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ACTUS IV, SCENA i
DIAGORAS I suspect I’m ahead of time, for Archophylax is a man who would never be untrue to his nature, let alone skip a sumptuous meal. So I will regulate my steps with a medical slowness, in the manner of great men. Cocodrillus? Where are you, Cocodrillus?
COCODRILLUS (From the window.) Master.
DIAGORAS Where are you, you shadow-dweller?
COCODRILLUS Inside, where I’m a-quiver.
DIAGORAS Ha, ha, ha. But if you value your backside, get yourself here outside, as quickly as you can. Cocodrillus, I admit, has plenty of intelligence and a well-developed brain, but his master’s forbidding appearance and rather uncivil manner of address keep him at arm’s length, so he won’t turn out too big-headed. For pride as an unwelcome companion to wit.
COCODRILLUS (Enters wiping his mouth, as if coming from a meal.) He spoke correctly, whoever said it, but whoever he was who said it did say it, beef has a sovereign power for settling the stomach.
DIAGORAS What are you doing, you evil beef-herder?
COCODRILLUS The same as those of the best families.
DIAGORAS What’s that?
COCODRILLUS I don’t eat to live. Rather, I live to eat, as Socrates prettily said.
DIAGORAS You nothing to do with Socrates, Plato, or Aristotle the Stagyrite, you glutton. Or don’t you know, you log, that Philosophy goes about dressed in rags? You (as I have often pounded it into you) have business with Aesculapius, Hippocrates and Diagoras, or, to embrace it all in one, only with Diagoras — and let it be quick.
COCODRILLUS Ha ha, for only Diagoras is ignorant of everything.
DIAGORAS The rest, whatever they may be like, you can drain dry, but behold, Diagoras’ rich gold-mine overflows, and is all but bottomless.
COCODRILLUS I’m tormented, by heaven, that I’m not equipped with a rock with which I could open up your head.
DIAGORAS Why, you whipping-block?
COCODRILLUS To excavate the gold from your mind.
DIAGORAS You wicked fellow! Do you want me to be at variance with your shoulderblades?
COCODRILLUS Yes, by Hercules.
DIAGORAS You really want that?
COCODRILLUS I mean that I want you to be very far away from my shoulderblades.
DIAGORAS Ha ha, this cheerful rogue speaks chains, he binds my hands with his jokes.
COCODRILLUS Master, why are you so quick to anger that you take whatever I say as an insult?
DIAGORAS So that you may have an opportunity to sooth me with some elegant turn of wit.
COCODRILLUS So you threaten my backside and head so often as a joke, and not seriously, I mean so that I may sooth you?
DIAGORAS As a joke.
COCODRILLUS But it’s disgraceful for an old man of your age to joke.
DIAGORAS Don’t let that trouble you, Cocodrillus. In the future I’ll do this seriously. But since you disapprove of my age, indeed I feel my greener years have turned tail, and that I’m beset on all sides by the snares of senility. For my weak memory is gradually failing, my eyes are week, my shaking feet grow slow, a hateful whiteness besprinkles my head, a weak wasting seizes my manly limbs, and what gnaws at me more, my teeth are runaways, my molars and canines have made their individual escapes.
COCODRILLUS Ah, no more will this man bite anybody with his canine tooth.
DIAGORAS So much so that I fear soon I’ll have to return to pre-chewed food.
COCODRILLUS Don’t let this make you boil, Master. Behold the trusty staff of your old age. Nowhere will you find a more indulgent nursemaid or a more toothsome pre-chewer of your dainties. For all my teeth are genuine, ridged molars, canine, and the ones in front. (With his lips parted he points at his teeth.)
DIAGORAS You’re wrong, Cocodrillus, and you don’t know me at all. What drugs do you imagine I’ve forgotten, wherewith I can procure a welcome old age for myself, boyish with youth for my body?
COCODRILLUS I greatly fear lest you profit from it while employing my skin as an anvil.
DIAGORAS You’re wrong, I tell you. Physical exercise pertains to the diatery part of medicine, not the therapeutic, as Galen most elegantly expresses it. Pay attention, you trifler, as most piously Hippocrates recommends in his Aphorism 1003, I’ll water my old age with old wine.
COCODRILLUS That savors of wisdom. For watered plants flourish abundantly.
DIAGORAS Very learnedly said.
COCODRILLUS And likewise, I am of the opinion that youth is to be liberally watered with old wine.
