“So Mac,” people ask me, “What do you wonder about Jeff Francoeur?” Then I say, “Well, I look upon him as a figure of tragedy. What if Jeff Francoeur were Hamlet?” And they say, “Well, it would probably be a much shorter play.” And I think, they’re probably right.
Prince of Lilburn
A Tragedy in Three Scenes
By Wm. Shakespeare with Additional dialogue (mostly at the end) by Mc Thomason
Savagely cut by by Mc Thomason as it is a very wordy play
FRANCLET, a prince
HORACIO, a lefthanded pitcher, and friend to Franclet
MELKY, an outfielder of sorts
CLAUDELL, a king, and uncle to Franclet
ROSENCHIP, a play-by-play man, and sycophant
SIMPSONSTERN, a color commentator
Various UTILITY INFIELDERS, RELIEF PITCHERS, TRAINERS, HANGERS-ON, and GROUPIES
II I. A room of state in the stadium.
FRANC: O, that this too too solid flesh would melt
Thaw and resolve itself into a dew!
Or that the Everlasting had not fix’d
His canon ‘gainst self-slaughter! O bunt! bunt!
HOR: Hail to your lordship!
FRANC: I am glad to see you well:
Horacio,–or I do forget myself.
How is thy elbow?
HOR: The same, my lord, and your poor servant ever.
FRANC: Sir, my good friend; I’ll change that name with you:
And what make you from Fresno, Horacio?
HOR: My lord, I came to see your father’s funeral.
FRANC: I pray thee, do not mock me, fellow-player;
I think it was to see my mother’s wedding.
HOR: Indeed, my lord, it follow’d hard upon.
FRANC: Thrift, thrift, Horacio! the funeral baked meats
Did coldly furnish forth the marriage tables.
Would I had met my dearest foe in heaven
Or ever I had seen that day, Horacio!
My father!–methinks I see my father.
HOR: Where, my lord?
FRANC: In my mind’s eye, Horacio.
HOR: I saw him once; he was a goodly king.
FRANC: He was a man, take him for all in all,
I shall not look upon his like again.
HOR: My lord, I think I saw him yesternight.
FRANC: Saw? who?
HOR: My lord, the king your father.
FRANC: The king my father!
HOR: Season your admiration for awhile
With an attent ear, till I may deliver,
Upon the witness of these gentlemen,
This marvel to you.
FRANC: For God’s love, let me hear.
HOR: Two nights together had these gentlemen,
Melky and Diory, on their watch,
In the dead vast and middle of the night,
Been thus encounter’d. A figure like your father,
And I with them the third night kept the watch;
Where, as they had deliver’d, both in time,
Form of the thing, each word made true and good,
The apparition comes: I knew your father;
These hands are not more like.
FRANC: But where was this?
MELKY: My lord, in the centerfield where I watch’d.
IV II. The platform.
Enter FRANCLET, HORACIO, and MELKY
FRANC: The air bites shrewdly; it is very cold.
HOR: ‘Tis also raining, yet the umpire will not stop the game.
A flourish of trumpets, and ordnance shot off, within
What does this mean, my lord?
FRANC: The organist plays to entertain the fans.
And to taunt our opponents with their failures.
HOR: Is it a custom?
FRANC: Ay, marry, is’t:
But to my mind, though ’twas once done ev’rywhere
In these days, it is a custom
More honour’d in the breach than the observance.
HOR: Look, my lord, it comes!
FRANC: Angels and ministers of grace defend us!
Be thou a spirit of health or Marlin damn’d,
Bring with thee airs from heaven or blasts from hell,
Be thy intents wicked or charitable,
Thou comest in such a questionable shape
That I will speak to thee: I’ll call thee Franclet,
King, father, royal Georgian: O, answer me!
Ghost beckons FRANCLET
HOR: It beckons you to go away with it,
As if it some impartment did desire
To you alone.
FRANC: It will not speak; then I will follow it.
HOR: Do not, my lord.
FRANC: It waves me still.
Go on; I’ll follow thee.
