Collaborative play writing/French chronicles of the 1590s/Act 2

Act 2. Scene 1. A street in Paris. 1592

Enter Father Aubry, Bailleton, and Fouterien, bound

Aubry. Extravagances virtue groans against,

In faggots to be thrown with bone and fat!

Bailleton. No doubt the gravest fault an officer

Of law has ever heard of anywhere!

Aubry. What was your thought in leading by a rope

With laughter such a human-animal

Monstrosity as many cannot boast

To see and live? His calf with human head

In eating much like us, in locomotion

As any beast we look on! In such pates,

Do souls aspire? Take warning, populace,

Yon horror treads and breeds to strike our sins

Dead with a flail worth fifty known before.

Fouterien. In knee-deep humbleness of defecation,

Thus tremblingly before the sight of all,

I beg from you a pardon for my fault.

Aubry. For such a cruelly extreme offense,

No. I'll exert whatever force condign

For condemnation I can muster, though

In absolutes alone. I'll place some wood

Around it, grieving in black air. Sometimes,

A doctor's lancet draws blood from the eye

Of ill, the better to decorpselate

The wholesome in the parish from worse ills.

Bailleton. Who ever heard the like? A monster-calf

With eyes like babies-

Aubry. Too fearful!

Bailleton. A nose like my dead aunt's-

Aubry. Atrocious deeds atrociously to be

Met with, as leniently averred by all

Interpreters of law I hopefully

Consulted in the charges on this man,

Both civic and ecclesiastical.

Bailleton. Which prompts us to consider from where did

That thingless cloddish thing originate.

Aubry. The very question damning him to broil!

Fouterien. Should I be saved, I'lI reverence your shoes.

Bailleton. I greatly fear with calf-rump he conspired,

To monster us with visions.

Aubry. A birth too hairy-unblest in the eye

Of saintliest converts I have ever known!

Enormities for which green-fire is

Too cool, not come of nature freely borne.

Fouterien. A pardon for this time!

Bailleton. If you repent, your pardon sings above,

Beyond the scope of eye or ear.

Fouterien. Hah! Hah! Hee! Hee!

Aubry. Do you shriek now? This might have been wept for

When keenest member met cows to play with,

Hereafter doomed, for burning only good!

Bailleton. What of the man-calf neither man nor calf?

Aubry. On evil meat may no one gormandize.

To fires together with the beastly man

And manly beast!

Bailleton. What of the mare he lightly ambled with

During that awful walking show of hell?

Aubry. All three incorperate in smoke, with those

Defending them in freshest leaves of fire.

Bailleton. Come forward, loon. You may not lie aground

To bother French saints passing by this way.

Aubry. No thump of genuflection heard but once

From him inside my church: what comes of this?

A body ripe for roasting, Satan's friend

On mounds of straw in pains extreme condemned!

Fouterien. A caught fly sins much more than I have done.

Aubry. Fly-sins wing safest to Beelzebub,

But you have bred what our traditions, sick

And faint, with loathing cough and spit against.

Fouterien. Why cut the patient with the tumor, friends?

Bailleton. Forward with foot before and not with mouth!

Exeunt Aubry, Bailleton, and Fouterien

Act 2. Scene 2. A palace in Paris. 1593

Enter the dukes of Mayenne, Guise, and Aumale

Aumale. In these commotions where no faction wins,

States-general should now elect our king.

Mayenne. So, for these reasons we are suddenly

Found waiting.

Guise. For otherwise Navarre's king becomes

The king of France and ours. Is it not this

Which armed my father's Catholic heart, this

For which abomination, purple-clad,

Half-man, half-woman in a demon shape,

Pronounced a king, in secret massacred

Him, on whose blood-stains France in dishcloths weep?

Aumale. At Ivry France is fallen, almost lost

To view in grovelling against her fate.

Guise. No king of Protestants will enter France

As king of all. No, rather let her foot,

Half rotted from the boils of heresy,

Be ligatured for amputation.

Aumale. My lord of Mayenne says but little here.

Guise. Come, uncle, smile so that a Protestant

May die. What Ivry's battle lost for us

Stout Paris may restore, should she hold down

Her robes from lancers avidly upright.

Mayenne. We'll see what we may do or yet undo

At our new meeting of the three estates.

Aumale. The cardinal-legate to the pope is here.

Guise. So is the duke of Feria, thanks to whom

Spain may do something violent in our cause.

