dimanche, janvier 30, 2011

Fab-Lib: The Gentil Compaignye of Three

Gentil rederes, as promised, Ich have a litel tale to yive unto yow, and it involveth sum audience participacioun.

For the feeste of the Newe Yeare, at the grete urginge of Virginia Wulfstan and the othirs of the Domesdaye groupe, Ich have made a New Yeares covenaunt: namely, that Ich shal retourne unto the writinge of my litel “Tales of Canterburye” projecte.

Many monethes agoon, Ich had been toolinge aweye at the Haberdassheres Tale, the which was nat really verye excitinge. So for to maken the retourne to thys project a sweete oon, Ich have put the Haberdassheres Tale yn the drawere, and have goon straight to the fabliaux. Ywis, yt is prettye awesome that but fewe have maad thes litel Frensshe tales of naughtinesse ynto the Englisshe tonge. And yet Ich feere that Ich have but litel graspe of the genre, so Ich have composid the followinge experiment, the which maye peraventure amuse thee, gentil redere.

For that the fabliau by yts kynde hath certayn certayntees, the which yive it an essence, Ich have essayed heere to produce a fabliau forme that kan be chaunged by the rederes and yet keepe some maner of yts fabliausity. Ye maye thynke swich an exercise queynte, but Ich saye yow that thys maner of thinge resembleth the “quodlibetof a universitee debate, yn which the audience putteth yn the termes of the argument. And thus ye koude calle thys creatioun a fabliau quodlibetal, or eek a “fab-lib.”

Sothly, the maner of proceedinge may be explainid withouten much trouble. Ich have belowe y-writ the outlyne of a fabliau, the which containeth many blanke spaces. Bifor the fabliau, Ich have listed the maner of wordes that the tale ytself doth lacke. Ye, rederes, shal fille yn the wordes from yower corage or fantayse bifor ye see the tale ytself. Thanne, whan ye rede of the tale ye maye putte yn the wordes ye have chosen, and ye schall fynde a moost plesaunt and different fab-lib eech and every tyme.

Yif it plese yow, ye maye poost the most deliteful passages from yower owene fab-libbes yn the commentes.

Heere followeth the Fab-Lib of Galfridus Chaucer, Clerk of the Kinges Workes, Concerning the Compaignye of III:

Lyste of woordes:

1. universitee towne

2. adjectif

3. emotional qualitee resultinge from contente

4. craftsperson

5. adjectif denotinge extremitie

6. liquor

7. anothir maner of liquor

8. yet anothir kynde of liquor, the which hath a greene colour

9. large animal

10. type of buildinge

11. animal that ys nakid

12. Exclamation relatinge to a seynt associated wyth nakednesse

13. hair metal star

14. substaunce founde neare ants

16. cookinge ingredient

17. anothir cookinge ingredient

18. fablid ruler yn the East.

19. adjectif

20. unit used to measure sleepe

21. adjectif denoting wrath

22. savory herb

23. wommanes name

24. part of bodye

25. racy but acceptable worde for anatomicale feature oonlie possessid by men

26. adjectif meaninge intelligent

27. domesticated byrde

28. fruyte

29. item of furniture

30. adjectif generallie considerede unfortunate whanne applyed yn a stereotypical fashion to a female, regrettable thogh swich generalisaciouns maye be they seeme inherent to the fabliau forme

31. worde usid to designate a wonder

32. type of pastrye, plural

33. smalle item of ornamentacioun

33. place wher clerkes doon bisynesse

34. worde designatinge a dilemma

35. burrowing animal

36. type of rock

37. predatory mammal

38. livestock enclosure

39. worde for a man of loose morales

40. venue for naughti bisynesse

41. a Celtic Otherworld

42. Late Antique Writer


Whilom did dwelle yn [universitee towne] a riche makere of ropes, who did rente the toppe floore of hys hous to three [adjectif] yonge maydes.

Many a daye did the three yonge maydes dwelle yn that palce, wyth muchel [emotionale qualitee resultinge from contente], until oon of hem did marrye a good man, a wright who was a [craftsperson]. The two who did nat marrye were yclepede Janette du Boys and Christine de Neyge, and they were filled wyth sorwe for they needed to fynde a newe roommate.

