Inter fercula imperāta (`among dishes ordered’) were holera cum alliō frīcta (garlic fried vegetables), sōlānā cum brassicā Pompēiānā (alu gobi, potato with cauliflower), cicera arōmatica (chana masala, chickpeas with spices), agnīna cum spīnāchiā (lamb sagwala, lamb with spinach), cicera arōmatica (`chickpeas with spices’, chana masala, known also in Hindi as kabuli chana ( काबुली चना)) melongēna contūsa (baingan bharta, mashed eggplant), piscēs arōmaticī (fish masala), spīnāchia cum caseō (sag panir, spinach with cheese), iūs lentium butyrātum (`buttered lentil soup’, daal makhani), pānis Persicus (nan, the Persian word for bread) and orȳza (rice), washed down as usual with vīnum rubrum. We have in the past hesitated over whether pulticula melongēnārum (`aubergine gruel’) might be a better translation for baigan bharta but as the vegetable is not actually liquefied using contūsa (perfect participle of the verb contundō, -er, -tudī, -tūsum (`bruise, crush’, `grind’)) is more appropriate. One could also argue that as the restaurant is run by Nepalis they really ought to use the Nepali word bhanta (भन्टा) for aubergine rather than Hindi baingan (बैंगन ). The latter is, however, the standard word in an Indian restaurant and the Basmati advertises itself as an Indian rather than a Nepali establishment.
The complex history of the various names of this vegetable was explored in the record of our November 2016 meeting but bears repletion here. The aubergine (茄子.botanical name: solānum melongēna), which is related to both the potato (sōlānum tuberōsum) and the tomato (lycopersicum), seems to have been domesticated independently in East and South Asia and to have been brought into Europe by the Arabs in the early Middle Ages. Its Sanskrit name vātiṅgaṇa (वातिङ्गण), itself borrowed from a Dravidian original, is the origin of both Hindi and Nepali names. It became in Persian bādinjān, which was transformed in Byzantine Greek into μελιτζάνα melitzána under the influence of the Greek μελανο- 'black'. This in turn was adopted into Latin as melongēna. The Arabs also borrowed the Persian word and this, prefixed by the article `al’, gave Catalan alberginia, whence the French and British English names. The Italians changed the Latin into melanzana, and re-interpreted this as mela insana, whence an obsolete English name for the vegetable – mad-apple. The Americans boringly broke the chain by calling it just `egg plant’. Finally, the Indian English name brinjal is a back-formation from the Portuguese berinjela! For more details see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eggplant#Names_and_etymology
We talked again briefly about the relationship between Hindustani, which Malcolm’s father spoke, and Hindi and Urdu, national languages in India and Pakistan respectively. Hindustani is the rather out-dated name for the common colloquial core of both the other languages, which differ in the source of their more literary vocabulary and in their script: Hindi draws upon Sanskrit, the classical language of ancient India and is written, like Nepali, in the Devanagari script, whilst Urdu borrows from Arabic and Persian and uses the Persi-Arabic script. A basic sentence like `What is your name?’ is identical in Urdu and Hindi (viz aapkaa naam kyaa hai?) but would be written right-to-left in Urdu as پ کا نام کیا ہے? and left-to-right in Hindi as आपका नाम क्या है? The Nepali is quite close to the Hindi: तपईंको नाम के हो? (tapaainko naam ke ho?).
The name Hindustan, now used informally for the modern state of India whose official name is actually the Sanskrit word bharat (भारत), originally applied only to the Ganges plain, and Hindustani started life as the dialect spoken in the Delhi region near the western end of the region. It came to be used as a lingua franca over a much wider area and the Muslim rulers who controlled much of India before the British took over naturally began writing it in the script they used both for the Arabic of the Koran and for the Persian which they continued to use as a language of administration. Erecting their own power on the foundations which the Moghul emperors and regional overlords had established, the British themselves adopted it in turn and colonial administrators were required to study it. Spoken Hindustani retains its lingua france role over much of South Asia, making it a natural choice for informal discussion between Indian and Pakistani diplomats at SAARC conferences and boosting the marketability of `Hindi films.’ However, despite Mahatma Gandhi’s regarding Hindustani as a bridge between Muslim and Hindu,t many South Asians came to feel the name itself had colonial overtones and so the names Urdu and Hindi, with their sectarian overtones, are generally preferred.