DIAGORAS Get away, you leaden man. A wine-drinking youth produces a red-nosed old age.
COCODRILLUS I am curious, Master, why it harms youth when it is beneficial for old age.
DIAGORAS Cease your curiosity. Ignorance is the mother of curiosity, I’m not curious about anything, lest the common folk claim I’m ignorant.
COCODRILLUS [Aside.] Therefore he is ignorant of himself, for he thinks he’s a constant source of wonderment.
DIAGORAS We’ve dealt abundantly with medicine’s preliminary exercises, now let’s complete the rest of our journey. And I advise you, Cocodrillus, to be vigilantly on your guard to keep your Aesculapius safe and sound against the Captive’s flowers.
COCODRILLUS For medicine shines well enough with its own flowers.
DIAGORAS That was Diagorically said, I swear by Apollo. For flowers serve under medicine’s flag. But this, my Chiron, was the point of my admonition. The Captive is endowed with honeyed speech and a seductive tongue, her breast is lily-white, such is her innate candor. Beware of her deceptive dying words, lest by her seductive speech she capture you for the Roman faith. For immediately her words will sweep you upwards, and immediately offer up your cut-off limbs as food for the crows.
COCODRILLUS That particular ambition has always displeased me, Master. For I have seen men raised aloft so that they may quickly tumble with a harder fall. Furthermore, Nature has createdfor me finer limbs than deserve to be used for stuffing crows.
DIAGORAS You resemble your master. For your own sake, be watchful. For he is happily wise who grows wise by observing another man’s peril.
ACT IV, SCENE ii
DIAGORAS, COCODRILLUS, PHILARETUS, EUTRAPELUS
PHILARETUS Favoring fortune is smiling on our pious schemes.
EUTRAPELUS See, Master, here the road heads towards the palace.
PHILARETUS (Eutrapelus pretends to be mad, and Philaretus lays his hand on him.) Why are you heated up, Eutrapelus? It behooves the ill to humor the healthy.
EUTRAPELUS Why are you snatching at me, you butcher?
PHILARETUS Diagoras, ah Diagoras, come to my aid quickly, I’m being murdered!
EUTRAPELUS So what have I deserved. Robbers, most damnable puppies!
DIAGORAS What’s this squabble about, Philaretus?
PHILARETUS Oh Diagoras, he who brought you to me in such a timely manner had the gods well-disposed towards him. I’m bringing my feverish servant to you. And see, on the way madness so overcame him that I suspect he’s out of his mind.
EUTRAPELUS Oh, how my eyes are beset on all sides by apparitions! Look at the butchers, the cooks, the sausage-makers, the sutlers!
COCODRILLUS Call me a butcher? You’ll get a beating, you stooge! I’m a physician.
DIAGORAS Control yourself, villain, and gently bring him to the chair. (Everybody brings Eutrapelus to the chair.) Philaretus, the matter is in safe waters as far as the medical art has any power, I promise you.
PHILARETUS I know this by experience, Diagoras. You yourself are Jupiter the Helper.
EUTRAPELUS Come out, my fellow townsmen, drive away these scurvy assassins.
COCODRILLUS Stop your frenzy a little bit.
DIAGORAS Let me take your pulse. (Takes his arm.)
PHILARETUS Help yourself, Eutrapelus.
DIAGORAS It is said that part of health is the desire to be healthy.
EUTRAPELUS What are you hunting for with your hand, old man? How he’s a monkey with his charming stare! His fat nose! His blotched face! His red forehead! His bulging eyes! His shaggy beard! His withered lips and wormy chin!
COCODRILLUS Master, do you want me to bash his brains out for hurling so many insults against you?
DIAGORAS Fool, all these acrimonies are produced by the disease.
PHILARETUS What’s the disease, Diagoras? Dysomakardephalacrasia?
COCODRILLUS By no means, for he is not yet grinding his teeth or rumbling in his bowels, which are peculiar synekekommata of that malady.
DIAGORAS You ought to keep your ignorance to yourself, toadstool. This is the disease, I tell you, for in his arteries, those rather sluggish conduits of the spirits, there is no reciprocal systole and diastole.
EUTRAPELUS What big words you through around, you charlatan, you glutton!
DIAGORAS You hear? Those are the very pericharmplommata of the disease.
EUTRAPELUS What disease do you have, moneylender?
DIAGORAS Thanks be to the gods, I’m healthy, Eutrapelus.
EUTRAPELUS You’re a liar. You’re a martyr to compound interest and usuorious moneylending, you publican, greedy for shameful profit.
