all his efforts tended to no more than <an exchange of yokes>

park sang joon

Senior Member
The protagonist, Philip, who was born with a club foot, moved in with his uncle Mr. Carey, the Vicar of Blackstable after his mother's death.
He dropped out of King's School at Tercanbury, came to Germany, and got several private teachings.
The following is about his teacher of French Monsieur Ducroz from Geneva.

He was taciturn, and what Philip learnt about him he learnt from others: it appeared that he had fought with Garibaldi against the Pope, but had left Italy in disgust when it was clear that all his efforts for freedom, by which he meant the establishment of a republic, tended to no more than an exchange of yokes; he had been
expelled from Geneva for it was not known what political offences.
[Of Human Bondage by Somerset Maugham]
I'd like to know what "an exchange of yokes" means.
Thank you in advance for your help.
  • Franco-filly

    Senior Member
    English - Southern England
    I assume it means he swapped one difficult task for another, as per this WR definition of Yoke: anything that is a burden or that causes or symbolizes enslavement, bondage, oppression, subjection, etc.:the yoke of tyranny.
    But I am not sure:rolleyes:


    Senior Member
    English - US (Midwest)
    He also served as a global exemplar of mid-19th century revolutionary nationalism and liberalism. But following the liberation of southern Italy from the Neapolitan monarchy, Garibaldi chose to sacrifice his liberal republican principles for the sake of unification.
    Apparently M Ducroz felt that Italy under Garibaldi was not an improvement on Italy under the pope.
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