Carolingia held its annual St. Valentine's Day Feast and Revel on Saturday, 15 February A.S. IX, at Shakespeare House, Wellesley College. Festivities began at 3:30 pm with the submission for judging of original love poetry and lord's favors for ladies. The favors were displayed where all could see, and made a fine showing indeed: but more of that anon.
The Court of Love convened with the following Ladies presiding: Her Majesty Diana Alene, Lady Elspeth of Morven, Countess Aravis del Clare, Lady Tchipakkan Arastorm, and Dona Laura de Segovia. Various questions and cases were brought before the Court, and these decisions rendered: to Marguerite la Folle, that there must indeed be limits on flirting, and that these limits are different for lords and ladies who are already attached than for those who are not, but that it is not completely clear what relation flirting bears to Love. (Lady Marian says it's practice, and practice makes perfect.) To Gillian of the Green Wood: that the fact that "Some men never grow up" does not mean that only physical maturity is required of a lover; indeed, until one is mature in mind and heart as well as body, one cannot aspire to be a courtly lover. The question then arising of the number of women one can love at once, and whether a man should devote himself to one woman if he sees beauty in all, it was answered by the Court that Master Capellanus clearly intends "love" to apply only to relationships between one man and one woman, and that one cannot love two at once. Count Jehan added that not only does a lover see his beloved in all women (whence he is bound to be courteous to all) but also he sees all womanhood embodied in his beloved. Finally, the baronial case of whether the men of Carolingia flirt sufficiently was brought before the Court, for reexamination of last year's injunction that they flirt more. Sir Michael of York pled eloquently for the men's improvement and also for the necessity of spontaneity in flirting. All present seemed to agree that Carolingian mens' flirtation has improved markedly this past year. Hence the ban was raised, though with an injunction of proper behavior.
Dinner followed the conclusion of the Court, a delicious feast for which the autocrat, Lady Kathryn Goodwyn, is to be much commended. The principal dishes were Douce Ames - chicken cooked in milk, honey, and spices, according to a recipe from Kate Wood; and roast Cod with sweet stuffing and pungent mustard sauce, by Tamara Iz Kieva. Much singing enlivened the latter part of the meal as the company's spirits rose with home-brewed mead.
After dinner Their Majesties held court, and Sir Patri du Chat Gris, Seneschal of Carolingia, brought forth a charter for the Barony. The King and Queen consulted with the Tanist and his Lady, and all consenting they signed the charter. In return for confirmation of Carolingia's rights and government, the barony promises a rose for each Queen of the Eastern Kingdom at her coronation, and the continued opening of the University of Carolingia to all the Kingdom on the same basis as to Carolingians. Sir Michael presented a rose to the Queen. James the Fair then swore in Signigraoulph of Kenmore and Joffrey Beauchamp de Tournoir as new officers in his household, with their Majesties to witness.
Sir Patri presided over a Baronial Court, and welcomed the House of the Great Bell and House Stormgard into the ranks of Carolingian households. The many recently appointed officers of the Great Council were presented to the assembled company.
Awards for love tokens and love poetry were next announced. The winning poems are to be printed in Pikestaff. Of the men's love tokens, Sir Patri's stuffed mouse in handwrought cage won for cleverness, Laeghaire's silver Merlin for craftsmanship, Prince Asbjorn's hair locket for sentimentality, and Vladimer's viol bridge for appropriateness. Berowne of Arden's scroll and case and King Cariadoc's cloak pin also received awards.
The evening concluded with dancing and clove lemons. A most successful event: Lady Kathryn, together with Lady Mairtra of Mahsvelt who obtained the site, is to be thanked by all.
Eve de l'Isle Madeleine