I was over at Matt's blog and came across a link to a Chaucerian tale: Snakes on a Shippe. Click on the excerpt below to get the full dose:
And so the miscreant knightes wolde break ope the doore of Sir Seanes room and slaye him foullie, but that SIR NEVILLE DE FLYNN cam and seyde to Sir Sean, ‘Sir Knight, if thou shalt do my biddynge than thou shalt scape wyth thy lyf,’ and bad Sir Sean to hye hym from that place. And then Sir Neville made hym redy, wyth one spere he smote hem downe al thre over ther horses croups. This kynde of thynge was ful yn his style, for hys verye wallet hath ‘bad motherswyvere’ on it ywrit.