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ACT IV, SCENE i
CHRYSOPHILUS, NITELLA, THREE WATCHMEN, CALLIDAMUS
CHRYS. I’m accompanying you all to the magistrate and, by Hercules, if I am a good soothsayer, I can also accuse this evildoer of robbery, thanks be to the gods. Now my hope for the money shines once more.
CALL. Really? Oh me.
CHRYS. Speak up if you wish, Nitella. Now the kindly gods have opened my ears.
NIT. I am truly happy. But what happened, pray?
CHRYS. I’ve not the time now. Let’s just hustle this villain to the prison, and soon thereafter to the scaffold.
CALL. You accuse me, slut?
NIT. You deny it?
CALL. Enough. Now I’ve lived long enough, since Floretta, who is all I have, has first quit my life.
CHRYS. So get ready for death.
CALL. For death? I have always considered death more than beneficial, except it would take away Floretta. At this point I’d close these eyes of mine forever, save that henceforth they’d never see Floretta. So I am free to perish quickly, since I’m always perishing.
CHRYS. And yet, Callidamus, you should think how unpleasant I would find your death, since I have always raised you liberally since your childhood. So I have in mind a means that you could hope for safety, if only you would listen to me.
CALL. What might that be?
CHRYS. Now you’ll hear something wonderful. Your Callanthia is alive.
CALL. What are you saying?
CHRYS. The truth.
CALL. Oh, wonderful!
CHRYS. So don’t ask for anything more, you to whom I’ve already handed over a thousand pieces of gold. If you make sure they’re returned to me and that I have Floretta for a wife, you are saved. You may have Callanthia and your freedom.
CALL. Help me, supreme Jupiter, you who once was a lover. What should I do now? How I perish by my art, an unlucky artist!
CHRYS. But you must quickly come to some decision.
CALL. I perish miserably either way. Hm, this is how it’s going to be.
CHRYS. What do you say?
CALL. You know for sure that Callanthia is alive?
CHRYS. Aren’t you and I alive?
CALL. You dumbfound me. Yet it’s a bit hard to let go of Floretta, whom I love.
CHRYS. But once upon a time your parents and heaven’s senate destined Callanthia for you.
CALL. Pious advice. I vow to wed Callanthia, if she’s among the living.
CHRYS. And to hand back the money.
CALL. That too, and much more besides.
CHRYS. But these are mere words. Take a solemn oath.
CALL. By Venus.
CALL. And all the gods of heaven, I’ll marry Callanthia.
CHRYS. I free you. So you men let the lad go. I’ll stand surety for him and guard him myself.
WATCHMAN 1 He’s yours.
WATCHMAN 2 But first pay us our fee.
CALL. More likely the gallows. Ah, these tigers!
WATCHMAN 3 Good-bye.
ALL Good-bye, good-bye.
CHRYS. Now, Nitella, you’ll hear what’s transpired. This young man we have here in our custody is prepared to abandon his stubborn attitude and his love for our Floretta, if only you bestow your daughter on me as a wife and your pardon on him.
NIT. I don’t refuse.
CHRYS. Thank you .
CALL. But why court a girl who does not love you? Who will always hold you in contempt and loathing?
CHRYS. Why is this any concern of yours? It scarcely matters how I possess her, I’m so aroused over her.
CALL. But if she refuses (and I know for sure that she will), why all this? What can happen that you want?
CHRYS. Therefore you’ll make it happen yourself, by your power of persuasion.
CALL. Oh the crime! That I should be a pimp and betray my own love?
CHRYS. Now make sure you go back and, by heaven, if she isn’t brpigjt to me in my bedroom this very night, your life is finished all over again.
CALL. Why remind me of my life, since if I go without her I’m a dead man?
CHRYS. Gods’ faith! Have you so quickly forgotten the vow you just made?
CALL. Pardib my excessive love, it’s not easy to control its unbridled passion. If Callanthia is alive, as you say, once more I pledge to possess her as my single wife, and to yield Floretta, and once more I call the gods to witness my vow.
