Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Epilogue - A Most Curious Artifact

Excerpt from The Loyal Oopfackrs: A Personal History of the Lords Chamberlain to the Ruritanian Royal House, 1683 to 1841, by Laszlo Oopfackr (Nish-Streltsova 1895):

A few days before the intended coronation and nuptials of the new King, Rolandro Oopfackr, who had been named as the first Lord Chamberlain of a free Ruritania, was admitted to the King’s private chambers. He intended to discuss the ceremonials required with the impending services.

However, Banu Oopfackr was quite surprised to see the King scribbling furiously upon an old parchment with a bit of colored wax.

The Lord Chamberlain inquired what the King was doing. To which the young monarch replied that this was his method of relaxation from the great stresses of military command, impending kingship and troubling finger-counting. He said that Octavian Zagloba, his tutor, had given him the implements and encouraged him in their use, starting in London some months ago.

“That is hardly fine English parchment, Majesty, “ noted the Lord Chamberlain.

“Weww, Zagwoba actuawwy found this pawchment in a wubbish heap. He said it was a wesson in humiwity. So to honow my bwiwwiant tutow, I have dwawn all of his inventions on my papew.

And see, hewe awe pictuwes of fwying ships which I dwew aftew he and Sandowius discowsed on the method of matching affinities of eawth and aiw.

“I aswo dwew these pictuwes of Wendyween fow I thought she was vewy pwetty the fiwst time I saw hew. See I dwew wittwe heawts next to hew, dweaming that some day, she wouwd wove me.”

“Very charming, Your Majesty. Although could there be any question of her love for you? Oh, Majesty,” said Oopfackr as he examined the parchment, “Did you know that this is actually a map? You’ve just been drawing in some of the blank areas. Why this is a world map and even contains some star charts.”

The King responded, “Why yes, I’ve known it’s a map. I even dwew in Wuwitania when I found out we wewe coming hewe. See, I even dwew a big wed ciwcle awound it. “

“Most excellent, Sire. However, you drew your circle far too big. Ruritania’s borders are far smaller than the area you’ve encircled. For example, Ruritania has never had touched the either the Adriatic or Aegean. My word, Majesty, your drawing would make an empire out of Ruritania “

“Nevew mind, Oopfackw. We shaww sowt it out eventuawwy.”

At the time, neither the King nor the Chamberlain noticed that the map was signed with the initials “J.D.”


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