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ACT II, SCENE i blue

spacerCAN. Hurry, hurry.
spacerON. No, Canidia, I beg you make haste slowly.
spacerCAN. Oh me!
spacerON. Have a look.
spacerCAN. “Have a look.” How can I? Is this how Nitella keeps her promises? The day before yesterday she promised me Floretta together with a dowry.
spacerON. But she’s given me more than she promised, or than I wanted.
spacerCAN. And now you tell me she’s coming, you plague.
spacerON. For heaven’s sake, I could imagine you’ve lost your mind together with your sight, since you trouble your mind so over a thing of no importance. The girl is awaiting you inside right now, in this very house.
spacerCAN. She’s awaiting? This is why I’m angry, because I waited three whole days and no girl came. But lead me immediately.
spacerON. Me lead you? Of a surety, I’ve already led one more wife to the altar than I would have preferred.
spacerCAN. Your right hand, dexterously.
spacerON. As long as you don’t take it in a sinister way. Here it is. But hah, Canidia, you nuns are the luckiest women alive, because you have no wives.
spacerCAN. Bah, you driveler.
spacerON. I mean husbands. But tell me truly, Canidia, doesn’t that impish lad Cupid sometimes steal into your cloister? Does love never torment you?
spacerCAN. Not conjugal love, you rude fellow, but rather that which is accustomed to exist between brothers,. Nowhere else does honorable love thrive so greatly. But go inside.
spacerON. No, I pray you. Because you’re the more deserving —
spacerCAN. Why are you manufacturing a delay?
spacerON. You go in first, Canidia. I am not so impolite, gods be thanked.
spacerCAN. Oh, you donkey!
spacerON. You want to know the truth? I’ll confess. I certainly don’t dare go in before you reconcile Nitella to me.
spacerCAN. Was that the reason?



spacerERG. Don’t you see Canidia coming out, Perillus? Now we must seize the occasion, or Floretta goes straight to the cloister.
spacerPER. So why shouldn’t we immediate put the scheme we’ve hatched into operation?
spacerERG. Damn that old coot Chrysophilus. Have a look at his letter. I shall love you, my darling. You ought to love your Chrysophilus Or, if you cannot, don’t pay any heed to Callidamus.
PER. By Hercules, what you just said is true, the old man isn’t as eager to pursue his suit as to hinder Callidamus.
spacerERG. And also to keep the money which he fears he must pay Callidamus, should he take a wife.
spacerPER. Yes, the money which Charilaus consigned to him to pay them upon their marriages
spacerERG. You’ve understood the thing.
spacerPER. So you have less reason to fear him as a rival.
spacerERG. But if we don’t quickly free her from Canidia we are royally ruined. So I shall go to Floretta and obtain a letter from her to Chrysophilus, in which she indicates she finds that old man so abhorrent that (if it please the gods) she would rather incline to a marriage with Cuculus. This might make Chrysophilus hesitate and provide you with a delay. After that we can easily swindle Calculus
spacerPER. I understand. But this must be done cleverly, lest either Nitella or Canidia grow suspicious.



