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The jupon.

THE JUPON Over the official luncheon she remembers, and through the dustspecked glasses her eyes sparkle, as if those noble lives, light welled from them, focus there.

Old Canterbury sleeping now, that courtly couple side by side, except when visitors like her would stir retainers, hounds, the wars, the revelries they swept round them, a world akin to far-flung birds, boughs, fountains spun into a tapestry encompassing a lady and her love.

But a jupon it is catches in the speaker's throat, that pied surcoat that Black Prince wore, donned for special occasions only, neatly mended through the centuries by nuns until, she is convinced, no single snip of the original remains. And yet, she says, it is most beautiful.

"Why," you offer, "just like us: every stitch of the old Adam gone, only the gusto of that itch prevails that flung him out beyond the fiery gates, follies evergreen he'd thereafter prove to the last ditch--and through our persons-- perfect gardener to.

Does not a slip of that parent garden, twining itself, throughout the maze a thread unbreakable for all the Fall and its long lineage, in every leaf, still urgently festoon fruits of its nature? But the blood drawn to stain them properly!

Should you care to examine us more closely you would see whatever time's repeated tailorings, one motley patch the cloth, each epoch out to make its mark--the first design shine through, no doubt defined more sharply than when brandnew."

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Author:Weiss, Theodore
Publication:The Nation
Date:Oct 6, 1984
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