Blackadder s03e02 Episode Script

Ink and Incapability

Tweaks by XhmikosR Oh, Blackadder! Blackadder! - Your Highness.
- What time is it? Three o'clock in the afternoon, Your Highness.
Thank God for that, I thought I'd overslept.
I trust you had a pleasant evening, sir? Well, no, actually.
The most extraordinary thing happened.
Last night I was having a bit of a snack at the Naughty Hellfire Club, and some fellow said that I had the wit and sophistication of a donkey.
- An absurd suggestion, sir.
- You're right, it is absurd.
Unless, of course, it was a particularly stupid donkey.
If only I'd thought of saying that.
It is so 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.
" Only the other day, Prime Minister Pitt called me an idle scrounger, and it wasn't until ages later that I thought how clever it would've been to have said, "Oh, bugger off, you old fart!" I need to improve my mind, Blackadder.
I want people to say, "That George, why, he's as clever as a stick in a bucket of pig swill.
" And how do you suggest this miracle is to be achieved, Your Highness? Easy, I shall become best friends with the cleverest man in England.
That renowned brainbox, Dr Samuel Johnson, has asked me to be patron of his new book.
And I intend to accept.
Would this be the long awaited dictionary, sir? Who cares about the title as long as there's plenty of juicy murders in it.
- I hear it's a masterpiece.
- No, sir, it is not.
It's the most pointless book since "How To Learn French" was translated into French.
You haven't got anything personal against Johnson, have you Blackadder? Good Lord, sir, not at all.
In fact, I had never heard of him until you mentioned him just now.
- But you do think he's a genius? - No, sir, I do not.
Unless, of course, the definition of "genius" in his ridiculous dictionary is "a fat dullard or wobblebottom; a pompous ass with sweaty dewflaps.
" Close shave there, then.
Lucky you warned me.
I was about to embrace this unholy arse to the royal bosom.
I'm delighted to have been instrumental in keeping your bosom free of arses.
Bravo! I don't want to waste my valuable time with wobblebottoms.
Fetch some tea, will you, Blackadder? Make it two cups, will you? That splendid brainbox Dr Johnson is coming round.
(BLACKADDER MAKES NOISE OF DISCONTENT) (BALDRICK): Something wrong, Mr B? Something's always wrong, Balders.
The fact that I'm not a millionaire aristocrat with the sexual capacity of a rutting rhino is a constant niggle.
But, today, something's even wronger.
That globulous fraud, Dr Johnson, is coming to tea.
I thought he was the cleverest man in England.
I'd bump into cleverer people at a lodge meeting of the Guild of Village Idiots.
That's not what you said when you sent him your navel.
Novel, Baldrick, not navel.
I sent him my novel.
Well, novel or navel, it sounds a bit like a bag of grapefruits to me.
The phrase, Baldrick, is "a case of sour grapes", and yes it bloody well is.
He might at least have written back, but no, nothing, not even a "Dear Gertrude Perkins, Thank you for your book.
Get stuffed.
Samuel Johnson.
" Gertrude Perkins? Yes, I gave myself a female pseudonym.
Everybody's doing it these days: Mrs Radcliffe, Jane Austen - Jane Austen's a man? - Of course.
A huge Yorkshireman with a beard like a rhododendron bush.
Quite a small one, then? Compared to Dorothy Wordsworth's, certainly.
James Boswell is the only real woman writing at the moment, and that's just because she wants to get inside Johnson's britches.
Perhaps your book really isn't any good.
It's taken me seven years, and it's perfect.
"Edmund: A Butler's Tale" A giant rollercoaster of a novel in four hundred sizzling chapters.
A searing indictment of domestic servitude in the 18th century, with some hot gypsies thrown in.
My magnum opus, Baldrick.
Everybody has one novel in them, and this is mine.
And this is mine.
My magnificent octopus.
- This is your novel, Baldrick? - Yeah, I can't stand long books.
"Once upon a time, there was a lovely little sausage called Baldrick, and it lived happily ever after.
" - It's semi autobiographical.
- And it's completely utterly awful.
Dr Johnson will probably love it.
(A BELL RINGS) Speak of the devil Well, I'd better go and make the great Doctor comfortable.
Let's just see how damned smart Dr Fatty-Know-It-All really is.
- And prepare a fire for the Prince.
- What shall I use? Any old rubbish will do.
Paper's quite good.
Here, try this for starters.
(KNOCKING ON DOOR) Enter! - Dr Johnson, Your Highness.
