Collaborative play writing/French chronicles of the 1590s/Act 3

Act 3. Scene 1. At the conference in Suresne. 1593

Enter the dukes of Mayenne, Guise, and Aumale

Guise. Confusions in faith, one or two articles of worth multiplied by nothing, yielding nothing, not like Christ's bread of sustenance but lucubrations to impress, sugar-constructions dissolved in religion-famished mouths by the next disputant: why do we speak in Suresne halls instead of fighting in Suresne fields?

Aumale. Impatient riders on the other side

Fall as soon as they foot the stirrup first.

Guise. I'll go or spend my anger on myself,

So foolishly we strike with tongues when we

Should strike with swords.

Aumale. Archbishops worry us, to worry us,

Who, pleasing everybody, please no one.

Guise. Are they not bound as shepherds of our faith?

Aumale. True, though they seem so far only to baa.

Guise. What should by Christ's impatience be done?

Aumale. None of us knows that.

Guise. What does the Spaniard say?

Aumale. Against our Salic law, the duke of Feria proposes the Spanish king's daughter, being the grandaughter of Henry the Second, as the queen of France.

Mayenne. Her future husband as the king of France!

Guise. Will that idea please? Can she excite

The duke of Mayenne with that dowry, ha?

Aumale. You send an uncle's desires rubbing between Spanish-French legs.

Mayenne. In good faith, I do not know what is best.

Guise. Come, uncle, say at once you are resolved

To be a king.

Aumale. No doubt and certainly.

Guise. No?

Aumale. Yes, truly, as I thrive amain in France,

Or else he's maddened silly by our talk.

Guise. The duke of Mayenne, king! For that I could

In blindness with one quarter of a stump

Fight with my hands and win.

Aumale. Your uncle, monarch! Then yourself as what?

Guise. Of no more important style when rising in the morning than saluting myself as nephew to the king!

Aumale. Admit that this idea pleases you,

My honorable lord.

Mayenne. As answered, I fail to know which is best.

Guise. Again their lordships of Lyon and Bourges.

Aumale. Two mitered toothaches pining for relief.

Enter the archbishops of Lyon and of Bourges

Lyon. What, he? No, I dare swear, though I should not,

No candidate the people will allow.

Bourges. True, since the death of Charles, the cardinal

Of Bourbon, favored by the Holy League,

Pawns miss on every square to take a crown.

Lyon. Salic law forbids the choice of Henry the Third's sister as our queen.

Bourges. Which is why the king passed his crown to Navarre, as the agnatic descendant of Louis the Ninth.

Lyon. Navarre? No, let Elizabeth the queen

Rage all she can, though armies overturn

France into loathsome marshlands general.

Bourges. May France stay Catholic, but peace again

At any cost!

Lyon. Who speaks of peace when our religion faints

Amid our quarrels when she ought to strike?

Bourges. Peace seldom prized, even seldom thought of!

Lyon. Navarre?

Guise. O, never will the Guise behold Navarre

As sumpter for his baggage, much less king.

Lyon. Should we elect one to turn Seine and Loire

As channels of his lust, outlandishly?

Bourges. He may not, should he choose instead to lie

His head on pillows of our faithful church.

Lyon. He loosens governments into naked Trinidad liberties Colombus never gaped at.

Guise. O, no, O, no! We fight against Navarre.

Your eminence tugs reason with the rope

Of faith. I'll place a dam against that stream.

Thus heaven-puissant arms of dukes of Guise,

Thanks to the fount of strength, accomplish much.

Lyon. I rather choose the Guise as our next king.

Mayenne. Hah?

Lyon. My thoughts are lifted by that royal theme.

Bourges. How, how, the Guise, king?

Lyon. Of what worth is the Holy League if not

To make and unmake kings?

Guise. A king?

Mayenne. He, he, a king?

Aumale. I totter without drinking.

Lyon. If right, so, if not, so.

Bourges. Not he.

