This question from an arithmetic book of 1536 is quoted in the Indpendent. "There is a catte at the fote of a tre the length of 300 fote/ this catte goeth upwarde eche day 17 fote, and descendeth eche nyght 12 fote. I demaunde in how longe tyme shall she be at ye toppe. The book is called An introduction for to lerne to rekyn with the pen, & with the counters .
I look up the opening paragraphs of Ariosto's 15th Century poem,Orlando Furioso. The prose tanslation in the Oxford University Press edition reads: "I sing of knights and ladies, of love and arms, of courtly chivalry, of courageous deeds ... I shall tell of Orlando ... setting down what has never been recounted in prose or rhyme ... of Orlando, driven mad by love - and he a man who had always been esteemed for his prudence.
A cold beer in warm sunshine.