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PED. Where, where is that scoundrel who just put me to flight? Nobody should imagine I was afraid of him. Would that he would be returned to me! How earnestly and soberly I’d refute him! But I pass over all which could be said about that sell-for-a-groat earn-a-groat haberdasher. There will be another place for telling that story. Down to business. You, Bletus, in whom there should be both loyalty and prudence, as you are maturing, faithfully do what I instructed.
. If you doubt my honesty, take back your money. You should know that I am born of that stock, and of those ancestors, of whom none has been found false.
. See what it is to be a yokel. I, being an orator, scarce vehement and altogether sweet, wanted to apply the spur of my words to you as you went running. I am not suspicious, both because my mind is noble and because I love you.
BLE. And I adore you in turn, so much so that I’d carry a thousand pounds of yours about the world barefoot, should you command.
. But I do not command. Now (to return to that point whence my speech digressed), you should also inform Lydia that at home I have many huge heaps of gold, as of grain, and say so boldly upon your oath if need be. For nothing is so incredible but that speaking renders it probable.
BLE. And I shall add that you’re made entirely out of gold, outside and in. I shall obey you incredibly.
. Rather say that I’m part made out of gold, and part of flesh. If she marries me she’ll not have the gold without the man, or the man without the gold (according to that Themistoclean saying). And then give her these golden coins and these high-thundering verses, written, it is true, with racing pen. But from them she can gather that my Muses are not mute, but rather pleasant and amusing. Give ear:

Always love just one girl, I am not left off of her hook. O
God, lovers always are caught, wrapped up in mighty great matters

(you can interpret this as referring either to cares or to joys). I shall remain silent about the rest of my verses, which contain secrets not to be divulged. Together with the gold coins, give her this golden ring on which is inscribed a motto, A HEART TRANSFIXED BY AN ARROW, with this saying: VENUS THE HUNTRESS. For Lydia is Venus, love the arrow, and the stag my heart. And with the ring deliver this poem in lieu of a commentary:

Caught up in bonds now and, lo,
Wounded by Cupid’s own bow
Here is your poor Cicero,
Loving and needing you so.

BLE. A truly golden song, more than Ovidian. Even if she is born of flint, in reading this she will fly to your aid out of love. Give me the coins now. Do you wish anything else?
. That you accomplish these things faithfully.
BLE. As if there’s any need for encouragement.
. And prudently.
BLE. I know you’re doing a fine job of assaulting my ears.
. And honestly.
BLE. You’re making me forgetful with all this advice.
. Give the money and the ring to no mortal, save to my Lydia.
BLE. Understood. And I doubt any immortals will ask for them.
. Be sure not to forget. Give them to Lydia, I say, right into Lydia’s hands.
BLE. I remember. Good-bye. [Starts to go.]
. Stay. And remember to come back afterwards.
BLE. You think I’m going to run away?
. Bear in mind that loyalty is the paramount virtue. It’s called that because one is loath to alter one’s faith.
BLE. What you’re saying now is what I’ll do.
. And so in this business act on my behalf sincerely, simply, uprightly, perfectly, and also truly. You possibly think that there is some tautology or battology in my diction, but you’re mistaken. For these conglomerated synonyms more clearly express my intention. “Now may a favorable breeze second my endeavors.”
BLE. I go, I give, I return. [Exit.]
. And now, until he returns I have the leisure to conceal my undertaking. I’ll go back to my job of recitation and put on my regular mask. Parillus, Parillus, come out. [Enter Parillus.]


PAR. Hey, have you been here, venerable preceptor? Why do you want me?
PED. My Parillus, you boy of great promise, now I want you to devote a little time to my lecture. By listening to my Latin discourse you will make us a more eloquent man.
PAR. May it go ill for me if I should prefer anything else. You have thrilled me by your word, and for a long time I have prayed for this one thing, that I might receive instruction in your precepts and principles.
