Sunday, April 6, 2014

Award text: Engracia's Silver Rapier

My lovely and talented cadet, +Cathy Griswold , was inducted into the Order of the Silver Rapier yesterday.  For those not Eastern, the Silver Rapier is an award for rapier skill that sits below the Golden Rapier.  Sort of like Aethelmearc's Golden Alce.   She has been working incredibly hard on her fencing and I'm so delighted.

Engracia has a late 15th cen. Spanish persona.  My Spanish is suitable solely for ordering food and communicating with parking valets.  So I did a little gamesmanship.  I used a 15th cen. Spanish source in modern English translation and then put the English text into a spelling appropriate for the 1480-1500.  I'm quite pleased with the end result:

Brennan and Caoilfhionn, by ryght of armes Kyng & Queene of the Est, to alle of owr prelates, dukes, merkeises, erles, maisters of marcial orders, priours, grandees, gouernours of castells & fortified places of our kyngedome and lordshippes, & to counceyls, magistrates, mayres, constables, iustices, & to alle oyther persones of whatever law, estate, dignyte, preemmynence, & condicioun they may be, & to alle to whom the materes conteyned in this charter pertayne or may perteyn:  salutacions & grace.  We, wyth the counseil & advyse of the great nobles of oure kyngedome & with other persones of lernyng & wisdome, havyng taken deliberacion about this matere & havyng considered the causeful evidence of oure own eys conserning the excellence in the arte of the sworde shewen by oure servaunte Engracia de Madrigal, & the grace of her  countennaunce, & the fiernysse & hardynesse of her spirit, do now determyne & ordre that the name of the sayd Engracia be writyn upoun the listes of the membres of the Ordre of the Syluer Rapier.  And we do further commaunde, compell & instructe the seide Engracia to ware hens-forward upon her persone the signacles & tokens of the seyd Ordre, & to excersise hens-forward alle of the ryghts, honours, pertinences & prevelages as apperteneth to the aforeseid Ordre.  And we commaund all counceyls, iustices, magistrates, knytes, officeres, & alle good persones of the cetees, townes, & borowes of ouer sayde kyngedom, & all ouer vassels, subgettis, & natif men that they preserve & complie with & cause to be preserved & complied with this our chartre & alle that is conteyned in it, lest they incurre our rightful & certein dysplesaunce.  Geuyn in Settmour Swamp, upoun 5 Aprill, beinge the day of oure Coronacioun, in the fryst yere of owr regne & the fourti-yeghth yere of the Societee.

Based upon an April 1492 edict of Ferdinand and Isabella, using English spelling c. 1480-1500.

There's a bit of subtlety in the meaning here that's worth noting.  "Countenance" in modern parlance tends to mean simply "face."   The period meaning is broader, however.  The primary meaning given in the Middle English Dictionary is "Behavior, bearing, conduct; manners, esp. good manners" (  I don't think anyone who knows her can argue with the grace of Engracia's countennaunce.

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