Author: Chris Cook
The Wood. The Queen-Regent of Fairies lying asleep.
[Enter LARRY, HARMONY, JONATHAN, DEVON, MICHAEL and SCOTT.]
Jonathan: Are we all met?
Larry: Pat, pat; and here's a marvellous convenient place for our rehearsal. This green plot shall be our stage, this hawthorn brake our tiring-house; and we will do it in action, as we will do it before the duke.
Jonathan: Larry Blaisdell,-
Larry: What say'st thou, Jonathan?
Jonathan: There are things in this comedy of Angel and Cordelia that will never please. First, Angel must assume a demonic visage, in madness, as he is sealed in his watery grave; which the ladies cannot abide. How answer you that?
Michael: Which ladies are we worried about?
Jonathan: Well, the duchess, for instance.
Michael: Did not she destroy Moloch the deceiver some years ago?
Scott: I have heard that tale also.
Jonathan: Well, perhaps she's mellowed out a bit since then.
Harmony: Perhaps we could omit that Angel is a vampire?
Jonathan: Not a whit; I have a device to make all well. Write me a prologue; and let the prologue seem to say, we will do no harm with our play, and no creature of true demonic nature shall be allowed to enter the house of the duke by our leave; and for the more better assurance, tell them that I Angel am not Angel, but Jonathan the amazing; this will put them out of fear.
Devon: The amazing?
Michael: Don't ask.
Larry: Well, we shall have such a prologue; and it shall be written in eight and six.
Jonathan: No, make it two more; let it be written in eight and eight.
Harmony: What's the difference?
Scott: Two lines.
Harmony: Hey! I knew that, I mean,-
Michael: Will not the ladies be afraid of Skip?
Scott: Played by Harmony?
Jonathan: Masters, you ought to consider with yourselves; to bring in, God shield us, an ethereal warrior among ladies is a most dreadful thing; for there is not a more fearful creature than such warriors living; and we ought to look to it.
Michael: Therefore another prologue must tell she is not really Skip.
Jonathan: Nay, you must name her name,-
Scott: Must we?
Jonathan: - and half her face must be seen through the mask depicting Skip; and she herself must speak though, saying thus, or to the same defect, - "Ladies," or "Fair Ladies! I would wish you, or, I would request you, or, I would entreat you, not to fear, not to tremble; my life for yours. If you think I come hither as a warrior, it were pity of my life. No, I am no such thing; I am a mortal as other players are;" - and there, indeed, let her name her name, and tell them plainly she is Harmony the groupie.
Harmony: I am an actor!
Larry: I fear I will regret giving Harmony anything to say... Well, it shall be so. But there is two hard things; that is, to bring the moonlight into a chamber; for, you know, Angel and Cordelia meet by moonlight.
Harmony: Does the moon shine the night we play our play?
Jonathan: She may be on to something; a calendar! Look in the almanack; find out moonshine.
Larry: Yes, it doth shine that night.
Jonathan: Why, then we may arrange a series of mirrors, so that the moonlight, caught by a lens affixed to the roof, should shine down the chimney-pipe, through the kitchens, beneath the tables in the great hall, around the stage through a series or reflections,-
Devon: How about we leave a window open?
Jonathan: Or, indeed, we may leave a casement of the great chamber-window, where we play, open; and the moon may shine in.
Larry: Then, there is another thing; we must have a ship in the great chamber; for Angel doth meet his doom on the sea's bed from the deck of a ship, says the story.
Harmony: We can't bring in a ship, can we?
Jonathan: No, Harmony, we can't. Some man or other must present ship; and let him have some wood, or some sail-cloth, or some rope rigging about him, to signify ship; or let him hold his arms thus, to indicate mast and deck, and from there may Angel be dispatched.
Larry: If that may be so, then all is well. Come, sit down, every mother's child, and rehearse your parts. Angel, you begin; when you have spoken your speech, enter into that brake; and so every one according to their cue.
[Enter DAWN, invisible to the players.]
Dawn: What hempen homespuns have we swaggering here,
Larry: Speak, Angel. - Cordelia, stand forth.
Jonathan (Angel): Cordelia, the flowers of odious savours sweet,
Larry: Odours, odours!
Jonathan (Angel): - odours savours sweet;
Dawn: A stranger Angel than e'er played here!
Devon (Cordelia): Must I speak now?
Larry: Aye, marry, must you; for you must understand he goes but to see a noise that he heard, and is to come again.
Devon (Cordelia): Most radiant Angel, most lily white of hue,
Larry: Verona beach, man; why, you must not speak that yet; that you answer to Angel. You speak all your part at once, cues and all. - Angel enters; your cue is past; it is, 'never tire'.
[Re-enter Dawn, and Jonathan, who now appears as a Fyarl demon.]
Devon (Cordelia): O, - as true as truest horse, that yet would never tire.
Jonathan (Angel): If I were fair, Cordelia, I were only thine; -
[When Jonathan speaks, the Players, being only mortal, hear monstrous Fyarl language.]
Larry: O monstrous! O strange! We are haunted! Pray, masters; fly, masters! - Help!
Dawn: I'll follow you; I'll lead you about a round,
Jonathan: Why do they run away? This is a knavery of them to make me afeard. I see their knavery; this is to make an ass of me; to fright me, if they could. But will not stir from this place, do what they can; I will walk up and down here, and I will sing, that they shall hear I am not afraid.
[Jonathan sings, in the manner of a Fyarl, which is less than melodious.]
Faith: What angel wakes me from my flowery bed?
Jonathan: Methinks, mistress, you should have little reason for that; and yet, to say the truth, reason and love keep little company together now-a-days; the more the pity that some honest neighbours will not make them friends.
Faith: Thou art as wise as thou art beautiful.
Jonathan: Not so, neither; but if I had wit enough to get out of this wood, I have enough to serve mine own turn.
Faith: Out of this wood do not desire to go;
Jonathan: Yes ma'am.
Faith: [Releasing him.]
[Enter four Fairies.]
Violet: And I.
Rona: And I.
Chloe: Where shalt we go?
Faith: Be kind and courteous to this gentle-man;
[The Fairies regard the Fyarl, exchange glances, and shrug.]
Eve: Hail, mortal!
Faith: Come, wait upon him; lead him to my bower.