Charlie: Scenes 1-4

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Scene 1: The Palace of Versaille

King Louis XV is sat in state, attended by his ministers. Enter the Marshall D’Eguiles with the Young Pretender, Charles Edward Stuart

D’Eguiles
I offer thee, your regal majesty,
Charles Edward Stuart, son of Scottish James
By his mother, pretty Clementina,
Reer’d mid the Muti Palace of fair Rome
The chosen child of Bourbon destiny
The hearts of half of Europe are in flames
Eager for his sword to start the battle
Well versed in war at the siege of Gaeta,
Expert with sword, master of the saddle
He rides to reclaim his ancestral home.

Charlie
Your majesty! We share a crucial bond
The Bourbon blood flows nobly thro’ my veins
For Catholic kings rule men, that fact is fair,
But now it is a Protestant that reigns
My legal birthright, L’Ecosse Ancienne
With her the rest of regal Albion
Where north to south command I loyal men
We sacred Stuarts ready to restore –
With me Paris speaks a peace with London
Tis now or never for to go to war.

Louis XV
Greetings, Dauphin, fond welcome here in France,
Thy sojurn shall run well at my expense
& furnished with suitable elegance,
Good tidings my little mercurial
The time has come to seek the recompense
For since we won the field of Fontenoy
The British lodged in Flanders to a man
Barely a musket elsewhere to employ
& so, young prince, you may have your battle
What are the rudiments kept by thy plan?

Charlie
I am ready, your highness, & god bless!
Ready to don my native highland dress
Protecting all honour & happiness
& die at their head, not live in exile
& play a role that’s worthy of my birth
To lay three crowns before my father’s feet
& all those who opposed him grant pardon –
Remember Otterburn & Bannockburn!
With broadswords & muskets my mighty share
I take my leave, adeui, I must prepare.

Exit the Bonnie Prince

Louis XV
Oui – there he flies, a charismatic bird,
The British expedition is begun
Let all his naval duties be deferred
Bedeck his galleons with heavy gun
& we shall send a storm across the seas
Thus… move an army to the Northern coast –
Ravishers of the Anglo-Saxon host!
Our enemy shall soon be on his knees
O seventeen hundred & forty-five
Mon Deiu! These days dashing days to be alive!

D’Eguiles
My name is the Marquis D’Eguiles
An agent of the crown
The Prince has gain’d the royal seal
His sparkling eyes & all their zeal
I follow out of town


Scene 2 : A Highland Bothy

Three generations of highland men – Angus, David, Eric – with David’s wife, Morag & their daughter, Rosie, are gathered for an evenings music & play

Eric
So you think its true father, what they’re saying down in Inverness

David
I don’t know lad, there’s been many a rumour before, its been a long time since the first Pretender came to Scotland – thirty years by my reckoning

Angus
& what a proper collieshangle that was, eh David, a real mess

David
Aye, father

Rosemary
Grandpa – I love those tales of yours from the great rebellion – wont you tell us one of yer poems

David
Aye, the one about the battle of Sherrifmuir – it is one of my favourites

Angus
I cannae remember ithat

Eric
Go on Grandpa

David
He remembers it alright. I think he might need a little… inspiration – Morag, fill his glass my love

Morag
Here you are Sir Poet

Angus
Thanks lass, ah… its all coming back the noo…
There’s some say that we won
& some say that they won
& some say that none won at a,’ man
But of one thing I’m sure
That at Sheriffmuir,
A battle there was that I saw, man
& we ran, & they ran:
& they ran, & we ran;
But we ran & they ran awa,’ man!

Enter Fergus

Fergus
I love that poem

Eric
Fergus

Fergus & Eric embrace

Morag
Hello, Fergus lad, welcome

David
Have you been with the cattle

Fergus
I’ve been a-herding all day

David
You’ll be thirsty then, do you want a drink

Fergus
Aye, thattle be bonnie

Angus
Get the man a glass Morag – Fergus, good to see ya – come & sit doon here lad, next to my Rosemary – she’s taken quite a shine to yer y’know

Rosie
Grandpa!

