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JOCULUS Come a-running, come a-running, whoever is unafraid of death, having a heart steeled against bitter things! Ah, as many of you as have gentle hearts fired by Religion, all come a-running, let’s press the battle together, those rain-showers banished. I’m of no worth, none whatsoever. This is the day when all hope for my life dies. What should I first pursue with my groans? The tediums of your sorrows, faithful Captive, drained to the dregs, or my own? But what are you doing, Ergastes. Alas, you mourn to late, it’s torture to mourn when there’s no hope of help. A stouter mind befits you. Ah, Philaretus, how I shall always embrace you with a pious mind! You, mindful of your promise, enmeshed the magistrates with your clever deceptions, lest they join forces, but you did so in vain. Now everything is in readiness. Archophylax will soon be hurrying here (thus the Fury moves the rage in his mind), he’ll summon the others, then he’ll bring out the Captive and strike at her neck. This is the direction of her fate, this is her dire departure. Oh England! Where are you rushing? In what funereal tones should I mourn you, miserably infected with pestilential poison in your bowels? There was a time when you pleased the Saints above with your pious prayers, you were our great God’s favorite concern when your altars smoked with chaste victims. But now (oh the impious turns of fate!), shorn of your original glory, you wallow in the squalid filth of vices, your sacred churches mourn, stripped of their beauty. Snakes, troglodytes, and Hell-born heresy befoul you, rend you apart, despoil you. (He falls to his knees.) Oh You Who governs this world with your scepter-bearing hand, source of all good, wise judge of the right, who now how to resurrect those despoiled of life, God, unique Son of a unique Virgin, with once-kindly eyes look upon Your England, set Your hand to her as she totters, and restore her, half-dead, to her former strength. (He rises up.) But at length put an end to your tears, Ergastes, let it be enough. After having tears, grieving and sighs as your constant companion for five years, now you are a mourner in retirement, grant yourself the wooden sword. Come now, awaken your sleeping heart and courageously finish that for which you came out. (He takes off his jester’s tunic and holds it in his hand.) Depart, you dearest hand-me-downs, a trusty token of my faithful servitude, inseparable witness of the sorrows I have copiously suffered. Depart, and if destiny pledges you another jester in my stead, I pray he may enjoy a more peaceful destiny, that he play the fool more happily. (He produces a letter.) And you, you tablet written with a trembling hand, tell Archophylax what man these foolish coverings have concealed, who I am, why I came, for what reward I undertook this hired folly. Boldly reveal each thing, soften this steely man, let his high position not intimidate you into flattery: rather, it pleases me to dispel my sorrow by lodging complaints in any way I can. Come now, lie here in reserve. I grieve you will be horribly trampled underfoot when the Fury-driven soldiers gather at the door. But they’ll quickly snatch you up, and eagerly seek to hurl scoffing jests against you. Then it will be the time, then you must remember to plead my cause with vigor, my avenging letter, having banished all insult for the future. Now, Sophron, I follow you. You have traveled the world’s diverse highways until you have gained your poor Ergastes. Ergastes now seeks you with equal ardor, I ardently thirst for Rome until I may enjoy you and devotedly cling to your eager embraces. But it will not be granted me to cling in frequent embraces, I am called elsewhere. I must immediately remove myself from the throng of the common folk, through trackless wastes and places untrodden by any foot in the hidden recesses of the desert, until the Fates have paid out the remainder of my thread from their distaff. A grieving hermit, I shall mourn my degenerate native land. Undertake this with fortitude, Ergastes. There’s no need to trouble your mind: unbidden, the earth will supply that which will subdue your hunger, a double stream of tears will slake your thirst. (He covers his eyes with his fingers.) In stead of a roof, you will have the star-studded dome of the widespread sky, your bed will be the earth strewn with dry leaves, where, even if you sleep less, you may indulge in copious sighing. (Falling to his knees.) Farewell, Captive, farewell Religion. Prison and sweet chains which bind the Captive, farewell. And you, you holy hinges and you scaffold, destined soon to bear Religion, farewell you all. (Stands.) And you, England, who will never cease your funereal groaning, farewell. Already torn away from all the world, now you will be sung of as having been torn away from the light of heaven. Then I, returned, — (A viol throbs within.) What do I hear? Thus it is, a swan-song, the Captive is singing her own funeral dirges. Ah how often at Rome, with the very same sounds which he would summon forth with his viol, we humbly bewailed with our sad voices the sorrows of the Cross! (On the throbbing viol is played within []’s hymn to our crucified Lord. When the hymn is played, he goes to the gate.) Captive, I cannot control myself lest my final grieving word issue forth. Captive Religion, this is Ergastes.
