The tragedy of Macliffe

Posted: October 3, 2014 by daphna in Labour Party NZ, New Zealand politics
Tags: ,

by Don Franksmacliffe

(excerpt)

SCENE V. Doer upper in Herne Bay

Enter LADY MACLIFFE, reading a text

LADY MACLIFFE:
“Just talked to two members of the caucus: and I have
learned by the perfectest report, they have more in
them than mortal knowledge. When I burned in desire
to question them further, they made themselves air,
into which they vanished. Whiles I stood rapt in
the wonder of it, came missives from the membership, who
all-hailed me “Future Prime Minister’ with ‘Hail, PM that
shalt be!’ This have I thought good to deliver
thee, my dearest partner of greatness, that thou
mightst not lose the dues of rejoicing, by being
ignorant of what greatness is promised thee. Lay it
to thy heart, and farewell.”

Labour leader thou art, and PM shalt be
What thou art promised: yet do I fear thy nature;
It is too full o’ the milk of human kindness
Hie thee hither,
That I may pour my tweets in thine ear;
And chastise with the valour of my tongue
All that impedes thee from the treasury benches.”

Enter MACLIFFE:
“We will proceed no further in this business:
Grant hath honour’d me of late; and I have bought
Golden opinions from all sorts of people,
Which would be worn now in their newest gloss,
Not cast aside so soon.”

LADY MACLIFFE:
“Art thou afeard
To be the same in thine own act and valour
As thou art in desire? Wouldst thou have that
Which thou esteem’st the ornament of life,
And live a coward in thine own esteem?”

MACLIFFE:
“Prithee, peace:
I dare do all that may become a man;
Who dares do more is none.”

LADY MACLIFFE:
“What beast was’t, then,
That made you break this enterprise to me?
When you durst do it, then you were a man;
And, to be more than what you were, you would
Be so much more the man!”

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