We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Whan that aprill with his shoures soote The droghte of march hath perced to the roote, And bathed every veyne in swich licour Of which vertu engendred is the flour; Whan zephirus eek with his sweete breeth Inspired hath in every holt and heeth Tendre croppes, and the yonge sonne Hath in the ram his halve cours yronne, And smale foweles maken melodye, That slepen al the nyght with open ye (so priketh hem nature in hir corages); Thanne longen folk to goon on pilgrimages, And palmeres for to seken straunge strondes, To ferne halwes, kowthe in sondry londes; And specially from every shires ende Of engelond to caunterbury they wende, The hooly blisful martir for to seke, That hem hath holpen whan that they were seeke. Bifil that in that seson on a day, In southwerk at the tabard as I lay Redy to wenden on my pilgrymage To caunterbury with ful devout corage, At nyght was come into that hostelrye Wel nyne and twenty in a compaignye, Of sondry folk, by aventure yfalle In felaweshipe, and pilgrimes were they alle, That toward caunterbury wolden ryde. The chambres and the stables weren wyde, And wel we weren esed atte beste. And shortly, whan the sonne was to reste, So hadde I spoken with hem everichon That I was of hir felaweshipe anon, And made forward erly for to ryse, To take oure wey ther as I yow devyse. But nathelees, whil I have tyme and space, Er that I ferther in this tale pace, Me thynketh it acordaunt to resoun To telle yow al the condicioun Of ech of hem, so as it semed me, And whiche they weren, and of what degree, And eek in what array that they were inne; And at a knyght than wol I first bigynne.
Not aprill yet, but almost. A "palmer" is someone who wears a palm leaf as testimony of having taken a pilgrimage to the Holy Land. I am posting a "modern English" translation below the fold, but bearing in mind that Chaucer wrote in the closest thing to modern English at the time - some say invented modern English in literature. The British Isles had many languages and language variants at the time; Anglo-Saxon, French, Gaelic, Welsh, etc. Just consider how many Norman-French words he uses. What the literate and well-educated Jeff Chaucer wrote was and is pretty much modern English - and fine job he did with it.
When April with his showers sweet with fruit The drought of March has pierced unto the root And bathed each vein with liquor that has power To generate therein and sire the flower; When Zephyr also has, with his sweet breath, Quickened again, in every holt and heath, The tender shoots and buds, and the young sun Into the Ram one half his course has run, And many little birds make melody That sleep through all the night with open eye (So Nature pricks them on to ramp and rage)- Then do folk long to go on pilgrimage, And palmers to go seeking out strange strands, To distant shrines well known in sundry lands. And specially from every shire's end Of England they to Canterbury wend, The holy blessed martyr there to seek Who helped them when they lay so ill and weal Befell that, in that season, on a day In Southwark, at the Tabard, as I lay Ready to start upon my pilgrimage To Canterbury, full of devout homage, There came at nightfall to that hostelry Some nine and twenty in a company Of sundry persons who had chanced to fall In fellowship, and pilgrims were they all That toward Canterbury town would ride. The rooms and stables spacious were and wide, And well we there were eased, and of the best. And briefly, when the sun had gone to rest, So had I spoken with them, every one, That I was of their fellowship anon, And made agreement that we'd early rise To take the road, as you I will apprise. But none the less, whilst I have time and space, Before yet farther in this tale I pace, It seems to me accordant with reason To inform you of the state of every one Of all of these, as it appeared to me, And who they were, and what was their degree, And even how arrayed there at the inn; And with a knight thus will I first begin.
You did a service --barrister is a nice guy who often makes the same cognitive error that so very many of us make --the same cognitive error that flips on and off like a strobe in my own mind --that these people are merely misguided, error-prone, wrong-thinking, overly-this or underly that.
What you were saying is just hard to hold in mind --that this bunch knows exactly what it's doing, and what it's doing is preserving deniability behind the ruse of 'stupidity' while intentionally collapsing the Dollar, the economy, the social structure, the nation, and liberty itself.
Gotta give Barrister credit for keeping himself distant enough from Hell that he has difficulty internalizing the concept.
I am posting a "modern English" translation below the fold, but bearing in mind that Chaucer wrote in the closest thing to modern English at the time - some say invented modern English in literature.
So, it could be said that Chaucer performed the same function for English that Dante did for Italian. When I read Inferno several years ago, I asked a friend w an MA in Italian about the relative changes in current Italian and English compared to what Dante and Shakespeare wrote. The reply was that Italian had changed less.
I am surprised at how readable the original Chaucer is, though I would appreciate a "modern version" alongside to check my interpretation of the original Chaucer.
I am too lazy to check out how many Norman-French words he uses, but imagine it was close to current percentages.
As the prologue illustrates, the difference between Modern, Early Modern, and Middle English is as much in the references than in recognising the words. We can see that foweles = fowl, but might not get that it means all birds. And "Hath in the ram his halve cours yronne," needs a gloss even if you get what words are being used.
The distances add up: slight spelling changes, slight meaning changes, different cultural references, and perhaps choice of topic most of all, add up to ME being only on the edge of our understanding, not really understood without some training.
Cf. Dutch "Ik heb al zoveel over u gehoord." - I have heard so much about you. It looks farther away than the ME above, but the pronunciation changes and the likelihood of the phrase in modern times might give you the hint that we actually would adjust to a Dutch speaker a little more quickly than a 14th C English one.
Assistant Village Idiot