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COM. Ah me, my Lovelearning.
LOV. What do you say, my darling?
COM. I’m all shakes and shivers since I caught sight of False.
LOV. Why, my life?
COM. You ask, indeed? As if you didn’t know, Lovelearning, with what effort he has often tried to kill off me, poor me!
LOV. I know, Comedy, that he used to be a great adversary to you, as long as there was any hope of tearing me away from you. But now, I’m sure he’ll desist when he perceives this hope to be taken away.
COM. But what if your father should command you to abandon this love?
PHIL. Whence or why, pray tell, has this fear arisen in your mind?
COM. Certainly that False is a smooth talker and he’s honey-tongued, and he puts up a wonderful show of virtue. I am afraid, my Lovelearning, lest with these things he may deceive your father.
LOV. There’s nothing, I trust, in what you fear which really pertains to me. I have no idea how he fares in his other matters, but in this business I know he won’t achieve a thing so that in the future I, whom am Comedy’s lover, will cease to be.
COM. I’d not be afraid if this were up to you alone, but it depends on your father’s will. If he were to happen to drag you away from me, it would be hard to resist.
LOV. Do you think that my father is of such a puny spirit or fickle mind that he can be moved by False’s wheedlings, or that with deceits he’d violate the pledge he’s made to Wit?
COM. I don’t know what to think, but I fear False’s malice and wiles, with which he has come today lavishly equipped, I know full well.
LOV. Pray cease predicting evil, Comedy. Let’s talk about something else.
COM. All right.
LOV. What about your Ballad? Is she treating her new lover kindly enough?
COM. Very much so. Yet so many cares are distracting the poor fellow.
LOV. About what, pray tell?
COM. You ask about what? About performing his games.
LOV. What games?
COM. Soon you’ll see.
. [Offstage.] Hey Lovelearning!
LOV. Father.
JUDG. Come inside to me quickly.
COM. Oh unhappy me! I’m very afraid I prophesied the truth. I know full well that unclean man has persuaded him to separate us. Ah, Lovelearning, will you abandon me? I came onto the stage for your sake, and you’ll desert me now?
LOV. But the faith of men and gods, I’m not going to abandon you.
JUDG. Lovelearning, I say.
LOV. I must go. Pray wait a while. And upon this kiss I’ll return immediately and tell you what’s happened.
COM. Remember.
LOV. Unless I come —
COM. Enough, good-bye. But, oh, ruler of the gods, whom do I see? False? I’m ruined if he catches sight of me. [Exeunt.]


FALSE Come, boy, go out quickly. Look ahead, look down, look about. Do you see anybody?
COR Not a soul.
FALSE So everything’s been scrutinized?
COR. Trust me, there’s nobody. You can come out in safety.
FALSE So let’s proceed. Now, Baseness, give me a kiss. Hey, boy, close the doors now, or rather (are you listening?) get your self gone. Hey, wait. Oh, take yourself to Prudence our landlady and greet her on my behalf. (Cornelius is about to go.) And tell her also (are you listening?) that my business has gone well.
COR. I’m going. (Exit.)
BAS. Tell me, my dear, is Judgement hesitating now with doubtful mind? And is he undetermined what to do, whether he should let his son marry Comedy, or else say good-bye to here?
FALSE Yes indeed, verily, and if Wit hadn’t intervened, I had hopes to dissuade him from his purpose on the spot. I so cunningly manipulated the man that the wretch imagines that I alone am his true friend and well-wisher.
BAS. My goodness, False, you have done thing elegantly, in the whores’ way. For when whores are ancient and toothless they repair their faces with paint. In the same way you hide your treachery, malice, and other defects of your character under a false cover of sanctimoniousness and virtue.
FALSE You grasp the thing correctly, Baseness mine. I am two-faced, verily.
BAS. What? Two-faced? Are you another Janus?
FALSE I care not for Januses or Trojans, I say I am two-faced.
BAS. What does that word mean?
FALSE You’ll hear. A gloomy austerity sits on my face while I’m in public; but furtively, my pleasure, furtively, nobody is more forward than I, nobody merrier, nobody who indulges his natural inclination the more.
BAS. Gods preserve me, thus you are wise with all your heart.
FALSE In public I’m a unique model of moderation. But furtively, my delight, I’m a man. I shall say nothing more. I am a man, furtively.
