January 20, 2007

sub rosa

sub rosa: (sub RO za) [L.] Under the Rose; covertly, privately, confidentially
--Webster's New International Dictionary Second Edition Unabridged

Under the rose (sub rosa).
In strict confidence,
Cupid gave Harpoc'rates (the god of silence) a rose, to bribe him not to betray the amours of Venus. Hence the flower became the emblem of silence. It was for this reason sculptured on the ceilings of banquet-rooms, to remind the guests that what was spoken sub vino was not to be uttered sub divo. In 1526 it was placed over confessionals. The banquet-room ceiling at Haddon Hall is decorated with roses. (French, parler sous la rose.)
--Brewer Dictionary of Phrase & Fable, E. Cobham Brewer

[ <
sub divo> ? --Bloggin' John ]

Haddon Hall is a fortified medieval manor house dating from the 12 th Century, and is the home of Lord and Lady Edward Manners whose family have owned it since 1567.Described by Simon Jenkins in 1000 Best houses as "the most perfect house to survive from the middle ages", this remarkable old house is surrounded by terraced Elizabethan gardens and is set amongst the rolling countryside of the Peak District National Park. Haddon has featured in many films and TV programmes including Pride and Prejudice starring Keira Knightly, Mathew MacFadeyn, and Dame Judy Dench. Most recently Haddon was used as the setting for Thornfield in the BBC's adaptation of Jane Eyre.

Bloggin' John Comments
I wouldn't be surprised to learn that when Vice President Chaney first moved into his White House office he not only installed new drapes but also had the ceiling replastered in a rose motif.

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