M: Mrs. Miggins
At Mrs. Miggins’ home
E: Well, Mrs. Miggins, at last we can return to sanity. The hustings are over, the bunting is down, the mad hysteria is at an end. After the chaos of a general election, we can return to normal.
M: Oh, has there been a general election, then, Mr. Blackadder?
E: Indeed, there has, Mrs. Miggins.
M: Oh, well, I never heard about it.
E: Well of course you didn’t — you’re not eligible to vote.
M: Well, why not?
E: Because virtually no one is: women, peasants, (looks at Baldrick) chimpanzees (Baldrick looks behind himself, trying to see the animal), lunatics, Lords…
B: That’s not true — Lord Nelson’s got a vote!
E: He’s got a *boat*, Baldrick. Marvellous thing, democracy. Look at Manchester; population 60,000, electoral role, 3.
M: Well, I may have the brain the size of a saltana(sp?)…
M: …but it hardly seems fair to me.
E: Of course it’s not fair — and a damn good thing too. Give the like of Baldrick the vote and we’ll be back to cavorting druids, death by stoning, and dung for dinner.
B: Oh, I’m having dung for dinner tonight.
M: So, who are they electing when they have these elections?
E: Ah, the same old (?): fat tory landowners who get made MPs when they reach a certain weight, raving revolutionaries who think that just because they do a day’s work that somehow gives them the right to get paid… Basically, it’s a right old mess. Toffs at the top, plebs at the bottom, and me in the middle making a fat pile of cash out of both of them.
M: Oh, you’d better watch out, Mr. Blackadder — things are bound to change.
E: Not while Pitt the Elder’s Prime Minister, they aren’t. He’s about as effective as a catflap in an elephant house. As long as his feet are warm and he gets a nice cup of milky tea in the sun before his morning nap, he doesn’t bother anyone until his potty needs emptying.
In the House of Commons (occasionally, sheep are heard in the background)
(a voice, the Speaker)
S: Honourable members of the House of Commons, I call upon the new Prime Minister of Great Britain and Her Empires: Mr. William Pitt, the Younger.
P: Mr. Speaker, members of the House, I shall be brief, as I have, rather unfortunately, become Prime Minister right in the middle of my exams. I look forward to fulfilling my duty, in a manner of which Nanny would be proud. I shall introduce legislation to utterly destory three enemies of the State: the first is that evil dictator, Napoleon Bonaparte.
(Members shout `Here here!!’ Pitt continues.)
P: The second is my old Geography master, (Benonabreast Switchanks?). But most of all, sirs, I intend to pursue that utter slob, The Prince of Wales! Why, this year alone, he has spent 15,000 pounds on banqueting (shouts of `boo! boo!’), 20,000 pounds on perfume (members all hold their noses), and — most astonishing of all — an astonishing 59,000 pounds on socks! Therefore, my three main policy priorities are: 1) War with France; 2) Tougher sentences for geography teachers; and 3) A right royal kick of the Prince’s backside!!
(all members shout affirmatively)
P: I now put upon the leader of the Opposition to test me on my Latin vocab.
At Prince’s House
E: Sir, if I may make so bold, a major crisis has arisen in your affairs.
G: Yes, I know, Blackadder — I’ve been pondering it all morning.
E: You have, sir?
G: Yes — socks! Run out again!! Why is it that no matter how many millions of pairs of socks I buy, I never seem to have any?
E: Sir, with your forgiveness, there is another, even weightier, problem.
G: They just…disappear! Honestly, you’d think someone was coming in here, stealing the damn things and then selling them off.
E: (laughs) Impossible, sir. Only you and I have access to your socks.
G: Yes, yes, you’re right. Still; for me, socks are like sex: tons of it about, and I never seem to get any.
E: Now; if I may return to this very urgent matter… I read fearful news in this morning’s paper.