BAS. Ha ha he. “Who does not know the rest.”
FALSE “Worn out, we all took our rest.” Why did I say “Worn out, we all took our rest?” I was mistaken, I should have said “We have all been mad once.” But I am a human, and to err is human.
BAS. Hercules, you are a rare man among men! Would you like to err in my house for a while? I’ve prepared a dinner for you, and some vintage wine.
FALSE Oh, away with your wine, away? Do you imagine I’m a wine-bibber?
BAS. You won’t hear this from me? But you know what grows cold without Ceres and Bacchus.
FALSE I know what does. But I know something of somebody’s that does not grow cold without Ceres and Bacchus, no verily it doesn’t, furtively.
BAS. But tell me seriously, don’t you like Bacchus just a little?
FALSE Not at all, verily.
BAS. Not at all?
FALSE Not Bacchus, verily, but I adore Iacchus with all my heart.
BAS. What, pray is the difference between Bacchus and Iacchus?
FALSE A great one, verily. For Bacchus is worshipped by those we call boon companions, but Iacchus only by us who are accustomed to drink furtively.
COR. This man, as it seems, belongs to the number of those who “pretend to be pure and live a Bacchanalia.”
BAS. Well done, a witty distinction! So do you want to have a small sip of Iacchus at my house?
FALSE Now it is not permitted, verily.
BAS. What, not even to sip?
FALSE No, verily. For there’s need of caution lest Wit and Judgement be reconciled.
BAS. Bah, what if Judgement comes back to Wit?
FALSE Then I’ll have to invent another scheme.
BAS. You’ve plenty of time. Meanwhile you can have a tiny sip of Iacchus.
FALSE Oh Baseness, “this is to be sapient, not only see what is presently before your feet, but also to foresee future things.”
BAS. Clever. But when you have attended to this, then won’t you sip some Iacchus?
FALSE “A word to the sapient suffices.” But Judgement’s door is creaking. [Lovelearning comes out of Judgement’s house.]
BAS. Where are you betaking yourself?
FALSE It’s Lovelearning. Hercules, he seems very gloomy, presumably because he sees his father’s mind to have been changed, and that now he won’t permit him to wed his often-craved Comedy.
BAS. In the meanwhile, then, I’m rescued by your effort, my False.
FALSE Now you should approach the man with all the best wiles you can. With them perhaps you can seduce him so that his love may return to you.
BAS. By Hercules, I can’t restrain myself from kissing your plan.
FALSE Oh get away, get away! Kisses in public? Let us postpone them until we can meet furtively.
BAS. I understand, soon you’ll be at my house.
FALSE Do not doubt it. Farewell. (Exit.)
BAS. Now what shall I do first? Songs, lovers’ best seductions. I’ll try this way first.


LOV. Where’s that knave who has ruined me? Oh if he were handed over to me now! Let me not live, if I don’t exact a due revenge on the man, who has (unless the gods take notice) altogether destroyed me in my misery and (what torments me the most) my Comedy. Indeed, False, if I live — But I’m ashamed of my father, who lent his ears to this rascal and kept no faith at all.
BAS. Come, subcelestial spheres, and put my Lovelearning in a stupor with a sweet little song.
LOV. Ah, my Comedy, I perceive that your prophecies were not in vain. [Instrumental music plays.] But what am I hearing? Whence? Why? What do the fiddlers want? What can I compare this music to?
BAS. The poor thing is dazed. But when I’ve greeted him I’ll dispel this stupor. [To the musicians.] You may depart. [To Lovelearning.] My Lovelearning, my delight, what’s happening.
LOV. How does it concern you? Are these your bewitcheries, Baseness?
BAS. Bewitcheries? Ah, don’t say that, Lovelearning, don’t say that. Let my small gifts not displease you, though they are of no value. Why stare at me with such baleful eyes? What sin have I committed against you?
LOV. Why are you bothering me? Pish, away with these blandishments.
BAS. Ah, so savagely! Do you disdain me, Lovelearning, now that you love Comedy?
LOV. And not undeservedly. Would it not strike you as a disgrace for me not to prefer Comedy to you? But I want you to know that I value your beauty less than her slipper.
BAS. My beauty less than her slipper? Ah, this is a great insult. But thus satiation is wont to be a near neighbor to disdain. But let it be so, let Comedy have first place with you. But don’t entirely bid farewell to Baseness.
