Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Don't be mean

Came across this in the Memoirs of de Joinville, 13th century France.

"Artauld of Nogent was the burgher whom the King most trusted, and he was so rich, that he built the castle of Nogent l'Artauld with his own money. Now it chanced that Count Henry came down out of his hall at Troyes to go and hear mass at Saint Stephen on the day of Pentecost; and at the foot of the steps there knelt a poor knight, who thus accosted him: " Sir, I beseech you for the love of God, to give me out of your wealth the wherewithal to marry my two daughters whom you see here."

Artauld, who was walking behind him, said to the poor knight, " Sir Knight, it is not courteous in you to beg from my lord; for he has given away so much, that he has nothing left to give."

The generous Count turned round to Artauld, and said to him: "Sir Villein, you speak untruly when you say, that I have nothing left to give, why, I have you yourself! Here, take him, Sir Knight! for I give him to you, and will warrant him to you."

The knight was in no wise abashed, but took him by the cape, and told him: That he would not let him go until he had come to terms with him; and before he could get away, Artauld had made fine with him for five hundred pounds."

Love it!