Eric
Its true, you’re all she goes on about – look she’s gone bright red

Fergus
Och, shes even bonnier when she’s blushing – so Rosie, do you want to take a wee stroll later, maybe, around the loch

Rosie
Aye, I’d love to

Fergus
Have you heard the news, by the way

David
Of course, but what do you know

Fergus
Well… old Tam says his wife’s sister’s brother was talking to a man who’s ain brother was waiting on a ship doon at Ullapool

Angus
Aye

Fergus
That ship was ready to meet the prince at sea

Morag
Charles Edward Stewart, such a bonnie name

Angus
He’s coming alright, I can feel it in my bones – they always start throbbing before a battle

Eric
Duncan’s sure to pin his badge to the Prince’s chest

David
Would you fight with the Macleans again father

Angus
Of course – I’ve only just turned sixty – I feel as fit a fiddle lad – besides, he’s our rightful prince, remember that – my father died fighting for the Pretender back in the ’15 – If my da was brave enough to fight for what he believed in, what we believd in, then so should I be

David
Aye, & me ‘n’ all father

Eric
I’ll be there, by your side, giving faithful service to the Prince

David
Good lad – there were three generations of us at Sherrifmuir too – your grandpappy would be proud to hear such talk

Morag
Aye, god keep his soul – boys, let me fill your glasses, we can make a toast – to the King over the water

All
the King over the water

David
& his fine lad, Charlie

All
To Charlie

COME O’ER THE STREAM CHARLIE

Come o’er the stream, Charlie
Dear Charlie, brave Charlie
Come o’er the stream, Charlie
And dine with MacLean
And though you be weary
We’ll mak’ your heart cheery
And welcome our Charlie
And his loyal train
We’ll bring down the track deer,
we’ll bring down the black steer
The lamb from the breckan and doe from the glen
The salt sea we’ll harry and bring to our Charlie
The cream from the bothy, and curd from the pen

And you shall drink freely the dews of Glen-Sheerly
That stream in the starlight when kings dinna ken
And deep be your meed of the wine the grapes bleed
To drink to your sire, and his friend Maclean
Our heath-bells shall trace you
the maids to embrace you
And deck your blue bonnet wi’ flowers of the brae
And the loveliest Mari in all Glen-M’Quarry
Shall lie in your bosom till break of the day

If aught will invite you or more will delight you
‘Tis ready a troop of our bold Highlandmen
Shall range on the heather with bonnet and feather
Strong arms and broad claymores, three hundred & ten


SCENE 3: Glenfinnan

The Bonnie Prince & his entourage are recently landed from France / a number of highland chiefs await him, including Lochiel & Maclean

Charlie
Men of the Highlands & the Western Isles
Behold your right & proper royal heir
Who since the shame of sick king Billy’s guiles
We Stuarts usurped from their regal share
My father’s father fought before the Boyne
At Sherrifmuir my father’s shafts did fly
When truth & justice was the only coin
& mettle tested by a clansman’s might
Amidst these misty mountains towered high
I raise my standard for the Jacobite

Maclean
Ma prince, ye are as bonnie as the sun
& ahm-a bound with honour to yer course
The age of gory glory hus begun
I offer ye ma heart, ma sword, ma force
As dae the Stewarts & the bold MacRaes
& many other clansmen hangin youth
Strong boned & gallus fer the coming days
Fired up fer kennin that we fecht fer truth
& goch upon the loch, whose is that boat!
Och aye! by that MacDonald ah have fought

A small boat lands on the shore – a messenger jumps out

Macdonald
Yer highness, as ah bow before yer feet
A’ bring grave parlance from the men of Skye
Gallant MacLeod & MacDonald of Sleat
Are not to join their voices wi’ yer cry
To gan wi’ ye must end in their defeat
They’d rather remain chieftain than to die
& reckon ye shid sail back hame tae France
Fer now yer cause belongs across the sea
Yer venture, altho wrought fae high romance,
Can only end wi’ woe & tragedy