Lyon. Do you keep secrets, eminence of Bourges?

Bourges. Navarre assures me of his imminent Conversion to our faith.

Lyon. I doubt that, so does the Council of Sixteen.

Bourges. The would-be king appears to lean his cheek,

As bridegrooms ought and John did, on the breast

Of honor, smilingly because desperately.

Mayenne. A view proposed by many councillors

Of state when nobles seek to vie for peace.

Lyon. With tears of fear so does the third estate.

Aumale. Will it please their graces the archbishops to retire awhile with cordials?

Lyon. We thank Aumale.

Bourges. Thanks to Aumale.

Guise. Will Spain approve of your choice, my loved lord?

Aumale. Their king lifts to our view Isabella Clara Eugenia as France's queen.

Bourges. How desperately shameful would it be

For France to yield her crown of eminence

To sun-burnt strangers!

Lyon. How, Spaniards rule our state, as Rome must do

Inside our churches partly?

Mayenne. Our neighbor flocks, the better to prevent

Us to be shorn away by English curs.

Bourges. Navarre-

Guise. Navarre? A beard-louse in my presence named

As king? A barber's comb is fit for him,

Or else my steel.

Aumale. Let us retire, lords, till the next session.

Exeunt Mayenne, Guise, and Aumale

Lyon. What of Aumale?

Bourges. An ingle merely.

Lyon. A tiler or a thatcher, not the man

To keep our safeties below one roof.

Bourges. The Guise as king?

Lyon. If so, good.

Bourges. If not, better.

Exeunt Lyon and Bourges

Act 3. Scene 2. The church of St-Andrew-of-the-Arts. 1593

Enter Father Aubry and Brin

Aubry. Blanchefleur gave birth last night to a new monster devoid of arm or leg, a phallus in the middle of his belly, with a face as large and hairy as a man at thirty, and a nose like his phallus dangling near the ground.

Brin. O, horror never seen at Andrew yet!

Aubry. An emblem of the Béarnais, all prick,

Nose ever pendant towards earth and sin,

Not savoring at any time with us

The sweetnesses of heaven and its peace.

Brin. What an age to sin in!

Aubry. Thanks to our prayers. thoughts, and homelies,

The blot is quite unlikely to survive.

Brin. I think she runs about too much: thus wawls

A putrid-sick blob-monster born in France.

Aubry. As wholesome as the errors Protestants

Hug with their families.

Enter Blanchefleur

Brin. She comes, to give you juicy raisins of A girl's confession.

Aubry. Repentances too many for a wench

So lively: not to sin would seem a sin

When one is young.

Brin. Ah, had I studied farther, for your seat!

Aubry. Dig a grave or prepare my dinner: I

Do not know which smells cleanlier.

Exit Brin

Kneel, child. Some curates would be angry at

Your freest never-ending copulations,

The seed-ground of disgrace, when wildest buds

By ragweeds of intransigence are smothered quite,

But I sit pensively, awaiting to

Hear patiently and too forgivingly

What girls of fourteen are so sorry for.

Blanchefleur. My breach is always open: that must be

Because wise nature never meant to close

It. Say I sin,- demented peasants in

The parish know so much as that- yet in

Birth-weakness, with hopes of salvation's stream,

I come to feel the breezes sought nearby,

As ready to confess as I was glad

To drop in pain my burden yesternight.

Aubry. Then speak. Where is abomination's fount

Of viciousness who makes you desperate?

Blanchefleur. I do not know.

Aubry. Hah?

Blanchefleur. Two have I loved together, or else thought

I loved, no more, twice have I spurned away.

Aubry. Already nibbling on side-dishes, hah?

Later on a new one's face every week,

And not only a face. What thoughts are these?

Two? twice too many. What a sluttish phrase

But far more sluttish deed, with mellow thigh

Before my face caught dangling prettily!

Blanchefleur. More than that I cannot for shame reveal.