CHRYS. Now, Nitella, you may attend to that for which you have hoped so often. I’ll send my son to bring the girl to me. Once I hold her in my arms, I’ll make her my wife forever.
ACT IV, SCENE ii
CALL. O Nitella, what great perils you’ve involved me in today! Doesn’t it strike you as wrong to endanger an innocent man? But you’ll give me Floretta as the reward for my patience?
NIT. Certainly I’ll not grant you your life unless you also satisfy the craving of my mind.
CALL. Still? Oh you iron face and brazen brow!
NIT. No need for you to drag your heels. There is a proverb, “a woman loves or she hates.” If you value your life you must obey me.
CALL. But you have a husband, you wicked woman.
NIT. A mushroom, a block, who is now at a satisfactory distance.
CALL. But these things might come to Floretta’s attention.
NIT. How is she yours, since you are abandoning he?. But lest she be troublesome I’ll lock her up in her bedroom and bar the door.
CALL. But perhaps she’ll hear.
NIT. You enter silently.
CALL. Bah, what a monstrous request! But it is necessary that somehow I get it out of the way. Since you are so persistent in your desire, I am not unobliging.
NIT. You’ve made me happy. I’ll go in first and take good care of Floretta. You follow, if your life is of any concern to you.
CALL. How these woes have rent me asunder, otherwise than my plans had anticipated! I have no idea where to go or what to do. So in my misery I’m planting my feet here and stand at Floretta’s window, as if I were a statue.
ACT IV, SCENE iii
CALLIDAMUS, CLEOMACHUS, ERGASILUS, PERILLUS
CLEO. Good gods, what are you agitating, Callidamus?
CALL. My soul, for which there is nothing more that I can seek in this life! Oh the transient goods of mankind! The empty joy! It is not unlike the winter sun, which now you see shining, but then vanishes in the blink of an eye. Oh Cleomachus, this was not Floretta.
CLEO. What do I hear?
CALL. But rather evil Nitella, who, her face veiled, hoped that she could take Floretta’s place and enjoy an opportunity for furtive amour.
CLEO. I’m amazed.
CALL. Discovering this, inspired by I know not what rage I drew my sword. She gave a shout, and in response to her noise, before I was aware of it some boorish clowns came rushing at me and quickly dragged me to the house of Chrysophilus (damn it!), accused of an act of violence and robbery.
CLEO. Bad luck!
ERG. What did the evil old man do?
CALL. You’ll hear. At first he cruelly threatened me with death, and then, as if conferring a favor, told me that Callanthia was safe. Being ignorant, I was surprised. He pressed me harder. If I were to take Callanthia as my wife and yield Floretta to him, and also ensure that the money was returned, my situation would be repaired. Why say more? At length he commanded that I immediate bring Floretta to his bedroom, or he’d bring me to the gallows.
CLEO. Oh my Callidamus, how I fear lest you wouldn’t be the man I see here with my eyes and embrace with these arms! So how did you escape?
CALL. In the only safe way: I swore that I would marry Callanthia, should she be alive, and to perform the rest.
CLEO. A clever subterfuge!
ERG. I can’t refrain from congratulating you myself.
PER. Hooray, the name Callanthia is once more a lucky one for us..
CALL. Don’t be deceived by vain hope. The greatest evil yet remains.
CALL. For (oh, the sin!) Nitella won’t give me Floretta or my life, unless — You guess the rest. Now she awaits me inside. This is the gist of it: in this way, in that way, in every way I’m a dead man. Oh heaven, now I earnestly beseech you to heap more misfortunes on this head of mine, if you can.
CLEO. Watch out for what you say. The gods have ears that are swift in hearing and arms with a long reach for taking vengeance.
ERG. I’ll repair all these things.
CALL. To Hell with your servant’s silliness, as if there were any hope remaining.
ERG. Look at me. Has Ergasilus ever disappointed you?
CALL. Certainly not very often, I admit. Do you think that there’s room for scheming here?
ERG. Think that what you seek is already accomplished. You just retire with Cleomachus for a little while, and take this money. Let the full weight of responsibility fall on me and Perillus.
