Episode 3

Nob and Nobility

Miggins: [dancing about by a table of two customers in her coffee shop] Oh la la! [laughs happily]

[Edmund Blackadder, butler to the Prince Regent, enters]

Edmund: Ah, good morning, Mrs Miggins.

Miggins: Bonjour, monsieur.

Edmund: What?

Miggins: Bonjour, monsieur -- it's French.

Edmund: So is eating frogs, cruelty to geese and urinating in the street, but that's no reason to inflict it on the rest of us.

Miggins: But French is all the fashion! My coffee shop is full of frenchies, and it's all because of that wonderful Scarlet Pimpernel. [an odd squishy noise is heard occasionally, starting now]

Edmund: The Scarlet Pimpernel is >not< wonderful, Mrs Miggins. There is no reason whatsoever to admire someone for filling London with a load of garlic-chewing French toffs crying "Oh la la!" and looking for sympathy all the time just because their fathers had their heads cut off.

I'll have a cup of coffee and some shepherd's pie, please.

Miggins: [put off] We don't serve >pies< anymore! My French clientele consider >pies< uncouth.

Edmund: I hardly think that a nation that eats snails and would go to bed with the kitchen sink if it put on a tutu is in any position to preach couthness.

So what >is< on the menu? [he picks up the small menu and flips it over looking at it casually]

Miggins: Well, today's hot choice is Chicken Pimpernel in a Scarlet Sauce, Scarlet Chicken in a Pimpernel Sauce, or Huge Suspicious-Looking Sausages in a Scarlet Pimpernel Sauce.

Edmund: What exactly is Scarlet Pimpernel sauce?

Miggins: [she uses her hands to demonstrate as she speaks] You take a large ripe frog, squeeze it [one of the squishy noises is heard as she makes this motion, giving away what the noise is] --

Edmund: [putting up a hand] Yes, yes, all right. [several words are covered entirely by laughter (anyone out there have a closed-caption decoder, since the commercial-release tapes are closed-captioned?).]

[Edmund goes to the door to leave, just as a Frenchman enters.]

Frenchman: [bowing] Ah, bonjour, monsieur!

Edmund: Sod off.

[Scene changes to Edmund's quarters, below the prince's house. Baldrick is tearing apart some dough. Edmund enters, picks up a tabby cat and punts it high into the air across the room.]

Baldrick: Oh, Sir! Poor little Mildred the cat! What's he ever done to you?

Edmund: It is the way of the world, Baldrick -- the abused always kick downwards. I am annoyed, and so I kick the cat... the cat [there is a mouse `eek!' noise] pounces on the mouse, and, finally, the mouse--

Baldrick: [startled, jumps] Agh!

Edmund: ...bites you on the behind.

Baldrick: Well, what do I do?

Edmund: Nothing. You are last in God's great chain, Baldrick -- unless, of course, there's an earwig around here that you'd like to victimise.

[Baldrick leans toward Edmund, trying to get him to notice something]

Edmund: [notices] Baldrick, what's happened to your nose?

Baldrick: Nice, isn't it?

Edmund: No it isn't. It's revolting.

Baldrick: Oh. I'll take it off, then. [removes item from his nose]

Edmund: Baldrick, why are you wearing a false boil? What are we to expect next: a beauty wart? a cosmetic verruca?

Baldrick: It's a Scarlet Pimple, Sir.

Edmund: Really...

Baldrick: Yeah, they're all the rage down our way. Everyone wants to express their admiration for the great Pimple and his brilliant disguises. [singing] We seek him here, we seek him there, those Frenchies seek him everywhere! Is he in Heaven, is he in hell?

Edmund: [interrupting] What is that nauseous garlic smell?

Edmund: [takes the pimple, speaks angrily] What has this fellow done? -- apart from pop over to France to grab a few French knobs from the ineffectual clutches [tosses pimple into the fireplace] of some malnourished whingeing lefties, taking the opportunity while there, no doubt, to pick up some really good cheap wine and some of their marvelous open-fruit flans...

Doesn't anyone know? We hate the French! We fight wars against them! Did all those men die in vain on the field at Agincourt? Was the man who burned Joan of Arc simply wasting good matches?

[Bells ring.]

Edmund: Ah, His Royal Highness, the Pinhead of Wales, summons me. You know, I feel almost well-disposed towards him this morning. Half the chump though he may be, at least he's not French.

[Scene changes to inside Prince's bedroom. He is having some drinks with lords Topper and Smedley.]

Prince: "Un toast! Encore un toast," I say! Le Pimpernel Scarlette!

