Charlie: Scenes 9-13

SCENE 9 – London – King George II is sat on his throne reading the newspapers with his chancellor / enter Thomas Arne with three singers; Mrs. Cibber, Beard and Reinhold

Thomas
Your majesty

George
Mr Arne, a pleasure to see you once more

Thomas
The pleasure is all mine your majesty – I have finished the song & wish it to be sung in your presence

George II
Hmm, the ditty about me? Very well, sing it

Thomas
Your highness, may I present Mrs. Beard, Reinhold & mny sister Mrs Cibber

Cibber, Beard and Reinhold
Your highness

Thomas
Ladies… on the count of three.. one, two…

Cibber, Beard and Reinhold
God bless our Noble King,
God Save great George our King
God save the King:
Send him victorious,
Happy and glorious,
Long to reign over us:
God save the king.

O Lord, our God, arise,
Scatter thine enemies
And make them fall
Confound their politics,
Frustrate their knavish tricks,
On thee our hopes we fix:
God save us all.

From every latent foe
From the assassins blow
God save the King
O’er her thine arm extend
For Britain’s sake defend
Our mother, prince, and friend
God save the King

Lord grant that Marshal Wade
May by thy mighty aid
Victory bring
May he sedition hush
And like a torrent rush
Rebellious Scots to crush
God save the King

George
Yes, very good, excellent even

Thomas
I am delighted his majesty likes it.

George
It sounds familiar somewhat

Thomas
It is an old tune, your highness, my mother says she heard it sung in the street when the Prince of Orange was hovering over the coast. There is a received opinion that it was written and composed for the Catholic Chapel of James II. I have merely adapted it for a better, more deserving, more godsent king.

Chancellor
Since the descent of the demon Stuart wolfchild on our islands, demonstrations of loyalty to the reigning house are in especial demand.

Thomas
Yes sire, all of London are in total abhorrence to the arbitrary schemes of our invidious enemies. I have written this song to coalesce their passions with an anthemic chorus. The song shall be having its debut tonight, sire. The entire male cast of the Drury Lane theatre announced shall be announcing their intention of forming a special unit of the Volunteer Defence Force. They will be giving a performance of Jonson’s The Alchemist, at which conclusion Mrs Cibber, Beard and Reinhold will be singing my new song.

Chancellor
The stage is the most loyal place in the three kingdoms, your majesty

Enter the Duke of Cumberland

Cumberland
The soldiers of your army would dispute that very much – what is more loyal than to die for your king

George II
William Augustus, how are you my boy

Cumberland
In excellent health & spirits father, & you

George
I have read the dispatches – the news is dire – that dreadful band of savages – freely allowed to roam across our sovereign soil – unchallenged! They have already taken Carlisle, & are now on their way into Lancashire – There has been a run on the Bank of England, both man & merchant fleeing to France – I am in half a mind to join them

Chancellor
Thanks to the rebellion, your majesties, all trade & business in the country are at quite a standstill

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The Duke of Cumberland

Cumberland
These disturbers of his majesty’s reign will not be in England long. The Highland race dwells within a nest of fickle constraint. Obstinate & proud its army shall boast its way to London, then at the first push of bayonet slink back to the mists from whence they came

George II
Son, you are too confident – those howling barbarians the terrify the troops – look what happened at Prestonpans

Cumberland
Father, my king, if I am allowed to marshal your armies then I shall bring a speedy & resolute end to this bloody affair

George II
Perhaps I shall marshal them myself

Cumberland
With all due respect father, this is not Flanders, nor is it Dettingen; these are not the cowardly French – these are Highlanders, merciless murderers & the devil’s own – if you are caught you shall be flayed alive & hung from every mercat cross in Scotland – let me fight this war for you father, for after all, if Charles Edward represents his own father on the field of battle – it is up to I to represent your sacred self

George II
Very well – the commission is yours – I shall pay you an extra 5,000 pounds a year – but tell me, how do you intend to challenge that terrifying Highland charge of theirs

Cumberland
I have given the matter my best – let me demonstrate – stand here father, now, you there, slowly charge at us with your right arm held high

Thomas
Me?