CLEO. Oh you Mercury and prince of all the world’s servants!
CALL. Small praise, if you do this for me. I command that you now be appointed Sultan of the Turks.
PER. And let me be Prester John.
CLEO. It shall be so.
ACT IV, SCENE iv
PERILLUS , ERGASILUS, MISOGAMUS, ONOBARUS, CHRYSOPHILUS
ERG. Now, Perillus mine, let us let us consider all our arts. Let whatever schemes other centuries have devised live on in this deed of ours.
PER. I’m at your disposal.
ERG. Here Nitella awaits our Callidamus, and there Chrysophilus awaits the girl. Both of them must be magnificently tricked, so that we may have a free Floretta.
CHRYS. To Hell with you fellows’ begging, you have to pass their night elsewhere. I have other business, in which I don’t wish you to have any share.
MIS. Did you accuse us of thievery before, so as now to dismiss us with insults? Better had you not inflicted this insult.
ON. I guess I failed to say my prayers today, everything’s gone so badly. I’, shut out of both houses.
ERG. Listen to this handy pair of clowns. If I were given the choice, I could find no more useful men than them for my scheme.
MIS. Whose voice is that?
ERG. The voice of Ergasilus.
ON. Ergasilus, are you joining us in sleeping on the sidewalk tonight?
MIS. It’s Ergasilus? That worthless fellow who just now foisted on me Canidia, that streetcorner whore? Rather, I say to you, Onobarus, what Cleanthes once said to a hermit, “beware lest you consort with the worst of men.”
ERG. Just keep silent, and I’ll give you abundant satisfaction.
MIS. I’ll not keep silent, you stinking pimp. I loathe all taciturnity, it’s a womanly virtue.
ON. And who else do I see?
PER. A certain kind of taciturn creature, if you like.
ON. Yes, I like that very much. Would my wife were such! But I do all my sleeping here, since I am not allowed to sleep with Nitella.
MIS. Oh this constant torture! For goodness sake, let whoever conveys me to a monastery this very minute have my house, my lands, my furniture, and whatever else I possess.
ERG. Here I am at your disposal, who will do this for you gratis.
MIS. You’ll cheat me again.
ERG. Then you assuredly shouldn’t trust me after that. Get ready your hood and robe.
MIS. I’ll do so.
ERG. And bring back Canidia here.
MIS. Bah, that stinking harlot, whom I’ve locked up good and tight so she can’t get out.
ERG. Oh the sin! You call a nun a whore?
As Thales once said about himself, she’s a nun whose “a resource shared by all mankind.” Here are the keys, get her if you want. [Exit.]
ERG. I’ll prepare your robe and hood. Good-bye.
PER. Is he gone, Ergasilus?
ERG. Very quickly, as soon as he heard mention of Canidia. But no matter. You produce her here and we’ll present her to Chrysophilus in his bedroom. But make sure that a cunning pretext for this business is given to Canidia, since she’s already been swindled by Callidamus. Think up something such as shifting the blame onto that donkey Misogamus, or anything else you choose.
PER. Have no doubts. Now my invention is lively.
ACT IV, SCENE v
ERG. Now we must attend to Nitella too. Since the nights are rather long, it’s a crime for her to sleep alone. I’ll wake up her dozing husband. If he shows himself as a man in all respects as vigorous as he is in his snoring, he will not be unsuitable for sleeping with her. Onobarus, Onobarus. I’ll rouse him with a slap. Onobarus.
ON. Oh my good wife! As if I had woken her up!
ERG. Don’t fear your wife. I’m Ergasilus.
ON. Oh Ergasilus. By Hercules, as far as I can recollect I’ve never had a worse nightmare since I’ve been born. Poor me! It’s as if Nitella doesn’t torment me enough in the day time unless she also scares me in my dreams.
ERG. What are you doing on the ground in this cold weather?
ON. Oh Ergasilus, I am the most locked-out of mortal men here, there, and everywhere, since for these several years my evil wife has shut me out of her bed and now my own house too.