G: Oh no… Not another little cat caught up in a tree…
E: No, sir. There’s a vote afoot in the new Parliament to strike you from the Civil List.
G: Oh, yes, yes, yes, but what are they going to do about my socks!
E: Sir, if this bill goes through, you won’t have any socks…
G: Well, I haven’t got any socks at the moment!
E: …or trousers, shirts, waistcoats, or pantaloons. They’re going to bankrupt you.
G: Well, they can’t do that. Why, the public love me! Only the other day, I was out in the street and they sang, `We hail Prince George! We hail Prince George!’
E: `We *hate* Prince George’, sir. `We *hate* Prince George!’
G: Was it?
E: I fear so, sir. However, all is not lost. Fortunately, the numbers in the Commons are exactly equal. If we can get one more MP to support us, then you’re safe.
G: Well, hurrah! Any ideas?
E: Well, yes, sir, there is one man who might be the ace up our sleeve. A rather crusty, loudmouthed ace named Sir Talbot Buxomly.
G: Never heard of him.
E: That’s hardly surprising, sir. Sir Talbot has the worst attendence record of any member of Parliament. On the one occasion he did enter the House of Commons, he passed water in the Great Hall, and then passed out in the Speaker’s Chair. But if we can get him to support us, then we are safe.
G: Well, what’s he like?
E: Well, according to `Who’s Who’, his interests include flogging servants, shooting poor people, and the extension of slavery to anyone who hasn’t got a knighthood.
G: Excellent! Sensible policies for a happier Britain!
E: However, if we are to get him to support us, he will need some sort of incentive.
G: Hmm. Anything in mind?
E: Well, you could appoint him a High Court judge.
G: Is he qualified?
E: He’s a violent, bigoted, mindless old fool.
G: Sounds a bit overqualified… Well, send him here at once!
E: Certainly, sir. I will return before you can say `antidisestablishment-arianism’.
G: Well, I wouldn’t be too sure about that! `Antidistibblincemin…’ `Antimistilinstid…’ `Antistits…’
(Caption: Two Days Later)
E: (returns with Buxomly, who staggers) Your Highness: Sir Talbot Buxomly, MP.
G: Ah, Buxomly! Roaringly splendid to have you here. How are you, sir?
T: (Heartily?) well, Your Highness. I dined hugely off of servants before I come into town.
G: Um, you eat your servants?
T: No, sir — I eat *off* them. Why should I spend good money on tables when I have men standing idle?
G: Why, indeed! Now; I dare say you’ve heard of Mr. Pitt’s intentions…
T: Young scalliwag!
G: Ah, so you don’t approve of his plans to abolish me, then.
T: I do not, sir. Damn his eyes! Damn his britches! Damn his duck pond!
G: Well, hurrah for that!
T: I cannot (adjudge?) that you are the son of a certified sauerkraut-sucking loon!
G: Ah, thank you, sir.
T: It minds not me that you dress like a mad parrot and talk like a plate of beans negotiating their way out of a cow’s digestive system. It is no skin off my rosy nose that there are bits of lemon peel floating down the Thames that would make better Regents than you.
G: Well, bravo!
T: The fact is, you *are* Regent…
G: Yes, I am…
T: …appointed by God, and I shall stick by you forever, though infirmity lay me waste and ill health curse my every waking moment. (falls into the chair)
G: Ah, good on you, sir. And don’t talk to me about infirmity. Why, sir, you are the hardy stock that is the core of Britain’s greatness. You have the physique of a demigod. Purple of cheek, and plump of (fatlock?), the shapely ankle and the well-filled trouser that tells of a human body in perfect working order.
E: (who has found T’s stillness rather odd and is checking for a pulse) He’s dead, sir.
E: Yes, Your Highness.
G: Oh, what bad luck — we were rather getting on…
E: We must move at once.
G: In which direction?
E: Sir Talbot represented the constituency of (Dunny-on-the-World?), and, by an extraordinary stroke of luck, it is a rotten borough.
