A Trivial Pursuit
For the young Geoffrey, studying under the tutelage of Brother Luke has always been a pleasure: unlike the friar who tutored him when he began his studies, Brother Luke seldom strikes him and has never threatened him with diabolical tortures when he has given a mistaken answer to a question. Instead, Brother Luke can often be diverted from the proposed lesson to some entertaining anecdote. And yet, at the end of the day, Geoffrey finds he has still gained a better understanding of whichever subject he was supposed to have been studying, whether numbers, Greek, or Latin. In his thirteenth year, his parents are already talking about arranging a profitable marriage for the boy, an idea which is not as distasteful to him as it was a few years ago. And when he greets Brother Luke in the courtyard of Castle Walden he is already looking forward to challenging his tutor with questions about the movement of the stars – since the last visit he has been burning to ask why should it be that some stars reverse their course periodically? Brother Stephen who predated Brother Luke would usually reply to a seemingly difficult question with the glib “It is the will of God who directs all things according to his pleasure.”
But as soon as Brother Stephen has greeted him making the sign of the cross he begins “Perhaps you have heard your father making arrangements for you to further your studies at the school at Oxford?”
Mildly surprised, Geoffrey nods.
“It is important that you should receive the education that befits the man who will one day be duke, today I will begin teaching you about the trivium.”
“The threefold foundation of knowledge?”
“Indeed.” And before even leaving the courtyard, Brother Luke retrieves the slate and piece of chalk from his satchel making a hasty drawing.
Geoffrey looks at the clover leaf shape as Brother Luke adds annotations to each lobe:
“This is Grammar, this Rhetoric, and this Dialectic – Rhetoric, Veritas non est, et Dialectic, Veritas non est, sed Rhetoric, et Dialectic cum Grammar, Veritas est?”, he looks to Geoffrey to confirm that the lad understands.
“And this shape!” the boy remarks, “It is like the windows in the chapel! Truly Brother Luke, you are a cunning tutor!”