Malcolm, who worked for a short time in Vietnam and found people very friendly, is still intending to write a history of the Vietnam war. He praised the recent PBS series on the conflict and also told the story of a recent joint visit to Arlington National Cemetery by the sons of an American pilot and of the Vietnamese pilot who shot him down.
Malcolm, who has himself been in Hong Kong since 1976, went on to mention David Willis, a reporter who, unlike most Brits, acquired very good Cantonese. John’s own considerably less successful struggle with the language is described in `The Other Side of the Hill: Learning Cantonese as a Second Language in Hong Kong’, which can be downloaded from https://chineselanguages.weebly.com/ Malcolm spoke also of another friend, Clinton Leeks, who, as secretary to David Wilson, had been present in early meetings of the Sino-British Joint Liaison Group. This forum had apparently for the first two years seen little progress as the Chinese side simply kept demanding that the British should first `show sincerity’.
Maclehose Trail Stage 4 (Ma On Shan)
Both Malcolm and John had taken part in the Trailwalker sponsored hike along the MacLehose Trail, an annual event which originated as a British Army training exercise. Malcolm had been a member of the Hong Kong and Shanghai Bank’s top team, managing the 100 kilometres in 16 hours whilst John’s best time had been a wimpish 27 hours in 1994 – and even that had been achieved only because his younger teammates threatened to kick start him when he wanted a longer rest at Smuggler’s Ridge. John is also out-classed by his brother, who is currently the UK number 1 in the over-65s category for the half Marathon, the kind of distance at which Malcolm, too, excelled, having managed 10 miles in 66 minutes. We touched also on the health benefits of exercise, which seem definitely to exist, though there are counter examples like Jim Fix, the running guru who died at 55, and Winston Churchill, who in his later years was not very active physically and continued to drink heavily and smoke cigars but claimed, with some plausibility, to be `200% fit’. It is also, of course, possible to overdo things and Malcolm believed that teenagers should not be encouraged to do runs longer than 10 kilometres.
We had planned to read a letter and note by Desiderius Erasmus (see below), in whom Maureen has a particular interest, and also a couple of extracts from Cicero but only had time for the former. Erasmus was both a priest and a humanist scholar, who attacked abuses in the Catholic Church but opposed Luther’s break with Rome. He was one of the earliest promoters of the study of classical Greek in Western Europe and brought out the first printed edition of the Greek New testament (1516). He also recognised the differences between classical Latin pronunciation and that of his own day but opposed the slavish imitation of Cicero which had become fashionable amongst many intellectuals. By the 1530s, Erasmus’s standing as a writer was so high that his works accounted for between 10 and 20% of everything published in Europe (see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Erasmus). Whilst his reputation rested primarily on his essays, he was also the author of an extensive conversational manual for use by students of Latin, which remained in use long after his death and can be found in part at https://archive.org/stream/ErasmiColloquiaFamiliariaEtEncomiumMoriae#page/n5/mode/2up
Malcolm commented on the difference in style between the Latin in Erasmus’s letters and the adaptations of Ovid in the textbook (Latin via Ovid) used for the SPACE and Dante adult courses and said that he found the Erasmus more similar to modern Italian. John thought this was mainly due to the difference of genre rather than the adoption of non-classical features. However, Eugene pointed out that the use of the accusative celsitūdinem in the description of Prince Henry as indolem quandam rēgiam prae sē ferēns, hoc est animī celsitūdinem broke the rule that the complement after esse should be in the nominative. John suggested that the words hoc est were perhaps felt here as a single unit rather than subject plus verb and that celsitūdinem was then used in agreement with rēgiam Another possible break with classical Latin was the omission of the accusative pronoun subject of the infinitive in reported speech: pollicitus sum meum stadium dēclārātūrum (rather than mē meum stadium dēclārātūrum).
