A Players Scene
It is early evening. A number of Guests, yourself included, have assembled in the Conservatory to hear Sir Bragi, the Royal Poet, recite his new poem before dinner. Bragi has just finished his poem, to well-earned praise and applause.
You say to Bragi, Sir Bragi, wont you honor us with another poem?
Bragi gestures self-deprecatingly and says, Alas, I regret not. I am an old man, as you well know, and my voice tires easily.
Gaudis says, Perhaps a taste of wine will encourage you, Sir! Give me but a moment and Ill have some Claret brought...
Gaudis summons a servant.
Dagonet says, For a taste of the Queens Claret, Ill sing you a song, Sir Gaudis!
Alacia rolls her eyes; No one wants to hear one of your fatuous tunes, Fool.
Dagonet says to Alacia. Whats that, milady? Surely you do not refer to the ballad I wrote in your honor, to commemorate the occasion of our wedding!
Dagonet winks broadly at Alacia.
You say, Wedding?
Dagonet says, Ah yes, a most glorious day, indeed. Let me see if I can recall the tune, it captures the event most perfectly...
Dagonet begins to hum.
Alacia says furiously, How dare you! You know full well the Queen has forbidden any to sing that song!
Dagonet sings, Forbade, forebode, forgive, forborne. Does no one have a bone for the poor fool?
Alacia clenches her fists angrily.
Bragi pats Alacias shoulder consolingly and says, There now, my dear. He means you no harm.
Bragi turns to Dagonet and says, Come, good Fool. Let me lean on you as we go to the Banquet Hall. I need strong arms to help me make my way these days.
Dagonet hops to Bragis side and says, I am at your service, my lord. But if it strong-arms you truly need, it is Sir Gaudis you should seek. For if the ladies in truth do speak, that one has a fair physique.
Dagonet continues, But so they whisper in the night, that his other charms are very slight!
Bragi says sternly, Enough, Fool. Youve done your work well enough here tonight. Come along.
Dagonet says, Well and merry, my master always said. Always leave them wanting more.
Alacia sighs indignantly.
You say, Forgive me, my lady, but did Sir Dagonet speak truly? Were you and he truly wed?
Alacia purses her lips and turns away.
Gaudis says, Come now, milady. It is no use pretending it did not happen. It was not a true marriage, you must understand. Twas only a game, part of the Fools Day festivities. Our friend Dagonet was made King for the day, and as every king must have a queen...
Alacia says bitterly, Aye. And I was the victim of that cruel joke, chosen by none other than Her Majesty. Though what I did to deserve such a punishment is beyond my understanding.
Gaudis says, But to be chosen Fools Queen is a great honor!
Alacia says, It is no honor to have my reputation besmirched by that foul hunchback. Youve heard his song, Sir Gaudis, and his claims to have bedded me. And because he is the Queens pet, I can do nothing to defend myself!
You proclaim, My lady, if you are in need of a champion, I would gladly offer myself.
Gaudis holds up his hand. Stay. You dont know what you offer. The Fool is under the Queens Protection. It is forbidden to challenge him for any cause.
You sputter disbelievingly, What? Do you mean to say that the Fool can say what he wishes, even lie outright, without fear of retribution? How can that be permitted? Why, he just insulted you yourself, Sir Gaudis, and you do nothing to avenge yourself?
Gaudis shakes his head firmly and says, It is forbidden.
Gaudis says, I suggest we make our way to dinner.
Gaudis stands and heads toward the door.
Alacia eyes you speculatively.
You say, This is outrageous.
Alacia slowly says, Yes, truly...
Alacia leans close to you and whispers,
but accidents are not forbidden, are they?
You swallow nervously and say, Milady?
Alacia shrugs her shoulders lightly.
Alacia says, There are many types of accidents, you know. Many are unfortunate, to be sure, while others are quite
happy. In fact, there are some accidents for which I would be quite grateful.
Alacia turns toward the door and says, I dont think Ill be dining in the hall tonight. Good evening to you.
You make your way to dinner, though you find you have little appetite as you ponder the benefits and risks of pursuing the course of action that has just been suggested to you.