Clann Tartan - (Phillip Carew)


Clann Tartan Character Sketches

  Phillip Carew
ANCHORMAN ( reading from cue cards): Past and present are meeting for the first time in history today as the technology for time travel has at last been perfected. With us in the studio now is the first volunteer from the past to use this awesome achievement, Phillip Carew, the Earl of Idrone, from Ireland. Let’s meet our visitor. (turning to Phillip, who is somewhat nervous, though he is hiding it well. He is a short, well-fed man of indistinct age, perhaps in his late 20’s or early 30’s. He is dressed neatly though practically in clothes that look fairly new but at the same time seem to modern eyes to be almost unbelievably ancient. Large hazel eyes are fixed on the newsman with a hint of suspicion. He sits gingerly in his chair, but as he begins to talk he becomes more at ease and we can see the inborn arrogance of the nobility which permeates his character in both his speech and mannerisms. His hawk-like nose and high cheekbones contribute to this impression.) We are pleased to have you on the show tonight, Phillip-

PHILLIP (interrupting, haughtily): My good man, do you not know the correct way to address not only one of noble breeding but a military officer as well? (suddenly gracious, though a bit patronizing) You may call me ‘Your Grace’, or ‘my Lord Provost’, if you prefer.

ANCHOR (jovially, humoring him): Very well, Phil-er, Your Grace. Tell me, our audience tonight would be interested to know where and when you were born.

PHIL (bowing, and revealing a crop of rather feminine-looking blonde curls tied back with a bit of ribbon as he takes off his hat.) : I was born to Sir George Carew and his wife in the last year of the reign of Queen Elizabeth, or the first year of the reign of James, currently the King of England, whichever you prefer. It is now the 27th year of his reign. I was born in Ireland near Ulster. After my father was declared the heir to the earldom of Idrone in Munster County by the King we took up residence in my father’s ducal estate. My father was fighting to prove our claim to the County of Munster as well at the time of his death in the tenth year of James’ reign. He wished me to carry on the work, and I have therefore shouldered the affair and have high hopes of one day owning the title to two ducal houses.

ANCHOR (looking through his notes): You were born in Ireland and own land there also, but you speak with an English accent? Are you English?

PHIL Why, yes, of course I am English! I should hope that my appearance is not that of a barbarian. . . Are you supposing that James would give Irish land to the Irish to manage? Why, they would ruin it. My father and mother were both English and what you would call ‘well off’. When I was of an age they sent me to a priory school in England to learn letters, numbers, religion, fighting, diplomacy, management, and other things necessary to my station in life.

ANCHOR (wisely ignoring PHIL’S totally un-PC statements) Well, well. I see here that you are in the military, with a Scotch regiment? What do you do there?

PHIL I am the Provost-Marshal for Col. Gaffney’s regiment. ‘Tis quite an effort, I assure you. We are a recruiting regiment, you see.

ANCHOR I don’t understand.

PHIL (with a hint of contempt): Why, man, do you think that soldiers grow on trees? No, they do not. We have to find young men and bring them into our effort! There is a great war in Europe right now, and we are a large part of it. Soon we will set sail for Pomerania to fight for King Gustavus, and the boys need to be ready! A regiment such as ours teaches them to become soldiers. At first when they come into camp they are lazy, undisciplined, contentious, and occasionally one short step above the pigs they used to sleep with at home. The Highland barbarians are the worst for it. They rarely speak English, and generally believe that to clean themselves with water is to write their own death warrant. They wear nothing but a shirt and a checkered horse blanket wrapped around their waists which is often just as dirty as they are.

ANCHOR (breaking in): But what does a Provost do? Are you some sort of a military police officer?

PHIL (not understanding the word ‘police’): Yes, I am an officer of the regiment. But I do not command the men in the field. That is the Captain’s responsibility, and the duty of his second-in command. I keep the peace in camp, and uphold the laws within the regiment. Occasionally I will also teach swordplay and methods of self-defense to the men if they are singled out as needing training.

ANCHOR And how long have you been in the military?

PHIL I joined the Queen’s army directly I graduated from school at the age of 14. We were shipped to the Low Countries to put down the Spanish uprising. I survived that fray and stayed on the Continent, traveling from country to country learning of life and its pleasures and pitfalls. I learned the skill of swordplay from a German noble and stayed with his house for some time. Upon learning of my father’s death I returned home and made sure everything was in order. Once I was able to find a trusty housekeeper and staff I left again, crossing the Irish Sea and landing in Edinburgh, where I learned of this opportunity. I took with me a small retinue of servants and one apprentice, to whom I am teaching the art of defense. I was actually looking for a few men and women to round out my staff at Leister Castle when I joined the regiment. When Gaffeny’s men are shipped overseas I will not be going with them. I will find suitable people form among the campfollowers to join my staff and will return home to Idrone.

ANCHOR (noticing the clock, with relief): Well, I’m afraid we must say good bye. Earl, it was a pleasure to talk with you. Perhaps you will stay here in the 21st century for a while and experience our modern pleasures. We wish you all the best.

PHIL Thank-you, I am ‘looking forward to it’, as you say.