A JAILOR (Within.) Follow me, jailors.
JOCULUS Captive, ah Captive, farewell, farewell, farewell, farewell.


ARCHOPHYLAX While the crowds are silent and the populace is soothed by soporific pleasantries, why am I being idle? Why hesitate to put into action that about which no nation, no age will keep silent? Let my body be given to the tinder-dry funeral pyre, yet as, a survivor of my pious crime my glory, published in various tongues, will fly through remote peoples. Simulus, quickly seek Diagoras, you, Cento, the judge, and you, Adulantius, the parson. Hurry up these sluggards’ gouty steps. Tell them I’m barely in control of myself, I so burn with anger.
CENTO Anger is a brief madness. We all beg you for peace. (They each exit, going to those to whom they are sent.)
ARCHOPHYLAX Lazy, unworthy to enjoy peaceful homes! (After pacing thoughtfully.) The fickle common folk will hold it against me as a sin to have deprived the Captive, bright with the jewels of the virtues, of the light of life. Let it be so, I don’t deny it. In her brilliance she surpasses the stars, she is bright with all the furniture of the virtues. But virtue deprived of civic support is a splendid skin lacking any marrow, it doesn’t help you a jot. Plebeian minds are captivated by virtue, but my nation’s tranquility is sweet to me, and I hold nothing impious by which I may assist my country: imprisonments, chains, famine, murder, injuries. Crime is no crime, as long as by crime I can heal my ailing nation. Whatever the common folk may grumble I regard as the foam of bubbling dregs. Their fortune requires that leading men live their lives protected by swords, defended by their artifices and poisons as they sneer at the multiform beast of the common people. Warden, unbar the gates so there will be no delay when the others shall have arrived. I loathe lazy men, if something serious troubles me, a winged ardor for energetic action comes a-flying. What’s being done?
WARDEN See Joculus standing sentinel at the gate.
ARCHOPHYLAX What are my eyes seeing? Joculus? I’m torn between anger and fear, a great dread grips me. An image of horrible death hovers before my eyes. By the Saints, I fear lest the untamed people avenge killing by killing, the Captive by Joculus. Oh the crime! But if this is found to be the case, I swear by Jove of the Styx, I shall also apply myself as an avenger of crime, like Rhamnusia or Tisiphone, armed with burning torches.
WARDEN Here’s a letter hidden beneath this tunic.
ARCHOPHYLAX Hand it over quickly. My mind is ready for some great thing, I know not what, for Archophylax, its most indulgent master. The letter greets me in the name of my jester. My mind’s in suspense over what this business is. Go, hurry. You two, get your feet to running, fly and seek out the harbor. With careful eyes examine the ships, the pinnaces, the lading barges, then go racing through the local inns, investigating them one by one, and wherever you have laid hands on Joculus, bring him back here. (Two soldiers exit towards the marketplace.) Hurry, soldiers, with your speed surpass the swift eagles. Oh daring loyalty, unheard-of in days gone by! (He thoughtfully reads the letter.)


DIAGORAS (He enters fearfully.) A man who deals with deceit is scarcely on his guard lest he be ruined by trickery. Even when he is on his guard, they are at his door. No fraud will best me inside.
COCODRILLUS Master, whether using his frauds or his thousand armed legions, here’s Mars the Defender.
SIMULUS Jehovah! Why does its owner’s brow frown with severity? I greatly fear concerning the satyrs.
ARCHOPHYLAX Saints, now it will not displease me to read these words, separated from their author.


