'A Comedy Of Errors' In Seven Acts / Part 5
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_Quezox:_ Go to, thou vermin, that shouldst dare presume To quick determine what shall quench my thirst.

Hast thou not heard that vintage of the vine Since Caesar hath th' imperial crown a.s.sumed Is now become the only proper draught For those who in his favor high would stand?

Hence "grape juice" bring, and speed thee, or the back Shall feel the stripes thy varlet hide demands.

_Muchacho:_ I beg, Senor, my feeble speech be heard: Methought that "grape juice" were a childish pap, But I will bring it and an orangeade, Thus heaping honors on two n.o.ble men.

_(Exit muchacho)_ _Quezox:_ But thought hath strayed like an unbridled steed, And I must harness it to work my will.

This Bonset: Francos seems to love him well And may him thrust in Carpen's cast-off shoes; My bowels gripe me with suspicion dire That plans are rip'ning to this very end; Hence we must pour in an unwilling ear A weighty protest ere the scheme matures.

An open opposition were not wise For Francos hath, I ween a stubborn streak Which might by irritation grow so big That naught could move it; while a flatt'ring tongue Might bend him, all unconscious to himself, To work our every will, while he doth dream That from his fertile brain the seeds do sprout; 'Tis thus we'll plant our choice in Carpen's place.

_Muchacho (bearing grape juice and cigarettes approaches; speaks):_

Senor, an hombre at the portal knocks Who hath an oily tongue, which wagged desire To speack with thee, but I all unawere Of thy design, did ward him gently off.

_Quezox:_ 'Twere well, thus ever do when skins are white.

But did this hombre show a mighty girth?

_Muchacho:_ In sooth he did, Senor; his leg like to A python gorged with infant carabao Did to his body make comparison.

_Quezox:_ Ha! bid him hence. I know this hombre well!

Go twist thy tongue into a double knot So that his importuning I escape.

_(Exit muchacho)_

The sacred writ doth tell of one who sat Upon the judgment seat to justice serve, And when a widow's importuning sore Did him annoy, to ease his troubled mind, He listened to her tale and justice gave, Fearing her sighs and tears, else ne'er would cease.

Hence I must close mine ear lest eager plaints Should move my tender heart to grant his plea.

_(Enter muchacho, speacks:)_ Most n.o.ble Senor, at the door do stand Three gentlemen whose color doth demand Cognition, hence I bade them patient wait While I acquaint thee of their anxious quest.

_Quezox:_ Thou sayest well; go bid them enter here, And then refreshments serve, at my command.

_Muchacho:_ Si, Senor, si; I grape juice will prepare, _Quezox:_ Hold! These are men with red blood in their veins, Hence wine were fitting bev'rage for their needs, With cigarettes and black cigars galore, For we may lengthen speech till morning's sun Shall bid the anxious night give place to day.

_(Enter Gentlemen)_ _Quezox (with outstretched hands):_ Senores, ye I greet! All that is here is yours.

'Tis said the walls have ears, hence it were wise To make this trellised bow'r our council house.

For here no spy can crouch behind a screen And through his ears store up our treasured thoughts.

But let us to the point, which magnet-like Did so resistless draw thee to this place To problem solve which doth much thought require.

_1st Gentleman:_ Good Quezox, tell us, doth our plan seem ripe?

And can we trust this Governor to do Our will, when Carpen shall be ousted from The nest in which he snuggles restfully?

_2d Gentleman:_ The question were most apt, for we would name Him who shall hold the secrets of the state.

_3d Gentleman:_ And sanitation! Should we not declare For one of our own blood, whose sympathy Doth bind him to our customs which we love And so uproot the follies of the past?

_Quezox:_ Senores, we as serpents must be wise.

To quick reveal all hidden in our hearts Would long delay the time of which we dream; Hence we must center now on Carpen's case Our every energy and clear the path Of one who ever wields a mighty pow'r, And his fat place on one we trust, bestow, For thus we breach shall make within the wall.

To speak of sanitation were unwise For Francos, in his heart, a mighty dread Doth feel, lest microbes in his castle hide; And so distempers of most deadly forms Engender; and great trust doth he repose In squirting medications through a hose So that these bugbears find no resting place, To propagate their kinds within his home.

_1st Gentleman:_ But Quezox, this Governor hath Bonset Chosen, I do fear, to fill the place When Carpen doth step out, and all our plans May come to naught unless we sharp protest.

_2d Gentleman:_ Mayhap 'twere best to earnest recommend Carpen and Bonset each for some fat berth Which carries not such import in its wake, Till time the opportunity may give To toss them overboard and clear the s.h.i.+p.

_Quezox (Claps his hands and the muchacho appears);_ Haste! For the inner man refreshments bring, For vino and cigars may clear our minds.

_(Exit muchacho)_ _Reflectively:_ My firm insistence did one cancer cure But when my mem'ry speaks of vandal hand Which once did throttle me in vulgar strife My vitals gripe me with a righteous wrath.

I did presume that Seldonskip would feel A proper rev'rence for officials high, And fear on G.o.d's anointed, to bestow A mighty kick upon his nether parts But these Americanos know not fear And each one feels himself, belike, a king, Hence it were wise, by strategy and guile To circ.u.mvent them not by open strife.

Ah, so it is: the Filipino gentleman, Unlike the boor, disdains to war with fists; But place a keen-edged bolo in his hand And he comports himself most gallantly.

_3d Gentleman:_ We must with wisdom guard our every act Lest a suspicion dark fill Francos' mind.

Thus far, he like a well trained nino, hath With rev'rence bowed a.s.sent, to our demands.