spacerMIS. Canidia has assuredly gone. Perhaps by her help I can enter the cloister to become a monk.
spacerPER. It’s Misogamus, that scourge of womankind, who only spouts half-digested sayings of the ancient philosophers. By what misfortune have I come across him, damn it? For if I can’t detach myself from him quickly, he’ll bore me to death.
spacerMIS. Have you seen Canidia, my Perillus?
spacerPER. Would I hadn’t seen her!
spacerMIS. What do you mean?
spacerPER. Nor you. Gods give you both what you deserve, for being so untimely today in encountering us.
spacerMIS. What’s this dislike? Rather, I tell you that which the philosopher once —
spacerPER. Didn’t I say this is what would happen? I pray you go to Hell with those discourses of yours, since I haven’t the free time to be murdered by them.
spacerMIS. Really? Assuredly your master Diodorus would not have given me such an uncivil reception. He shares my opinion about marriage and admires the celibate life I like.
spacerPER. I agree with everything you say, as long as you disappear.
spacerMIS. He wouldn’t have turned out to be such a wonderful physician, had he devoted himself to women.
spacerPER. [Aside.] Now I’ve figured out how to get rid of this toadstool. [Aloud.] But how egregious a pretense you’re making, Misogamus! Do you imagine Diodorus’ Perillus is so easily deceived? Don’t you love him?
spacerMIS. Me love him? By the gods, I’m looking for Canidia so that with her help, if possible, I may go straightway into the cloister.
spacerPER. Then I’m no soothsayer, and lack anything of Diodorus’ art. Rather I beg you, let me read your palm.
spacerMIS. What then?
spacerPER. You have experienced many calamities.
spacerMIS. This is very true.
spacerPER. And also dangers.
spacerMIS. Likewise.
spacerPER. And more await you.
spacerMIS Perhaps.
spacerPER. By Hercules, you were born under the sign of Venus.
spacerMIS. To Hell with Venus, that little whore.
spacerPER. But you’re destined to have only five wives.spacer
spacer MIS. Five, by the gods? I wouldn’t want even one in exchange for all the weath of Jove’s kingdom.
spacerPER. Four of them will be notorious whores.
spacerMIS. Oh Satan, whores? As Aristotle once said concerning Porphyrio, “looking at this whore, I die.” blue
spacerPER. And the fifth will be a hideous witch.
spacerMIS. Then I also say that which Diogenes once said to an inquirer —
spacerPER. Want me to go on?
spacerMIS. There’s more? Farewell, my evil soothsayer. I can’t bear to listen.
spacerPER. Farewell, farewell. Now I’ve put a flea in his ear, now I can go about my business.



spacerERG. Oh Perillus, I’ve put in motion the scheme we hatched just now. Behold this missive.
spacerPER . Excellent. I’ll call out Cuculus immediately.
spacerERG. Be very quick about it. If we lose this opportunity, it will be all over for Floretta.
spacerPER. Here’s Cuculus, Ergasilus. From now on you should trust me.
spacerCUC. This person is Ergasilus? I certainly don’t recognize the fellow.
spacerERG. You mock me too?
spacerCUC. No, no. Indeed, Ergasilus, you aren’t the first man to be deceived by Cuculus.
spacerERG. Nor the last who will be led astray by your great beauty and comeliness.
spacerCUC. I knew it, I knew it, ha ha he.
spacerERG. You wouldn’t disdain me so much if you knew what I’ve done on your behalf.
spacerCUC. What have you done?
spacerERG. I gave Floretta your letter from Chrysophilus, and explained what happened to you.
spacerCUC. And what did she say?
spacerERG. She had a great laugh because I had been so deluded, ha ha he.
spacerCUC. Deluded?
spacerERG. Because I hadn’t recognized you.
spacerCUC. Ho.
spacerERG. I praised you, as you deserved.
spacerCUC. Quite.
spacerERG. Lavishly, and graphically described your incredible beauty with all the eloquence at my disposal.
spacerCUC. By no means, you rascal. By Hercules, I’m not that handsome, I’m not. But what did the girl say?
spacerERG. Do you imagine she could say a word? She was amazed, she groaned, the poor little girl broke out in flames and turned to ash.
spacerCUC. To ash?
spacerERG. Don’t you understand? How outward beauty doesn’t improve the wit! You’ll always be Cuculus. What I say isn’t the truth, but rather a certain rhetorical embellishment they call a lie.
spacerCUC. You should have said she fell in love.
spacerERG. Exactly.
spacerCUC. Heavens, I somehow feel little fires silently creeping through my marrow.
spacerERG. That’s possible.
spacerCUC. What will she do when she sees me, who has grown so heated over my mere reputation?
spacerERG. When she’s seen you? Surely this will never happen unless you quickly have regard for the unfortunate girl.
spacer CUC. Why so?
spacerERG. Because Canidia the nun is inside the house and is on the verge of leading her to the cloister.
spacerCUC. I certainly don’t want that to happen.
spacerERG. “I don’t want it to happen?” Rather, you ought to confront this evil.
spacerCUC. What should I do?
spacerERG. You need to convey this letter to Chrysophilus, asking for you as a husband. He’ll act on your behalf, free her from Canidia, and afterwards make her your wife.
spacerCUC. If she’s freed thus, will she be my wife?
spacerERG. Do you doubt it? Nothing is more certain —  [aside] than that you are going to be swindled.
spacerCUC. But he himself is coming out. I’ll immediately give him the letter.
spacerERG. And I shall retire into concealment.