ERG. To cheer you up, I’ll get you into your house, and into her bed too.
ON. By heaven, I thank you for a thing of no value. You’ll get me in where I dare not enter.
ERG. Pish, you don’t understand. I’ll make it so you can sleep with her in safety.
ON. Oh, if you could!
ERG. Just listen. She is expecting my master, whom she has just enticed into a furtive sexual encounter. He could not turn down her importunate entreaties by any means and agreed, although he is planning on nothing less than that. You may take his place.
ON. You’ve blessed me, Ergasilus? Where am I?
ERG. Where you soon will be. Go inside in the darkness. But what if she recognizes your beard?
ON. Hm, that’s certainly a consideration.
ERG. But it won’t be, if you heed me. Here are a pair of scissors, I’ll cut it off for you.
ON. Most gladly. Oh, gently, I pray! If you snip off my lips too, what about kissing?
ERG. Hang on, you’re so finicky. Oh what an artist I am! Now scarcely one of this good gentleman’s whiskers remains. Chick. How much his throat is to my liking!
ON. Please, Ergasilus —
ERG. Hey, what a smooth-faced young man! Want me to cut off your horns too?
ON. Bah, you worthless buffoon!
ERG. But Master’s here. We need his help too.
ACT IV, SCENE vi
CALLIDAMUS, ERGASILUS, ONOBARUS, NITELLA from the window
CALL. What did you finally devise, Ergasilus?
ERG. Oh Master, you’re here in good time. Behold a second Callidamus. Won’t you let this Onobarus play your part in Nitella’s house tonight?
CALL. How willingly! Behold the cunning of a servant! Apollo himself is no more learned, nor more beardless.
ON. Callidamus, my second self, we ought to be closer.
CALL. Oh, very close!
ERG. Now we must carefully perform what we have in hand. If it please you, Master, stand at the window and call to Nitella so she may hear your voice and be less suspicious. Then let in this Onobarus, bring out Floretta, and you’ll be the happiest of men.
CALL. My witty friend, now I swear that not even those seven gentlemen the Greeks once admired were so brainy. So let’s apply ourselves. Nitella, Nitella.
NIT. Who calls?
CALL. Behold, your Callidamus is here.
NIT. Pray come in, but as quietly as possible lest Floretta chance to hear.
ALL Hah, how fine!
ERG. But you hear, Onobarus? As quietly as possible, lest Nitella find out. I’ve brought a girl to Chrysophilus.
CALL. What girl?
ERG. I mean Canidia.
CALL. Oh, finely managed!
ACT IV, SCENE vii
CUC. Hah, Cupid, you naughty boy, how I’ll pinch your ears if I catch you! You who have involved me in these miseries, have you mocked me so with false hope? Me bring Floretta here to my father?
ERG. What lament are you beginning, Cuculus?
CUC. Oh Ergasilus, is calamity such an inseparable companion of love and loveliness? From the time I became a lover and a more handsome man, I don’t know how many thieves and treats I’ve encountered. And now I’ve lost Floretta.
ERG. How so?
CUC. My harsh father Chrysophilus has sent me to fetch her, or never return to this house again.
ERG. The worst of bad luck!
CUC. Oh me, ooh, come too me, all you lovers’ plaints, howls, expostulations, sobs, groans, and sighs. Oh me, oh me, ooh, hoo hoo, and likewise you dullness of eye and sad gesticulation.
ERG. I’ve never seen a lover more piteous in every respect.
CUC. What’s this fire of love, which melts me as the sun melts mud? Oh heart, heart, heart, how better for you to be thumped by this fist than by the hammer of grief and love!
ERG. I’ll do my duty from the other side, your heart’s on the left. Tiff taff.
CUC. Oh please, now I feel enough within. Oh how eager am I to die now.
ERG. You’fd failing? Snap snap.
CUC. Oh oh.
CUC. I’ll revive your spirits, if you start to faint.
CUC. Pray why beat me so?
ERG. Pray why this death wish? Your too dear to me for me to let you faint. You’re no true lover when you indulge your sorrow so greatly. Come, pull yourself together and your desire will come to pass.