G: Really! Is it! Well, lucky-lucky us. Lucky-lucky-luck. (as a chicken) Luck-luck-LAKK-LAKK-LAKK-LAKK-cluck-cluck-cluck-cluck-cluck-LAKK-LAKK-LAKK.
E: …You don’t know what a rotten borough is, do you, sir?
E: So what was the chicken impression in aid of?
G: Well, I just didn’t want to hurt your feelings. Erm, so, what is a rubber
E: *Rotten borough*.
G: Oh, yes, you’re right.
E: A rotten borough, sir, is a constituency where the owner of the land corruptly controls the both the voters and the MP.
G: Good, yes…and a rubber button is…?
E: Could we leave that for a moment? Dunny-on-the-World is a tuppenny-
ha’penny place. Half an acre of sodden marshland in the Suffolk Fens with an empty town hall on it. Population: three rather mangy cows, a dachshund named `Colin’, and a small hen in its late forties.
G: So, no people at all, then? apart from Colin…
E: Colin is a dog, sir.
G: Well, yes, yes, yes…
E: Only one actual person lives there, and he is the voter.
G: Well, right! So, what’s the plan?
E: We must buy Dunny-on-the-World at once and thus control the voter. I shall need a thousand pounds.
G: A thousand pounds? I thought you said it was a…`tuppenny ha’penny’ place.
E: Well, yes, sir, the land will cost tuppence-ha’penny, but there are many other factors to be considered: stamp duty, window tax, swamp insurance, hen food, dog biscuits, cow (ointment?) — the expenses are endless.
G: Fine. Well, the money’s in my desk.
E: No, sir — it’s in my wallet.
G: Oh, splendid! No time to lose, eh?
E: My thoughts presicely, sir. The only question is who to choose as MP.
G: Yeah, tricky.
E: What we need is an utter unknown yet someone over whom we have complete power. A man with no mind, with no ideas of his own. One might almost say a man with no brain. (he rings the servant bell)
G: Well…any thoughts?
E: Yes, Your Highness. (Enter Baldrick)
B: You rang, My Lord?
E: (to George) Meet the new member of Parliament for Dunny-on-the-World.
G: But he’s an absolute arsehead!
E: Precisely, sir. Our slogan shall be: "A rotten candidate for a rotten borough." Baldrick, I want you to go back to your kitchen sink, you see, and prepare for government.
At Baldrick’s/Blackadder’s Quarters
E: Right. Now all we have to do is fill in this MP application form. Name:
(with Baldrick) `Baldrick’. First name…?
B: Er, I’m not sure.
E: Well, you must have some idea…
B: Well, it might be `Sod off’.
B: Well, when I used to play in the gutter, I used to say to the other snipes, "Hello, my name’s Baldrick," and they’d say, "Yes, we know.
Sod off, Baldrick."
E: All right, right right right right, `Mr. S. Baldrick’. Now; distinguishing features… `None’.
B: Well, I’ve got this big growth in the middle of my face.
E: That’s your nose, Baldrick. Now any history of insanity in the family?
Tell you what, I’ll cross out the `in’. Any history of *sanity* in the
family? `None whatsoever’. Now then; criminal record…
B: Absolutely not.
E: Oh, come on, Baldrick, you’re going to be an MP, for God’s sake! I’ll just
put `fraud and sexual deviancy’. Now; minimum bribe level…
B: One turnip. Oh, hang on, I don’t want to price myself out of the market.
E: Baldrick, I’ve always been meaning to ask: Do you have any ambitions in life apart from the aquisition of turnips?
B: Er, no.
E: So what would you do if I gave you a thousand pounds?
B: I’d get a little turnip of my own.
E: So what would you do if I gave you a million pounds?
B: Oh, that’s different. I’d get a great big turnip in the country.
(someone knocks at the door)
E: Oh God, I’ll get that. Here (pushes paper to Baldrick), sign here.
