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Blackadder s03e02- Ink and Incapability

I Am Boz

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Background - Four series, set in four different time periods of English history, each following Edmund Blackadder and his descendants. In the third series Blackadder is butler to Prince George, son of King George the third. Also in all four series is Baldrick, a dogsbody, a servant of Blackadder. Now read on.

Prince George wakes suddenly in his bed chamber.
G " oh Blackadder, Blackadder"
Blackadder enters,
B " your highness?"
G " what time is it?"
B " three o'clock in the afternoon your highness"
G " oh thank god for that I thought I overslept"
B " I trust you had a pleasant evening sir?"
G " well no actually, the most extraordinary thing happened. Last night I was having a little snack at the Naughty Hell Fire club, and some fellow said I had the wit and sophistication of a donkey"
B " an absurd suggestion sir, unless it was a particularly stupid donkey"
G " you see if only I thought of saying that"
B " it is often the way sir, too late one thinks of what one should have said. Sir Thomas More for instance , burned alive for refusing to recant his Catholicism must have been kicking himself as the flames licked higher, that it never occurred to him to say, ' I recant my Catholicism '"
G " well quite, the other day Prime Minister Pitt called me an idle scrounger. It wasn't until ages later I thought how clever it would have been to have said,' oh bugger off you old fart!' I need to improve my mind Blackadder. I want people to say, ' that George he is as clever as a stick in a bucket of pig swill' "
B " and how do you propose to achieve this miracle your Highness?"
G " easy, I shall become friends with the cleverest man in England, that renowned brain box Dr Samuel Johnson. He has asked me to be patron of his new book, and I've accepted"
B " would this be the long awaited Dictionary sir?"
G " who cares about the title, as long as there's plenty of juicy murders in it, I hear it's a masterpiece"
B " no sir it isn't. It's the most pointless book since how to learn French was translated into French"
G " you haven't got anything against Johnson have you Blackadder?"
B " good lord no sir, in fact I'd never heard of him until you mentioned him just now"
G " but you do think he's a genius?"
B " No sir I do not, unless the definition of genius in his ridiculous dictionary is, a fat dullard and wobble bottom, a pompous ass with sweaty dewlaps"
G " phew, close shave then Blackadder, lucky you warned me, I was about to embrace this unholy arse to the royal bosom."
B " I'm delighted to be instrumental in keeping your bosom free of arses"
G " bravo! I mustn't waste my time with wobble bottoms. Now fetch some tea will you Blackadder"
Blackadder goes to leave,
B " certainly sir"
G " oh and make it two cups will you, that splendid brain box Dr Johnson is coming!"
Blackadder cannot believe the Prince's stupidity and leaves in a huff.
Rowan Atkinson is Blackadder.
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In the kitchen, in the basement of the house, Blackadder angrily enters snarling. Baldrick is there.
Bd " something wrong Mr B?"
B " something is always wrong Balders. The fact I'm not a millionaire aristocrat with the sexual capacity of a rutting rhino is a constant niggle. But today something is even wronger. That globulous fraud Dr Johnson is coming to tea"
Bd " I thought he was the cleverest gentleman in England"
B " Baldrick I'd bump into cleverer people at a lodge meeting of the guild of village idiots"
Bd " that's not what you said when you sent him your navel"
B" novel Baldrick not navel. I sent him my novel"
Bd " novel or navel it sounds like a bag of grapefruits to me"
B " the phrase is a case of sour grapes, and yes it bloody well is. He might of at least written back, but no, nothing, not even a ' dear Gertrude Perkins thank you for your novel , get stuffed Samuel Johnson' "
Bd " Gertrude Perkins?"
B " yes I gave myself a female pseudonym. Everybody is doing it, Mrs Ratcliff, Jane Austen..."
Bd " Jane Austen 's a man!?"
B " yes a huge Yorkshireman with a beard like a rhododendron"
Bd " perhaps your novel really isn't any good"
B " codswallop , it's taken me seven years and it's perfect. Edmund, a butler's tale , a giant roller coaster of a novel in 400 sizzling chapters. A seering indictment of domestic servitude in the 18th century with some hot gypsies thrown in. It's my magnum opus Baldrick. Everybody has one novel in them and this is mine."
