After writing about trebuchets, I wondered what would happen if a Medieval salesman were sent on a mission to sell them to the lords of the manor.
[With thanks to Medieval Letter-writing Class Notes .]
pray upon bended knees by the grace of God that this letter finds thee in good health, thy wife and daughters fulsome and graceful, thy lands and pastures bountiful and productive, thy sheep wooly, thy hogs fat, thy cattle grazing, thy geese honking, thy chickens clucking, thy oxen ploughing, thy vassals forging, thy tithes tithing and thy armaments bludgeoning.
has been a fortnight since I received the letter from your lordship sending me to Graster-upon-Swine and the lands of his lordship the Kirward of Derby1. Thou didst indeed fulfill in that letter what at the beginning of it thou hadst promised to thy lowly servant. I do so humbly thank thee for the faith invested in me by thy grace and wherefore set down my actions that I might shew thee the consummate effort of my undertakings.
lordship’s table, while ably set, is no match for thine own. His lordship seems indifferent to the offerings of land and livestock; thus we dine on swill, offset by large flagons of draught fit only for heathens resulting in many visits to the privy, whose vile contents, if harvested and contained, would command reign and wrest asunder the strongest bonds of the alchemist’s art.
presentation of your most superb and desirable armaments, I met swift and sudden resistance. Despite firmness and immovable resolution, my most earnest entreaties fell on deaf ears. I swear that his lordship is thicker than the fortified walls of his fine castle. Verily methinks his lordship’s stable lacks a few stalls; his chain-mail is missing a few links and the steps in his tower riseth not to the top.
to no little amazement thine own oblivion to my flagging efforts is only now revealed and you are spared, by the grace of the Holy Fathers, thou hast now been admonished that I waver and am already crushed from the prolonged and crippling assault on my senses without the slightest chance of victory, either by speech or protestation, to his lordship’s intransience.
l be at all seasons ready to perform in this matter and all others your pleasure as perforce in my poor power to do, with God’s grace, whom I beseech to send you the accomplishment of your most consonant desires, for I will no further labor but to you unto the time ye give me leave and till I be sure that ye shall take no displeasure with my further labor. Yet I beseech thee, my lord, relieve me of this onerous task and free me, thy humble servant, from this land of offal and offal-er.
1 From The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show