Aubry. Absolved as soon as spoken! As your prick

Of penance, think of me, a sinner much

Like you, but, as I age, far more disguised.

Blanchefleur. And so I will.

Aubry. Do.

Exit Blanchefleur and re-enter Brin

Brin. Some hopes for her?

Aubry. No doubt a lazy creature meant for straw

And fumigations in the market-place.

Brin. A girl dripping with it.

Aubry. Indeed, my brain always whirls on the Charybdis gulf of her lubricity.

Brin. Never inticing with her Circe's cloud of hair, peanut-rounded hips, buttocks like gently sloping hillocks with a view of fen and heath, any parishioner more pious than Bévue or his like.

Aubry. No thinker wonders with your open mouth

Why he is pleasant to her Phrynic eye,

Whose dress no new Hypereides dares to

Cast off, for fear she will not flinch or blush.

I always smell on him the elephant

Trunk of his fornications, very wrought

That after whispering confessions some

Would put a fire to in effigy,

Hell's candidate refuses to see me.

Exeunt Aubry and Brin

Act 3. Scene 3. The church of St-Andrew-of-the-Arts. 1593

Enter Maxime, Louise, Blanchefleur, Benoît, and parishioners

1 Parishioner. The very tinderbox religion needs.

2 Parishioner. Yes, to set fire to your house.

3 Parishioner. And mine.

1 Parishioner. Fires purge to renew vegetation.

2 Parishioner. But older dogmas thrive the best.

3 Parishioner. Provided my house stays upright.

1 Parishioner. Hear Father Aubry mow down houses, good or bad, for the good of France.

2 Parishioner. He usually fires first, but, since the start of the conference, he shoots first and last.

3 Parishioner. Words that make entire neighborhoods tremble.

1 Parishioner. Hear him take down conferences.

2 Parishioner. And patience with them.

3 Parishioner. Together with our houses.

1 Parishioner. When fighting on the side of goodness, bad is sometimes better.

2 Parishioner. I'll keep my patience rather.

3 Parishioner. And I my house and garden.

Enter Father Aubry in the pulpit

Aubry. Not dukes or archbishops, wolves! Too favorable by far to the Béarnais, known by many to sing white-eyed psalms in his privy. They say he enters our churches now: so do dogs, to piss. Should he be converted, expect no more masses or sermons in France, look for no church to pray in, except taverns and brothel-houses. Let him be converted, if sincere, but not as king of France, being the son of relapsed and heretic falsehood. The fox bends his head to dig for chickens. At the conference, I do not believe that princes wish to favor a truce. Peace with the excommunicated? No, for them no pardon, but ropes and water! Politiques, to you I hammer: do not laugh, for the Seine is near. Patience! Parishioners peacefully entering Saint-Denis with Navarre begrime their faces with the devil's spit. Peace: the hope of an infant-bugger and hippopotamus-atheist fit to be drowned in his own mud! Such likes frog their peace-chants in the night to the scandal of all good Christians, a question to be resolved with nets and sword-points. Against the teeth of Moraines, Saint-Merry's curate, I say this: let no Christian suck teets of the angry wolf, as recently pronounced by the cardinal-legate, lest you have your heads ripped away. Seditious priests chew on thistles, they say. What do they, frowning on their diets, speak of? The Béarnais, a king, that sacrilegeous prevaricator and fornicator, that empestified- I lose myself- that pestiferous virgin-eater? No anointed head, but one greased with kingdoms of his imagination. Thus for my first volley! I'll begin mass after changing.

Exit Aubry

1 Parishioner. He pours it out.

2 Parishioner. Over his cassock, too.

3 Parishioner. Pitch on our roof-tops I greatly fear worse than ever.

1 Parishioner. For religion, we are allowed to break church-chairs and even church-heads.

2 Parishioner. No.

1 Parishioner. No?

2 Parishioner. Except your own.

1 Parishioner. Or yours.

(They fight

3 Parishioner. First fires here and then inside my house.

Benoît. (breaking chairs

Good, good, good, good, good, good.