Baldrick produces from his pocket a tiny scrap of paper.
Bd " and this is mine, my magnificent octopus"
Blackadder gingerly takes the paper and reads..
B " this is your novel Baldrick?"
Bd " yeah, can't stand long books"
B ( reading) " once upon a time there was a lovely little sausage called Baldrick, and it lived happily ever after"
Bd " it's semi autobiographical"
B " and completely awful, Dr Johnson will probably love it"
A bell in the kitchen rings.
B " speak of the devil, I had better go and make the great doctor comfortable. Let's see just how damn smart Dr fatty know it all really is. Oh and prepare a fire for the Prince Baldrick"
Bd " what shall I use?"
B " any old rubbish, paper is good, use this"
Blackadder crunches up Baldrick 's novel and tosses it to him.
Tony Robinson is Baldrick, Hugh Laurie is Prince George.
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The Prince is relaxing on a sumptuous chair in his chamber when there is a knock on the door.
G " enter"
Blackadder enters with Dr Johnson.
B " Dr Johnson, your highness"
G " ah Dr Johnson, dammed cold day"
J." Indeed it is sir, but a very fine one for I celebrated last night the encyclopedic implementation of my premeditated orchestration of demotic Anglo Saxon"
G " nope, didn't catch any of that"
J " I merely observed sir, that I am felicitous since during the course of the penultimate solar sojourn, I terminated my uninterrupted categorization of the vocabulary of our post Norman tongue"
G " don't know what you are talking about, but it sounds damn saucy you lucky thing. I know some fairly liberal minded girls, but I've never been penultimated in the solar sojourn or for that matter been given any Norman tongue."
B " I believe sir the doctor is trying to tell you that he is happy because he has finished his book. It has taken him ten years"
G " yes, well I'm a slow reader myself"
Johnson is carrying sheafs of manuscripts tied up with string. He places his papers on a side table, and picks up a large top manuscript, unties the string and opens it.
J " here it is sire, the very cornerstone of English scholarship. This book contains every word of our beloved language."
B " every single one sir?"
J " every one sir"
B " in that case your highness I hope you will not object if I also offer the Doctor my most enthusiastic contrafibularities"
J " WHAT?"
B " contrafibularities sir, it's a common word down our way"
J " damn"
Johnson takes a pencil from behind his ear and scribbles on his manuscript.
B " oh I'm sorry sir, I am anaspeptic, phrasmotic, even compunctuous to have caused you such periconbobulations"
J ( shouting) " what what what!!"
G " what are you on about Blackadder? This is beginning to sound like dago talk"
B " I was merely congratulating the Doctor on not having left out a single word "
Johnson glares at Blackadder.
G " get the tea up here Blackadder and the fire too"
B " yes sir, I shall return......interphrastically"
Robbie Coltrane is Dr Johnson.
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G " so Dr Johnson sit you down. Now this book of yours tell me what's it all about?"
J " it's a book about the English language sir"
G " I see, and the hero's name is what"
J " there is no hero sir"
G " no hero! Well lucky I reminded you, better put one in pronto. Call him George, what about heroines"
J " there is no heroine sir, unless it is our mother tongue"
G " mother's the heroine, nice twist. So how far have we got then? Old Mother Tongue is in love with George the hero. Now what about murders, Mother Tongue doesn't get murdered does she?"
J" ( losing his cool) " no she doesn't. No one gets murdered or married or in a tricky situation over a pound note"
G " well look Dr Johnson I may be as thick as a whale omelette, but even I know that a book's got to have a plot"
J " not this one sir, it is a book that tells you what English words mean"
G " I know what English words mean, I speak English. You must be a bit of a thicko"
J " well sir perhaps you'd rather not be patron of this book , if you can see no value in it whatsoever"
G " perhaps so sir, since it sounds to me being patron of this cowpat of a book will set the seal once and for all on my reputation as an utter turnip head"
J " it is a reputation well deserved sir. Farewell"
Johnson storms towards the door.
 

