Thursday, June 27, 2013

Markings on Paper



You just woke up in your cell, said your morning prayers, had a little breakfast, now you are ready to work. You walk solemnly to your desk and workstation. You were lucky enough to get one next to the window. It is one of the few perks of your monastic life. The smells of a medieval monastery may not be the best, but it is better than most places you can live and work in. There is always some incense burning, the aromas of wood, wax, paper, ink disguise the less tolerable smells. It was a nice clear night out. Certainly a nice enough night to allow the shutters to remain open. The Godly fragrances of the Spring are a blessing this time of year. But there is something else in the air. A new smell, one that is unfamiliar in your work area. What is it? Its pungent. Something one would smell near a latrine. This certainly is not normal. But where? Alas, oh well, the new smells of paint and ink will whisk that nasty odor away. Time to get to work... Dang it all!


Hic non defectus est, sed cattus minxit desuper nocte quadam. Confundatur pessimus cattus qui minxit super librum ostum in nocte Daventrie, et consimiliter omnes alii propter illum. Et cavendum valde ne permittantur libri aperti per noctem uni cattie venire possunt.







[Translation]

 Here is nothing missing, but a cat urinated on this during a certain night. Cursed be the pesty cat that urinated over this book during the night in Deventer and because of it many others [other cats] too. And beware well not to leave open books at night where cats can come.

Waste not, want not! Our intrepid writer is not about to start over again. What he does do is leave this handy advice to the lucky owner a book peed on by a cat in the night. I love history.

Photo of the manuscript credited to the Historical Archives of Cologne

Original Link for this manuscript image Here 

Here is another link that I just discovered detailing this image above and few more humorous markings of cats immortalizing themselves on print! 


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