CALLIO (He and Cento enter cautiously.) I’ve discovered his malfeasances right down to the roots, Cento. I put a cheap price on the friendship of a worthless man.
CENTO Conquer your spirits and your anger, you who have conquered everything else.
CALLIO Here his. You swindler, if you touch my hem with so much as your eyes, I’ll deal with you miserably.
DIAGORAS This accusation against me dazzles my eyesight.
CENTO Let him use sign language.


PRURIO (He enters timidly.) But Adulantius, I scarcely persuaded myself to come here, thus the fiddle terrifies me.
ADULANTIUS You are bruising my ears, you fearful little soul, always deafening them with the same thing about that fiddle.
PRURIO I am a man of few words.
CENTO A musician gets laughed at for always harping on the same string.
ARCHOPHYLAX Oh constancy, worthy of Jupiter’s spokesman Apollo! For you, Phoebus, once wore the shaggy cloak of a lowly shepherd and pastured Thessalian Admetus’ sheep. Oh how I would wish, if the nature of things allowed it, that this century would return to a former age, so that I with my Joculus could now be hymned as a myth! Come hither, oh friends, and comprehend with your minds things by which our nation’s posterity will be amazed. Cento, what forms do you say shape-shifting Jove assumed?
CENTO A bull, a swan, a snake, and gold, and all for love.
ARCHOPHYLAX You recount trifles. Out of his most audacious love for the Captive, Ergastes (whom foreigners everywhere extol to the skies with their shouts), costumed in the guise of a jester, played the servant. Callio, you read out the testimony of the letter.


PHILARETUS We’re deceived, Eutrapelus. Thus my troubled mind foresees.
ARCHOPHYLAX You’ve come here auspiciously, Philaretus. Come, and let Joculus, who has often filled your ears with his little pleasantries, now fill them with sorrows.
PHILARETUS What sad song is our Archophylax singing?
ARCHOPHYLAX Read it aloud Callio, and let your voice’s midwifery bring to light that in which the writing is pregnant.
CENTO Ye Muses, fatten a calf for my reader.
ARCHOPHYLAX You’re dumbstruck, Archophylax? Well, so am I. If I have deliberately acted insane and my folly reduces you to amazement, this is because my inability to soften you out of your savagery has nearly driven my mind into a pining failure. But learn at length by what pious zeal I have driven my mind to the point of delirium, and learn to your amazement. For my hope (alas, too trusting in this investment) bade me earn the freedom of the Captive, my consolation, from your heart, delighted by pleasures. If I have ever been a source of pleasure or delight to you with my japes, this is welcome to me, I certainly would profit by these futile consolations of my sorrows, and I appeal to your sense of shame as the earnest avenger of my injuries. I do not deny I have earned the Captive’s liberty. For she, with soul free from the prison of the body, flies to the laurel-wreathed companies of heavenly souls. But since it is not granted me to witness with untroubled eyes that which you have commanded be done by the executioner, and since I cannot abandon her, as I have worshiped her alone since my youth, although she she has deserted this life, and since I cannot likewise assert my freedom, it befalls me, as I wish, to live without my country and to lead the rest of my life in a foreign nation. In the meantime, until I take my departure, as a prophet I forecast that the purple blood shed on behalf of Christ’s Church will someday result in a most happy harvest for England. Farewell.
EUTRAPELUS The matter explains itself, Master, why yesterday evening Sophron came to the back gate in secret, earnestly asking me for my master’s clothes, I mean clothes in which he can make his escape as quickly as possible.
PHILARETUS You’re a diviner.
ARCHOPHYLAX Why are you making eyes at each other? Callio, Diagoras, and the rest of you senators, these are novel things.
CENTO A novel thing always has varying outcomes.
