King Henry IX - The War of the Noses

 

ACT 2, SCENE 6

Outdoors, as signified by a lone tree. JERSEY and SPLOOGE ride hobbyhorses toward London and the White Castle.

SPLOOGE

London town, yee haw!

JERSEY

Soon I face my father. I fear him to know my small a'ventures.

SPLOOGE

Courage, Young Cap'n! 'Twere a merry sojourn in that house. We wetted swords most bravely there, sirrah! I'll fashion a tale to 'maze the old man's ears and a'swoon the courtly lasses.

JERSEY

O, I don't know Splooge. [Suppressing sobs] I just don't.

SPLOOGE

Only let me tell it, Whelp. Say you not a word, but only in grave nods approve the epical tale. With the news, e'en fair Huckleberry will mark me a desirous genl'man and whoreson scholar. Brave Splooge and Fateful Jersey she'll greet us after.

Hobbyhorse.JERSEY

My sister will smell out our faults sure. And this noisesome itch... [A privy scratch] God's water!

What be if that new Joan d'Arc beworks this rash?

SPLOOGE

'Tis given this unnatural blonde Stormborn dost fly dragons.

JERSEY

And breathes fire very like the twin o' my sister Iwanna. O my hag-wrought contagion!

SPLOOGE

Hang this fearsome tabby's claw about your neck for luck and remedy. I had it of a mewling great calico who didst scratch me deep. Enfevered me sore, but stronger fashioned was I for it. It'll show great valorous...

Alarums. Cannon fire and sounds of battle.

JERSEY

Marry, what's this 'flagration?! Brutish swords clang!

SPLOOGE

Battle's not for us, Young Cap'n.

JERSEY

Calamity! [Draws sword] Let's to the breech!

SPLOOGE

Your French cologne marks you a ripe target, Whelp. You durst not hence. I'll to the rearward go: there's cozy inns yet for our comfort.

JERSEY

Treachery's afoot Splooge! Doth not my father's gold buy some service?

SPLOOGE

My steed likes not the heaty battle.

He pulls back his stick-horse, affecting a rearing mount.

'Tis a horse not fit for war, being much hobbled with an bunion o' the foot. No fault o' hers. Nor mine. Good morrow, sirrah!

SPLOOGE turns his hobbyhorse and flees, yowling insensibly.

JERSEY

God's kneecap! So I must alone to the White Castle, a greasy slider in 'tween the very skillet-hot warring factions of the realm. Donjonny Thumpingbroke for the King!

He kicks at his stick-steed and gallops away. Exeunt.

 
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