terça-feira, 21 de dezembro de 2010

I can read Latin, bunch o'fools

Chaucer, The Canterbury Tales (The Nun's Priest's Tale, lines 397-400):

For al so siker as In principio,
Mulier est hominis confusio -
Madame, the sentence of this Latyn is,
"Womman is mannes joye and al his blis."


Abuse of Women, Middle English popular Lyric, 14th-15th century:

Of all creatures women be best:
Cuius contrarium verum est.

In every place ye may well see,
That women be trewe as tirtyll on tree,
Not lyberall in langage, but ever in secree,
And gret joye amonge them ys for to be.
Cuius contrarium verum est.

The stedfastnes of women will never be don,
So jentyll, so curtes they be everychon,
Meke as a lambe, still as a stone,
Croked nor crabbed fynd ye none!
Cuius contrarium verum est.

Men be more cumbers a thowsandfold,
And I mervayll how they dare be so bold,
Agaynst women for to hold,
Seyng them so pascyent, softe and cold.
Cuius contrarium verum est.

For tell a women all your cownsayle,
And she can kepe it wonderly well;
She had lever go quyk to hell,
Than to her neyghbowr she wold it tell!
Cuius contrarium verum est.

For by women men be reconsiled,
For by women was never man begiled,
For they be of the condicion of curtes Gryzell
For they be so meke and mylde.
Cuius contrarium verum est.

Now say well by women or elles be still,
For they never displesed man by ther will;
To be angry or wroth they can no skill,
For I dare say they thynk non yll.
Cuius contrarium verum est.

Trow ye that women list to smater,
Or agaynst ther husbondes for to clater?
Nay, they had lever fast bred and water
Then for to dele is suche a mater.
Cuius contrarium verum est.

Thowgh all the paciens in the world were drownd,
And non were lefte here on the grownd,
Agayn in a woman it myght be fownd,
Suche vertu in them dothe abownd!
Cuius contrarium verum est.

To the tavern they will not goo,
Nor to the ale-hows never the moo,
For, God wot, ther hartes wold be woo,
To spende ther husbondes money soo.
Cuius contrarium verum est.

Yff here were a woman or a mayd,
That lyst for to go fresshely arayed,
Or with fyne kyrchers to go displayed,
Ye wold say, 'they be prowde!' It is yll said.
Cuius contrarium verum est.