Topper & Smedley: Le Pimpernel Scarlette!

[Edmund enters.]

Prince: Ah! Le Adder Noir! Come on au in!

[Edmund is upset, but restrains it.]

Prince: [to Topper and Smedley] This is the fellow to ask, you chaps: my butler -- terribly clever. Brighter than a brain pie. [Topper and Smedley chuckle like the dandies they are]

Blackadder, we're trying to guess who the Scarlet Pimpernel is, so we can send him an enormous postal order to express our admiration. Any ideas?

Edmund: Well, I'm sure if you addressed the envelope to "The Biggest Show-Off in London," it would reach him eventually.

[Topper and Smedley stand up from where they were lying (on Prince's bed) and approach Edmund.]

Topper: Tish and pish! Gadzooks! Milarky! How dare you say such a thing? Damn me, sir, if you're not the worst kind of swine!

Smedley: Damn that swine...

Edmund: I'm sorry, Sir. I was merely pointing out that sneaking aristocrats out from under the noses of French revolutionaries is about as difficult as putting on a hat.

Topper: Sink me, sir! This is treason! The Scarlet Pimpernel's a hero, and the revolution is orchestrated by a ruthless band of highly organised killers, damn them!

Smedley: Damn those organised killers...

Topper: [turning to Prince] Sir, if I remember rightly, we were just discussing the French Embassy ball in honour of the exiled aristocracy...

Prince: We certainly were -- where I intend the wear the most magnificent pair of trousers ever to issue forth from the delicate hands of Mssrs Snibcock and Turkey, Couturiers to the Very Wealthy and the Extremely Fat. If the Pimpernel does finally reveal himself, I don't want to get caught out wearing boring trousers!

Smedley: Damn those boring trousers...

Topper: Well, what say we bet your cock-sure domestic a thousand guineas he can't go to France, rescue an aristocrat, and present him at the ball?

[Edmund looks up.]

Topper: Hah! That's turned you white, hasn't it? That's frightened you, you lily-livered, caramel-kidneyed, custard-coloured cad? Not so brilliant now, are you, eh? eh?

Smedley: Eh?

Edmund: On the contrary, Sir. I'll just go and pack.

Topper: Oh.

Edmund: Perhaps Lord Smedley and Lord Topper will accompany me. I'm sure it will be a fairly easy trip -- the odd death-defying leap and a modest amount of dental torture... Want to come?

Topper: [frightened] Oh, no!

Smedley: Oh, no...

Topper: Damn!

Smedley: Damn...

Topper: Er, any day now, I've got an appointment at my doctor. I've got a bit of a sniffle coming on -- I can feel it in my bones.

Smedley: Damn bones, damn bones, damn...

Prince: You know, what about next week? Oh, come on, you chaps, get your diaries out, come on!

Topper: Oh, all right. Damn!

Smedley: Damn...

Topper: I left it behind!

Smedley: ...behind...

Topper: ...and, er, besides, I've just remembered: my father's just died!

[Smedley can't say the same thing this time; looks confused.]

Topper: I've got to be at his funeral in ten minutes! Damn sorry! Goodbye, Your Highness. [He bows, giving his drink to Edmund. Edmund opens the door and lets him out.]

Smedley: Oh, damn... I'm the best man. Damn that dead father, damn... [Gives his drink to Edmund; bows; exits, saying "Bye bye..."]

Edmund: [beyond the door to the exiting pair] See you at the ball.

Prince: Oh, what a shame they were so busy. [walking into the chamber] It would have been lovely to have had them with us.

Edmund: "Us"?

Prince: Yes.

Edmund: >You're< coming, Sir?

Prince: Well, certainly.

Edmund: Ah. [pause] and nothing I can say about the mind-bending horrors of the revolution could put you off?

Prince: Absolutely not! Now, come on, Blackadder -- let's get packing. I want to look my best for those fabulous French birds.

Edmund: Sir, the type of women currently favoured in France are toothless crones who just cackle insanely.

Prince: Oh, ignore that -- they're just playing hard-to-get.

Edmund: ...by removing all their teeth, going mad and aging forty years?

Prince: That's right -- the little teasers! Well, come on! [he reclines] Erm, I think a blend of silks and satins...

Edmund: I fear not, Sir. If we are to stand any chance of survival in France, [he rings the servant bell] we shall have to dress as the smelliest lowlife imaginable.

Prince: Oh yes? What sort of thing?

Edmund: Well, Sir, let me show you our Paris Collection...

[Baldrick begins walking in from the the outer door.]

