WHAT THE HELL IS A PROVOST?

[Historical Note: Back in Ansteorra, at the misty dawn of the White Scarf, there were numerous how-to papers published about rapier fighting. At a time when no kingdoms had organized programs, teachers were few and far between, and no one had translated period manuals into modern English, fighters relied on these written instructions to help them figure out how this new-fangled martial art was supposed to work.

Among the writings about technique were some that talked about different aspects of rapier — honor and courtesy, dedication to kingdom and Queen, all of the non-fighting traits that rapier has come to be renowned for. One paper stood out. “What is a Don”, compiled by Master Robin of Gilwell, was a collection of sayings and quotations, collected from sources both ancient and modern. Much of what the Anstreorran rapier community became can be traced to the precepts found in this work.

Given the involvement of so many Ansteorrans in Atlantia’s early rapier program, “What is a Don” made its way here, where I found it. As we use the title “Provost” rather than “Don”, I decided that Atlantia needed its own version. I present for your enjoyment “What the Hell is a Provost?”.]

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WHAT THE HELL IS A PROVOST?
compiled by Master Robert Bedingfield, Provost
(with apologies to Master Robin of Gilwell)

PROVOST? WHAT THE HELL IS A PROVOST?

He is the nastiest little man I’ve ever known. He struts along sitting down.
Mrs. Clarence Dykstra

He is a man of his most recent word.
William F. Buckley, Jr.

You can tell a Provost, but you can’t tell him much.
Anonymous

He has all the virtues I dislike and none of the vices I admire.
Winston Churchill

The trouble with her is that she lacks the power of conversation but not the power of speech.
George Bernard Shaw

Hey, who invited this guy? Look at him, drinking all the beer, eating the dip with his fingers. He even tried to start a fight with the Prince. What a jerk!
The Lost Books of the Courtier
Baldesar Castiglione, Jr.

I did think thee, for two ordinaries, to be a pretty wise fellow . . . Yet the scarfs and bannerets about thee did manifoldly dissuade me from believing thee a vessel of too great a burden.
Lafeu
All’s Well That Ends Well
William Shakespeare

An enchanting toad of a man.
Helen Hayes

Thou eunuch of language; thou pimp of gender, murderous accoucheur of infant learning, thou pickle-herring in the puppet show nonsense.
Robert Burns

What he lacks in intelligence, he more than makes up for in stupidity.
Anonymous

Son: Dad, when I grow up, I want to be a Provost!
Dad: I’m sorry, son: you can’t have it both ways.

WHAT IS HE, A LEADER? FUGEDDABOUDIT!

Those who are too smart to engage in politics are punished by being governed by those who are dumber.
Plato

I have come to the conclusion that one useless man is called a disgrace; that two are called a law firm; and that three, or more, become a Congress.
John Adams
1776
Peter Stone

Follow him? What are you, nuts? I wouldn’t follow him to a free beer bash in a brothel!
The Lost Books of the Courtier
Baldesar Castiglione, Jr.

A committee is a cul-de-sac down which ideas are taken and quietly strangled.
Baron Gerlach Weisengrund, AdE

The cream rises to the top; so does the scum.
Wellington’s Law of Command

Your Majesty, there’s no “Queen” in “team”.
Mistress Isobel Bedingfield, AdE, Queen’s Champion
(advising Her Majesty Mary Grace on rapier melee tactics)

A TEACHER? WHADDAYOU, KIDDIN’ ME?

Teachers are overworked and underpaid. True, it is an exacting and exhausting business, this damming up the flood of human potentialities.
George B. Leonard

Education is the inculcation of the incomprehensible into the indifferent by the incompetent.
John Maynard Keynes

His understanding of this subject runs the gamut from A to B.
Anonymous

You don’t have to think too hard when you talk to a teacher.
Alexander Pope

He who can, does. He who cannot, teaches.
George Bernard Shaw

Enthusiastic newbie: Look, my lord, I made it. It’s medieval.
Wise old-timer: Don’t underestimate yourself, kid. That’s not mid-evil, that’s completely evil.

SOME KINDA LOVER?

I like you, Bob; you’ve got balls!
Lord Percy
Blackadder II

But she’s a sweet and innocent reverend’s daughter; and you’re the Devil’s cabana boy.
Lisa Simpson

She’s got a tongue like an electric eel, and she likes the taste of a man’s tonsils.
Lord Flashart
Blackadder II

But that I shall hang my bugle in an invisible baldrick, all women shall pardon me.
Benedick
Much Ado About Nothing
William Shakespeare

SOME KINDA GOURMET?

One of the disadvantages of wine is that it makes a man mistake words for thought.
Samuel Johnson

If the soup had been as hot as the wine, if the wine had been as old as the bird, and if the bird’s breasts had been as full as the waitress’s, it would have been a very fine feast.
Anonymous

That’s not food, that’s what food eats.
Baron Gerlach Wisengrund, AdE

Yeah, we want real food, something that had a face.
Master Giacomo di Vincenti, AdE

Yeah, you know, something that had parents.
Master Geoffrey Gamble, AdE

Sakanjibin? Who the hell brought that shit? Why do we put up with this clown, anyway?
The Lost Books of the Courtier
Baldesar Castiglione, Jr.