- Ah, Dr Johnson! Damn cold day! Indeed it is, sir, but a very fine one.
I celebrated last night the encyclopaedic implementation of my premeditated orchestration of demotic Anglo-Saxon.
Didn't catch any of that.
I simply observed, sir, that I'm felicitous, since, during the course of the penultimate solar sojourn, I terminated my uninterrupted categorisation of the vocabulary of our post-Norman tongue.
I don't know what you're talking about, but it sounds damn saucy, you lucky thing.
I know some liberal-minded girls, but I've never penultimated any of them in a solar sojourn, or been given any Norman tongue.
I believe, sir, that the Doctor is trying to tell you that he is happy because he has finished his book.
It has apparently taken him ten years.
Yes, well, I'm a slow reader myself.
Here it is, sir, the very cornerstone of English scholarship.
This book, sir, contains every word in our beloved language.
- Every single one, sir? - Every single word, sir! Well, in that case, sir, I hope you will not object if I also offer the Doctor my most enthusiastic contrafribblarities.
- What? - "Contrafribblarities", sir.
- It is a common word down our way.
- Damn! Oh, I'm sorry, sir.
I'm anaspeptic, phrasmotic, even compunctious to have caused you such pericombobulation.
What? What? What? What are you on about, Blackadder? This is all beginning to sound a bit like dago talk to me.
I'm sorry, sir.
I merely wished to congratulate the Doctor on not having left out a single word.
Shall I fetch the tea, Your Highness? Yes, yes.
And get that damned fire up here, will you? Certainly, sir.
I shall return interphrastically.
So, Dr Johnson.
Sit ye down.
This book of yours, tell me, what's it all about? It is a book about the English language, sir.
I see.
And the hero's name is what? - There is no hero, sir.
- No hero? Well, lucky I reminded you.
Better put one in pronto! Call him George.
George is a good name for a hero.
Now, what about heroines? There is no heroine, sir, unless it is our Mother Tongue.
Ah, the mother's the heroine.
Nice twist.
How far have we got, then? Old Mother Tongue is in love with George the Hero.
What about murders? Mother Tongue doesn't get murdered, does she? No she doesn't.
No one gets murdered, or married, or in a tricky situation over a pound note.
Well, now, look, Dr Johnson, I may be as thick as a whale omelette, but even I know a book's got to have a plot.
Not this one, sir.
It is a book that tells you what English words mean.
I know what English words mean, I speak English! You must be a bit of a thicko.
Perhaps you would rather not be patron of my book if you can see no value in it whatsoever, sir! Perhaps so, sir! As it sounds to me as if my being patron of this complete cowpat of a book will set the seal once and for all on my reputation as an utter turnip head.
Well, it is a reputation well deserved, sir! Farewell! Leaving already, Doctor? Not staying for your pendigestatery interludicule? - No, sir! Show me out! - Certainly, sir.
Anything I can do to facilitate your velocitous extramuralisation.
You will regret this doubly, sir.
Not only have you impecuniated my dictionary, but you've also lost the chance to act as patron to the only book in the world that is even better.
Oh, and what is that, sir? "Dictionary II: The Return of the Killer Dictionary"? No, sir! It is "Edmund: A Butler's Tale" by Gertrude Perkins.
A huge rollercoaster of a novel crammed with sizzling gypsies.
Had you supported it, sir, it would have made you and me and Gertrude millionaires.
Millionaires! But it was not to be, sir.
I fare you well; I shall not return.
Excuse me, sir.
Dr Johnson A word, I beg you.
A word with you can mean seven million syllables.
You might not be finished by bedtime! Oh, blast my eyes! In my fury, I have left my dictionary with your foolish master.
Go fetch it, will you? Sir, the Prince is young and foolish.
And has a peanut for a brain.
Give me just a few minutes and I will deliver both the book - and his patronage.
- Oh, will you, sir? I very much doubt it.
A servant who is an influence for the good is like a dog who speaks: very rare.
- I think I can change his mind.
- Well, I doubt it, sir.
A man who can change a prince's mind is like a dog who speaks Norwegian: even rarer.
I shall be at Mrs Miggins' Literary Salon in twenty minutes.
Bring the book there.
Your Highness, may I offer my congratulations? Well, thanks, Blackadder.
That pompous baboon won't be back in a hurry.
On the contrary, sir.
Dr Johnson left in the highest of spirits.
He is utterly thrilled at your promise to patronise his dictionary.
