* 200 articles. Two years. Whelk. The best of Upsideclown. Might be reprinted.

My Lord Has No Nose

6 December 2001
James' story of time gone past.

Many had thought that the horrendous accident and facial disfigurement would bring an end to the more raucous sides of my Master's behaviour. For the Prince, my Master, had two loves: duelling by sword, and chasing the younger and more nubile ladies of court. Indeed, before the bad luck befell him, he was an expert at both, and, being a man of leisure, had opportunity for ample practice.

Most people believe that such an injury would cause the Prince to put an end to his risque ways, and finally find the wife the King and the populace were waiting for. The Prince locked himself away in his palace, ordering only that the finest silversmith in the land be summoned, and enough food and water be provided each day for the two men.

The man to enter the palace with the Prince was none other than Beneto Clemantini, the last remaining member of the famous Clemantini family, who have been silversmiths and artisans to the Palace since the ascension of the Granazi House, in our grandfather's grandfathers time. He was an old man now, and had never produced a son.

Forty days and nights later, old man and young re-emerged, the Prince wearing a black velvet hood. He ordered me to prepare a large feast for the entire Court, and as that very night was old Clemantini's birthday, to prepare fireworks and all manner of grand celebration. This was done, and the whole city was a-quiver with the news that the Prince was to hold Court for the first time since that last and disastrous duel.

The courtesans gathered, musicians played, and a feast like none had before witnessed was prepared to welcome back the Prince and to celebrate old man Clemantini. If there was a third thing the Prince was expert at, it was making an entrance. Once all the guests had been mingling for a while and were one their second glass of fine wine from the Prince's cellar, the musicians were silenced. Then with a fanfare of horns, the crowd parted and the Prince strode slowly up to the centre of the table, with Clemantini at as right side. Has he passed through the crowd, he made sure to look about him from left to right, and sent his winning cheerful grin at some of the prettier ladies, either former conquests, or new challenges. And all stared back, some literally open-mouthed at the Prince's face.

The fame of Clemantini was certainly well deserved. He had fashioned for my Prince a new nose like no other. From solid silver, and made to such a wondrous shine and shape that none could doubt that he had turned what could have been a hideous calamity into a work of beauty. The fit was seamless, and to some who may not have heard the story, it would have seemed as though our Prince had been born with a nose of silver. Once the Prince and his nose-maker has reached their seats at the head of the table, my master turned to the crowd and raised his hands.

"Loyal friends and servants, I present to you the great Beneto Clemantini."

The crowd erupted into loud applause and cheers, and the Prince led them to settle to their meal, joyous that their Prince had returned to them. All agreed that the Nose was a work of pure genius.

While the city gossips were enjoying their new news-fodder, the Prince merrily went back to his gratuitous old ways. And many women befell the lure of his shiny nose. He once joked to me that such was the vanity of the young women of the court, that none could resist the charm of being bedded by the Prince, while being able to behold their own perfect form in his own imperfect one.

He also, after some work with his fencing trainer, returned to duelling. He went on a country visit to the grand old Dragotti family house, and spent some weeks of the summer there. While there, he took quite a liking to the youngest Dragotti daughter, Nina. She was a fiery seventeen-year old with a passion for sport and fencing in particular. And one afternoon, while the rest of the family were on a hunting trip, he did finally challenge her to a practice duel, and after defeating her, duly conquered her. That day, his passions sated, he returned to the city and his palace.

It did not take long for this news to reach the ears of Nina's brother, the Count. Naturally, he rode straight to the palace and challenged the Prince, his old friend, to a duel, this time to the death. The morning came, both young men swords raised, with myself as a witness to proceedings.

"It is a shame - even the great Clementini can not fashion you a silver heart. For the honour of my dear sister, BEGIN!"

And the two, who had been bosom friends since childhood, now fought. The Prince was no match for the Count's venge-tinted rage. True to his threat, his sword soon pierced the Prince through the chest, and the Count watched as the Prince fell and died.

News of this was kept from the public, and the Prince's body was kept in an ante-chamber of the Palace chapel. It was the height of summer, though, and the body was soon festering in the hot little room. It was my unfortunate duty to 'tend' to my master, while the King pondered how to break these tragic news to a now restless public.