It happed upon a weekende that Janette and Christine did throwe their oold friende an hekke of an engagement partye. So [adjectif denotinge extremitie] was that partye, and so deepe did the two joly maydes drinke of [liquor] and [anothir kynde of liquor] and [yet anothir kynde of liquor, the which hath a greene colour] that Janette and Christine did wake wyth a hangovir that did pounde yn their heades lyk unto a [large animal] on the top of a [type of buildinge]. And in the morweninge, they did comfort themselves and rubbe their heades. And shortly when Janette went unto the privy, she cryede out for ther was a man yn the batthe-tubbe, who was as nakid as an [animal that ys nakid].

“[Exclamation relatinge to a seynt associated wyth nakednesse], wherefore ys yt that a manne ys yn my bathtubbe?” seyde Janette.

“Feere nat, goode ladye,” seyde the man, “For Ich am a symple clerk, that has come to thys place for to lerne art, and Ich am ycleped Jankyn the Tripper. And Ich am y-layd yn thys tubbe for Ich did crasshe the weddinge partye laste nyght, and did drynke moore than [hair metal star], and so Ich do fynde myself yn thys tubbe.”


Withoute delaye, Janette did clothe Jankyn for to scape fro syne. And she wrappid hym in a gowne of hers that was close by, for she had no othir clothes to spare.

Janykn and Janette came out of the privy, and ther was Christine cookinge a breakfaste. But yet the breakfaste nas nat good, for she had made the egges taste lyk unto [substaunce founde neare ants]. And Jankyn seyde, “Let us maken vertu of necessitee. Ich knowe wel the crafte of cookery fro whan Ich did studye in Orleans. If ye fetche for me [cookinge ingredient] and [anothir cookinge ingredient], Ich shalle make yow a breakfaste that shall surpass those of [fablid ruler yn the East.]”

Nowe leve we the two maydes and oon clerke, and lat us see what did hap yn the chambres of the ropere, the which did lyve directlie downstayres. Lo, the oold ropere and hys [adjectif] wyf were soore troublid, for the partye of the night bifor had kepte them from sleepinge even oon [unit used to measure sleepe].

“Telle off thos maydes, husbounde, or thou art no trewe man,” seyde the roperes wyf. But the ropere toold hys wyf that he was soore tyred from the makinge of roopes, and he seyde he had no relisshe for to cause trouble to yonge maydes.

“Ywis, thou hast no relish to causen eny maner trouble for maydes yonge nor eek wyves slightlye oolder, thou shrimpe,” seyde the roperes wyf, and so she wente up the stayres herself and was verye [adjectif denoting wrath], and she wolde telle the maydes to nevir have swich a partye again.

So it fel thus that the roperes wyf came up the stayres and wythoute knockinge did come ynto the chambre, and bihold! She sawe Jankyn yn the gowne of a woman and he did clippe a sprig of [savory herb] from the plante nexte to the couche. And Janette did get muchel worryed.

And the roperes wyf cryede out: “Wherefore hastow a manne yn thy chambres, harlot? And why hastow clothed hym yn a florale gowne?”

“Nay, thys nys no man,” seyde Janette, “Thys ys ower newe prospectif room-mate, [womannes name].”

“Thou liest in thy [part of bodye],” seyde the oold roperes wyf, “For Ich knowe woman from man, and a woman hath no [racy but acceptable worde for anatomicale feature oonlie possessid by men].”

“Ye are mistaken, Goodwyfe Ropere,” seyde Janette, who was verye [adjectif meaninge intelligent], and she led hym and the roperes wyf yn to a derke syde-chambre where there was a [domesticated byrde] and a [fruyte]. In the derknesse, Janette arrangid thes yn clever wyse and then made the roperes wyf touch a [item of furniture]. And the roperes wyf seyde, “Ay, I see nowe she ys a woman!” and she took herself down-stayres to hir housbond.


Yet as it happed, Christine and Janette in their grete hungovernesse had forgotten that a mayde was cominge to visit to see yf she wolde lodge with them as their newe roommate. And thus a mayde who was [adjectif generallie considerede unfortunate whanne applyed yn a stereotypical fashion to a female, regrettable thogh swich generalisaciouns maye be they seeme inherent to the fabliau forme] came up the stayres. And thys mayde wore, so it happed, a gowne much lyk unto the gowne that the two maydes had yiven unto Jankyn the Tripper.

And the roperes wyf toold the ropere of the mayde who lookid so muchel lyk unto a man, and the ropere seyde “Ich shal see thys [worde usid to designate a wonder], for Ich feere that ye have been tricked, my wyf, and they keepe sum maner of manne up there and do synne wyth hym.”