_(Muchacho returns with refreshments)_ _Quezox:_ And flattery. Like child its mother's milk, He doth gulp down and eager cry for more; Hence dose him well; you'll puke his stomach not.

But let's to bed, the morrow brings its cares, And we must freshened be to work our ends.

_(Exeunt omnes)_

_Scene 2: The Executive Room_

_Francos:_ Well gentlemen, I see insistence grows Anent the humble office Carpen holds.

It seemeth to me that without his aid I like a desert wanderer am lost.

_Quezox:_ But Sire, a man of parts can fill his place And of the varied strings of business tie a knot Which will hold state affairs in proper place, For they depend not on an special one.

_1st Gentleman:_ Sire, shall we, like the child, forever creep?

It is not thus the limbs find strength to walk.

_2d Gentleman:_ The mother thrusts her birdling from its nest And thus it learns to wing its heavenward flight.

_3d Gentleman:_ The doting father who trusts not his son But anxious coddles him from ev'ry care Can never know what possibilities Do dormant lie within that stunted brain.

_Francos, hesitatingly:_ But Quezox, when the father's anxious eye Doth quick discern some symptom which doth like The weather-c.o.c.k, respond to ev'ry breeze Prudence would whisper, "It were well to wait."

_Quezox:_ Ah, Sire, Procrastination is a thief Which steals the treasure hidden in the brain, While if it were supplanted by stern acts Like to the sword 'twould ward off ev'ry foe.

_Francos:_ Ah lack-a-day! Uncertainty doth fill My mind. I would not aspirations block With idle fears, but still I must beware, Or when too late, these fears may take on life.

_All speak:_ Fear is a coward word and always flees When Action shows himself armed cap-a-pie And thus prepared to wage aggressive fight.

Hence, honored sire let's throw it to the dogs!

_Francos, fretfully:_ Well, have it as thou wilt, and on thy heads Blame shall her thistled crown with pomp bestow If Failure thrusts her grim and wrinkled face With grinning smile to comment on our work.

_All:_ Thanks, and again more thanks, most n.o.ble Sire!

The sun of Freedom shows her smiling face Above the horizon of discontent, Portending happy day so long delayed.

_(Exeunt Quezox and Gentlemen to waiting room)_

_Scene 3: Waiting Room._

_Quezox:_ 'Tis done, and, Gentlemen, this doth reveal Most aptly how sweet concert for the time Doth work our purpose on this pliant soul.

So long as he from contact with his kind We can prevent by flattery and guile; He, like to wax within the moulder's hand, May form a figurehead of brave design, But statue-like it were an empty house.

_1st Gentleman:_ I have a thought, sweet Quezox, and must voice It in thine ear. Soon, from that distant land Where our oppressors dwell, others will hie Them to our sh.o.r.es; and they may be of mould More stern, and thus impediments may prove To be 'gainst our designs; hence it were well That we should much accomplish while we may.

These may prevent what they can ne'er undo.

_2d Gentleman:_ Si, si, Senor; haste be the magic word, To thrust the vermin out must be our aim.

_3d Gentleman:_ Well said. If we delay, "Manana," fickle dame, May scorn our smiles and flirt with these, our foes.

_Scene 4: Governor's Room._

_Francos:_ Good Quezox, it doth seem the more I grant, The more dost thou demand. I at thy word Did to a list'ning throng declare that thou With mighty hand, did boost me to this place.

'Twas done to firm impress on public mind Thy worth in fields politic, and by this To expedite our plans which will in time An era new inaugurate; but thou, Like "Twist" of old, cry'st "More!" and ever "More!"

_Quezox:_ But Sire, the time is short. Soon I must hie Me to the halls of state, and I would fain Depart with mind at ease on matters here, For there be few who safely may advise.

_(Exit Quezox. Enters Carpen)_ _Francos:_ Ha! Carpen, is it so; these varlets who Do thoughts imprint, have o'er my head direct Appealed to those who may dire action take, And thus belittlement on me bestow?

_Carpen:_ My Liege, 'tis so. From words which from thy mouth Did flow, discouragement arose, and so, To guard their welfare, they did quickly act And to their order did make strong appeal.

_Francos:_ Carpen disloyalty to those in pow'r Shall meet its proper penalty, and they Who voiced it must forthwith before me come And explanation make, which doth ring clear.

_Carpen:_ I'll quick despatch a message to their chief, That he at once before thee shall appear.

_Francos (walks the room, soliloquizing):_ Fortune is often kind, and to our hand A weapon ready forged and sharpened fits.

A strong presentment lurketh in my mind That she hath now perchance befriended me.

But Carpen, is this chief most proper named?

Its sound implies that blood's his proper food, And that he sucks it from this people's veins.

_Carpen:_ I think your voiced suspicions are unjust.

He seemeth to me but a proper man Possessing skill anent his chosen crat.

So it was published when he here was sent.

_Francos:_ Ah, well I know the arts political Our foes did practice when they filled a nest Fit for an eagle with a vulture mean And covered their deceit by mouthing words.

_Carpen:_ But Sire, I bear no brief in his behalf.

To me this matter little import bears.

_Francos:_ Good Carpen, from thy tone I fear me much Thou implication on thy part inferred.

I pray thee, disabuse thine erring mind Of such suspicion, for it hath no ground.

_(Enter Quezox)_ _Quezox:_ Most n.o.ble Sire, mine ears have heard a tale Which, if from fountain of eternal truth, Doth cheer me mightily. It in good sooth Reveals the treachery which thee surrounds.

_Francos:_ Remain, good Quezox, I would witness have Who shall upon the scroll of memory Inscribe each word which shall be uttered here When the expected one shall soon appear.