It is wickedness to see a dirty old man 40 ripped off a child 11 of her right to think and make a life choice for herself. This is what we call child abuse. How can an old marry a kid and he calls her a wife. The world should come and rescue does children in their country. Wat dis pple are doin is evil manifestation dats y we need to stop dem by prayer.
This is the evil human mind using Islam to feed their own lust. It was done in the Abbasiad times as Hadith so no one will challenge. Its an Arab culture that was infested.
They even made people believe that Prophet Mohammad mar ried a 9 year old so it becomes authentic and perfectly legal. If you look closely at his life , everything he did was to set unpresidented standards so people will change their habbits and become civilized. I have three beautiful nieces and watching this really makes me feel sorry for these young little angles who have just lost a substantial portion of their adolescence. My heart weeps in pain just to imagine what psychological trauma they would have faced landing into a unknown home and being treated as slaves.
As the lady mentions that this malice is not restricted to a particular religion or sect but is omnipresent across different geographical regions in different forms. Some are married because their culture says so, some because their parents cant afford the cost of bringing them up or to save dowry or the worst where there is no legitimate father.
Things have to change and Sinclair has done an astounding job to bring it to the eyes of us common folks. I just pray that God almighty gives us men the wisdom to really care and respect women. This is child abuse. I am speechless that such horrid crimes are going on unpunished. This goes way beyond culture and religion, this is plain evil and deviant behavior. I am a mother and most recently a grandmother It was very hard to read this story but how can we change this I have thought about it I feel absolutely helpless It brings tears to my eyes I am greatly saddened about my tied hands.
Only in the past century, we humans recognized the respect a woman deserves. In the mid to late 18th century, all over USA and Europe, women were abused, bought and sold and used. Most of the women were not even married and some that did managed to Marry were young as her.
Just like anything else, that part of the world is behind is about plus years so I am sure they will also get civilized in time like we did here in USA and Europe. The good thing is that now you see hardly any cases comparing to an ongoing tradition. This is wickedness at its peak. Enslaving little children. Who is the father and mother of the child? They too are wicked for allowing their daughter go into such a marriage. Just because something is "cultural" and has been being done for many years does not make it correct.
The fact that different countries have different cultures does not make it correct. It is a matter of do the individuals involved agree with it. That is the line drawn in the sand. Making a child get married against her will is abuse and slavery no matter how you spin it. An individual's right is universal and transcends borders and old habits. Its poverty and illiteracy, the parents of these young girls are poor and can no longer feed them that is why they sell these young female child to these old man, moreover the govt of these poor countries are not strong enough to stop these child marriages.
My heart goes out to these young and unfortunate girls. Don't bring Islam into this. Islam doesn't condone such act, it's a result of an uneducated society. Sad to see this happen anywhere, but I was relieved to see it wasn't Kentucky or West Virginia. No matter what the tradition or religion, it is pedophilia.
If the men were not pedophiles they would be marrying women their own ages. I am saddened, ever since I've known my parents, they would hate such tragedy. This act of evil only exists in remote villages, where people lack education. Human rights should be inforced even those kind of places to ensure human safety and rights. Any men that is marrying a child is a coward man, in any religion, culture or country.
I would crash their skull even if he was my brother. Be my guest to go over to Afghanistan and do it then. Hold on to your own head because they have a tendency of coming off over there. Ignorance can be tolerated because it's easily changed with education. But we can support other's right to their own customs and cultures, we don't have to condone them. Lots of postive change going on in Arab countries. People are standing up to their governments and demanding change, even if it means dying for it. What is sad is that we have people in America go back to Afghanistan and marry girls half their age.
Thse people are eduacted and part of working society. Happens in America too. My grandfather sold my aunt for whiskey back in the late 50s. Ignorant people do ignorant things. It is terrible indeed.
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However let's don't pretend that although the west is much more socially advanced , This was a Common practice in many states of the union. And not only that men could marry girls 14 or even younger, but also they where their cousins, case in prove Edgar Alan Poe… That was a long time ago? It is true also that changing the way of thinking in many of this middle east countries will take a long time if ever.
Before they were simply tribes. We in the west cannot pretend that we are so enlighten either, if we look at our passed. That been said, a lot of the Taliban variety to mention a few, are pure animals. And many of them even favor young boys to women, common knowledge around those parts of the world. Myra Gale Brown was Jerry Lee Lewis's first cousin once removed and was only 13 years old at the time.