The Prince's nose was still a constant source of gossip, as it's precise method of construction had been kept secret. Being a known equerry to the Prince, I was often peppered with questions of this nature while out about the piazza.

"How is affixed? Surely with either clamp or glue?"

"Does the good Prince sleep with it attached, or is it removed at night?

"The Prince retains such a great wine cellar. But How Does He Smell?"

At this I spun around and could no longer hold back the tears. "Terrible," I wept.


This is the fucking archive

Current clown:

18 December 2003. George writes: This List

Most recent ten:

15 December 2003. Jamie writes: Seven Songs
11 December 2003. Dan writes: Spinning Jenny
8 December 2003. Victor writes: Rock Opera
4 December 2003. Matt writes: The Mirrored Spheres of Patagonia
1 December 2003. George writes: Charm
27 November 2003. James writes: On Boxing
24 November 2003. Jamie writes: El Matador del Amor; Or, the Man who Killed Love
20 November 2003. Dan writes: Rights Management
17 November 2003. Victor writes: Walking on Yellow
13 November 2003. Matt writes: Disintermediation
(And alas we lost Neil, who last wrote Cockfosters)

Also by this clown:

27 November 2003. James writes: On Boxing
16 October 2003. James writes: Jakesy's School of Urban Driving
24 September 2003. James writes: Chapter One
4 September 2003. James writes: The Silicon Soul
14 August 2003. James writes: A Room With 100 Seats
24 July 2003. James writes: English For Beginners
3 July 2003. James writes: Coldplay are crap. Discuss.
9 June 2003. James writes: It Takes All Sorts
22 May 2003. James writes: Lesson 2: Buying his Gran for a tenner
1 May 2003. James writes: Rosencrantz and Leytonstone
10 April 2003. James writes: Character Building
20 March 2003. James writes: So This Is It. What Are We Going To Do About It?
27 February 2003. James writes: Street Level Zero
6 February 2003. James writes: Reference: James Noteworthy
16 January 2003. James writes: Kissing George Clooney for just £99!
26 December 2002. James writes: Hongkong In Four Tableaux
5 December 2002. James writes: We Are Your Idea
14 November 2002. James writes: The Knight Of Spring Fervent
24 October 2002. James writes: Go On, Be Honest
7 October 2002. James writes: Cold Comfort
12 September 2002. James writes: Peas In A Pod
22 August 2002. James writes: Seed Investment
1 August 2002. James writes: We Are QPR
11 July 2002. James writes: The Road to Ossuna
20 June 2002. James writes: Pret A Teleporter
27 May 2002. James writes: A Play On Words
2 May 2002. James writes: Labour Saving Device
8 April 2002. James writes: Beggaring Belief
14 March 2002. James writes: Small Things
18 February 2002. James writes: Drop Dead Letters
24 January 2002. James writes: High-Rise Rhapsody
27 December 2001. James writes: My drift's too hip to resist.
6 December 2001. James writes: My Lord Has No Nose
12 November 2001. James writes: A Job For Life
18 October 2001. James writes: Which is the cleverest animal?
24 September 2001. James writes: Interview With An Automatum
30 August 2001. James writes: Each To Their Own
6 August 2001. James writes: An Escape, In Sonata Form
12 July 2001. James writes: Truckloads Of Goodies
18 June 2001. James writes: There's No Such Thing As A Coincidence
24 May 2001. James writes: It's All True - The Paper Says So
30 April 2001. James writes: A Letter From Prisyn
16 April 2001. James writes: I Quit
15 March 2001. James writes: An Essay In Procrastination
15 February 2001. James writes: Confessions Of An English Sand-Eater
22 January 2001. James writes: The Future And The Pasta
28 December 2000. James writes: Never drink with men in red
4 December 2000. James writes: The Underground
9 November 2000. James writes: Right answer. Wrong answer
16 October 2000. James writes: The March of Proudfoot: Part I
21 September 2000. James writes: You haven't got a chance
28 August 2000. James writes: Bad, man. Wicked
24 July 2000. James writes: I play games with street lamps

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