Discouragement reigns today. This king has a long string of names but late at night in his curtained bed he worries he will be known to history as Martin the Moody. Little does he know that it's much worse: when the court whispers about him in corners two-by-two they refer to him as Wilfred the Whiny. His attendants, picture them in big hats and wearing richly embroidered outfits in silk and wool (their dry cleaning bills equal the operating budgets of certain African countries), tell him it isn't seemly for a king to be so down in the mouth. "Cheer up, your majesty," says the First Advisor, backhanding a dozing servant across the top of his head (this is how royal attendants tell a servant to to bring a fresh jug of wine). His old nurse says to the housekeeper, "Ah, he were always Davey Down-in-the-Dumps," and spits in the fire. It is well known that she preferred his older brother who was the better looking of the two brothers until he died of The Pestilence, the Black Death, or the Damp Night Air (pick one). "Turn thy gaze upon the sun-brightened right bank of the footpath," says the queen consort, and considers setting this motto to music suitable for voice and spinet. The king would like to be the king they want him to be. Sometimes in his dreams he is mounted on a white charger caparisoned in silver, and he and the horse plunge into the thick of battle. He wields the jeweled sword of his ancestors. Left and right he hacks off the head of this enemy and plunges his sword into the heart of that enemy until the opposing army is routed and the field is soaked with the blood of war as a storm saturates the earth with water. He stands upright in the stirrups and raises his bloodied sword in triumph, and his army shouts his name in allegiance and pride: "George! George! George!" It's a good dream, a wonderful dream. But then he wakes up and remembers that the jeweled sword of his ancestors is so heavy he needs both hands to raise it knee-high.
Now blogging at: I Shall Never Forget the Russian Salad
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