ARCHOPHYLAX Spoken like a prophet, Cento, and an outcome will befall this novel event that is not unbefitting. Let no killing pollute this day, not yet will the Captive be given over as fodder to death. Joculus’ loyal mind has earned this. Mark this, you select judges, I have dispatched soldiers to the harbor to hunt for him and bring him back immediately when found. If God kindly seconds my prayers and places Joculus in my hands, I’ll straightway put him in chains, but gentler ones. And (as he has purchased by undergoing so many tribulations) he will be a constant attendant of the Captive in her prison, where with seductive delights and plentiful seductions of the pleasures we will vigorously strive to win him over to our faith. But if, suffused with the Captive’s learned poisons, he rejects our pleasant attempts, then in turn we will make the attempt with whips and racks until by torture we bring him freely to accept what he rejects. Joculus faithfulness has put me in this mild frame of mind. You suggest, Callio: if I have decided amiss, you give me your advice.
CALLIO This is one source of concern, that this business has captivated Archophylax.
SIMULUS Glory be to God on high, though captivated, let him oppress the Captive with harsh chains, let the Almighty give His approval.
CENTO Thanks to this, let its chaste sons cling to their religion.
ARCHOPHYLAX In the end a hidden fire shoots forth its sparks. Joculus, Ergastes, my humorous companion, happy, possessed of no manners dipped in gall, with a mild mind heavy with much honey. Ah, Joculus!
COCODRILLUS If it pleases you, most worshipful Archophylax, this adds to the heap of Joculus’ praises, that his name was inscribed in the album of my friends.
DIAGORAS Oh you trifling babbler!
COCODRILLUS And we were also bound together most tightly both by the likeness of our manners and by a kinship more than brotherly.
DIAGORAS Woe’s me.
CENTO What will masters do, when thieves dare such things?
DIAGORAS You show you’re richly endowed, you rascal. There is no mud muddier than you, you stinking person, you bring disgrace on me and on yourself.
CENTO Begin, little boy, on whom your parents have not smiled.
DIAGORAS When I consider you from the standpoint of your physical body, I see nothing which I can expect reap for myself save for thorns, thistles, and other rustic infelicities. But inasmuch as I value you for your noble character of mind and your versatile wit, I was hoping for other fruits, for more elegant manners.
CENTO Now the earth produces bad men and weaklings.
ARCHOPHYLAX You restrain your manners, Diagoras. Apply yourself to your own clemency. Forwardness adorns young men, courtesy their elders.
DIAGORAS But foolish-talking forwardness renders young men unwelcome. Once I myself was over-hasty with my words and I uniquely adored the bits of foolishness to which I gave birth. But the things I often spouted as a youth I have now retracted in my serious old age.
CENTO A good and wise man, you scarcely find one in a thousand.
DIAGORAS You beast, do you know that little beast the chameleon, which secretly acquires the color of the things around it?
COCODRILLUS, I know it, Master, for he was a companion in my guts while you were feeding me on chameleon food.
DIAGORAS I bid you acquire his endowments. Look here, I stand before you as a most clear object-lesson, fix your eyes upon me to you may learn the graces with which you may enrich yourself. You must be closely vigilant and always keep your eyes on mine.
COCODRILLUS So now I give you my eyes so I may keep watch on you more vigilantly and study you the closer.
DIAGORAS Ha ha ha. Are you so lynx-eyed? Take care, I tell you, not to remove your eyes from mine henceforth. Am I speaking clearly enough for your understanding, dunce?
SIMULUS You’re pouring your discourse into a punctured barrel, Diagoras, whatever you have poured in goes flowing out on both sides.
DIAGORAS But I’ll puncture him, I’ll barrel him around, and so cross-hatch his skin with my robust muscles that he’ll turn out the most tightly-sealed of barrels, ha ha ha.
CENTO If the vessel is not pure, whatever you pour in turns to vinegar.
EUTRAPELUS By heaven, whatever silly chatter that crew of cowherds pours in turns to vinegar.
DIAGORAS Ah, the chatter of of those most cloddish quadrupeds!
ARCHOPHYLAX Put a stop to your squabbling.
DIAGORAS Follow me, lest I perplexingly perturb your back, you animal.
ARCHOPHYLAX [Handing him the cast-off jester’s costume.] Cocodrillus, because of your warm benevolence towards Joculus and great harmony with him in your ways, on you I bestow his varicolored hide.