(motions where with his hand; Baldrick marks an `X’ on Edmund’s palm; Edmund presses his palm against the application.)
At Prince’s House
E: Your Highness: Pitt the Younger.
G: Why, hello there, young sabre, m’lad! I say, here’s one: I’ve a shiny
sixpence here and for the clever fellow who could tell me which hand it’s in.
(Pitt just stares.)
G: Hmm? Oh, school, school! On half hols, is it? Yeah, I bet you can’t wait to get back and get that bat in your hand and give those balls a good walloping, eh?
E: Mr. Pitt is the Prime Minister, sir.
G: Oh, go on! Is he? What, young Snotty here?
P: I’d rather have a runny nose than a runny brain.
E: Umm, excuse me, Prime Minister, but we do have some lovely jelly in the pantry, I don’t know if you’d be interested at all…?
P: Don’t patronise me, you lower middle class yobbo! (aside) What flavour is it?
G: I say, Blackadder, are you sure this is the PM? Seems like a bit of an oily tick, to me. When I was at school, we used to line up four or five of his sort, make them bend over, and use them as a toastrack.
P: You don’t surprise me, sir — I know your sort. Once, it was I who stood in the big, cold schoolroom, a hot crumpet burning my cheeks with shame. Since that day, I have been busy, every hour God sends, working to become Prime Minister and fight sloth and privilege wherever I found it.
E: I trust you weren’t too busy to remove the crumpet…
P: You will regret this, gentlemen. You think you can thwart my plans to bank-rupt the Prince by fixing the Dunny-on-the-World bye-election, but you will be thrashed! I intend to put up my own brother as a candidate against you.
E: Oh, and which Pitt would this be? Pitt the Toddler? Pitt the Embryo? Pitt the Glint in the Milkman’s Eye?
P: Sirs, as I said to Chancellor (Messenec?) at the Congress of Strasbourg: `Pooh to you with nobs on!’ We shall meet, sirs, on the hustings. (exits)
G: I say, Blackadder, what a ghastly (squit?)! He’s not going to win, is he?
E: No, sir, because, firstly, we shall fight this campaign on issues, not personalities. Secondly, we shall be the only fresh thing on the menu. And thirdly, of course, we’ll cheat.
At the Election Polls
(announcer, Vincent Hanna, speaks)
H: Good evening and welcome to the Dunny-on-the-World bye-election. The first
thing I must tell you is that the turnout has been very good. As a matter
of fact, the voter turned out before breakfast. And I can bring you the result of our exculsive exit poll, which produced a 100-percent result for `Mind-Your-Own-Business-You-Nosy-Bastard’.
(a voice shouts out): Mr. Hanna, are you going to talk to any of the candidates?
H: I certainly am, and I can see Prince George, who is leader of what has become known as the `Adder Party’. Prince George, who is described in his party news sheet as a "great moral and spiritual leader of the nation," but is described by almost everyone else as a "fat, flatulent git." (to George)
Prince George, hello.
G: (holding a dachshund) Good evening.
H: …and good evening, Colin. Er, how do you see your prospects in this campaign?
G: Well, er, first, I’d like a word about the disgraceful circumstances in which this election arose. We paid for this seat, and I think it’s a damn liberty that we should have to stand for it as well. And another thing, why is it that no matter how many pairs of socks a man buys, he never seems to have enough? (leaves)
H: (Fitting?) words from the Prince Regent. And now let’s have a word from the Adder Party candidate, Mr. S. Baldrick, who so far has not (Baldrick enters with a turnip in his mouth, the leaves sticking out) commented on his policies in this campaign; but with him is his election agent, Mr. E. Blackadder.
E: Well, we in the Adder Party are going to fight this campaign on issues, not personalities.
H: Why is that?
E: Because our candidate doesn’t *have* a personality.
H: He doesn’t say much about the issues, either.