ACT II, SCENE v blue

spacerCHRYS. Heavens, I wonder what’s happened to that sluggard Cuculus, who always loiters along the way, that lazy tortoise. Oh, I see him at last. What has Floretta to say to us?
spacerCUC. This letter expresses it.
spacerCHRYS. How snotty of you, you gallows-bait! Good God, what has made you such a changed person for me?
spacerCUC. Hah, he perceived I’ve changed. Hurray for the philtre!
spacerCHRYS. How loftily the fool regards me! How he sticks up his nose!
spacerCUC. He too is admiring my face.
spacerPER. Ergasilus.
spacerERG. Sh. Ah, Perillus, so far our affair is going according to plan. Do you see how Chrysophilus is now reading the letter and how Cuculus puffed up is becoming?
spacerPER. Excellent. Here I have something to cheat him even further.
spacerCHRYS. Hm, what’s this? Forgive me, Chrysophilus, if I fail to love you, now done in by old age. Cupid is never anything other than a young man. If I can’t marry Callidamus, I’d prefer Cuculus. By Hercules, I’m happy that I’ve forgotten Cupid..
ERG. You hear?
spacerCHRYS. Only the glitter of gold excites these eyes of mine. To Hell with the playthings of love and that boy Cupid, as long as I can keep my money safe and sound. It’s not due to Callidamus as long as he remains a bachelor. You will marry Floretta, Cuculus.
spacerERG. How accurate our estimate!
spacerCHRYS. Now, Callidamus, I’ll make you bid adieu to both your love and your money. Where are you now, Ergasilus?
spacerERG. Nearer than you think.
spacerCHRYS. Why assail me with your insults, you gallows-bait, as if I can’t hear you?
spacerERG. What’s he saying?
spacerCHRYS. I can’t hear him.
spacerERG. But I can hear him all too well.
spacerCHRYS. Ah, how many folk I thoroughly deceive by this art of mine, those who expect me to be cheated! I know that this stands to my advantage, that I find out what they think of me when they speak freely.
spacerERG. Bah, I’m a blockhead for not having understood this already.
spacerCHRYS. Did Floretta herself write this letter?
spacerCUC. By her very own self.
spacerCHRYS. How eager I am to re-read it!
spacer PER. Is this the man whom you are accustomed to heap with abuse? Now he’s all-hearing.
spacerERG. I’m never deaf when it comes to abuse. In this way I can retaliate later.
spacerPER. On the other hand, what if we try flattery on the crazy old fellow?
spacerERG. Let’s do that. Off we go.
spacerPER. Cuculus, greetings.
spacerCUC. Ah Perillus. Now Floretta is mine.
spacerPER. Yours?
spacerCUC. Now my father Chrysophilus is preparing to make her my bride.
spacerPER. Really? Now what will happen to your Callidamus, Ergasilus?
spacerERG. Let whatever the gods want come to pass. In fact, let him devote himself to the military life and to the honorable arts, as this prudent old man has often advised. By Hercules, Perillus, it pains me that this fine elderly gentleman has received me with imprecations today.
spacerPER. I certainly think so.
spacerERG. But in our hot-blooded way we youngsters blurt out something unadvised in our anger, which we later regret.
spacerPER. By Hercules, he must be an upright old gentleman if he looks out for his son this way.
spacerERG. Hey, Cuculus. What sort of father do you have?
spacerCUC. A middling one, thank the gods.
spacerPER. The best.
spacerERG. By far the most preferable.
spacerPER. More than can be said.
spacerERG. Or imagined.
spacerCHRYS. ’Tis well. Now they are praising and admiring me, not thinking I can hear them.
spacerPER. By thunder, it grieves me that such a fine, kindly man can be deaf.
spacerERG. That’s a heavy burden, in all respects. By Hercules, I can scarcely refrain from patting his head!
spacerPER. And I from kissing his feet!
spacerCHRYS. Listen here. Ah, you wicked boys, beware the prudence of a hoary head. And as for you, Cuculus, get readu for your bride. I’ll bestow a fair wife on you.



