Parlement Journale, Part the Seconde: A Vision!
Whanne ich entred the chaptir hous, ich sawe al the communes, the gode knightes and burgeses and men of wit and lerninge who had com to speke for their shires and citeez. And sum ich sawe ther were kinge richardes men who had ben at the benefit dinner the night bifor – mesemede thei suffred gret unese, for all ower talkinge poyntez had ben disclosid.
Vp roos thanne a knight that was helde wys, by leve and by conseil of othir that were ther, and seide: “May the Lord blesse vs all! Gentils, ye all haue heard how Chancellor de la Pole hath tolde vs a tale of the causes of this parliament, how he hath seyde that ower lord the King nedeth gret amountes of cash and taxacioun for his werres.”
“Yay!” ich roos vp thanne and spoke with noble steven, “For the Reaume mesemeth is in gret peril from the malicious Frensshe, in greter peril than evir bifor. For a Frensshe flete hath ygadrid to make invasioun vpon ower lande. Gret peril! We must all drede the peril! For the Frensshe shal turn al of our filmes in to non-linear meditaciouns vpon lyf and deeth both insouciant and melancolie. And eek thei shal destroyen...”
“Namoore of this, for Goddes dignitee,” quod the knight, “What maner doofus artow, that thou rehersest the talkinge poyntez of the kinge? For thei haue all been addressid and defeatid. Ay, the Frensshe do seeke to make werre vpon vs, but the moost freshe newes saith that their fleet is all kindes of disorganized and bad wedir hath y-messed-vp ther shippes. No attack loometh as yet. As for the threte thei pose to ower cinema, ich wolde thinke that ‘Love Actually’ doth prove that ower cinema is a threte vnto itself.”
And ther was muchel laughter. And the men of king richardes faction did glare me-vpon as if to seye ‘do nat make thinges worse for vs.’
And the knightes speche continued: “And thogh the threte from the Frensshe remaineth, even thogh ther flete cometh nat soon, yet ther is a greter threte: for we knowe that the houshold of the kinge is full of fooles and liares who take the money of taxacioun and spende it to ther owen avantage. Nat oon grot that is y-gadrid gooth to the defens the reaume, only to the vainglorie of the kinges false freendes. Michel de la Pole buyeth much land wyth money he hath from the king y-stole. And what man kan speke fully of the surquiderie and ill conduct of Robert de Vere, whom the king hath - in blindnesse of this mannes baseness - raysed to the ranke of Duk of Ireland. Ay, this fals de Vere who hath yiven up hys lawful wyf to gallivant about wyth Parys Launcecrona. And thuswise the hard-erned goodes of ower constituents go to buye mower bottles of Kristal for Launcerona and de Vere's table. The luxuries of thes false men do stryke the kingdom wyth horrible woundes. Certes, good sires, in no maner shal the Frensshe werre be broghte to good conclusion vntil the houshold of the kinge be broghte to good order. What say ye?”
And al assentid wyth oon voys.
Wel, almost al. The kinges faction did slip out stelthily lyk vnto the audience of a conference panel whan the wyne hour hath alreadye started. And yet ich moved nat to go wyth hem, for it semed that the knight spak trewthe, thogh it semed lyk tresoun.
And at that verye moment, ich felle doun in a swoon. (Ich haue been falling y-doun into swoones pretty much on a dailye basis evir syn ich haue been slepinge in William Langelandes gest-room and etinge hys food – methinketh the meales in his hous are full of pejote and valium. The man hymself ys basicallye a narcoleptique).
In my swoone thus, ich dremte that ich was yn a feelde wyth singinge briddes in the trees and a river cler as crystal. And ner my feete were V smal figures. Thei were made in the forme of liouns: and oon was azur, an othir was as grene as the feelde. The thridde was as red as blod, and the ferthe was yelwe lyk the blosmes of the dandelion. The Vthe smal figur of a lion was blakke as the night. And ich picked up the liouns, and niste what thei ment or who had mad them, or why thei were in the grasse in my allegorical landscape. Ther was also a smal perle next to the liouns, but ich ignored it by cause ich figured som oon els was lookinge for it.
And thus ich wandrid holding the smal figures of the liouns, vntil ich cam to a man who was clothed al in blak. And he seyde to me, “Gode sone, what cariestow in thy hondes?” And ich seyde, “Smal figures of liounes.” And he seyde, “How many?” And ich seyde, “Fyve.” And he seyde, “Trewelye, my son, thes fyve liounes signifien thy fyve senses, which sholde telle thee wher thy trewe path lieth. For by sight thou knowst sum thing of the matir at hand, and eek by thy heringe, and folowingly thurgh touch, smel, and tastinge. But thou hast nat putte hem al togedir.”
And thanne ich knewe, for ich put the liounes togedir and thei formed the figure of a mighti knight and a wise, lyk vnto the knight who spak.
“Behold! Put al thy senses togedir and thou getest the figure of Voult-Roune, which bitokeneth 'turne in secret.' For my sone, thou must joyne wyth thes ffolke as thy fyve senses say. For thou seest wyth thyn eyen the sory state of the reaume, and thou herest wyth thyn heringe the wordes of this knight, and thou touchest the matir wyth thy minde. And thus...”
“What about smel and tastinge?”
“Sum tymes the allegory worketh nat out completely. Just listen to me, felawe, go wyth thy felinge. Dostow trust this knight and wisshe to helpe the communes ayeinst de la Pole?”
“Thou must speke wyth greter felinge, for I heere thee nat.”
At which I wook, and sawe the communes weren deep in debaat. And sum oon had at that moment asked the question, “Who will go wyth me to get the secret evidence ayeinst de la Pole?” And by cause ich had screamid “I do,” I was chosen for the job.
And thus ich was no lenger a trewe yes-man of the kinges faction, but a man who wolde folwe thes communes to remove de la Pole from offyce. And ich was scared that Tommy Vsk would at me be soore y-pissed.
Of what then happed, vpon the journey to fynde the evidence, ich shalle write soon.
And who was the man in blak, ye maye ask? Ich knowe nat, but it semed he stood within a burninge ringe of fyre.