Two Eggs of Lafayette – Act V Scene IV
With sincerest apologies to Old Bill from whom large portions of the following have been lifted straight.
[[To summarize what has gone before – in a terrible mix up the two sisters Amelia and Grace have gone to bed willy-nilly after a Summer’s day of gaiety, laughter, talk, conflict and confusion. They have swam like the dolfins in the sea and gamboled like lambs upon the greensward and eaten from the white peach tree. But now they rise confused for they are sore beset with hunger and neither their father nor their mother has prepared a meal as is their wont.]]
How use doth breed a habit in a child!
This shadowy room, unfrequented halls,
I far worse brook than peopled residences:
Here could I sit alone, unseen of any,
And to the televisions’s complaining notes
Tune my distresses and record my woes.
Repair me with thy presence, Amelia;
Thou gentle sister, cherish thy companion!
What halloing and what stir is this today?
These are my parents, that make their wills their law.
They love me well; yet I have much to do
To keep them from uncivil outrages
Such as have happened here today.
Where is that which custom has
Accustomed me to taste? The nectar
That is egg and bread its solid base?
Withdraw thee, Grace: who’s this comes here?
Enter Amelia, dragging her feet…
Had I been seized by a hungry lion,
I would have been a breakfast to the beast,
Rather than have my father fail so in duty.
O, Heaven be judge how I love Grace,
Whose cooking’s as tender to me as my soul!
And full as much, for more there cannot be,
I do detest that I am hungry so.
Thou uncommon friend, with faith or love,
For such is a friend now; courageous sister!
Thou hast beguiled my hopes; nought but mine eye
Could have persuaded me: now I dare not say
I have no friend alive; thou wouldst disprove me.
I am glad I must trust thee more in this,
Our parents to currently awake.
I dare not, even for thy uncommon sake,
For wrath indeed its fearful visage wakes
Like unto our Father in his sleep
When from that feathered hollow takes
His head in reply to my earnest request.
So, I decline and thy hatred reap.
Behold her that gave aim to all these oaths,
And entertain’d ’em deeply in her heart.
How oft hast thou with perjury cleft the root!
O Amelia, let this habit make thee blush!
Be thou ashamed that I have took upon me
Such an immodest raiment, if shame live
In a disguise of love:
It is the lesser blot, honesty finds,
Words to change their strength than men their minds.
I will forgive you at this moment
For it dawns upon me to take up
The challenge of EOTMEOTE
And find some use for these two
Common eggs of Lafayette.
I shall defuse my pain and wrath
Upon their shells by breaking them.
And their contents beaten and whisked
With a little pale milk as suits their nature.
To further raise my spirits and draw down their own
I intend to burn, nay, rather slowly heat
Them on a slow fire until they, crying mercy
Turn like curds and show their yellow side.
A final note. I shall place them on their deathbeds;
Crisped, brown slabs of wheaten bread,
And, final ignominy, devour them.
What say you sister? Will you join with me
In this perfidious calumny?
Come, come, a hand from either:
Let me be blest to make this happy close;
‘Twere pity two such friends should be long foes.
And now, to work, and leave those
Who idle in their beds have need
Of neither toast nor eggs.