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Dr Johnson opens the door to see Blackadder framed in it, holding a silver tray with tea crockery on it. Baldrick enters and attends the fire.
B " going already Dr Johnson. Not staying for your pendigestatory interludicule"
J " no, show me to the door"
B " certainly sir, anything I can do to facilitate your velocitous extramuralization"
Johnson turns back to George.
J " you will regret this doubly sir, not only have you imperculiated , ( to Blackadder) yes, imperculiated, my book, but you have lost the chance to be patron of the only book in the world that is even better"
B " what's that sir? Dictionary Two, the return of the killer dictionaries"
J." No sir, it is Edmund, a Butlers tale by Gertrude Perkins"
Blackadder almost drops the teapot he is holding in surprise.
J " a huge roller coaster of a novel crammed with sizzling gypsies. Had you supported it sir, it would have made you and me and Gertrude millionaires"
B ( gasping in shock) " ..mmmmm millionaires!"
J " but it was not to be, good day sir, I shall not return"
Blackadder follows Dr Johnson into the vestibule.
B " a word please Dr Johnson"
J " a word with you sir can mean seven million syllables, you may start it now and not be finished by bedtime. Oh damn! In my fury I've left my dictionary with your foolish master. Fetch it will you"
B " the Prince is young and foolish and has a peanut for a brain. Give me a few minutes and I will deliver the book and his patronage"
J " I doubt that sir , a servant who is an influence for the good is like a dog that speaks, very rare"
B " I think I can change his mind"
J " a servant who can change a Prince's mind is like a dog who can speak Norwegian, even rarer. I shall be in Mrs Miggins literary salon in twenty minutes, bring the book there"
 

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Prince George is standing by the fire, Baldrick's handiwork.
B " your highness may I offer my congratulations"
G " thank you Blackadder, that pompous baboon won't be back in a hurry"
B " on the contrary sir, Dr Johnson left in the highest of spirits"
G " what?"
B " he is thrilled at your promise to patronize his dictionary"
G " I told him to sod off didn't I ?"
B " yes but that was a joke surely"
G " was it?"
B " Indeed sir, a brilliant one sir"
G " erm...yes it was rather "
B " so may I deliver your patronage to Dr Johnson as promised?"
G " of course if that's what I promised then that is what I must do, and I remember promising it distinctly "
B " excellent. Nice fire Baldrick"
Bd " thank you Mr B"
B " right, let's get the book. Baldrick where's the manuscript?"
Bd " you mean the papery thing tied up with string"
B " yes Baldrick, the manuscript belonging to Dr Johnson"
Bd " you mean the batey fellow in the black coat who just left"
B" yes Baldrick, Dr Johnson"
Bd " so you're asking where the papery thing tied up with string belonging to the batey fellow in the black coat is?"
B " yes I am Baldrick, and if you don't shortly have an answer, then the booted boney thing with five toes on the end of my leg will connect sharply with the soft dangly collection of objects in your trousers. For the last time Baldrick where is Dr Johnson's manuscript"
Bd " on the fire"
B " THE WHAT !!?!?"
Bd " the hot orangey thing under the stoney mantelpiecey thing"
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B " you burnt the dictionary!!?"
Bd " that's right"
B " you burnt the life's work of England's foremost man of letters?"
Bd " yup, you did say burn any rubbish"
G " isn't it going to be difficult to patronize this book if we've burnt it?"
B " yes your highness it is"
Blackadder leads Baldrick into the vestibule.
B " excuse us sir"
G " of course, now I've got my fire, I'm as happy as a Frenchman who's invented a pair of self removing trousers"
In The Vestibule
B " we are going to Mrs Miggins, we are going to find out where Dr Johnson keeps a copy of his dictionary, and then you are going to steal it"
Bd " why me?"
B " because you burnt it Baldrick"
Bd " then I'll go to hell forever for stealing"
B " Baldrick believe me an eternity in the company of Beelzebub and all his hellish instruments of death will be a picnic compared to five minutes alone with me and this pencil"
Blackadder flourishes a pencil at Baldrick, the two of them leave for Mrs Miggins coffee shop and literary salon.
 
