Geoffrey heere. Many aventures haue me befallen sithen ich haue elected ben to speken at parlement for the sake of the realm, and eek ther ys much for me to tellen yow of, my goode rederes, but for nowe ich wolde speke of sum thyng yet more paisable and swete: buyinge hell of newe readyng material!
By seynt Jerome, gentil folk, ich nede no Philobiblon of Richard de Bury to instructe me of the grete power and vertu and joie that is to be found in bokes. As messire John of Gaunt loueth women, so ich loue bokes: without limit or discriminacioun, ich loue hem oolde and newe, short and longe, frensshe or latin or on englysshe tonge, of heigh sentence or of lowe japerye, from the smalest leef of parchemin to the gretest volume clad in blak or reed wyth commentarye and big honkinge metal claspes for fasteninge it shut.
Thogh the pees of Kent pleseth me much, yt is right hard to fynde goode bokes ther, so as ich make my stay in Londoun for Parlement, ich haue been going crazy about the purchasyng of bokes. Euery daye ich visit the scriveneres for to see the newe bokes and maken requestes for copyes. My shire doth paye me IV shillinges for ech daye ich am in parlement, and by cause of al the monkey business of this straunge parlement yt is lastinge longer than a voyage to Spayne. By cause ich lodge myself with my frende Langeland, ich spende but iii pens for a capon ech daye (and a somedeel greter amount for ale, wyn, and batidas), and thus a gret surplusage of cash moneye remaineth for the acquiringe of bokes.
Sikerly it taketh nat a wise philosopher to reken that the rederes of my blog peraventure wolde wisshe to knowe of the bokes ich haue picked up or planne to buye, so heere ich shal liste sum notable ensaumples of my haul of ink and wordes:
by Johannes Wycliffe
In this boke of science ficcion, a man ycleped Wycliffe is the bishop of the gret chirche of Seynt Paules, the which is lyk vnto a mighty shippe and kan moue thurgh the voyde of the planetes. Al othir chirches on the earth haue ben destroyed by the deuil and his feendes, who haue taken on the visages of men and look exactlie lyk friares. Ther is a mighti ladye of feyth called Margery Starbaxter, who ys a loyal warryour for the chirche and sleyeth the friares. And eek ther ys a traytour named Belshazzar who doth see visions of a sexie friar yn his heed who telleth hym to betraye the goode folke of Seynt Paules. Sum oon nedeth to jump on this sucker and turne hit in to a series of television.
The Harley Lyrics
Oon of anonymouses bettir workes, thes poemes are ycopyed fresshe from a manuscript contaynyge many othir thinges. Thei are songes of loue both goostly and bodili, and oft speke of a knightes loue for his horse, the which he calleth hys ‘motourbyk,’ the which he “liveth to riden, and rideth to liven,” or othertimes thei speke of a knightes affecioun for his ‘chopper’ (his axe?) or his ‘hogge’ (why raiseth a knight pigges?) or his “mama” (gentil remembraunce of oones mothir ys fayre and chivalrous). Heere ys oon ensaumple of this straunge but plesaunte verse:
"Maketh motor for to runne
Shoopen vs to to heigh-waye
No aventure shal we shunne
In what-evir cometh ower waye
Yn the smok and lightening
Blastes of hevy metal
Wyth the wind goon racing-
The felinge is so goode
An hendy happe ichabbe hent,
From nature pure we aren sent
Vndyinge we kan make ascent
For borne we are to wexen woode
BOOOOOORNE TO WAXEN WOODE (refrain repeateth)"
The Doctours: The C and I Moost Dangerous Scholastic Thinkers in Europe
by Archbishop Thomas Arundel
This boke pointeth out the dangerous doctrine of many of the doctors of theologie and maysters of the artes who teche yn the universitees and scoles. For many of hem, thys boke telleth me, teche nat simply the dogma of the chirche but also injecte heretical doctrine from auncient philosophres and thus pose a grete threte to ower future ecclesiastical administrators and preestes. The worste by far ys Thomas Aquinas, who hath argued from Aristoteles principle of the first entelechy that the forme of the soule containeth the sensitif and vegitatif soules, in contradiccioun of the gret tradiciouns of the chirche. Ich drede what shall come to pass yf thes techinges are allowed to poyson the mindes of goode cristen folke.