Lochiel
Gan coward! Gan back to the Cuillin range
& tae the Campbells, McKays & Munroes
Bide those lads their allegiance flashes strange
When in brave hearts the rose of battle grows –
Och! see ‘em row, a flight that will be shared
When we cun meet the redcoats on the field
As soon as our braw army is prepared
We’ll march wi’ musket, claymore & wi’ shield
Tae slay the sassenachs of Jonnie Cope
& aw them that survive drape fae the rope!

Charlie
Your words of gold are stardust to mine ears
& here beneath the flutter of this flag
I sense the passion of these sixty years
Prometheus descending from his crag
Being thy regent in my father’s name
We walk the way of happy victory
These islands shall be partial to his fame
& all our subjects live here tenderly
But first the rumble of the guns must start
Come, friends, let us to Edinburgh depart

D’Eguiles
The star has landed on the shore
His standard smartly raised
The Highlands are aloft for war
Tho some his prompt return implore
He marches on unfazed


SCENE 4: The Highland Countryside

Rosie & Eric are just getting dressed after making love

Fergus
Good morning Rosemary

Rosie
Morning my darlin’

Fergus
Ive been watching you sleep, you look like an angel

Rosie
Last night felt… special, Fergus

Fergus
Aye lass, we were born to be together, you & I

Rosie
But I’m worried… war’s not a joke

Fergus
Don’t say it lass – none of that dying business is written in our stars

Rosie
You dinna ken what’ll happen Fergus, no-one does

Fergus
Och – it wont be long before the Prince is back on the throne & all his loyal soldiers shacked up in one of them big castles doon south telling the Emglish what tae dae

Rosie
Do you think we’d have servants too

Fergus
Aye, of course, we’ll have a cook, a gardener & even a nanny for each of oor ten bairns

Rosie
How many?

Fergus
At least ten – we gonna have so many bairns we’ll be making a whole clan of our own

Rosie
Och you’re such a dreamer Eric

Fergus
& they’re all full of you lass – come here

ROSY MORN

Fergus
Im alive
Im alive for you
& all my love for you
Is burnin strong

You are my rosemary
& like the Hebredes
You are in my melodies
When Im in song

Chorus
& makes me sing
This song for you
When rosy morning
Keeps shining through

Rosie
All of those things you do
They keep me inter you
Just like the winter dew
You taste of spring

& when you take off your clothes
You make me curl up my toes
Your back unfurls as it grows
An angel wing

Chorus
& makes me sing
This song for you
When rosy morning
Keeps shining through

Fergus
You are my silver rose
& when my lovin grows
It falls like summer snows
In golden corn

& just one look at you
Gets me all co-ca choo
Some drop of silver dew
This rosy morn

Chorus
& makes me sing
This song for you
When rosy morning
Keeps shining through

You are my silver rose
& like a flight of rainbows
Im never comin down
This rosy morn

Enter Eric

Eric
Fergus, come on lad, I’ve been looking all over for ya – the burning cross cover’d the island last night, mountain to mountain it went – the Macleans are going to war

Fergus
Already

Eric
Aye – today we’re meeting Duncan doon the glen – we’re off to join the Prince

Rosie
Do you think you can win brother

Eric
Och, aye – we’re invincible, just one blast of our highland lungs & that fat German pig doon London will be swimming the channel to France – now move it Fergus, we’ve got a war tae fight!

Fergus
I’ll see you soon Rosie, try not to fret lass…

Rosie
Try not to die, alright

They kiss & the men exit – Rosie in tears


THE CONCHORDIA FOLIO

“Its worth a pop, right, to try & knock that Shakespeare

Off his feffin’ perch!”

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Interview: Damian Beeson Bullen

Posted on December 20, 2019, in Charlie!, Conchordia. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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