Friday, May 18, 2018

"You Married, Imogen?" OR "Romantic Love"

In which Imogen is caught flirting with Bishop Odo, and furthermore, her squire Nesta calls her out on it.

“You married, Imogen?”

“Aye. With a son by marriage take’d to me. This by the Duke, and by the Duke’s decree.”

“And naught but duty does this marriage bring, my Genny?”

“Naught, but loyalty confirmed. The Duke, when roosted so to play Alquerques prefers to know the pieces extant to him, and so where those pieces lay.”

“But dam, to lay with bridegroom misbegot; to play Alquerques in life for Will the Duke; to sacrifice your fruit of precious youth; what of the benefits to you to pay with all the Lord hast vested to your case- what gain, my dam, hast you to show, if may?”

Imogen was silent and showed sullenness abroad.

“And then, what’s now your tenders do alight upon Bayeux. This I saw, my dam! Your pretty cockles up and warmed, and with his nearly in within you-“


“-His hands within yours held, I mean to say, and pinkness wrought from humor-wonts he draw’d from you this pretty afternoon today. It puts the lie to bridegroom’s well in hand that you should lay!”

“Do you, Ness... do you fancy that some other’s eyes fell so upon our sweet conspiracy?” She cast about with furtive brow and glances then. 

“The men? Whacht sees a man? A thing. We are a thing! A scrummy[1] Breton egg we be to them up in their saddle riding, looting booty from the cities and the towns they overrun! Aye, mayhap they see it, Imogen. But put their feeble wit to contemplation of the thing? They no more wonder why the river stones prefer to smoothen up in time, as wonder they what’s in our brains. You taught me so y’self, my pretty dame.” 

Imogen relaxed, though naught has she known then she’d tightened up. “Aye, right. You’re right. You’re right."

“Why d’you let the Bishop in, my Gen? Why him, of all the men?

“Why not the Bishop, Nesta? Has he not fair tongue, and cheek, and wealth and comfort, and magnanimity?”

“Fair tongue? Mean tongue, methinks.”

“Bite yours! Speak not so brazenly about fair Odo in me presence, not again!” 

Nesta grinned. “You fancy him for truly, don’t you Genny-dam?”

She blushed. 

Nesta smiled to her own, and turned away her face from ere the dame. For her own part, dame Imogene felt sorely for to strike her squire all about the ear. But with her good civility displayed, she well refrained. 

“Imogen, why dost our truly heart make fool of brains and eyes?”

“God’s will, methinks,” said Imogen. “God willest us to make our fatal mark against our better natures when He paves the Heavens and the Earth for future men to tread.”

“This makes much sense as any other thing’s been writ about romantic love,” did Nesta then assent. She wondered how it felt to be so take’d by Cupid and his Seraphim. She knew it not, herself.

[1] Delicious morsel

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