After marrying her, his music switched from Rock and Roll to Country. Go figure. Allowing girls to marry at such a young age is positively disgusting. The familes are to blame for allowing this to happen. They become slaves to these OLD men. Every country has it's good and bad, but muslims never drag christianity in between. Please refrain from mentioning Islam in these stupid, cowardly act of an individual that has no idea what ISLAM stands for! A tradition that needs to be broken! U are sick. So that we as a whole know this is happening and can take action.
The first key to solving a problem is knowing Even an ugly old afghanistan man like that? You must be desperate, I couldn't imagine an ugly old penis like that dripping on me. It happens here in our own country too. As our world evolves, we must treat our women and children with so much more respect.
I am a mother of a daughter. I cry when I look in these girls' eyes. Babies having babies. God bless them. My daughter is 19 and she and her friends detest nasty old men. Old to them is over Isn't this acceptable also in the Mormon religion? Education, as one man said is the answer, but we cannot be either the world's policeman or societal enforcer.
This practice is more common in Rural India amongst Hindus as the article mentioned. So it is more culture than religion. Now that would be a deserved honor ki lling!
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Give it a rest. This is normal for other cultures. Just because some crybaby in the USA doesn't like it doesn't make it wrong. Learn to respect other cultures. Johnny, the fact that it is "normal" does not mean that it is right. Cultural relativism can be ok, but you have to combine it with some sort of human rights.. The question, however, is whether such things are right or not.. No amount of relativism can justify certain things, and I hope you can understand that.
As long as Americans are risking their lives in Aghanistan, the American public have a right to question customs and let their government leaders know how they feel. In America, women are allowed to vote and they can decide the outcome of an election. International aid can just as easily be turned off as provided. Not wise to ignore a major voting power in countries like the U. U r sick! U sound like a pedophile needing justification for his wrongdoings No its not ok for u to stand across the street from the park and have perverted thoughts about the kids Go home Johnny!
Well in north america and western europe we have child rapist Catholic priests and there they have these guys. Sandusky was one coach but there are so many coaches that are committing perverted acts against children in our own nation!
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Agree that this is horrible. Of course, the big difference is Sandusky's in jail and the men featured in these photographs will never be punished. We don't have culturally sanctioned child rape in the U. Anon should check his facts! Elvis did not marry Prisiclla until she was 21 years old! This aricle made me sick. I know it is a different culture but come on I don't care if you are a leprechaun from Saturn I read an article several months back about a young child that was married off to a much older man.
He of course wanted what he felt he was due as a husband, and forced himself on her on their "wedding night". Her little body was not mature or big enough to accomodate him, and the poor little thing bled to death Then he had the audacity to ask her family for the bride price back the next day!!! They are animals. There have been many instances too, where yound girls die during child birth. Their bodies just cannot handle it. They are not made to. They see it as usual, but we're screaming that its barbaric. What's more sad is the girls you don't hear about.
That is what occurs in a inbred country with no morality. In the USA he is just a pedofile. Thanks CNN for ditrubting this garbage. Religion, tradition All religion or tradition does is condone the activity, it doesn't explain it. This is all about a man or woman who is so self conscious about getting a spouse his own age that he accepts the young son or daughter to be his spouse because they have no choice The grown up knows what they are doing and has a choice to not marry someone so young.
That doesn't explain WHY they want to get married to someone so young. And the answer has already been stated. Religion isn't to blame. In fact, most of the charity in the world comes from Christianity—hospitals, orphanages, homeless shelters, welfare programs for the poor because the nobility would not do it. Hitler who was not Christian nor religious since he preached and practiced hate and Communist countries China for one is a good example given how they force women to abort their babies at 8 or 9 months, imprison their citizens for decades without trial, etc are not religious.
Ah, thats the problem with regime change; some cultures need to be wiped out, not just the leadership they produce. Many thanks to Christiane Amanpour, a sterling journalist, for bringing much needed attention to the horrible practice of arranged child matrimony. In this fascinating piece, Ms. Amanpour interviews photographer Stephanie Sinclair, discussing many instances of this type of child abuse that have taken place internationally.