George II
Yes, you Mr Arne, do as my son says

Thomas
Like this?

Cumberland
That’s right, now charge the king, slowly

Thomas
The king?

George
Mr Arne!

Thomas
Sorry your majesty, of course…

Thomas slowly charges the king

Cumberland
The bayonet is no match for a claymore – but they have a weakness – here…
{Cumberland stabs underarm of Arne}
This is their Achilles heel, well Achilles armpit, a fleshy weak spot – If the army is well drilled enough to attack the man, not facing, but to his right, then we can nullify the highlanders

George
Brilliant – have the army instructed at once

Cumberland
It is already being drilled

George
My boy, we cannot show that damned snivelling species any mercy – none whatsoever. If Britain is ever to become great they must be extirpated from this island – we must succeed where the Romans & Longshanks failed – there wont be peace unless this entire island is subjugated – let commence the crusade for civilisation

Cumberland
God willing, it will be, I shall attend to it at once

Exit Cumberland

George II
Ah, Mr Arne, do your ladies know your other patriotic number, the one about not become slaves, or something

Arne
We have prepeared it, your majesty, just in case

George II
Yes do sing it, I like it very much

Thomas
Ladies… on the count of three.. one, two…

Cibber, Beard and Reinhold
Rule, Britannia! Britannia, rule the waves!
Britons never, never, never shall be slaves.
Rule, Britannia! Britannia, rule the waves!
Britons never, never, never shall be slaves.


Scene 10 – Exeter House, Derby / the Prince has gathered his commanders for a council of war

Charlie
My cabinet, this is the vital hour
Carlisle has fallen, Lancashire is won
The bridge at Shakestone firmly in our power
The road lies open for to seize London
When English Jacobites shall surely rise
& with them all the gallantry of France
& crowns shall be reclaim’d, let’s grasp the prize
If we continue with our bold advance
We could be in Whitehall within the week
Come gentlemen, gather thy thoughts & speak

Lochiel
Ah would say march, your presence in this land
Has sparked a widespread panic rarely seen
If hardy Northern folk wo’ make a stand
The chances of the South standing seem lean
Friends o’ the King were the first dugs to flee
Spreading terror tae London’s grave concern
Whose banks are being emptied o’ money
Then whit will buy the bread their soldiers earn
While royal armies in their meagre league
Outmaneuvered & saddled wi’ fatigue.

Murray
My sacred liege, ye are the cavalier
& with advancing I cannot agree
At any point the redcoats may appear
We court romance or court reality
Cumberland is at Stone, not long delayed
Bradstreet says nine thousand at Northampton
Between us & the North their tarries Wade
& thirty thousand clog Finchley Common,
With winter coming in, the future blurr’d
Of yer promised Frenchmen there is no word…

Maclean
My liege, a’ speak for all the loyal clans
Warriors ready to gi ye their lives
It has been many moons since Prestonpans
They’d rather pass the winter wi’ their wives
No wi’ the English & their crude weather
Gi’ us the crystal lochs & thistle wylde
The meadows, the moorlands & the heather
Oor hearts are wi’ the glens, there let us war
Wi’ all those royal clansmen brutes reviled
Settle auld scores & Scotland overawe

Charlie
These words you bare are arrows to my heart
Why would ye want to waive the victory
If things shall not be finished, then why start
There seems some base betrayal close to me
But very well, tell my heroic men
Being unsure when Louis will invade
Let us retreat upon the sad morrow
When I hope this ardour shall never fade
For we may never come this way again
& this day be our eternal sorrow

D’Eguiles
Upon the march to London town
The Prince beset by spies
His Highlanders have let him down
He turns back north with weary frown
Hiding his teary eyes


Scene 10 – Northern England

The Highland army is marching back to Scotland

THE BONNY BANKS OF LOCH LOMOND

By yon bonnie banks and by yon bonny braes
Where the sun shines bright on Loch Lomond
For me and my true love will never meet again
On the bonny bonny banks of Loch Lomond

