jeudi, octobre 05, 2006

Parlement Journale, Parte the Firste: Decepcioun!

O straunge worlde, for the dayes are fulle of selcouthes and no thyng is as it semeth. Alwey in my fantasie syn ich was a yonge man, ich thoghte Parlement to be a grete and noble assemblee, wher the wisdam of the reaume was spoken in the presence of oure sovereyn kynge for the sake of the commun good. But al thing in this worlde adoun is lyk vnto a cake fulle of beares– on the outsyde, it appeareth delicious and plesaunte, but inside yt is crawlinge wyth beestes that wisshe to clawe thee to deeth. For nowe ich see that Parlement is fulle of thretes and secretes, and matirs derke.

On Sundaye night, the daye bifor the grete openinge of parlement, ther was a speciale recepcioun for folk lyk myself who had come to parlement to speke for the shires. Yt was held in the halle of the exchequer, wyth the tables of rekynynges laden wyth metes and drinke. Michel de la Pole, the Earl of Suffolk and Chancellor of the reaume, frende of Kyng Richard, was ther, and he did shake the handes of al who were presente, and callid vs by oure names and bad vs drinken depe of the ale and maken murye. He yaf vs alle small billes, the whiche contayned the poyntez which we were to speken of for the good of the reaume, and he avised vs to keep the smalle billes secure.

The small billes were covered wyth thys text:

Whanne a felawe comoner of parlement or a cronicler or othir member of the media doth aske yow of the business of parlement, ye shal saye the following

A. Frensshe flete has gadrid for to make invasion in ower lande
B. Frensshe shal turne alle of our filmes in to non-linear meditaciouns on lyf and deeth both insouciant and melancholie
C. Frensshe shal destroyen the Englisshe language and create a world maad only of voweles
D. Frensshe shal covir Engelonde wyth cafes wher yt costeth more to drinke coffee sittinge doun than standing up
E. If alle else faileth, repete “grete peril, grete peril” lyk vnto a psalme

And he shal do so for the followinge wyse and rightful causes:
A. We fare bettir to fighten the enemye acrosse the see than heere in owere owene lande
B. The kinge is mighti and fullye committede to the governement of his reaume and ys not a “wussy” as sum sclanderers haue seyde
C. Yt is right and proper to pursue the kynges clayme to the crowne of Fraunce
D. We muste winne honour
E. the werre has nat even lastede C yeres yet - it is too soon to throwe in the towele
F. If alle else faileth, repete “winne honour, winne honor” lyk vnto a psalme

A. that is, alle the cash we kan get from the contree

Thes thinges me semed good and ful of wisdam, and fayre to speken for the safetee of the reaume. And yet, ich sawe but fewe men of parlement ther in that halle. Ich trowe, ther mvste haue ben gadrid on that night but halfe the men that cam to Westminstre for parlement. For the communes aren manye, and this felaweshippe was smal. And manye of hem who stod ther wyth the Chancellor were knowen to me as frendes of the kinge and loyal servauntz to hys majestee.

And yet litel me thought of thes thinges, for the ale was good and moyst and fre of charge. Ich dranke depe and talkede wyth manye men, and we swalwed gret draughtes for the kinges helth. Tommy Vsk did come and we did talke of this and that. Ich askid Vsk whedir all the men of parlement had been called to this meetinge and he seyde, "Every liege at parlement loial to the Kyng hath ben callid heere tonight, but nat the foule churles who wolde arguen ayeinst the wyse counsels of the Kyng and the Chancellor."

The moon brightli shone, and ich was alle fordronken so that ich coud scarce feel my owen legges vndir me. Drink had me daswed. Ich knewe ich coud nat retourne to Langelondes hous, so ich took my reste at an inn that stood nere to the palais of Westminstre. Ich payde the keeper for a room and did climb the stayres to go to slepe. On the stayres, a fayre wenche cam me-towardes. She must haue ben but of XVIII yere of age, wyth heere as yelwe as flaxe ysponne, and body gent and smal. She was ful moore blisful on to see than is the newe pere-jonette tree.

“Hi, uh, were you at the meeting?”