PHILARETUS You should stop publicizing other men’s vices, you whipping-stock.
DIAGORAS You ought to restrain yourself, Philaretus. These are other trephammata of the disease.
EUTRAPELUS But Callio will be your physician. Today he’ll do a fine job of medicating you.
DIAGORAS Ha ha ha.
EUTRAPELUS For when you’re at the palace and that little business about the Captive has been transacted, he’ll suddenly throw you into chains on a charge of usury.
COCODRILLUS If I’m Aesculapius, may I not live unless today I convert you into a cadaver by poison, because of these great insults of yours.
DIAGORAS Philaretus —
COCODRILLUS What are you babbling, you charcoal-burner?
DIAGORAS Restrain his head with a length of bandage and lightly hold his forehead down while the physicians consult about his cure.
EUTRAPELUS This will be devised unadvisedly, ha ha.
DIAGORAS Cocodrillus, retire with me a little bit. (Philaretus binds his brow with a strap while Diagoras and Cocodrillus retire to consult.)
PHILARETUS Eutrapelus, this business won’t turn out happily without passing through some pain.
DIAGORAS Cocodrillus, I have a suspicion concerning his reproaches. If understand his words aright, this business has to be conducted with caution. These are no sick man’s deliriums, they are true. For I’m secretly lending Callio money at two hundred percent interest. Now greedy usury has put his estate in jeopardy, and he’s lavishly repairing it by my resources. Thus I see me being cleverly ruined. By heavens, I have a just suspicion concerning those chains.
PHILARETUS [Overhearing.] He’s ours, Eutrapelus. He’s swallowing the hook.
COCODRILLUS I readily agree, Master. For the first thing this morning a very angry Callio assailed me with insults.
DIAGORAS Whatever comes to past, wisdom consists in having foresight for the future. While still a beardless youth I learned that foresight is smart. As far as I’m concerned, today Archophylax can punish the Captive by himself, ha ha.
EUTRAPELUS You hear that?
DIAGORAS This captious lawyer wants me to be doubly ruined, deprived at once of my money and my freedom. I must devise a quick way of repaying him tit for tat.
COCODRILLUS He’ll throw me in chains along with you, Master.
DIAGORAS You log, you must be my whetstone while I’m bursting with rage. If you have any vinegar in your heart, pour it forth.
COCODRILLUS I have an abundance of salt, I admit, but pepper and mustard supply the vinegar for you, who are always pouring forth bitter things.
DIAGORAS You clod, what do suggest by which I may demolish this trouble?
COCODRILLUS. You’ve not yet been brought to the rope. While you have the time, pick up your feet and seek the Antipodes in flight.
DIAGORAS You give silly advice, you filthy fellow.
COCODRILLUS If you have the power to produce any better advice for this person, come then, take it for yourself.
DIAGORAS Let’s consider this seriously for a while.
PHILARETUS (In a hissing voice.) Eutrapelus, pretend that you’ve been dreaming.
EUTRAPELUS I have a dream.
DIAGORAS I can’t compose my mind to think about this outdoors, I’ll deal with it inside. Cocodrillus, let’s return to our patient. We’ll write him a prescription and quickly return home. I give great thanks to my guardian angel for putting Eutrapelus in my way today.
COCODRILLUS I’m thinking, and in my thoughts I’m thinking thoughtfully. I’ll think thoughts about what’s going to become of Cocodrillus.
PHILARETUS Ah Diagoras, how the gentlest sleep has buried his madness.
DIAGORAS It should have done so, the disease’s cacochymia is being repressed. (to Cocodrillus.) Take out paper and pen. I shall compound a medication, Philaretus, that ought to bring a dead man back to life in such a way that henceforth he can never be sent back to the dead.
PHILARETUS I bear you no ill-will in an ungrateful mind. Ask what you want, you’ll get your wish as a reward.
COCODRILLUS As for myself, if I live, I’ll return him to the dead and the pallid shades of Erebus.
DIAGORAS Where are you?
COCODRILLUS Here. (Diagoras dictates, letting Cocodrillus use his back as a desk while he writes.)
DIAGORAS. Write. Prescription.
DIAGORAS Six handfuls of Macedonian parsley. Ten drams of Ginger. Forty-four of Italian anise. Three pounds of Indian garlic.
COCODRILLUS Hellebore, Master.
DIAGORAS Quiet, you good-for-nothing.
