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ACTUS II, SCENA i
AN. Hey, you thieves, you crooks, you villains, you vicious scoundrels, follow me out here and all of you pay full attention to my directions. If you don't rub the sleep out of your eyes, I'll mark your ribs with my whip so that, by Jupiter, they will be striped more than any embroidered purple Alexandrian tapestry. Why do I say this? Today I had assigned everyone his job, but you all are so careless, so neglectful, so wicked in your dispositions, that you force me to remind you of your duties with a beating. Look at this, pay attention here, give ears to what I am saying, you race of men fit only for the lash. Take this. (He hits one of them.)
COOK O, woe is me!
AN. Really, does it hurt now? Take another. You'll get this if anyone scorns his master. Everyone stand near me and pay attention to what I say. You, go put the pots in order, wash the plates, and warm the bacon and the hors-d'oeuvres in the warming ovens. You, Machaerio, while I'm away debone the bearded mullets, which are still in the water, as fast as you can, and make sure that all the bones are out. Now you, Dromo, descale and clean the rest of these fish. If you're wise, you will make that capon as smooth for me as the mirror of Venus. As for you, if you don't decapitate and clean twenty geese for me today, I'll slice your nose off as soon as I get back. Now you know what I want. You, Stephanio, be sure the sauce is blended perfectly smooth, so that you don't give to me unfinished. I want everything to be cleaned. Bring out the broom, so that I can completely destroy these spiders' work, their wicked webs, and knock down all their weaving. You, take the broom. Hey, you wretch, take this and sweep it out. Some of you cut wood, and while that's going on, others toss down the hams. You all make me so angry! I can never order any of these useless thieves to do one single thing without having to bark at them and give a hundred orders! By Hercules, I can't put up with this job any more, because of the yelling and frustration. Hey, Dromo, didn't I just tell you, you villain, to clear away the manure from this doorway? Didn't I just tell you to get rid of the dirt and the spiderwebs from these pillars? Didn't I just tell you to get these pots and knives shiny and bright? Nothing is ever done except late, and I walk around with a stick, as if I were a cripple. Go ahead and sleep; go ahead and wheeze; go ahead and snore. I'm living in a pigsty, not a kitchen, and by Jupiter, these aren't men living here with me, but totally pigs. Why are you standing still? Why do find ways to go slow? Why don't you all do your jobs? All this should have been cooked already. Get moving, so that nothing will be delayed when I get back, which will be as soon as I can. But if every piece of furniture is not in its proper place for me when I return, I'll give you a taste of the cowhide reminder. (He goes outside.)
Now I am going to walk through the forum and see what new things the loafers there are up to. Then I'll go to my girlfriend, because I have in my pocket a soothing medicine for her stomach, this little piece of bacon. You know, from childhood I have been a great admirer of women—but I never had a wife, nor did I ever take any trouble to have one. Why? All the lovers have told me that marrying a wife is a serious burden. And so I have lived this comfortable life in the city, and I always sought peace and quiet, and I never have had a wife—even though many young men falsely think marriage is a piece of luck. For no lover is happy in a marriage. In addition to the other troubles, very difficult troubles, which matrimony brings with it—I ask you, who can live a free man among children? Who could give me that heap of money which is necessary, every day, for the household? Not even if I had one hundred donkeys, who could shit every day a huge pile of new coins and cash, could I support a wife.
First you have to get a nurse; then you need a lot of furniture; then you need the expenses for the marriage ceremony, then food for the child, food for the mother who bathes the child. You need money for the nurse, so that she can have a big bottle of old wine to drink day and night. You need money for a fire, for plenty of charcoal. You need money for diapers, pillows, cradles, beds. You need oil. For the baby you need milk and cereal. You need this every day, and your work is never finished in one day, because the work is unending.
When I take full account of this situation, right then I call myself celestial, not single, since I have no fear of trouble coming from a wife or kids. Meanwhile I have enough of what I love out in the streets, and enough at home to eat or drink until I puke. It helps that the cellar-master of King Charlemagne is my close friend. We take turns with each other: I satisfy his hunger; he satisfies my thirst. And we eat nothing and drink nothing but what is sweetest, most select, and most exclusive. But now I'd better silence my voice and my talk, for over there, unless I'm mistaken, I see some country bumpkin heading into the forum. I'll wait to see what he wants here and what he's mumbling as he goes along, thinking to himself. Look, the worthless booby brings a goose to sell, as well as some chickens shut up in a cage.
COR. By Faunus, when our ancestors of old called this an urban civilization, they were dead wrong, for there's nothing civil here at all. It's merely a sucking drain, because there are so many men here who drain away everything we have. Even if it rained each and every day grain and fish and whatever else fills a pantry full, in only one second all of it would still be drained away. Because of this, everything I come here to buy is very expensive. I go to the butcher shop, I ask for fish, they tell me it is expensive, lamb is expensive, beef is expensive, veal, shark, pork — all expensive. May Jupiter destroy all these wicked city-dwellers in the worst possible ways, these men who mock us noble countrymen as they do. If you buy a shoe or anything else from them, unless you present new, shiny coins, you will never take home anything good, anything that's right, or anything that you can use. But on the other hand, if they buy anything from us noble countrymen, they give us nothing but coins made of lead. By Faunus, unless someone gives me good, and I mean perfect, coins, he will not buy my goose or the chickens that I'm carrying, nor will he get them for any amount less than triple the usual price.