Portrait of Erasmus (1466-1536) by Holbein
John wrongly thought the word podāgra (gout) was post-classical but discovered from the dictionary later that this Greek term had already been used by Cicero. The illness itself, a variety of arthritis, is anecdotally associated with excessive consumption of port, but in fact caused by a combination of genetics and rich food as well as alcohol. John was also confused over the length of the first vowel in epīstolium, wrongly thinking it should be short on the analogy of epistula.
Erasmus’s letter was a jocular one to a friend and literary collaborator, extolling the joys of a visit to England in 1499, whilst the other piece, written many years after the event, described his meeting with the children of Henry VII. John was struck by his indiscriminate switching between the names Anglia and Britannia, particularly because at this time Scotland was still a completely independent country. It was possible that Erasmus was influenced by the Tudors’ attempt to project themselves as rightful leaders of the whole island. Henry’s naming his eldest son Arthur was probably part of this as the legendary king formed a link back to Roman Britain and the Arthurian legends had been part of the case earlier English monarchs had made to the Pope when arguing for their supremacy over the whole of Britain. In more recent times, of course, the use of `England’ and `Britain’ as synonyms has weakened the United Kingdom by helping ensure the Scottish and Welsh continue to regard their separate identities as primary and the common British one as secondary. John remembered his sense of outrage back in 1976 when David Owen, whose appointment as Foreign Secretary had been announced whilst he was abroad, spoke to an interviewer about the situation `back home in England’ even though he was clearly thinking of the whole state he now had to represent.
John mentioned Sebastian Castellio, a brave advocate of religious toleration amidst the fanaticism of both Catholics and Reformers (see,https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sebastian_Castellio), but wrongly said that he, like Erasmus, was Dutch. Castellio was in fact French, though, like Erasmus, he travelled widely across Europe.
As Erasmus’s letter from England touched on the education of the royal children, we briefly considered the current British royal family. Someone asked whether the decision for Prince William to study at St. Andrew’s University in Scotland was made for political reasons. John also remembered how Prince Charles had spent some time in Aberystwyth – a perfectly reasonable thing for a Prince of Wales to do. He wondered why William did not do the same and thought possibly the Royal family might have believed this would strengthen feeling that William, rather than his father, should take over when the Queen dies.
We also noted how both William and Harry speak something closer to Estuary English than the clipped RP of their grandmother and wondered whether this was a deliberate move or just natural accommodation to the environment around them. The latter is probably the reason why the Queen’s own accent has been moderated over the 60 years since she began making public broadcasts. This is demonstrated in an interesting feature on the BBC’s website - http://www.bbc.com/future/story/20160202-has-the-queen-become-frightfully-common There is, in fact, an almost universal tendency for people’s language to shift towards predominant patterns around them. John remembered from his days in the classroom as an English teacher inadvertently coming out with `Let’s open the computer’ – a `mistake’ which he recognised as soon as he had made it but which he couldn’t stop himself from making in the first place. He had an American exchange student with him at the time and told her, `If you can’t beat them, join them!’
Erasmus’s letter also highlights changing cultural patterns as it shows the English in Tudor times were keener on `social kissing’ than other Europeans, despite their later reputation for being staid and undemonstrative. This leads on to the whole complex area of social expectations in different cultures. There had recently been a case in New Zealand of a university staff member dismissed for trying to shake the hand of a female Muslim student, whilst a little earlier in Switzerland a Muslim family had been refused naturalisation as citizens precisely because their children would not follow the normal Swiss custom of shaking hands with their teachers.