I told him to sod off, didn't I? Yes, sir, but that was a joke.
Was it? Certainly! And a brilliant one what's more.
Yes, yes! I suppose it was, rather, wasn't it? So may I deliver your note of patronage to Dr Johnson, as promised? If that's what I promised, then that's what I must do and I remember promising it distinctly.
- Excellent.
Nice fire, Baldrick.
- Thank you, Mr B.
Let's get the book.
Now, Baldrick, where's the manuscript? The big papery thing tied up with string? Yes, the manuscript belonging to Dr Johnson.
You mean the baity fellow in the black coat who just left? Yes, Baldrick, Dr Johnson.
So you're asking where the big papery thing tied up with string, belonging to the baity fellow in the black coat, who just left, is.
Yes, Baldrick, I am, and if you don't answer, then the booted bony thing with five toes on the end of my leg will soon connect sharply with the soft dangly collection of objects in your trousers.
For the last time, Baldrick: Where is Dr Johnson's manuscript? - On the fire.
- On the what? The hot orangy thing under the stony mantlepiece.
- You've burnt the dictionary? - Yup.
You've burnt the life's work of England's foremost man of letters? Well, you did say "burn any old rubbish.
" Yes, fine.
Isn't it going to be a bit difficult for me to patronise this book if we've burnt it? Yes, it is.
If you would excuse me a moment.
Of course.
Now that I've got my lovely fire, I'm as happy as a Frenchman who's invented a pair of self-removing trousers.
Baldrick, will you join me in the vestibule? We are going to go to Mrs Miggins', we're going to find out where Dr Johnson keeps a copy of that dictionary, and then, you are going to steal it.
- Me? - Yes, you.
- Why me? - Because you burnt it, Baldrick.
But then I'll go to Hell forever for stealing.
Baldrick, believe me, eternity in the company of Beelzebub and all his hellish instruments of death will be a picnic compared to five minutes with me and this pencil if we can't replace this dictionary.
Now come on.
O, love lorn ecstasy that is, Mrs Miggins, wilt thou bring me but one cup of the browned juicings of that naughty bean we call "coffee" ere I die.
You do have a way of words with you, Mr Shelley.
To Hell with this fine talking.
Coffee, woman! My consumption grows evermore acute, and Coleridge's drugs are wearing off.
Oh, Mr Byron, don't be such a big girl's blouse.
- Don't forget the pencil, Baldrick.
- Oh, I certainly won't, sir.
Ah, good day to you, Mrs Miggins.
A cup of your best hot water with brown grit in it, unless by some miracle your coffee shop has started selling coffee.
Be quiet, sir.
Can't you see we're dying? Don't you worry about my poets, Mr Blackadder.
They're not dead, they're just being intellectual.
Mrs Miggins, there's nothing intellectual about wandering around Italy in a big shirt, trying to get laid.
Why are they here of all places? We are here to pay homage to the good Dr Johnson.
- As, sir, should you.
- Well, absolutely.
I intend to.
You wouldn't happen to have a copy of his dictionary on you, so I can do some revising before he gets here? Friends, I have returned.
So, sir, how was the Prince? The Prince was and is an utter fool, and his household filled with cretinous servants.
- Good afternoon, sir.
- And you are the worst of them, sir.
After all your boasting, have you my dictionary and my patronage? Not quite.
The Prince begs just a few more hours to really get to grips with it.
Bah! However, I was wondering if a lowly servant such as I might be permitted to glance at a copy.
Copy? There is no copy, sir.
- No copy? - No, sir.
Making a copy is like fitting wheels to a tomato, time consuming and completely unnecessary.
(POETS LAUGH) But what if the book got lost? I should not lose the book, sir.
And if any other man should, I would tear off his head with my bare hands and feed it to the cat! Well, that's nice and clear.
And I, Lord Byron, would summon up fifty of my men, lay siege to the fellow's house and do bloody murder on him.
And I would not rest until the criminal was hanging by his hair, with an Oriental disembowelling cutlass thrust up his ignoble behind.
I hope you're listening to all this, Baldrick.
Sir, I have been unable to replace the dictionary.
I am therefore leaving immediately for Nepal, where I intend to live as a goat.
Why? Because if I stay here, Dr Johnson's companions will have me brutally murdered, sir.
Good God, Blackadder, that's terrible! Do you know any other butlers? And, of course, when the people discover that you have burnt Dr Johnsons's dictionary, they may go round saying, "Look! There's thick George.