LOV. But I’ve decided. So make an ending.
BAS. Ah, what’s been decided.
LOV. To say farewell to you forever.
BAS. Alas, for what deed?
LOV. Because this is my pleasure.
BAS. So is it your pleasure to torment yourself (without limit, without ending), and not sometimes apply your weary mind to Baseness? Rather, dear heart, just turn to me sweetly and gently when you have the inclination.
LOV. You’re in vain, Baseness, I’m a different man than I was. If you love me, don’t waste any further effort in seduction.
BAS. Please, may I not speak to you amicably and sweetly? But I very much want to know what misfortune possesses you. Perhaps I can provide a remedy. What, pray, torments you?
LOV. Away with you and your words immediately. I don’t want to put up with this foolish talk any longer.
BAS. Seriously, Lovelearning?
LOV. Would I joke with you? [Aside.] But I see I must go away myself, otherwise I can’t shake her off. But what should I do now? Allow Comedy to be torn from me? Or abandon my life? This much, at any rate — I’ll go to a certain clever friend of mine. There perhaps I’ll find for myself some field of thought. [Exit.]
BAS. He’s gone, he can’t put up with my foolish talk. May the gods hate me forever if I die unavenged. I’ll incite False to complete his undertaking, and in some way he’ll kill Comedy. [Exit.]


JUDG. Wit, you oblige me to admit my mistake. For when I ponder this thing seriously, it is quite easy to refute False’s arguments. Thus for the time being you have prevailed. Yet I cannot be led to believe that there is any deceit in what he says, for he appears to be a virtuous man.
WIT Indeed he desires to seem so, and for that reason I am suspicious of him. How few men of this kind there are nowadays that are the same as the faces they wear! He appears to be golden, but I think he’s dirt which has long since served up all its gold.
JUDG. Hercules, he’s not at your service.
I wouldn’t trust him, lest he deceive me, for even now he is laying traps against me because of Comedy. But he’s all done in unless, Judgement, you waver again.
JUDG. Ah, don’t touch that wound, I admit I made a mistake. Would that it would be granted me to meet with False now, that I could probe his mind more deeply, and see more clearly what manner of man he is!
WIT This will more suitably happen, Judgment, on another occasion. It is enough to seek out your son at once, to inform him of your changed mind, and remove all the stains of sorrow from his spirit.
JUDG. But whither are you bound?
WIT I’ll likewise impart this news to Comedy, and make her more cheerful than cheerfulness itself.
JUDG. Sh, a sound from somewhere assaults my ears.
WIT I imagine that it’s Peasant and the other rustics. As I was coming out he told me that he would soon bring a chorus hither. So let’s go inside. And see, the piper enters. (Exeunt.)


PEAS. Halt! I don’t see my Ballad’s window open yet.
COM. 1 Sh, now it’s opening.
PEAS. That rosy color that lies upon your face(“Come helpe me over the
Makes me so sad, if you show me no grace.water your bony bony booteman”)
BALL. Ha ha he.
PEAS. Hey.
BALL. Well done, my Peasant.
PEAS. Ballad alone I love, adore and cultivate. (Sings.)
No rival for her hand will I ever, ever tolerate.
BALL. O happy, happy me! Hercules, my Peasant, as they say, surpasses other men by many a mile.
PEAS. Hah, what did she say?
UNC. She praised you greatly.
PEAS. Praised me. Come on, piper, again, again. (They dance).
WOMAN Heavens, he’s handsome, and elegant beyond description.
PEAS. Does someone here thus make good cheer? Tell me, my beloved, (Sings.)
To whom this night will give delight, numbered ’mongst the wedded!
Be in no snit against the man who only you adores,
If you value him more than a whit, he always will be yours. (The morris dance.)
BALL. Ah my very dear Peasant, how I love you! Spare yourself, spare yourself, my darling, catch your breath.
MIME Hey master, my master, your graciousness! Just two, no, just one groat, a single one! Well done, my comrades, well done on this dusty dancing-floor!
BALL. I beg you, my Peasant, rest a bit.
PEAS. My breast with love’s fire madly burns, (Sings.)
With fear my heart goes thump and churns.
BALL. Alas my Peasant, my Peasant has fallen to the ground! Let’s get down quickly, quickly.