(Erasmus Faustō Andrelīnō Poētae Laureātō) Erasmus to-Fausto Andrelini poet laureate Nōs in Anglīā nōnnihil prōmōvimus. Erasmus ille, quem nōstī, iam bonus propemodum We in England something have-progressed Erasmus that whom you-know now good just-about vēnātor est, eques nōn pessimus, aulicus nōn imperītus, salūtat paulō blandius, arrīdet cōmius, hunter is horseman not worst courtier not unskilled greets a-little more-flatteringly smiles more-pleasingly et invītā Minervā haec omnia. Tū quoque, sī sapis, hūc advolābis. Quid ita tē iuvat hominem and unwilling with-Minerva these all-things you also if you-are-wise hither will-fly what so you pleases man tam nāsūtum inter merdās Gallicās cōnsenēscere? Sed retinet tē tua podagra; ut ea tē salvō so sharp amidst dung French to-grow-old but holds-back you your gout if-only that with-you safe pereat male. Quanquam sī Britanniae dōtēs satis pernōssēs, Faustē, nē tū ālātīs pedibus hūc would-perish badly although if Britain’s gifts enough you-had-known Faustus indeed you on-winged feet hither accurrerēs; et sī podagra tua nōn sineret, Daedalum tē fierī optārēs. Nam ut ē would-be-running and if gout your not allowed Daedalus yourself to-become you-would-be-wishing for so-that from plūrimīs ūnum quiddam attingam, sunt hīc nymphae dīvīnīs vultibus, blandae, facilēs, et very-many one a-certain I-may-touch-upon there-are here nymphs with-divine countenances charming easy-going and quās tū tuīs Camēnīs facile antepōnās. Est praetereā mōs nunquam satis laudātus. Sīve quō which you to-your Camenae easily would-prefer there-is besides custom never enough praised if to-anywhere venīs, omnium ōsculīs exciperis; sīve discēdis aliquō, ōsculīs dīmitteris; redīs, you-come of-all by-kisses you-are-welcomed or-if you-depart to-anywhere with-kisses you-are-sent-off you-return redduntur suāvia; venītur ad tē, propīnantur suāvia; discēditur abs tē, dīviduntur bāsia; are-returned sweet[kisses] is-visit to-you are-delivered sweet[kisses] people-depart from you are-distributed kisses
NOTES  An extract from a letter to Publio Fausto Andrelini, an Italian scholar, who had been granted laureate status by the academy in Rome where he studied and who afterwards taught in France He and Erasmus were good friends until they fell out some time after 1511 (see the short biography at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Publio_Fausto_Andrelini) The letter was probably written from Bedwell in Hertfordshire, at the country-house of Sir William Say, father-in-law of the prominent courtier, Lord William Mountjoy, who had studied under Erasmus in Paris. nōstī is a contraction of nōvistī (`you have leaned, you know’)  Ablative absolute (`against Minerva (Athena’s) will’). Erasmus is joking that the goddess of wisdom would disapprove of an intellectual like himself now focusing on worldly accomplishments. As well as  Allen believes merda would normally be too indelicate a word for Erasmus but that he is imitating his correspondent’s less inhibited style. Nāsūtus (lit. `long-nosed’) can also mean `witty’ or `sarcastic.’  The particle nē, normally used as a negative with the subjunctive, means `inddeed’ when used with a pronoun and the indicative.  The pluperfect subjunctive pernōssēs (contracted from pernōvissēs) and the imperfect subjunctives accurrerēs, sineret, optārēs are pluperfect and imperfect subjunctives, used in a counter-factual conditional with reference to past and present time respectively. Daedalus was the mythical craftsman who designed wings to allow him and his son Icarus to escape from Crete.  The Camenae were originally Roman goddesses associated with childbirth and water sources (see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Camenae) but came later to be identified with the Greek muses. Erasmus is suggesting that Faustus would prefer the company of the English ladies to his normal literary pursuits. venītur (as also the following discēditur, occurritur and bāsiātur) is a passive used impersonally, corresponding to the French on vient bāsium, though frequent in the poet Catullus, is a rare word for `kiss’ than ōsculum.
