Yet Daniele was still a man capable of a man’s <free allegiance>

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longxianchen

Senior Member
chinese
Hi, Merry Christmas
Here are some words from the novel Lady Chatterley's Lover(page 385, chapter 17) by Lawrence (planetebook,here):
(background: Connie was in Venice, together with her sister Hilda. The following was describing a gondolier, Daniele, who was real man as Mellors, and didn't prostitute himself.……)

Yet Daniele was still a man capable of a man’s free allegiance. He did not wear the gondolier’s blouse: only the knitted blue jersey. He was a little wild, uncouth and proud. So he was hireling to the rather doggy Giovanni who was hireling again to two women.

Allegiance is used to mean loyal to ruler, government. But in the quotation, I feel it means Daniele is loyal to his clients. However, I don't know how to understand free allegiance.
I presume the whole sentence means: but(=yet) Daniele was still a man who is likely to(=a man capable of) be loyal at his will(=free).
Could you please give me some help?
Thank you in advance
 
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  • Hermione Golightly

    Senior Member
    British English
    Allegiance means loyalty to anybody or any group, not just a ruler or government, although that is how we think of it usually. It's not a word the British use often. We traditionally take allegiance to "Crown and Country" for granted, because a system of allegiances was the basis of our society for hundreds of years until modern times. Born citizens never have to take an oath of allegiance to the Crown. Those acquiring citizenship do take such an oath and many positions do too, police officers for example, as well as the Lords and Ladies of the realm at the coronation, members of Parliament.

    DHL is talking more about personal freedom, not having any loyalties to anybody or anything, not being duty bound to behave in certain way. Mellors was free in that sense. He didn't conform to any societal norm, and had had no ties to anybody, not wife, parent or even child. As an army officer he would of course have been bound by allegiances.

    According to DHL, Connie sees something of Mellors' free spirit in Daniele, symbolised by his not wearing the usual very special gondolier's shirt, as well as his strong, quiet, restrained demeanour.
     

    longxianchen

    Senior Member
    chinese
    Thank you very much.
    Allegiance means loyalty to anybody or any group, not just a ruler or government
    Based on this, I infer that he's loyal to any client or customer——that is his allegiance
    According to DHL, Connie sees something of Mellors' free spirit in Daniele, symbolised by his not wearing the usual very special gondolier's shirt, as well as his strong, quiet, restrained demeanour.
    Based on this, I inter he is free.

    So I understand Yet Daniele was still a man capable of a man’s free allegiance as:

    1.However, Daniele was still able to(=capable ) be loyal to others (especially his job of serving the two ladies), unlike most people of that time.—this is allegiance
    2.But he's also free of traditional rules, not caring about frame, social position, and money very much, even though most people were the contrary.—this is free

    Am I right this time?
     
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