. I shall produce a text most fit for your age and my dignity: LET ARMS CEDE TO THE TOGA, AND LET LAURELS CONCEDE TO THE TONGUE. I am seriously angry at Juvenal, who attacked Cicero’s poetic ability with lampoons rather than praising him. In this golden verse each and every word is most effective, it is as gravid and pregnant with meaning as the Trojan Horse was crammed with Greek heroes. I could speak about each one mystically, tropically, anagogically, and morally. However let me now treat it with my poor talent, in a manner fit for your capacity.
PAR. [To the audience.] Listen for a wagonload of idiocies, and he’ll still surpass your expectations. I must feign deep diligence.
. In the first place, “cede” is a violent word, to be pronounced with emphasis and majesty. It is especially suitable for the grand and imperious style, and from it, as from a root (as the Hebrews say) are derived many words: “accede,” “recede,” “proceed,” “secede,” and so forth. However it merely signifies “cede,” or anything more sublime one might care to imagine. [He goes into a sort of paroxysm.]
PAR. [To the audience.] Since I perceive him to be so deeply moved, I’ll explain it. [To Pedantius.] It means “yield,” doesn’t it?
. I wanted to say that very thing, but I thought it better expressed in gesture than in words. The next word, “arms,” though it ends with -a (and this is noteworthy) is not feminine nor neuter. Hence Vergil says “I sing of arms and the man” and has the word in the singular, if I am not very much mistaken. And here I must stop. But I shall proclaim, boldly and magisterially, in my opinion (if memory serves) one can say “this arm.” What am I to say? Hah!
PAR. By God, this is not an happy choice of word, for it disrupts his tranquillity and throws him into wonderful confusion.
. But rather (for what I said before was a slip of the tongue), as I actually believe, and as most men think, “arms” has no singular at all.
PAR. I certainly do not recall ever hearing “arm” in the singular, but henceforth I shall use it, relying on your authority. And I shall even respond to my detractors ipse dixit.
. It is occasionally found in the ancient grammarians, but rarely if ever. You must imitate me most of all, and then Cicero, as pure models, so that everybody will able to tell you are Pedantius’ student. For I detest all irregularity.
PAR. Even with the most assiduous imitation, I shall never be able to ape even the smallest particle of your talent, by so many degrees does your excellence surpass the mediocrity of all the rest.
. Do not despair, Parillus. Relentless labor conquers all (and here, as you see, “relentless” is taken in a positive sense). We learned men also have had our infancy, as you do now. But to the business at hand: the third word, or rather the third expression, “toga,” is beyond all controversy feminine. The reasoning, however, is that all women wear togas. “Concede” means the same as “cede,” save with the addition of the single syllable “con” to fill out the line, quite plainly (which is the same as if I were to say that it is plain to see). “Laurels” and “tongue” are also feminine in gender, but especially the tongue. Hello, I’ve insulted all womankind, save for my Lydia. But for these details (for I do not care to linger upon them any longer) go to Calepinus, who is your Calliope (which is to say, the fairest of the Muses).
PAR. If he does not give me satisfaction, I shall consult you in the end.
. It must be added that in this passage are to be found certain rhetorical figures, whose name at present I disremember, in which something is said in place of something else.
PAR. You mean synecdoche, or rather metonymy?
. Right. The toga is a sign of gravity, and the histories testify that among the Romans there were many togas, as can be gathered from Vergil’s half-line, “the toga-clad race.” Whence all we Masters wear caps and gowns, since we imitate the ancient Romans in our Latinity, nay we surpass them. Note, however, that most read “laurels concede to praise,” not “to the tongue.” But both lead to the same conclusion. For inasmuch as all glory reposes in the tongue (insofar as one praises or is praised), “praises” is sometimes substituted for “tongue” by metonymy. So much for grammatical analysis of the words. Now I shall treat philosophically of the sense, but briefly and periphrastically.
PAR. You have my full attention, I’m amazed at your elegant expressions.