Aumale. Say, as lieutenant-general of all

Our forces, say, intrepid son of war,

Of Francis, duke of Guise, and Anna d'Este,

What should be told or done against the slave

The Bearnese slaves call the king of France.

Mayenne. At that same conference, we'll see.

Guise. As son of Henry, duke of Guise, I swear

My father was not murdered so that heads

Of heretics can bluster on his throne,

To kill religion in all parts of of France.

Aumale. From Claude of Lorraine and Louise of Brézé

I fetch a glorious pedigree, from whose

Veins not one drop of angry blood once beat

For Calvin or his creed, and ever will.

Mayenne. Navarre's king declares our conference

Null and illegal. What of that, my lords?

Guise. Nothing of that nothing.

Aumale. Should virtuous Paris stop the king's approach.

Guise. For Paris and my armor! Or else let

The duke of Guise like rotten apples drop

In brownish heaps below the tree of Guise.

Mayenne. So.- Herald!

Enter Bévue

Advise the lords the duke of Mayenne comes.

Bévue. At once, your eminence.

Exit Bévue

Mayenne. The king of France is not the king of France.

Aumale. Or any, if three dukes impose their will.

Exeunt Mayenne, Guise, and Aumale

Act 2. Scene 3. Maxime's shop in Paris. 1593

Enter Maxime with a bellows and Louise

Maxime. As bellows-mender I breathe life again

Into the cinders of our destinies.

Louise. You mend more.

Maxime. I mend what other menders badly miss.

Louise. Especially two broken livelihoods.

Maxime. Especially one broken reputation.

Louise. A hit! Mine you frown on most, I suppose.

The poor care little of the miseries

Of mind if their lean bellies are filled up.

Maxime. The Durepains crush some kind of bread at last,

After much scraping at the bottom of

The hollow bowl for lean potato-skins.

Louise. Yet since your brother's death, we profit less.

A difference in pains beat on our brains

When a quick niece's deeds escape our view.

Maxime. Instead of quiet famine, anguished search

Of where she is, with whom, why, slippery

Behaviors understood by youth alone!

Louise. At fitful fourteen how our worries jump

At our throats in surprises all the time!

Maxime. How plentifully must an uncle sweat

So that his niece avoids perdition's end!

Louise. To wean the hope not shame of womankind!

For her a nest of purity, not pitch!

Maxime. May she never become the salad on

Which couch the hard tomatoes of men's lust!

Louise. I watch each gallant in our neighborhood,

How secretly they spy her entrances

And exits from our house, all their intent

Being to lap up soups of women, and,

When they have done, to wipe their beards of them!

Maxime. With her that will not be.

Louise. Normandy's salmon is not fatly fresher on the palate than she to a a man's eye.

Enter Blanchefleur

Maxime. Comes lightness skipping at the start of day!

Louise. Here, careless Blanchefleur. What, so soon abroad?

Blanchefleur. When lillies turn their faces to the sun,

So does Blanchefleur.

Louise. Have you finished sweeping and washing, mending, cutting, and baking?

Blanchefleur. Floors, clothes, potatoes. Yet I swear a girl

Is meant for more than rubbing half the day.

Maxime. In due time, pleasure comes.

Blanchefleur. When?

Louise. With marriage sometimes.

Blanchefleur. A thought best pleasing to a spring-time wench,

Provided she, without befouling back

Or arse with compromising greenery,

Will be allowed to choose her favorite.

Maxime. O, certainly.

Louise. But you must keep within, not seen so much

By braggart anglers hoping to net fools.

Blanchefleur. Untried virginity is honor lost.

Let Blanchefleur therefore be assaulted, so

That priests or sadder mankind contemplate

The lilly thriving best in April gusts.

Louise. First weep in joy's tang on a heaving breast,

Then, if caught, weep in sorrow on your hands.

Blanchefleur. Behold a virgin steeled to combat men.

Let them all nestle underneath my breasts

Of myrtle-berries overtopping snow.

I'll potter them and laugh at their behests

While noting faces shining as I go.

Louise. Never expect we will let even once

Our charge to lubricate abroad at will,

Respecting nothing of the honor couched

Between her legs.

Blanchefleur. I gaze at it while seeing nothing yet.

Maxime. Once cut, come moaning and repining still

On a lost flower.

Blanchefleur. Some lillies twice in the same season bloom.

Maxime. I'll have you bloom without being blown.

Blanchefleur. A lilly bound and choked in brackish ponds!

I am amazed I am allowed to piss.

Louise. Just to improve on happiness, my child.