COCODRILLUS I swear upon my sense of shame, the art of the entire toiling world, with the full assembly of gods and goddesses comprehensively coming to its assistance, could manufacture nothing for Cocodrillus more delightful to the eyes, more ornamental to the head, more handsome on the breast, more brilliant on the legs, or more fitting for all his body, than this tunic.
ARCHOPHYLAX I congratulate you on your modesty, Cocodrillus.
CENTO Oh how great his wit amidst sudden developments!
DIAGORAS And I praise your rich crop of eloquence in giving thanks.
ARCHOPHYLAX Ergastes, where are you? Where are you hiding?
CALLIO God help me, I am drenched with sweat, I was so afraid that tricky Diagoras would taint my hem with his poison.
EUTRAPELUS [Aside.] Soon I’ll do a fine job of healing this hem.
PRURIO What’s your feeling about the fiddle, Philaretus?
PHILARETUS I don’t want it ruined by your own testimony, Prurio. Be of an easy mind concerning that fiddle.
PRURIO I’m a man of few words.


ARCHOPHYLAX Good! Favorable westerlies are blowing at last. Here’s Joculus, returned by happy auspices. From where in the world are you bringing him, soldiers?
JAILOR While we were quickly boarding a ship in the harbor, there he was in front of our eyes, kneeling on the ground, with his hands uplifted to heaven, earnestly praying for fair winds.
ARCHOPHYLAX Let all the waters which carry off ships be fertile with winds and gales, as long as they don’t deprive me of my Joculus.
CENTO Malicious minds lurking underneath the fox-skin never deceive you.
COCODRILLUS Look at me, Joculus.
DIAGORAS Ha, you silly fellow!
ARCHOPHYLAX But I’m mistaken, my eyes are deceived, Joculus is a runaway and has taken off for distant climes. It is Ergastes who has returned (if flying rumor reports the truth, and not falsehoods), famed for his deeds, and exulting in his noble accomplishments, whom the Catholics extol with such great eulogies. Set aside those gloomy looks, Ergastes, fill your mind with joy. Her final day has not yet dawned for the Captive, she exists among the living. Let us go, you have finished all your sufferings. Being safe, possess your safe Captive, you will gain this price for your most welcome servitude. You, watchful friends, the permanent protection of the republic, now seek out your homes in security, we have happily completed our work. (Exit Archophylax with the jailors).
SIMULUS Glory be to God on high, we have spent this day in a happy quest.
CENTO (To Cocodrillus, who is weeping childishly.) Oh child, do not inquire into the great sorrow of your people. Go home, having eaten, move along, you ancient husbandmen. After many a day comes one that is serene.
PRURIO I bid adieu to all my quarrels with my fiddle. (Exit.)
EUTRAPELUS Master, now it is fitting for us to free ourselves of all blame.
PHILARETUS (Diagoras and Callio stand at the door, about to depart.) Diagoras.
PHILARETUS I come to you as a spokesman. Allow me to beg you for that candid friendship with which your hearts shine.
DIAGORAS Ask away, Philaretus.
PHILARETUS I desire you to return to your former friendship. The quarrels we sowed between you were our lies, we invented these hostilities and created these schemes in our workshops.
CALLIO I don’t know what sin this soliloquy signifies, but in the meantime I want to keep my hem protected from his practices.
EUTRAPELUS My name is Peace. Resume your old bonds of affection, I beg you, I implore you. Let these savage battles between you come to an end.
DIAGORAS, No, your name is Quarrel, you whipping-block, setting my mind ablaze so unkindly.
EUTRAPELUS I confess it, but you, who are mild with such peaceful gentleness, should gently tolerate what was ungently done.
DIAGORAS Philaretus, did you invent that fiction about my usury?
PHILARETUS That was my contrivance. Forgive me, Diagoras.
CALLIO Eutrapelus, did you concoct that lie about the poison intended for me?
EUTRAPELUS Forgive that painting which I, a mixed out of concocted paints.
CALLIO By heavens, I had a suspicion that Eutrapelus had contrived this playful trick.
DIAGORAS But, if it please you, whose advantage does it serve to hold us leading men up to derision, the pillars of the city and leading lights of the republic?