DIAGORAS Quiet, I tell you, you clown.
COCODRILLUS I’m being quiet.
DIAGORAS But you’re not being quiet, you fool, when you babble that you’re being quiet.
COCODRILLUS Hellebore has a great helping power for disburdening the brain of flatulent affections.
DIAGORAS Who writes that?
COCODRILLUS The entire School of Salerno writes it.
DIAGORAS Ah, I like that. Four scruples of Hellebore. Fifteen heads of wild onions. Pour into these forty-nine pints of beer. Let them be simmered for eighty-eight days with goose fat, sulfur, and the white of one egg, so that it becomes an electuary of Galenic joy. Concerning the plan of his nourishment, let him abstain from hot things because of the exuberance of his liver; from cold things, which cause black bile to abound; and from lukewarm things, lest nausea blunt his appetite.
COCODRILLUS Let him eat boiled chestnuts.
DIAGORAS Hush. Let him not leave his bed for three whole years. Every other day draw twenty-four ounces of blood. And let him devote himself assiduously to the things which delight his mind, and keep their opposites as far away as possible. Have you heard, Philaretus, that many centuries in the past that Hippolytus’ limbs, rent on the bloody rocks, were given back their former life by Aesculapius?
PHILARETUS It comes to mind.
DIAGORAS Here’s Aesculapius’ very own compound, be sure to take it to the pharmacy. I’ll come back tomorrow, farewell.
PHILARETUS You’ve blessed us, Diagoras.
COCODRILLUS Tomorrow I’ll bring pills, without which — (Exeunt Cocodrillus and Diagoras.)
PHILARETUS You’ll be most welcome, Cocodrillus. Eutrapelus —
BOTH Ha, ha ha.
PHILARETUS He imagines that you’re a thrifty chameleon, to be fed on air, as he forbids you hot, cold, and lukewarm things.
BOTH Ha ha ha.
EUTRAPELUS Let the Eighth Wise Man dream that I’m the Eighth Sleeper.
BOTH Ha ha ha.
PHILARETUS This is done at your direction, you academy of devices, this scheme is worth its weight in gold. I consider everything else inferior to this single thing.
EUTRAPELUS Illustrious fame trumpets reports about Alexander and Roman Caesar. I’m the third great man who fills fame’s trumpet with reports. Philaretus
ACT IV, SCENE iii
PHILARETUS, EUTRAPELUS, CALLIO
CALLIO It’s a trite saying that to ignore money you’ve invested sometimes yields the greatest profit.
PHILARETUS Eutrapelus —
CALLIO I’m going outdoors in an optimistic mood, as I ponder what laws I should enact against the Papists.
EUTRAPELUS Callio, dance a nice little dance on those ancient feet of yours.
CALLIO He reveals his nationality by his singing: Eutrapelus by name, born of his father Festus and his mother Jocasta, who hales from the Dancing Isles, and is attracted by nothing but feasting, joking and dancing.
PHILARETUS Callio, you’re a lucky find. He’s brought you a heart full of happiness.
EUTRAPELUS Dance, I tell you. Your advantage bids you do this.
CALLIO My advantage! (He dances.)
PHILARETUS You should give birth, Eutrapelus, and bless this man with happy offspring.
EUTRAPELUS What great feud do you have with Diagoras, that he is breathing bloodthirsty hatred?
CALLIO Gods forbid! We’ve had a great friendship since the cradle, which has grown up along with us. I’ll look into this immediately.
PHILARETUS Be on your guard , Callio. Many men live in this style, they feign friendship and generosity with their faith, but secretly they compensate for their good deeds with evil works
CALLIO Dancing? By heavens, by my faith, this has given birth to no advantage.
PHILARETUS, Oh no, to the greatest, Callio. Evils anticipated and warded off in advance are the mark of the prudent man, and often fail to kill when they strike. But lest you think I’m spinning fables, tell the story from its first beginnings, Eutrapelus.
EUTRAPELUS Didn’t Diagoras lend you money?
CALLIO Why not? Nor am I ashamed, for I’m paying back double.
EUTRAPELUS You yourself mention the sore point. This two hundred percent has bought you an enemy and sold off a friend. For guilt-ridden Diagoras, his mind’s fear has finally set before his inconsiderate eyes his dangers, namely that you know the law to your fingertips and are able when you wish to deprive him, guilty of this iniquitous usury, of both his goods and his liberty.
CALLIO But this crime will never occur to my heart.
