Another short assignment from my English class. I'm pretty happy with it.
I pulled at the cuff of my shirt anxiously. I was sitting in the receiving hall waiting for my audience with the English king. I'd been pacing the grand room now for a good half hour. I guess that's one thing that all royalty has in common, they don't rush for anyone. Duncan had always been more considerate of others; he'd always made time in his day to speak with his old friend Macduff. I scowled darkly. That tyrant Macbeth probably left his guests hanging for hours, just because he could.
One of the stewards appeared in the arched doorway, and motion me forward. Following him into the throne room I stopped and bowed, perhaps a little lower than really necessary, but I might as well start sucking up now.
The king tipped his crowned head graciously. "Welcome, Macduff, thane of Fife. What have you come here seeking?"
"Your most Royal Highness, I come before you to seek your generous aid." I decided to get straight to the point.
Raising a regal brow, the monarch replied, "And is your own Lord aware that you are here?"
"No, my liege, I am here of my own vocation."
The King leaned back in his throne, stroking his chin silently. After considering this information, he waved his bejeweled fingers. "Speak then."
I was careful when I chose my words. "Sir, you are surly aware of the current state of my homeland." He nodded "How could I not, your new king and his…unique leading style is a subject of much conversation in my court as of late."
Encouraged, I continued. "Then, my Lord, you can see the state that my country has fallen into under his leadership. We are plagued Sir, with famine and disease, and the harvest that was just turned in was the poorest in years."
The King nodded soberly, as a monarch himself, he knew the grave impacts of such a poor rule.
"Well you see sir, I, and many of my associates, put fault in the hands of the newly crowned Macbeth. He has been neglecting his country since his coronation."
This caused the king to frown deeply and stomp his foot to silence me. "This is treasonous talk Macduff of Fife! This is your king you speak against, and if I recall the stories, you have never seen eye to eye with noble Macbeth, a man whom I have only ever heard praised."
"I realize all of this sir, and I risk the consequences. I only want what's best for my people. This is beyond all petty rivalries; Macbeth is a changed man since the days of Duncan. Though I never held love for him as a man, I respected him as a fellow warrior. But all respect has fled me in the light of his neglectful and greedy rule."
"Well, if what you say is the truth, why come to me? I will not oppose another country's king without sound reason."
"Your Majesty, I have reason to believe that Macbeth is responsible for my late king's untimely death, god rest his soul."
"Even if this is so, this will be ground for a civil war, still nothing to do with my men."
"But sir, I implore you, think to the future. Macbeth is full of dark ambition, he will not stop at Scotland. If my fears are realized, he will seek to dominate all of Great Britain. And your rich nation, full of fertile land and prosperous industries, will undoubtedly be his most coveted goal." I flattered shamelessly.
This made him pause. "You have allies you say?"
"Yes Sire. At least half of his generals, and many thanes are in agreement. I know for a fact that the good Thane of Nairn is dying to put an end to the madness, for he told me so just a week earlier. I know that with the mighty English army by our side, the others will quickly follow suit, and Macbeth can be replaced."
"Replaced by whom, may I ask? Last I heard, the two Princes were missing. Do you fancy yourself a King, oh noble Macduff?"
"Not in the least, my liege. All I desire is to see the end of my people's suffering, and to see royal blood back on the throne. Malcolm, Duncan's rightful heir, is currently in this very country sire, for fear that Macbeth will seek to remove him should he realize he was here."
"Malcolm's in England?"
"Well then, bring him to me. His cooperation changes things. Bring him to speak before me and I will consider your proposition further."
"Yes your highness, thank you your highness." Taking his hand and pressing my lips briefly to his large gold ring, I follow the steward out of the room.
Victory sang in my heart, for when dealing with a King, a second audience is practically a commitment. I was a step closer to my goal. Malcolm would be able to convince the king to aid us.
The stage was set.