The Beggar And The Kingby Winthrop Parkhurst
Format of Original Source: Play
Recommended Adaptation Length:
Candidate for Adaptation? Not Reviewed
THE KING. Fft! Thou commandest me! Thou, a beggar from the streets, commandest me, a king, to remove my crown from my forehead and throw it from yonder window into the street!
THE BEGGAR. That is what I said.
THE KING. Why, dost thou not know I can have thee slain for such words?
THE BEGGAR. No. Thou canst not have me slain. The spears of thy soldiers are as straws against my body.
THE KING. Ha! We shall see if they are. We shall see!
THE SERVANT. O king, it is indeed true. It is even as he has told thee.
THE BEGGAR. I have required thee to remove thy crown from thy forehead. If so be thou wilt throw it from yonder window into the street, my voice will cease to annoy thee any more. But if thou refuse, then thou wilt wish thou hadst never had any crown at all. For thy days will be filled with a terrible boding and thy nights will be full of horrors, even as a ship is full of rats.
THE KING. Why, this is insolence. This is treason!
THE BEGGAR. Wilt thou throw thy crown from yonder window?
THE KING. Why, this is high treason!
THE BEGGAR. I ask thee, wilt thou throw thy crown from yonder window?
THE SERVANT (aside to THE KING). Perhaps it were wise to humor him, O king. After thou hast thrown thy crown away I can go outside and bring it to thee again.
THE BEGGAR. Well? Well? (He points to the window.) Well?
THE KING. No! I will not throw my crown from that window–no, nor from any other window. What! Shall I obey the orders of a beggar? Never!
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