PHILARETUS It was the support you gave for the Captive’s death. Our very happy affection for Joculus gave birth to this audacity.
DIAGORAS You darling man, you shouldn’t be ashamed to devise a thousand offenses so that you may do good for a friend.
CALLIO To help a friend in difficulties, it is a pardonable to be an architect of deceptions. I forgive you, Eutrapelus. Farewell, Diagoras.
DIAGORAS And fare you well.
CALLIO Now my hem is safe. (Exit.)
COCODRILLUS Hey, Eutrapelus. So it was a pretended fever that tormented you.
EUTRAPELUS Ah Cocodrillus! How are you, my sweetest man?
COCODRILLUS And with your facial expression you feigned frightful madness.
EUTRAPELUS It was your art that restored my mind to me as I was failing.
COCODRILLUS Ah, Eutrapelus has turned into a seller of drugs. Now his words flow sweetly. Ah, you clever little man, born of snakes, a forked-tongued rascal, now your speech is honeyed, but with what insults you flayed my master today!
COCODRILLUS In fact you’re more changeable than Vertumnus, showing yourself as ailing or healthy, as you wish. These things proclaim your craftiness, Eutrapelus, you most scurvy of all shape-shifting Eutrapeluses.
EUTRAPELUS Shades of Cicero! Heart of purple passages! What toasts of nectar you propose to me, Cocodrillus! I never come to visit you but that I go away more stupid. (Averting his face.)
COCODRILLUS Indeed you speak from the tripod, for by my clever sallies I always provoke you to foolish talk, ha ha.
PHILARETUS You’re too sharp with your outpouring, Cocodrillus. Tame your wild soul. In his heart of hearts Eutrapelus adores you.
COCODRILLUS And you, Philaretus, are rowing in the same boat, you choir-leader of cheats, you most profligate mocker of physicians.
DIAGORAS Hey, what are you grunting, you feeder of pigs? Pray am I not Diagoras?
COCODRILLUS Of course, and I am Cocodrillus.
DIAGORAS Are you possessed of such a depraved mouth and incorrigible mind that you don’t give a fig for my dignity and excellence? Are you possessed of such an unbridled tongue that I need to be ashamed of your shameless acerbity?
PHILARETUS Diagoras, calm yourself.
DIAGORAS Allow me to indulge myself. Are you possessed of such a millstone of a head that you can’t be consistent with yourself in even the most trifling matter? Wasn’t this the least of your rascality, to make no account of my public image, unless you also attacked with your insults our leading citizens, shining in their gold-embroidered garments, born of the ancient blood of the gods?
EUTRAPELUS Diagoras, restrain yourself.
DIAGORAS Let me be, I tell you. So aren’t I continuing to wash an Ethiopian, when by my experienced arts I try to improve your soul, black with horrible habits? Come here, you blockhead, you most uncouth man, if you’ve gone astray with feet, eyes or hands, you’ll have done that while trusting in the resilience of your shoulderblades. Philaretus, that you may be helpful to a friend, I regard as welcome whatever you have feigned on behalf of a friend, you should not cease from piling good deeds atop of good deeds. Meanwhile, according to your regal modesty, it is most fair for you to learn with a calm mind that Cocodrillus was born to a humble station, his father is unknown. I recruited him for myself because of his great cleverness when he was making a living by begging from door to door. Therefore, just as elegant manners further adorn a man clad in gold, in the same way foul manners, more foul than dung, defile poverty.
PHILARETUS I understand, Diagoras, and I forgive.
DIAGORAS Farewell.
COCODRILLUS How gladly I behold you, Master! Just so Joculus himself appears before my eyes.
DIAGORAS Alas! Me bear this insult? Alas!
COCODRILLUS Ah Master, no crow is more like another crow, nor goose like goose, than you smack of Joculus.
DIAGORAS [Aside.] I’ll wisely suppress my bile and address him with a calm expression, so that at home I can assault him with whips while he’s off his guard and yawning.
COCODRILLUS Ah Master, my soft tears are flowing, thus Joculus affects my tender mind.