It was quite touching and powerful to learn that a young Yemeni girl named Nujood Ali courageously stood up in court and divorced her husband decades older at just ten years of age. The book, filled with many revealing photographs and stories, shines a spotlight on several disturbing marriage scenarios across diverse cultures. Amanpour, please continue the great work. Are you a responsible, educated, tax-paying American citizen saying such a ridiculous thing? It doesn't sound like it. You are a sad example of a human being.
It is sick, and these men do it in the name of their stupid religion. The RC's are just as bad. There are no words that describe these dirty rotten men. The paradigm in which Americans see the story above is totally different from what the Arabic people see it. Immediately, generalizations are made across the board when you read about an old man marrying a small child.
Never once do they compare it with their own cultures and beliefs. To Americans, they are the shining example of what people should be, how people should act. I'm sorry, but people who judge others critically based on one article without understanding the story behind it are pathetic. I have the utmost respect for Americans, but come on, guys. Stop judging people without doing proper research. The people of the World have different cultures and beliefs. Accept that. Spoken by a true Arabic man. Fortunately not all Arabic women agree and the culture is changing. Arabic women are becoming more educated and speaking out as long as they don't have to worry about their heads being cut off.
The more stories like this that come out, the less likely the American public and their elected leaders will be willing to provide international aid and support. In America, women's voices are heard and respected. Not an Arabic man, but thanks anyway, Dave. What I am saying is that instead of condemning the act, we should try to at least understand not accept their cultures and beliefs. It is not fair to look at this based on the article written above and a picture.
To call people disgusting, in bred, and pedophiles, is immature and downright premature. I agree with you completely. Most repliers put all the stories and countries in one pot and blame it on islam even many of the countries mentioned are christians or hindu or coptic christians. Also most people mix up traditions and culture with laws in industrial countries. I think it is worse when mothers in USA rent out their daughters for some crack. Or think about human traffic done by educated men in industrial countries?
Just something to think about. She looks as if she is saying "Why are we posing for this picture" or the Americans? Would they prefer you to have a boy bride? Okay, let's just talk about the logistics. In 20 years, the man will be in the seventy-something, and what, the woman twenty-something? Add another ten years. What's the woman going to do then when the man dies of old age? I would assume the men in the husband's family is just as old, so what is the woman to do? I saw the link and thought "not another horror story from Canada!
I am in total shock I need to sit down, the room is spinning I feel bad for these little girls, and those men who are using this cultural surrounding to take advantage of young girls should be punished. However, if a population of people are living peacefully with their culture and beliefs then they should not be interfered with because that will create problems amongst them. Theres no need to brain wash them if they are living peacefully amongst each other no matter what their practice may be. So it's totally okay that these guys are raping small children as long as they aren't killing each other.
Am I understanding your statement correctly? Why say this is a bad thing. This lady, Amanpour,like Anderson, must have some bones in their closet. Next Obama will be ordering Drone attacks surprises at their weddings. I don't know why people are quick to take an unjustifyable stand when it comes to issues that involves muslims, but seems reluctant in things that are more important to them.
I'm Catholic, and my priest married a little boy! I heard Jesus Christ married a 5 year old too and had him take his body into his mouth every Sunday afterwards. Praise the Lord! You'll have to answer for yourself on judgment day. You're not upsetting Christians with such remarks as we only to account for our own actions. To be honest, I feel sorry for you. I'd recommend reading the book of Romans in the New Testament.
Pretty immature comment. Makes you sound less of a man. This is all so simple. Just do as Napier did when the British prohibited sati in India and Hindu priests complained This burning of widows is your custom; prepare the funeral pile. But my nation has also a custom. When men burn women alive we hang them, and confiscate all their property. My carpenters shall therefore erect gibbets on which to hang all concerned when the widow is consumed. Let us all act according to national customs. I am outraged!!!! U disgust me!!!! Christianity still commits this type of practice in other parts of the world.
Here in this country, the FLDS regularly commits this type of atrocity! If it weren't for education and the belief that girls have their own minds and have the right to choose for themselves, we would still be practicing very similar behavior. It wasn't that long ago that a woman not married by the time she was 15 was considered an old maid and firmly on the shelf and would remain unmarried forever! You must have also missed the section about christian areas of Ethiopia still committing these acts! As a 50 year old man, I don't understand it and have no desire to marry a child But then, that is not my life or my country ,,,, It seems like it is a part of their coulture,,,,, not mine.
