As the shadow to the substance, to her lord is faithful wife,
And my Sita best of women follows then in death or life!"


Blogger Angus said...

Amos 5 - 16-20. The wail and woe exegesis.

5:00 pm  
Blogger Winchester whisperer said...

Hi Angus - "Weal" means "good fortune" (same derivation as wealth) so I don't think it's from Amos. I found an Ogden Nash poem which uses the word:
"What I'll have, come woe, come weal,
Is coffee with, coffee with, coffee with the meal"

7:35 am  
Blogger Winchester whisperer said...

Also, the common weal became "The Commonwealth"

7:36 am  
Blogger Angus said...

You are absolutely correct - it serves me right for multi-tasking.

4:47 pm  
Blogger Ellee Seymour said...

This is something new I have learnt.

9:36 am  
Blogger Phidelm said...

Yes, I would have gone for 'fortune' or 'wealth' myself. 'Commonwealth' definitely means 'the common good' i.e. 'the good of all'.
More like 'uncommon' these days ...
What fascinating material, WW. I am so glad I visited. Greetings from southern France.

11:42 am  
Blogger Winchester whisperer said...

Bienvenue, Phildelm!

9:10 pm  
Blogger Welshcakes Limoncello said...

Like Ellee, it's new to me. Always learning from your blog, WW.

10:49 pm  

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