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JUL. Gods, if you ever hear mortals’ prayers and offer kindly ears to their gentle prayers, grant a piteous and pitiable woman that she may be permitted to lose her hateful life. Hurl your avenging fires against me, highest Father, against me, I say, the cause of an unspeakable evil, seek me, me. Oh you, once my soul’s sweet half, what unlucky mishap has taken you from me? Why have you deserved to perish so suddenly? I call on you, you, the authors of this dire death, give me a reason why Erophilus was snatched away from me. Erophilus, why do you lie there? Why do you neglect my complaints, nor console me with your sweet voice, as is your wont? But he is departed, alas, alas he has gone.
AME. Why do you vainly burden the gods with plaints, Mistress, nor console yourself? The things that are past do not return, the first step towards any goal is to wish. It befits you to conquer every fortune by endurance.
JUL. Be quiet, Amerina, sorrow brings no consolation.
AME. Now, Mistress, your will bids me keep silence. But on the other hand loyalty compels me to speak. What sane person would want that which cannot help at all, but can hinder? What if somebody happens to see us as his body goes through the streets? Instantly he’ll accuse us of murder, nor will we escape the ill repute of violated chastity. These things are grave to speak of, and bitter to endure, and yet they threaten unless you take care for yourself.
JUL. So do whatever you wish, Amerina.
AME. If you approve my advice, Mistress, I’ll free you from all shame, and afterwards the passage of time will gradually lessen your sorrow.
JUL. I’ll obey you. But tell me in what way.
AME. When Erophilus still lived, Mistress, he was vigorous of body and fierce of spirit, nor did he learn to suffer any insult. I’ll stab him with many wounds, so that everybody will think he was killed in a duel.
JUL. Amerina, though this advice is useful, yet it does not please me, I can’t stand to have his handsome corpse deformed with wounds.
AME. But it must be done, Mistress. Why do wounds harm a dead man? In no other way can you extricate yourself in safety.
JUL. What will I do, Amerina? I do not like this thing. Are you so brutal that you are able to do it?
AME. So what remains? But look at this empty chest conveniently standing in front of Lucius’ house. I think we should put him in it, Mistress.
PANTA. Alas, Master, what unfair mischance carried you off?
JUL. By Pollux, I’m very amazed at this, Pantaleo, nor am I able to suspect anything, unless perhaps he died after being enchanted. When he entered my chamber just now he made no complaint, and indeed he was healthy enough. Suddenly his spirit failed him, and a cold sweat broke out on all his limbs, his color changed, his expression, and, being transformed, everything went cold and stiff. I didn’t perceive anything more.
PANTA. Now I’m a wretch, what can I begin to do? Shall I summon the neighbors to reveal the matter to them? What would be the advantage? Then I’ll be a party to the crime. What will become of you now, Pantaleo?
JUL. I cannot give any further loyalty to Erophilus. Pantaleo, because I know you were loyal to him for a long time, and now perhaps have no place to turn, take this from me as if it were a gift from your master, and see that you provide me your secret trust.
PANTA. Wherever in the world, Julia, I may live hereafter, I will remember your love towards my master and your bounty.
AME. But we should hurry, Mistress, delay invites danger.
JUL. Erophilus, once most dear to my heart, whose love no love will replace, farewell for a moment, I’ll follow you soon. But farewell for a long time, for me a brief delay is long. No, farewell forever, I’ll never see you again.
PANTA. Oh unfortunate ending of a chaste love! Is this how chaste loves should be rewarded? What now is most reasonable to do? If I’m arrested here I’ll be accused of murder, yet I have no idea how Master died. Now I’ll run off to Venice, to old Ferdinandus, my master’s father. I’ll tell him this sad news, that his son Erophilus is dead. But I can’t tell him in what way, by what misfortune. But what’s this sound I hear in the night? I don’t like it, I’m happy Julia’s gone in. I’ll flee from here to the harbor nearby, where I’ll find a ship bound for Venice.


BAR. Is anybody here?
CLO. There’s nobody.
BAR. Anybody following us?
CLO. Nobody’s following.
BAR. Fine, Clopetarus, the job’s gone well. But it’s inconvenient for us to carry the stuff inside in this way, now there’s need for haste. Now it’s growing light, I’m afraid lest somebody’s following us.
CLO. Look at that chest, Bargulus. Let’s toss everything inside with speed.
BAR. Most pleasant, as long as there’s no bitter spice.
CLO. Let’s lift up the chest and quickly depart.
BAR. Now we’ve come to the innkeeper’s house, let’s rouse the innkeeper. By Hercules, we’ve gotten some heavy loot.
