The wisdom of fools – a play, in one act

by richardhutton

 

Characters: Lord Montgomery, Lord D’ancona; and a Valet.

The setting: 18th century England – a dank corridor, in the Houses of Parliament. The lords Montgomery and D’ancona stand together conversing; in their full pomp of powdered wigs, and high heeled shoes. Their faces are whitened with carcinogenic paste. A valet stands in attendance.

 

Act 1: Scene 1

(Montgomery) You have heard the unedifying news, I trust?

(D’ancona) Why yes, of course. Which news? It is all alike these days.

(Montgomery) About the machinations of this upstart in the ranks, Jérome Corbín. Making much commotion, of late.

(D’ancona) Oh, certainly. The fellow has ideas above his station.

(Montgomery) Rest assured, we will not be troubled by him. The arrogant fool will never become leader of the Plebeian Party – he simply lacks the breeding.

(D’ancona) Indubitably.

(Valet) Monsieur Corbín won his party’s leadership contest by a considerable margin, my good lords.

(Montgomery) Ah, he might very well have succeeded therein – but assuredly more by luck, than judgment.

(D’ancona) Yes, yes – indeed, my good Lord. Let us see how he flails, when challenged. The unobservant fool will not retain his station for long!

(Montgomery) Why, Lord D’ancona, your sagacity rivals even mine own.

(D’ancona) I would return the compliment, by declaring you my equal.

(Valet) Monsieur Corbín retained his office by an increased margin, following a leadership challenge, my good lords.

(Montgomery) Be that as it may, I confidently predict that Corbín will suffer a calamitous defeat, of historic proportions, during any vote generously bequeathed to the public.

(D’ancona) Indeed, he almost has my pity. I would offer him my advice; but I fear he would simply not understand it.

(Valet) Monsieur Corbín’s party fared remarkably well in the recent elections, my good lords.

(Montgomery) Impossible – he is but a fool!

(D’ancona) A complete fool! Only a personage of our wisdom could achieve such a feat.

(Valet) Historical precedents were set, my good lords.

(Montgomery) All well and good – but he will never become Prime Minister, unless he heeds our wisdom.

(D’ancona) No never.

(Montgomery) Never.

(D’ancona) Surely never.

The end.