MELKY: You shall not go, my lord.
FRANC: Still am I call’d. Unhand me, gentlemen.
By heaven, I’ll make a ghost of him that lets me!
I say, away! Go on; I’ll follow thee.
Exeunt Ghost and FRANCLET
HO: He waxes desperate with imagination.
MELKY: Let’s follow; ’tis not fit thus to obey him.
HOR: Have after. To what issue will this come?
MELKY: Something is rotten in the state of Georgia.
Nay, I must admit, that smell ’tis I.
V III. Another Part of the platform.
GHOST: My hour is almost come,
When I to sulphurous and tormenting flames
Must render up myself.
FRANC: Alas, poor ghost!
GHOST: Nay, ’tis only July in Georgia.
Pity me not, but lend thy serious hearing
To what I shall unfold.
FRANC: Speak; I am bound to hear.
GHOST: So art thou to revenge, when thou shalt hear.
GHOST: I am thy father’s spirit,
Doom’d for a certain term to walk the night,
And for the day confined to fast in fires,
Till the foul crimes done in my days of nature
Are burnt and purged away. But that I am forbid
To tell the secrets of my prison-house,
I could a tale unfold whose lightest word
Would harrow up thy soul, freeze thy young blood,
Make thy two eyes, like stars, start from their spheres,
Thy knotted and combined locks to part
And each particular hair to stand on end,
Like quills upon the fretful porpentine:
But this eternal blazon must not be
To ears of flesh and blood. List, list, O, list!
If thou didst ever thy dear father love–
FRANC: O God!
GHOST: Revenge his foul and most unnatural murder.
GHOST: I find thee apt;
And duller shouldst thou be than the fat weed
That roots itself in ease on Lethe wharf,
Wouldst thou not stir in this. Now, Franclet, hear:
‘Tis given out that, sleeping in my orchard,
A serpent stung me; so the whole ear of Georgia
Is by a forged process of my death
Rankly abused: but know, thou noble youth,
The serpent that did sting thy father’s life
Now wears his crown.
FRANC: O my prophetic soul! My uncle!
GHOST: Ay, that incestuous, that adulterate beast,
With witchcraft of his wit, with traitorous gifts,–
O wicked wit and gifts, that have the power
So to seduce!–won to his shameful lust
The will of my most seeming-virtuous queen:
O Franclet, what a falling-off was there!
From me, whose love was of that dignity
That it went hand in hand even with the vow
I made to her in marriage, and to decline
Upon a wretch whose natural gifts were poor
To those of mine!
But virtue, as it —
FRANCLET sees CLAUDELL walking on the battlements
FRANC [INTERRUPING]: There he is! I’ll kill him!
DIE DIE DIE DIE DIE DIE DIE!
FRANCLET swings his sword at CLAUDELL’S head but the latter ducks. FRANCLET misses completely and falls off the battlements to his death
ROSENCHIP: Swing and a miss!
SIMPSONSTERN: What a cut!
ROS: Well, a rough time at the BATtlements
There for Prince Franclet.
SIM: If you’re going to try to cut off someone’s head like that,
You really need to inside-out with your sword.
ROS: If you’re just joining us,
Prince Franclet has plunged from the top of the wall
After trying to avenge his father’s death
At the hands of King Claudell.
We will have a report on his condition
As soon as it comes available.
SIM: I had thought the Prince
Had maybe just nicked the King’s neck
But no, he made no contact whatsoever.
‘Tis a pity, ’twas such a talented swordsman.
ROS: We have just received a report
That Prince Franclet is dead
Of massive trauma after he plunged
From the roof of this beautiful stadium.
We now have Horacio here
And he will comment upon these events.
HOR: Now cracks a noble heart.
Good night sweet prince:
And flights of angels sing thee to thy rest!
Why does the drum come hither?
ROS: Oh, ’tis an attempt
To get the Chop started again.
[aside] Shh, cut that out, guys!
(But Rosenchip and Simpsonstern will be back in Rosenchip and Simpsonstern Are Dead, And Good Thing, Too.)