1 Parishioner. Here's for you.

2 Parishioner. Varlet, and yours.

Maxime. Sirs, are you not shamed?

Louise. In churches now?

Blanchefleur. More of your fists on Benoît.

Exit Benoît

1 Parishioner. Outside, for further contention.

2 Parishioner. I follow that advice with reverence.

Exeunt parishioners

Maxime. What, not ended yet, when you already grieve any Christian with such heat? O! O!

Louise. Can you not sit yet?

Maxime. Neither sitting nor leaning on a chair will do, nor barely standing when any speak of heating.

Blanchefleur. Should he sit with us, my uncle would warm our pew.

Louise. A pitiable ending to your prank!

Blanchefleur. Indeed, the backside of his jest is turned

Almost into a jelly.

Louise. How! Did you watch your uncle miserably undress last night?

Blanchefleur. With blushing, inadvertently.

Maxime. I blush at both ends now.

Louise. I need not ask Blanchefleur to warm our pans

Today, if only you could sit on them.

Blanchefleur. Or light the fire with feet on andirons,

Like chilly devils, sitting on a log.

Maxime. O! O! I could crown my lips with laughing once, if only, rebel-like, back and buttocks did not scheme behind.

Louise. With your body glowing in the dark, we no longer need a candle in the bedroom.

Blanchefleur. Save time at work by heating iron-bars

On your own backside.

Maxime. O! O! I could answer with more than words, if not for behind-hand traitors.

Louise. We can be pleasant as long as pains last.

Blanchefleur. He would be more comfortable in a cool rainfall, if standing naked like a poppy.

Louise. See when the fighting ends.

Exeunt Maxime, Louise, and Blanchefleur, re-enter Aubry with Brin

Aubry. The duke of Guise is king inside my dreams,

Bemoaning that he is not yet achieved.

Brin. Spoken more in the manner of the Gospels than state-councillors do.

Aubry. A church and state both equal and the same!

Brin. Can it be so since the advent of the reformed religion?

Aubry. If not in this world, I would rather not be in this world.

Brin. Some type of quarrel outside.

Aubry. No doubt because of a fool's hasty words.

Brin. Unless your fire, though heavenly kindled, inspired men to these riots, with dust in the air, beards pressed and wracked, words, and fists.

Aubry. I hope so.

Brin. By Paul's uproar in Jerusalem, a rightly commendable outcome if faces be beaten in for religious reasons!

Aubry. A sexton's comment on our works is unnecessary at best. This way resolutely, to greet the people as smilingly as we can!

Exeunt Aubry and Brin

Act 3. Scene 4. The church of St-Gervais. 1593

Enter Maxime and Father Lincestre

Lincestre. Not of this parish?

Maxime. No, father, I come here to see whether

Some controversies hold as they do there.

Lincestre. Who sent you to spy?

Maxime. I assure you, no one.

Lincestre. Your curate?

Maxime. Father Aubry.

Lincestre. Of Saint-Andrew-of-the-Arts, in reputation powder and smoke.

Maxime. You have our story.

Lincestre. In preparing for my next sermon, I'll briefly expose ours.

Maxime. I'll gladly hear.

(Lincestre ascends the pulpit

Lincestre. I'm sent to Denis for the sake of peace.

The king, too mildly lenient on our spills,

Comes forth to claim his own, as regent, lord,

And Catholic at last.

Maxime. I thought so.

Lincestre. Thereby stirs over dissension's dustheaps perhaps some compost to help us reattain former prosperities, in subjects lacking those since King Louis the Twelfth's time. Some deny our king will be religious. I say he will, for his safety may depend on that, irrespective of conversations among the dukes and lords, while he acts his royal part, likely to batter his way in, and, unless I err, crowned as he ought to be.

Maxime. Sincere?

Lincestre. So far he is.

