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King Richard the Second

With apologies to Shakespeare
Act I, Scene 3½ Windsor Castle.

Enter QUEEN.

Queen. My dearest lord, I understand not why your presence is so sorely needed that it needs be taken from me. And more. If it needs be so, why avoidst thou me now, when I shall be without your companionship for so long?
Richard, speaking from within a wardrobe. We shall appear as fits our mood, as we find nothing which both fits our body and befits our entry into Ireland. Enter BUSHY. Bushy. My Lady, I need address his majesty
on a matter of grave urgency.
Queen. Proceed, my lord, he is within.
Bushy. My liege, the messengers have returned
from Ireland. Their news is disappointing.
Richard. What say they?
Bushy. In all of your Irish domains, they could find
neither clothier nor hairdresser with skills sufficient
to clothe or coif your majesty.
Richard. That is not possible. Are we to don our gay apparel
and appear on the battlefield
as at a dance? Where are my Italians?
Bushy. They await without.
Richard. Have they not the wherewithal with which
to weave what we wish woven?
Bushy. They are without weavings; neither warp,
nor woof, nor word of either
worthwhile work or worthy workers.
Richard. Then we are destined to remain closeted. Exit BUSHY Queen. My lord, you have now been closeted for many hours.
I would entreat you to come out and return to me
for the few hours that remain.
Richard. We have yet found nothing to wear.
Do you wish us to come out of the closet naked?
Queen. Am I not your wife?
Unless I much mistake the ceremonies and festivities
which should have brought you to my bed,
I should have long ago possessed your royal nakedness. But the bed is bare and I have yet to bear either the weight of your body or the care of your heir. Come from that closet and consume me ere I must consort to consummate in connection with one less consummately connected. Richard. Those are weighty words, madam, laden with heavy import.
Queen. My lord, it is not your love I doubt,
but the physical expression thereof. For all the hours which nine years comprise have I awaited our appointed wedding night, only to be disappointed. Your mood, my lord, is dour and it seems that only after being closeted with Bushy are your eyes bright and is your tail reflection of his name. Then, joviality reigns, but e'en so, your good humours, which I would have rain on and within me, do not pour forth in my direction.
Richard. How, madam, would you have us please you?
Queen. Whatever state of deshabille you may be in, come out of the closet.
Richard. We will do as you demand - though it is sure to please neither you, nor our court. Enter RICHARD from wardrobe,
wearing lace panties, garter belt and high heels.
Richard. We are out, and shall love you no less. Queen. You are out, and will love me no more. Exit QUEEN. Richard. I have done the deed. O, to have not been born a man; to have not been wasted, without womb. The misconception of my genesis, the malevolence of my maleness, have conspired to bring upon myself the fate of Sodom. Gomorrah and Gomorrah and Gomorrah creeps in this petty place known as Richard. Would I was laid in a cowslip's bell than to have rung poor Richard's knell. Come, Bushy, we have need of consolation.
Copyright © Carl Kosof 12/4/97
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