. Excellent. Then you will be a golden sharer of my genius. Now LET ARMS CEDE TO THE TOGA, AND LET LAURELS CONCEDE TO THE TONGUE. This is as if I were to say “let warlike emperors cede to peaceful pedagogues. Let booming bombards yield to forensic flashes. Let all thieves and townsmen yield to us academics, who are the eyes of the republic. Then again, the toga is prior chronologically. For nobody is fit for arms before he has donned the grown man’s toga. It is prior by nature, as arms are violent, but all violence is contrary to nature, and also by honor, for we take up arms so we may live in peace, and peace and the toga are understood together. And lastly it is prior in rank, for the Senatorial order wears the toga. Therefore, to set the seal on this exposition with an envoi, as it were, LET ARMS CEDE TO THE TOGA, AND LET LAURELS CONCEDE TO THE TONGUE.
PAR. Hang me if any speaker is more copious than yourself.
. My copiosity would deter any sane man from writing. But I shall add one thing. ”Laurel” is pronounced like “laud”. Hence laurel-wearers are laudable, as are laureates such as poets, and so-called Baccalaureates. And if the most laureate Baccalaureates are to be compared with me, I soak ’em in the ocean of my oratory no less than that famous Marcellus, who died at sea. And you, Parillus, should beware against this shipwreck. [Enter Gilbert.]


GIL. Great greetings, venerable Master Pedantius.
PED. Greetings? Not at all. What am I to do? Where should I flee, where should I turn, Conscript Fathers?
GIL. What? Aren’t you accustomed to look at those who greet you?
PED. My dearest Gilbert, pray forgive me for having neglected you, since, by God, I did not recognize you. You come to these parts so rarely that you are a foreigner and a guest, for which thing I am vexed with you. Or rather, you come as an enemy, for such was the ancient Roman word for “guest” according to Tully in his Offices. You would certainly be kinder if you visited us more often. Now I drink your health with jaws agape.
GIL. From my ledger you can guess what I seek.
PED. I am not asking what you seek, good Gilbert, but why you have come to these parts so insolently. [To Parillus] I have wounded this fellow with a joke, for in Latin “insolent” means not only “unaccustomed” but also “arrogant,” and I did so advisedly, because he confronted me so very imperiously.
GIL. Since you wish to wound me, you should know that I have come here quite often, to treat with you about matters of great weight, but my effort has always been mocked. And so now I am wonderfully pleased to see you in the flesh after all this time.
PED. If you crave naught but the sight of me, examine me from head to toe to your heart’s desire, my face, my cultivated corpus (a word derived from the Latin colo), through I am no yokel nor devoted to agriculture (also from colo: the word is the same, but the sense differs).
GIL. No, there’s another way in which you can oblige me more.
PED. [Aside to Parillus.] Go inside, Parillus, and bid Dromodotus come out as quick as he can, if he wants to see me safe and sound.
PAR. I shall do so. Guard your health carefully. Good-bye. [Exit.]
GIL. Do you recognize this handwriting? Do you see this subscription? I acknowledge that these goods were furnished me on the stated year and day - Pedantius.
PED. Oh, look at this. Goods furnished. These goods of yours were unfinished, fragile, futile, flimsy, and false, unuseful, unsound, counterfeit. I could sue you for fraud (but I have always cultivated forgiveness, a mother in my eyes). In Book Three of the Offices Aqilius gave the egal definition of fraud.
GIL. I never fear anybody’s accusation of fraud. I sell the same goods as everyone else.
PED. Perhaps I signed for the goods, but not at that price. At least I should not have done so. For among the corruptions of this Iron Age of the world, the poet wrote “price is now pricey.”
GIL. Most learned Dominus Pedantius, I put no price on poets, but on the money paid into my my hands. However, I certainly wrote the prices of those goods as low as possible. The other haberdashers are muttering that I’m pauperizing them.
PED. You’ll be enriched by their poverty (but Cato’s rule forbids this).
GIL. That cloth for your students’ robes was all but donated.
PED. Donatus? He was a famous grammarian, but after I have flourished he lies ignored and rejected, like an old rag on a dungheap. And so you did not praise your goods.
GIL. I did not want to praise my goods. But they were sold at such a low price that it can truly be said that they were not sold at proper value, but were semi-donated.