Edmund: Baldrick is wearing a sheep's-bladder jacket, with matching dung-ball accessories. Hair by Crazy Meg of Bedlam [obscured by laughter]. Notice how the overpowering aroma of rotting pilchards has been woven cunningly into the ensemble.

[Edmund approaches Baldrick.]

Edmund: Baldrick, when did you last change your trousers?

Baldrick: [as if rehearsed] I have never changed my trousers.

Edmund: Thank you. [to Prince] You see, the ancient Greeks, Sir, wrote in legend of a terrible container in which all the evils of the world were trapped. How prophetic they were. All they got wrong was the name. They called it "Pandora's Box," when, of course, they meant "Baldrick's Trousers."

Baldrick: [to Prince] It certainly can get a bit whiffy, there's no doubt about that!

Edmund: We are told that, when the box was opened, the whole world turned to darkness because of Pandora's fatal curiousity. [to Baldrick] I charge you now, Baldrick: for the good of all mankind, never allow curiosity to lead you to open your trousers. Nothing of interest lies therein.

[to Prince] However, Your Highness, it is trousers exactly like these that >you< will have to wear if we are to pass safely into France.

Prince: Mmm, ahem, yes, well, you know, er, on second thought, I think I might give this whole thing a miss. You know, my tummy's playing up a bit. Er, wish... wish I could come, but just not poss with this tum.

Edmund: I understand perfectly, Sir.

Prince: Also, the chances of me scoring if I look and smell like him are >zero<.

Edmund: Well, that's true, Sir. We shall return presently to bid you farewell.

[Prince turns to enter his bedroom; Edmund and Baldrick head out.]

Baldrick: Mr B, I've been having second thoughts about this trip to France.

Edmund: Oh? Why?

Baldrick: Well, as far as I can see, looking and smelling like this, there's not much chance of >me< scoring, either.

[Edmund thwaps him on the head.]

[Scene changes to Prince, Edmund and Baldrick (who is carrying everything) standing in the vestibule. This scene is overplayed, complete with `farewell' harp music.]

Prince: Well, Blackadder, this is it.

Edmund: Yes, Sir. If I don't make it back, please write to my mother and tell her that I've been alive all the time; it's just that I couldn't be bothered to get in touch with the old bat.

Prince: Well, of course, old man. It's the very least I could do.

Edmund: We must leave at once. The shadows lengthen, and we have a long and arduous journey ahead of us. [He shakes Prince's hand.] Farewell, dear master and -- dare I say? -- friend.

[Edmund and Prince embrace. Prince speaks as they separate.]

Prince: Farewell, brave liberator and -- dare I say it? -- butler!

[Edmund and Baldrick leave. Prince starts to cry.]

[Scene changes to Edmund's quarters. Edmund and Baldrick enter.]

Edmund: Right, stick the kettle on, Balders.

Baldrick: What, aren't we going to France?

Edmund: Of course we're not going to France -- it's incredibly dangerous there!

Baldrick: Well, how are you going to win your bet?

Edmund: As usual, Baldrick: by the use of the large thing between my ears.

Baldrick: Oh, your nose...

Edmund: No, Baldrick: my brain. All we do is lie low here for a week, then go to Mrs Miggins', pick up any old French aristocrat, drag him through a puddle, take him to the ball, and claim our thousand guineas.

Baldrick: Well, what if the prince finds us here?

Edmund: He couldn't find his own fly buttons, let alone the kitchen door.

[Scene changes to Prince's bedroom. Prince takes a pair of blue trousers with silver dots and silver side stripes from a box.]

Prince: What a pair of trousers!!! I shall be the Belle of the Embassy Ball! Now, how do you put them on? Er... [calls] Blackadder! [realisation] Oh, no -- damn! -- he's gone to France. Well, I'll do it myself; shouldn't be too difficult. Erm... Er... [he puts an arm through one trouser leg...]

[One Week Later]

[Scene: Edmund's quarters.]

Edmund: [sitting in a chair, his feet on the table, smoking a pipe] Well, Baldrick, what a very pleasant week. We must do this more often.

Baldrick: [seeming a bit bored] Yes, I shall certainly choose revolutionary France for my holiday again next year.

Edmund: Still, time to go to work. Off to Mrs Miggins' to pick up any old French toff--

[A crashing noise upstairs interrupts him.]

Baldrick: What do you think that is?

Edmund: Well, if I was feeling malicious, I would say it's the prince still trying to put his trousers on after a week.

[Scene change to upstairs.]

[Prince, wearing his trousers over his head, is bumping into walls.]

