4.0057 Sneaking into Bedrooms (89)

Elaine Brennan & Allen Renear (EDITORS@BROWNVM.BITNET)
Wed, 16 May 90 17:06:57 EDT

Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 4, No. 0057. Wednesday, 16 May 1990.


(1) Date: 15 May 1990, 18:49:54 EDT (10 lines)
From: FLANNAGA at OUACCVMB
Subject: sneaking someone into the wife's or husband's bedroom

(2) Date: Tue, 15 May 90 17:58:14 MDT (17 lines)
From: John Morris <JMORRIS@UALTAVM>
Subject: Sneaking in a surrogate wife

(3) Date: Tue, 15 May 90 21:55 CDT (14 lines)
From: TBESTUL@crcvms.unl.edu
Subject: RE: 4.0055 General Notes and Queries

(4) Date: Wed,16 May 90 10:21:04 BST (9 lines)
From: DJT18@HULL.AC.UK
Subject: Re: 4.0055 General Notes and Queries

(5) Date: Wed, 16 May 90 08:50:28 EDT (22 lines)
From: Jeffrey Perry <JEFF@PUCC>
Subject: Bedchamber substitutions

(6) Date: Wed, 16 May 90 13:43 EDT (17 lines)
From: John Lavagnino <LAV@brandeis.bitnet>
Subject: Sneaking nerds into the bedroom

(1) --------------------------------------------------------------------
Date: 15 May 1990, 18:49:54 EDT
From: FLANNAGA at OUACCVMB
Subject: sneaking someone into the wife's or husband's bedroom

It is a medieval and Renaissance motif, something to do with Gyge's
ring? Maybe the best version is the infamous Canto 28 of Ariosto's
_Orlando Furioso_, in which infidelity, at first a cause for depression
and despair, finally becomes a huge joke between two men. Ariosto
cautioned women not to read that canto. Roy Flannagan
(2) --------------------------------------------------------------25----
Date: Tue, 15 May 90 17:58:14 MDT
From: John Morris <JMORRIS@UALTAVM>
Subject: Sneaking in a surrogate wife

Re: Daniel Boyarin's query about a wife who sneaks a surrogate into her
husband's bed.

In _The Changeling_, by Thomas Middleton and William Rowley (c. 1652),
Beatrice-Joanna is to marry Alonzo de Piracquo, but she prefers Alsemero.
Beatrice asks her loathed servant, de Flores, to murder Alonzo. In
return for the murder, de Flores extorts Beatrice's sexual favours from
her, and he continues to blackmail her with threats of fresh exposures
of her compounded and compounding crimes. Beatrice finally marries
Alsemero, but, fearing that he will discover that she is no longer a
virgin, sends her maid, Diaphanta, to him on her wedding night. The
deception works until the end of the play when Beatrice and de Flores
are exposed.
(3) --------------------------------------------------------------20----
Date: Tue, 15 May 90 21:55 CDT
From: TBESTUL@crcvms.unl.edu
Subject: RE: 4.0055 General Notes and Queries (29)

On the matter of wives sneaking another woman into bed with her husband
and he not knowing: the classic example in medieval literature is in the
Tristan and Isolde stories (see especially the version by Gottfried von
Strassburg, ca. 1210). Isolde on her wedding night persuades her
servant Brangane to take her place, since she has (unfortunately) lost
her virginity to Tristan. Isolde's husband Mark is completely deceived
by this subterfuge.

Tom Bestul, University of Nebraska-Lincoln
tbestul@unlvax1.bitnet tbestul@crcvms.unl.edu
(4) --------------------------------------------------------------19----
Date: Wed,16 May 90 10:21:04 BST
From: DJT18@HULL.AC.UK
Subject: Re: 4.0055 General Notes and Queries (29)

Sneaking someone into the bedroom... Machiavelli's "Mandragola"
(Mandrake) springs to mind immediately. Translation available at
University of Hull, if not commercially.

June Thompson, CTI Centre for Modern Languages.
(5) --------------------------------------------------------------29----
Date: Wed, 16 May 90 08:50:28 EDT
From: Jeffrey Perry <JEFF@PUCC>
Subject: Bedchamber substitutions

In 4.0055 Daniel Boyarin asks:

>a colleague wants to know: does anyone know of stories in which a wife
>sneaks someone else into bed with her husband instead of herself,
>because she is barren or for any other reason and suceceeds in fooling
>him? thanks

A good example of this trope (if that's the expression -- I just do the
computer support thing) is "The Three Bushes" of W.B. Yeats, wherein a
virtuous nobelwoman arranges an assignation with her equally high-born
beloved, sending her chambermaid to him in her place. "And maybe we are
all the same / where no candles are". Later the nobleman falls from his
steed and dies of a broken neck, noblewoman follows suits of a broken
heart, and the chambermaid is left to tend both their graves, which are,
of course, adjoining. The priest who hears the latter's confession in
old age buries her between the two, and plants three bushes, one to a
grave, which eventually entwine and are as one. Sort of like certain
LANs I could name.
(6) --------------------------------------------------------------21----
Date: Wed, 16 May 90 13:43 EDT
From: John Lavagnino <LAV@brandeis.bitnet>
Subject: Sneaking nerds into the bedroom

Something like this switching can be found in W. B. Yeats's poem ``The
Three Bushes'' and the six associated poems that follow it in editions
of Yeats's collected poems: here it's a woman substituting her
chambermaid for herself in her lover's bed, to preserve her chastity.

One distinction between a nerd and a merely bookish person is that---at
one time, anyway---the nerd was always someone greatly, maybe solely,
interested in science and far better at dealing with technology than
with other people. Such a nerd is always male. Kurt Vonnegut's novel
``Cat's Cradle'' is concerned in part with this sort of personality,
though I don't think it uses the term.

John Lavagnino, Brandeis