I had heard this expression a few times. I would like to know if anyone has heard it before. Someone would say "I fell like Eliza on the ice". The only Eliza I know is from MY FAIR LADY and I don't think its from there.
Ain't read it. neither, but the implication in the phrase is that someone falls and becomes even more vulnerable. The image comes from Stowe's narrative of how the cruel slave driver, Simon Legree, chased the escaping slave, Eliza, across the ice on a river. Eliza was only a very young girl at the time and understandably terrified.
From the references I saw I didn't completely understand how the expression "Eliza on the Ice" was supposed to be used. It seemed like it meant either a narrow escape or a desperate stuggle or a clumsy attempt to evade something.
I thought this page was a pretty funny result when I googled "Eliza on the Ice".
The slave Eliza is trying to cross the river to Ohio (a state where slavery was not legal) to save herself & her child from a slave trader
quote:A thousand lives seemed to be concentrated in that one moment to Eliza. Her room opened by a side door to the river. She caught her child, and sprang down the steps towards it. The trader caught a full glimpse of her just as she was disappearing down the bank; and throwing himself from his horse, and calling loudly on Sam and Andy, he was after her like a hound after a deer. In that dizzy moment her feet to her scarce seemed to touch the ground, and a moment brought her to the water's edge. Right on behind they came; and, nerved with strength such as God gives only to the desperate, with one wild cry and flying leap, she vaulted sheer over the turbid current by the shore, on to the raft of ice beyond. It was a desperate leap--impossible to anything but madness and despair; and Haley, Sam, and Andy, instinctively cried out, and lifted up their hands, as she did it.
The huge green fragment of ice on which she alighted pitched and creaked as her weight came on it, but she staid there not a moment. With wild cries and desperate energy she leaped to another and still another cake; stumbling--leaping--slipping-- springing upwards again! Her shoes are gone--her stockings cut from her feet--while blood marked every step; but she saw nothing, felt nothing, till dimly, as in a dream, she saw the Ohio side, and a man helping her up the bank.