Prince: Damn!

[Scene change to Mrs Miggins' coffee shop.]

[Edmund and Baldrick enter.]

Edmund: Ah, Mrs Miggins... I'd like a massive plate of pig's trotters, frog's legs and snail's ears, please -- all drenched in your lovely Scarlet Pimpernel Sauce.

Miggins: Not so hostile to the frenchies >now<, Mr B...

Edmund: Certainly not, Mrs M. I'd sooner be hostile to my own servant. [baps Baldrick on the back of the head] [Several words obscured by laughter.]

In fact, I came here specifically to meet lovely frenchies.

Miggins: Well, vivre to that and an eclair for both of us! [laughs]

Edmund: Vivre, indeed. Now, what I'm looking for, Mrs M, is a particular kind of frenchy -- namely, one who is transparently of noble blood but also short on cash.

Miggins: Ah, well, I've got just the fellow for you -- over there by the window: The Comte de Frou Frou.

[Shot of Frou Frou holding -- and looking oddly at -- a huge suspicious-looking sausage.]

Miggins: He's pretty down on his luck, and he's made that horse's willy last all morning.

Edmund: Oh, good. Baldrick, we have struck garlic!

[Edmund and Baldrick approach Frou Frou. Edmund scrapes leftovers off of Frou Frou's table onto a plate, then offers the plate to Baldrick.]

Edmund: Now you can some lunch, Baldrick.

Baldrick: Thank you. [leaves the coffee shop]

Edmund: [addresses Frou Frou] Le Comte de Frou Frou, I believe...

Frou Frou: [looks up] Eh?

Edmund: [sitting at the table] Do you speak English?

Frou Frou: A little...

Edmund: Yes, when you say "a little," what exactly do you mean? I mean, can we talk? or are we going to spend the rest of the afternoon asking each other the way to the beach in very loud voices?

Frou Frou: Ah, no. I can, er, order coffee, deal with waiters, make sexy chit-chat with girls -- that type of thing.

Edmund: Oh, good.

Frou Frou: Just don't ask me to take a physiology class or direct a light opera.

Edmund: No, no, I won't. [propositioning] Now, listen, Frou Frou ... Would you like to earn some money?

Frou Frou: No, I wouldn't. I would like other people to earn it and then >give< it to me, just like in France in the good old days.

Edmund: Yes, but this is a chance to return to the good old days.

Frou Frou: Oh, how I would love that! I hate this life! The food is filthy! This huge sausage is very suspicious. If I didn't know better, I'd say it was a horse's wi--

Edmund: Yes, yes, yes, all right... Now, listen; the plan is this: I have a bet on with someone that I can get a Frenchman out of Paris. I want >you< to be that Frenchman. All you have to do is come to the embassy with me, say that I rescued you, and then walk away with fifty guineas and all the vol-au-vents you can stuff in your pockets. What do you say?

Frou Frou: It will be a pleasure! If there's one thing we aristocrats enjoy, it's a fabulous partie! Oh, the music! Oh, the laughter! Oh -- if only I'd brought my mongoose costume...

[Scene change to the embassy. It is dank, and some moans of despair can be heard. Edmund, Frou Frou and Baldrick enter.]

Frou Frou: Yes, well, obviously it hasn't really got going yet...

Edmund: I think that is a bit of an understatement, Frou Frou. I've been at autopsies with more party atmosphere.

Frou Frou: Don't worry! In a moment we will hear the sound of music and happy laughter...

[Laughter is heard -- evil maniacal laughter. A French soldier approaches.]

Soldier: [to Frou Frou] Bon soir, monsieur.

Frou Frou: Bon soir!

Edmund: Ah, good evening, my man. Do you speak English?

Soldier: Little.

Edmund: Good, well, just take me to the ambassador, then, will you?

Soldier: Pardon?

Edmund: [articulate] I have rescued an [pushes the end of his nose up] aristocrat, from [makes claw-like hands] the clutches of the evil revolutionaries. Please take me to the ambassador.

Soldier: No, I won't. I >am< an [makes claw hands] "evil revolutionarie," and have [slices finger across his neck] murdered the [pushes up his nose] ambassadeur, and turned him into [slaps the back and front of one hand against the other, then puts that same hand to his mouth] pate!

Edmund: Ah.

Soldier: [to Frou Frou] ...and you, aristo-pig, are trapped!!!

Frou Frou: Peeg? Hah! You will regret your insolence, revolutionary deug!

Solider: Dog? Hah! You will regret your arrogance, royalist snake!