COM. 1 What’s the matter with you? Why not sing some more?
MIME Oh let him alone, let him alone. Perhaps he’s making up a ditty now.
BALL. Alas poor me! I was a bit slow, silly me. Immortal God, he’s scarcely breathing. Why are you standing their, blockheads? Why not help him?
COM. 1 Why bother yourself, Ballad? Soon you’ll hear his song again.
BALL. Woe is me, I’m fear his last one was his swan-song. But you go running and fetch some physician here quickly.
COM. 1 I’m going.
BALL. And please hurry.
COM. 2 But allow me. I’ll rouse the fellow, don’t doubt it.
BALL. What are you going to do?
COM. 2 I’ll rub his brow.
BALL. Ah, my Peasant.
PEAS. Oh, oh.
COM. 2 Ah, my friend, are you dead?
MIME Ha, he, he’s revived.
BALL. Remove your hand, you scoundrel, unless you want me to fly at your eyes.
WOMAN 1 Get away.
MIME Me kill you? Except by kissing?
WOMAN Aha, allow me.
WOMAN 2 Aren’t you ashamed?
BALL. How are you doing, my dear heart? Do you want some whiskey, my darling?
PEAS. Ah, Ballad, you have given me back my spirit entirely.
My breast with love’s fire madly burns,(Tune “Puppie has beaten)
With fear my heart goes thump and churns. saucie Jacke.”)
So if you wish to calm me down
Grant me ten kisses with no frown.
COM. 1 Hey, want your brow rubbed again, my Peasant?
MIME He has no need. For he’s long since been a bold fellow “with the blushes rubbed off his brow.”
BALL. Up on your feet, my sweetest Peasant.
PEAS. Ah my honeyed Ballad, just now I was almost aboard Charon’s skiff. Charon, oh Charon!
BALL. Oh pray stop your fooleries. You almost caught your death by dancing. [Enter Companion 1, with False.]


COM. 1 Hurry, doctor, hurry. In your slowness you surpass the snail.
FALSE How many times have I told you I’m not a doctor?
COM. Come, come, now you’re lying. So hurry up, I say, or I’ll make you hurry.
FALSE Whom do I see? Or what’s this unholy throng I’m beholding?
COM. You’ve recovered, Peasant? Who put you back on your feet? I’ve brought a doctor with me.
BALL. You’ve wasted your effort.
COM. Didn’t I say this would happen?
FALSE Verily, I wish I could escape somewhere.
PEAS. What doctor are you talking about? This beanpole a doctor?
FALSE. Why not?
PEAS. Pray where’d you find him?
COM. While I was hastening to Market Square I ran into this man. Thinking him to be a doctor because of his face, I brought him here albeit against his will.
BALL Why are you staring at the fellow so fixedly?
PEAS. Hercules, I think I’ve seen the fellow somewhere. The more I look the more I am remembering.
BALL. So what kind of bird is it?
PEAS. Ha da!
I’ll run away this instant.
PEAS. Hey, hey, where’re you going, my beanpole?
FALSE What business have you with me, my goodman?
PEAS. A small something. O my Ballad, this is the unalloyed rascal who’s so opposed to our frolics on holidays.
COM 1 By heaven, he’s the very man.
BALL. You’ve got him for sure?
PEAS. For extremely sure. Hey you, goodman!
FALSE You know my name correctly, verily.
PEAS. Verily? I know him as well as I know I’m alive.
BALL. So why not mock the man as he deserves?
PEAS. Ho there, you scoundrel.
PEAS. Ho there, you whipping-stock.
PEAS. Now everybody take turns.
COM. 2 Ho there, you crowbait old man.
COM. 3 Ho there, you dung-pit.
BALL. Ahem, my delight.
FALSE Oh, get away.
WOMAN My repose.
FALSE [Aside.] Would I could possess you both, furtively.
PEAS. Now allow me to attack him by my elf.
FALSE [Aside.] Would I could sneak off somewhere, furtively.
PEAS. Tell me, you trash-monger, upon what assurance do you rely when you dare condemn our innocent frolics?
FALSE [Aside.] In public I’ll pretend to approve greatly of these things.
PEAS. What? Have you sufficiently rehearsed what you’re going to answer?
FALSE Believe me, I’ve never condemned these frolics you mention, never, never, verily.