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In a coffee shop in central London the owner Mrs Miggins is serving three well known poets, Lord Byron, Shelley and Coleridge.
Shelley " oh love lorn ecstasy that is Mrs Miggins wilt thou but bring me one cup of the browned juicings of that naughty bean we call coffee, as I die"
Shelley is coughing and spluttering into a hanky.
Mrs M " oh you do have a way with words Mr Shelley"
Lord Byron " to hell with his fine talking, (shouting) coffee woman!!"
He coughs too.
LB " my consumption grows ever more acute and Coleridge's drugs are wearing off"
Mrs M "Mr Byron don't be such a big girls blouse"
Blackadder and Baldrick enter,
B." Mrs Miggins a cup of your best hot water with some brown grit in it, unless by some miracle your coffee shop has started serving coffee"
LB " be quiet sir, can't you see we're dying"
Mrs M " don't worry about my poets Mr Blackadder they're not dying, just being intellectual"
B " there's nothing intellectual about wondering around Italy in a big shirt hoping to get laid. Why are they here of all places?"
LB " we're here sir to pay homage to the great Dr Johnson as sir should you"
B " oh quite, you don't happen to have a copy of his dictionary do you, so I can do some revising before he gets here"
Dr Johnson enters.
J " friends I have returned"
LB " sir, how was the Prince?"
J " the Prince was and is an utter fool and his house full of cretinous servants"
Johnson notices Blackadder.
B " good afternoon Dr Johnson"
J " and you are the worst of them. After all your boasting have you my dictionary and my patronage?"
B " not yet sir, the Prince begs a few hours more to really get to grips with it"
J " bah!"
B " however I was wondering if a lowly servant such as I could glance at a copy?"
J " copy!?, there is no copy "
B " no copy?"
J " no sir, making a copy is like fitting wheels to a tomato, time consuming and completely unnecessary"
B " but what if the book got lost"
J " I should not lose it, and if any other man did I would tear off his head with my bare hands and feed it to the cat"
The poets surround Blackadder with swords drawn.
LB " and I Lord Byron would summon up fifty of my men and lay siege to the fellows home and do bloody murder unto him"
Coleridge" and I would not rest until the criminal was hanging by his hair with an Oriental disembowelling cutlass up his ignoble behind"
B " I hope you're listening to all this Baldrick"



Byron...Steve Steen ( 1st left)
Coleridge...Jim Sweeney ( right)
Shelley...Lee Cornes ( background)

Helen Atkinson Wood is Mrs Miggins.
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Blackadder enters the Prince's chamber.
B " sir I have been unable to replace the dictionary. I am therefore leaving immediately for Nepal where I intend to live as a goat"
G " why?"
B "because if I stay here, Dr Johnson's companions will have me brutally murdered"
G " Good Lord! That's terrible Blackadder, do you know any other butlers?"
B " and of course when the people discover that you have burnt Dr Johnson 's dictionary they may go around saying, there's thick George he's got a brain the size of a weasel's wedding tackle"
G " well in that case something MUST be done"
Bd " I have a cunning plan sir"
G " hurrah, that's sorted then"
B " don't get over excited sir, I've a horrid suspicion that Baldrick's plan will be the stupidest thing we've heard since Lord Nelson's famous signal at the battle of the Nile. ' England knows Lady Hamilton is a virgin, poke my eye out and cut off my arm if I'm wrong"
G " let's hear it Baldrick"
Bd " you take the string, that's not completely burnt, scrape off the soot and put the pages back in"
B " which pages Baldrick?"
Bd " not the same ones obviously"
B " yes I think I'm on the point of spotting the flaw in this plan, but do go on, which pages ?"
Bd " this is the brilliant bit, you write some new ones"
B " some new ones? I rewrite the dictionary? I sit down tonight and rewrite the dictionary that took Dr Johnson ten years"
Bd " yep"
B " that is by far and away the worst and most contemptible plan in the history of the universe. On the other hand I hear the sound of disembowelling cutlasses being sharpened, and it's the only plan we've got. So if you'll excuse me gentlemen..."
 