He's got a brain the size of a weasel's wedding tackle.
" Well, in that case, something must be done! I have a cunning plan, sir.
Hurrah! Well, that's that, then.
I wouldn't get overexcited, sir.
I have 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.
" Great! Let's hear it, then.
It's brilliant.
You take the string-- that's still not completely burnt-- you scrape off the soot, and you shove the pages in again.
- Which pages? - Well, not the same ones, of course.
I think I'm on the point of spotting the flaw in this plan, but do go on.
- Which pages are they? - Well, this is the brilliant bit.
You write some new ones.
Some new ones? You mean rewrite the dictionary? I sit down tonight and rewrite the dictionary that took Dr Johnson ten years.
Baldrick, that is by far and away, and without a shadow of doubt, the worst and most comtemptible 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 will excuse me, gentlemen.
Perhaps you'd like me to lend a hand, Blackadder.
I'm not as stupid as I look.
I am as stupid as I look, sir.
- But if I can help, I will.
- It's very kind of you both.
But I fear your services might be as useful as a barber shop on the steps of the guillotine.
Oh, come on, Blackadder, give us a try! Very well, sir, as you wish.
Let's start at the beginning, shall we? First "A".
How would you define "A"? Oh, I love this! I love this, quizzes Hang on, it's coming.
- "A", oh, crikey, erm - "A" - Yes, I've got it! - What? Well, it doesn't really mean anything, does it? Good.
So we're well on the way, then.
"A - impersonal pronoun, doesn't really mean anything.
" Right! Next - "ab" "ab" Well, it's a buzzing thing, innit? "A buzzing thing.
" Baldrick, I mean something that starts with "Ab".
Honey? Honey starts with a bee.
He's right, you know, Blackadder.
Honey does start with a bee, and a flower, too.
Yes, look, this really isn't getting anywhere.
And besides, I've left out "aardvark".
Don't say we didn't give it a try.
No, Your Highness, it was a brave start.
But I fear I must proceed on my own.
Baldrick, go to the kitchen and make me something quick and simple to eat.
Two slices of bread with something in between.
Like Gerald, Lord Sandwich, had the other day? Yes, a few rounds of Geralds.
- How goes it, Blackadder? - Not all that well, sir.
Well, let's have a look.
"Medium-sized insectivore with protruding nasal implement.
" Doesn't sound much like a bee to me.
It's an aardvark! It's a bloody aardvark! Oh dear, still on "aardvark", are we? Yes, I'm afraid we are.
And if I ever meet an aardvark, I'm going to step on its damn protruding nasal implement until it couldn't suck up an insect if its life depended on it.
Got a bit stuck, have you? I'm sorry, sir.
It's five hours later, and I've got every word in the English language, except "a" and "aardvark", still to do.
And I'm not very happy with my definition of either of them.
Well, don't panic, Blackadder, because I have some rather good news.
Oh? What? Well, we didn't take no for an answer, and have been working all night.
- I've done "B".
- Really? And how have you got on? Well, I had a bit of trouble with "belching", but I think I got it sorted out in the end.
(BURPS) Oh no, there I go again! (GEORGE LAUGHS) You've been working on that joke for some time, haven't you, sir? Yes, I have.
- Since you started - Basically.
So, in fact, you haven't done any work at all.
Not as such, no.
- Great.
Baldrick, what have you done? - I've done "C" and "D".
Right, let's have it, then.
"Big blue wobbly thing that mermaids live in.
" What's that? "Sea".
Yes, tiny misunderstanding.
Still, my hopes weren't high.
Now, what about "D"? I'm quite pleased with "dog".
Yes, and your definition of "dog" is? "Not a cat.
" Excellent.
Excellent! - Your Highness, may I have a word? - Certainly.
As you know, sir, it's always been my intention to stay with you until you had a strapping son and I one likewise, to take over the burdens of my duties.
That's right, Blackadder, and I thank you for it.
I'm afraid that there's been a change of plan.
I am off to the kitchen to hack my head off with a big knife.
Oh, come on, Blackadder, it's only a book.
Let's just damn the fellow's eyes, strip the britches from his backside and warm his heels to Putney Bridge! Hurrah! Sir, you can't just lop someone's head off and blame it on the Vikings.
- Can't I, by God! - No.
Well, then let's just get on with it! I mean, boil my brains, it's only a dictionary.
No one's asked us to eat ten raw pigs for breakfast.
We're British, aren't we? You're not, you're German.
