“Friye, kissen Friydey! Freye, kissen Friydey, Friye!”
Mercy, mercy, I have hadde that songe in my brain al the day.
So, the fest of the Ordre of the Garter
went ful wele. There was but the usvale misfortune of dronkenness.
Eke, er we wente, Johne lost his garter, so I moste to sewen a newe “Honi soit qui mal y pense” ful faste for him. Gesse whose garter was employen, and who was to go with but oon sock to the fest? Ich, certes. But noone knewe, for my skirtes be longe.
Then came hit the feste, an we ate of Char de Crabbe-Appelles, Appellemuse, Appelles Ybake, and all mannir of thynges with appelles, the mene and the riche. Eke we had syder of appelles, and gode and stronge was hit. So stronge, that soon the duke of Norfolk was upon the tables dauncynge. We sange songes to helpen him; for we founde hit plesaunt.
“Cognoistez,” said my Johne to me, “Il est a baisser Friye au nuict d’huy.” (Friye is his love, ne hys wife.)
Then, neightest thou knowest, the lyzarden crieth and then the menn crien: “Friye! Friye! Friye! Friye!”
And so came in Friye, in a goun of reede.
By now, The Duke was in a bouquet on the ceilinge, and he sang to Friye:
“Come to me Friye,
My moost darlinge.
Yow said you should
Give me a kiss,
Hit is Friyeday.
Now ye mote com,
And maken gode word.
Ne maken yow me wayt,
For I am here ynow,
Now yow comen shal,
Forto given a kiss
So comen! Comen!”
(Thyse was nat a grete song, but he was singyng by his wittes so I shal say hit was nat so badde for that.)
And so we sange for Friye to kissen the Duke, and we all daunced moost dronkenlich.
Aft Friye had given a kiss unto the Duke, Richard the Kinge cried, “Let us alle goon out for a walk!”
This happeneth eche yere, and the pesauntes are alle afered of hit.
So we gathered uppe cuppes of syder and wine and meede and putten on ower capes. Then about we wente, hither and thither. Pesaunte families hid in house, and wepte “Ay, The Ordre of the Gareter is out! Waylaway!”
Came to us Johnes son Henri and we prowled togetheres. Alle as a familie, we toorned a privy up-side-ydoun. Hit was ful joly. Some Erles and Countesses wente and were pusshyng cowes on her sydes, eke. And we kept to drinkynge. All of Windsor stanke of vomit by the morrow, and The Duke and Friye found hemselves trappen in a tree, I heer. We who coulde, went bakke to the castele and to bedde whan the sonne up ycam. We were all so cooled, and ful of filth.
And so to day we woke, full of heed-ache and filthy. I spent al the mornynge trying to clene drit from my cape. The pesauntes, I heer, aren clening up the messe. Shal hem haven vengance upon us come Cristmassetide, forsooth. (And that is why Johne doth nat like to be in Windsor for Cristmasse.) Bute, now ye, my gentil rederes, knowe why we say “Honi soit qui mal y pense” – for that we are a herde of fierce noobles who goon with undre-weare on ower armes and drunke