sábado, 1 de marzo de 2014

THE EMARE MESSENGER II

"When the heir is born, the messenger sent to
inform the King stops at the castle of Emaré’s mother-in-law who makes him 
drunk and destroys the letter he is carrying."
"The messengers carrying the letters of the king’s victory are drugged and the letters counterfeited."

"She made hym dronken of ale and wyne,
 And when she sawe ϸat hyt was tyme,
 Tho chambur she wolde hym lede.
 And when he was on slepe browȝt, 
 The qwene ϸat was of wykked ϸowȝt,
 Tho chambur gan she wende.

He made hym welle at ese and fyne,
 Bothe of brede, ale and wyne,
 And ϸat be-rafte hym hys reson. 
 When he was on slepe browȝt, 
 The false qwene hys letter sowȝt;
 In-to ϸe fyre she kaste hyt downe."

The messenger knewe no gile,
But rode hom mony a mile, 
By forest and by frith.

After the messenger ther they sente, 
The king askede what way he went: 
"Lord, by your moder fre." 


579. ii. TRESON / 582. ii. RESON: treson: ‘treason’, <Anglo-Norman treysoun
= OF traïson552; reson: ‘reason’, <Anglo-Norman and OF reson. Both words
entered English with ME /ɛ:/ and developed /i:/ in 17th and the 18th c.

582. i. BE-RAFTE: ‘stole’, <OE bi-, bereafian – bereafode – bereafod, weak 
verb of the 2nd class. The syncope occurs in weak verbs of the 2nd class only in 
verbs with a long stem-vowel.556

The messenger stops at the court of Donegild, the king's mother, who drugs him and changes his letters.

The messenger whom Kadore sent with the 
news to the King, lodged on his way at the castle of the old 
mother. After making him drunk, she destroyed the letter, and 
wrote another in its stead.

The messenger stops off at the King's mother's castle on the way. He tells her of the news, and she proceeds to get him drunk. Once he is unconscious, she burns the letter and writes a new one to tell her son that his wife had given birth to a demon. The next day the messenger continues on his way and gives the message to the King. On reading it the King weeps, and curses his fortune. However, he writes a letter ordering Sir Kadore to offer any and all support to Emaré and to refuse her nothing.
The messenger sets off with this message and again stops off at the mother's castle. She again gets him drunk, and again burns the letter, and writes a new one informing Sir Kadore to exile Emaré.
  The Messager, to Knaresburgh,
          Which toun he scholde passe thurgh,
          Ridende cam the ferste day.
          The kinges Moder there lay,
          Whos rihte name was Domilde,
          Which after al the cause spilde:
          For he, which thonk deserve wolde,
          Unto this ladi goth and tolde   
          Of his Message al how it ferde.
          And sche with feigned joie it herde
          And yaf him yiftes largely, 
("gave him gifts largely": no mention of intoxication)
          Bot in the nyht al prively
          Sche tok the lettres whiche he hadde,
          Fro point to point and overradde,
          As sche that was thurghout untrewe,
          And let do wryten othre newe
          In stede of hem, and thus thei spieke...
bot he with strong wyn which he dronk
Forth with the travail of the day
Was drunke, aslepe and while he lay,
che hath hise lettres overseie
And formed in an other weie.


The trick of the birth letter is perfectly paralleled in the "Man of Law's Tale," and in both the queen/mother-in-law uses wine to get the messenger drunk so as to substitute the letters.   What is the poet telling us about wine and truth?  As in the MoLT, there's a second switched letter because the king's so darned pious and faithful to his bride, and another drunken messenger incident.  

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