19 August, 2008

What news from the Olympiad, Wolsey?

The scene: The Clock Court, Hampton Court Palace (above).

King Henry and Cardinal Wolsey are in conversation.

H: What news from the Olympic Games, Wolsey?

CW (nervous): I am pleased to say we are in third place behind the Holy Roman Empire and France, Majesty....

H (angry): What are you pleased about? This is an insult to the English crown . Why have you not delivered the crushing victory you promised? (Henry throws the book he is carrying in Wolsey's general direction)

CW: Our contestants toiled mightily, but we were unable to secure the expected victory in a number of key disciplines, Majesty.

H: (slightly calmer) How so?

CW: In the Torture team event, we were ahead of the Spanish after the Thumbscrews, but they have trained hard on the Rack, and extracted their confession several minutes ahead of us.

H: We must practice more; see to it. What of the Joust?

CW: Our man was bribed by the French and fell off his horse.

H: And the Rowing?

CW: The cannon that you specified only served to slow down our craft, Majesty.

H: THIS IS COMPLETELY UNACCEPTABLE!. You must raise fresh benevolences from the nobility in order to build the finest training facilities in Europe. Find Thomas More and tell him to provide fresh heretics for Torture practice . Tell the contestants that I will double French bribes, and provide a barrel of ale for any winners. (He smiles) And losers will be drowned in the same barrel, ha ha!

CW: Yes of course, Majesty. Will you be attending the closing ceremony?

H: Are the maidens fair?

CW: Allegedly, Majesty.

H: Good. I must to prayers. But how is the design for the arms for the 1512 Games progressing, Wolsey?

CW: Most fair Majesty, does this design please you? The ladies in waiting finished sewing it this morning.

H: Not bad. But something a little more dynamic perhaps?

CW: I will see to it Majesty.

They leave...

Picture of Clock Court: Wikipedia Commons

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