PED. They should have been semi-donated. For they were semi-cloth (this word is coined after the analogy of “semicircle” and Ovid’s “a semi-bovine man, a semi-human cow”). And so my boys’ gowns are semi-long (like a pyrrhic or rather a tribrach in verse). Your cloth shrinks as much in the rain as do novice orators about to speak on, or rather before, the rostrum (for “the educated man loves the rostra”) are wont to shrink in fear of judgments, as if drenched and storm-stricken.
GIL. I don’t make cloth, but sell stuff woven by others. And that bolt of satin which you purchased for a doublet, I don’t think a turned a profit on that At London it’s sold at so much the ell. What? Ha, I don’t want to make a mistake. Let’s see. S. S. P. Yes, my memory’s right. S. S. P., two and a half crowns. That’s exactly what I offered it for, not a ha’penny more. Look, read.
. S. S. P.? Mystically and cryptically, or rather hieroglyphically. Right. Since it’s fair that you make a profit beyond what you paid for the lot (for “no man is content with his lot”), I’ll pay you for each ell gladly and generously S. P. Q. R., since it’s worth as much as the Senate and People of Rome. So I’ll make you richer than Crassus, whose nickname or nonce name was The Rich. For Pop. Rom., which is to say the Roman people, which supported all those armies, was richer than him and had I don’t know how in many millions of sesterces on the Capitoline or in its treasury. And I shall teach you to reckon up sesterces ad valorem and the nomenclature of modern money.
GIL. I don’t want Roman money, which is not legal tender nowadays, and I’ve never thought of conquering the Capitoline.
. The Capitoline used to be conquered quite often. First by the Gauls. “The Gauls came through the thickets and took the citadel,” on the authority of Vergil. But my Cicero records that geese used to be kept on the Capitoline. This animal is not warlike, but is vigilant. I call to witness Jove himself: “and Jove was made safe by the honk of a goose.”
GIL. By Jove, I mislike your answers. Forget this stuff, let your students read about it. Pray read what touches you and me, scan the whole page. Scrutinize every detail if you like.
. What? You think I cannot read?
GIL. No, and I know you can understand too.
. Truly, for “illiterate” means to have an ill understanding of literature. But I’m in the habit of having to hand printed texts day and night, not manuscripts. And then - let me see your ledger. Wasn’t I about to say it? Yes! What’s this? What’s that? I certainly wrote like a scratching chicken. Who could read this other than you and the Sibyl? Bah! You write Hebrew characters (by which I mean this character is a Jew).
GIL. Forgive my poor fist. We are not scholars.
. Forgive me my failed payment. “All men cannot do all things.”
GIL. You’ve had your joke. Now I don’t ask you to read, but to give me a straight-faced answer. Solve my puzzle, and clear your name by resolving your debt. What say you?
. Simonides. Hm. Ha. Simonides —
GIL. The name I have in mind is Pedantius, not Simonides. Come on.
. Simonides, posed a difficult question by Hiero, requested one day for deliberation; the following day he requested two, and then doubled the number. Not otherwise, twisted about by this knotty interrogation, I am obliged to ask you, who are a second Hiero the tyrant, for some days to deliberate. For the longer I consider the matter, the more it strikes me as obscure.
GIL. I have no time for your obscurities. Tell me plain and simple, don’t you think you should pay what you owe?
. Of course, assuredly, as in all things, like my Cicero: “he is of such an honest mind, that when you owe him much you want to owe him more.” And from his side I refuse to budge so much as the breadth of a fingernail. But “to everything there is a season.” Phoebus does not always shine, nor is Her Majesty Money always at hand.
GIL. Oh! You’re short of money. But in the meantime where’s your pledge of trust?
. Certainly not on deposit at Carthage, for they are oath-breakers. But the whole nation is talking about my trustworthiness, all good men speak of it. But at the moment there’s no Being save in potentiality.
GIL. But my creditors are demanding satisfaction from me.
. Ah, don’t handle me so severely, so Stoically. If you knew what murder my wallet has already endured you would fetter your rigid and more than Cato-like censure.
