Expressions

A I, S II: a historical tête-à-tête, the sequel

By DARRIUS ESTIGOY
Staff Writer

Lights up on Servant and King Louis XV.

Servant:

Your royal highness,
You’ve received a letter.

Louis XV:

From the ambassador?
That man’s too sore.
Must we start there?
I simply couldn’t bear-

Servant:

It is pressing business.
The quicker read, the better.

Louis XV:

If you must insist,
I shan’t resist.
It’s time you’re wasting.
Don’t keep me waiting.

Lights up on d’Eon.

D’Eon:

Your highness,
It has come to my attention.
Though I admit,
I do not know your true intention.

Is this some ploy
To misdirect the British?
Or have I gone and done
Something far too skittish?

At the risk of disrespect,
Why would you select Guerchy?
The man’s a disaster!
He’s got the mind of a flea!

Louis XV:

You question my decision?
So you lost your position.
Big deal, big whoop.
The world is not shook.

D’Eon:

On the contrary,
I must disagree.
The consequences spread
Beyond the North Sea.

I need not remind you
Of all I’ve done:
In the Russian court,
On the field with a gun.

Who was there in Russia,
At the knee of the Empress,
Charming her cohorts
With your plans of conquest?

The plan to get your cousin
On the Polish throne;
One “King de Conti”
So far from his home.

The Russians were behind us,
The Russians had agreed.
But then you had to fight
That war across the sea!

The war was doomed,
But still I fought.
A dragoon with his troops,
It was victory we sought.

And when the smoke cleared,
Whose pen was dipped in ink?
Oh right, it was mine!
Now what should I think?

I’d assumed my loyalty
Would warrant some reward.
But I see that I’m wrong,
It’s as valuable as lard.

Louis XV:

That’s enough from you!
You haven’t got a clue!
If anything, it’s your attitude,
That must be subdued!

So, you don’t want Guerchy?
It is no tragedy to me.
But must you send these letters?
It does not make you look better.

You see, I have no strong feelings
For the man and his dealings,
But to see you doubt my choice,
It makes me question your voice.

“Ambassador d’Eon”, is that what you want?
I must admit, it’s something I can’t
Foresee happening at any close time.
For all you seem to do is cry and whine.

Do you need a safe space to hideaway?
Come back to France, I’ve booked your stay.
It’s exclusive, reclusive, beautifully tranquil.
Forgive me and let this bad blood spill.

Servant:

Effective on this day,
October the fourth,
Chevalier d’Eon
Is recalled to court.

He is given a span
Of just over two weeks
To return to France
And get the treatment he seeks.

Lights out on Servant and Louis XV.

D’Eon:

How polite, how nice,
How utterly deceptive.
I know of the reception
Which they wish to give.

A charming little resort,
They call it the Bastille.
Good god, it’s my soul
They’re trying to steal.

There is only one way
To save my hide
Take the power from the king
Give it to men and their wives.

The French wouldn’t dare,
If I have public affection,
I’ll switch their allegiance,
It’s practically defection.

The letters I’ve received.
To the King, I’ve sent.
I’ll leave this little bait,
Hope they pick up on the scent.

Every note of correspondence,
Since I’ve arrived.
Every period, every comma,
Pertaining to my life.

All this must be published,
With nothing less than haste,
And when the public takes a nibble,
They’ll stick to me like paste.

This treasonous impudence,
As it might be called.
A necessary measure
To have my death stalled.

Lights out.

Categories: Expressions

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