Feste of Syracuse
a corridor of the house
Magnosius: And he told you as much?
Lydia: Indeed! They arrive from Thapsos within the hour.
Magnosius: And what of Falmer? How does he with this news?
Lydia: Oh, he is all a fury so as to ensure the band’s comfortable arrival.
Magnosius: Really? I should have thought there would be other machinations in the poor devil’s mind.
Lydia: Nonsense. Five years ought to have all but closed the gap in their rivalry. What with Falmer having tasted the heavy weight of rule, I should think he would be all too willing to relinquish the load to his superior.
Magnosius: Indeed, but to a superior.
Lydia: What you speak smacks of treason, friend. Tread more softly.
Magnosius: I merely speculate as to the workings of his mind. I certainly would have difficulties kneeling to a younger brother.
Lydia: But a younger brother who is monarch?
Magnosius: No matter, for our monarch arrives. Behold Feste’s banner!
Lydia: Come, let us go and meet them at the gates.
another part of the house
Falmer: And you are certain?
Magnosios: Aye. But three hundred have returned from Feste’s campaigns.
Falmer: This bodes poor for the hearts of our people.
Magnosios: Perhaps, but he returns victorious, and a conqueror is always loved.
Falmer: They are weary with his wars.
Magnosius: My noble Lord, Listen me and listen well. These five years, whilst your younger brother, in his juvenile ambitions, has sought to subjugate the whole of this Isle, you have maintained that order in Syracuse so paramount to community and peace. By yielding your authority so passively, you risk the very cornerstone which the walls of this fair city stand upon.
Falmer: It is not in my place, position, or power to question the authority ordained by the Oracle.
Magnosius: Well you know my thoughts on the matter. Oracles are not gods, and even the gods merely set the stage for us men, it is up to us to forge the path for ourselves. You shall hear no more from me.
Falmer: Look where Feste comes!
Enter Feste, Lydia and attendants
Feste: Wide o’er this isle doth Mycenaean influence rize as our banner doth claim the prominence o’er most every citadel and municipal panorama. Here I return at the point of a legion of heroes to bring report to my proud people that we are victorious, and let us taste the sweet nectar of peace once again!
Falmer: You are well met brother. Welcome to Syracuse.
Feste: Many thanks to your grace and goodness for the preservation of our state in our absence. Truly the gods had reason for your being inept to battle, for without your failures, we could hardly claim our success!
Lydia: All hail, Feste! Monarch of this isle!
Magnosius: Aye! All hail the Monarch of this Isle! All hail Feste! All hail him for the countless dead that lay strewn in the field. All hail him for the ruined walls of our countrymen abroad. All hail Feste for the dust which blows o’er our once fallow fields! All hail the man who made this peaceful people a race of raging war-hounds who have little else to do now, save lick the ill-gotten wounds wrought from child-like ambition.
Magnosius: All hail the tyrannical sorcerer who’s black magic hath duped the very Oracles of god into the lechery of most bile and base degree! All hail that twin whose mother’s womb bore second so as to prolong his entering a world thus reluctant to receive so vile a villain!
Falmer: Magnosius, stand you down!
Feste: Let all things be true save that I am not just. I here thee, noble Magnosius, and though thy words breed offense, in me is bred only pity. Though you would have me pricked to the heat of rage by these thy treasonous railings against I the Monarchy, I am moved only to that solemn justice that has served me well these many years traversing this isle, and as I have found solace in the justice of my divinity, may you find yours on the other side of infinity.
Feste stabs/slays Magnosius
Feste: Dear Falmer, I trust these five years have been kinder than these five minutes?
Falmer: Fair brother, I cannot speak.
Feste: And so you should avoid such discourse as may incriminate you. Though your heart should lie in the self-same treason as this your man, thank the Olympians you have the good sense to reign it in, for even you should recline thus, should such a notion take thee.
Falmer: I beg your sovereign’s pardon, but no such sentiment has lain in my heart, for I do respect the Oracle’s decree, and that you are home, so to you should be returned the powers of the state. Willingly, I relinquish them.
Feste: I wonder that that willingness would be effected by the presence of my Phalanx on the perimeter of town?
Falmer: You do me wrong to hold my esteem so light. Should you alone have returned, I should follow the will of the gods, for brother, the Oracle hath spoken to me.
Feste: To you? The Oracle speaks not to common man, but Monarchs and Heroes.
Falmer: I know it.
Feste: What? Is this treason come from your lips?
Falmer: Is it treason to relay what the god’s have said? Is it treason to relay a prophecy of hope to the afflicted? Is it treason to tell you that I need not lift a finger to take thy throne, for the gods themselves have taken it from you and given it me? Before you passed the gates of this mighty city, the gods had already damned you for your tyranny. Syracuse being their sapphire of the Mediterranean, they could not bear to see it’s greatness wane under so weak a mind as yours.
Feste: I have misjudged you, brother. And yet my Phalanx waits beyond these walls. How shall they respond to hear that you have slain me?
Falmer: They shall hear no such thing, for the Oracle spake me thus “When corruption spills that innocent blood by whom repentance last was offered and rebuke by familial bond descend, e’n shall the selfsame heart of villainy cleave in twain, and succession follow suit.”
Feste: So what follows?
Falmer: The will of the gods.
Lydia: Deity, by its nature, grants that godlike station of gratifying it’s innate desire to define and enforce righteousness. Therefore, they will us and they kill us as they deem fit to their desires and definitions. It is to us to anticipate their jealousy to avoid such an end as this.