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Folklore: For to Make Aqua Vite

Paul Burke 31 Oct 08 - 11:22 AM
Paul Burke 31 Oct 08 - 11:37 AM
Geoff the Duck 31 Oct 08 - 08:45 PM
The Fooles Troupe 31 Oct 08 - 09:01 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 31 Oct 08 - 09:20 PM
The Fooles Troupe 31 Oct 08 - 09:34 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 31 Oct 08 - 09:39 PM
GUEST,leeneia 31 Oct 08 - 09:40 PM
Paul Burke 01 Nov 08 - 07:02 AM
Paul Burke 11 Nov 08 - 07:45 AM
Bob the Postman 11 Nov 08 - 10:41 AM
GUEST,leeneia 11 Nov 08 - 10:07 PM
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Subject: Folklore: For to Make Aqua Vite
From: Paul Burke
Date: 31 Oct 08 - 11:22 AM

I found this old recipe from Derbyshire on the Stavanger University Middle Englsih Grammar Corpus site. It reads like 14th-early 16th century to me.

FOR TO MAKE AQUA VITE

Take ye rote of saxifrage, percil, fennel, ysop, time, pilliol riall, rosmarin, of ilkone half a quatron & wasche yaim clene and bray yaim a littul, and of galingay, peper, clauus, ginger, notmuke, maces, spiknard, safron, of ilkon ilike mikul a quatron of a nouns & bet yis spices to a poudur & blend hom yen w/t yin erbes & do yaim in a galon of god red wyne &stepe yaim al a nyzt for yai w\l wel suffice to a galn of wyne & blend yaim wel to-gedur & distil yaim on ye to-moron in a stillator of glas & kepe it in a glasin vessell for yat is kyndly.

This wat~ has mony vertuus hit helpus a mon fro al man~ of maladise. Hit cunfords a mon & haldes him in kyndle hete for cold stomak. Hit distriet scab & scall for al old sors.

A quarter of an ounce of saffron! Not to mention the ginger, nutmeg and pepper that would have been worth a dukes ransome, whether Yorkist or Lancastrian.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: For to Make Aqua Vite
From: Paul Burke
Date: 31 Oct 08 - 11:37 AM

Here's another- let's see if their HTML version reads better:

to make blac har~

take sage & meng wt askus quen žu makus ley
or make poudur of sauge & meng it wt may buttur or hen~ grese
& anoynt že žer-wt oft


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Subject: RE: Folklore: For to Make Aqua Vite
From: Geoff the Duck
Date: 31 Oct 08 - 08:45 PM

I've got some of the ingredients.
How about a glossary of the herbs and quantities I haven't been able to translate, transmogrify or guess?
Quack
GtD.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: For to Make Aqua Vite
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 31 Oct 08 - 09:01 PM

Read it out aloud - funnily enough old english if read aloud, apart from a few words gone out of usage, is fairly understandable as a sort of english dialect... :-)


eg 'wasche yaim clene' -> wash 'em clean... :-)


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Subject: RE: Folklore: For to Make Aqua Vite
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 31 Oct 08 - 09:20 PM

And all that to make a bad wine even more undrinkable.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: For to Make Aqua Vite
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 31 Oct 08 - 09:34 PM

Q

'& distil yaim ' -> and distill 'im... brandy, mate....


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Subject: RE: Folklore: For to Make Aqua Vite
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 31 Oct 08 - 09:39 PM

Didn't get that far. And I'm sure it would dissolve the glass vessel.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: For to Make Aqua Vite
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 31 Oct 08 - 09:40 PM

No, no Q. It calls for 'a galon of god red wyne.'

Thanks, Paul. That's interesting.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: For to Make Aqua Vite
From: Paul Burke
Date: 01 Nov 08 - 07:02 AM

ysop = hyssop
time = thyme
pilliol riall = pennyroyal
galingay = galangal, a relative of ginger apparently used in tom yum (I had to google that one)
clauus = cloves
notmuke = nutmeg

Hit distriet scab & scall for al old sors. = it destroys scab (scabies?) and is good for all old sores (injuries?)

meng wt askus quen žu makus ley = mix it with ashes when you make lye

anoynt že žer-wt oft = anoint yourself with it often

I think lye (sodium hydroxide and other alkalis) would be a strange thing to put in an ointment, so I expect that soap was meant, which is made by boiling the lye with oil or fat.

Your right, Foolestroupe, reading aloud is certainly the best way to read Middle English- I've heard that it was the mark of a great scholar, that he could read without moving his lips.

I've only had a chance to skim through the documents on the site, and most of them are land dealings or other legal documents, but there was one from Cheshire which appeared to be an agreement between two families to end a many generations long feud. There's another that seems to be astrological or alchemical. If you get your mind in gear to make the sense of it, a good browse there should be very rewarding.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: For to Make Aqua Vite
From: Paul Burke
Date: 11 Nov 08 - 07:45 AM

For že jandes

Take a gose turd and strayne hyt throw a
clože & geue hym to drynk

Who so may not hold his pysse

Take gotus talowes & bren ht and make poudur
žer~of & lette the seke ete of the poudur in
his potage thries & he shall be hole.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: For to Make Aqua Vite
From: Bob the Postman
Date: 11 Nov 08 - 10:41 AM

This beverage would have been similar to Benedictine liqueur.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: For to Make Aqua Vite
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 11 Nov 08 - 10:07 PM

Oh golly I hope not!


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