occurritur alicubi, bāsiātur affatim; dēnique quōcunque tē movēs, suāviōrum plēna sunt there-is--meeting anywhere there is-kissing in-good-measure finally wherever yourself you-move of-sweetness full are omnia. Quae sī tū, Faustē, gustāssēs semel quam sint molliculā, quam frāgrantiā, profectō all-things this if you Faustus had-tasted once how they-are sweet how fragrant cetainly cuperēs nōn decennium sōlum, ut Solōn fēcit, sed ad mortēm usque in Anglīā peregrīnārī. you-would-want for-decade only as Solon did but to death right-up in England to-stay-abroad Cētera cōram iocābimur; nam vidēbō tē, spērō, propediem. Other-things face-to-face we-will-joke-about for I-will-see you I-hope shortly
Valē, ex Angliā. Annō M.CCCC.LXXXXIX. Farewell from England in-year 1499
NOTES  Erasmus’s account is confirmed in other sources. Allen quotes a French noblewoman telling an English visitor in 1527, 'Forasmuch as ye be an Englishman, whose custom is in your country to kiss all ladies and gentlewomen without offence, and although it be not so here in this realm, yet will I be so bold to kiss you, and so shall all my maidens'. This `social kissing’ was apparently on the lips rather than on the cheeks as generally today (see http://queryblog.tudorhistory.org/2012/06/question-from-lucy-kate-greetings-and.html) The English practice became more restrained after Tudor times: in 1837 a man who took a woman to court after she bit off part of his nose in retaliation for a playful kiss was told by the judge: “When a man kisses a woman against her will, she is fully entitled to bite off his nose, if she so pleases.” (see https://www.telegraph.co.uk/men/the-filter/qi/5794943/QI-quite-interesting-facts-about-kissing.html), It is unclear how far Erasmus genuinely admired the English custom or was just joking with his friend. He certainly seems to have taken a more censorious line in his 1526 essay Christiani matrimonii Institutio: Mox a prandiō lascīvae saltātiōnēs usque ad cēnam, in quibus tenera puella nōn potest cuiquam recūsāre, sed patet domus cīivitātī. Cōgitur ibi misera virgō cum ēbriīs, cum scelerōsīs ... iungere dextram, apud Britannōs etiam ōscula [`Soon there is wanton dancing from lunch until dinner, in which a tender girl cannot refuse anyone, but it is open-house to the town. So a poor maiden is forced to join hands with drunkards, with scoundrels... and among the Britons there is also kissing’]  Solon (c. 638-558 B.C.), was an the Athenian lawgiver, who is supposed to have stayed abroad for ten years after making the citizens swear to abide by his legislation. gustāssēs is the contracted form of the pluperfect subjunctive gustāvissēs.
V. A Visit to Court
Ēdidimus ōlim carmen dē laudibus rēgis Henrīcī septimī et illīus līberōrum, necnōn ipsīus We-produced once poem about praises of-king Henry VII and his children and-also itself Britanniae. Is erat labor trīduī, et tamen labor, quod iam annōs aliquot nec lēgeram nec of-Britain this was labour of-three-days and still [real] labour because already for-years some neither I-had-read nor scrīpseram ūllum carmen. Id partim pudor ā nōbīs extorsit, partim dolor. Pertrāxerat mē -had-written any poem that partly shame from us wrung-out partly sorrow had-got me Thomās Mōrus, quī tum mē in praediō Montioīī agentem invīserat, ut animī causā in Thomas More who then me in estate of- Mountjoy spending-time had-visited so-that of-mind for-sake to proximum vīcum exspatiārēmur. Nam illīc ēdūcābantur omnēs līberī rēgiī, ūnō Arctūrō very-near village we-might-take-a-stroll for there were-being-educated all children royal with-alone Arthur exceptō, quī tum erat nātū maximus. Ubi ventum erat in aulam, convēnit tōta pompa, nōn excepted who then was by-birth biggest when came it-had-been into hall assembled all attendants not
NOTES  Henry VII, founder of the Tudor dynasty, defeated Richard III ar Bosworth Field in 1485 and reigned till his death in 1509. animī causā: i.e.for mental relaxation rather than physical exercise.  Arthur (1486-1502) died before he could inherit the throne. His younger brother Henry afterwards married his widow, Katherine of Aragon. ventum erat: another impersonal passive (``when when had arrived’). The children were at Eltham Park (see picture below), which was not far from Mountjoy’s estate at Greenwich, where Erasmus was staying in autumn 1499.