EUTRAPELUS But you’ll never free his heart of this fear.
PHILARETUS A guilty mind always broods on the worst things during doubtful times.
EUTRAPELUS. Furthermore, so he may cure his fearful heart he has settled on your murder.
CALLIO Alas, unhappy me!
EUTRAPELUS Diagoras has concocted such a dire poison that if it has suffused even the bottom hem of your robe, swift death will immediately come a-flying.
EUTRAPELUS Today he’ll do the deed while you are present at the murder of the Captive, off your guard.
CALLIO By what device did you sniff out these evils, Eutrapelus?
EUTRAPELUS Since I have a very profitable friendship with Cocodrillus, I have a means to open his box of secrets with no trouble.
CALLIO By heavens, I was afraid lest the grimaces with which that sinner attacked me this morning would result in some great misfortune. Ah, Phi—, Phi, Philaretus, I’m ru—, ru—, ruined.
EUTRAPELUS [Aside.] How he quakes and stutters his triplified words!
PHILARETUS Callio, summon your former heart
. Gather your strength.
CALLIO There is none to gather, Philaretus.
PHILARETUS If you hand yourself over with such a defeated mind, like a rooster Diagoras will blow his triumphant horn in celebration, taf, taf. taf.
CALLIO Ha! So quickly, Eutrapelus? If it touches the bottom of my hem?
EUTRAPELUS The bottom of your hem, he says, I mean the outside border of your garment. For most toxins are produced by serpents, and as soon as they touch your skin they quickly permeate the whole body, destroying all its parts, until they reach the inmost marrow and suffuse it with a deadly wasting.
CALLIO But what if I cut off my gown’s bottom hem?
EUTRAPELUS You achieve nothing, for new hems are constantly being created.
CALLIO (Lifting the hem of his garment.) But what if I make myself a hemless gown?
EUTRAPELUS It’s all the same, for the edges will serve for a hem.
CALLIO What if I go to the meeting without a gown?
EUTRAPELUS That’s silly, since I see that all articles of clothing have hems.
CALLIO What if I walk about the streets naked?
EUTRAPELUS Even sillier, for then the poison is nearest to the skin, and the skin to the flesh.
CALLIO Taf, taf, taf. No matter what I do, I’m unhappily ruined, I’m so hemmed in by dangers that I can’t escape.
PHILARETUS I’m ashamed of you, perk up, Callio. It’s a crime that you, who are wise for the benefit of others, despair for yourself.
CALLIO Ah, Philaretus, this poison has driven all wisdom from my heart.
EUTRAPELUS The poison, I fear, has killed you without poison.
CALLIO Eutrapelus. you’re fertile in your wits. Give me back to myself, Eutrapelus. Ah, Eutrapelus, help a helpless man and name your price.
EUTRAPELUS I’ve never been so greedy as to set a price on my wits, and it’s pleasant to heal sick minds.
CALLIO Taf, taf, taf .
EUTRAPELUS Unless you hate your life, I advise you not to show yourself to Archophylax today.
CALLIO Taf, taf, taf. Sooner will I be dragged to the shadows of the Styx and the hateful halls of Dis.
PHILARETUS [Aside.] See, he’s ingested the pill.
EUTRAPELUS Now turn your eager step homeward, and consult the statutes about this matter. For when unspeakable crimes impend, the sharp edge of the laws is to be drawn against them.
CALLIO Excellent advice, may the laws thus aid me! I shall consult carefully, chapter On poisons, paragraph Since a cup. If I hunt out something, I’ll do a fine job of beating that oath-breaking physician black and blue.
PHILARETUS You’re threatening wholeheartedly, as you should.
EUTRAPELUS Meanwhile I’ll seize Cocodrillus and pump him try, to see if he has learned anything more about the poison. I congratulate you.
CALLIO This pleases me very much. Support me with your shoulders, for my leaping heart is exhausted from pounding.
EUTRAPELUS Lean on us with all your might.
CALLIO Oh, if the gods should want to save me from perdition!
PHILARETUS There’s no reason for a despondent mind.
CALLIO Taf, taf. taf. (Exit.)
EUTRAPELUS Did any man ever have the gods so favorable, to plant such fruitful schemes in his brain?
PHILARETUS I’ll never find a field more fruitful than yourself.
EUTRAPELUS A man who has troubles with sneaky cheats has need of a trained and polished wit.
PHILARETUS You best these cheats with your wiles, Eutrapelus, when these cheats get caught in your snares.