E: No — he’s got something wrong with his throat.
H: Well, perhaps he could answer one question: What does the `S’ in his name stand for?
E: `Sod off’. (leaves)
H: Fair enough, er, none of my business, really. And now it’s time, I think,
for a result, and tension is running very high here. Mr. Blackadder assures me that this will be the first honest vote ever in a rotten borough. And I think we all hope for a result which reflects the real needs of the constituency. And behind me…yes, I can just see the Returning Officer moving to the front of the platform.
E: As the Acting Returning Officer of Dunny-on-the-World…
H: (cuts in) Er, the acting Returning Officer, Mr. E. Blackadder, of course. And we’re all very grateful, indeed, that he stepped in at the last minute, when the previous Returning Officer accidently brutally stabbed himself in the stomach while shaving.
E: I now announce the number of votes cast as follows: Brigadier General Horace Bolsom…
H: (cuts) Cheap-Royalty-White-Rat-Catching-And-Safe-Sewage-Residents
E: No votes.
(Bolsom pushes his way off platform)
E: Ivor Jest-ye-not-madam Biggun…
H: (cuts) Standing-At-The-Back-Dressed-Stupidly-And-Looking-Stupid Party…
E: No votes.
(Ivor laughs, plays a bazooka (kazoo) in E’s ear, laughs more and waves)
E: Pitt, the Even Younger…
H: (cuts) Whig…
E: No votes.
H: Oh, there’s a shock.
(Pitt the Even Younger turns to his mum and cries)
E: Mr. S. Baldrick…
H: (cuts) Adder Party…
E: Sixteen thousand, four hundred, and seventy-two.
(Cheers are heard.)
H: And there you have it: victory for the Adder Party; a sensational swing against the Whigs. I’ll just try to get a final word from some of the candidates as they come up from the stage. Master William Pitt the Even Younger, are you disappointed?
P (the Even Younger): (stomps on) Yes! I’m horrified! I smeared my opponent, bribed the press to be on my side, and threatened to torture the electorate if we lost. I fail to see what more a decent politician could have done.
H: Quite. Now; Ivor Biggun, no votes at all for the Standing-At-The-Back-Dressed-Stupidly-And-Looking-Stupid Party. Are you disappointed?
I: Ah, no, not really, no… I always say, "If you can’t laugh, what *can* you do?" Ha-ha-ha-ha (squirts Hanna with flower).
H: …take up politics, perhaps. Has your party got any policies?
I: Oh yes, certainly! We’re for the compulsory serving of asparagus at break-fast, free corsets for the under-fives, and the abolition of slavery.
H: Now; you see, many moderate people would respect your stand on asparagus, but what about this extremist nonsense about abolishing slavery?
I: Oh, we just put that in for a joke! See you next year!
H: And now, finally, a word with the man who is at the centre of this bi-election mystery: the voter himself. And his name is Mr. E. Bla–
Mr. Blackadder, *you* are the only voter in this rotten borough…?
E: Yes, that’s right.
H: How long have you lived in this constituency?
E: Since Wednesday morning. I took over the previous electorate when he, very sadly, accidently brutally cut his head off while combing his hair.
H: One voter; 16,472 votes. A slight anomaly…?
E: Not really, Mr. Hanna — you see, Baldrick may look like a monkey who’s been put in a suit and then strategically shaved, but he is a brillant politician. The number of votes I cast is simply a reflection of how firmly I believe in his policies.
H: Well, that’s excellent. Er, well, that’s all for me. Another great day for democracy in our country. Vincent Hanna, Country Gentleman’s Pig Fertilizer Gazette, Dunny-on-the-World.
At Baldrick/Blackadder’s Quarters
E: Your reprieve (puts something on table); it is a triumph for stupidity over common sense.
B: Thank you very much.
E: As a reward, Baldrick, take a short holiday… Did you enjoy it?
Right; on your way.