GIL. You got top-quality goods from me. Now hand over the money.
. I, a top-quality man, got top-notch goods from a top-notch fellow: I concede it all.
GIL. But you hold your tongue about payment. So give this top-notch fellow some top-notch money, or you’re not a top-notch man.
. You are exceedingly vehement and fierce by nature. Aren’t you ashamed to hound a man when he’s down? What is given but not given gladly is not best. If there be any honesty in me (and everybody knows there’s no small amount), I’ll pay in full before the next full moon.
GIL. But now I have to go to market.
. I cannot do anything against Minerva’s will, which is to say, if I lack the wherewithal. But let us dismiss these trifles. How fares your wife, that most dignified lady? I hear she is expecting now. I pray Juno and Lucina aid her.
GIL. It does not suit us who have wives and children to accept words as payment of debt. Words don’t feed a family.
. Oh yes they do, if they’re Ciceronian. My Dromodotus is slower than a dromedary (for such is the etymology of his name).
GIL. I cannot stand these procrastinations. My goods are to be bought with hard cash, not quotations.
. “You have a prisoner confessing at the bar.” I am as indebted to one man as it is right for one man to be to another.
GIL. You miss the whole point. It is not right, nor will it be. I see I shall have to go to law.
. Still, you might ponder the saying “necessity knows no law.” But behold, a certain friend of mine comes at last, with whom I have some needful business. And so, most excellent Gilbert, may Salvation preserve you unharmed for us and for the republic.
GIL. Hey, I tell you, if you don’t produce the money by tomorrow I’ll sue you in court. [Exit.]
. “Who is not suitable today will be less so tomorrow.” [Enter Dromodotus.]


DRO. What dealings had you with that fellow? Judging by his dress, he seems to be one of those brutes, those plebeian atoms situated beyond our intelligible sphere.
. He is one of my debtors, and I have had many such faithless men. Since he did not give me satisfaction, I remonstrated with him moderately.
DRO. Moderately? Rightly so, for “virtue lies in moderation between two extremes.” But why do you not love moderately and (to speak more to the point) virtuously?
. I shall answer you with a double negative. Nor is the girl I love a moderate thing, nor does my love overflow the banks of reason. You perceive this “nor” o be harmoniously repeated by the figure of anaphora.
DRO. But why did you summon me here now? For this may all the nuptial planets do you ill. My intellect was very occupied with longitude, latitude, and the profundity of mundane identity and, had you not called me away, I would have traversed the ladder of nature, beginning with the primary element of cognoscibility, in which lies the secret of the secret, and the non-secret of the non-secret. But what now? Do your affairs still stand on their foundations? Or do you fear some contingencies (although it may be debated whether there is any Fortune at all)?
. All is now enacted and transacted, as I hope. [Enter Bletus.]


BLE. Master, I bear sad tidings, and bid you feel pain.
. Feel pain at a genuine blow? Does not Lydia love me?
BLE. Greatly, or does a good job of pretending.
. Then let anyone feel pain as he wishes, I shall rejoice. For if the meadows laugh at Phoebus’ approach, as Vergil says, why should I not likewise rejoice in the amatory rays of my own sun? You cannot make me feel pain.
BLE. The money you sent —
. What are you saying? You traitor!
BLE. — I have given fully into Lydia’s hands.
. Whew, you did good. Perhaps they are doing this so that I will feel pain from laughing. I remember reading this about some people.
. That’s hardly impossible. For if perchance the spleen (the instrumental organ of risibility) is stretched beyond the limit of its temperament, and hence suffers rupture, that man’s death is laughable, albeit some attribute the cause to the transverse septum.
BLE. Now she’s free, she’s paid the old man what he wanted.
PED. My spleen is stretched to its full latitude. Ha hee hee.
DRO. Why laugh so Democritically? Let all excesses flee far from us. Our gravity, not only physical but also metaphysical, demands this.
BLE. But she can’t marry you just now, as she’s ill.
. She’s sick? O Aesculapius, you seem to tell me this, “go off quickly and hang yourself.” Now I feel ill.