Frou Frou: Sneag? Hah!

Edmund: [stepping in] Look, I've very sorry to interrupt this very interesting discussion, but it really is none of my business, so I think I'll be on my way. Come on, Baldrick.

Soldier: [stopping Edmund] Ah ah ah ah ah ah ah! Not so fast, English! In rescuing this, eu [motions at Frou Frou], this, eu, boite de stinkyweed, you have attempted to pervert revolutionary justice. Do you know what they do to people who do that?

Edmund: They're...given a little present and allowed to go free?

Soldier: No...

Edmund: They're smacked and told not to be naughty, but basically let off...

Soldier: No...

Baldrick: [raising his hand] I think I know.

Edmund: [quite unhappy and depressed] What?

Baldrick: [quite happy that he knows the answer] They're put in prison for the night, and brutally guillotined in the morning!

Edmund: Well done, Baldrick...

Soldier: Your little g'nome is correct, monsieur. Gentlemen! Welcome to the last day of your life! [shuts and locks the door]

[Scene change to our heroes in a cell, with Soldier outside.]

Frou Frou: How dare you, you filthy weaselle!

Solider: Weasel? Hah! You're one to talk, aristo-waat-heug!

Frou Four: Warthog? Hah!

Soldier: Hah!

Edmund: [pulling Frou Frou away from the barred window] Excuse me, Frou Frou... [to Soldier] Look, mate, me old mate... We're both working class; we both hate these rich bastards; I mean, come on, come on, me old mucker, just, just let me go -- you've got nothing against me...

Soldier: On the contrarie! I >hate< you English with your boring trousers and your shiny toilet paper, and your ridiculous preconception that Frenchmen are great lovers -- [looks both ways, then speaks a bit softly] >I'm< French, and I'm hung like a baby carrot and a couple of petit-pois.

Edmund: [obscured by laughter]

Soldier: Farewell, "old muckeur," and [shouts] death to the aristoes!!!

Baldrick: [joining in happily] Death to the aristoes!

Edmund: Oh, shut up, Mouse-brain...

[Now inside the cell. Baldrick sits on the bed.]

Frou Frou: Monsieur, why do you waste your words on this scum? Have no fear! The Scarlet Pimpernel will save us.

Edmund: Hah! [knocks Baldrick off the bed; Baldrick falls to the floor, and remains sitting where he lands] Some hope. [lies down] The Scarlet Pimpernel is the most overrated human being since Judas Iscariot won the A.D. 31 Best Disciple Competition.

Frou Frou: Well, if he >should< fail us, here: I these have these suicide pills. One for me [pulls pill out of his ear]; one for you
[pulls one out of a nostril]; and one for the dwarf [pulls one out of his bottom -- various silly noises accompany each].

Edmund: Say "thank you," Baldrick.

Baldrick: Thank you, Mr Frou. [puts pill to his mouth; Edmund stops him.]

[The door begins to open.]

Frou Frou: Ah, the Pimpernel!!

Baldrick: Hurray!

Soldier: [entering] Ah, the >ambassador<, hurray... [moves his fingers about, bounces on his toes] Hmm, I've got nothing to do... So I think I will torture ... [points to Frou Frou, forces him to stand, and shouts] you, aristo-mongreulle!

Frou Frou: Mongrel? Hah! I look forward to it, proletarian skeunk!

Soldier: Skunk? Hah! We'll see about that, aristocratic happypotamus!

Frou Frou: [being led outside] Happypotamus? Hah! We'll soon see who's the happypotamus ... [voice gets quiet as door is shut and locked (I think the rest of his vocalisations are nonsense anyway)]

Baldrick: I'm glad to say, I don't think you'll be needing those pills, Mr B...

Edmund: I'm I jumping the gun, Baldrick, or are the words "I have a cunning plan" marching with ill-deserved confidence in the direction of this conversation?

Baldrick: They certainly are!

Edmund: Well, forgive me if I don't jump up and down with glee; your record in this department is not exactly a hundred percent. So, what's the plan?

Baldrick: We do...nothing.

Edmund: Yep, that's another world-beater.

Baldrick: Wait, I haven't finished. We do nothing until our heads have actually been cut off...

Edmund: ...and then we spring into action?

Baldrick: Exactly! You know how, when you cut a chicken's head off, it runs round and round the farmyard?

Edmund: Yyyyyyyeah...

Baldrick: Well, we wait until our heads have been cut off, then we run round and round the farmyard, out the farm gate, and escape. What do you think?

