четверг, 25 марта 2010 г.

Интересный обычай

The Tichborne Dole
The Tichborne Dole can surely claim to possess the most romantic story of any British folk custom. The Tichborne Dole is one of the eccentric British traditions and dates back to the 13 century. It takes place in the village of Tichborne in Hampshire every year on 25 March, the Feast of the Annunciation (Lady’s Day). Over 800 ago, there lived a kind and generous woman called Lady Maybela. It was a custom in those days that if the woman had a lot of money, it all belonged to her husband from the day of their marriage. So, although Lady Maybela had been very rich, she had to ask her husband, Sir Roger de Tichborne, for anything she wanted. Sir Roger was not the nicest of all people. Lady Maybela had to beg for everything she needed. Most of things she had she gave to the poor. When she was very ill and dying, she asked her husband if he would still be kind to the poor people after she was dead. She wanted him to give bread to the poor once a year. Sir Roger wasn't very happy about this. Sir Roger took a burning log from the fire. He told his wife that however much of his land she could get round before the flames from the log went out, he would set aside for the growing of wheat and this wheat would be made into flour for the poor. Lady Maybela tried to stand up but she was too weak, so she began to crawl on her hands and knees. As she disappeared in the distance, the servants held their breath and watched the flames on the log. Sir Roger was getting angrier as he saw how far his wife was crawling. All the time the flame burnt brightly. As Lady Maybela was nearing the house, the log was nearly all burnt out, and when at last she reached the place where she had started, the flame suddenly went out. She had crawled over an area of 23 acres! These same 23 acres are known as the 'Crawls'. Before Lady Maybela died she made Sir Roger promise to give all the flour grown on the 'Crawls' to the poor every 25th March, and just to make sure he kept his promise, she put a curse on the Tichborne family and house. The curse said that anyone in the family not giving flour to the poor on 25th March would find that their house would collapse, their money would be lost and seven sons would be born followed by seven daughters and the name Tichborne would die out. The flour was given every year until 1796, when Sir Henry Tichborne gave money to the church instead of flour to the poor. He had seven sons, his eldest son had seven daughters and half the family fell down, so a very worried son of Sir Henry, a Sir Edward Doughty-Tichborne, started up the custom again - and things have been all right ever since.
dole - подаяние
annunciation - возвещение, рел. благовещение
curse - проклятие, ругательство
For more information: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tichborne_Dole
view the article published on April 12, 1874 in The New York Times

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