The ropere went up-stayres, and anon it happed that yn the chambre the ropere sawe the newe mayde who wolde be a roommate. And he seyde, “Thogh my wyf saye thou be a woman, Ich know that thou hast made some jape or trickerie upon her, and Ich shalle prove that thou be a man.”

The ropere grabbed at the maydes bosom through her gowne, and he sayde, “Biholde, these [type of pastrye, plural] are but fals.” Yet they were nat!

The mayde did shoute and did stikke her [smalle item of ornamentacioun] in hys nose, and he was soore shamed and did go down-stayres to hys wyf, repentinge hys rudenesse and sayinge that ther was no man upstayres. And the mayde departid, for she koud fynde a bettir rentale elswhere.


Nowe passe we to Jankyn and Christine and Janette, who did gadir rounde the boord for to ete of the meale that Jankyn had cookid. Yt was the moost deintevous and savorie foode that evir Christine and Janette had tasted.

Then Janette bethought her sotilly and seyde, “We two kan nat cooke so wel, and swich a cook wolde make a fyne roommate.”

Jankyn did smyle and seye, “That wel me liketh. For Ich have come to thys towne but yisterday and have no place to staye, save for the stable of the taverne at the signe of the Beagle Roiale. Thys is a fyne rental and verye close to [place wher clerkes doon bisynesse].”

Yet Christine seyde, “But welawey, the oold ropere wol nat suffer us to have a man lyve among us. Thys is a [worde designatinge a dilemma, Ich suggest kankedort by cause yt ys a right good word]!”

Whiles the three so talkid, the ropere and hys wyf did have muchel wrangling among themselves, for the roperes wyf wolde have hym come up to apologize for his acciouns, and he wolde nat. And the roperes wyf seyde that the ropere was naught but a [burrowing animal] and a [type of rock], and she pulled hym up the stayres.

Than fel it thus that the ropere and hys wyf breste open the doore and ther founde the two maydes and the oon man etinge togedir.

A knife wyth gleminge blade the ropere did pulle right faste from hys boote, and he menacid the yonge clerke.

“Cry out harrow! Ther ys a [predatory mammal] in the [livestock enclosure]. By my soule, Ich nam no [worde for a man of loose morales] nor wil I kepe no [venue for naughti bisynesse]! Thou hast synned yn my house and thou shalt paye wyth thy lyf!”

Janette and Chrstine cryed out wyth feere, and Jankyn did rayse hys armes yn front of hys face for to warden hym from the knyves edge.

It happed that the Kyng and Queene of [a Celtic Otherworld] were walkinge ther yn the apartment, unseene by the mortal folke. For the Queene had grete delite to look upon rope-makinge and twyne and othir manner of fibrous construccioun, and the Kynge did oblige her by cause a long tyme agoon he had hir ravysshed down ynto hys underworld, as [Late Antique Writer] doth maken mencioun. It happed that they walked in on thys contencioun invisibli and did laughen at it.

“Biholde, my lady,” seyde the Kyng, “Thys man hath been caught in a tricky situacioun and shal be soore beaten. But Ich shal yive unto oon of thes maydes the yifte of speche so wys and resonable that the oold ropere shal make hys peace, and shal permit the clerk to lyven wyth the maydes.”

“Do ye that, my good lord,” seyde the Queene, “but forsooth, unusual gender-mixede livinge arrangements sholde nat come wythout heighjinkes. And thus Ich shal put a spelle on thes three, that always they shall be gettinge ynto unusual and likerous predicamentz. And lo, thogh ech tyme they koud solve eny problem by simplye telling the othirs of sum smalle secret or plan, they never shall do so until the verye ende, when thinges have bicom completelye messed up.”

And so it happed that through the sorcerie of the Kyng, Christine did seye that Jakke the clerk was a lovir of men al oon, and she swore that he had no likynge for women. By cause of the Kinges powere and the foolishnesse of the ropere, the ropere did believen her.

So ende we our mery tale, and so it happed that thes three did lyve togedir for many a yeere, and had many an aventure, as the Queene had seyde they wolde. And thes three did calle themselves a joly compaignye and they made a mirtheful virelaye that thei songe togedir. The note, I trowe, ymaked was in Fraunce, the wordes were swiche as ye may here fynde:

Come thee and clappe vpon ower gate

Longtyme have we wayted to see thee anewe,

Heere hires and hys and hires the kissinge ys,

For three, god woot, ys compaignye trewe.

