A High Quality Valentine’s Day Gift

We had a fun Valentine’s Day. I pored over a flower display before selecting–as I always do–a dozen yellow roses, my favorites. And my wife made a lovely dinner. St. Valentine goes back a long way, to the 3rd century, and Valentine’s Day has been around for quite a while, too.

Today the British Museum did an Instagram post that reminds us that love has been making the world go round for a long time:

In the 15th century a man named John Paston was away for a long time and his wife Margaret was forlorn. Margaret wrote to him and sent him a ring. The letter said: ‘I pray you that you will wear the ring with the image of St Margaret that I sent you for a remembrance till you come home. You have left me such a remembrance that makes me to think upon you both day and night when I would sleep.’ Although this ring does not have an image of St Margaret, it does carry a playful (and grammatically witty) inscription about love in French, which translates as: ‘my love is an infinitive which wants to be in the relative’. Follow the link in our bio to read more about love from around the world in our special #ValentinesDay blog post. #Valentines #love #history #ring #❤️

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Let’s break that down:

I pray you that you will wear the ring with the image of St Margaret that I sent you for a remembrance till you come home. You have left me such a remembrance that makes me to think upon you both day and night when I would sleep.

Many of us moderns can relate. But this grammatical touch is especially impressive:

Although this ring does not have an image of St Margaret, it does carry a playful (and grammatically witty) inscription about love in French, which translates as: “My love is an infinitive which wants to be in the relative.”

To which one can only say: grammarians are hot!

Happy Valentine’s Day.

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