“Fayre mayde, mene ye the meetinge at the exchequer wher the talkinge poyntez weren yiven vnto vs?”

“The, uh, talking points. Yeah, exactly. Good. I’m the handmaid for Quelquechose. He was at the meeting and he, uh, well, he got a little drunk.”

“Goddes curse on men who are dronkelewe and guzzleres of ale,” ich sayde, and then burpid in a maner uncouth and my face wexed reede wyth shame. And yet the fayre wenche spoke further.

“Well, so Sir Roland made like a frat boy with the beer and all, and he kind of lost his talking points. He's got me running around trying to find other men, uh, loyal to the king who might have them. Could I just borrow your talking points? I’ll make a fair copy for Sir Roland and you’ll have them back before you know it. I’ll just put them under your door. Pretty please? ”

“No thyng wolde greter plese me than to do courtesie to yow and to yower mayster the goode sire Quelquechose, o mayden swete and fayre,” quod ich, and bente me lowe to honour her and yaf hir the talkinge poyntez. And than ich stumbled to my slepe.

And yet whan I wook, no oon had putte the bille of talkinge poyntez backe vndir my door. Ich askede the inn keeper if a braue knight ycleped Quelquechose had taken his reste ther, and the inn keeper seyde he knew no swich name, but it semed to hym that it mente somethinge. And thanne ich asked of the fayre wenche, who she was and whider she had com, and the inn keeper tolde me that he knewe her nat but that she had come ther yesternight at the tyme of vespers and she had hunge around talkinge on a verye expensive celle phone and makinge snarky remarkes.

And as ich stod adased and wondired on what thes thinges coud mene, it cam to my memorie that it was Mondaye morne, and the daye of Parlement! Ich hoofed it to the halle of Westminstre, and entered it in last nightes clothes, stinkinge lyk vnto a beer-pong table.

O the pompe and majestee! Ther was a grete thronge of peple, gentils and menne of richesse fro the shyres, and grete lordes wyth her retinuez, alle assemblid in the Paynted Chamber of Westminstre. Ther were merchantz in liveree of manye coloures, and knightez sadde who had served in werres, professional politicians who shifty looked, and bifor hem alle sat Kyng Richard in hys splendor, and bifor hym was Michel de la Pole the chancellor.

The Chancellor bigan to speke, and he toold of the resons for the callinge of parlement, and he did in grete voys and loude, and wyth fayre speche. And yet noon of yt was newe to me, for it was alle the poyntez of talkinge that ich had rede of at the recepcioun yesternight: that the kinge was to make werre vpon the Frensshe, and that the communes should commit ther shires to yive moneye for the werre, and eek he gave the resons forwhy, et cetera et cete-

Ich sterted, for som oon clasped me by the shouldre. It was Tommy Vsk, and his eyen were fulle of ire.


“That looketh bad,” ich seyde.

“Bad in deed,” he sayde, “Sikerly, ther hath ben a leek.”

“That smelle ys juste my clothes from last nighte,” I seyde.

“Nay,” quod he, “Ich mene ther hath been a leek in ower securitee. Alle folke of Londoun haue thes billes, and thei aren posted on everye chirche-dore. How has this come to pass? Hastow yiven thy liste of talking poyntez to any oon?”

“Nay, to noon but the loial mayde of Sir Quelquechose.”

“Ther beth no knight of that name in the Kinges faction,” seyde Vsk, “What maner of mayde was she?”

“She lookid kynde of lyk Keira Knightly ycrossid with Sarah Michelle Gellar, but in a good way.”

“Geoffrey Chaucer, thou sely foole, thou hast discovered the kinges secretes to Griselda Mars!”

But we coud talke na moore, for the speche of de la Pole was finisshed, and alle the communes wente awey to the Chapter Hous of the abbey for to speke of the respons thei sholde make to the demaundes for moneye, and ich wente with hem in my capacitee as elected representative of Kent, and Vsk ranne off on busyness of his owene.

