Episode II/ episode I / page 12
On his death bed, Ser Illifer the Pennyless, first of his name
, legitimized his eldest son.
After all he was as vain as any man and wanted his name to last. The rest of the lot all just stayed lucky bastards.
That was the start of the tradition. The Pennyless' rule nr. 1 : inheriting nothing but a name.
Five Centuries have passed.
The year is 1574: England is stable under the reign of Elisabeth I . The World has changed!
Posh composers and slicky actors now hold the favors at Court and the bards and story- tellers must step down to inns and marketplaces. Bawdy songs, meagre meals, sparse coin.
So, the great- great -great-great- grandson of Illifer-first of his name decides to move to the continent.
The continent is in a stressful state.
After Martin Luther
has nailed his 95 theorems (1517) to the Chapel door at Wittenberg Castle to ban Puppets and Popes and purify the faith to the bare bone, Huldrych Zwingli
, a Swiss priest has his head taken off after he falls in the battle of Kappel. This gadget was sent to Pope Gregor XIII as a pleasant surprise.(1533).
The third and most fanatic reformer, John Calvin
, was killing all the wordly fun with his fundamental decrees. French nobility had already been in civil war for three years .
Illifer Penn is aware of these troubles but hangs on to the common notion:' It's an ill wind that blows nobody no good."
He crosses the Channel getting free fare for fair play.The wind is blowing just from the rigth angle ; he does not have to move one finger. The lute plays by itself
He couldn't have arrived at a better moment as he sets foot ashore. Or so it seems.
To cement a fragile peace between Catholics and Protestants a wedding is planned.
Cathérine de Medici's daughter Marguérite de Valois (cath. )is to be married to the protestant Prince Henry of Navarre .
Marriage means spending so Illifer hurries to get to the action. (Paris) A Marriage Galore!!
He offers his talents, plays a few tunes, gets the job, asks to be paid in advance ("These are troulbled times, Sire!") and when he steps into the banquet hall, his purse is filled with golden ducats. (That proved to have been good thinking). The food is excellent and he gives his best on the most courteous repertoire till everyone is deaf drunk. Then he retires to a little service room to rest. A servant girl named Mimi Louise
just happens to be there for the same reason. There are some language problems , but for the rest they go along fine. They keep the door well shut.
The walls of the Louvre Castle are thick and ban all sound from the outside. Fine conditions for a good night's rest.
Great and horrified is the surprise in the early morning when they step outside and see the massacre that has taken place.As the killings are still going on they step back to hide a little longer. All over Paris 20.000 protestants have been killed in that night :St .Bartholomew's night, also referred to as the Bloody Wedding. The low and brutal murder schemed by Cathérine de Medici and her son Charles IX.
When things are clear Illifer considers it high time to leave.
For once this Illifer has in mind not to abandon his little Mimi-Louise and proposes to take her with him on his way north to the Lowlands where he wiil find a ship to take him back to England.
But she knew better.
Up there the revolt against the Habsburg House and the Iron Duke of Alba
is at it's big burning summit. Famine, pestilence and killings. How can you warn someone when you don't speak the language?
All she can do is ask his name . "Jean Illifer" he answers at their inevitable farewell. "Aaaah ! Jean Ifffff !! , merci! " she replies , thanking him for the three quarter share of his well filled purse ( That man is generous!
) and bearing him no ill will at all.
Wishing him in silence all the luck he could not know he would need.
Jean Yves is still a very current name in France, beeing a transformation of Jean Ifffff.
( No , Musick , don't search for a pun, history is a pointless pun, but we learn from it that nothing essential really changes.) The greatest loss in history is the loss of history,
Must have read this quote somewhere. Can't imagine I dreamed this one up my self.