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UMBRELLAS
[ Also see Rain ]

We bear our shades about us; self-deprived
  Of other screen, the thin umbrella spread,
    And range an Indian waste without a tree.
      - William Cowper, Task (bk. I, l. 259)

Of doues I haue a dainty paire
  Which, when you please to take the aier,
    About your head shall gently houer,
      Your cleere browe from the sunne to couer,
        And with their nimble wings shall fan you
          That neither cold nor heate shall tan you,
            And like umbrellas, with their feathers
              Sheeld you in all sorts of weathers.
      - Michael Drayton, Davis

Good housewives all the winter's rage despise,
  Defended by the riding-hood's disguise;
    Or, underneath the umbrella's oily shade,
      Safe through the wet on clinking pattens tread,
        Let Persian dames the unbrella's ribs display,
          To guard their beauties from the sunny ray;
            Or sweating slaves support the shady load,
              When eastern monarchs show their state abroad;
                Britain in winter only knows its aid,
                  To guard from chilling showers the walking maid.
      - John Gay, Trivia (bk. I, l. 209)

When my water-proof umbrella proved a sieve, sieve, sieve,
  When my shiny new umbrella proved a sieve.
      - Rossiter Johnson, A Rhyme of the Rain

The inseparable gold umbrella which in that country [Burma] as much denotes the grandee as the star or garter does in England.
      - John Williamson Palmer,
        Up and Down the Irrawadde

See, here's a shadow found; the human nature
  Is made th' umbrella to the Deity,
    To catch the sunbeams of thy just Creator;
      Beneath this covert thou may'st safely lie.
      - Francis Quarles, Emblems, bk. IV, 14

It is not for nothing, either, that the umbrella has become the very foremost badge of modern civilization--the Urim and Thummim of respectability. . . . So strongly do we feel on this point, indeed, that we are almost inclined to consider all who possess really well-conditioned umbrellas as worthy of the Franchise.
      - Robert Louis Stevenson,
        Philosophy of Umbrellas

It is the habitual carriage of the umbrella that is the stamp of Respectability. The umbrella has become the acknowledged index of social position. . . . Crusoe was rather a moralist than a pietist, and his leaf-umbrella is as fine an example of the civilized mind striving to express itself under adverse circumstances as we have ever met with.
      - Robert Louis Stevenson,
        Philosophy of Umbrellas,
        written in collaboration with J.W. Ferrier

Umbrellas, like faces, acquire a certain sympathy with the individual who carries them. . . . May it not be said of the bearers of these inappropriate umbrellas, that they go about the streets "with a lie in their right hand?" . . . Except in a very few cases of hypocrisy joined to a powerful intellect, men, not by nature, umbrellarians, have tried again and again to become so by art, and yet have failed--have expended their patrimony in the purchase of umbrella after umbrella, and yet have systematically lost them, and have finally, with contrite spirits and strunken purses, given up their vain struggle, and relied on theft and borrowing for the remainder of their lives.
      - Robert Louis Stevenson,
        Philosophy of Umbrellas

The tucked-up sempstress walks with hasty strides,
  While streams run down her oil'd umbrella's sides.
      - Jonathan Swift,
        Description of a City Shower


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