D. (dalaruan) wrote,

without meanness, jealousy or fear

The Táin Bó Cúalnge or The Cattle Raid of Cooley is the central text of the old Irish Ulster Cycle. The tale has survived in two versions from the Middle Ages, the story is set in a pre-christian, heroic Ireland.

One of the central figures is queen Medb. A legendary queen, maybe a former goddess. And for sure a woman with a strong will. Parts of the Táin are dialogue. Here she explains to her husband Ailill mac Máta her criteria for the ideal companion:

[…] for I demanded a strange bride-gift such as no woman before me had asked of a man of the men of Ireland, to wit, a husband without meanness, without jealousy, without fear. If my husband should be mean, it would not be fitting for us to be together, for I am generous in largesse and the bestowal of gifts and it would be a reproach for my husband that I should be better than he in generosity, but it would be no reproach if we were equally generous provided that both of us were generous. If my husband were timorous, neither would it be fitting for us to be together, for single-handed I am victorious in battles and contests and combats, and it would be a reproach to my husband that his wife should be more courageous than he, but it is no reproach if they are equally courageous provided that both are courageous. If the man with whom I should be were jealous, neither would it be fitting, for I was never without one lover quickly succeeding another.

A man without meanness, without jealousy, without fear. Because oneself is generous and courageous in body and mind. Maybe this describes my own wishes, being a sometimes shy, but confident libertine d'esprit et du corps.

Charles Eisen - The Horrified Devil
Tags: literature, love that killing field, me

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