spacerPER. Whoop for the bridegroom, Cuculus.
spacerERG. A bridegroom.
spacerCUC. A bridegroom, hey.
spacerPER. What do you think of the philtre now?
spacerCUC. I acknowledge its incredible, inexpressible power.
spacerPER. But if you knew the simples from which it was compounded, then you would say —
spacerCUC. What are they, pray?
spacerPER. I have it here, Cuculus. This hair belonged to Venus, and this little feather came from Cupid’s own wing. Even the smallest portion of them both, a particle of half a grain, would immediate return an old codger of a hundred years to the age of twenty.
spacerCUC. Oh, astonishing!
spacerERG.[Aside.] An amazing lie!
spacerPER. And, thanks to some virtue or poisonous quality I cannot describe, it attracts all eyes to itself just as a magnet attracts iron. I’d swear this is very true.
spacerCUC. Pray give it to me.
spacerPER. Or rather to me. You’ve got your darling.
spacerERG. Indeed, since today you are our elegant bridegroom, here’s the stuff that Venus herself gave to her son Aeneas, Aeneas to Paris, Paris to Helen, and, because of its wonderful effectiveness Helen dedicated to Aesculapius. Later, together the loot of the Trojan war and ancient relics, it was given to Hippocrates. Next Hippocrates bequeathed it to Galen, Galen to Paracelsus, Paracelsus to Didorus, Diodorus to Perillus, and now Perillus is bestowing it on Cuculus.
spacerCUC. You have my eternal gratitude.
spacerPER. Let me affix this tress of Venus in your ear as a token of love. In fact, I’ll drill a hole in your ear using no implement.
spacerERG. And I’ll stick this feather on your hat.
spacerCUC. Oh my ear!
spacerPER. You have to endure it. Patience is love’s companion, and pain its harbinger.
spacerCUC. Oh.
spacerERG. Oh, what a fellow you are now!
spacerCUC. Heavens, now I feel that virtue you described. With what eager eyes everybody beholds me! How they admire me everywhere! But what about girls?
spacerPER. How soon the poor things will be hurling themselves at you! “Pray give me a kiss, Cuculus.”“I want only one, just one.” “But pray, Cuculus, you are so cruel.”
spacerCUC. Away with your flatteries and seductions. You are Sirens. How I adore Floretta!
spacerPER. But pray, Cuculus, we are your Ergasilus and Perillus.
spacerCUC. Oh Ergasilus and Perillus, what do you want?
spacerPER. Nothing except that you have regard for your faithful servants.
spacerCUC. I shall do so, by Hercules. Oh Ergasilus, what grandsons I’m going to have!
spacerPER. All of them Cupids indeed.
spacerCUC. Now Floretta, my awaited bride, comes.
spacerPER. [Aside.] But she’s never destined to be yours, fool.
spacerCUC. Oh, with what strides I’ll lead Floretta through our streets!
spacerERG. As befits a very lofty bridegroom. You will lead the way in a solemn procession. and we worthless mortals and your poor little wife will come trailing along behind.
spacerCUC. Excellent.
spacerERG. [Aside.] And we’ll take her somewhere where she’ll never again be in your sight.
spacerPER. But the door’s creaking. Get ready for a kiss. blue