Blanchefleur. Is no girl to be trusted? Firmest still:

I roll my virtue like a bowling ball

Outside the holy borders otherwise.

Louise. First a round lifetime uncircumscribed by lusts,

Then marriage to a man one should belove!

Maxime. In such a way as you need not resolve

Within your mind the need to antler him.

Blanchefleur. How hard I guess a man is! Here I sit,

Plunged unawares in dangers much longed for,

Ashamed at what I miss.

Enter Bévue with a broken jug and two cups

Bévue. I guess a mending place is what I need.

Maxime. My friend, Bévue!

Louise. Our friend, Bévue!

Bévue. Three handsome friends, of two beloved at least.

Blanchefleur. Some sparrow-lover, of no sprightlier note!

Maxime. Your jug is leaking?

Louise. Worse than his jug, I fear.

Bévue. It is, most plentifully.

Maxime. Trust me to bung up holes.

Louise. I once thought sharp Bévue the readier man

For those, most happy to oblige at will.

Bévue. Your husband, as I hear, improves on me.

Louise. True.

Maxime. Expect in me, Bévue, the man to mend

Whatever fails in you, whatever burns

Or turns awry, as you shift from one side

To others in your pleasures.

Bévue. I trust in yours, most plentifully, too.

Louise. They say you study ancient authorships.

Bévue. In sciences and arts I keep informed,

As best a herald in his travels can,

In hopes to better wit and conversation.

Maxime. Most often have I seen him pondering

On arduous questions of geometry.

Bévue. Especially on triangles, both male And female.

Louise. I too by candlelight have watched him wear

His longing eyes on those to weariness.

Bévue. I also study bird-lore in the fields:

I take it out, however large it swells

Before me, to place it in warmer nests.

Blanchefleur. Can you view yellowhammers? Here the male

Jets brightest yellows, gobs down cheerfully

Seeds, nettles, grasses, clover. What if man

Shone so refulgently, so easily

To feed? How cheerful he would be! Instead,

Like earwigs knocked from ceilings he drops on

Our pillows, feeding scrunchingly on what

Could feed me twice.

Bévue. I'll be your earwig flying towards you,

Though rarely so in nature's course, at least

While flattening its body snugly in

Your tiniest crevices.

Blanchefleur. Oh no, I'll not be fitted quite so soon.

Bévue. What, never marry? Will you let time freeze

Advantage into blocks of icy snow?

Blanchefleur. O, never. To go naked with a man

Is what I mean to do in best of times.

It was Eve's glory, to be mine as well.

Maxime. Ha! How? Is it as suitor you arrive?

Louise. No, no, no, no, impossible at best!

Bévue. I banter, surely. This cup you may

Drink on, even by virgin lip untouched.

Blanchefleur. I thank you.-

Ha, it has given me the bellyache.

Bévue. Then dance away your pains.

Blanchefleur. Where is your hat of peril, sorcerer?

(He leads her to dance

Maxime. For dancing truly Christ-like in their rounds!

Louise. Is it May-day? I wish he had not come.

Bévue. Whoop! Whoop! This wenching is most jolly, too!

Maxime. A girl for boyhood-frisking only keen!

Blanchefleur. O, O, my prettiest gown!

Maxime. What now?

Louise. Why do you stop and stare?

Blanchefleur. I have most horribly beshat myself.

Bévue. How is this? From the contents of the cup,

I leap and bellow.

Blanchefleur. Still more of man's concoctions that destroy!

I'll brew my own loose-bowelled counter-plot.

Exit Blanchefleur, weeping

Bévue. The beverage was innocently tried

On horses, dogs, and children wanting more.

Maxime. Here is your jug repaired, though in that time

You aim against my almost-daughter's hopes

Of a good marriage.

Bévue. I dare not.

Louise. It is best for her hopes and ours at least

To herald off awhile away quite soon.

Exit Louise

Maxime. How was I caught? Will it be forests dark,

A clump of briars, hurried tossing off

Of clothes, to kiss when our beloved thinks tha t We are asleep or dead?

Bévue. More comfort in the warming of the turf

Beneath our loves than roasting in the square

With vicars chanting aves over us!

Maxime. Not yet quite dark enough?

Bévue. (kissing him

Lips joining lips too like midsummer days!

Maxime. I long to press on more. Perhaps the back

Of Hercules can hold my needs awhile.

Bévue. Tonight we try that. Otherwise, I miss

Half of my life with pining breathlessly.