For ye’ll take the high road
And I’ll take the low road
And I’ll be in Scotland afore ye
For me and my true love will never meet again
On the bonny bonny banks of Loch Lomond

Twas there that we parted in yon shady glen
On the steep, steep side o’ Ben Lomon’
Where in purple hue the Hieland hills we view
An’ the moon comin’ out in the gloaming

The wee birdies sing and the wild flow’rs spring
And in sunshine the waters are sleepin’;
But the broken heart it kens nae second spring
Tho’ the waefu’ may cease frae their greetin’

For ye’ll take the high road
And I’ll take the low road
And I’ll be in Scotland afore ye
For me and my true love will never meet again
On the bonny bonny banks of Loch Lomond

For me and my true love will never meet again
On the bonny bonny banks of Loch Lomond


Scene 11 – The Maclean village

Morag & a pregnant Rosie are at work waulking & fulling cloth

Rosie
I tell you ma, the boys have it right easy, while they’re off seeing the world, getting up to god knows what, we’re left here doing twice the work – & me in my state

Morag
Get used to it lassie – you know, I’ve come to think that the reason the boys have their little feuds & rush off to war at the drop off a kilt, is just to get out of doing an honest days work on the crofts

Rosie
As if they do anyway

Enter Fergus

Fergus
That’s a little harsh don’t you think

Rosie
Fergus – my love – what are you doing here

Fergus
I thought I’d slip away to see ma wee sweetheart – I’m sick of war now anyway, all I want to do is hold you in my arms

Rosie
Ah Fergus, come here, I missed ya

They embrace

Morag
Its grand to see you, lad, how ya keeping

Fergus
Och I’m fine, a bit worn oot from trekking up & down the whole island, but I’m in good fettle

Rosie
Have you not noticed anything different about me Fergus

Fergus
Well, I didna wanna say, but you have filled out a wee bit like

Rosie
A wee bit!! I’m six months pregnant lad

Fergus
You are – am I –

Rosie
We’re gonna have a bairn

Fergus
My dear Rosie -you’ve made me the happiest man alive

Morag
& I the happiest woman – my first grandchild – so Fergus how are my boys

Fergus
Fine, fine, not a scratch – the last time I was with the army they were besieging Stirling- but its no way to wage a war that – Falkirk was fine – an open field & an open foe – but attacking castles – its not the Highland way – believe me, I’m not the only one to leave the lines in the middle of the night

Rosie
We’ve been worried – the rebellion seems to be slowing down, tae be coming back north day-by-day

Fergus
Aye – there’s gonna be a bloody reckoning & soon – the Prince is determined on it – his dynasty died at Derby I reckon – the lads have already started calling that damned day black Friday – I wasnae that bothered myself, I dinna wanna die for some perfumed French prince – especially when the most beautiful girl in the world was waiting for me back hame

Morag
That beautiful girl’s father wouldn’t appreciate that kind of talk Fergus – he’d think you were a coward

Fergus
Ah, bollox to princes & kings, Morag – I just want to do what’s right – Rosemary will ya marry me my darlin

Rosie
Of course I will Fergus Maclean

Morag
Aw you two love birds… let me go & cook you up a feast lad, you must be awfa hungry after that hike

Fergus
Aye that I am, I’ve only had a couple of biscuits in the past few days

Morag
Well it looks like I’ll have to kill us a chicken

Exit Morag

Rosie
I’m so glad to have you back darlin, its been too quiet without the lads around

Fergus
Ah you too Rosie – I saw no lass fairer than you in the whole of Scotland, & England to for that matter – you were always in my thoughts, morning noon & night – I’ve written a song on the way hame

Rosie
Have you

Fergus
Aye, well I worked oot that its 500 miles to derby – & 500 miles back – that’s a thoosand miles by ma reckoning – & every step of the way I was singing for you

500 MILES

When I wake up yeah I know I’m gonna be
I’m gonna be the man who wakes up next to you
When I go out yeah I know I’m gonna be
I’m gonna be the man who goes along with you
If I get drunk yes I know I’m gonna be
I’m gonna be the man who gets drunk next to you
And if I haver yeah I know I’m gonna be
I’m gonna be the man who’s havering to you

