Monday, December 24, 2007

Half a Widow

December 24, 1484.

To my right worshipful husband, John Paston,

ight worshipful husband, I recomment me unto you: please it you to weet that I sent your eldest son to my Lady Morley, to have knowledge of what sports were used in her house in Christmas next following after the decease of my lord her husband; and she said that there were none disguisings, nor harping, nor luting, nor singing, nor none loud disports; but playing at the tables, and chess, and cards; such disports she gave her folks leave to play and none other.

I pray you that ye will assure to you some man at Caister to keep your buttery, for the man that ye left with me will not take upon him to breve daily as ye commanded; he saith he hath not used to give a reckoning neither of bread nor ale till at the week's end, and he saith he wot well that he should not condeneth [give satisfaction], and therefore I suppose he shall not abide, and I trow ye shall be fain to purvey another man for and I trow ye shall be fain to purvey another man for Symond, for ye are never the nearer a wise man for him.

I am sorry that ye shall not at home be for Christmas.

I pray you that ye will come as soon as ye may; I shall think myself half a widow, because ye shall not be at home, &c. God have you in his keeping. Written on Christmas even.
By your servant and bedeswoman,
Margery Paston

The Paston Letters (1424-1505)

-from A Christmas Book: An Anthology for Moderns by D. B. Wyndham Lewis & G. C. Heseltine (London: J. M. Dent & Sons, 1928)

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