A Mighty Empire

One of the anomalies of our approach to history is the propensity to study the venerable empire of Europe, but we do not feel it incumbent upon us to ascertain anything about the civilizations in our own hemisphere. We deprecate the history of this part of the world as though progress lay dormant and the other people were until the settlers of North America arrived at Playmouth Rock. In South America, from 2,000 B.C. until their empire reached its acme at the beginning of the 16th century, lived the Inca. The height of 11,000 feet. This civilization is reputed to have western part of the continent. Its population fluctuated between 4 and 7 million. This empire had a highly efficacious political and social system. Its potentate ruled with absolute power. As the empire conquered new lands it would disseminate its language, religion and social customs.

  • anomalies – kelainan, keganjilan, keanehan
  • propensity – kecenderungan
  • venerable – patut dihormati/dimuliakan
  • incumbent – berkewajiban
  • ascertain – memastikan, meyakinkan, menegaskan
  • hemisphere – belahan bumi
  • deprecate – mencela, mengutuk, memprotes
  • dormant – terbengkalai, terhenti, tidak aktif
  • acme – puncak, the point at which someone or something is best, perfect, or most successful.
  • reputed – yg dianggap/mempunyai nama baik
  • fluctuated – berfluktuasi, naik turun
  • efficacious – berkhasiat, mujarab, manjur
  • potentate – penguasa, raja, org yg berpengaruh
  • conquered – menaklukan
  • disseminate – menyebarkan, menaburkan

Well Done, Sir Knight!

Seeking his adversaries the knight rides to their hide-out. Despite his callow appearance, he is reputed to disdain danger and to be prodigious horseman. The kidnappers lose their equanimity at his approach. They are appalled at the prospect, and they are quandary as to which one will meet him on the field of combat. The leader, under duress, rides out. “Do you have a penchant to die?” derides the knight. More vituperative remark follow. They spur their horses toward each other. It takes but one blow for our hero to decapitate the villain. The others flee to avoid their imminent destruction. The knight takes the maiden on his horse, and they ride back to the castle. Their wedding soon follows. Little does the knight realize that their fair maiden is a garrulous termagant who will make his life miserable with caustic remark. Still, the cliché, “And they lived happily ever after,” must conclude our fabricated tale.


  • adversaries – musuh, lawan, penentang
  • callow – muda, masih hijau, belum berpengalaman
  • reputed – terkenal, yg dianggap/mempunyai nama baik
  • disdain – meremehkan, memandang rendah
  • prodigious – luar biasa, menakjubkan, hebat
  • equanimity – ketenangan, kesabaran, keseimbangan batin
  • appalled – menggemparkan, mengerikan, menakutkan, greatly dismay or horrify.
  • quandary – kebingungan, dilema, kesulitan
  • penchant – kegemaran, kecondongan
  • derides – mencemooh, mengejek, menertawakan
  • vituperative – bersifat mengutuk/mengumpat
  • spur – memacu, mendorong, menggertak
  • decapitate – memenggal, memancung
  • villain – penjahat, bajingan, bandit
  • flee – melarikan diri, mengungsi, minggat
  • maiden – gadis, perawan
  • garrulous – cerewet, banyak omong/ngomel
  • termagant – kurang ajar, tidak sopan

To the Rescue

Back at the castle, the situation is taut with emotion. The fair maiden’s mother is livid with fear and anxiety; she has attacks of vertigo. When talk about her daughter’s audacity in riding out into the ominous forests despite many similar kidnappings. The girl’s father, a martinet who rules his family with an iron hand, staunchly refuses to pay the ransom. Iniquity shall not be rewarded! At this moment of crisis a heroic knight volunteers to rescue our heroine; he has had a pledges his all to castigate those responsible for this ignominious dead. He holds his life as a mere bagatelle against the duty he owes his beloved mistress. At the propitious moment he rides off to do or die for her.

  • fair – a beautiful woman
  • livid – marah-marah, furiously angry.
  • vertigo – pusing, jangar
  • audacity – keberanian, kelancangan
  • ominous – yg beralamat buruk/tidak menyenangkan, giving the impression that something bad or unpleasant is going to happen; threatening; inauspicious.
  • martinet – orang yg keras tata tertibnya
  • staunchly – kukuh
  • iniquity – kejahatan, ketidakadilan, kelaliman, kebengisan
  • pledge – janji, ikrar
  • castigate – menghukum, mengkritik, mencela
  • ignominious – memalukan, tercela, menghinakan
  • bagatelle – sepele, tak berarti
  • propitious – tepat, baik, menguntungkan, mujur

Woe Is Me!

The raconteur of our story about idyllic times gone by goes on to elucidate how the comely heroine is taken to the bandits hide-out. There, a sullen crew of cutthroats is gathered. They don’t wish to procrastinate; she must be taken immediately to a foreign land where much treasure will be paid to her. Their cupidity knows no bounds. The leader wants to hold her for ransom from her wealthy parents. The gang demurs; they are reticent. There is a rift among the criminals. Their leader remains truculent, and they agree to wait for just two days for the ransom money. An emissary from the grief-stricken parents is expected at any moment. The wan maiden, her spirits at their nadir, has time to ruminate about her lugubrious fate.

  • raconteur- pendongeng, a person who tells anecdotes in a skillful and amusing way.
  • idillyc – sangat indah/menarik
  • elucidate- menjelaskan, menguraikan, menerangkan
  • comely – cantik, elok, rupawan, menarik
  • sullen- a sulky or depressed mood.
  • sulky – murung, bersungut
  • cupidity- keserakahan, ketamakan
  • demur – menyatakan keberatan
  • reticent – pendiam, yg dapat menahan diri
  • rift- keretakan, celah
  • truculent- garang, keras dan kejam, kasar, bersikap menantang
  • emissary – utusan, duta, wakil, caraka
  • maiden – perawan
  • ruminate- merenungkan, think deeply about something.
  • lugubrious – murung, suram, penuh kesedihan

In Days of Yore

Current novels are replete with lurid crimes, carnage, and death. Do you get wistful when you recall the romantic tales which begin with an innocent maiden traveling through the rustic countryside? She is dressed in glittering raiment. The scene is idyllic. Without warning, the group is set upon by a virile brigand, who, the most perfunctory and callous entourage is in a state of bedlam. Her corpulent escort is irate, but unable to do anything to thwart this debacle. All he can do is rail against the catastrophe. What to do? What to do?

  • yore – dahulu kala, masa lampau
  • lurid- menerikan, seram, mendebarkan
  • carnage- pembantaian
  • wistful- sayu, sedih, murung, bermuram durja
  • rustic- pedesaan
  • countryside – daerah pedesaan
  • glittering- berkilauan
  • raiment- pakaian
  • idyllic- sangat indah, menarik
  • set upon – ditetapkan atas
  • virile- jantan, kuat, bertenaga
  • brigand- perampok, bandit, penjahat
  • perfunctory- acuh tak acuh, asal saja
  • callous- tak berperasaan
  • entourage – rombongan
  • bedlam- hiruk pikuk, gaduh, ribut, gempar
  • corpulent- gendut
  • escort- mengantar, mengawal, mengiringi
  • irate- marah, berang
  • thwart- mencegah, menghalangi
  • debacle- bencana, kegagalan
  • rail- mencerca
  • catastrophe – bencana, malapetaka