Piers Plowman: The I-Text
by William Langelande
This boke confuseth me, by Seynt Charles Borromeo, so ich do copye the text from the back of the avertisement:
“Ye gentil folke haue rede the compact A-Text, haue thrillede to the cliff-hanger endinge of the B-Text, and haue enjoyed the occasional addiciouns and politicallie prudente modificaciouns of the C-Text; if ye haue got Piers-fevere lyk we do, ye haue probablie even hunted the bootleg market for the fabled Z-Text. NOW PREPARE YOWERSELVES TO EXPERIENCE THE EPIC TALE OF PIERS THE PLOWMAN YET AGAIN IN A RELATIVELY NEWE WAY. The I-Text of Piers Plowman ys available on the I-Bokes web-syte – ye kan download a passus for a mere XCIX pens and carrye the boke around on yower I-Pamphlet for esy readynge whil in parlement, while sayinge matins, or just when sloshinge around the feelde yn the bitre cold. Ech I-Text passus featureth even more intricate changes to the texte – who will establish the power of the king in the prologue of this versioun? How will the elaborate grammatical metaphor get even more complicatede? Don't miss Passus V: the I-Text version includeth an expanded apologia pro vita sua the which narrateth Willes earlier experiences as a clerke in a department store and hys misshaps in the datinge world of 1360s Londoun. HOW CAN YOU RESIST THIS AMAZING AND CONVENIENT WAY OF SEEING THIS ACTION-PACKED CLASSIC IN YET ANOTHER SLIGHTLY DIFFERENT FORM? Go to the I-Bokes web syte and download the Piers Plowman I-Text today. legal information: the ink vsid alloweth you to make but V copyes of the poeme in to yower owen household boke or pamphlet and doth nat permit excerpts or trademarked character names to be included in rebellious letteres. eny sign of tresoun shal be punisshed wyth death. only compatible wyth I-Bokes and I-Pamphlet, and euen in that situacioun sum tymes yt doth nat werke for sum reason
The VII Habits of Heighly Effective Hangers-on
by Thomas Vsk, Serjeant-at-Armes for his Trespuissant Majestee Richard Kyng of Engelonde
Sithen ich haue just spoken of oon of my frendes bokes, yt semeth proper to maken mencioun of the othir. This litel volume is in no wise semblable to Vskes earlier Testament of Loue, but rather yt is a pamphlet of “helpe-thi-self,” that telleth how to survyve in Londoun factional politics. Vskes maner of late doth bringe me grete unease; mesemeth he hath grown too grete for hys britches. But yet to return to the matter of hys boke, he maketh seven poyntes of conseil, the which ich shall liste for yow heere:
"I. Be Proactif at Changing Alliaunces
II. Yet Begin Thy Werkes Wyth Thine Eternal Ende (RESPECT!) in Thy Minde
III. Paye Heed to First Thinges: Who Kan Yive Thee Bettir Livery?
IV. Think Winne/Winne: Thou Shalt Winne Honour, and Thyne Former Allies Shal Winne Exile
V. Seek First to Vndirstond the Factional Situation, & Aftir Make Thy Loyaltee Vndirstood to Thy Sovereign Lord Kyng Richard
VI. Synergize Boethius and Love Allegory and Sum Thyng About a Knot into a Literary Werke Proclaymynge Thy Trewe and Honorable Nature
VII. Drop Names of Famous Writers Whom Thou Knowst As Often As Possible (for as Geoffrey Chaucer the gret poete and my faste and loial freende hath seyde: “For may no man fordon the law of kynde”)"
The Stoner Letters
Compiled from the collecioun of the Stoner Family
Ich am crazie about readynge of the histories of families and specially in hire owen wordes. This boke doth collect the writinges of many generaciouns of good gentry folke in the shire of Oxford, hire letters and hire bokes of accountes and charteres. Oon the straungest thinges of families ys the similaritee shared by parents and childer. For the Stoner family semeth consistentli to seke certayn items. To wit:
1290 Accounte of Household Expenses of Richard de Stoner:
“X poundes for potato crispes
III poundes II shillinges for poster wyth a wizard and sum skeletons that sheweth well and fayre vndir black-light
IV poundes X shillinges III pens for a balle for to pleyen hackey-sack
II shillinges paid to Harold Chillouttent esquire for restraininge of John Stoner who kynde of freaked out a litel”
1380 Edmund de Stoner to John Bounge, Grocer of Londoun
“Dude, please sende lyk a wagon full of potato crispes for the munchies soore possess me. And eek plese sende newe bulbes for the black light - ich kan scarce see the orange dragon that decorateth the basement. Of gretest importaunce, telle my servaunt to return right quick, for Elisabeth hath gone oon toke ovir the lyne and hath just now lokked hirself in the tower for feare that all folk aren set ayeinst her. My servaunt kan fynde me outside of the tower - probabli I wil be lyk playinge hackey-sacke or just chillaxinge.”
...trewely, kinship runneth deepe and strong in the Stoner blood!
And eek, ich did discover a charminge boke by a man of grete wit who konneth much of lettrure, ywis he beth an arbiter elegantiarum for ower age: oon Lord Whimsy. He hath written a volume ycleped The Affected Provinciales Companioun. By the grace of Lady Fortune, ich did meet wyth Lord Whimsy yn Londoun, and he did answeren several questions of interviewe for me, the which ich shall pooste eftsoon, oones my tales of parlement are done.
O wey-la-wey! Spekynge of parlement, ich must soon go to meet wyth the communes, and thus ich must stop thys pooste. Thogh this be but a smal liste of bokes, peravanture yt yiveth yow a samplinge of the manye deliteful purchases ich haue in Londoun y-maad. And now, ich am off to grabbe yet oon more book bifor ich muste return to the stinkinge busynesse of debaat and politickinge. Peraventure ich shal see yf the new David Eggers beth as objectionable as hits premise maketh it to seme...