I'm studying a text for translation and I'm unsure about my reading of the following paragraph.

I asked Nuit to write the rituals, the ordeals, and the law.

She bade me know that the ordeals may not be written, since each man must go through a furnace of his own kindling. The Rituals: some were fitted for all men: some are fitted to one person, each making his own; and also there are those whose virtue lies in the silence wherewith they are begirt.

I understand "bid" here is not "offer" but "ask", in general. But I can't go any more specific than that. What does "she bade me know" means?

  • 3
    It's ask, but more in the sense of entreat, yet not to the point of pleading.
    – Robusto
    Commented Nov 28, 2018 at 23:32
  • That writer is intending to sound archaic by using "bade". (Even more "begirt".) So to make a good translation you will need not only to know the meanings, but also to write this in an archaic form of your own language.
    – GEdgar
    Commented Dec 29, 2018 at 15:30

1 Answer 1


bade MacMillan Dictionary

past tense bid or bade past participle bidden [transitive] literary: to order someone to do something

and Dictionary.com:

to command; order; direct:

As in:

"She bade me know ..." or "She ordered/commanded/directed me to know that the ordeals may not be written."

  • 2
    I think some more is needed here. "Bade' COULD mean "ordered" if the bidder were a superior fully authorized to give orders. Generally the word follows the older definitions of "pray" or "ask" (Anglo-Saxon "bidden")
    – J. Taylor
    Commented Nov 28, 2018 at 23:52

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