spacerCHRYS. Fire, fire!
spacerPER. What’s this?
spacerERG. Where?
spacerCUC. Where in the world, pray?
spacerCHRYS. Oh, the fire in this little breast of mine!
spacerERG. Why this? Is the man mad?
spacerCUC. I don’t know what he means.
spacerCHRYS. Oh, the girl’s indescribable elegance!
spacerPER. How I dread the outcome!
spacerCHRYS. I feigned love before, but now I am ablaze.
spacerERG. I predicted this.
spacerCHRYS. Oh unhappy me! Hope has vanished, it refuses me and leaves me abandoned. Now there’s nothing to hinder her hastening to the cloister.
spacerCUC. Really? Oh Venus! Oh Cupid! I’ve gained my father as a rival and lost Floretta.
spacerPER. Is this how our plans are turning out?
spacerERG. Whatever we do, it’s taking a turn for the worse.
spacerPER. Is the man who we just appeased with our flatteries? Oh, the whipping-post!
spacerERG. We should assault his ears once more, so that there will be something new to cause him genuine pain.
spacerPER. Oh, you gallows-bait!
spacerERG. Thrice over.
spacerPER. Skinflint.
spacerERG. Pile of shit.
spacerCHRYS. I don’t understand what you mean, I’m deaf.
spacerERG. You crazy fellow.
spacerPER. With the tail of a goat.
spacerERG. You monster of a man.
spacerPER. You disgraceful beast.
spacerERG. You laughing-stock of your city.
spacerPER. You disgrace to its people.
spacerCHRYS. Oh please. I hear nothing about this matter of yours. Other miseries are macerating me.
spacerPER. And may they do so forever.
spacerERG. And destroy you utterly.
spacerPER. Bid adieu to your head.
spacerERG. Woe to your old age.
spacerCHRYS. Oh, oh, the evil torment.
spacerERG. May all the gods —
spacerPER. — and all the demons —
spacerERG. — destroy —
spacerPER. — and ruin you.
spacerCHRYS. Oh, must I tolerate yet more? In my wretchedness I perish utterly twice over.
spacerCUC. Me too. Oh woe!
spacerCHRYS. Let’s go, Cuculus, and return after these scurvy hornets have departed.
spacerCUC. Oh Perillus, how our hopes are dashed!
spacerERG. Go to Hell, you filthiest of men, a source of torment to yourself and to us all. What shall we do now?
spacerPER. We must start all over.
spacerERG. But look here. When Canidia takes away Foretta, we must immediately call out Callidamus and Cleomachus.


ACT II, SCENE viii blue

spacerCAN. Onobarus, escort me back to the cloister from which I came, together with Floretta.
spacerON. And Nitella too, if you please.
spacerCAN. Quickly, my girl.
spacerFLOR. I follow. Oh Diodorus, the better part of my soul, shall I never behold you again with these eyes?
spacerCAN. Why create pointless delays? Move along.
spacerFLOR. For when my delight is in exile, the cloister is my desire, where in mourning I may make an end to my life and to my pain.
spacerCAN. Rather you should happily come with me, I’m looking out for your best interest. You are bound to me.
spacerFLOR. Would that I would be freed!
spacerON. And me from my Nitella!