Maxime. Your arse as hollow for the compost I

Intend to throw in it!

Bévue. The gladder to receive it burningly.

Exeunt Maxime and Bévue

Act 2. Scene 4. Before the church of St-Andrew-of-the-Arts. 1593

Enter Father Aubry and Brin

Aubry. More benedictions flowing towards me

As never hoped before! I thank myself.

Brin. As heaven's laborer, none should begrudge

A curate prizes and rewards on earth.

Aubry. But yet since seeing Fouterien burnt alive,

I have not stirred much on behalf of church-affairs.

Much more may yet be done, much more by me,

Or those of my opinions.

Brin. Why are you grinning? By the virgin's face

After chilbearing, I wish the world to be

Always much sadder than I always am.

Aubry. I dreamt Navarre had broken off his neck.

Brin. If crownless kings can beat down Paris gates,

I'll see priests enter larger breaches than

They heretofore have done so secretly.

Enter Benoît above with a tile

Aubry. From bed to table: what a happy life!

Brin. Mixed with one or two prayers in-between.

(Benoît throws down his tile on Father Aubry's head and exits

Aubry. O, I am slain by hosts of Protestants.

Brin. Boy-nightmare on the roof. Benoît unblessed

I'll take between my knees to watch him wince.

Aubry. O! O! O! O!

Brin. When first I met his father to explain

The uses of my broom, up to the clouds

Reverberating with a cyclop's hand

He clapped like thunder: "Disobedience's son,

Not mine," exclaimed he. As we often note,

Lack of respect for one commandment leads

To loss in all, even to slaughtering.

Aubry. O! O! O! O!

Brin. Come. Ointments good enough for cuts within!

Exeunt Brin bearing Aubry

Act 2. Scene 5. A street in Paris. 1593

Enter Maxime, leading a donkey, and Bévue

Maxime. As laborer I daily used such modes

Of locomotion as we walk along.

Bévue. I leave you on convenient travels to

Ride post-haste with my Perseus-stirring duke.

Maxime. Where? To the meetings of the three estates?

Bévue. Indeed. I see his guard impatient at

Our muddy-footed pace of tardiness.

Maxime. The foolishness of greatest ones! Will they

Select a king when we already know

Rejoicefully King Henry as our own?

Bévue. Speak without moving either lip or tongue.

Enter the duke of Mayenne, attended

Mayenne. Is not a duke accompanied with men

In retinues?

Bévue. Assuredly, your eminence.

Mayenne. To Andrew-of-the-Arts, then to Suresne

In coaches drawn with wings of Pegasus!

Maxime. Come, duke among the beasts, for France's sake,

To conferences of the three estates

We plod along, though slower than our wills.

Bévue. Ha, is this wise?

Mayenne. Ho, officer!

Enter Bailleton

Mayenne. Whip that man twice with wires till they fray off.

Exeunt Mayenne, Bévue, and attendants

Maxime. Is this French justice? Huh!

Bailleton. I seize your eminence, although averse

Against my will, but more especially

Yours, duke of Mender, to mend you as few

Have been, in my own fashion, by

The signs of my profession, known to most.

Maxime. One harmless mimic-piece: are skins off back

And arse to be unmercifully undressed

Because of it?

Bailleton. Past any question in these days of spies

And danger, lashings worse than what receives

The gait of donkey-sloth when men wax mad.

Enter Louise and Blanchefleur, pregnant

Louise. What, is my man taken?

Bailleton. Yes, madam, doubtless for the good of state

Affairs too deep for us to ponder on.

Louise. You will not use him very cruelly?

Bailleton. As he deserves for mocking Mayenne's duke,

No more than that, I'm certain, by this hand.

(Louise and Blanchefleur weep

Maxime. Come, sooner suffered, soonest to my rolls

Of bloody plasters moaning half the night!

Bailleton. If we stay here for women's floods to dry,

We will stand fixed as statues in affairs

Of state and lose the profits of each day.

Louise. With gentlest handstrokes, kindest oficer,

For we are out of bandages and oils.

Enter Benoît, limping

Maxime. However I may fare, no further jest

Against the duke of Mayenne or the duke

Of Folly on my life.

Bailleton. I'll print that oath on many body parts

To make it far more certain, by this rod.

Benoît. I curse my luck on being born a boy

With buttocks. For the sake of wisest seers

Of what we never see, or never has

Been seen except in dreams, to make us live

Beneath their power, I am deeply cut.

Blanchefleur. Ha, not that limplet Benoît halting forth?