CLO. Wake up, innkeeper, open up.
INN. Who’s banging on my door so early in the morning?
BAR. Your patrons. Get up, I tell you, and open up.
INN. Hey, my fine playmates, have you got some booty?
BAR. The best.
INN. That’ useful for feeding a family, I’ll have a share in this loot.
BAR. And in the hanging, if one happens. Now, innkeeper, were straight off to bed, the booty will be shared out when we wake up.
INN. These are the men who support my art, and we in turn provide our mutual help. If any well-monied guest comes flying up, I ask him where he’s travelling and what companions he has. If the thing falls out opportunely for us, I sick these clever hunting-dogs on him, and if they find his tracks, they follow him by his scent so keenly that they never come hope without loot having been taken. And indeed in this city there’s a certain breed of imperious fellows, proud, clever, sophistic, who in a word they call scholars. If I could come across one of those, how I’d sent my puppies against him! For we townsmen who live in Padua pursue them with hatred, worse than dog and snake. But this doesn’t happen just to us, they say that it occurs elsewhere too. But why do I demand they fall into my nets? Everywhere they squabble and swap syllogisms about subtleties, but don’t own even a grain of silver. But I see others approaching, its now almost dawn. I’ll go in and wait until those chaps wake up. (Enter a constable.)


CONST. Just now the neighbors’ shouting woke me up, thieves were heard in the house of Pontanus the merchant, they cleaned it out and stole various wares which I have in this list, duly itemized. Let’s make an effort, neighbors, to find them at last. Here we should support each others’ efforts, and others will do this for us when there’s need. But lo, I hear someone approaching. Let us remain, I want to overhear his talk.
GOT. Good gods, how difficult is to forward the business of an insane master in love! How much nonsense he spoke to me returning from dinner! Then tonight in his dreams he seemed to see Julia, and Erophilus talking with her. There he muttered to himself in his sleep, and at length shouted, and didn’t let me rest. “What things are bothering you, Master?” I asked. Then he said, “Ah, where did I imagine I was? Oh Gothrio, Gothrio, now I feel love’s power! Sleeping I am awake, nor can I rest.” So he despatched me, secretly to keep watch lest any messenger goes a-running from Erophilus to Julia.
CONST. Who are you?
GOT. Hey, so many armed men against a single unarmed one.
CONST. Wait, there’s something I want of you.
GOT. But I don’t want anything of you people.
CONST. Wait, I tell you. Explain to me who you are.
GOT. The same thing as you.
CONST. How so?
GOT. I’m a man.
CONST. But answer this. I’m a constable, one man of two.
GOT. But I’m a man of three.
CONST. In what manner, pray?
GOT. I’m a man of three letters.
CONST. You’re the one we want.
GOT. Why so, please?
CONST. Because we’re searching for a thief.
GOT. Hercules, then I’m not who I am. Indeed, truly, I flatly deny it. Where are you dragging me? “A thing’s done quickly enough if it’s done well enough.”
CONST. Where are you from.
GOT. From our place.
CONST. He’s come to mock us. Who’s your master?
GOT. Pantomagus the physician.
CONST. Why are you here so early in the morning?
GOT. For a trifling little thing.
CONST. What?
GOT. Nothing at all.
CONST. How wittily the fellow cracks jokes! You mock us with impunity, you whipping-post?
GOT. Why are you touching me? What do you want? What are you looking for? If you lay a hand on me, watch out, you evil thing.


INN. Hey, men of Padua, pray give me your aid.
CONST. Who’s shouting? Indeed your voice is very violent.
INN. Somebody or other in my house this very night has been hiding furtively in my guests’ chamber. He either came to ransack the house or to kill them. There was a fight inside and, behold, the door burst open and I grabbed him. Give orders, as much as you can.
CONST. Why are you standing there? Why aren’t you arresting him?
INN. When you look him over, see if his face doesn’t show he’s a criminal.
CONST. Silence. What business have you in this house?
ERO. What can I answer him first? Nothing.
CONST. What were you doing?
ERO. Nothing.
CONST. But what were you seeking for yourself here?
ERO. Nothing at all, indeed.
CONST. But you’re doing nothing if you thus answer “nothing.”
CLO. While we were asleep there was a noise in the chamber, we were awakened and saw him rising up from the chest. He launched an attack on us, and he bloodied my teeth.
GOT. By the immortal gods, what’s this business? Has Erophilus at last been arrested as a thief?
CONST. What to you answer to these things? “Nothing” again?
