Aske Chaucere: Parte the Secounde

Mes cherez lecteurz,

Yt hath been mony a moneth syn ich haue thogte of the questiones and inquries that yow sente vnto me for myn column of advyce. Yet ich haue had sum smal tyme to looke ayein at them, and haue founde sum messages for which ich kan yeven counsel.

BSL, movynge ys a thynge of muche wo...ich am boxynge vppe moste of myn possessiouns so that churlez mayen brynge them to Kente to the newe house of the famille Chaucer. Lowys doth louren yn sadnesse of his departure from his freendes, and swete Philippa my wyf ys runnynge the whole showe wyth an accounte-boke yn oon hand and a large panne yn the othir. Yow may gesse wyth which oon she hitteth me vpon the hede whanne ich trye to haue a sytte-doun. But by Seynte Ysidore, yesternighte the sterres al oon shone doun on my composicoun of responses, and myn penne dide quicklie flye. So on to the lettres!

Dear Geoff:

I'm changing the taps on a plastic bathtub. I've got a cranked spanner to loosen off the tail nuts, but I'm worried that the corrosion on the threads is so bad they're not going to come off, or that I might damage the fabric of the tub trying. Because I'm working in a restricted space (the cavity between the tub and the wall - about four inches) sawing would take ages, and the fact that the tub is plastic would make trying to burn the corrosion off pretty risky, too. I've tried loosening off with a synthetic penetrating oil, but all it seems to be doing is making the tails greasy.

What do you recommend?


Frustrated DIYer

My deere Mayster Frustratede Dyere,

Ich do much wondre that a welthy mayster of the Dyeinge crafte swich as yowrself sholde haue a fyne and riche bathynge tvbbe with runnyge watir and yet haue nat the moneye for to payen men wyse yn tvbbe-crafte whane ye nede repairynge of the aforeseyde tvbbe.

For no man in hymself ys sufficiente for al nedes, and therefor as Aristotelis saith in his booke of Politique, diverse men aren ygrouped togedir yn citees and reaumes for to svpplie eche othir wyth hire diverse skilles. Oon man cardeth the woole, oon man spinneth the woole, and an oothir dyeth the woole a fayre colour. Oon man ys skillede yn the husbandrie of beestes, an othir yn the preparacioun of java-basid onlyne gamblynge interfaces, and yet an othir in the produccioun of artificiale guacamole flavour for potato crispes.

Thus, Mayster Dyere, kepe ye to yowr owen crafe of dyemakynge and dyeinge of textiles, and employe sum maysters of tvbberye to fixe yowr bathtube. Also ye maye wisshe to haue installyd sum of those jacuzzi air-jettes; they are helle of swete aftir a longe daye of travel.

Le Vostre

Yeow G
Think thee not to Gower me
For if this
Shoulde come to pass
Then ich will
Full in mine puissaaunce
Leyne Beastee
On thy sorrye ass.

This was twyce ypostede on myn oolde friendster blogge. Ich vndirstonde nat what it signifieth, save that some oon was obviouslye havynge a bad daye.

Dear Mr. Chaucer,

Okay, so there's, like, this guy at school and he is TOTALLY hot and I think he likes me - like, he hasn't SAID anything? But Jamie heard from Marissa that Brooke had overhead him saying that he was completely into me!! And I like totally trust them? Except that this guy used to date M'lyssa and exes are like SO out of bounds, it's so not cool! But then she was all "oh, we're thinking about getting back together too" and the rest of us were just like, "umm, get over yourself?" and she was like "no", and we were like "yeah" and now she's not talking to any of us which is SOOO unreasonable, she is such a drama queen oh my god and she has the fugliest hair, she had it like slicked back yesterday and I was just like "what the hell?"
So anyways, do you think I should go for him???

Hopeless Romantic

Ma chere Romantique sans Espoir,

Thou knowst wel the oolde clerkes sawe, ‘who shal yeve a loevere any lawe’? And also that fayre couplete of Boethius his Consolation of Philosophie that saith ‘quis legem det amantibus, maior enim lex est amor sibi,’ the whiche on englysshe tonge meneth ‘Who shal yiven loveres a lawe? ffor love ys for ytselfe a gretere lawe.’

Thus, thyn affecioun for thys manne of hotnesse doth surpasse eny bonde or promise thou hast ymade with Marisse. But onlye, I counsel thee, yf yt doth drawe yts source from cupides owen trewe arwe, and yf yt ys sovereine and powirful love (and nat simplye a passynge fancie). So yf yt be trewe and honest love, proceede, wyth litle thoghte for litel boondes yn fikel frendshep yforged. And yet, be nat cruelle aboute Marisses hairestyle, for as Cicero saith: odium ludo non ludatori, the whiche meneth hate nat the playere but the game.

