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Hasta La Vista, Baby! A Testament of Love

In the recent conflict between the Duke of Gloucester and the King of England, minor officials might be excused for siding with the king but after the forces of King Richard II are scattered the so-called Merciless Parliament is making heads roll... literally. Normally such a minor official as Thomas Usk would not merit mention but he is credited with penning "A Testament of Love" while awaiting execution. The spirit of Love appears to him in his prison cell and they have a discussion. This work was once credited to Chaucer but an acrostic was found within the text with the author's name hidden there. (An acrostic is a word or phrase spelled out by using the first letter on each line.) Thomas will lose his head... slowly... along with the Mayor of London and many others as a lesson to King Richard who will remain on the throne. The King will learn nothing. [1] [2] [3]

My Take by Alex Shrugged
Acrostics are a common literary device. Certain Psalms and prayers often contain acrostics either revealing the author's name or simply running through the alphabet A through Z or Z through A. Cruder uses of acrostics have been made in the modern day. In 2010 Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger vetoed a bill sent to him by the California legislature. He included a letter explaining his reasons for vetoing the bill but some bright fellow noticed that the "Governator" had hidden an acrostic within the text. It read "F-*-*-*-Y-O-U" but without the stars. The Governor feigned innocence but the message was clear.[4] [5]

Black Death: The Fourth Wave

The Third Wave of the Black Death hit children. The Fourth Wave is hitting adults for the most part. The population of Europe has been reduced by 40 to 50 percent from the high reached in 1300. Some of that was due to famine and war but the Plague has taken the largest toll. A cult of death is growing. In the coming century artwork will feature dancing skeletons and the depiction of Jesus suffering with a crown of thrones will become common. Currently holy figures are depicted with a golden aura. Some say that the children's rhyme "Ring Around the Rosie" is a child's way of coping with the sudden death they see all around them. They all fall down. Society in general is breaking down. Many are giving up. Others are spurred on to reform the system which also means breaking down the current system. [6]

My Take by Alex Shrugged
Not everything is going wrong though. With the severe reduction in population the strain on natural resources has been reduced. While many farms have been abandoned those are the low-production farms on poor soil. With the Little Ice Age upon them they have shorter growing seasons so only the best farm land is in production.

This Year on Wikipedia

Year 1388, Wikipedia.

See Also


  1. 1388: Thomas Usk, leaving "The Testament of Love", ExecutedToday.com, 2008-Mar-4.
  2. Galloway, Andrew. Thomas Usk - Medieval Studies - Oxford Bibliographies. 2014 [last update]
  3. Acrostic - Wikipedia, 2014 [last update]
  4. Hasta la vista, baby - Wikipedia, 2014 [last update]
  5. LastName, FirstName. Schwarzenegger 'F*** You': Did Gov Send Lawmaker Obscene Message Through Acrostic Poem?. HuffingtonPost.com, 2010-Mar-18. (WEB ARTICLE)
  6. Tuchman, Barbara Wertheim. (Barbara Tuchman, bio). A Distant Mirror: The Calamitous 14th Century. Ballantine, 1979. pp. 506-509. (BOOK) quote="By this time Europe's population was reduced to between 40 and 50 percent of what it had been when the century opened, and it was to fall even lower by mid-15th century."

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