BLE. She’s gravely ill, I tell you.
. I’m gravely ill, I tell you. Hoohah.
DRO. Why weep Heraclitically, emitting noises that are not only diverse but also discrepant with respect to philosophy? Perhaps she’s ill with a certain impetuous longing for you.
. So I am ill with a certain impetuous longing for her.
BLE. Now she makes the door creak. Expect her soon. [Exit. Enter Tuscidilla and Crobolus.]


TUSC. Oh woe is me! What manner of portent is this? For a tender maiden to die so suddenly, just as her wedding approaches! Isn’t this monstrous?
PED. Dromodotus! Dromodotus! Quick, remove my dagger lest I die by my own hand this instant. Lydia is dead.
DRO. If she’s dead, she’s dead. My mother is too. What then? Now she dwells with the other departed souls in the Galaxy or Milky Way. And even if you two were joined by a correlative act (one of which is to die simultaneously, so that when one is removed the other is taken off also), nevertheless this relational propinquity is to be understood verbally, but not in fact. And therefore when his bride dies so does the bridegroom, but not Pedantius.
PED. You won’t persuade me a bit, Dromodotus. “Are you not ashamed of living, when death is beloved?” That’s it, since love is deadly and full of death. And so for me TUS
C thing has reverted to nothing.
TUS. She did not suffer in dying, save that she did not breathe forth her soul on the bosom of that learned and incomparable man.
CROB. But who was that most learned man she kept mentioning with her sighs?
PED. T’was I (if so I may speak). If I had as many lives as Argus had eyes (and he had a hundred, if Ovid is to be believed) I would straightway yield them all to the shades of Tartarus.
DRO. I admit this has truly been your climacteric year. Fate’s constellation and revolution have been malevolent. But do you want them to prevail “to the destruction of the subject?”
CROB. Well met, Pedantius, partner in all our sorrows. Dying, Lydia sent you this golden ring, on which is inscribed A HEART TRANSFIXED BY AN ARROW. For she did not forget you in her last moments. She gave you this faithful token of her love. And even with her last breath she prayed your life would be most happy.
PED. O Clotho, o Atropos, and you, Fate! (so called from the Latin fari, but Fate is nefarious and I am furious with all my heart). O hope, fraudulent for mankind, o fragile fortune! My Lydia is foundered and sunk in the sea of death before she could attain me, her harbor. And I shall forever kiss her in death, by kissing this ring. Now my heart is transfixed by the arrow of death, not love, and naught will be said of Venus. Rather death is my destiny. By Cicero writes that Polycrates of Samos was lucky because he lost a ring in the sea and then found it in the belly of a fish that was sold to him. I am most unlucky of all because I lost my soul and myself in recovering this ring. Now it will truly be said of me that I loved to my destruction, because in losing Lydia I die, a wretched man.
DRO. Pedantius my friend, are you not a fool? Are you not an irrational being? For it seems thus. You are a active man with a rod, yet you bawl like a passive boy under the rod. Attend to what the philosopher says. Nothing is born but what is liable to corruption, and everything in this sublunary sphere, just as it possess being in actuality, also has non-being in potentiality. Wherefore I am not more surprised that she has passed from life (our terminus a quo) to death (our terminus ad quem) than if somebody were to break one of your eggs.
CROB. Oh Saint Francis, who art the sacristan of heaven and confesses on behalf of confessors, I pray that you forbid this girl’s most pure flesh to rot or be chewed by worms.
PED. Dearest Lydia, dearest I say both in respect to love and to your not inconsiderable price (for “dear” has both meanings, as is known to the educated), you who viewed the light, who enjoyed vigor and vitality in this minute mind, in this tiny little Pedantian breast, “I beg you not to be angry if I live a while longer. I have determined to erect a tomb and marble statue to you (as Alexander the Great founded a city in memory of his horse Bucephalus), and also to compose a tragedy on the life and death of us both,” and to produce it under your name, and you will be its matron (why not say “matron” as well as “patron”?). But I shall entitle it The Muses’ Tears.