Edmund: Yes... My opinions are rather difficult to express in words, so perhaps I can put it this way... [tweaks Baldrick's nose]

Baldrick: It doesn't really matter, 'cause the Scarlet Pimpernel will save us, anyway.

Edmund: No he won't, Baldrick. Either I think up an idea, or, tomorrow, we die -- which, Baldrick, I have to tell you, I have no intention of doing, because I want to be young and wild, and then I want to be middle-aged and rich, and then I want to be old and annoy people by pretending that I'm deaf. Just be quiet and let me think.

[Later that night, in the cell.]

Baldrick: I can't sleep, Mr Blackadder...

Edmund: I said "Shut up"!

Baldrick: I'm so excited to think that the Scarlet Pimpernel will be here at any moment!

Edmund: I wish you'd forget this ridiculous fantasy, Baldrick. Even if he did turn up, the guards would be woken by the
scraping noise as he tried to squeeze his massive swollen head through the door.

Baldrick: I couldn't sleep when I was little.

Edmund: You still are little, Baldrick.

Baldrick: Yeah, well, when I was even littler, see, we used to live in this haunted hovel. Every night, my family were troubled by a visitation from this disgusting ghoul. It was terrible. First there was this unholy smell, then this tiny, clammy, hairy creature would materialise in the bed between them. Fortunately, I could never see it, myself.

Edmund: Yes... Tell me, Baldrick: when you left home, did this repulsive entity mysteriously disappear?

Baldrick: That very day...

Edmund: I think then that the mystery is solved. Now shut up. Either I think up an idea, or, tomorrow, we meet our maker -- in my case, God; in your case, God knows ... but I'd be surprised if he won any design awards.

[camera view pans away from them, to the window]

Edmund: Wait a minute! I thought of a plan!

Baldrick: Hurray!

Edmund: Also, I thought of a way to get you to sleep!

Baldrick: What?


Baldrick: Oof!

[Morning, in the cell. The door opens, and Soldier enters.]

Soldier: Morning, scum... Did we sleep well, eh?

Edmund: Like a tot, thank you... But, by jiminy, you must be feeling thirsty after your long night's brutality! [He drops a suicide pill into a cup of liquid, then proffers the cup.] Drink?

Soldier: Eu, non, merci... Not while I am on duty.

Edmund: Oh. Perhaps later.

Soldier: For you, monsieur, there is no later. [gets dramatic] Because, gentlemen, I am proud to introduce France's most [puts a hand on his abdomen] vicious woman. Unexpectedly arrived from Paris this morning, would you please welcome Madame Guillotine herself! [bows aside, with an arm outstretched]

Guillotine: [enters, cackling, carrying a club with spikes, appears to have blood on her arms; her face is obscured by her bonnet, and she appears to be missing a front tooth] Are these the English pigs?

Edmund: Yes, that's us.

Guillotine: Leave them with me, Monsieur Ambassadeur. I intend to torture them in a manner so unbearably gruesome, even you will not be able to stand it!

Soldier: I don't think I will have a problem, madame.

Guillotine: No, you will be sick.

Soldier: What if I stay for the first few minutes, and then I leave if I'm feeling queasy?

Guillotine: No, you will be sick immediately.

Solider: What if I am sick quietly in a bag? I mean, what is in your mind?

[Guillotine whispers in Soldier's ear.]

[Soldier goes into convulsions, and removes his hat as he leaves, vomiting into it.]

Guillotine: [turns to Edmund] So! Scum! Prepare to be in pain!

Edmund: Yes, certainly. But first, perhaps, a toast: to your beauty! [gives Guillotine the poisoned cup]

Guillotine: [tosses club aside] Oh, thank you. OK. [drinks from cup]

Edmund: Cheers.

Guillotine: So, I expect you were expecting to be rescued, huh?!

Edmund: Hah -- some bloody hope.

Guillotine: [voice suddenly a male voice] On the contrary! I'm just sorry I'm so late!

Edmund: What!

[Guillotine removes her bonnet, revealing herself to be Lord Smedley]

Smedley: Yes, gentlemen, I have come to take you to freedom!

Baldrick: Hurray!

Edmund: My god! Smedley! But I thought you were an absolute fat-head!

Smedley: No -- just a damn fine actor! Thank god I got here before you took any of those awful suicide pills!

Edmund: [looks down at the cups] Errrrrr, yes... I suppose if someone had taken one and wished that he'd hadn't, he'd be able to do something about it...