EUTRAPELUS Philaretus —
ACT IV, SCENE iv
PHILARETUS, EUTRAPELUS, PRURIO
PRURIO (Wearing a cap and gown, and arranging himself.) I had scarcely slept off that stuffed feeling after dinner when my naughty servant aroused me from my slumber. I’d have chastised him right ministerially, if he hadn’t given me my gown with all the dust brushed off, as befits a parson.
EUTRAPELUS Ha ha ha. How this toadstool is truly of the mushroom race, covering his whole self with his head! Approach him.
PRURIO Everything is well arranged.
PHILARETUS Greetings, Prurio.
PRURIO I’m a man of few words, spit it out.
PHILARETUS The physicians recommend no sleep after dinner.
PRURIO Ha ha, sleep is always the master over evils and the more pleasant part of human life.
EUTRAPELUS Where are you going, so nattily dressed, Prurio?
PRURIO It is greatly fitting for a parson to serve as a model. While I’m present at the Captive’s public assembly, I’ll draw every man’s eager eyes to myself.
EUTRAPELUS But it is more right for a parson to entice their ears. You should produce your fiddle.
PRURIO Get away, you sacrilegious person! Are the restraints of your modesty so shatter that you mock a parson thus?
EUTRAPELUS Have you taken such a leave of your senses? Are you so absurdly stupid, are you acting so foolishly in your mind? Are are as one-eyed in your heart as in your head, as to plunge headlong into the pit of evils gaping at your feet?
PRURIO I’m a man of few words.
EUTRAPELUS Oh you false-speaking, foolish-speaking, silly-speaking man! You who sowed these crimes will reap them presently. For you did you play that screeching fiddle of yours while the chaplains, luxuriating in their wanton carriage, aped satyrs with their dancing?
PRURIO I’m not ashamed of the deed.
EUTRAPELUS But you ought to be ashamed. This arouses everybody’s bile, for you to celebrate other people’s misfortunes with games, and for you, who serve as a model, to set yourself up to be imitated in disgraceful things.
PRURIO Oh fiddle, what have you created for your master?
EUTRAPELUS The angry populace has provoked Archophylax. Today, when the Captive has paid the penalty for her faith, you will make public atonement for your offense, so that the aroused common folk may subside.
PRURIO Eutrapelus, are you telling the truth?
EUTRAPELUS I don’t know how to lie. You want me to call my heart outside so you may inspect it?
PHILARETUS It’s the talk of barber shops everywhere.
PRURIO Woe’s me, now I see I’m valued at nothing. Oh artful Simulus! Oh faithless fiddle! Philaretus, now I see Jehovah is good and mad at me. But I fell at the urging and persuasion of Simulus, Simulus created this Lerna of woes for me.
EUTRAPELUS We have to invent some scheme.
PHILARETUS But Simulus’ crime won’t abolish your guilt.
PRURIO Unfortunate fiddle! Ha.
EUTRAPELUS You want to be safe, Prurio?
PRURIO Don’t give me false hope, Eutrapelus. If this evil can be transformed to safety, you will be the inventor, preceptor, and perfector of my salvation. You may take my fiddle as your fee.
EUTRAPELUS You must defer to my cleverness. Archophylax is to be valued less than your reputation. Don’t visit him today.
PHILARETUS You’ll cheapen yourself if you willingly bestow this on him.
EUTRAPELUS Nor with your words will you quickly erase what you have evilly done.
PRURIO Oh, fiddle!
EUTRAPELUS I’ll meet Simulus and hound him with entreaties and threats until he abates his anger against his dominie. You seek out your home, until I seek you out. (Prurio runs off homeward.)
BOTH Ha ha ha.
PHILARETUS Fear has given his feet wings.
EUTRAPELUS Oh ever-unlucky flock, which is reared by its pastor’s fiddle, and not his faith, ha ha ha. He is indeed wise, he’s a bit slow of wit and his Laconicism conceals his lack of brains.
PHILARETUS Your devices are true birdlime, Eutrapelus, they’re all stuck in it. Look here, Eutrapelus.
ACTUS IV, SCENA v
PHILARETUS, EUTRAPELUS, SIMULUS
SIMULUS Good God, I’d be lying if I said the innate madness of the magistrates doesn’t make make me irate! To despise public matters supinely! Hey, Diagoras.
EUTRAPELUS I see that it’s necessary to summon all my pugnacious lieutenants. Come out, you wiles, you schemes, you frauds, you tricks, and whatever belongs to elegant deceptions.
