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Scott made his Saxons drink ‘ale’, not ‘beer’. In doing so he was following the Saxons’ own usage: the word ‘beer’ was “rare, except in poetry, and it seems to have become common only in the 16th century” (OED). So you are looking for this piece of dialogue: “Thou art an ass,” replied one of the thieves; “three quarts of double ale had rendered thee as free ...


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TL;DR: It was rare for laity to be able to read and write; everyone carried a knife but generally only nobility and soldiers carried weapons; Scott mentions the writing materials in chapter V because they will be used in chapter VI; the writing materials included parchment, quills and ink. Was it rare to be able to write? It depended on which section of ...


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‘Clown’ does not always mean a jester-type character, it can also and more prevalent in historical texts, mean (per the OED): A countryman, rustic, or peasant eg 1849   Macaulay Hist. Eng. I. 610   ‘The Somersetshire clowns, with their scythes..faced the royal horse like old soldiers.’ As Leicestershire is the home of the pork pie, I would assume that the ...


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