DIAGORAS But I’ll soon make Joculus your closer kinsmen. I’ll dress you in his finery, and in his stead you may do his job of entertaining. Let’s go.
COCODRILLUS Oh honeyed words, not Diagorical ones! (Exit Diagoras and Cocodrillus.)
EUTRAPELUS I’m a liar unless both of them smack of Joculus, but neither of them of Ergastes.
PHILARETUS What are we doing, Eutrapelus? Suddenly my heart within is a-boil with sorrow.
EUTRAPELUS What am I hearing?
PHILARETUS Now the ardor is beginning to overflow my mind.
EUTRAPELUS You need water to cool yourself down, lest you immediately turn to ash.
PHILARETUS Ah, Eutrapelus! Sophron, Ergastes, Joculus!
EUTRAPELUS What? You are grieving for a man who has been taken away and is overwhelmed by miseries, but you’ll never be grieving for a miserable man. Ergastes is strong, and you must deny a man to be miserable whom you see to be strong. Therefore you must bear Ergastes with an easy heart, and remember that everything has turned out as in a comedy. Joys abound on all sides, the Captive is enjoying life, Ergastes is enjoying the Captive, we have returned the old men to their former bonds of affection. Amidst happy things you alone make yourself unhappy again.
PHILARETUS However it may be, Eutrapelus, this sadness will give birth to gladness. I’m ashamed that out of fear I have relegated to tight secrecy the Roman faith I pursue in my prayers, nor appointed myself a fighter on its behalf. But you must flee, you ghost-haunted delays, I begin the fight. Henceforth England will celebrate Philaretus the Catholic. O how my mind burns to have me given as a companion to Ergastes, either in bitter death or in a thousand perils.
EUTRAPELUS Take care for yourself, Philaretus. You are at London. Those who inhabit the Tower are not ghosts or empty hobgoblins of the night.
PHILARETUS Ghosts, trifles.
EUTRAPELUS We have seen Ergastes gathered into Archophylax’ friendly embraces, but the oracle at Athens predicted the end we must expect. If expressions of friendship had proved less profitable, they would not have gently wafted him from his faith. They are decided on accomplishing things by hurling thunderbolts. Count off on your fingers the great machines for torture with which the Tower is bursting. (He act mimes each one with appropriate gestures.) First of all, they will bind your arms and legs with iron chains. But these are trifles.
EUTRAPELUS They’ll fit gloves to your hands, artfully outfitted with brass plates, by which you’ll acquire fingers twice their old size. Trifles.
EUTRAPELUS They’ll wrench you limb from limb on the rack, until you emerge taller than normal. Trifles.
EUTRAPELUS You’ll be bound to the iron wheel, where, your feet touching the top of your head, you’ll come out looking like a sphere. Trifles.
EUTRAPELUS You’ll be crammed in a very narrow cell, where you won’t be able to stand upright or stretch out your limbs on the ground. Trifles.
EUTRAPELUS You’ll be thrust down into an underground dungeon, to be emaciated by fear, darkness, filth, and starvation. Trifles.
EUTRAPELUS And at the last the executioner will set his hand on you. Imagine yourself strapped to a wicker hurdle being dragged to the scaffold. And there, the iron passed through your bowels, your guts ripped out and dancing on the fire (with you breathing and looking on), they’ll give your dismembered body as food hung out for birds. Trifles.
PHILARETUS Ha ha, You are singing to a deaf man about trifles and specters. Let’s go. (Exit Philaretus.)
EUTRAPELUS (Walking about thoughtfully.) He’s gone. Eutrapelus, you fool, why are you lingering? Philaretus’ footsteps have never led you astray. Come, it has been voted in the senate of your heart that Eutrapelus will go as Philaretus’ indefatigable follower through fires, through heat, through everything. [To the audience.] I earnestly, I wholeheartedly beg, entreat and pray you to be persuaded of this in your minds. If you agree, you whom our ungainly Captive has long held captive, I now manumit you, and I will repay with interest my gratitude in exchange for your gratitude kindly granted to our ears, for such gratitude is gravid with graces. Go, forgive, applaud. (Exit.)