At the back of the hill

Warning: If you stay here long enough you will gain weight! Grazing here strongly suggests that you are either omnivorous, or a glutton. And you might like cheese-doodles. BTW: I'm presently searching for another person who likes cheese-doodles. All cheese-doodling ended in 2010, and there hasn't been any in far too long. Please form a caseophilic line to the right. Thank you.

Monday, July 11, 2011

A GLORIOUS ANNIVERSARY

Sometimes you just have to take pride in communal massacres. It wasn't the other side's fault that they were, by a horrible accident of birth, poxy bastards with toenail fungus and venereal disease that deserved to be wiped off the face of the earth, but there you have it.

On May 18, 1302, the good citizens of Brugge ('Bruges') re-entered their city and slaughtered every Frenchman that infested the place.


MAY 18 - THE BRUGES MATINS
[De Brugse Metten]

"In the cold blue of early dawn, as faintly light grew, and languorously chased away the shadows, the sleepy watchers on the gate-tower became aware of a many pointed glittering underneath the aged oaks outside the city gate. First few, then more and more glimmerings made themselves apparent in the grass below the trees. Like pearls, like diamonds, these refractive and almost iridescent dew-born twinkles.... glittered, glimmered, shone, and sparkled, in the pools of dark beneath the ancient branches.

A shaft of light cut through the haze, and the sun finally rose above the ribbon of forest which limned the borders of this world. Light struck the objects near the tree trunks, and rebounded upwards, temporarily blinding the observing guards.

And as the world became bright, the realization dawned on them that only steel reflects so sharply. The city gates swung loudly open. Who did so? Who unbolted that protective portal so early? What Judas lurked within, and so deftly delivered these Leliaerds to a horrible fate?

The mass of armed men in the orchard... then rose as one, and before the French soldiers had a chance of reacting, the wall of Flemish swords was upon them. With glory and valour the nation freed itself of her oppressors, and before the sun had reached its height the streets had been laved with the blood of tyrants. "

[Re-quoted from here: savage joy.]


JULY 11 - THE FIELD OF GOLDEN SPURS
[De Guldensporenslag]

Following the Bruges bloodbath, the king of France, Philip the Fourth, sent an army under the command of Robert of Artois to punish the fractious Flemings and reassert his authority.
The two sides met on a grassy field outside Kortrijk ("Courtrai") on July 11, 1302.

The French forces consisted of armoured cavalry, with crossbowmen, spearmen, and light infantry. A very formidable military by the standards of the age.
The citizens of Flanders had the Goedendag (a club-like short spear), and the Geldon (a long spear).

Robert of Artois first sent his infantry to fight the rebels, then ordered the cavalry to charge the Flemish shield-wall. The knights thundered into the muddy field..... and, as the natives had expected, got bogged down.

The Flemish did not take any prisoners.

Such much decorative martial frippery was stripped from the corpses of French knights that the Church of Our Lady in Kortrijk seemed as if the stars had come down to roost among the pillars with the triumphant tribute and decoration.

But for the fact that civilization won a climactic battle against the forces of darkness and barbarism on this day, there would be little remarkable about the date.


Ale tonight. And boisterous jollification.


Have a happy Golden Spurs day.



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4 Comments:

  • At 9:12 PM, Blogger e-kvetcher said…

    I just read "A Distant Mirror" by Barbara Tuchman.

    This was quite a century...

     
  • At 4:48 AM, Anonymous Conservative Apikoris said…

    Fat lot of good that victory did for the Flemish.

    Look at the situation on the ground right now 709 years later:

    Who has the bigger, more powerful country?

    Who has an actual functioning government?

    (Hint: the bigger, richer, more politically stable country is known for it's cheese, wine, and arrogant waiters at overpriced restaurants.)

    Not only that, the Flemish have to share their country with a bunch of Frenchies!

     
  • At 6:47 AM, Blogger The back of the hill said…

    So you are saying the Flemings should push that bunch of opportunistic Walloon carpetbaggers back south of the forests into Picardy and the Isle De France?

    Heavens, tayere Conservative Apikoris, I never knew you for a Flemish Nationalist.

    By the way: Flanders is the richer part of Belgium. And has a higher standard of living than even much of France. Less unemployment, too.

     
  • At 12:20 PM, Anonymous Conservative Apikoris said…

    So you are saying the Flemings should push that bunch of opportunistic Walloon carpetbaggers back south of the forests into Picardy and the Isle De France?

    No, I'm just saying that all the glorious massacring you chronicled didn't keep out the Frenchie carpetbaggers in the long run.

    Heavens, tayere Conservative Apikoris, I never knew you for a Flemish Nationalist.

    Moi? Flemish nationalist? I'm a provincial Yank. My only experience with Belgians, aside from drinking their beer, was sharing a dinner with a charming Belgian couple on a train from Chicago to Washington last year. They regaled me with tales of their dysfunctional government, but, though they were Flemish, they didn't particularly slag their Frenchie compatriots.

    By the way: Flanders is the richer part of Belgium. And has a higher standard of living than even much of France. Less unemployment, too.

    I'm not sure what that's supposed to mean. After all, there are probably parts of Africa that have a higher standard of living that large areas of the United States, like Mississippi.

     

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