Smedley: No, no -- they're very odd things, you see. The symptoms are most peculiar. First of all, the victims become very very depressed. [sits on the bed, face in his hands] Oh, god! [near to tears] This whole revolution is so depressing, I mean, sometimes I wonder why I bother... I mean, I'm so lonely, and nobody loves me...

Edmund: ...and after the depression comes death.

Smedley: No -- after the depression comes [jumps off the bed and grabs Edmund's lapels, shouting] the loss of temper, you stuck-up bastard!!! [turns to Baldrick] What you are staring at??? [punches Baldrick]

Edmund: ...and after the >temper< comes death.

Smedley: No! After the temper comes the, er... comes the, er...

Edmund: ...forgetfulness?

Smedley: Er, yes, that's it... er... comes the, er...

Edmund: ...forgetfulness.

Smedley: Yes, yes. Right in the middle of a...of a...thingy... you completely forget what it was you...oh, nice pair of shoes!

Edmund: ...and after the forgetfulness, you die.

Smedley: Oh, no! I forgot one! After the forgetfulness comes a moment of exquisite happiness! [laughs, jumps up and down, waving his arms in the air] Jumping up and down, and waving your arms in the air, and knowing that in a minute we're all going to be free! free!! free!!!

Edmund: [getting tired of this] ...and >then< death?

Smedley: No -- you jump into a corner first. [jumps into a corner; dies]

Baldrick: Hurray! It's the Scarlet Pimpernel!

Edmund: Yes, Baldrick...

Baldrick: ...and you killed him!

Edmund: Yes, Baldrick... I mean, what's the bloody point of being the Scarlet Pimpernel if you're going to fall for the old poisoned-cup routine? Scarlet Pimpernel, my foot! Scarlet Git, more like it! [sees that the door is still ajar] But wait! Here's our chance to escape! Come on, quick!

Baldrick: But what about Mr Frou?

Edmund: Oh, forget Frou Frou. I wouldn't pick my nose to save his life. Now, come on. [begins to exit, but runs into Frou Frou] Ah! Frou Frou, my old friend and comrade, w-what are you doing here?

Frou Frou: I escaped! What happened here?

Edmund: Oh, er, nothing, nothing... [closes cell door]

Frou Frou: Oh, I thought for a moment the Scarlet Pimpernel had saved you...!

[Edmund chuckles nervously; looks at -- and nudges -- Baldrick.]

[Baldrick very badly fakes a laugh.]

[Scene change to Prince's house. Prince nearly has his trousers on. Edmund, Frou Frou and Baldrick enter.]

Prince: Ah, chaps! Good to see you. Just trying on the new trousers...

Edmund: I return, Sir, as promised, plus one toff French aristocrat fresh from the Bastille.

Prince: [as Frou Frou bows] Ah! Please to meet you, monsieur. Do sit down.

Frou Frou: Enchante'... [goes to sit]

Prince: Damn sorry about the revolution and all that caper -- most awfully bad luck. [to Edmund] So, tell me, Blackadder: how the devil did you get him out?

Edmund: Sir, it is an extraordinary tale of courage and heroism which I blush from telling by myself, but seeing as there's no one else--

Baldrick: I could try.

Edmund: [baps Baldrick on the back of the head] We left England in good weather, but that was a far as our luck
held. In the middle of Dover Harbour, we were struck by a tidal wave. I was forced to swim to Boulogne with the unconscious Baldrick tucked into my trousers. Then, we were taken to Paris, where I was summarily tried and condemned to death, and then hung by the larger of my testicles from the walls of the Bastille. It was then that I decided I had had enough.

Prince: Bravo!

Edmund: So, I rescued the count, killed the guards, jumped the moat, ran to Versailles -- where I climbed into Mr Robespierre's bedroom, leaving him a small tray of milk chocolates and an insulting note. The rest was easy.

Prince: That is an incredible story -- worthy of the Scarlet Pimpernel himself!

Edmund: Well, I wouldn't know.

Frou Frou: I, on the other hand, would. [stands] Because, you see, Sir [removes glasses, wig and false nose, revealing himself to be Lord Topper], >I< am the Scarlet Pimpernel.

Edmund: Uh oh...

Baldrick: Hurray!

Prince: [standing] Good lord! Topper!

Topper: Yes, Your Highness.

Prince: Well, by gads and by jingo with dumplings, steak and kidneys, and a good solid helping of sprouts! I can't believe it! >You're< the fellow who has single-handedly saved all those damned frenchies from the chop?

Topper: Not quite single-handedly, Sir. I operated with the help of my friend, Smedley, but he seems to have disappeared for the moment, slightly mysteriously.

[Baldrick gets ready to say something.]

