Pascolare le pecore

Gymnasiumcats

New Member
English - US
From a letter written in 1913 by my great grandfather in Foggia to his daughter in America, who has apparently been rude to her sister:

La tua sorella mi scrisse giorni dietro facendomi vedere la tua lettera molto scortese. Non pensi che ti e’ sorella? L’amore piu' forte si ha fra sorelle, mentre tu la scrivesti con offesa…Forse e’ stata a pascolare le pecore, non e’ pure figlia a me, cresciuta con tutte le comodita’ e civilta’? Mandasti un salute a Pupa e poi salute a Santo Antonio (che significa che lo bruci), un saluto a San Giuseppe e moglie, e senza mai salutare tua sorella. Correggiti, scrivela spesso e con amore di sorella…

Does "pascolare le pecore" have some figurative meaning here - like, do you think I was raising you as farm animals (sheep), and not sisters? Or is something else meant?

(I'm also confused to the references to Santo Antonio and "che significa che lo bruci"), and San Guiseppe and wives...)

Thanks in advance!
 
  • theartichoke

    Senior Member
    English - Canada
    Literally, it's "Perhaps she's been out grazing the sheep?". Given the rest of the sentence ("isn't she also my daughter, raised in comfort and civility?"), the idea seems to be that the rude letter-writer, in whatever she wrote in the letter, treated her sister as if she were beneath her, in a class sense, like a peasant shepherdess.

    I'm less clear about Santo Antonio and San Giuseppe, but it seems that they're the names of people (i.e., not the actual saints) whom the letter-writer sent her greetings to, without sending them to her sister. I could be wrong, though.
     
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