Sir John in Scotteland

BSL, but I have been sore ill thys nyght, and I begge yow, gentils alle, yowr pardoun yf I muste take hasty leave of thys poste for to run to the privee. Though that I have traversed the whoole erth, and though I have eten of many a straunge sustenance, fro the fisshe of the gravelly see of Asie to skewered crocodile sowthe of Ethiopie, nevere have I been so dyscombobulated in my bellye as I am now, northe of oure Englysshe border.

After I posted laste I was sent northe to Scotteland on the kinges privee busynesse. Havyng conducted thys in Edinborough I came northe alonge the see, past St Albans to Forfar, in Angus. Heere I have an oolde freende, the whych gentil I met many yeeres ago in Parys. He is of the clan yclept Guthrie, a moost noble and oold family of Scottes who longe have serven their kynge. My freende, James Guthrie, ys a smale man, greetly fond of whiskie and ale, and I had fro long tyme wanted to see hym agayn. Lyke hys fellows heere in Scotteland, he can nat do ynough for his guests, but readeres, I fain that he woulde have done not half of whatte he dyd!

Oo, freendes, he commaunded a greet feest to be prepared in mine honour, but nevere had I seen food of the lyke! Our meel was served with bread deep-fryed. I was y-given some thyng called "the haggis of honour" that semed to me to be the verray spare partis of a sheepe, but whych James swore was "spices and lovely thynges". For a sweete we hadde deep-fyed Mars bars, whych were nat red, but dyd make mine blood to y-boil within mine bellye. And wyth these accursed comestibles came endless whiskie, whych drynke is moost injurious to kynghtes and oother lyving thynges.

The Scottes be verray true and freendlie, that ys no dowte, but, for goddes dignitee, pakke yowr owne lunch. O! My belye! I must away!

I remain, queasilie yours,

Sir John Mandeville

10 comment "Sir John in Scotteland"

  1. Alas, Sir John, yere bellye be no match for those of us Celts . . . .

  2. I was uppe all the longe nyght, certes, and to-daye I feele nat much better.


  3. "Deep-fyed Mars bars"? My corset does burst its laces at the mere mention of such a delicacy!

    Please, dear sir, take some seltzer water, or some mint tea to releive your gastric pain. If that should prove most ineffective, you might find an apothacary to dispense some laudanum.

  4. Pray telle vs, Sire Johan, whether it were the haggis of honneur or the depe-fryede mars barres that did kepe thee up all the lang nighte?

    And, by the bye, hastow hadde good cess with myne privie businesse?

  5. Clio: Grauntmerci for yowre suggestioun of laudanum. Y feele much releved.

    Yowre Majestee: Yt was the haggis.

  6. Sire Johan, Ich trvste that thart nowe full well recovered. Myn privie business hath no business in the privie.

    Thou deservest well thyne recompense.

  7. Yower trespuissant majestee,

    Ich beg of yower grete radiance that ye taak this nat the wrong wey, but...

    "Myn privie business hath no business in the privie."

    Mesemeth ye haue hired Johannes Gower to wryte yower jokes for yow ayein. For thabove japery doth nat befit yower gret sapience. Methinketh yower gretness coud get a bettir writer. Tryeth yong Mayster Hoccleve, peraventure?

    Le Vostre
    G C

  8. Maistre Chavcer, since thov hast goon to Kent, myn source of gode japes hath dried up quite. Mayhap thou shalt be interested in the post of speche-writere to the Crown?

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