Editor’s Note: Below is “Scene Two” of a piece published some while ago (please search to find it) from our Shakespearean obsessives, Ivan A. and Ben J. Keep in mind the following is not from the pen of William Shakespeare himself…then again, given the controversy over authorship of all those plays and stuff, what really was from the pen of William Shakespeare?
In Town Square, at Night
Antonio, Oliver and Conrade stand on balcony
Antonio: We are here as thou requested, Conrade.
What is thine council to which thou didst call us?
Conrade: I did but call that we may speak, Antonio.
Verily, Margaret doth lie upon her sickbed, ever growing weaker.
‘Twould not seem so strange that we may speak of it.
Let us here tell of these ill matters and exchange our thoughts;
Tell what thou dost believe the cause of her ailment to be.
Oliver: Conrade, though sorely tempting it would be to so gossip,
To what end doth it achieve? What is the reason of so whimsically letting time fly by?
Lest thou hast some knowledge, some fact we know not, I shall have naught of thine council.
Conrade: Oliver, best not so adverse to simple speech.
In speaking lies we may discover the truth; in speaking truth we discover it to so be.
Oliver: But verily, mine time would be better spent exploring such a matter.
In speaking thou mayest discover the truth, in exchanging lies and half-truths, but I shall go elsewhere to learn of this matter lest thou hast already done so.
Conrade: So pleasest thou, I have.
Oliver: Aye, and what hast thou discovered?
Antonio: Conrade, if I may sayest, I too have discovered some truth in this matter.
If thou art willing, I shall speak of it first.
Conrade: By all means, precede, dear Antonio.
Antonio: But yesterday, I did notice some strange truth.
The lady Margaret doth seem to recover overnight.
Verily, upon waking she doth almost have strength to rise from her bed.
Yet, upon lying in bed for but an hour longer, she doth lapse into illness stronger than before.
Everyday, this doth happen. I have then taken precaution of having all of her food delivered not by such an errant knave, as Orlando, who did in past volunteer to carry her food, but by my trusted guard, John.
Despite, she doth not recover.
I have ordered a different cook to provide her meals,
But to no avail, She doth seem to touch death’s realm, but recoil, staying but ill.
Oliver: Indeed interesting. However, thou mayest be the captain of the guard, is it truly within thine right to so dispense your guards?
Their job is, verily, to guard, not to so perform these menial tasks, such better suited for some housemaid.
Antonio: I have so petitioned our rulers, and they did give me leave to do so.
Their concern for their daughter far outweighs their need for but one more guard.
Now, Conrade, what hast thou discovered?
Conrade: Thou dost know, though I a married man, and one with home and bed,
I do wander twixt places I should not be. On one night, upon such a wandering,
I did here tell that an envoy of healers, lead by none other than the noble Beatram, do come here, to fair Verona, in hope of healing our ailing princess.
But this is not least of the news, for with them comes not only the fair Maria, a healer of greater repute than any other, but the niece of Beatram.
Oliver: Thou gladdening news, what significance doth the niece of Beatram have?
Conrade: Dost thou not now? The fair Beatrice, niece of Beatram, is suited by our prince William.
Yet ever doth she disdain him and reject his appeals.
Her presence doth herald chaos beyond dreams.
While she doth stay, our once noble prince
Shall be but an advocate of uncontrollable love.
Comic shall his activities be, for all of them shall be but poor attempts to win over the heart of Beatrice.
Antonio: Ha! Indeed, this shall be a piteous comedy. Almost saddening shall it be to see. Our prince, so used to being given all that he wishes for, disallowed to have what he most desires.
Conrade: Aye, shall be a lamentable laugh. But our speaking of it must be ended;
Here do come thine guard, John, and some other man I recognize not.
Antonio: Why, ‘tis the same errant knave I did previously forbade from carrying
Antonio: Aye. Come let us depart.
To be found here, in the town’s square, hours after curfew, ‘tis not a position I envy.
They begin to leave
John: Knaves! What art thou doing here, so late of curfew?
Antonio: Knaves? Hah. Speakest not so to thine betters, John, lest thou shalt find thine self out of home, wage and life.
John: I know not thine voice, sir, nor how thou dost know mine name,
But such things are without meaning. There is but one thing for me to impress upon thou;
Amongst criminals and guards there is one superior and one not.
Thou art not the former. Now leave here, knaves, to thine lodgings, lest I see fit to bring thou before Magistrate!
Ah, a sorry sight thou shalt be before him, stripped of belongings, naked as the curs thou art.
Antonio: Thou shalt dishonor me, sure, and such I shall tolerate for your ignorance of my position.
But when thine tongue doth venture to insult to quickly, thine blade must be equally quick to draw.
Have at thee!
They fight, Antonio disarms John. Orlando drops his blade.
John: Mine blade! Thou hast cast aside mine blade!
Antonio: Aye, and so I shall cast aside thine scalp in much the same manner.
Orlando: Honor and temper are poor companions sir, and you do invite them both to your action.
See the wisdom of your two friends, and the wisdom of mineself.
Upon seeing you draw and so childishly fight with mine friend, we did not draw ourselves but to defend against the possibility of your rage over coming all of your senses.
And see, we are not covered top to bottom in the cuts of a dueler, as you two are. We are safe, cautious, wise and the better for it.
You would be wise to model after your friends.
Antonio: Pah, such are the words of a coward, and it is a coward that stands afore me.
Now off with thee, lest I prove true to mine threat.
Exuent at opposite sides of the stage.
By Ivan and Ben