At House of Commons
(Baldrick is wearing a powdered wig, with his natural hair sticking out from beneath)
Speaker: Will the honourable Members please cast their votes, `aye’ or `nay’, for the striking of the Prince Regent off the Civil List.
B: (perplexed) Er, excuse me, excuse me (all others walk away to vote), er… EXCUSE ME!
P: (appears from behind Baldrick’s pew) Hello, chappie… You a new bug?
B: Yeah, I don’t know anyone here, and I support the Prince and I don’t know how to vote!
P: Well, we can soon change all of that, can’t we? Come along with me…
B: (naively) Oh, thanks.
At Prince’s House
(a knock at the door; Edmund opens it to find Pitt the Younger.)
E: Well, well, well, if it isn’t the Lord Privy Toastrack! Pull up a muffin; sit yourself down.
P: You don’t like me, do you, Mr. Blackadder?
E: Well, nobody likes a loser.
P: Oh, then that’s why nobody likes *you*.
E: (serious) What?
P: You lost the vote. Your monkey obligingly voted for us.
E: Oh God, no… If you want something done properly, kill Baldrick before you start…
P: You’re beaten, Oik! And you and your disgusting master have twenty-four hours to get out.
E: Twenty-four hours is a long time in politics. Good day.
P: There is just one thing before I go… (confidentially) I’ve got this sort of downy hair developing on my chest — is that normal? Also, I get so lonely and confused. I’ve written a poem about it; maybe you’ll under-stand. "Why do nice girls hate me? Why–
E: Get out, you nausating adolescent! (shoos him out the door) Piss off!
At Mrs. Miggins’ home
(Baldrick is tied to a spit, Mrs. Miggins turns it.)
E: How could I have been so stupid? Goodbye, Millionaire’s Row; Hello, Room 12 of the (Budley-Sortiton?) Twilight Rest Home for the Terminally Short of Cash!
M: …and to think you once dreamed you’d end up in the House of Lords.
M: The House of Lords.
E: Of course! I’d forgotten about the House of Lords! The Lords will never let the bill through. Every man-jack of them will be behind the Prince.
M: Oh, hurrah!
E: Right, take Baldrick off the spit.
E: I’ve got a plan so cunning you could put a tail on it and call it a weasel.
(Sometime later, in Prince’s House)
G: (looking through a telescope) Oi, tallyho, Blackadder! You look as happy as a man who thought a cat had done its business on his pie, but it turned out to be an extra big blackberry. Did our plan go well?
E: Excellently, sir. Order a thousand pairs of finest cotton socks, take out the drawings for that beach hut at Brighton…
E: There was, however, one slight — ahem — hiccup.
G: No… `cough’, I think you mean.
E: No, sir… `Hiccup’. The motion about your improverishment has now moved on to the House of Lords.
G: Oh, bravo! Well, no worry there, then. Every man-jack of them will be behind me.
E: Ah, would that were so, Your Highness — these are treacherous times.
G: Are they?
E: Yes. It might be wise to appoint a *new* Lord, to make sure the old Lords vote the right way.
G: (ponders) Good thought…new Lord…any idea who?
E: Well, sir, one name does leap to mind.
G: Does it?
E: Yes, sir.
G: You couldn’t make it leap any higher, could you?
E: A young man in your service, sir, who has done sterling work matching the political machinations of the evil Pitt.
G: Ah, of course! Blackadder, oh, how can I ever thank you enough?
E: And it might also be worth bribing a few Lords, just to make sure they vote the way their consciences tell them.
G: Oh, well, how many should we should bribe, do you think?
E: Oh, I think three hundred, to be sure…at a thousand pounds each.
G: Three hundred thousand pounds?
E: *Four* hundred thousand, I think you’ll find, sir.
(Prince tries to calculate this)
G: Yes, yes, you’re right. Well, thank God I’ve got you to advise me, Bladder. Just remind me, what do I have to do to appoint this Lord chappie?