CUC. Surely you don’t say that seriously? Are you mocking me for your amusement?
ERG. You’ll hear. Your Floretta and Canidia are both here. Escort Canidia to your father Chrysophilus and you may keep Floretta for yourself.
CUC. Oh Venus! How easily I could now soar forth from this little body of mine! Hey!
ERG. They’re here. You must retire and keep silent.
ACT IV, SCENE viii
CUCULUS, ERGASILUS, PERILLUS, CANIDIA
CAN. Pray take care how and by what route you are leading me. I believe you have led me by way of all sewers, dung-heaps, and stinking canals.
PER. By Hercules, I beg your pardon.. This is necessary, since it hasn’t been my fault but that of the darkness. But if I chance to steer you into a pit —
CAN. Bad years to you. Into a pit?
PER. I’m not saying I’ll steer you, but rather if you happen to fall into one by some mischance, since in this life a person can’t be too careful, it is not me at whom you should be angry. Or if you bump your face against some beam, I know you’ll be forgiving.
CAN. Be forgiving, you worthless man? You’re joking. Oh my nose! By Hercules, I feel as if all beams throughout the city have greeted me today.
CUC. I have previously greeted one.
PER. No wonder since, as the popular saying has it, “there are many delays in love.” But there’s need for patience. A single kiss from Callidamus will repay you for all these evils.
CAN. But, pray, are you really leading me to Callidamus?
PER. Surely you don’t think it possible that I’m deceiving you? What makes you so suspicious?
CAN. Nothing, except that Misogamus has already deceived me.
PER. Are you so unfair as to hold it against me that another man has acted amiss? If I place you in his bed, then will you trust me? And here’s Ergasilus, who beyond all doubt has come to be your escort.
ERG. Well met, Canidia. Ah you naughty woman, shall I not tell you in whose arms you will sleep tonight?
CAN. Don’t say, I beg you. I don’t want our nuns to find about something they scarcely consider a venial sin, if one of us should chance to sleep with a layman.
ERG. You’re certainly pretty. I can scarcely restrain myself from giving you a great smooch.
ERG. Get away, rascal.
ERG. Sh. Cuculus, you guide her. Canidia, give me your hand.
CAN. Now you’ll guide me aright?
ERG. Be still and follow. If I lead you anywhere other than where you wish to go, may all the gods destroy me.
PER. Be as silent as fish lest anyone hear us.
ACT IV, SCENE ix
ERGASILUS, PERILLUS, CUCULUS
PER. Oh, a priceless joke!
ERG. Here’s a little girl worthy of you, Chrysophilus. Now, my Perillus, you must pretend to be Floretta, Cuculus’ new bride.
PER. Pish, I’ve learned the art of pretense well enough, even from this very costume. Now farewell to Callanthia and her Naiads, now I’m Floretta her very own self.
CUC. Chick. How adroitly everything’s being managed, the lamps have been extinguished. Canidia went inside. My father Chrysophilus took her into his eager arms, saying, “oh my Floretta.” Then I withdrew myself stealthily. Hah hah, I can be intelligent in my own way, thank the gods.
ERG. [Aside.] But nobody can easily say what that way is.
CUC. Now give me Floretta, my long-awaited wife.
ERG. Assuredly, I am unworthy. If you knew me well enough, you would not marry me.
CUC. Assuredly I do not know you very well, but your reputation proclaims you to be upright.
PER. But I’m not pretty enough to have such a handsome husband.
CUC. Good heavens, if memory serves me and the night is not deceiving my eyes, you are ashen and more emaciated than you were.
PER. You see the power of love, Cuculus, which has changed you too.
CUC. I know full well, but for the better. Yet I want you as my bride.
PER. Of course, if it please you.
ERG. Pish. He’s a bit too modest, but I know full well that there’s no man alive whom she would prefer as a husband.
CUC. And so you’re mine. Away with this womanly bashfulness.
PER. By Castor, it’s not womanly bashfulness but rather the splendor of your face which stupefies me.