COCODRILLUS Pray why are people thumping the door?
SIMULUS I want your master, Cocodrillus. Saints! Is this believable, that the public tranquility lies in neglect?
COCODRILLUS Hey there, my master says he’s not at home.
SIMULUS What? He says he’s not?
COCODRILLUS Yes indeed, he denies it.
SIMULUS Oh the silly humor! I find I’m both being scorned and vigorously mocked. Ha ha, he didn’t say this unadvisedly. For a man who’s outside in his imagination while being inside denies that he’s inside.
PHILARETUS Why torment yourself, Simulus?
SIMULUS I am indeed tormented, Philaretus. Archophylax is awaiting us leading men at home. Meanwhile they waste the day running around elsewhere.
EUTRAPELUS You’re the architect of your own unhappiness, Simulus.
SIMULUS And you, Eutrapelus, are inside while not being inside, just like Diagoras. I mean you’re babbling a lie.
EUTRAPELUS So you’re not a dancer, a goat, a fawn, a kid, a satyr, nor was the pastor your Pan when he played on his fiddle? Can you deny this?
SIMULUS You should stop talking about something that does not concern you. Glory be to God on high.
EUTRAPELUS You monstrosity! But your bacchic revelries have not gone without their due results. I mean that when the populace found out about them, it immediately started muttering that the Captive’s execution should be put off until tomorrow or suspended, since it would be wrong for anybody to celebrate with games the tears of other men.
PHILARETUS This is the public talk everywhere.
EUTRAPELUS The rumor has spread that everything will be referred to the magistrates, gullible old men are dumbstruck, they imprudently blame you and, lest these things be frustrated, are turning their affections elsewhere.
SIMULUS But they won’t be frustrated. For soon Archophylax will be here with a military escort, he will summon the magistrates from all over, and then give orders that the Captive should be produced for punishment. But, Eutrapelus, you who are trying to drive me away with your fine-sounding words, adding that we are troublesome bacchants, does dancing annoy you?
EUTRAPELUS You ask? Trust me, no crime makes you more loathsome. What does your mind tell you?
SIMULUS It’s the same as that which exercises the intellect: it’s evil for the evil, good for the good. But I’m seeking your response: is exultation permissible?
EUTRAPELUS Why not?
SIMULUS So why not dancing, too? The grammarians announce that saltation is derived from exultation.
EUTRAPELUS Because they have been misled by the preposition ex.
SIMULUS Let me pitch this higher. Without sin, the royal prophet capered and led the dance before the Ark of the Covenant, to the sound of the trumpets, cymbals, lyres and zithers, dressed in a linen cloak, as Holy Writ proclaims.
PHILARETUS Therefore dancing is supported by divine law.
SIMULUS You grasp it, and by natural law as well. For if nature in her indulgence has granted it to kidlings, lambs and young deer to caper, he would be sinful who denies to Man.
EUTRAPELUS A silly heart, I despise him.
SIMULUS Pray let me give the crowning argument. Luther, our founder, our source of illumination, gobbled down a chicken on Palm Sunday during Lent. Glory be to God on high.
EUTRAPELUS Glory be to God on high. On Palm Sunday your illuminator won the palm for gluttony.
SIMULUSA fortiori, this day on which the Papists are wholly destroyed is celebrated with greater sanctity. Now it behooves us to show a sign of our fraternal exultation with modest dancing.
PHILARETUS You unclean rabble!
SIMULUS Speak piously and sweetly.
EUTRAPELUS Immortal gods! What monstrosity have we been considering? You flavor all evil habits with the spices of nature and Holy Scripture itself, you cloak gluttony under the name of appetite, you attempt to dignify as chaste dancing your clownish imitation of satyrs by gestures and capering postures. If Publius Naso, the father of the Metamorphoses, were still on earth, you would have been transformed from ministers into goats, you beasts.
SIMULUS You’re too stinging.
EUTRAPELUS You’re a stingless drone.
SIMULUS Being so small, you spout such great things?
EUTRAPELUS Being so great, you spout such small ones?
SIMULUS Merciful God!
EUTRAPELUS Glory be to God on high. I seek your response, how do you sleep at night?
SIMULUS Greatest thanks to our greatest God, very peacefully.
EUTRAPELUS I’d pay a pound of gold for your mattress, which gives rest to a mind so teeming with crimes.
SIMULUS Ha ha ha. You’re the jolliest of men, from your toenails to your hair.