Those of you insisting that this is not a problem with Islam need to consider that the reason this practice continues in the Muslim world is because Islam's "prophet" set an example for them in marrying a six year old when he was The marriage was not consummated until she was nine, but because of his example, Muslims insist that they can continue this behavior to this day. I used to think Northern Nigeria had a serious problem of child marriage until I read here of girls being married off at age 5, 6?
I weep loudly! Well, others marry kids with age of Others still have the death penalty. Both very much back to stoneage. Americans can't put themselves on a pedestal either. The pervs who abuse kids do so in hiding because they can't marry the children. And there are a lot of sick s So it's OK to molest a child under the guise of culture and religion? That is why Afghanistan is still a hell hole and women are being oppressed and brutalized. It is a primitive and patriarchal society under the pretense of religion and culture. It's the old pervs who justify it by writing it into their tradition.
Can you imagine the old geezers drooling all over themselves while they wrote this about marrying a child? In the USA we have women who increase their welfare checks by bring excess children into the world,we even have girls working on an MRS degree, parents teach kids at an early age it pays to work the system, even the Christians push for more kids and less birth control. It might surprise many of you commenting here to learn that a mere years ago, it was common in Christian society for young girls to marry older gentlemen even here in the United States. Girls were considered a commodity, chattel, a possession, something to be traded and bartered for better standing.
In some cases, the gentry married off their young children before puberty in order to secure better social standing. While some child brides were immediately sent to live with their older husbands, others kept their young daughters until the onset of menstruation. Once the girl had her first menses, she was sent to live with her husband and to consummate her marriage, as she was biologically old enough to produce children.
Today, we are appalled at such behavior because we have been taught better, and have a better understanding of biology and the damage childbirth can have on a barely pubescent child. Furthermore, we as society have a different set of beliefs and morals than we once used to have based on education. Something these older, less privileged countries do not have due in part to lack of funding, but also a different belief system.
Education is the key and globalization has already started making inroads. This is not a "custom" or a "ritual. That's what these "faithful" guys are all about. They hang in there, insisting they are believers, and the prize is pedophilia. Uninhibited, and encouraged in this good old boys club. My heart aches for the children. The very people that they put their trust in for protection and survival, turned on them in the most inhumane way. It doesn't take a belief in any kind of a god to do this, just a selfishness that reaches to the core of the individual and sways him to choose wrong over right; and how wrong can you be?
You have a very sick mind to even write something like that! This whole article made me sick to my stomach. Thank God I was born in America!! Ron, I agree. Lets give them a long slow death to remember! The way these poor children will live a damaged life forever is beyond sad. Race, religion, geography, or anything else it might be blamed on does not matter to me It is disgusting, it is wrong, and just because it has been done for years does NOT make it right.
Well God knocked up Mary at the ripe age of 12, so I guess Christians can't really claim the moral high ground here. Were you there? The Bible doesn't state "12yrs old" as you are stating or any age for that matter. Eh-hem, This is the very best thing he can do in Islam, next to blowing himself up. Mohamhead took his bride Aisha at age 6 while she played with dolls.
As long as this long dead pedo is still calling the shots, Islam will remain in the dark ages. The US of A can't claim the moral high ground, either. One doesn't have to have moral high ground to point out the atrocities committed by others. If that were the case, we would live in a lawless society because no one really has that moral high ground you refer to. Besides, I doubt the mormons you refer to are criticizing these marriages. Since this report concerns cultural practices in foreign countries, why should Americans care?
If I've learned anything from the last 10 years of nation building, it is that we can't force or legislate change in a country that doesn't want to change. Change must come from within, and often misery, suffering and abuse must continue until those citizens take action on their own, regardless of personal consequences. I understand there are grand cultural differences between some societies and I respect that. But this is a terrible act against freewill. Freewill should be a basic human right across all cultures. The little girls will be groomed for these older men, never to have free will of their own.
Religion or tradition does not make this right. Things have to change and humans should behave more responsibly towards other human beings. A 40 years old man marring an 11 old girl is shocking and I believe that the man in question had a choice and he has chosen to marry the 11 year old girl and he should be punished, as there are no justifications for such choices no matter where you live or what religion you follow. There is nothing wrong here, unless abuse takes place. Even our beloved prophet married Ayesha when she was 6 years old and our prophet was 54 years old.
