Tuesday, December 22, 2009

April Fool

I think I like Gerald of Wales for the same reason that I like Walter Map. He is gossipy and a bit irreverent. He is credited with having written a large number of books, one of which is The Journey Through Wales or Itinerarium Kambriae.
In this book, Gerald mentions a man named Maurice of London. Judging by the name, I think we can safely say that he is of Norman descent. He was given Cydweli Castle in Wales by Henry I and also owned a forest with deer that he was hell bent on keeping from the locals. Gerald does not say where his wife comes from. I wonder if she was Welsh. She played a little trick on him.
Knowing that he was crazy about his deer, she persuaded the household servants and shepherds to join her in playing this joke on him. She told him that he was allowing those deer to run so wild that they were now attacking and killing their sheep and their sheep were being wiped out. To prove her case, she had two stags brought out, in which she had their intestines stuffed with wool. He believed her and set his dogs on those crazy deer. I guess he was a simple minded guy.
Gerald also wrote about another woman: "It is not to be wondered at if a woman bears malice, for this comes to her naturally." Some men just do not understand. :-)


Tracy said...

"It is not to be wondered at if a woman bears malice, for this comes to her naturally."
Ouch! And pot, kettle, black in some instances! Both sexes are perfectly capable of being malicious :(

The Red Witch said...

That is for sure! Gerald, as amusing as he was, spent most of his time in the company of men who follow the established doctrine that women are weak and sinful creatures.
I was reading what Milton wrote about Eve. More ouches! It would be nice to go back in time and give some of these guys a slap upside the head.