Grime on the Patient Mariners

- an Illuminating Manuscript

Chapter One

  It came to passL that on the eighteenth day
of the sixth month of the thirty-
seventh year of the reign of our
Glorious Queen Elizabeth, by the Grace of
God, sixteen seekers of pleasure rode forth
unto the wilderness of Oxford, hotly pursued
by ardent Japanese Tourists. Slowly they
staggered on, particularlyL Liz, who wobbled
all night according to the exceeding altitude of
her shoes and their general lack of spaciousness.
  They tarried a while without Bodley, but he
was deep within the stack, and they must needs
come back.
  Further on and further in an itinerant
automobilist was perceived executing his piéce
de resistance, and also a member of the queue.
  After a catatonic pause, when the rumpus
had passed away, they were ingested by theP
White Sheeting, but failed to digest the
  Having espied a Candyfloss, they followed it
to its source, whereupon it was set upon, killed
mercilessly, and its delights partaken of for the
next hour. Thence was the assassination of
Dolly Mixtures attempted, albeit
unsuccessfully, also of plastic rings, but the
corks were not willing to effect the lethal
embrace. And thus they cried in unison;
"Dei Profundis Te Vocamis Deum":
eftsoons Milvus terminated the vital functions of
a Lollipop. Exhausted, and having an exceeding
dryness of throat, the gruesome four milved
in the direction of the vino 'gratis', which was
of exceedingly high quality for vinegar and
bottled especially for the occasion; whereupon
they gravitated in the direction of aP
classical guitarist who was filling the night air
with excrutiating musicalities. And tacos were
captured, killed and gutted by the not-so-fair
hand of Gerbilius, who was gormless and
wormless at the time but recovered later
after finishing more than half a bottle of vinegar.
The tacos were variously thrown down both
inside and out, and the D.J.'s protested with
vigour. And the Candiflux relay was won
by Captain Glenneth and his D.J. was stranded.
  The bell tolled not for Gerbilius because
he failed to it, while Milvus was in the
shadows beyond, in a quest for a sanatorium
behind he gravestone. He proved his
excellence at the coconuts and his swipe
was quite incredible. Attempts to restrain
Lady Beetle {but not Lady Bird} and Sir
Milvus were made in the form of a ball andP
chain, but failing dismally, darts were thrown.
They survived, however, and lived to see the
inside of several more lavatories. It was not
merely the floor which caused the dancing to be
difficult - the gyrations of Gerbilius were a
grievous encumbrance, and Davidus was whisked
around by a whirling pink dervishette, who
politely declined to procede after several
collisions. The carpet attempted to hijack
proceedings but its kinks were straightened,
and they left intact.
  The tenor of the evening was distinctly
debassed: Beetle and The Milve went to
sober up within the coffee lounge, but the
Madrigalists, 'though physically intact, lacked
somewhat in vocal unity; their parts
being scattered randomly over the musical
  And it came to pass that dawn broke across the
sky; verily it heralded a smashing day. But
the dancing continued and the broken glass did
crunch underfoot - three were cut to the sole
whilst Davidus perambulated lavatorically in
the nether regions {of Teddy Hall, thou fool!}.
  And there happened an encounter with the
second word in the English Dictionary; by this
stage the first word was absent from the
vocabulary of all, save as a wormless interjection,
occasionally lengthened to "ay up!" Mr Spock's
Japanese surprise sallied forth to the stack
and never was to come back. {refrain - from too
much drinking!}
  They submerged photographically, but were
well band for steeling. Now they were six.
They somnambulated along the High, an
empty High, even of Japs.P

"They queued for an hour and a quarter,
On the banks of the dirty water,
Had a fight with the Porter
Which nearly became a slaughter -
Alas for the Vicar's Daughter
Has fallen in with a splash!"

  {None of this actually happened, but it sounded
good at the time.}
  Davidus gallantly agreed to wend his weary
way to Woolworth's, but he found that it had
closed down. He uncorked a thermos whilst the
foolish five milved in a northerly direction upon
a fair vessel along the Amazon Basin.
  Unpropitiously, the vessel developed a Chopin
Liszt {or maybe a Brahms and Liszt} dues to excess
baggage, and Lady Duttina {the Cause of the
Downess} was exceeding concerned about her
vestige. There was many a ripping moment,P
which caused much wory and upset amongst the
ladies of the party, especially her of the High
  The sun glinted through the vines of the
surrounding glades, and in time the place wherein
the weir and the rollers doth lay was reached.
Herein didst Milvus, Glenneth and Lady Duttina
abandon the vessel, and travers the Parks of the
University to the Hall of Lady Margaret, therein
to collect coffee, croissants and a raft in better
repair, and to meet with Davidus.
  In the meantime, Lady Beetle and Gerbilius,
Lord Chief Rodent

"Hour after hour, hour after hour
They stuck, nor breath nor motion:
Idle on a painted punt
 Upon a painted ocean." - Bum-bum!

until the return of Glenneth, Davidus and
Sir Milvus, in hot pursuit of an errant punt.P


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ch1 p1 detail

Capital detail


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Candiflux detail


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Stave detail


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Music detail