Les deus anglois et l’anel

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.
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