Maxime. And thereby may we miss that thing of fear:

Religion as the cloak to strangle France.

Lincestre. Return to us as often as you can.

Two Sunday masses never come amiss.

Exeunt Maxime and Lincestre

Act 3. Scene 5. The Durepain house in Paris. 1593

Enter Louise and Blanchefleur with a bundle

Louise. A husband would best please at this juncture.

Blanchefleur. Especially on mine, which longs for that.

Louise. Should I elaborate with reasoning?

Blanchefleur. Do, aunt, while I look down to squirt somewhat

Into what reasonably can be fed.

Louise. With a man near, you may get money, girl.

Blanchefleur. As necessary as our wish to feed

And clothe ourselves, demanding little, though

Sufficient to care for my monster's mouth.

Louise. You will have company with Sunday fare.

Blanchefleur. Good, when I need someone to mark my wit.

Louise. Perhaps he will possess some learning, keen

To demonstrate the goings in the world.

Blanchefleur. At present very necessary, aunt.

A distaff, spoon, and needle are to us

As Cicero to them.

Louise. So that you need not know more than you should.

Blanchefleur. I see where he aims at: I'll have my broom,

To be kept busy in blank ignorance.

Louise. How, raging in our school of drudgery?

Blanchefleur. It somewhat strains my head to be seen as

A doctor read in scouring, dusting, basting.

My students will be plum-pastes and baked meats.

Louise. I'll have you clap hands at once with Cousin.

Blanchefleur. That ancient one?

Louise. At twenty-two!

Blanchefleur. Much better, if I thrive, to hold in hand

And elsewhere fervent Benoît for my needs.

Enter Benoît

Louise. Do, if you wish to queen it on road-sides

Or smoky taverns.

Benoît. Excellent if I somehow see some of that!

Louise. Out, gibbet-morsel!

Benoît. Unless I miss my aim, before I rise

Up to that post of shame and be let down,

I will first feed on what way feed on me.

Louise. I violently suspect you as the one who thickened my niece's sides.

Benoît. Some do worse than create life.

Louise. Have you ever smelled such a garlick-eyed rascal?

Benoît. No worse than you when squatting after meat.

Louise. I can see you in a year or more, dining with your wife on a fat oyster or two.

Benoît. Enough to make your niece swell with fatter monsters.

Louise. Already in despair of what is yet

Achieved, what burdens on her youth and mine!

Blanchefleur. It cries little, and therefore may easily die.

Benoît. Good.

Louise. I could catch you and beat you, rotted spigot.

Benoît. Not after all your eating and farting.

Louise. He kills my bowels.

Exit Louise

Benoît. Will we live together now? Can you play the wife?

Blanchefleur. I can make cassoulet with haricot beans.

Benoît. Moreover, I easily dive into chicken, trout, capon, and woodcock.

Blanchefleur. But first you must purvey.

Benoît. In the way of a husband's duties, I do more.

Blanchefleur. Or else I stir you to it, whenever my rabbit's tongue thaws your frozen carrot.

Benoît. You'll find it sturdy.

Blanchefleur. Never sagging too soon before expectation, I hope.

Benoît. As ready as a bell next to your hand.

Blanchefleur. Yet see what becomes of me when I dally with your clapper.

Benoît. Very quiet now, I think.

Blanchefleur. Dead, it seems.

Benoît. Ha? Then throw it down.

Blanchefleur. Stow it somewhere.

Benoît. Bury it in this trasheap.

Enter Bailleton

Bailleton. How is this? Caught in a heinous act of crime? Casually disposing of the results of levity?

Blanchefleur. No, officer, this was my own but now.

Bailleton. I believe you, but how did it die?

Blanchefleur. Just in my arms as I was feeding it.

Bailleton. That should be proven.

Benoît. I am the witness of this glad event.

Bailleton. Then both along together side by side

Before my staff of office willingly.

Exeunt Bailleton, Blanchefleur, and Benoît