Nothing wrong with that. It is all part of life. Mohd are you for real. Get real. He did no such thing and shame on you for actually not using your own worthless brain. Its people like you that has created a bad wrap on Islam. Use common sense and start questoning. Discard all the bull and pay more attention to the real message. Would you let your daughter get married to that old man at the age of 6?
No — the girls don't want it the women don't want it — being forced into marriage is wrong. If you are not capable of understanding that your freedoms and rights stop where another person's starts then you are part of the problem. I think catholic priests who abuse children are evil too — so don't think I am downing your religion. I am upset because innocent children are being abused. Why does this happen? Is it because the parents can not afford the financial burden of having a child? This article fails to give a big picture look at what creates these conditions and it therefore fails to offer realistic solutions.
What it does achieve is the reinforcement of sterotypes and hatred toward foreign cultures which is the type of irresponsible reporting that aids in the provocation of incidents such as the Sikh massacre in Wisonsin this past weekend. This is neither cultural nor religious thing. These are social practices that arise out poor families who get tempted that their daughter may have a better life. They measure things by money only because they dont have money with them.
They are are not educated as well. In other cases like in India where both are children, both side parents wish that their families are get closer with the marriage. This is some what cultural. Traditionally kids always listened to their parents and did not dare to say no. So it is too much of insensitivity and lack of education that kids have their opinions.
To watch the images is painful and pierces my heart. To think this little girl is being raped right now is scary. It is not marriage but organised rape. Marriage is about two consenting adults but here we have a child who is so delicate. These crimes should be classified under crimes against humanity and when such wars are declared on girls bodies just like any other we must get UN Security council meeting to rescue such innocent souls.
I personally need to know who is the UN representative on children in this country and could she tell us what practical solutions she has. This situation is urgent as a child is being raped every second.
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People who find a problem with this practise early mariage are actually criticising Islam. They have simply found another way to bash Islam and muslims.
I am sure this article and reportage is funded by the Jews to give muslims a bad name I can tell you we muslims are proud to follow in the footsteps of our prophet Muhammad pbuh. We love him and revere him, even if you Westerners and Jews think he is a paedophile. In our eyes, he is a noble man, he only married Ayesha ra after he was commanded by Allah SWT to do so. And there are many reasons why he was asked to take a young bride. We can talk about that later. There is absolutely no need to feel ashamed about this and try to sanitise Islam in front of the western people.
We are proud of our deen because it is the perfect religion. There is no shortcoming in Islam. What ever our prophet p did is correct. The campaign' mission was to deliver gift packages to the elderly living in the Lower Ngau Tau Kok Estate. Away from business, Li has served as a council member of the Chinese University of Hong Kong , but his term as member and association with the University has since ended. He is a licensed pilot , in the United States and Canada,  and a licensed divemaster.
In March , Isabella announced to the media that the couple have ended their relationship. They have both announced that the split is amicable and that they will both take care of the children. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. This article is about the businessman. For the film director, see Li Han Hsiang. Company House. Retrieved 5 June Retrieved 16 August Pacific Century Group. Hardy -- Fay Bainter-smiles with motherly understanding: "Pshaw!
Can't you see the boy's in love? Some, of an older generation than mine, may even have shared some of Andy's emotions, for the pangs of unrequited love and the suffering that necessarily accompanies it have been part of Western courtship for centuries. Indeed, for many centuries -- from the time of the Greeks through the seventeenth century -- physicians regularly offered treatment for love-sickness, "the lovers maladye of heroes," which they regarded as both a physical and a mental affliction.
Nevertheless, in the seventeenth century appeared the definitive medical study, Eratomania , which filled large pages, and Robert Burton devoted over a quarter of his huge Anatomy of Melancholy to the problem of love sickness. My subject, however, is not medicine nor even Andy Hardy. It is courtly love in the life of the chivalric classes in the later Middle Ages.
I must begin by admitting that a good many scholars nowadays are convinced that my subject does not -- indeed, never did -- exist. Donaldson has announced that "courtly love" is only a critical myth, D. Robertson has even more vigorously dismissed it as a nineteenth-century invention, an impediment to the understanding of medieval literary texts. There is. Most of what used to pass for fact about courtly love was simply wrong.
I mean the idea that it was invented by the Arabs, Albigensians, or Primitive Germans, elegantly elaborated by the troubadours, diligently practiced in the court of Marie de Champagne, permanently codified by Andreas Capellanus, and defined for all time by C. The rejection of these ideas has been all to the good. Peter Dronke has shown that we need not turn to Araby or heresy for the sources of courtly love, which lay much closer to hand in the medieval Latin tradition.
