Baron Kingsley was worried about the new forms of entertainment creeping up in his province. Laymen would paint their faces and babble on about the fallacies of the aristocracy. They called it a street play, but it was devoid of plot, humour and character development. It was incongruous drivel about plush couches and thrones and the ‘system’ (whatever that meant.) The Baron wouldn’t have minded if the performers spoke the highborn tongue while they did this. That would have added a burlesque charm to it, and the peasants would have never understood it. But these men spoke in the common tongue. They would talk and then bang cymbals or beat drums before speaking again. The worst part is that they dressed in rags. Who are these men, and how do they know how to incite the farmhands against their Lords? The Baron incredulously wondered. Isn’t learning reserved only for those of class? The Baron thought when he was annoyed.
He didn’t want to take drastic measures because these actors had already become famous among the working class, but he knew he had to do something. If I kill them off, the peasants will revolt, but if I let them continue, who knows what the farmhands will do? The Baron wondered. Finally, after weeks of contemplation, the Baron came up with a plan. Now, some members of the nobility had displeased Kingsley. He had them under house arrest, not knowing what to do with them. He decided to dress them up as clowns and send them to the peasants as an alternate form of entertainment. He would make them flatter him using the common tongue while they danced and juggled. They would praise his deeds while they did cartwheels. He thought that this would both demean the traitors and delight the working class, making them realise that the Baron cared for them and that there was no ‘system’ to despise. Every man should and will know his place! The Baron delightedly thought while he sipped his wine.
The traitors were not happy, but they did as the Baron said. They wore motley and painted their faces white and stumbled and laughed and sang. “All hail the Baron! The wonderful, just, brilliant Baron! Ha, ha!” They yelled. They gave their performances while the street plays happened, and soon the farmhands flocked to them. They quit watching the plays altogether. The Baron squealed with pleasure. “I don’t think there is any man who would have handled the situation better. Do you?” he asked his wife repeatedly.
The peasants, however, didn’t take kindly to this. “This cruel Lord makes the nobility dress up as clowns and fart and sing and dance. What will he do to us?” They asked each other. “Perhaps he’ll parade us naked after whipping our bottoms red!”
“We thought the street actors were idiots talking about imagined ‘systems.’ But there seems to be one in place – one of tyranny and sadism,” they said and decided to revolt. They defeated the Baron’s guards because of their number and paraded the nude Baron all across the district while people laughed and threw shit at him. Then they executed him and set up a ruling council consisting of the street actors who they deemed Elders and wise men.