Wednesday, 22 August 2007

Fye to alle malcontentys!

Heere begynnyth myn apologia pro sua absentia
Ich haue bene of laat - for resouns to me unknowe - afflyctyd by a ryght stronge malencolie. For weekys oon end ich haue ystaryd atte me wallys foure. Hyt is not a lyght matere, deere frendys, to ben putten out of onys ryght mynde and not ben in a posycyoun to answere the doore (many thankys for the pizza and peintures-moevynge on .d.v.d., Lytel Louis). But hyt is not the ende to myn troubles.

Som wikkede traytoures han yspred the rumoure that ich han ben on sum voyage to partes exotyke and enjoyyd mynselue there in maneres uncouthe. These evyl malcontentys han ymakyd and ypublishyd a false ymage to tarnysshen myn good naam. Seeth for youreseluen, gentyle redere:

Hyt is wykkede and a blowe to myn reputacion (Occleve, remoue thys nyce smyle from youre face).

Fama, fama,
why beeth thou so fickle?

Sunday, 8 July 2007

Bugge the Popes newe masse!

Hyt is ryght merueillous to reden of the Popes bulle & the so-callyd missa tridentina. The rolles of newes han ben reportynge all-daye that thys missa beeth ayenst the Iudeisshe peple but Ich am nought adredde for the Iudeisshe peple for the Pope is nought yclepyd a nyncomPopys: no doutte, he wyll not desyren to opene olde woundis. Yit Ich am much addredde for in Engelonde the propre masse in Latyne is yclepyd sarum and not som newefanglyd tridentina.

The missa sarum is much preferryd to owr owyn Englysshe tongue but who nedyth som newe tridentina? Many compaygnies of marchauntys hauen of laat deyvsyd cherlisshe termys forto sellen more marchaundise so that we ne lenger can tellen what hyt be that we bugge from hem. Hyt beeth so wyth apillys ypodde or the chapmenisshe Sowtane of Amerykes werre ayenst terroure. What meneth ypodde & what beeth thys terroure? Hyt is nat clere to me. By Seynte Loy, here beeth termys that can be applyed to all maner of delusyouns wythouten beinge exclusyf to a single oon!

And by-cause that euery prynce nowe has hys rolle of newes - euene the Saracenes Algezyre & the Frenssche villeins here Frankysshe by-daye-and-nyghte - Ich wene (and Occleve seys so also) that thys tridentina beeth oonly the fancye broadecastynge naam of the Lateranys responsio to the televisyoun rolles for hyt is more noble & plesaunte forto heren a cantus perfourmyd in the hooly langage of the Chirche.

But Ich am aferyd that the Pope & hys hyghe Byshoppes & Cardinalys desyryn to reche wyth thys televisyoun rolle the worste peple hidynge in the wylde woodys of the Wirrale: euery Christene man knowyth that the secrete Brothirhode of Pius the tenthe beeth a bunch of wykkede heretykes, prechours of enormitees & sheepfacyd twattys. What beeth the poynte of embracen those that han ydumpned you by-cause of som dyspute aboute the fourme of the masse? Oonly a dounryght wankere kan mystake the fourme for the quidditas. What is more, the Brothirhode is in cahouttis with that poore actoure Thomas Crouse who meneth to leden som Churche into som ycoveryd Operacyoun Theetanys & alle the weye to Prester Iohannes & Xenou & to alle that dianetykke bullesturde. There beeth no gretter abomynacyoun thanne to tellen lyes & ben richly rewardyd for hyt. These false pretendourys moot nede ben ystoppyd. Ich clepe on the aldermannes of Londoun to putten alle these feble actores into the stokkes so that the peple can pelten hem wyth all maner of yrotten marchaundyse!

(Methynkes hyt myghte han ben Meluyn Gibsoun not Thomas Crouse. But thys oonly showyth that alle actoures ben false traytoures.)

Thursday, 5 July 2007

On franke speche

Bloggeres in Cathay han ymaked of laat muche pleynte that here ben oppresyd and censured in here franke expressioun but we Englysshe peple ben ryght fortunaat in owre privyleges sans limite (sauf peraventure Tommy Uske who had ben askynge for hyt). Yit som wryteres haue ymakyd hyt here objectyf to wryte such nycetees so that Ich kan nought but yerne for a regimente of the webbemundi more mesured and taastful. Here been foure proposicyouns forto improuen the imago of the so-callyd webbe and maken hyt more usere-benigne:

i. Do wey wyth alle these deceyvynge paginae of fornicacyouns and lewde materes. And what beeth a carta creditorys or a carta debitorys anyweye? Not oon of myn freendes at the scaccarium seemyth to knowen hyt.

ij. Shutte the apille webbepage. Myn engyne doth not supporte the japes of the yphone-demonstracyoun (to myn endlesse frustracyoun). Besydes, what swyneshede wolde want to bugge an ybitten apill?

iij. As a man employid in owr Kyngys Chauncery, Ich demaunde the refourme of the entries on these rolles of newe itemys such as the brittysshe broade-myndyd corporacyoun or Edwarde Turnerys sonys nettewerke. Make hem to embracen more sentence: no-oon kan undirstonde alle of hyt and Ich care a turd whedyr som Sowtane of Ameryke and a Vladimiro of Ruce han ycacchyd schellfysshe togidir. Ynow!

iiij. And to toppe hyt all offe now euene the Frensche morselmyndes han ylaunchyd here owin rolle yclepyd Frankysshe-by-daye-and-nyghte to laughyn at owr fayre franke Englysshe speche and to weeren us owt from cokkecrow to cokkecrow wyth here owyn corrumpyd argotte. Han mercye on us! (But euene the Frensshe traytoures daren noght to chaungen the hyghe reputacyoun of the noble Englysshe hostis that fyghten for owre Kynge in Fraunce ryght at thys tyme and thus the Frensshe villeins han yclepyd owre pilgrymes ryghte proprely 'hooli-ganys'.) No franke speche for the Frankysshe, I seye.