DRO. Indeed, Pedantius, as long as your imaginative power remains fixed on her, about her, or in her, your soul will imitate the temperament of your body.
C. Would that I had died with her!
PED. In the past, I have taught many maidens and non-maidens to scorn death.
C. She said she placed a low value on her life, as long as the Fates keep you safe.
PED. I barely cling to life (if this can be called life rather than death itself). No good man fears death. For death holds no terror for those whose virtue survives them. But since she wished it so, would that I could live to Nestor’s years, would that I could - not to outlive my grief, but to reaffirm it.
DRO. This is similar to that which Aristotle wrote to Alexander about his Physics, “it is published as if it were not being published.” Thus you will live as if you were not alive.
C. But she did not want you to grieve.
PED. I do not grieve. I am grave, not sad, and there is a great difference between the two. What if I promise that henceforth this life of mine will be that most grave and monastic one of yours? I can fast, like that philosopher who was so given to contemplation that daily he forgot to eat.
CROB. She bade us give you three choices. Go to our sovereign’s Court, or visit faraway lands in peregrination, or love another and marry her as soon as possible.
DRO. No, as late as possible. For inasmuch as each body consists of surfaces, and surfaces of lines, and lines of points, who does not want a body to be created must watch out for the points. Therefore, since “love is a certain point of folly,” and folly a quiddity, quantity, dimension, and body of unhappiness, you Pedantius, if you do not wish to be unhappy (note I do not say “not happy” but entirely “unhappy”) must henceforth leave off loving, especially since its object is now removed, and (since there should be a successive contrary susceptibility in the same subject) apply yourself to wisdom and art; return with me to the university, for since you departed nothing has been found to prop up our Ciceronians.
PED. Return? Not if your whole university bore me back on their shoulders. Up to now I have dwelt on my Tusculan estate, I have engaged in business without risk, and in leisure with dignity. For with me the arts peregrinate and rusticate. When I think on them and on myself, there comes to mind what the histories say of Hannibal: “Hannibal, you know how to conquer, but not how to use your victory.” Thus they were wise in my election, but more than foolhardy in my ejection. And as far as Lydia goes, since she herself has advised me not to waste away, for the future I shall recall her death with joy rather than tears, as once did the Thracians.
DRO. You can do nothing more naturally, for Nature does nothing in vain. And so you should not mourn for her in vain, for she is irrecoverable. Furthermore “we should not deliberate about things that are past,” as says the philosopher in his Ethics. In sum, what is done cannot be undone, not even by the power of the gods, as Agathon the philosopher irrefutably proclaimed, on the authority of this same Aristotle.
CROB. And above all she advised that you betake quit this obscure countryside and go very far away, lest her memory bring you constant fresh sorrows.
PED. Most sage advice. For the eyes increase our sorrow. And so I decide: I shall depart straightway to somewhere in the remotest climes, like a Ulysses “who saw many men’s ways and cities.” After this day No man will see me more.
CROB. [To the audience.] Now I’ll go inside, prepare Lydia for the wedding, and set the table for a feast. For as soon as he’s gone the wedding will be celebrated.
PED. Farewell, dead girl. Forever (an adverb), forever fare well, fair Lydia. Farewell, Venus, farewell love, and farewell you places and times, the circumstances of these events. Farewell, Dromodotus; farewell, Franciscan. Farewell, nearby university. O happy that university, which admitted Pedantius! Oh unhappy university, that lost him! [Exit.]
DRO. Hail, Philosophy. Hail, Saturn, father of melancholy. Hail Subtlety, hail Distinctive Contemplation. Now I return to my studies, like a stone naturally returning to the center of the universe. [Exit.]
CROB. [Throwing back his hood.] Farewell, Franciscan, hello, Crobolus. Farewell, Dromodotus. Hail myself, most happy of mortals. Farewell, Pedantius. Hail Lydia, restored to life. Now everything is hale and hearty, and so am I, as I wanted, a most happy bridegroom. And hail and farewell to you too, spectators. Weep, you who feel sorry for this deceived word-monger. But those of you who rejoice in my joy, join me in applause.