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Blackadder sits at the writing desk and holding a quill starts.
G " perhaps you would like some help Blackadder, I'm not as stupid as I look"
Bd " I am as stupid as I look, but if I can help I will"
B " well it's very kind of you both but I fear your services might be as useful as a barber's shop on the steps of the guillotine"
G " oh go on Blackadder, give us a try"
B " very well sir, let's start at the beginning, first 'a', how would you define 'a'?"
G " I love this, quizzes, 'a' crickey, erm , oh I've got it, it doesn't really mean anything"
B ( sarcastically) " so we're well on our way, 'a' impersonal pronoun, doesn't really mean anything. Next 'ab' "
Bd " a bee , that's a buzzing thing"
B " no, I mean something starting with 'ab'
Bd " honey starts with a bee"
G " he's right, honey starts with a bee, and a flower too"
B " yes I'm afraid this isn't getting us anywhere, and besides I've left out aardvark"
G " oh well, can't say we didn't try"
B " no my Lord, it was a brave stab but I fear I shall have to proceed on my own. Baldrick go into the kitchen and make me something quick and simple to eat. Perhaps two slices of bread with something in between"
Bd " like Gerald, Lord Sandwich had the other day?"
B " yes, a few rounds of Geralds"
 

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Later that night Blackadder is in the study, surrounded by scrunched up bits of paper. Prince George and Baldrick enter in their nightwear.
G " how goes it Blackadder?"
B " not good sire"
G " let's have a look"
George starts reading from parchment.
G " medium sized insectivore with protruding nasal implement. Doesn't sound like a bee to me"
B " it's an aardvark sir, a bloody aardvark!"
G " oh dear, still on aardvark are we"
B " yes and if I ever see one I'm going to step on it's damn protruding nasal implement until it couldn't suck up an insect if its life depended on it"
G " got a bit stuck have you?"
B " I'm sorry sir, it's five hours later and I've got every word in the English language to do except 'a' and aardvark, and I'm not entirely happy with my definition of either"
G " well don't panic Blackadder I've got some good news"
B " really sir"
G " we didn't take no for an answer and have been working all night. I've done 'b' "
B " really sir, how's it gone?"
G " I had a bit of trouble with belching but I think I've got it sorted now, ( belches) oh no! There I go again, hahaha"
B " you've been working on that joke for some time haven't you sir?"
G " well, yes"
B " since you started"
G " basically"
B " so you've done no work at all"
G " not as such"
B " Baldrick what have you done ?"
Bd " c and d"
B " let's hear it then"
Bd " big blue wobbly thing that mermaids live in"
B " what's that?"
Bd " sea"
B " slight misunderstanding, still my hopes weren't high, what about 'd' "
Bd " I'm pleased with dog"
B " and your definition of dog?"
Bd " not a cat"
Blackadder stands,
B " your highness may I have a word?"
G " certainly"
B " as you know sir, it has always been my intention to stay in your service until you had a strapping son, and me likewise to take over the burden of my duties"
G " yes Blackadder and I thank you for it"
B " but I'm afraid sir there's been a change of plan. I'm off to the kitchen to hack my head off with a big knife"
G " oh come now Blackadder, it's only a book. Let's just damn the fellow , strip his britches from his backside and warm his heels to Putney Bridge, hurrah!"
B " my Lord these are not the days of Alfred the Great, you can't just lop off someone's head and blame it on the Vikings"
G " can't I by God!"
B " no"
G " alright then let's just get on with it, it's only a dictionary,no one has asked us to eat ten raw pigs for breakfast. We're British"
George leaves.
B " you're not , you're German. Get me some coffee Baldrick, if I fall asleep before morning we're doomed"
 

