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A Jesters Court (Doctor Faustus)
Servant: My King, reports from the eastern borders.
King: How fares the campaign?
Servant: Not well.
King: Alas, my kingdom stands yet my borders fall, how can a lord rule with a fist of steel and an arm of tin?
Jester: Oh, haha, a fine predicament our good lord finds himself in.
King: Begone, high entertainer of the court, though my mind is burdened with things of war, I trust myself to remember that I did not call for you.
Jester: But my king, methinks a heart made heavy by cares of the material, could use the gentle healing essence, of humor “ethereal”.
Servant: Your verse lacks time…
Jester: Nay, sir, my time lacks verse; perhaps my skills would sharpen on some coppers from your purse.
King: Enough of these foolish couplets, as we idle in this courtyard, my eastern borders fall to barbaric invaders. Perhaps the time for bawdy limericks exists, but if so, it certainly lies in the future not the present.
Jester: Forgive me my lord, I overstep myself to be sure. Yet surely a king of your caliber has not so much trouble maintaining his lordship?
Duke: You asinine fool, begone and leave us to our peace…
King: I gave you not leave to speak, my servant.
Duke: Then give me leave to rid us of this rouge…
King: Silence knave, though admitting it pains me, this fool alleviates the aching in my head that has accumulated from all the cares and worries that batter me.
Jester: Oh my king, you jest…
King: Nay, that is your charge.
Jester: Oh ho! Quite so my lord, and my charge it is. You sir! How many Bulgarian lords are expert equestrians?
Servant: Truly, your riddle bests me.
Jester: None to be sure, they get on to their horse to get where they are going, and then they get off, for they’ve arrived!
King: An excellent jest, no doubt!
Duke: I’m afraid its meaning escapes me…
Jester: As conquest escapes the Bulgarians!
King: Haha! You refer of the same Bulgarians that press in on me? By Jove, jester, you know not of what you speak.
Jester: It is truth, my lord, that my tongue flaps while my mind remains oblivious to what it says, for this is a staple of my charge; when my mind is applied, however, I rival the scholars and even the priests in cleverness, for how else can I sharpen my wit?
King: Again you jest!
Jester: Nay lord, truth is spoken this eve. I am willing to wager my wit against any in this court!
Duke: Careful lowlife, you overstep your boundaries.
King: I know my standing faithful one… as does he.
Jester: Am I to understand that none shall accept my wager, please be assured that in good sport it remains, Much as I remain unusually clad.
King: I’ll undermine your boast. The wager I accept, amuse me with your fruitless conniving.
Jester: My lord you do me injustice. I have no secret to hide from the courtyard. My methods are straight forward and to point, be sure I hide no surreptitious scheme in the folds of my breeches!
King: Belay this doublespeak. Make your wager or make your peace.
Jester: Are you aware, my lord, of your subject, the great Physician Ulrich Schmitz?
King: A man of character, certainly. He is well known in my domain.
Jester: I wager my freedom that I can make this man renounce your throne, and swear allegiance to the Bulgarian King.
King: Alas for you, my dear fool, your wager is impossible, for no man will renounce me as I remain in health. But this term I accept, and bid you luck. However, what is to be your penance should you lose this wager.
Jester: I will enlist in your great army, lord, to fight and die for home and hearth.
Duke: A tragedy in short; who else would bore us in our leisure?
Jester: Perhaps you, dear sir, you seem to have the comedians touch about you now.
King: Silence, the hour grows late, and my thoughts grow dim at this constant bickering. I assure you my subject Dr. Schmitz will stay faithful and you shall become another target for enemy archers. Go, however, and make your attempt on the good physician. You shall see that men of my country are made of stronger stuff than yourself.
Jester: Thank you my king.
King: Come entourage, let us retire.
Servant: A bath has been drawn my lord .
(All except jester exits)
Jester: A royal figure to be sure. He sits and bathes while his subjects die at the quiver of the Bulgarians. But at last I shall be free of obligation, my chance is nigh. Away, to the good doctor, and to freedom!