BALL. See, my dear, how you’re mistaken about the man, perhaps.
PEAS. Pish, I know for certain he’s the fellow who saunters around all the villages at his leisure and clamors that these frolics are the invention of the Devil.
FALSE [Aside.] He speaks the truth, I admit, but now I must conceal my loathing.
PEAS. What are you saying to yourself? Answer, answer me, was it not at your persuasion and incitement that our bagpiper was condemned to the stocks, and disgracefully treated to a whipping after he got off from the stocks?
FALSE [Aside.] And this too is true, but I’ll deny it. [Aloud.] It never happened.
PEAS. Indeed you’re lying, I’ll tell you to your face, you are lying, verily. Now to you approve of our frolics?
FALSE I do not regard them as sinful, verily.
UNC. But once in my hearing you condemned them, by the gods, and on top of that you greatly inveighed against all those who have the authority to suppress them, but do not suppress.
PEAS. Aha, what do you answer now?
FALSE The same as before. I flatly deny I ever did this.
PEAS But I can’t be brought to believe you, unless you agree to dance with us. Come, piper.
FALSE Oh please, me dance here in public? Get away, get away, this is not seemly, verily.
BALL. Prithee, master mine, deign to dance at least one measure with me.
FALSE But, verily, I never learned to dance.
BALL. Small matter.
FALSE [Aside.] O unlucky me! How will I get away from this throng?
BALL. Come, come, don’t be bashful. Or, if you think me unworthy to dance with, chose one of these ladies.
FALSE Get away from me, don’t annoy me. Twenty pounds to the man who rescues me here.
PEAS. Now all together, spin around him.
FALSE Get away from here, Furies. What means this onslaught?
BALL. Why are you morose, most worthy sir?
FALSE Let me go, I pray! Oh what’s this misery?
PEAS. How the wretch breaks out in a sweat! Come, fool. Does no pretty woman move you? Then you’ll dance with me. Come, piper.
FALSE I beg you by your virtue, just let me go.
PEAS. I’m not listening. By the gods, you’ll dance. Come, you refuse in vain. I’ll see whether you are lying or not, and whether you’ve condemned these frolics lately.
FALSE I’ve condemned them, I admit it, verily. But if you release me, you will make me your eternal protector and patron.
PEAS. No, you who are able to lie are also able to cheat. But since you don’t know how to dance, we’ll dance around you. You perform the office of the Maypole, which with so effort you have always tried to stamp out. Come, my merry friends. You, my Ballad, plant yourself on the other side. You, goodman, stand here, here I say.
FALSE I beg your mercy.
PEAS. Make you sure you don’t move from this place, you’ll die on the spot. Now come, I am exquisitely prepared. Heigh. (Everybody dances.)
BALL. Ha ha he, how wretchedly the wretch is bothered.
PEAS. Heigh heigh.
FALSE Does it seem so elegant to laugh at me, rascal?
PEAS. Ha ha he.
FALSE Do you continue to mock me, you knave?
PEAS. What do you say? Do you approve our games now? Do you want me to fetch the bagpiper? Possibly he’ll give you greater pleasure.
FALSE To hell with all bagpipers, to hell I say, verily.
BALL. I’m sure that when you’ve heard him you won’t say this. Somebody summon the bagpiper outdoors.
FALSE Please don’t do that, another business awaits me. Now I speak from my heart, verily.
APPL. Do you say you’ll dance here before the doorway?
COM. Here they are.
BALL. But see, here’s Applause. Applause, what news do you bring?
APPL. Your father told me to fetch you home with this chorus as quickly as possible.
BALL. You hear, my Peasant?
PEAS. So let’s go quickly. Farewell, little toadstool. Now you may go about your business. Why are we lingering here. Go before, piper. “Dancing all the way, the journey will be less irksome. Let’s go.” (Exeunt everybody, dancing.)
FALSE (Alone.) Go hang, wastrels. How inauspiciously I came here with Baseness! But why should I say that Wit summoned this chorus? Doubtless Wit’s importunity prevailed with Judgment, so that Comedy may make her appearance, and this is presumably what they’re doing inside. I’ll quickly wheedle this information from Judgement, so that if I cannot suppress Comedy in this manner, I’ll try some other means. I’m determined to keep disrupting this marriage, but furtively, furtively.

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