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Blackadder is slumped over the desk fast asleep. Baldrick rushes in to wake him.
Bd " Mr Blackadder time to wake up"
B ( waking) " ah , what time is it?"
Bd " Monday morning"
B " oh my god I've overslept, where's the quill the parchment?"
Bd " maybe Dr Johnson brought some with him, he's outside"
B " what!"
Dr Johnson enters, as Blackadder screams.
J " are you ill sir?"
B " no you can't have it , I know I said Monday morning but I want Baldrick to read it, which unfortunately means teaching him to read, which will take about ten years. But time well spent because it's such a good dictionary"
J " I don't think so"
B " oh no we've been burgled....what did you say!?"
J " I think it's an awful dictionary, full of feeble definitions and ridiculous verbiage. I've come to ask you to chuck the damn thing on the fire"
B " Dr Johnson, I love you, and want to have your babies"
A woman suddenly appears behind Dr Johnson.
B " aunt Margery ? You're dead!"
Baldrick now has a head of an Alsatian dog.
B " Baldrick who gave you permission to turn into an Alsatian?. Oh no!! It's a bloody dream! Dr Johnson doesn't want us to burn his book at all"
Dr Johnson, Baldrick with Alsatian head, and Aunt Margery all pirouette ballet style out of the room.
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Blackadder is slumped across the desk, fast asleep, Baldrick wakes him up.
Bd " time to wake up Mr Blackadder"
B " ah, what time is it?"
Bd " Monday morning"
B " oh my god I've overslept. Where's the quill, the parchment"
Bd " maybe Dr Johnson brought some, he's outside"
B " what!.....hang on, if we go on you'll turn into an Alsatian"
Bd " eh?!"
Loud voices are heard outside, this is no dream.
B " quick Baldrick we've got to escape"
Johnson and the poets are standing outside in the hallway.
Shelley" sir, bring the dictionary out at once"
Byron " bring it out sir or in my passion I shall kill everyone by giving them syphilis"
Coleridge" bring it out and any opium plants you have"
Johnson" sir bring it out or we shall break the door down"
Blackadder emerges with Baldrick.
B " good morning Dr Johnson, Lord Byron"
J " my dictionary?"
B " what dictionary is this sir?"
J " the one that took me eighteen hours of every day for ten years ....my mother died, I hardly noticed...my father cut off his own head and fried it in garlic in the hope of attracting my attention...I scarcely looked up from my work. My wife brought armies of lovers to our house, who worked in droves so that she might raise a huge family of bastards..I cared not"
B " I take it my bluff hasn't worked"
J " DICTIONARY!!"
B " now don't get cross Dr Johnson, don't over react, truth is we burnt it"
J " then you die"
Suddenly George comes out of his chamber, holding the dictionary manuscript!
G " good morning everyone, you know this dictionary is a cracking good read an absolutely splendid job. I look forward to patronizing it enormously"
J ( to Blackadder)" you said you burnt it
( to George) thank you sir, well I think I'm man enough to sacrifice the pleasure of killing to maintain the good humour. ( to poets) they'll be no killing today. ( the poets groan) retire to Mrs Miggins I shall meet you there."
The poets leave.
J " tell me your highness what words interested you?"
G " er nothing really...anything"
Johnson takes the manuscript.
J " I see you've underlined a few words. Lets see.....bottom...burp.....bloomers....fart..fiddle..fornicate..sir I hope you're not using the first English dictionary to look up rude words"
B " I wouldn't be too hopeful, that's all the other ones will be used for"
J " now then, we have more important business at hand. I refer to the work of the mysterious Gertrude Perkins"
B " mysterious no longer, I can reveal the identity of Gertrude Perkins"
J " who is she sir?"
B " she sir, is me sir, I am Gertrude Perkins"
G " good lord Blackadder"
B " and what's more I can prove it. Bring out the manuscript and I will show you my signature corresponds exactly to the front."
J " why in my haste I must have left it here when I left the dictionary"
G " this is terribly exciting"
B " Baldrick fetch my novel"
Bd " your novel?"
B " yes the big papery thing tied up with string"
Bd " like the thing we burnt"
B " exactly like the thing we burnt"
Bd " so you're asking for the big papery thing exactly like the thing we burnt"
B " exactly"
Bd " we burnt it!"
B " so we did, seven years of my life gone up in smoke. Excuse me your highness"
G " certainly"
Blackadder leaves the room.
B's voice " OH MY GOD NO!!"
Blackadder calmly re enters.
B " thank you sir"
J " burnt you say...a burnt novel is like burnt dog....."
B " oh shut up"
Bd " I have a novel sir"
Baldrick hands Dr Johnson his scrap of paper.
J ( reading) " once upon a time there was a lovely little sausage called Baldrick ... SAUSAGE SAUSAGE!! DAMN YOU ALL "
Johnson storms out leaving his dictionary.
Bd " I didn't think it was that bad"
B( looking through dictionary) " I think you'll find he left sausage out of his dictionary.....oh and aardvark"
G " never mind Blackadder it's not all bad, nothing a roaring fire can't solve. Baldrick do the honours"
Bd " certainly your majesty"
George and Blackadder leave the room, Baldrick takes the dictionary, and throws it on the fire!
The End
 
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