Come thee and dauncen upon ower flete,

Trippe thee and tredde a paas al newe,

For there ys daliaunce heere that nedeth thy chere,

For three, sans doute, ys compaignye trewe.

lundi, janvier 24, 2011

Prettye Good Yeare

By Seynte Simon Stylite, the labour and bisynesse of werke hath me exiled from the plaisance and jolitee of my litel blog. Sithen My Lord the Kyng hath been commitinge hymself to non-factionale, reasonablie stable rule, he hath been pusshinge me prettye harde wyth the royal werkes. Laast yeere did yerne ful yerne and, Ich devoutly praye, shal never yeelde the lyke. Swich a "to-doon lyste" hath never Noah ne seene, nor hath the muchel-overworked crewe of the Battelstar Ecclesiastica evir had so much stresse.

In the somer, My Trespuissant Lord the Kyng did bestowe upon me the responsibilitee of the werste “fixer upper” of alle the royale chapeles: that of Saynt George in Windesore, the whiche was basicallye aboute to collapse fastere than Charles de Sheene yn the privy of a hostel.

Yet Saynt Georges droopinge sanctum was but the prelude to my woe. For anon, yn the autumpne, ther was a gret tourney in Smithfield, at which noble knightes were to batter themselves demi-wayes to deeth for the amusement of the crowde and the honour of Engelonde, and thus "listes" were added unto my list.

Ich did propose the construccioun of a curious and craftie edifice maad all rounde yn the shaap of an egg, the which wolde have many circular rowes ascendinge, ycrammed with seates oon rowe above the othir, so that whan a man was set in oon degree he wolde let nat hys felawe for to see the accioun (thogh trewely the beere and hotte-dogge vendours wolde yet get in the waye).

Thys flewe nat. “In what overunkinde, auke, and weiward versioun of thys worlde, deere Geoffrey,” the Kyng did seye to me, “art thou a desiger of buildinges?” And so yt was decyded to forget all aboute my "stadium" idea, and rathir lavisshe the casshe upon the construccioun of a “Jumbo-Throne” for Kyng Richard. Ich did arrange, howevir, for the creacioun of many a bleacher for the fannes, and many a large foam hande the whiche was emblazoned wyth "BEATE ENGELONDE? ARE YOU CRECY?," and thogh the resultes were moore modest and simple than my firste planne, the labour was equallye hevy. Yif ye wondere, good rederes, where have been the poostes of blog, Ich shal but poynt towardes a not-fallinge-downe-nowe chapel and a wel-remembered sportinge event.

And thanne, after the labour of the grete tourney, the holidayes came, and Philippa did wisshe to celebrate a proper Festivus thys yeere (for she ys of Hainault, where Festivus ys heeld yn grete reverence by cause of Seynt Fraunk). Ywis, Ich knowe nat the difference bitwene a clerk of the kinges workes and a husband preparinge for the holidayes, for both envye the pack-horse.

For yif yt be nat oon thyng, yt ys anothir. Oi vey! The forginge of the Festivus pole by Gervais, the local blakke-smithe, was delayed, for the red-hote pole had y-borrowed been by a towne clerke for sum straunge and uncustumable activitee involvinge a shot-windowe. Thanne, ther was muchel debaat and stryfe yn the familie regardinge the proper arraungement of the "feates of strengthe" (apparantlie a pusshe-uppe conteste was ydeemed "nat good ynough.") Litel Lowys did scantlie retourne from Oxenforde yn tyme for the celebraciouns, bringinge wyth hym a date that did throwe the reste of us ynto a tizzie (she was a Wycliffite!). As a maner garnisshe upon thys cocktayle of chaos, ower catte decyded to posicioun ytself yn the Festivus turkeye immediatlye bifor the diner. BSL! And yit in the ende, for al my labour and grucchynge, for al the affrai and inquiete, we had a verray parfit Festivus feeste, catte haire notwithstondinge. Ich did even see my deere son Thomas, who did retourne from hys wonted journeyinge wyth The Duk of Lancaster, John of Gaunt. Trewelye, Festivus ys a tyme for familye.

But for the feeste of newe yeeres, Ich did make a resolucioun, the which Ich shal descryven unto yow within but a fewe dayes. In anothir poost. Anon.