to be had 'for the asking'

dudasd

Senior Member
Serbo-Croatian
I've just stumbled upon a construction I had never met before, so I'll appreciate any help. :)

A woman, who's on her pilgrimage, finally reached the famous anchoress, Lady Julian (Norwich, 14th century), but at her own surprise, the anchoress wants her to eat meat, liver, to drink fresh blood, eat fresh green vegetables, so that she can recover from her long journey and fasting. After a couple of days, she feels better, but... "She began to worry about the expense that she was giving Father Clement, but he laughed at her, saying with truth that the odd things Lady Julian had prescribed for her to eat were to be had for the asking at the shambles, while the greens came from his own garden."

So, the question is - what the bolded part means. Thanks in advance! :)
 
  • Loob

    Senior Member
    English UK
    I agree with panj - free, or at very little cost.

    "Shambles", I think, means "market".
     

    dudasd

    Senior Member
    Serbo-Croatian
    Thank you very, very much. My guessing was something like: "...that the odd things Lady Julian had prescribed for her to eat they (= church) were getting from the shambles anyway..." - that is, my impression was that the priest wanted to comfort her, to make her stop worrying. So the point is that, more or less?

    Thank you one more time. :)
     

    panjandrum

    Lapsed Moderator
    English-Ireland (top end)
    Shambles - place where meat is sold, a meat-market.

    shamble
    3. a. pl. A place where meat (or occas. fish) is sold, a flesh- or meat-market.
    OED
     

    xqby

    Senior Member
    English (U.S.)
    - that is, my impression was that the priest wanted to comfort her, to make her stop worrying. So the point is that, more or less?
    Yeah, the pilgrim is worried that her hosts are spending too much, so the priest explains that Lady Julian is basically getting the food for free.
     
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