King Henry IX - The War of the Noses

 

ACT 2, SCENE 1

A single tree indicates an outdoor scene, perhaps just north of London. With bated swords, the Prince of JERSEY spars with the SPLOOGE.

SPLOOGE

Show me again your blunt-end weapon. I'll suffer no mishap, Young Cap'n.

JERSEY

Bated still for your comfort, Splooge. [Offers sword for inspection]

SPLOOGE

Ha! On guard! [He strikes a blow]

JERSEY

Ouch! Knave! I didst not look for such attack. Not fair!

SPLOOGE

I do teach thee you, Whelp. [They are fencing now] Strike hot the distract foe. Best match thee with poor unarméd dog, but if the cur bears a sharp arm and if you canst flee, slash him quick and sly lest he cut first.

JERSEY

What honor then? [They circle and fence poorly]

SPLOOGE

A pox on honor! What revels in wenching hast the bloodless honoréd? Swordless villains ever after such a honor. I'll none of it!

JERSEY

But is't not bravery in a man wondrous aphrodisiacal?

SPLOOGE

Marry, e'en bravery fails to stand in the charnel house. 'Tis but a dry bone, sir. Never Splooge by Gads!

BoarJERSEY

And not for the boar hunt, neither?

Both men drop swords to their sides. SPLOOGE unscrews the cap of a leather bag and drinks.

SPLOOGE

The bloody boar is a animal I durst not hunt. [Offers a drink to JERSEY] Whoreson creature's a gouging tusk! I'll not feel it. When I bear arms 'gainst a beast, I want no fair fight. Give me the soft-tail coney or the tender fawn. These beasty kittens I will affront!

JERSEY

Nor Scotland?

SPLOOGE

No. Nor Scotland, where e'en the wenches do affright me. Strong arméd, brash buttocks, evil eyes...

JERSEY

Still, the King my father must of our heroic venture hear.

SPLOOGE

Whelp, let Sir Splooge fashion the raucous tune as I am wont. The whole wide kingdom will dance it, and we will embiggened be. This small time we'll lie lowly in near 'comodating stew where there be swordplay heroic enough for Splooge!

JERSEY

Aww, I don't know. Dad loves me not like Iwanna...

SPLOOGE

[Leeringly] Who could?

JERSEY

... I must prove a kingly son ere I lose his name. Base he'll name me else.

SPLOOGE

Buck up, Young Cap'n! We shall clamor a false 'venture as'll paint you a new Achilles! Whoop-whoop!

Both exit, SPLOOGE in high spirits and waving a raised sword. JERSEY follows, more subdued.

 
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