E: Oh, it’s very simple, sir. You put on your robes of State, he puts on his, then you sign the Document of Ennoblement and dispatch him at once to the House of Lords.
G: Excellent! I shall change immediately. (leaves)
E: And so, sir, shall *I*.
At Baldrick/Blackadder’s Quarters
(Edmund comes in with his `Lords’ robe)
E: Voila, Mrs. Miggins. My robes of State. My thousand pounds well spent, I think.
M: Oooohhh, very nice, oooohhhhhh, it’s real cat, isn’t it?
E: This is not cat, Mrs. Miggins — this is finest, leather-trimmed ermine with gold medallion accessories.
M: Oh go on, Mr. Blackadder — it’s cat. Oooh, look, they’ve left the little collars on…
E: (reads a collar) `Mr. Frisky. If found, please return to Emma Hamilton,
Marine Parade, Portsmouth’? oh God! Ah, well, who cares about a dead cat now that I’m a fat cat…
M: Oooh, you’re full of yourself today, Mr. B!
E: …which is more than can be said for Mr. Frisky.
At the Prince’s House
(Prince has his Lord robe on)
E: My Lord…
G: My Lord*sz*.
E: I’m sorry, sir?
G: My Lord*sz*. There is more than one Lord in the vicinity.
E: Oh well, yes, I’m sorry…
G: Will you please welcome His Grace, The Lord Baldrick…
(enter Baldrick wearing `Lords’ robe and hat; Edmund is not at all happy.)
E: You made…Baldrick a Lord?
G: Well, yes. `One who has recently done sterling work, matching the political machinations of the evil Pitt’ — good ol’ Lord Baldrick.
B: It’s alright, Blackadder — you don’t have to curtsy or anything.
E: Sir, might I let loose a short, violent exclamation?
G: Well, why certainly.
E: **DAMN**!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Thank you, sir.
G: I say, that’s a bit of a strange get up you got there, isn’t it, Blackadder?
E: Yes, I’m just off to a fancy dress party — I’m going as Lady Hamilton’s pussy. There’s just one question, sir. About the four hundred thousand to influence the Lords…
G: Ah yes, I gave that to Lord Baldrick.
E: Aaaah! Sir, might I be permitted to take Lord Baldrick downstairs to give him some instruction on his Lordly duties?
G: I think that’s a splendid idea.
E: (to Baldrick) This way…My Lord… (As he walks behind Baldrick, he lifts his robe up on both ends, a la Dracula)
At Baldrick/Blackadder’s Quarters
(Edmund is holding Baldrick and thrusting his head against the table.
Sitting on the table is a three-foot wide turnip.)
E: Give me the bloody money, Baldrick, or you’re dead! (stops thumping)
B: `Give me the bloody money, Baldrick, or you’re dead, *My Lord*’!
E: (one more thump) Just do it, Baldrick! Otherwise, I shall further ennoble you by knighting you rather clumsily with this meat cleaver.
B: I haven’t got it.
B: I spent it.
E: You *spent* it? What could *you* possibly spend 400,000 pounds on?
(Baldrick slowly looks toward the turnip, smiling. Edmund finally notices it.)
E: Oh, no… Oh, God, don’t tell me…
B: My dream turnip…
E: Baldrick, how did you manage to find a turnip that cost 400,000 pounds?
B: Well, I had to haggle…
(Edmund takes the turnip and forces it down over Baldrick’s head)
E: This is the worst moment of my entire life. I spent my last penny on a catskin windcheater, and I’ve just broken a priceless turnip.
(There’s a knock at the door, and some non-English shouting from behind it)
E: …and now I’m about to be viciously slaughtered by a naked Tunisian sock merchant! And all I can say, Baldrick, is this: it’s the last time I dabble in politics!
(Baldrick shrugs; end credits begin)
(C) BBC MCMLXXXIII