I admit that the number of people who have laughed aloud while reading the De arte honesti amandi can be counted on one finger: he was a thirteenth-century Frenchman named Drouart la Vache. And clearly the assumption that there was a rigidly defined and widely accepted doctrine of. Insofar as "courtly love" is used as a label for a code of courtly adultery, the whole idea is indeed a critical myth that never had much real existence in life or literature. However, it does not follow that, if a doctrine of courtly adultery did not exist, courtly love did not exist. The fact is that courtly love did exist, perhaps not in the twelfth century, but certainly in the fourteenth, fifteenth, and even sixteenth centuries.
Indeed, as the recent book by Mark Girouard on chivalry and the English gentleman makes clear, it had a powerful influence not only on the realm of Romantic and Victorian fiction, but on Victorian life and manners as well. Even the most casual reader knows that late medieval literature simply swarms with characters like this. We need some term to describe what is going on, and we might as well use "courtly love. The speaker is not, so far as we can tell, an adulterer, for the text tells us nothing of his or his lady's marital status.
But if we omit adultery from C.
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Lewis's famous definition, I can think of no better description of the attitudes embodied in this stanza than "Humility, Courtesy, and the Religion of Love. What distinguishes this style of love from the styles of other times and places is not only the theme of suffering, and certainly not the requirement of adultery, which is always with us and was never, except in Andreas's imagination, a necessary part of courtly love.
The distinction lies rather in the conviction that this sort of love is admirable -- that love is not only virtuous in itself but is the very source and cause of all the other virtues, that indeed one cannot be virtuous unless he is a lover. That idea, as might be expected, comes from Ovid. One suspects that Marie's husband, Count Henry, was not amused. Its author praises Count Henry for his piety, his prowess, and his riches, and he hails him as the new Alexander. That is the sort of thing a great nobleman of the twelfth century liked to hear.
One can well imagine what the count would have thought if someone tried to compare him, not to Alexander, but to Lancelot -- a knight who was neither pious nor rich, who was indeed an adulterer, guilty of sin with the wife of his own liege lord. Henry was liege lord of a good many knights, and the idea that Lancelot's way of carrying on was virtuous, was the very source of chivalric virtue, must have seemed to him downright pernicious.
Yet by Chaucer's time what two hundred years before would have seemed amusing to the countess and scandalous to the count was accepted by many as sober fact. The idea that love was the source of chivalric virtue becomes a commonplace not only in courtly romances and lyrics but even in the "nonfiction" of the time -- in handbooks of conduct, such as the poem Edward III is said to have written for his son, the Black Prince:. The proof of this, or so it was believed, was to be found in the old romances. The late fourteenth-century biographer of the great Marshal Boucicaut puts it this way:.
Times had indeed changed since the twelfth century, and Chaucer's friend Otho de Graunson was doubtless delighted to be compared to Lancelot and Tristan. That is not to say that he was eager to be known as an adulterer. Lancelot's and Tristan's sins were not forgotten, but they were usually overlooked; that their ladies were married to others was their tragic misfortune, which enhanced the heroism of their devotion to love, since it added to the sufferings of these lovers. Moreover, as Malory explained, all this was far in the past, and "Love was not then as it is now.
The late Middle Ages was a time when many young aristocrats eagerly sought to emulate these models. This was the century that saw the first flowering of what Gervase Mathew calls the new "International Court Culture. The new Tristans could most easily be recognized by the way they talked.
The new courtly culture placed great emphasis on proper speech, 'What the author ofsir Gawain and the Green Knight called "the tecchles termes. Likewise, when the French poet and chronicler Froissart first visited the English court, he was delighted to hear such polished talk "of love and arms. To master the art of noble conversation was to a large extent to adopt the style of speech developed in courtly literature. None of Edward's or Richard's courtiers went so far as those sixteenth-century French gentlemen who tried to amadiser their speech by imitating the style of Amadis of Gaul.
The most obvious characteristic of this style of speech is its observance of verbal taboos. When the Pardoner in the Canterbury Tales is about to speak, the "gentles" object: "Nay, let hym tell us of no ribaudrye! The difference between churlish and gentle words was a matter of decorum as well as decency. Chaucer's Manciple anticipated Rudyard Kipling by some five centuries in enunciating the principle that the Colonel's Lady and Judy O'Grady are sisters beneath the skin.
