July 15th, 2008


Can someone please vet my French?

If anyone out there has better than 30 year old High School French and could let me know if I have correctly used the following I would grovel and send you postcards or something.

I will post my attempts followed by what I think I am saying below.

Êtes-vous blessé ? -- Are you injured? (hurt)
Nous présentons les disciplines. -- We present the disciplines
Allons. Les attentes de maître. -- Let's go. The master waits.
Doux un -- Sweet one
Mon doux -- My sweet

I have tried checking these myself using


They appear to be correct, however, I know the value of the native speaker/fluent speaker of a language taking a look so I am also requesting help here.

I will be most grateful for any and all help, especially from those well versed in the language.

Babel Fish translates them as what I think they should be, but we all know about the dangers of translation engines. :)

merci beaucoup!

6th century Greek writer

Running an online roleplaying game in which the following dialogue took place:

"You'd rather read some obscure text from some 15th century French alchemist, something that shoves you even nearer the entrance of Hell "
"Sixth century Greek actually, but you can never be sure with later translations...your Bible doesn't tell me things like how lies hurt you, or how Ofanim don't stand still, 'classified' information I suppose...Coffee?"

Now, when I wrote this I'd been googling much of the night and had a particular Greek in mind, either a Doctor of the Church or a canonized saint, in either case one who wrote about angels.  Of course I'd neglected to bookmark my source.  There's a reasonable chance another player could call me on that, and I'd like to be prepared.

Google, about.com, http://rendingtheveil.com/, Wikipedia and Orthodox wiki, searched "6th century", "alchemist", "angel", "saint" (too many hits, not organized by year), "Justinian", "scholar".

blindfolds in executions

I have another question for the same story; googles firing squad + blindfold, but anything I could find was stating that a blindfold was used, but not why, or people answering the same question with "Well, I think this is probably why, but I don't really know."

Why was a prisoner to be executed blindfolded? Was it for their own benefit, or the gunmens'? I want my character to refuse the blindfold, bravely facing her death, but if it's so the firing squad doesn't have to look her in the eye, then they might force it on her. I can work with it both ways, I just don't want to sound dumb. I did find one site that mentioned a brit who refused the blindfold specifically so that the squad would have to look him in the eye, but still not why the blindfold was used in the first place.


19th Century US Inheritance Laws

I am pulling my hair out trying to research this, since there were so many amendments/reforms regarding property rights and marriage laws in this period. I've googled until I can google no more.

My story is set in late nineteeth century America. My character is a self-made shipping tycoon who marries the daughter of a wealthy banker in 1852. He dies in 1878, survived by his wife and his twenty four year old bachelor son. The wife and the son continue to live together in his mansion until their deaths, with the son eventually getting married at the behest of his mother.

My query is: who exactly inherits the tycoon's fortune/estate? Would it be his widow or his son? The tycoon dearly loved his wife and would not have denied her anything, (in the event his son died and she would be forced to find somewhere else to live, for example) but his son was his 'successor', so to speak, trained to take over his father's business affairs when he died.

In particular, I'm not sure if at this point in history men still had precedence over women when it came to inheritance. Could anyone clarify this?


Edit: Oops, I forgot to mention. This story is set in Massachusetts - Boston in particular.