spacerCALL. Look here, what do my eyes see? Oh the crime! Is this what befalls my life, my salvation, my soul? Stop, you worst of tricky women, or by all the gods I’ll —
spacerCLEO. You need to set aside this passion of mind, Callidamus.
spacerCALL. What’s this throng?
spacerCLEO. You must first manage this business with counsel and prudence rather than resorting to violence. Here martial courage does not ring very true, especially since your enemy is a woman
spacerCALL. Oh Floretta. You in a cloister, my darling? Sooner I’ll dispatch to Hell Canidia and all the world’s rotten hags.
spacerON. And please do include my wife among your hags, for she’s ancient for sure, just as I wanted her to be.
spacerFLOR. Together with you I’ll happily visit the poles in search of my Diodorus.
spacerCAN. What does this commotion mean? Let’s go.
spacerFLOR. My sweet friend, you see how my affairs stand. But the unkindly Fates condemn me to the cloister and its darkness.
spacerCALL. But by all the gods I swear the Fates cannot do this. Rather, I myself govern the Fates.
spacerCAN. How long are you lingering?
spacerCLEO. How gentler you should have been! You should earnestly beseech this Canidia. You don’t understand the power of wheedling and flattering speech.
spacerCALL. Do you imagine that any hope remains for entreaties?
spacerCLEO. I do.
spacerON. Lucky you, for whom any hope remains. I completely despair about my Nitella.
spacerCALL. Kindly old dame, in whose power it is today either to rescue this poor young man or forever to destroy him —
spacerCAN. Who should I call you, you who presents me with a jumble of threats and flatteries?
spacerCALL. I am unhappy Callidamus, whom nature created a free man, but love makes a suppliant.
spacerCAN. Love makes you a suppliant? Surely you aren’t in love with me? So what do you want?
spacerCALL. Grant me my prayer, my sweet.
spacerCAN. “My sweet?” I’m not that old a woman, be of good cheer.
spacerCALL. You promise, my dove?
spacerCAN. [Aside.] He loves me, surer than sure can be. {Aloud.} Speak up, I say. Perhaps you have persuaded me.
spacerCALL. No, promise.
spacerCAN. Not in the world, before I hear you.
spacerCLEO. So far so good.
spacerFLOR. I like the beginning.
spacer CALL. So all by all the gods and goddesses, divine and half-divine, I beg and beseech that by one and the same act you restore my life to me and liberty to this girl.
spacerCAN. This girl? Hang it, I can’t, I can’t.
spacerCLEO. What’s this?
spacerCAN. Ah me.
spacerON. Callidamus, if all your hopes are dashed, you can have my wife, I promise you.
spacerCALL. Get away. But by all the graces and loves I pray —
spacerCAN. Hm. This is the way it is going to be, Callidamus. You’re such a mighty orator that I can’t refuse you anything. I have frequently heard of your virtues. They say you’re high-minded and noble, unspoiled in your comeliness and your youth, such as, by Castor, I myself once could have loved, and still could.
spacerCALL. Keep going.
spacerCAN. I like the friendliness of your discourse, its grace and enthusiasm, which could even soften a stone.
spacerCLEO. Prettily said.
spacerFLOR. Excellently.
spacerCALL. Oh a man’s happy day! So you won’t refuse?
spacerCAN. Indeed not.
spacerCALL. Oh Venus!
spacerCLEO. Inexpressibly so.
spacerFLOR. My heart leaps with joy.
spacerCAN. On condition that in the meantime you must do something else for me.
spacerCALL. Anything else in the world, I promise.
spacerCAN. Come here. [She speaks in his ear.]
CALL. Oh, criminal! What do I hear, you whore of a woman?
spacerCAN. Why do you recoil? What disdain! I have more or less sixty years, but am young once more.
spacerCALL. A lasting example of impudence!
spacerCLEO. I’m very afraid.
spacerFLOR. I have no idea what they’re talking about.
spacerCALL. You sacrilegious woman, may you have —
spacerCAN. Hey, how you fill me with delights!
spacerCLEO. What is it?
spacerCALL. I blush to name something which she has no qualms about doing.
spacerFLOR . So now you pleased her less?
spacerCALL. More than I could have wished for. But why should I hesitate to snatch her by force?
spacer CAN. Hold your hand. Touch her with even a finger and I’ll rouse the whole neighborhood. She’s mine now. You understand the condition under which she may become yours. Keep her or let her go, let this be your choice.
spacerCALL. Rather, my good old sire, you who are her father ought to give me your daughter.
spacerON. Rather, my fine young man who wishes to marry her, you ought to reconcile me with my wife. I certainly do not dare.
spacerCAN . You need to abandon this stubbornness, or you’ll never accomplish your business. Good-bye.
spacerCALL. No, stay. What are we doing?
spacerCLEO. There’s no little hope. Out of necessity we must grant her wish so as to avoid this present evil, about which we can better deliberate at a later date.
spacerCAN. What do you say? I know you’ll love me just a tiny little bit.
spacerCALL. How can I when you’re elderly, withered and dried out?
spacerCAN. All the sooner to catch love’s fire.
spacerCALL. And you’re blind.
spacerCAN. So’s Cupid.
spacerCALL. And wanton.
spacerCAN. Just like Venus.
spacerCALL. And also a nun.
spacerCAN. This is a venial sin.
spacerCALL. Pish. But I’m a vain, worthless, helpless young man.
spacerCAN. You please me. Cease your arguing. If you do nothing more before tomorrow’s sunrise —
spacerCALL. For my part, I don’t care. But Floretta —
spacerCAN. What about Floretta? Do you begrudge me one single night?
spacerFLOR. Are you not ashamed for the modesty of our sex?
spacerCAN. Well done! Afterwards he’ll be yours forever.
spacerFLOR. Oh how I’d like to shut that wanton mouth!
spacerCAN. You should yield, stubborn girl. Do you persist in being a mulish woman?
spacerFLOR. Do you persist in being a bestial woman?
spacerCAN. Continue in your way. Therefore we should go.
spacerCLEO. Just promise to stop.
spacerCALL. Assuredly, Canidia, thus far I can scarcely love you. But insofar as — And yet I’d certainly prefer this, since, as I say, it’s necessary. But keep this concealed from Floretta. I’m coming close to granting you your wish.
spacerCAN. But when?
spacerCALL. So you lead her inside, and expect me soon.
spacerCAN. That’s well. We’re going in for supper. If you return within the space of an hour, you will have obtained your greatest wish. If not —
spacerCLEO. And you, Floretta, be of good cheer, you on whose behalf our effort is exerting itself.
spacerCAN. Good-bye to you all.
spacerCLEO. Good-bye.
spacerCALL. Good-bye.