Wednesday, 4 July 2007

Oon of hem dayes

Ich be a ryght royal messe aftyr my ferste lectio. To blogge or not to blogge - hyt is the questioun Ich han askyd me whanne Ich habbe been passen swynkeward thorough the pauementes of Westmynstre. Ich nyste noght whiche purpose hyt myghte seruyn forto wryten of som exchaunge of privy materes. Lyk a smale cogge-wheel in som juggernaute I feled, uanishynge into insygnificacioun.

And whanne Ich habbe perusyd the webbemundi in my chaumbres atte the Chauncery (where muche of myn werke for the Privye Sele beeth) Ich habbe ygooglyd my naam and hyt upon a sclanderous abomynacyoun: the so-callyd "Thomas Occleve" webbepage at som outtefytte of cuntrefeetirs yclepyd falsely "luminarium". By Seynte Loy! Hyt is nat the lyght of resoun that illumines thyse dishoneste entrie but the derke karbunkeles on the feendys buttockes. Not oonly han Ich been yputten togidir wyth that mesurelees Lewdgate felawe (that sholde ytrapped in a monasterye be) but myn werke hath ydrawen been thorough the mudde. Seeth the truth of thyse accusacyouns for youreselue, gentyle redere: "He ranks, like his more voluminous and better known contemporary Lydgate, among those poets who have a historical rather than intrinsic importance in English literature. Their work rarely if ever rises above mediocrity; in neither is there even any clear evidence of a poetic temperament." Noon temperaumente? Bulles-turde! Here is myn temperaumente! And yif thou nedest more, thou oghtest perusyn myn Compleynte before thou craftest suche bobbebales. Hyt is no jape, hyt is myn reputacyoun thou rivest.

And forto adducen insulte to iniurie, Ich am confusyd wyth Occleve on that lewed pagina (the unflatterynge peinture shawyth hym nat me). Heu, heu, quid volui misero mihi?

O mutabilitee, o cruel fortune! Ich suspecte Doctour Dereke Pearsalle or som suche cherlysshe clerke of the universitees behynde thys yvele gynne.

Myn epistre to Iohannes Gower

To Iohannes Gowere be this lettir delyveryd in haste.

Thys is to ascerteyne & proclayme that Ich habbe yherd of thyn despycable accusaciouns ayenst Mayster Chaucer & of youre othir malefacciounes also. Lenger nyl Ich lyste to youre ryght lewed tales & fabricaciouns of enormitees. As of thys uery momente we (that ys, Thomas Occleve & Ich) shall labouren on oure owen blogge to chyde thee, prayse the grete poete daun Gaufridus & yeve consolacioun to alle those afflycted by maladyes of the mynde.

Wretyn at Westmynstre on the ferthe daye of Iuli. By yowre humble servaunt Thomas Hoccleve.


...redyen for to taken my purse, hosen, my beste cloke, a boke of houres for to rede (moot droppe-bye the dicing house ere none)... heu, Ich foryete to swych-offe the engyne.

Tuesday, 3 July 2007

A daye in the lyf of a Chauncery clerke

Ryght derke beeth the heuenes aboue, and a storme brewyth ouer Westmynstre. The blakke cloudes been ydrawen togidir lyke unto grete hostis preparid to doon bataille. My chaumbres been but smale and my table coueryd with all maner of documentys that nedeth duplicacioun. And Ich by myseluen sitte behinde the mountaigne of papure, seying to myselue: "Forwhy dwelles thou here lyk unto a sack of mele whyle thy lyf is in a staat of consternacioun, moeuynge noght from the spotte". Yslumped in my chaire, myn hede bobbed up and doun and doun ayene til hyt restyd on my breste.

Ryght then Ich felle into a depe sweuene when a uoice clepyd me: "Awak, Thomas, awak! Lift up thin hede and awak! Nys no tyme to slepyn now; your lyfe is a merueillous tale forto prechyn unto the pres and all to improvyn here lyfes and fyndyn consolacioun." This uoice, make no mistak, is ryght in myn hede. Anon Ich answerde hyt: "Who art thou, ghoostly presence in myn mynde?" "Certeynly, thou shalt knowen hyt. My naam is Thomas Occleue, thy Yorkshyre selfe", the uois returnyd. "I am comyn to urgyn thyn herte to pacen resonably, I am a leche to thyn mynde, a physicien to thin maladyes, and a remedie to your nyghtly dredys. For to speken sothly, I am ysent to counseil and cumfortyn you, and to schawen unto thee the artes of redynge of myndes, of diagnosticacioun of feble braines and how to mendyn thy lyf: I am thy shrynke. On Wednesdayes, at tweyne aftir none (sharpe), we bath sall metyn for a session. Your fyrste gatherynge wyll be to-morwe (but yif thou kanst nat wayte, thou kanst clepyn me by daye and nyghte whethir thou slepyst or wakyst)."

"This is a ryght wondrous tale", Ich herde myseluen seye and awak withalle. "Heu! A brothir, a uery copye of myseluen, crouwded in myn hede. And a leche of myn troublid mynde!" And Ich openyd my engyne and began these wordys on my fontysborde to typen, euir thinkyng of to-morwe, of my myn fyrste consultacioun with myseluen.