This "fleet" business

Anna Clare McDuff amcduff at math.sunysb.edu
Thu May 1 19:19:55 EDT 2003


On Thu, 1 May 2003, Anna Clare McDuff wrote:

> 	House room makes sense to me because if you were listing nice
> comforting In Period things one might desire when walking abroad on a
> truly dark & stormy night, fire (for warmth), house-room (for shelter) and
> candlelight (to see by) would probably top the list. They didn't have
> bubblebaths or even plentiful hot cups of tea back then :-).

	I should have added, but didn't 'cause I am tired and a bit
addlepated tonight:

	I assume the last verse is a promise of what you will get if you
are good & donate your clothes to Oxfam & share your last rolo... to
offset all those threats earlier on. End on an upnote as it were. If fleet
*isn't* referring to houseroom then I suppose we could interpret that
initial fire in a more sinister manner and read it as referring to lots of
moving flaming awesome things perhaps.  But then I'm at a loss as to why
fleet would be followed by something so domestic & cheery & liable to be
blown out in a storm as candle light. Whereas if fleet is houseroom then
it makes sense for the other two to be domestic also... I seem to remember
reading somewhere that fires were usually smaller then, smouldering things
for warmth not illumination, rather than the blazes we decadent moderns
have which might explain why both fire & candlelight are mentioned.

	Help! Have we a mediaevalist in the house?

	Night night everyone!

	May the whinnies never prick you to the bare bane,

 	Anna


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