A Reminisce with a Point

This will seem a strange post, and in some ways, it is. Back in the fall of 2013, Nicholas, who comments here, corraled Jessica, myself, and Geoffrey Sales, the Yorkshire headmaster I’ve spoken of before (all AATW contributors) to write some fiction. Over that winter we managed about 40 chapters. I can’t speak for the others but for me, writing fiction was a much more difficult task than blogging. You can find it at this link. I happened to reread it yesterday, and it is rather quite good. Not surprisingly, it turned into sort of a synopsis of that great epic, English history, some of you will recognize the characters from that, although from rather different epochs, kind of like those fantasy dinners where you invite the six most interesting people from history to dinner.

This post is one of my contributions, Chapter 35, and it’s here again because it’s something many of our people British and American seem to have forgotten about why our countries worked so well for so long. I hope you Like it.

Pembrook instantly called loudly, “Guard!” within seconds, one appeared, and Pembrook told him to have the wise woman summoned instantly, and then he looked down and added, “and then bring the Lady some watered wine, and do it all quickly.” The soldier looked at him and said simply, “Yes, my Lord,” and clomped off on his mission. In a few moments, a maid came in with the wine for Isolde. And soon she looked comfortable, shaken but comfortable.

Pembrook looked over at her and said, simply, “Milady, since we are mostly waiting for the wise woman, I think I will tell you a story.” And so he did,

“When I was young, milady, as you know, I was the second son of a poor knight, so I had few prospects. My father did get me taken into Alain de Casterlie’s household as a page, but there was nothing else he could do for me. So I worked hard and became a squire and in good time, I was able to be knighted by the earl. But that also made me supernumerary, and so I packed up my belongings and went over to the Empire and entered the tournaments. I won often, lost occasionally but, as you’ve no doubt heard, I became quite rich from the armor that I won. That’s all very well, and it wasn’t a bad life for a young man. But even then it seemed, that I was a bit more honest than normal, and sometimes it cost me a championship, which I found easy to bear.

“Anyway, one day I and my squire were riding out from a city, and I happened to notice a statue, at a scrap dealer’s where I was selling some stray armor. It was bronze and looked quite old, and I quite liked it, so I asked the dealer. He thought it to have little value, so I traded some poor armor for it. Something about that statue just spoke to something deep within me. I couldn’t explain it then and have difficulty now.

“Are you quite comfortable now, My Lady?””

Isolde looked at him and said, “Yes, my Lord Marshal, please continue.”

“Very well, Milady. Anyway, I stored it away, till such time as I had a home, which of course, was after your grandfather let me marry my love, and we were setting up housekeeping at Pembrook. In truth, I had half-forgotten the statue until I saw it again, then I had it placed in the hall where I held civil court as a reminder.

You see the statue is of a not young woman, dressed in the classical style. In her right hand, she holds aloft the two-edged sword of a Christian knight. In her left, she holds a common scale, such as is used in commerce, except that the bearing point on the scale is a brilliant red garnet. And most extraordinarily, she is blindfolded. I came to see that none of this was accidental.

I have always thought that a knight’s sword, which is also a simile of the cross, has two edges for a reason, one is to smite the enemies of God and His people but, the other is to remind us to keep faith with Him, that He doesn’t turn our own sword on us. The scale was harder to figure out though, finally, I came to the conclusion that it meant we are to deal fairly with everyone we come in contact with, whatever their station in life, and do justice to them. Mercy they can claim from God, but as a responsible member of society, my responsibility is justice, although, on occasion, it should be tempered with mercy, if there is reason.

But you know, Milady, I had great difficulty in teasing out the meaning of the blindfold. I spent many hours staring at that statue, trying to figure it out. And then one day, like a bolt of lightning, I understood. I was to treat people fairly without fear or favor, no matter who or what they were, even as if I couldn’t know who they were, and ever since, I have tried to live up to that. It has not been easy, but it has brought me what I have, and it has allowed me to sleep at night.

Isolde looked at the marshal, for a few moments and said, “Marshal, I believe you have found all the elements involved in that statue, except perhaps, one. Why do you think that the scale has that singular garnet for a bearing?”

The Marshal looked at Izzy affectionately, and said, “Milady, as I expected you have gone straight to the heart of the matter. I believe that garnet, represents a person’s honor, for, without that, the rest is scrap metal.”

At that point, the guard entered the hall accompanied by Meg, and the Marshal smiled and said, “Milady I will withdraw now, and the guards will be without, if I can be of assistance, do send for me.” and then looking directly at Meg  he said, “Mistress, your reputation is that you are the wisest woman in the realm, welcome to court, do take good care of her, she is very important to her Realm, even more than she thinks, if you need anything, do let me know.” And with a smile at them both, he withdrew.

So let’s have us a bit of a game. The statue is real, in both Britain and America. What statue is it?

%d bloggers like this: