Read more about this fabliau at Arlima
|I want to tell you a fabliau
Of two Englishmen, without misspeaking,
Of whom one was lying ill
|4||And the other, as he should,
Watched him the best that he could
And fed him very well with what he could procure.
He quickly came and went
|8||That the ill man sweated it out.|
And when he feels better,
He addressed his companion.
He wanted to express his desire in French
|12||But the language turns into English,
Which was not surprising.
He awakes Alain, his friend,
Now hear how he calls him.
|16||“Alain,” he says, “what are you (doing / screwing) there?
Now you’re sleeping too long.
Me thinks a little better.
Me have all night sweated.
|20||Me have I think more thirst.
If I could eat a little.”
“Ha!” says Alain, “Holy Ghost,
Give my friend health.
|24||For whom my heart is troubled!”
“Friend, says he, by Saint Thomas
If you have a (fat lamb / baby ass)
Me could eat well, I think.”
|28||“You will have one,” he says, “by faith.
I will go quickly to look for one!”
“Companion, may God reward you.”
Thereupon, Alain went off.
|32||He went through the city looking
Until he entered into a house.
He informed the homeowner
As best he was ever able to speak
|36||But never was he able to pay enough attention
That he did not lapse into English.
Thus he farcified his French.
“Sire,” he says, “By Saint Thomas,
|40||If you have any (fat lamb / baby ass)
Me will buy gladly
And pay you good money
And good metal farthings
|44||And pay you good sterling”
When the good man, who was harnessing [a horse],
Heard him who was babbling,
He knew not what he was talking about.
|48||“What are you babbling about,” he says
“I don’t know what the devil you are saying.
Go away, that your body be cursed.
Are you from Auvergne or Flanders?”
|52||“Nay Nay,” says he, “Me (do / screw) English.”
The gentleman hears him and laughs.
“What are you saying, friend,” he says.
“Tell me what you are asking!”
|56||“Listen to me, you know
My friend (was very sick / screws a duck).
He ask me that I buy him
a (lamb / baby ass) that he wants to eat.
|60||The gentleman, that we call Manier,
thinks that he has understood well.
“Well, you’re lucky,” he says,
“My donkey just gave birth yesterday.”
|64||Before the Englishman, he brought the little ass.
He sold it, and he bought it.
To his house he went, skinned and flayed it.
When it was cooked and prepared,
|68||He brought to his friend
One of the thighs with the foot on
And he ate it with great pleasure
He who wanted the meat
|72||And was eager to recover.
When he had eaten with gusto
And looked at the bones, which were big
And the hip and the whole shank
|76||That he sees so big and robust.
He calls his friend, “Alain!”
And he comes right away.
“What doest you want,” he says, “cheater.
|80||Do you take me for a fool?
What animal did you bring me here?”
“A lamb” he says with kindness.
“A lamb?” he says, “By Saint Almon,
|84||This is not the child of a sheep!”
“Yes it is. I bought it for a sheep.
The biggest one that I saw.”
“A lamb? Devil, really?
|88||It seems like the flesh of an old ass.
That was an ass that I see here!”
“It was a (lamb / baby ass), I swear!
If you do not believe that this (was lamb / fucks baby ass)
|92||ME will go show you the skin.”
“Yes,” he says, “show me that.”
And the other one brought him the skin.
In front of his friend it was,
|96||The other one looked at it severely
The feet, the head, the ears.
“Alain,” he says, “you say marvelous things.
Such feet, such muzzle,
|100||And such skin a lamb has never had.
A little lamb has small bones,
Short spine and short back:
This is not the son of a “baa baa”
|104||What do you say, Alain, that this is?
This is not the son of a sheep!”
—“You tell true, by Saint Felix,
By the faith that I owe to Saint John,
|108||This is the son of a “hee haw”!
There was a female donkey in that house
And I brought you here a baby ass!”
When the sick man heard it said
|112||Thus he could not keep from laughing:
From sickness he was healed and recovered.
Never did the ass that he ate
Do him any harm, according to him who told
|116||This fable of the Englishmen.|