Le Vostre

Ma Cher Geoffery,

Myn clas was asked to post in yowr blog. Perchance yow can shaer yowr opynun of alle malle scoles and bathe owr clas in swich licour of which discussion is the flour. Euryone hath sumthing to saye on thys topic and we alwas wish to here them.

- In Aprill Shoures

Makstow a jape, yonge Aprille Shoures?

For both the litel scoles of grammar that aren connectede to chirches and houses of religion, and the grete scoles (by whiche ich do mene thilke groves of lernynge at Oxenford, Paris, and Boloigne), are, alle and some, deuotede to the educacioun of men and boyes. Spekestow of mervailles and fancies of straunge londes? For nevir have ich herde of a woman at the scole of Oxenforde. Nevir have ich herde of a woman who ys a doctour of theologie, or a mayster of artes or lernede yn physik.

Indede, it ys a matir of sum consternacioun for me. Thogh mony gentil and noble wommene can lerne lettres at home and to reden scripture and othir werkes, in no wyse can they goon to studye the artes liberales or theologie. And thys vnjustice persisteth, thogh ther haue been and aren and shal be women nexte to which Thomas Aquinas shal seeme merely a coleric fat man wyth a good memorye, and Williame Ockham a faste-talkynge drunke wyth the occasionale interestynge insighte. For certes, Heloyse was a gode woman, and a lernede, as was Hildegarde the visionaire of Bingen, and eek yn my tyme Christine of Pise. And also Marie de France, and Hrotswit of Gandersheim who dide showe mony a filme at Sundance, to make mencioun of a mere fewe. Alle of them glories nat merely to their sexe but to al mortal soules heere on this erthe, and alle of them yshutte from prechynge and scolershipe merely by cause Seynte Paule had a verye difficult relaciounship wyth his mothir.

Nowe, as to whedir men and women sholde be yscoled togedir, that ys anothir matir and oon that ich shal answeren oones women can actuallie goon to scoles. Ich do ymagine, thogh, that yt mighte be verye distractynge in the fayre moneth of Maye.

Le Vostre

15 comment "Aske Chaucere: Parte the Secounde"

  1. Nevir herde of a woman lernede yn physik? Have yow forgot Dame Trot, othirwyse yclept Trotula of Salerno, magistra mulier sapiens, yt gave to the world De Mulierium Passionibus?

  2. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  3. Thys plase is a hoot and havyn for bad speling.

  4. "Have yow forgot Dame Trot, othirwyse yclept Trotula of Salerno, magistra mulier sapiens, yt gave to the world De Mulierium Passionibus?"

    Thou spekst trewthe, gentil redere. Yt ys a thynge of much comforte and solaas that ich quite likeli haue forgotten of manye othir goode ensaumples of women who hath scaped censure to produce good knowlech. Thogh, ich do knowe that thise moderne writeres do doubt that dame Trotula was an professir of physik, so pirhaps it beth nat as consolynge a facte as we thinke.

    Si emendabis, emendabor,

    Le Vostre

  5. Certes, maistre Chaucer, thou givest naught butte the wysest of redes. May it hap that thou shalt unto a certayne poet, yclept, Gowere, give gode counsel?

  6. What time ich thinke vpon wyse women, mine herte ys much consouled by the Seeings of Dame Julian of Norrowiche. Hadestow rede of this?

  7. Ich haue promised to cooke a feeste for the yonge people of mine londe. Houeer, ich am sore troubled in myne herte lest the chilren mislike mine dishes. What maner of foodes were plesing to litel lowis when he was a yonge boy?

  8. maistre chaucer methinks we haue grete nede of agonye oncle swyche as yowe wythe alle thy richesse of yeres and diverse opynioun. Myn husbounde hath of late ben castyng shepes eyen at a certayne younge ladye and ich am afflycted wyth a grete jalousie swych as doe not become a gentille ladye paste her pryme. Wat woldstow suggeste?

  9. Thanks for the advice, Geoff. I went through Yellow Pages but all the guys in there are out doing site contracts, which seem to attract a much better rate of pay than work on small domestic plumbing systems like mine.

    So in the end I found a couple of good tips in Foxe's Book of Martyrs. Basically, Foxe recommends using a soft mallet to knock the tap tails and disrupt the built-up corrosion to the point where you can get some WD40 in there to finish the job. Interestingly, he also recommends taking time out to search underneath the bathtub for priestholes which might be harbouring papists, but - rather to my disappointment - my house doesn't seem to have one.

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  11. "Ich do ymagine, thogh, that yt mighte be verye distractynge in the fayre moneth of Maye."

    Thou nouest naught the halve ove yt.

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