O, my rederes, ther ys much moore to telle of, but my handes are sore and my eyen are blered and my herte filled wyth doute. Soon ich shalle telle yow of what bifel in the Chapter Hous, and eek what ich lerned of the plottes and plannes of the factions. And yet ich tremble as I type, for ich scarce knowe wher my loyaltee stondeth.


Blogger Dr. Virago said...

Te-hee! Griselda Mars! Ywis, yow do certaynly RAWK, GC. That lyne-for-punchen was worthe the wayte. And ye did haven the pattere of the mayden Mars downe parfitly.

jeudi, 05 octobre, 2006  
Blogger heldmyw said...

A brave tale of Parlement and ale, and ritely towlde, but methinks thow hast been royally pwnd...

jeudi, 05 octobre, 2006  
Anonymous Anonyme said...

Althew ich doo nat vnderstand all that was sade, ich doo fele fore yow. Yf yow eveer wolde liken to speken wif mee abowt the predikemente, then let eet be knoon that yow have a frende in me. Rite, that ys all ich been haven to sayeth. Peece and lowve.

jeudi, 05 octobre, 2006  
Anonymous Anonyme said...

Doe have a heed to the Honourable Burgess of ye Borough of Sedgefielde, Maister Antonius de Blayre. He hath y-spoken of rypping up ye entyre fabrick of ye Kyngdome, caysting down ye Lorde Chancellore, gyving the Kyng rights to sende to ye Uppere House only those Lordes he doth wysh, albeit for their Lyfes, and evene dyspatching an Armie not agaynst ye Frensshe, but vppon a newe Crusade.
Tread lyghtlie around Maister de Blayre.

Joseph de Mauger

jeudi, 05 octobre, 2006  
Anonymous Anonyme said...

Rosie O’Donnell naught so sexie, fleshly woman they ne knew
Hir over-lippe so often used, perhaps abused no housbounde doth she require.
Hir boosum souple, hir flesh so plentevous. Her armes not smale. Hir tonge a veryy jangleresse… Intervieweing many, fair langaged and mury. Not of lewed disposicion but swoote and a joly colt was she.

vendredi, 06 octobre, 2006  
Blogger wilhelm said...

hallo, bruthere en blogdome-
be naught wurrysome by such realtys of governance, whilst such hauses be wood with harlotry, on a moon of blau will werk be done of magnitude, so much as the scandlous wretches be capable of.

vendredi, 06 octobre, 2006  
Anonymous Anonyme said...

brothere en blogdome-
ye wordes be the subject of mine studys. bravo to thou und the courages few who be postinge here. yf only Chaucer ysself had ymagyned, hys prose style sine the worldeover!

vendredi, 06 octobre, 2006  
Blogger Geoffrey Chaucer said...

"Rosie O’Donnell naught so sexie..."

Wherefor writestow salacious uerses on Madame de O'Donell? Me semeth sum thyng of misogynie lieth in thes lynes.

vendredi, 06 octobre, 2006  
Blogger Cassidy said...

"Varium et mutabile semper femina", inquit Vergilius.

samedi, 07 octobre, 2006  
Anonymous Richard, Seconde of that name, Kynge said...

Ich have taken counsel of a most wys counsellour, Georgius de Bosco yclept, and hee saith thatte, albeit myn talkinge pointes ben yleeked, wee moste the course ystayen. For iffe wee doe cutte and runne our enemies wille upone us soone fall, and all shall be lost or cwelled. Georgius doth speke muche of fredome and doth say that anie manne who doth in the leaste wyse questioun Oure Royalle wille shalle unto a distant isle ben sente, there to doe pennaunce for swich sinne.

samedi, 07 octobre, 2006  
Anonymous My ladye of Somersette said...

GC, I think you mis-represent yourself as a true Englishman! What's with all this talk of "cell-phones" (we call them "mobiles" here in England) and "frat boys" (what the hell are those, incidentally - sounds a bit pervy actually?). Are you watching a little too much US TV perhaps? - It might just be me of course, but these foreign terms do tend to jar on the inner ear a little, in the otherwise impeccable flow of your narrative. Oh, and by the way, I've never heard of Griselda Mars either (another infiltrator from the Colonies, perchance?) Who is she - we true English folk should be told so we can share the joke!

mercredi, 11 octobre, 2006  
Blogger Sir Percival said...