But I would walk 500 miles
And I would walk 500 more
Just to be the man who walked 1000 miles
To fall down at your door

When I’m working yes I know I’m gonna be
I’m gonna be the man who’s working hard for you
And when the money comes in for the work I’ll do
I’ll pass almost every penny on to you

When I come home yeah I know I’m gonna be
I’m gonna be the man who comes back home to you
And if I grow old well I know I’m gonna be
I’m gonna be the man who’s growing old with you

But I would walk 500 miles
And I would walk 500 more
Just to be the man who walked 1000 miles
To fall down at your door

When I’m lonely yes I know I’m gonna be
I’m gonna be the man whose lonely without you
When I’m dreaming yes I know I’m gonna dream
Dream about the time when I’m with you.

Enter Morag

Morag
Quick, Duncan’s coming

Rosie
O hide Fergus

Fergus
I’m nae gonna hide fae no-one

Enter Duncan

Duncan
So Fergus, you decided to take a wee holiday did ya

Fergus
What if I did – I’ve done my bit – Ive fought at Prestonpans & Falkirk – I’ve walk’d a thoosand miles risking ma life fae your prince

Duncan
Oor Prince

Fergus
Im not interested in princes, me – just my cattle, my soon-to-be wife, & oor new baby

Duncan
Look lad, don’t try ma patience – while I’m ya chief, ye’ll do as ya told – as long as you rent my land, you’re mine boy,

Fergus
No more war, sir, I cannot face it again

Duncan
Look, Fergus, we need every man doon Inverness, – while you are a Maclean you will do as you are told – if you don’t come, I’ll take all your cattle – & set fire to your rooves & wee Rosie’s as well –

Fergus
Ah thats not fair

Duncan
Its the Highland way

Fergus
Alright, I’ll come

Duncan
Good,you can help me round up the rest of deserters, starting with old Archibald & his sons

Fergus
See you when I’m back Rosie… I love you

Exit Duncan & Fergus

Morag
He’ll be fine love – hes a braw lad that one

Rosie
I’m following him mother- I have tae

Morag
You’re in no condition lass

Rosie
I’ve got to – I maight never see him again – I have to stick to him as a limpet clings to a sea-rock

Morag
Alright lass, but be careful, a bloodthirsty enemy pays no heed to sex or age

Rosie
I’ll be as cunning as a fox, mother, don’t you worry

Exit Rosie

Morag
Och, so I’ve just killed a chicken for nothing

————-

Scene 12 – The Macleans are marching through Scotland

MARCHING ON WITH CHARLIE

I’m marching on with Charlie
I’m marching far from home
& when I march wi Charlie
A never march alone
I got my chieftan stood beside me
& in that man I trust
I’ll always be a highlander
Until I’m turned to dust

We’re marching on with Charlie
We’re marching far from home
& when we march wi Charlie
We never march alone
I got my chieftan stood beside me
& in that man we trust
I’ll always be a highlander
Until I’m turned to dust

I am marching on, marching,
Marching on with Charlie Boy

I’m marching on wi Charlie
Im marching fight to fight
& when I march wi Charlie
I’ll always march wi might
Got my brothers stood beside me
As solid as the stones
I’ll always be a highlander
Until Im turned to bones

We’re marching on wi Charlie
We’re marching fight to fight
& when we march wi Charlie
We’ll always march wi might
Got my brothers stood beside me
& in that man we trust
I’ll always be a highlander
Until I’m turned to dust

I’m marching on wi Charlie
Up by the Moray Shore
I’m marchin on wi Charlie
Down to Drumossie Moor
I’ll find an English redcoat
& slice a bloody spray
I’ll always be a highlander
Until my dying day

Marching on, marching on,
Marching on with Charlie Boy


THE CONCHORDIA FOLIO

“Its worth a pop, right, to try & knock
Shakespeare off his feffin’ perch!”

 

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Interview: Damian Beeson Bullen

Posted on January 13, 2020, in Charlie!, Conchordia. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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