Guide to Moral Living in Examples: Handkerchiefs

"Milady, please lend me your ear!" The young knight Horatio stood outside of Princess Karoline's tower and held his face upward towards the darkened window. The moon shone high over head. In one hand, he held a rose. In the other, he throttled a lute.

The window filled with flickering candlelight, followed by the cross face of Princess Karoline.

"It is the middle of the night! What do you want?"

"To hear the fine, lilting swetness of your voice caress my ears! I could not wait for dawn!"

"Horatio? Is that you?"

"Your voice is as sweet as the songbirds skipping amongst the reeds on a night much like this!"

"I am tired. I spent all day entertaining merchants from Italy, then my chambermaid spilled the chamberpot so it smells like a barn in here. Let me get some rest."

"And your gentle curves remind me of the meandering river which embuttresses the reeds!"

"Seriously, go away. I am very tired!" Princess Karoline yawned.

"And the apples which fall from the riverside orchard are not as sweet as your royal ass, milady!"

Princess Karoline gaped. "Excuse me?"

"And they are not half as tender as your fine, heaving b-hey!" Horatio's knightly training did not go to waste, as he was able to dodge the candle.

"I've got another one if you don't leave right this instant, you pervert. The chamberpot's not far behind."

"I don't understand, milady. Where have I been in error? I came to serenade outside of your window." He began to flick the strings of the lute like they were flies on his food.

"The butcher holds a chicken's neck with more tenderness. Why did you come to serenade me if you have all the musical acumen of a bucket falling down stairs?"

"Because I am a knight and you are a princess! It's courtly love!

"Courtly love is when I give you a handkerchief and you go slay some dragons or burn down the houses of some peasants, not describe my ass in detail to the entire castle and countryside."

"Then I misunderstood courtly love," Horatio admitted. He dropped the lute.

"Why do you think that it's called that?"

"Because you do it in the castle's courtyard?"

The Moral: courtly love developed as a used handkerchief disposal strategy

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