Saturday, December 11, 2010

Too True...

Took five hours out for the opera, so now catching up with other.  I leave you with:

Point d'argent, point de Suisse

That is: "no money, no Swiss," as in the tall guys who came down out of the Alps to make a nuisance of themselves iin the 15-16C.  Link.  Sometimes associated with Charles the Rash of Burgundy:
[I]t was the closure of the brief period when the dynastic rivalries of Europe permitted the Swiss as a nation to play a significant role in the affairs of the continent. As to the careless use of the term ‘mercenary’ as an epithet, to deny a soldier his pay is to refuse the honour due to him and implicit in the contract under which he takes service. The Swiss did not believe in promises and if pay day came around and it was not duly counted out, they would simply leave, no matter what the situation their patron might find himself in. Thus to this day the phrase point d'argent, point des Suisses (no money, no Swiss) persists in French usage.  
Link. Reformed as "point d'argent, point de buste."  Link.  I suppose in the 20C we might have said "no Swiss, no money," though whether that holds is perhaps an open question.

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