CUC. She too admires my face. Oh Perillus, your art! You’re the reason why I’m now holding her lily-white hand.
ERG Cuculus is very wrong, even when he’s most mistaken.
CUC. My darling, let us visit some wine-shop and pass this night in jollity. But when I think about it, what am I to do afterwards, when Father finds out about this?
ERG. You may shift all the blame onto me, say I artfully misled you. I want you to say that.
CUC. But this calls my prudence into question.
ERG. No, I want you to say this with self-confidence. It’s not surprising for any man at all to be deceived at night and in the darkness.
CUC. Hah, Chrysophilus, you have no idea who’s embracing Floretta now. [Exit.]
ERG. Nor do you, you idiot. Get going, get going. How swimmingly everything will go now. But my master is coming out with his Floretta. Ho the triumph, I congratulate you on this joy. Now I have sent a girl to Chrysophilus and am happily going off to tell Cleomachus the news.
ACT IV, SCENE x
CALL. Excellent, now we’re in safe waters. Oh Venus, how cheap this good is, how feeble the joy which we encounter with no risk and which freely bestows itself on us!
FLOR. Callidamus my friend, and now deservedly my dearest friend, to whom I am indebted for my freedom, how am I to thank you? You bind me to yourself when you make me free. Now one thing remains to bind me to you forever.
CALL. What’s that, pray?
FLOR. You must lead me to my Diodorus.
CALL. This is the one thing that prevents you from being bound to me forever.
FLOR. Really, when you might always have as your servant?
CALL. I’d prefer you had said as my wife.
FLOR. I think so too, except that Diodorus’ comeliness and sweet nature have already bewitched my eyes. Otherwise I would have wanted no other hiusband, I’m so indebted to your virtue and your love.
CALL. You have almost blessed me. Diodorus is sufficiently distant, and always will be. I hold your beautifully body, so why not your soul? Let love and all-conquering time prevail.
ACT IV, SCENE xi
CALLIDAMUS, FLORETTA. DIODORUS
DI. Now I see the house at last.
CALL. Look here, let’s go quickly lest someone catch us.
DI. How I’ve overcome the protracted tedium of night and my journey! But it is short for a willing mind.
FLOR. Who am I hearing. Surely this is Diodorus, or the sweet breeze is wafting me that which I most crave to hear.
CALL. It’s his very own self.
FLOR. Let’s go to meet him. Oh me, blessed in every respect!
CALL. Oh me, miserable forever!
FLOR. A miracle of love and fidelity.
CALL. A monstrosity of treachery and hatred.
DI. Who is it? Floretta and Callidamus, extremely well met.
CALL. You untimely traitor! Oh gods of heaven, have you preserved me alive from the cruel devices of Chrysophilus and Nitella so that Diodorus might kill me? It is a double injury which is covered by the veil of love.
DI. Pray hear me.
CALL. I don’t hear you. Don’t you think I’m sufficiently swindled by your flatteries? But you may have what your lying has earned you,. By Hercules it’s fair that you have it. See, I free you. Now I am going off into exile. Ah the traitor, who would have believed that treachery lurked in his heart?
DI. Ah Callidamus, if you thoroughly understood this heart you wouldn’t talk this way. Here it is, bared and exposed, you may stab it if it is false to you.
FLOR. Oh what a snow-white breast, which sets me afire even in this cold weather! Not even Jove, when transformed into a swan by love, had such a bright and soft one. How delightful to behold it, to touch it! Oh my, what breasts have I touched? By Castor, you’re a woman!
DI. By Hercules, I am.
FLOR. Oh my hope, so terribly cheated. Fraud did lurk in this heart, but it was aimed at me, not Callidamus.
CALL. Diodorus a woman! Is this true, pray or are you preparing a new deception?
DI. It’s very true, by Castor. If you just give me a hearing, I’ll make you trust me more.
CALL. Yes, I’ll trust you, and gladly so.
DI. But you’ll hear inside, where I can change into a woman’s clothes. You follow immediately.