ERO. I confess that I hit one of them with my fist, after he had decided to lay hold of me.
CONST. Then he’s telling the truth.
INN. Oh indeed, most true. He’s in the habit. Nobody alive’s more honest. I dare avouch this for both of them. If it were otherwise they’d seek out another house, they’d not stay with me.
CONST. Well said, and as befits an upright man. Did he want to do violence to you?
BAR. Very much so.
CONST. You strike me as honest. Indeed, as I look at you I feel sorry for you.
GOT. But don’t feel sorry for him, he’s very evil.
CONST. Do you hear what these men are saying about you?
ERO. Yes, I’m very unfortunate.
CONST. Why so?
ERO. Because I have no idea who I am, nor where I am, nor what I should answer.
CONST. How long were you hiding in this house?
ERO. I don’t know.
CONST. Who let you in?
ERO. I don’t know.
CONST. Where did you come from?
ERO. I don’t know that most of all.
CONST. It’s a wonder if somebody hasn’t bewitched this man. But how could he enter your chamber except by breaking the lock, unless perhaps he was let in by someone?
BAR. He wasn’t let in by either of us, nor could he have been by anybody else. See, we carry the key with us.
CONST. So he either has forged keys or there’s some hole in the walls, or a secret entrance you don’t know about. Whatever it is, I want to have a look myself.
INN. (Aside.) We’re ruined. Now he’ll confiscate the stolen goods.
CONST. Lead us, constable. Why are you delaying?
INN. I’ll follow you.
CONST. You lead and show the way.
INN. It’s not right to enter a filthy room. First let it be cleaned up and let the bed be made.
CONST. No, stay, there’s no need.
INN. Yes, yes, I won’t be troubled by the effort.
CONST. It won’t happen. Enter, you people wait for me here, and guard him until I return.
ERO. They say that once upon a time the Bacchantes tore Pentheus to pieces and shredded his body into all sorts of pieces. That’s nothing in comparison to the way I’m torn apart in mind and body. Immortal gods, what kind of monstrosity is this? I’m awake, I’m alive, I have strength, I can think but I don’t know what I’m doing or what I’m going to do. Thus I’ve completely forgotten myself.
GOT. (To himself.) I’ll approach the fellow and pretend I don’t know him. (Aloud.) Great greetings, my fine young man.
ERO. And to you too.
GOT. Pray, are you Erophilus?
ERO. Why do you ask that? Indeed I am.
GOT. Perhaps a kinsman to the man who courts Julia?
ERO. I do not have a mind so shattered with miseries that I won’t repay with evil a man who deserve evil. As if you don’t recognize me, Gothrio!
GOT. Gods preserve you! Me recognize you? I didn’t know you were so fierce. You keep him under guard good and proper, as the constable has instructed. Pray, may I address these men?
ERO. At least as far as I am concerned you may.
GOT. Pray is this the thief you were looking for just now?
ERO. If I run into you, you’ll get what you have coming to you.
GOT. Do you want Julia to be called outside? I’ll gladly do you this favor, she lives here, she’s nearby, don’t say no, it’ll happen now if you want.
ERO. I’ll silence your tongue for you, rascal.
GOT. While he’s leaving I’ll cross over to Master to inform him of these things.
CONST. Lay hands on all of them immediately. Immortal gods, where will you find an upright man now, whom you can’t distinguish by his face or his speech? This man who just now defended himself and his guests with such constancy of speech, see how he’s discovered to be a party to this theft, since he knowingly took those men in. Here we found the wares we were looking for, these men most freely confess everything.
INN. Woe to you. You have misled me, a right honorable man, you rascals, and you have unwillingly drawn me into this theft.
CLO. No indeed, he devised the plan in the first place, and he freely promised us his aid.
CONST. That’s good. These things will be sorted out elsewhere. Next, they confess they have stolen Lucius’ chest, in which they placed their stolen loot. Where’s that chest? Let it be brought out. (Enter Pantomagus.) We’ve invested our effort well, the thieves have been found, as has somebody else, and I’m very curious how his case will turn out.
ERO. If I’ve done anything to deserve it, I don’t refuse punishment.
CONST. You follow me, so that we can devote ourselves to this matter.


GOT. Now, Master, don’t I finally seem to have told you the truth, that Erophilus has been arrested as a thief?
PANTO. Now I think the gods adore me, thus they load me with lavish kindnesses. In the first place, for the sake of my art men openly worship me.
GOT. Assuredly.
PANTO. Then for the sake of my beauty women dote on me.
GOT. More assuredly.