Hit is ful faire that yonge bacchelere knyghtes as I ben seldem ychosen vnto parlemente, for the delynges thereof are euer ouermoche swarthe that hy astonyen me whan that I assaye thynkynge vpon hem.

But as to these mobyles, I mote sayen that I maye unnethe loue of these mobyles, for hy maken foule noyses lyke as cloudes of flyes or locostes or mygges that euer besetten faire somer dayes by myshappe. Yet I drede me damoyselles today wolden choosen but menn that owen these enggynes vnto hyr paramoures.

Sir Percyuall of Wales

jeudi, 12 octobre, 2006  
Anonymous richard, seconde of that name, kynge said...

Sire Percivale:

It ben trewe, bi Seynt James of Campus Stellæ, thatte the telephone mobile maken noises most noxiouse to the eeres. Yette have ich one of thyse yngines, and it pleyeth the most sweete musiques of the frenssheman Bizet, and of an wyse manne Doctir Arne yclept.

samedi, 14 octobre, 2006  
Blogger Sir Percival said...

Your Maiestee hath euer fair choisse of costome and mannere, an if me happeth encountren oone of these mobyles enggynes, I shal maken fair cheep thereof, for I loue wel sweete musike lyke as foweles makynge melody in sprynge. Yet I mote needes despende my wagges alle vpon mayntenaunce of myne herneysse and coursere, and as to messaggerye, sympel and smalle lettres of loue and complaynte moten ben usagge in pouretee; to swythere and swiftere messaggery I may nat beteechen myn herte and corse.

Syr Percyuall of Wales

lundi, 16 octobre, 2006  
Anonymous Anonyme said...

Ich smel Gower.

mardi, 17 octobre, 2006  
Anonymous richard, second of that name, kynge said...

Sir Percivale: Yt greeveth mee muche to tellen thee thatte only the emperour of the Romanes and Germanes doth beere the title of majestie, ich am but an Gracious Kynge and have not yet majestie imperialle. Thatte maie change if ich maie truste in swich doghtie vassalles as thyne owne gode selfe.

It maie hap that, in myn seruice thou shalt encountere fayre maidens who shall, seeinge in thee an gode and leal freende of the Kynge, yield them to thyne suit.

jeudi, 19 octobre, 2006  
Anonymous Anonyme said...

Hi Chaucer, -- something is rotten in the state of your livejournal feed -- I've had entries from you from August on suddenly (re)appear in my friends page. Or something may be wrong with my lj ... could be that it's not you, it's me.

P.S. You're my hero, but what's up with the Prioress's Tale, anyway?

mardi, 24 octobre, 2006  
Blogger Geoffrey Chaucer said...

Hi Chaucer, -- something is rotten in the state of your livejournal feed -- I've had entries from you from August on suddenly (re)appear in my friends page. Or something may be wrong with my lj ... could be that it's not you, it's me.

Good Sir or Madam,

Ich am moost sory for the probleme wyth the liveiournale feede. Ich knowe litel of the thinges of the internet - ywis, that feede was y-sette up by sum gentil soule whom I knowe nat. Ich haue no idee wherfor it hath reprinted all thes poostes. If eny oon knoweth what ich kan do to sette thinges aright, may it plese him or hir to telle me.

Le Vostre

jeudi, 26 octobre, 2006  
Anonymous ymagynatyf said...

Ich askede the inn keeper if a braue knight ycleped Quelquechose had taken his reste ther, and the inn keeper seyde he knew no swich name, but it semed to hym that it mente somethinge.

Priceless, Geoff, absolutely priceless! I lol'ed!

vendredi, 27 octobre, 2006  
Blogger Geoffrey Chaucer said...

Priceless, Geoff, absolutely priceless!

Grant Merci, Ymagynatyf - it muchel pleseth me that swich an arwe of japerie hath hit its merke.

Say hello to Anima, Clergie, and Dame Studye for me.

Le Vostre

samedi, 28 octobre, 2006  
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vendredi, 30 novembre, 2007  
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