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beggers-msg - 4/17/97


Beggers in the SCA and period.


NOTE: See also the files: occupations-msg, personas-msg, prostitution-msg, peasants-msg, children-msg, P-history-msg, disabilities-msg.





This file is a collection of various messages having a common theme that I have collected from my reading of the various computer networks. Some messages date back to 1989, some may be as recent as yesterday.


This file is part of a collection of files called Stefan's Florilegium. These files are available on the Internet at: http://www.florilegium.org


I have done a limited amount of editing. Messages having to do with separate topics were sometimes split into different files and sometimes extraneous information was removed. For instance, the message IDs were removed to save space and remove clutter.


The comments made in these messages are not necessarily my viewpoints. I make no claims as to the accuracy of the information given by the individual authors.


Please respect the time and efforts of those who have written these messages. The copyright status of these messages is unclear at this time. If information is published from these messages, please give credit to the originator(s).


Thank you,

    Mark S. Harris                  AKA:  THLord Stefan li Rous

                                          Stefan at florilegium.org



Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: Carolingian peasants

From: schuldy at zariski.harvard.edu (Mark Schuldenfrei)

Date: 17 Jan 94 09:41:23 EST


gunwaldt at astro.dasd.honeywell.com writes:

  Query:  Are the Carolingia peasants an enthusiastic group of rock grubbers?

  Do they help create a better ambiance? Or is this just a local joke?


At one time, it was very much a "peasants guild", with sincere attempts to

create an alternative to the chronic number of nobility. Currently, it is

more at the level of a tradition that we maintain, or perhaps a local joke.

This is not to say that at some point it won't become a going concern again.


There is one local gentle, Rufus the Beggar, who doesn't "play" a peasant:

he is one.  Torn clothes, dirty face, bashful demeanor. He does it so well

that he makes people slightly uncomfortable, sometimes. For example, when

he eats at feast, he pays the on-board price, but wanders from table to

table asking for a crust of bread, or something to eat. Very occasionally, I

would either give him "charity", or sometimes "cuff the churl", depending on

his mood, or mine, or whether I'm sure he's had enough to eat yet.


Rufus is an interesting case: he is certainly more authentic than many of

us, but at the same time he is so good at it, that people who don't know he

is playing, get a little concerned. I keep trying to spread the good words





Mark Schuldenfrei (schuldy at math.harvard.edu)



From: jacquetta at aol.com (Jacquetta)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: beggars at pensic

Date: 30 Aug 1994 18:35:09 -0400


jeffs at math.bu.EDU (Jeff Suzuki) writes:

>>My pet peeve for this Pensic was the begging kids. I don't care if

it's period.  It is reprehensible.  It also teaches the kids a very

bad lesson.  At one point I was nearly driven to resort to a period

tactic to get rid of them...>>


They got to me last year, so I tried some period schtickt on them.  I

bought a cheap bag full of those plastic gold rings used as wedding and

shower favors and loaded up my fingers.  Whenever one whined at me, I made

great show of "giving up my most treasured possession for good of my soul,

as my confessor instructed me"  then I would drop in the cheap ring and

walk off to their wails and complaints.  By the 2nd visit, they began to

avoid me the rest of Pennsic.  Works like a charm! :-)




From: sward02 at bigcat.missouri.EDU (Shannon R. Ward)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: beggars

Date: 30 Aug 1994 11:22:55 -0400


Regarding beggars at Pennsic:


I agree with the individual who found this annoying. There is a big

difference between theatrical begging and the lazy little panhandlers on

the side of the sidewalk.  Does anyone remember the Lepper from Pennsic 2

or so years ago?  He was great, he had his routine down pat, he was

earning his money!  Someone tried to tell me "But beggar children are

period."  Well, in period they probably would have been illiterate and

not hold up little signs requesting money.


If they were doing something, juggling, cartwheels, stupid tricks, I

would have been far more likely to give them some change. Can you

imagine a group of children blasting out "We three soldiers we, with nary

a penny of money" at the top of their lungs.  I would have emptied my purse!


I think this is a bad trend, especially for children.


Tatiana Dieugarde

Shire of Standing Stones

Kingdom of Calontir



From: habura at vccnw01.its.rpi.edu (Andrea Marie Habura)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: beggars

Date: 31 Aug 1994 12:37:08 GMT

Organization: Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy NY


I noticed those kids too. Found 'em whiny and unamusing, and walked right

by them. Had I been thinking along more evil lines, I would have told them

about a Barbara Hanawalt article I was reading in _Speculum_ the week

before, which examined crime against children. Seems that one 14th c.

case involved three children who were kidnapped by beggars to increase

their earning potential. All three were maimed to make them more pathetic.

One was blinded, another lost his hands; don't recall the third. Charming,



I'm hoping the kids learn by example. I noticed they weren't getting much

return on their time, while the performers seemed to be doing well.

I hope they'll learn to do something amusing next year.


Alison MacDermot

*Ex Ungue Leonem*



From: gray at ibis.cs.umass.edu (Lyle Gray)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: Begging in SCA

Date: 27 Sep 1994 14:51:29 GMT

Organization: Dept. of Computer Science, Univ. of Mass., Amherst, MA


At Pennsic XIII, I remember leaving the Great Court to go check on my tent (it

was raining heavily, nothing unusual).  There was drumming up on Tuchux hill,

the tents were partly obscured so you couldn't tell which were modern and

which weren't.  As I headed down the hill, I noticed that there was someone

sitting at the side of the road.  As I came up to him, there was a flash of

lightning, and I could see that he was holding up a wooden bowl, which

was now full of rainwater.  As he did so, he said, in a feeble voice, "Alms

for the poor?"


It completed the illusion for me, I'll tell you!  It was quite satisfying to

listen to the coins splash into his bowl...


-- Lyle FitzWilliam

------------------------------------------------------ NON ANIMAM CONTINE

Lyle H. Gray                       Internet (personal): gray at cs.umass.edu

Quodata Corporation            Phone: (203) 728-6777, FAX: (203) 247-0249



From: Uduido at aol.com

Date: Tue, 15 Apr 1997 11:26:53 -0400 (EDT)

Subject: SC - Recipes and Feast etiquette


<< It would be

completely dishonorable to eat a feast that one had not paid for. >>


Although I agree with the general statement here, I would like to point out

that there are cases where this is untrue. One of them being the fact that at

feasts where I am feastocrating, it is common knowledge that my back door is

always welcome to beggers. I have had no abuse from this policy and those few

that availed themselves of the privelege were definantly in need at that

time. Since I routinely put 40 to 60 dollars of my own moneys into the feasts

I am in charge of, grow many of the herbs needed and donate most of the

period type spices, I feel I am justified in continuing this practice. If a

person iis truly in need there is no dishonor in begging in my kitchen, I

assure you!


Yours in service to the Dream,

Lord Ras


<the end>

Formatting copyright © Mark S. Harris (THLord Stefan li Rous).
All other copyrights are property of the original article and message authors.

Comments to the Editor: stefan at florilegium.org