Edmund: Shut up, Baldrick.

Baldrick: [line obscured by laughter]

Prince: So... So Blackadder rescued the Scarlet Pimpernel!

Topper: No, Sir, he did not.

Prince: Eh?

Topper: Prepare yourself for a story of dishonour and deceit that will make your stomach turn.

Prince: Well, I say! [to Edmund] This is interesting, isn't it, Blackadder?

[Edmund nods slowly.]

Topper: Not only that [turning and walking toward Edmund], but I trust it will lead to the imprisonment of a man who is a liar, a bounder, and a cad.

[Baldrick turns to look, with Topper, at Edmund.]

[Edmund turns to look behind himself.]

Prince: Well, bravo! because we hate liars, bounders and cads, don't we, Blackadder?

Edmund: Generally speaking...yes, Sir. [begins to serve drinks] But perhaps before Lord Topper starts to talk, he might like
a glass of wine. [he has dropped a suicide pill into Topper's glass] He's looking a little shaken.

Topper: [taking the glass] Shaken, but not stirred. [drinks] [gives glass back to Edmund, who sniffs it]
[turns to Prince] It all began last week. I was sitting in Mrs Miggins' coffee shop when...oh, god! [holds head in his hands] All this treachery is so depressing... [shouts] I mean, the whole thing just makes you incredibly angry!!! [swings at Baldrick, missing; Baldrick falls over anyway; then Topper runs over to Prince] AND IT JUST MAKES YOU WANT TO...oh, that's a nice waistcoat, Your Majesty... er...I'm sorry; I've completely forgotten what I was talking about.

Edmund: [grinning] Erm, a story of dishonour and deceit...

Topper: [smiles] Oh! That's a great story! That's great!! Oh, that's a WONDERFUL STORY!!! Let me just jump into this corner first. [jumps into corner; dies]

Prince: [standing] Roast my raisins! He's popped it! I say, Blackadder, do you think he really was the Scarlet Pimpernel?

Edmund: Well, judging from the ridiculous ostentatiousness of his death, I would say that he was.

Prince: Well, then, that's a damn shame, because I wanted to give him this enormous postal order. [holds it up]

Edmund: Please, Sir, let me finish. I would say that he was...>n't<. [deeply concentrating now] You see, the Scarlet Pimpernel would never ever reveal his identity -- that's his great secret. So, what you're actually looking for is someone who has, say, just been to France and rescued an aristocrat, but when asked "Are you the Scarlet Pimpernel?" he replies, "Absolutely not," Sir.

Prince: But, wait a minute! Blackadder, >you've< just been to France, and you've rescued a French aristocrat... Oh, Blackadder! Are you the Scarlet Pimpernel?

Edmund: Absolutely not, Sir.

Baldrick: Hurray!

[Prince, too excited for words, hands the postal order to Edmund, who already has his hand waiting to take it.]

[final theme music, credits roll]

For the
Much admir'd Comedy
T h e T H I R D
N O B a n d N O B I L I T Y
was performed with appropriate Scenery Dresses etc.
butler to the Prince,
Baldrick, a dogsbody, Mr. TONY ROBINSON
The Prince Regent, their master, Mr. HUGH LAURIE
Mrs. Miggins, a coffee shoppekeeper,
Lord Topper, } fops, Mr. TIM McINNERNY
Lord Smedley, } Mr. NIGEL PLANER
Ambassasor, a fearsome revolutionary,

MUSIC, (never perform'd before), Mr. HOWARD GOODALL

designer of graphics, Mr. GRAHAM McCALLUM
buyer of properties, Miss. JUDY FARR
supervisor of production operative, Mr. ALLAN FLOOD
designer of visual effects, Mr. STUART MURDOCH
designer of costumes, Miss. ANNIE HARDINGE
designer of make-up, Miss. VICKY POCOCK
mixer of vision, Miss. SUE COLLINS
supervisor of camers, Mr. RON GREEN
editor of videotape, Mr. CHRIS WADSWORTH
director of lighting, Mr. RON BRISTOW
co-ordinator of technicalities, Mr. JOHN LATUS
supervisor of sound, Mr. PETER BARVILLE
assistant to production, Miss. NIKKI COCKCROFT
assistant manager of floors, Mr. DUNCAN COOPER
manager of production, Miss. OLIVIA HILL
the designer, Mr. ANTONY THORPE

the director, Miss. MANDIE FLETCHER

the producer, Mr. LLOYD

To conclude with Rule Britannia in full chorus

[the squishy noise is heard one final time]