EUTRAPELUS I can barely restrain from flying at your hair with my nails, fraud of the people, corruption of men, hated of the gods.
SIMULUS Oh, the temptations of Satan!
PHILARETUS Eutrapelus, you should moderate your asperity with a sweeter humor.
EUTRAPELUS Better to smear it with gall. You don’t know, Philaretus, this trouser-wearing hiding-place of the vices. Nothing cleaner on the outside, nothing fouler within.
SIMULUS None of these things are unbecoming, for charity covers over all things.
EUTRAPELUS They frequent taverns, brothels, cook-shops and whores, glory be to God on high, so that (if it please the gods) they might destroy their brothers’ souls with the deceits of Hell.
SIMULUS Do you want your brother’s soul to perish?
EUTRAPELUS To you want to ruin your own, glutton? They arrogate to themselves the freedom of sinning with impunity, nor do they want any vice to be held against themselves, factious with their tongues, idle in their works, weak in their faith.
SIMULUS What monstrosities is this man describing?
EUTRAPELUS You sacrilegious chaplains, perjurers, vicious seducers, factories of felonies, slaves of the pleasures, treacherous parasites, rotten men, three-penny little ministers whom Orcus will complain of receiving, glory be to God on high.
SIMULUS What’s this tempest? Eutrapelus’ mordancy is meant seriously.
PHILARETUS It’s hard to sway a mind from anger when it’s that excited.
SIMULUS If I’ve done anything wrong, sweet water is more suitable than salt for washing off the stains.
PHILARETUS You can’t deny your wrong, Simulus. You were in the public eye when you thought yourself concealed the most, with your satyrs you’ve stirred up everybody’s hate against you. Eutrapelus is the one to restore peace between you and the citizenry.
SIMULUS Oh stupid me! I imagined that he was teasing with his humorous japes.
PHILARETUS You were mistaken.
SIMULUS Jehovah, this great world’s creator! Why am I delaying in calming Eutrapelus’ ferocity with pleasant speech?
EUTRAPELUS I’ll assume the courtesy I see you desire.
SIMULUS Eutrapelus, he is innocent who does no willing harm. I gained the people’s dislike unwittingly.
EUTRAPELUS A man who admits has incurred guilt is a good-for-nothing unless he is ashamed, unless he purges himself.
SIMULUS My happy mind drove me to this folly.
EUTRAPELUS It is a crime for happiness to turn aside from decorum.
SIMULUS But now I’m rue the deed, and I regret my infamy. By that mercy which attracts you to the merciful, I come to beg you, I appeal for your aid. My tongue asks it, my body seeks it, my mind prays for it, the situation advises it, to the glory of God on high, most elegant Eutrapelus.
PHILARETUS Friendliness is an adornment to elegance, Eutrapelus.
EUTRAPELUS I am not possessed of such an inexorable heart that I do not allow myself to be swayed by any prayers. Simulus, the matter has come into such opprobrium that if the Captive dies today by punishment, your popularity, the favor of the aristocracy, that pleasant idleness in which you live, all this will perish.
SIMULUS If the punishment were to be put off, would this bring any healing for these losses?
EUTRAPELUS If you willingly stand forth as the Captive’s most vigorous champion, I’ll do the same for you.
EUTRAPELUS I’ll undertake this pursuit with energy, I’ll seek it, I’ll see it through with my mind, my body, and all my powers.
EUTRAPELUS Quickly, any delay at all is deemed profitless.
SIMULUS I’m flying. (Exit.)
EUTRAPELUS You may go flying to Dis as food for the Acheron. The ministerial art may go to rack and ruin.
PHILARETUS Ha ha. Hang me, Eutrapelus, if the parasite is not a man of pleasant words.
EUTRAPELUS You may cease to wonder, Master. These dealers in trumpery were only invented for the sake of pleasing the ears.
PHILARETUS Now let these damnable buffoons go to perdition. We should please ourselves and perform dances. Hooray! With what joy my mind goes a-wandering! But you’re of good cheer?
EUTRAPELUS You advise me to be of good cheer? That’s the same as urging the Muses to sing, the sun to be warm. I’m so delighted I don’t know who I am.
PHILARETUS Yet live, Sophron. Triumph, let the weary tears depart from your cheeks. Happily enjoy the victory you have won, and with favorable auspices long enjoy the Captive. Let’s go, my delight, and spend this happy day wearing wreaths of joy.
Go to Act V