sōlum domūs illīus vērum etiam Montioiicae. Stābat in mediō Henrīcus annōs nātus only of-household that indeed also of-Mountjoy’s was-standing in middle Henry years born novem, iam tum indolem quandam rēgiam prae sē ferēns, hoc est animī celsitūdinem cum nine already then nature a-certain royal before himself carrying this is of-mind loftiness with singulārī quādam hūmānitāte coniūnctam. Ā dextrīs erat Margarēts, ūndecim fērmē annōs singular a-certain kindness joined on right was Margaret eleven almost years nāta, quae post nūpsit Iacobō Scōtōrum rēgī. Ā sinistrīs Marīa lūsitāns, annōs nāta born who later married James of-Scots king on left Mary playing years born quāttuor. Nam Edmondus adhūc īnfāns in ulnīs gestābātur. Mōrus cum Arnoldō sodālī four. For Edmond still infant in arms was-being-carried More with Arnold companion salūtātō puerō Henrīcō, quō rēge nunc flōret Britannia, nesciō quid scrīptōrum obtulit. Ego, greeted with-boy Henry with-whom as-king now is-flourishing Britain something-or-other of-writings offered I quoniam huiusmodī nihil exspectābam, nihil habēns quod exhibērem, pollicitus sum aliquō since of-this-kind nothing I-was-expecting nothing having which I-could-present promise did in-some pactō meum ergā ipsum studium aliquandō dēclārātūrum. Interim subīrāscēbar Mōrō way my towards him devotion at-some-time going-to-declare meanwhile I-was-a-little-angry with-More quod nōn praemonuisset, et eō magis quod puer epīstoliō inter prandendum ad mē missō because not he-had-forewarned and for-this more that boy in-letter whilst lunching to me sent meum calamum prōvocāret. Abiī domum, ac vel invītīs Mūsīs, cum quibus iam longum my pen challenged I-went-away home and greatly unwilling with-Muses with whom already long fuerat dīvortium, carmen intrā trīduum absolvī. Sīc et ultus sum dolōrem meum et pudōrem had-been separation song within three-days I-completed thus both avenge I-did sorrow my and shame sarsī. repaired
NOTES  Later Henry VIII (reigned 1509-1547). Henry was actually 8 years old, having been born in June 1491.  Margaret, born in November 1489, would actually have been 9 or 10 at this time.  Despite the marriage alliance, Margaret’s husband, James IV of Scotland, died fighting the English at the Battle of Flodden in 1513 and she was then for two years regent for her son, James V.  Mary (1496-1533) was actually 3 years old at this time. She became queen of France when she married Louis XII in 1514 but her husband died only three months later.  Arnold Edward was a friend of Thomas More and like him a lawyer living in Lincoln’s Inn in London. salūtātō puerō Henrīcō: ablative absolute (`with the boy Henry having been greeted’, i.e. `After they greeted ..Henry’.  The future participle is here short for the full future infinitive dēclārātūrum esse. Erasmus has also omitted the normal accusative subject. Textbook Latin would be pollicitus sum mē dēclārātūrum esse. praemonuisset (like prōvocāret in the next line) is presumably subjunctive as it represents the thought in Erasmus’s mind at the time  vel can be used with the superlative as an intensifier. Erasmus imagines the muses unhappy that he is attempting poetry after such a long absence.