46th Thread: Why should the masters have more?

 Medieval book art miniatureWoman with mask, performance artist

Their backs relax against upholstered wood while their buttocks are cushioned with comfortable pillows all embroidered by hand. We sit in the back, on hard benches, be careful those splinters do not scratch your hands. Their headrests, higher than their caps, have no purpose but to take away our view of the altar. You see how the lady is fat, and her skin white and delicate. My skin is white too but nobody notices. Their children, their cheeks pink instead of gray or yellow like ours, die too, but less. Our men accept. We must submit, we must obey the lord, the bailiffs, the priest. Hush, the beadle is watching. Hush, the neighbors will denounce us if they hear. If we shared the land, the grain, the wool, we’d all be better off, except the lord and his wife who would have a little less, but enough, for crying out loud. The priest barks from the pulpit that the poor are closer to god, but nobody listens. Even he, he does not listen when he craves for the lord’s jewelry and for the feast at his table.When I was little, my mother had four gold coins, I saw them. But they vanished one after the other, because of bad harvests, taxes, coal for harsh winters. Our shack takes the rain, we lack food, our clothes are worn and dirty.

I too want plump meals, good blankets, a nice cot. But if I tell our men, we, the poor, are more numerous than the rich, we could group and overthrow the order, they think I’m an old fool. They say it is unchangeable, thus, we need to accept that masters dominate the peasants, just as they dominate women. If we do not obey the lords, women could follow the example, and that worries them. At least my cousin who went into the forest, who joined a gang on the other side of the pass, never obeyed anyone. Ah, if I, stake in hand, could raise all these cowards to take the castle! You shudder. Maybe these are just useless and dangerous words. I’m scared too, but for you, I would dare.

Recent Posts

Leave a Comment