I would give a peck of malt to my mare and she would piss as good beer as Dickes doth brew.
Fenne
Dickes v Fenne
King’s Bench, Michaelmas Term (1640)

Sometimes too much drink is not enough.
Anonymous

Porthos: Champagne?
Athos: We’re in the middle of a chase, Porthos.
Porthos: You’re right; something red.
The Three Musketeers
The Movie (1993)

Though I go bare/take you no care/For I am never cold.
I stuff my skin/so well within/With jolly good ale and old!
Jolly Good Ale And Old
Gammer Gurton’s Needle (1575)

Well, yeah, I want some Cheesy-Poof’s!
Eric Cartman
South Park

WHAT, SOME KINDA PHILOSOPHER?

Damn, damn, damn, damn, damn!
Prof. Henry Higgins
My Fair Lady
Stephen Soundheim

Crap, crap, crap, crap, crap!
Homer J. Simpson

Baldric, to you the Renaissance was something that happened to other people.
Edmund Blackadder
Blackadder II

Look, he’s winding up the watch of his wit; by and by, it will strike.
Sebastian
The Tempest
William Shakespeare

All things being equal, fat people use more soap.
Anonymous

So, Melcior, still worshiping God? Last I heard, He was worshiping me! Woof!
Lord Flashart
Blackadder II

Timmah!
Timmah
South Park

I hate cannonballs!
Porthos
The Three Musketeers
The Movie (1993)

Lord Sandwich: Mr. Wilkes, I don’t know whether you’ll die on the gallows or of the pox.
John Wilkes: That depends, my Lord, on whether I embrace your principles or your mistress.

HOW ABOUT FIGHTING?

Anything worth fighting for, is worth fighting dirty for.
Anonymous

He said what? About me? I’ll kick his ass! He’ll wish he’d died of the plague! Tell him to bring that shit over here, I’ll fix him. Fucking jerk.
The Lost Books of the Courtier
Baldesar Castiglione, Jr.

It’s clobberin’ time!
The Thing

Bad blade. No use.
Master Giacomo di Vincenti, AdE

Sandis! Do you call one of the cleverest thrusts in Gascony a crime?
Marquis de la Donze
(asked upon the gallows if he repented
for killing his brother-in-law in a duel)

Disdain the boogerheads!
Earl Dafydd ap Gwystl, KSCA, OL, OP

I’m gonna get medieval on yo’ ass.
Marsellus Wallace
Pulp Fiction
Quinton Tarantino

The fastest way to a man’s heart is through his chest.
Roseanne Arnold

There may be said to be three sorts of fighters: able, unable, and lamentable.
Anonymous

First know you to this weapon there belong no wards nor grips, but against such a one as is foolhardy and will suffer himself to have a full stab in the face or body to hazard the giving of another, then against him you may use your left hand in throwing him aside, or strike up his heels after you have stabbed him.
Bref Instructions
George Silver
on dagger-fighting

The Dread Pirate Roberts: I find that Thibault cancels out Cappa Ferro. Don’t you?
Inigo Montoya: Unless the enemy hasa studied his Agrippa. Which I have.
The Princess Bride
William Goldman

Ye shall make shor that the scholer be a capable fighter withal, and bee not like to bring the hoots & guffaws of the populess uppon this noble Guild, being a great clwnsy booby who cuts down trees with his blade in going from prime to second, or one whose every thrust would peen a rivit at a singl shone, nor yett a diffident, lanquorous fighter who careth not if hee win or loose, so long as he looketh well.
ye Olde Guilde of Duellists and Mayhem Hatcherie bylaws (c.1593¾)
by G. Gamble & A. Gravesend, provosts

The pointy end goes into the other man.
Alejandro Murrieta
The Mask of Zorro

OKAY, BUT HE’S AT LEAST AN HONORABLE FIGHTER, RIGHT? RIGHT?

Light to the eyeball.
Anonymous Fighter

I felt it, but there was no bend.
Anonymous Fighter

That would have landed, if you hadn’t parried it.
Anonymous Scholar

Glanced off my chest!
Anonymous Free Scholar

Deflected by my scarf!
Anonymous Gold Scarf

Deflected by my ego!
Anonymous Provost

Good, but I’m not taking it!
Anonymous former Principal

Light!
Eponymous Light Fighter

OH, SO WHAT IS HE, SOME KINDA MUSKETEER? PUHLEESE!

I save my right hand for my drinking.
Athos
The Three Musketeers
The Movie (1948)

I’ve washed a horse’s leg before. With a horse’s leg, you start at the top.
D’Artanian
The Three Musketeers
The Movie (1974)

God, I love my work.
Porthos
The Three Musketeers
The Movie (1993)

Sometimes, there are more important things in life than a good pair of tits.
Aramis
The Man in the Iron Mask
The Movie (1998)

PROVOSTS? — LOOK LIKE PSYCHOS TO ME

They look like psychos, is that what they looked like? They were vampires. Psychos do not explode when sunlight hits them, I don’t give a fuck how crazy they are.
Seth Gecko
From Dusk til Dawn
Quinton Tarantino

SOUNDS COOLS. WHERE DO I JOIN UP?

I don’t wish to belong to any club that would want me as a member.
Groucho Marx

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