But the Manciple, being a churl, put the matter more directly than his Victorian counterpart:. Words like "wenche" and "lemman" were not to courtly ears indecent; but they were completely inappropriate, misrepresenting entirely the relationship so precisely defined by "his lady, as in love. The eloquent expression of love is, of course, one of the main concerns of courtly speech. The form of speech, as Chaucer reminds us in Troilus when he distinguishes love in his day from love in ancient Troy, is an essential part of any style of love.
Courtly love, however, is especially dependent on the forms of speech, since not only is every lover a poet, but the main characteristics of the courtly lover -- his courtesy, humility, and religion of love -- are expressed in speech. To be adept at "luf talk" is therefore the first requirement of the courtly lover. He must not be too "adept; it is best if in the actual presence of his lady he is so filled with religious awe that he is rendered speechless or even, like Troilus nearing Criseyde's bed, falls into a swoon.
The rest of the time, however, he must be Skilled in courtly talk. Criseyde's first question to Pandarus when she agrees to meet Troilus is "kan he speke wel of love? Criseyde in effect is asking, "Is he a gentleman? The gentle do not speak "in cherles termes"; the Knight of the General Prologue "nevere yet no vileynye ne sayde Such a speech could not be produced by the mind of a vileyn, a churl, because a churl is incapable of love. This is one of the basic precepts of courtly love. Andreas Capellanus tells the young lover that if he should be attracted to a peasant girl he should waste no time on words, since such base creatures are incapable of understanding; he advises rape instead.
Chaucer's Manciple uses the word "love" only in relation to the lady "of grete estate"; so does Chaucer himself. Though "love" is one of his favorite words, as narrator he rarely applies it to what goes on in his fabliaux. This attitude appears even in medical literature, which had dealt with the problems of "love sickness" since the time of Galen and before. None of the Greek, Arabic, or twelfth- and thirteenth-century Latin commentators ever connected this illness with any one social class. But now, at the end of the Middle Ages, an authority such as Giovanni Savanarola not the later reformer, but his grandfather , in his Practica major specifies that the illness ereos which earlier commentators had rightly derived from the Greek Eros is so called because of its relation to the word hero.
The malady, Savanarola says, is almost exclusively restricted to the aristocracy: "whence is it often called ereos , because it most often affects heroic and noble men. This cluster of ideas gave a powerful impetus to the use of the "settled language of the chivalric class" at a time when that class was still in the process of self-definition and the old idea that deeds rather than birth define gentility was still strong.
If knights or ladies speak of love they must use the gentle language of courtly love; to do otherwise is to cease to be gentle, to become churls. This must be emphasized, since we so often think of courtly love as a special, self-conscious form of love, as if it differed from what one critic calls "ordinary love. Of course, there was wide variation. Yet this wide range of variation occurs within the limits defined by the language of courtly love. Certainly not in the way hende Nicholas declares his lust for Alison, grabbing her by the. How do two gentle lovers converse?
According to the Disce Morum, a book of religious instruction, they say:. Indeed, John of Trevisa, translating Bartholomeus Anglicus into English at the end of the fourteenth century, must use the language of courtly love even to describe the mating habits of birds:. For the gentle class of the time, or even for the gentlemanly scientific writer, there was no way to explain such feelings except in the language of courtly love. This is nicely demonstrated in a series of letters written in the year by William Gold, an English mercenary captain who led the troop of Saint George then in the employ of Venice.
In his first letter July 30 Gold describes her as a "certain Janet" who has absconded with five hundred florins; he asks Gonzaga to arrest and detain her until he can send for her. We do not know Gonzaga's replies, but other letters follow quickly. On August 2 Gold repeats his request and pleads that a diligent search be made for her in hostelries and that he be acquainted with the result, as nothing would give him greater pleasure.
August 6: I know nothing of her husband, Gold writes, and not only fails to mention the five hundred florins, but now says he will pay Gonzaga a thousand pounds if "though it be a trifle against the law. Finally, on August 9, Gold throws himself on Gonzaga's mercy, confessing that he is in love. The Lord of Mantua, he writes. This is the last of the series of letters preserved in the archives at Mantua, and we have no way of knowing whether poor Janet ever made it back to her husband in Avignon.
I hope so.
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