Get me some coffee, Baldrick.
If I fall asleep before Monday, we're doomed.
- Mr Blackadder, time to wake up.
- What time is it? Monday morning.
Monday morning?! Oh my God! I've overslept! Where's the quill? Where's the parchment? I don't know.
Maybe Dr Johnson's got some with him.
- What?! - He's outside.
- Are you ill, sir? - No, you can't have it.
I know I said Monday, but I want Baldrick to read it, which, unfortunately will mean teaching him to read, which will take about ten years, but time well spent, I think, because it's such a good dictionary.
- I don't think so.
- Oh God! We've been burgled! What? 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 in the fire.
Are you sure? I've never been more sure of anything in my life.
I love you, Dr Johnson, and I want to have your babies.
Excuse me, Dr Johnson, but my Auntie Marjorie has just arrived.
Baldrick, who gave you permission to turn into an Alsatian? Oh God, it's a dream, isn't it? It's a bloody dream! (SOUND OF HARPS) Dr Johnson doesn't want us to burn his dictionary at all.
Mr Blackadder, time to wake up.
- What time is it? - Monday morning.
Monday morning?! Oh my God! I've overslept! Where's the quill? Where's the parchment? I don't know.
Maybe Dr Johnson's got some with him.
- What?! - He's outside.
Now, hang on.
If we go on like this, you're going to turn into an Alsatian again.
(KNOCKING AND ROARING) Oh, my God! Quick, Baldrick, we've got to escape.
Bring out the dictionary at once.
Bring it out, sir, or, in my passion, I shall kill everyone by giving them syphilis! Bring it out, sir, and also any opium plants you may have around there.
Bring it out, sir, or we shall break down the door! Good morning.
Dr Johnson, Lord Byron Where is my dictionary? And what dictionary would this be? The one that has taken eighteen hours of every day for the last ten years.
My mother died-- I hardly noticed.
My father cut off his 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 the house, who worked in droves so that she might bring up a huge family of bastards.
I cannot Am I to presume that my elaborate bluff has not worked? Right, well, the truth is, Doctor-- now, don't get cross, don't overreact-- the truth is: we burnt it.
Then you die! Good morning, everyone.
You know, this dictionary really is a cracking good read.
- It's an absolutely splendid job! - My dictionary! But you said you burnt it.
I think it's a splendid book, and I look forward to patronising it enormously.
Thank you, sir.
I think I'm man enough to sacrifice the pleasure of killing to maintain the general good humour.
There's to be no murder today, gentlemen.
But prepare to Mrs Miggins'-- I shall join you there later for a roister you'll never forget.
So, tell me, sir, what words particularly interested you? Oh, nothing.
Anything, really, you know.
I see you've underlined a few.
Bloomers, bottom, burp, fart, fiddle, fornicate Sir! I hope you're not using the first English dictionary to look up rude words.
I wouldn't be too hopeful, that's what all the other ones will be used for.
- Sir, can I look up turnip? - Turnip isn't a rude word, Baldrick.
It is if you sit on one.
We have more important business in hand.
I refer, of course, to the works of the mysterious Gertrude Perkins.
Mysterious no more, sir.
It is time for the truth.
I can at last reveal the identity of the great Gertrude Perkins.
- Sir, who is she? - She, sir, is me, sir.
- I am Gertrude Perkins.
- Good Lord!! And I can prove it.
Bring out the manuscript, and I will show you that my signature corresponds exactly with that on the front.
I must have left it here with the dictionary.
This is terribly exciting.
Baldrick, fetch my novel.
Novel? Yes, the big papery thing tied up with string.
- Like the thing we burnt? - Exactly like the thing we burnt.
So you're asking for the big papery thing tied up with string, exactly like the thing we burnt.
We burnt it.
So we did.
Thank you, Baldrick.
Seven years of my life up in smoke.
- Would you excuse me a moment? - By all means.
(BLACKADDER SCREAMS): Oh, God, no! Thank you, sir.
Burnt, you say? That's most inconvenient.
A burnt novel is like a burnt dog Shut up! Sir, I have a novel.
"Once upon a time there was a lovely little sausage called" Sausage?! Sausage?! Oh, blast your eyes! I didn't think it was that bad.
I think you'll find he left "sausage" out of his dictionary.
Oh, and "aardvark".
Come on, Blackadder, it's not all that bad-- nothing a nice roaring fire can't solve.
- Baldrick, do the honours, will you? - Certainly, Your Majesty.
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