beggers-msg - 4/17/97
Beggers in the SCA and period.
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.
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Mark S. Harris AKA: THLord Stefan li Rous
Stefan at florilegium.org
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)
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)
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.
Shire of Standing Stones
Kingdom of Calontir
From: habura at vccnw01.its.rpi.edu (Andrea Marie Habura)
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.
*Ex Ungue Leonem*
From: gray at ibis.cs.umass.edu (Lyle Gray)
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
Yours in service to the Dream,