CALL. I am following. Oh blessed name of Diodorus, in which I have found my friend and lost my rival!
FLOR. An unhappy name, in which I have lost my love and found mockery.
CALL. A miracle of friendship!
FLOR. A miracle of fraud! Oh Cupid, what have I committed against you to my misery, that you have led me into error with this ignis fatuus?
CALL. So you alone can correct this fire and this error. Requite the love of a man who loves you.
FLOR. But a girl who has erred is now prudently cautious.
CALL. And yet a girl who is cautious where there is no need for caution redoubles her error. I know full well that you agree. By Hercules, it is a crime to say no when nothing stands in the way.
FLOR. You have conquered. I am yours, and deservedly so.
CALL. Oh a sweet utterance, which will be sealed by this kiss. O Cupid, now I acknowledge your divinity, since you are the smallest of the gods and yet the greatest of them all! Indeed, I vow you an altar. You may possess this entire breast, where the altar of this heart will provide you with perpetual hearths. You supply the fuel, my priestess, and Hymen will perform the rest of our rites.
ACT IV, SCENE xii
CALLIDAMUS, FLORETTA. ERGASILUS
ERG. Master, your Cleomachus requests that you hurry inside.
CALL. Ah, my dear servant, you don’t know what wings love and joy possess.
ERG. Moreover he commands me to tell you of this new source of rejoicing.
CALL. A new one? There can be nothing more.
ERG. Your Callanthia survives.
CALL. What a misfortune! Callanthia?
ERG. She whom we thought to be dead, she whom today you most solemnly swore to marry, she has come back from her sojourn abroad.
CALL. You rascal, you lie.
ERG. By Hercules, I’m not lying. Diodorus, now returned, is responsible for this news.
CALL. To Hell with you and your news, you whipping-stock, or I swear I’ll offer you up to Mercury as a sacrificial victim for your mendacity. Flee as far as you can or —
ERG. This is the reward for my good faith?
CALL. You’re still looking backwards?
FLOR. That’s enough. Your Callanthia is alive, and I must die, having been wretchedly misled in two ways. For such is the will of the gods, and furthermore you are bound by your oaths. Now enjoy the woman whom the Fates have brought you, for her arrival is timely and also necessary for you to satisfy your vow.
CALL. How stupefying this is! Oh Callanthia, how often I have impiously railed at the heavens for having taken you away so quickly! Now they give you back and I rail at them all the more. Either you should not have seemed to me to be dead then, or to be genuinely alive now. How stingy love is to me, and how spendthrift! How it is a nothing and yet oppresses me as my enemy!
FLOR. But it has utterly failed my unfortunate self, at a single stroke it has taken two loves from me. Oh a lover’s brief happiness, which just now I have both found and lost!
CALL. Oh love’s protracted misfortune! Through what difficulties I have so long sought you, to my unhappiness. May I possess you now or never.
FLOR. So you may possess your Callanthia. Since I cannot live any longer as yours, it is sufficient if I die as yours.
CALL. No, I’ll do this in abundance. May you two live long, as befits immortal goddesses. I’ll offer up this puny body as a sacrifice to your divinities, and there is no need to summon death from afar. It threatens me near at hand. Here’s Chrysophilus, who thirst for my blood. I’ll freely surrender myself into his impious hands. Good-bye.
FLOR. No, I beseech you, Callidamus. By whatever in Floretta was dear to you, by whatever remains of our lost love, I beg you for this one thing, that in the end you live and thrive as mine, after I have died.
CALL. Hah. Never to see this face of yours again? This is a wound sufficient to kill. Now I feel the lethal strike of death within. Now I have landed at the dark shores of the Styx. What shades wander before my eyes? Where am I? What am I doing?
FLOR. Poor me, I’ll not allow these funereal utterances. Now I shall to to the forest as prey for wild beasts, rather than be killed by this sad sight.
CALL. First receive this final token of my love, a kiss both bitter and sweet, until I meet you again in the Elysian Fields. Farewell.
Callidamus exits into Chrysophilus’ house, and Floretta exits towards the market-place.
Go to Act V