PANTO. In the third place, the goodness of my nature makes me dear to one and all.
GOT. Most assuredly.
PANTO. In the fourth place, Julia begins to love me.
GOT. (Aside.) He never makes an end of his self-praise. (Aloud.) True.
PANTO. Then again, Erophilus has lost all hope.
GOT. More true.
PANTO. And finally, Alphonsus loves me as a son.
GOT. Most true.
PANTO. So I alone shall possess Julia.
GOT. (Aside.) So I don’t have anything to answer. (Aloud.) Nai ton Apollv.
PANTO. What did you say, Gothrio?
GOT. It’s Greek, Master, it has nothing to do with you.
PANTO. Oh Greek, Greek, that’s good, I understand, I understand.
GOT. Oh nothing easier, I know, I know.
PANTO. Do you think I’ll possess Julia, Gothrio?
GOT. I think so, and I can adduce arguments why I think so.
PANTO. Really? Have you learned about the arguments of things, Gothrio? (Aside.) This buffoon is clever and quite talented, beyond a servant’s condition. Nobody resembles me more. (Aloud.) Come, Gothrio, instruct me, you’re shrewd.
GOT. You want to possess Julia?
PANTO. I want to.
GOT. It will happen.
GOT. Master, I’ll give you a two-horned argument.
PANTO. Go ahead.
GOT. In the first place, just as a horse, no matter how high-spirited, if his grain is taken away, greedily eats even hay under the compulsion of hunger, even so Julia, now that she’s lost Erophilus, will tenaciously snatch at you, even against your will.
PANTO. Ha ha he! And, if she’s starving, I’ll give myself to her for the eating and the chewing.
GOT. (Aside.) And for the mocking. (Aloud.) Heavens, you act most lovingly.
PANTO. But why do you compare such a beautiful girl to a horse?
GOT. Because she’s as fit as a horse for bearing a load.
PANTO. You’re a virtuous man. (Aside.) This man delights me with his wit. (Aloud.) But continue as you began, by adducing arguments.
GOT. As the sun, when once he has attained Cancer, immediately transits to Capricorn, thus your Julia, who has lost Erophilus, leaving him behind will immediately come to you.
PANTO. Ah, you please me so much when you call her the sun, the source of life! But why do you call him Cancer?
PANTO. Because his love proceeds with a retrograde motion.
PANTO. How cunning! But why am I Capricorn?
GOT. Every comparison is defective, Master. But would you prefer to be Cancer, so that you should lose her, or Capricorn, so that you should find her?
PANTO. Indeed, by Hercules, I prefer to be Capricorn.
GOT. Wow, you’re wise, Master. Thus it was necessary, for if he who lost her is Cancer, you are Capricorn if you find her.
PANTO. I finally understand.
GOT. And I pray you finally perceive this.
PANTO. Oh would that it were so!
GOT. And have no doubt, Master. I didn’t rashly invent this argument for your benefit, I dreamed the whole thing last night.
PANTO. What, pray?
GOT. That she is the sun, and you are the Capricorn of the winter clime, who have experienced a great winter of love, from the protracted absence of the sun in the direction of Cancer.
PANTO. Heavens, that’s true.
GOT. Then finally it seemed to head for Capricorn in a straight line.
PANTO. By the gods you’re telling me the truth, Gothrio. Now I seem to have trust in myself.
GOT. But so this matter may be more certain, Master, do you want to learn from me about a drug, not commonly known, which arouses love?
PANTO. I want to.
GOT. Take the eye of a one-eyed man, and the testicle of a one-balled man, and you’ll make —
PANTO. What will I make?
GOT. — this one blind, that one a eunuch.
PANTO. What do a blind man and a eunuch have to do with my love?
GOT. As much as your love has to do with a blind man and a eunuch?
PANTO. What’s this confusion of words, you evil thing?
GOT. But do you wish to learn a fast-working drug of small cost, master?
PANTO. As long as you don’t make fun of me.
GOT. So pray listen. Just take Julia’s morning urine, let it be distilled and its quintessence be extracted. It’s a proven thing that if you drink five times in the morning before breakfast you’ll gain her love.
PANTO. Get away, scoundrel. Is this how you treat me?
GOT. But listen, Master. For if you come to her afterwards, if you can steal even a single kiss, when she smells your spirit, she’ll perceive that it is like her own, and thus your two spirits will fuse into one.
PANTO. There’s something in what this clown says, but he’s a bit mistaken in one thing. I recall that Avicenna writes something of the sort. Now I’m going to Alphonsus, to take counsel for his health.

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