Are we to be spectators of his parts

Of sorrow, like the zebra's merited?

Benoît. Hoy, is our mender's arse to be repaired?

I'll rub mine with red faces for a while.

Bailleton. Come, duke of Payforall, I own a robe

Of scarlet that should snugly fit your ribs

And shoulders in a dungeon of Bastille.-

Not yet?

Exeunt Bailleton and Maxime

Louise. Though in the lowest regions of Bastille,

We hear the wretched cry lamentably.

Benoît. That donkey-trotting lord will wear his robe

Of shame without one crown among you all.

Blanchefleur. Out, earth-born Scylla of all boyhood pranks!

Benoît. Great-bellied Mary with your bastard imp

To Judah's manger go. Hah-yah, na, na!

Blanchefleur. He'll wear a dozen pairs on his backside

If once I catch a dripping gutter-piece.

Exeunt Blanchefleur and Benoît running

Louise. More trouble than we are worth, Mayenne, no?

Exit Louise with the donkey

Act 2. Scene 6. The church of St-Andrew-of-the-Arts. 1593

Enter the dukes of Mayenne, Guise, and Aumale, with Bévue and attendants

Aumale. We find no bullet of religion fit

To make a crowd yell for enemies

As this same curate.

Guise. A truer coinage of our Catholic

And universal metal is not found

Among the Paris clergy at this hour.

Aumale. A gift from Michael if found on our side,

If not, boils from a plague-wound festering.

Mayenne. We'll hear that priest without once checking him.

His sermon is not penned, but yet for us,

Before our conference, he has agreed

To offer samples of the salted bits,

Enough to whet our Sunday appetites.

Guise. No man to genuflect before the masks

Of heresy, though on a royal face

Inscribed with marks of power's circumstance.

Aumale. Some say a band of Protestants let loose

On him a sleet of tiles.

Mayenne. Nevertheless, his head seems still unhurt.

Guise. His head is like religion's helmet placed

To scare away all Protestants near us.

Aumale. Expect no miracle from a dog's mouth.

Mayenne. Hear what fanatic capers can express.

Enter Father Aubry in the pulpit

Aubry. Dukes of renown and lords by most revered,

Your conference is worth a devil's fart.

(Aumale rises with a knife, but is restrained by the others

No mouth-air can defeat the Calvin-sore

But scalpels, knives, and saws. In haste prepare.

Let us all kneel with eyes and mouths of fear

So that the duke of Mayenne splits in two

The heads of heretic slaves. Merchant turds,

Greased in their fat, store grains in garners to

Starve out the people in submission to

The whoreson-king and evil tiger. May

His phallus enter in his belly with

Much pain and sorrow should one of his type

Be present here, or should one hope that

A truce be promulgated, after France,

In bushes creeping, unprotected, cries

With mouth of blood against ten thousand hounds

Of Luther's brood. To Seine's stream in a bag

For gainsayers expecting gifts from kings,

Or let them hang alive at Montfaucon!

Exit Aubry

Aumale. Can one doubt that this priest can trumpet forth

Seditions in three kingdoms with three words?

Guise. I like the sermon well.

Mayenne. To Suresne all, with hearts of hope not fear!

Exeunt Mayenne, Guise, Aumale, with Bévue and attendants

Act 2. Scene 7. A palace in Paris. 1593

Enter the archbishops of Lyon and of Bourges

Lyon. At all costs our religion!

Bourges. At all costs peace, at all costs the welfare of the people, should the king of Navarre be converted as a Catholic and son of the highest shepherd.

Lyon. Unlikely even when we sleep awake!

Bourges. He witnessed slaughters on his wedding-night,

Yet think of this, religious lion, to

Be king of France alone, while saying much

And candidly: "I love Christ best of all."

Lyon. To be converted once lays out the rug

To help the foot along respectlessly,

As if one could in true religion shift

From one sex to another while one prays.

Relunctantly, a villain murderer

And virgin-violator kneels in church

To cloud the eye amid unnoticed crowds.

Bourges. In our age, only quiet atheists live

Securely, beyond the arm of militants.

With Jesus quite unthought of, who can halt

A king or groom from murdering us all?

Lyon. A king can be prevented by the law.

Bourges. Law-texts are scarecrows, which he pushes down.

Lyon. Lincestre speaks with Christ's peace we wish on all.

Bourges. Unlike our Andrew's Aubry in his flames.

Lyon. We'll cool one to heat up the other one.

Exeunt Lyon and Bourges