spacerCALL. Oh dearest Cleomachus, why are my woes being stirred up? Now what’s going to befall my unhappy self?
spacerCALL. Now you have need of good counsel and a ready mind.
spacerCALL. Has any man ever been so hated by the gods?
spacerCALL. Don’t say that. Rather, the gods of heaven use sufferings to test those they love. And if a man piously endures them —
spacerCALL. But what fool does not experience them? Is this what is unexpectedly to be hurled headlong into evil?
spacerCALL. For a wise man, nothing is unexpected.
spacerCALL. But misery drives out wisdom.
spacerCALL. But patience relieves misery.
spacerCALL. To Hell with patience. It’s a feeble old man’s virtue. Spare me, my good friend. I can’t endure such a great misfortune.
spacerCALL. Not even one?
spacerCALL. All woes are flowing together from this side and that one, for my destruction.
spacerCALL. Why so?
spacerCALL. You ask? Calamity was born together with myself, when a prince’s impious tyranny wrenched me from the bosom of my parents. I don’t know whether I was first aware of myself as a son or an orphan.
spacerCALL. Callidamus, you’re no orphan. You have heard that your father’s still alive. Look at me. [Aside.] Hm. Should I reveal myself? By no means. This can’t be done safely.
spacerCALL. What are you saying?
spacerCALL. Look at me, I say, who am telling you that your father is safe.
spacerCALL. And then Callanthia, the light of my light, entered into eternal death while still in the dawning of her life.
spacerCALL. And happily lives on in the Elysian Fields, and your Floretta still survives.
spacerCALL. My Floretta? O gods! But I patiently restrain myself. I should have been patient.
spacerCALL. Why is she not yours? Your rival Diodorus is absent.
spacerCALL. But this adds to my heap of woes. I have lost him and her. And now I die anew on two counts. On the one hand I am opposed by Chrysophilus, and on the other by Canidia, who will convey Floretta to the cloister if I do not act. I shall never do as I have sworn.
spacerCALL. No, I bid you keep up your spirits. See how I am at your service, who am willing to encounter all efforts and dangers, by fair means or foul, by force or guile, managing this business so that Floretta may be yours,
spacerCALL. So says my Cleomachus?
spacerCALL. So he says, and so he shall do in good earnest. Your father Charilaus would be angry with me, should I not do everything possible for your sake.

Go to Act III