Una screamed. I mean, is there
a better opening to a chapter possible? Not sure that there is! Poor Una opens
this scene with a bang and a crash as she falls down beneath her mysterious
assailant. Then he grabs her and covers her mouth and . . . I don't know about
you, but I'd freak out under those
I say! Really,
Okay, so the first words out of her "attacker's" mouth aren't so
terribly threatening as all that. Maybe he's not such a bad bloke? Wrong place
at the wrong time . . . it could happen to anyone.
still freak out. And kick. And elbow. And possibly bite.
laughed when I wrote it, and I laughed all over again when the poor jester
began making his apology. EXTREMELY over-the-top, and really quite adorable
when you think about it. Granted, I probably would have screamed again and
booked it up the garden path by this point. But I'm glad Una didn't and
therefore allowed us to witness the whole of the jester's apology.
of Rudiobus. The jester makes
reference to this siege and Lady Gleamdren. Would you believe it if I told you
this "siege" is recounted in Starflower?
Yes, it is . . . but it might not be quite the epic event that poets (coughEanrincough)
have made it out to be in later years. By the time of Heartless, it is considered quite the catastrophic episode, and
Lady Gleamdren is a tragic heroine. Heh.
yet another reference comparing Una to Lady Gleamdren! Just how pretty is this Lady Gleamdren?
Leonard. I'm not certain
if there is anything in this world more pathetic than an out-of-work Fool. I
mean, it's hard enough being a Fool in the first place! Leonard seems to enjoy
his foolery well enough, though. I love how he continues his introduction while
still lying on the ground. Don't think he realizes he's talking to a princess!
a song that random must have some
meaning behind it, right?
wrote that poem a good year and a half before Heartless was even dreamed up. I was in my sophomore year of
college at the time and taking a wonderful poetry class with Professor Lehman
(a long-suffering man if there ever was one). He taught us great things about
poetry and also how to make a whistle out of an acorn cap. I mean, how awesome
also had us writing various types of poetry as class assignments. Now, I am no
great poet! But I did have a lot of fun experimenting around with these various
poetic types. "The Geestly Knout" was something called a "Carrolian Carol." We were
supposed to find a whole slew of actual
English words, archaic or simply strange, and put them together into a
nonsense poem, Jabberwocky-style.
Geestly Knout" was my contribution. And when it came time for my jester to
begin jestering, it was very nice to have a bit of nonsense at the ready to
simply hand over to him.
never know when nonsense will come in handy.
Ooops. And a little
late, Leonard realizes that he jumped on
the princess. Not a great beginning to his jesterly career! But his charm
and easy manner seems to have delighted her, so there's not too much to fret
notice that he bows quite gracefully for a jester. Foreshadowing . . .
. . he sprang to the pedestal on which stood the marble statue of her
many-times-over great-grandfather, Abundiantus V, whose head was turned to look
over a marble shoulder. He seemed to glare directly down at the strange young
man who wrapped an arm around his stone waist in a familiar manner, balancing
beside the old king.
says I must die," the stranger told the statue, waving a hand toward Una.
"Will you mourn for me?"
Abundiantus looked severe.
stranger turned away with a sob. (p. 116)
siege of Rudiobus was hardly a greater tragedy, but then, Lady Gleamdren was
not such a one as thee!" (p. 117)
don't suppose my end could be put off until tomorrow, could it?"
he cried. "For you and your wounded dignity, I must perish at once. Go to,
foul varlet! Meet thy doom!" (p. 117)
in the immortal spirit of the great Eanrin himself, it is bound to bring tears
to your eyes!" (p. 119)
Given Leonard's later-revealed dislike of everything Bard Eanrin ever wrote, I
think this line might just have a double meaning.
Questions on the
1. See if you can
find definitions to one or two of the following words: "geestly,"
"knout," "foiter," "noggle," "becket,"
"louche" and "filiferous." If everyone can find a
definition to at least some of these words, we'll try to put them together and
find out what the first verse of this poem actually
means . . .
2. So, based on
what you've seen of Leonard the Jester, would you have been as quick as Una to
forgive being jumped upon and invite
him up to your palace? (Assuming, of course, you live in a palace . . .)
3. What were some
of your favorite lines?