AN. As far as I can tell from hearing his words, this fellow is the wickedest of all bipeds. Why not make some fun of this rustic bumpkin?
COR. Whoa, here's a cook. I'll see if I can find some good pickings from his wallet. Hey, big-bellied cook! Aren't you buying a goose or some chickens? Look at these fat ones.
AN. That's wrong, look how skinny they are! But I do need to buy a goose.
COR. So tell me what you will pay.
AN. But the item is yours, so it's your job to name the price.
COR. Do you want to buy it cheap?
AN. Do you want to sell it for a good profit?
COR. Fine, then take this goose for eight Batzen.
AN. Too much.
COR. How about seven?
AN. Phooey, that's too much too.
COR. There can't be a Batzen less than what I'll say now.
AN. So what is it? Tell me right now and say it.
COR. Give it a try. Take the goose for six Batzen.
AN. Do you think that you are going to steal my money?
COR. Do you likewise think that you are going steal my goose?
AN. But even if I buy this goose, I don't have any ready money in hand. But tomorrow you can get it whenever you wish. So now, if you want to give me the goose, hand it over.
COR. Do you think I am crazy, cook? Daylight, water, air, sun, moon, nighttime — we don't buy these things in the market with money. Those other things which we want to use, we must buy with hard cash. When we go to a baker for bread, when we go to a cobbler for shoes, to a bar for wine, if they get cash, they hand over the goods. We countrymen have the same practice. Our hands always have eyes, because they believe only what they see.
AN. May Jupiter smite you, you wretch, along with your hands with eyes. If I give you more than five Batzen for this goose, then go ahead and dig out my eyes. That's what I have to say.
COR. Hear this. If I give you this goose for such a low price, then cut off my head, instead of the goose's. That's what I have to say. I will instead approach the kitchen-master in the palace, who will maybe give me even eleven coins in ready money for the goose, plus he will give me three florins for the chickens. You, big-bellied cook, farewell for now.
AN. And you, insolent peasant, go hang yourself.
COR. I will do just that, if you will join me.
That fellow who just went straight off from here has to be the most wicked and criminal-minded peasant of all. Let him go on into the palace. I'll be damned if the kitchen-master will give him as much into his hands as he thinks he will get. I am sure that there is no race of men as crooked and perverse as today's peasants. All of them excel even the fox in their sharp practices; I have often had experience of this to my own sorrow. They have a genius most quick to cheat. They are born and raised in such a way that they are experts in cheating and fleecing the unhappy souls of men; born and raised to consider all city-dwellers as beggars; born and raised so that dirt itself is not dirtier than these nasty, wicked men who break through our walls to steal. All of them are the same, they all match. If you know one peasant, you know them all. Say one of them is on trial; another will immediately show up to defend the case. When the second is in trouble, the first one is right there. They give each other mutual assistance. They have all been taught in one school, and I know for sure that this peasant is the professor, dean, and chief villain of that school, if there is one. If I were the great King Charlemagne, and if I enjoyed sole command of this whole place, I certainly would order the hanging of all these peasants, these worthless, useless, good-for-nothing people. That way they would not carry out their evil practices with impunity.
But why am I staying around here? Why shouldn't I already be setting out to my girlfriend? I am sure that she will be waiting with great eagerness for me and my bacon, which I promised to give her yesterday. Afterwards I quickly go back to my kitchen, and there I'll pass the day gulping beakers of wine.
COR. (Corydon comes out of the palace; Menalcas approaches from the wings but keeps himself in concealment throughout this scene.) May all the gods and goddesses destroy you in the worst possible way, you with your lead and copper coins, you villainous kitchen-master, you who obviously tried to steal my chickens and my goose. In the name of all the gods and men, what an unlucky day it was, with what evil portents did I enter that house, because for my goose and four chickens they gave me only four Batzen. Too bad for me! I am almost out of my mind, I'm so filled with rage. I would like nothing better than to have the entire palace household right in front of me, so that I could vomit out all my anger on them while my misery is so fresh. I'd be satisfied to pay any penalty, provided I could take revenge on the kitchen-master. Oh, how I would mangle him in so many ways! I'd grab him up high in the air and put him head-first into the ground so as to pave the whole road with his brains. Next I would rip the villain's eyes out and throw him down—in fact I would rush onto him, chase him, grab him, flatten him, and pound him.
MEN. I am here looking for the villainous cook Antrax, the one who debauched my daughter and sent her back to me with her child.
COR. I'd rather die the worst kind of death than ever again bring anything more to sell to the kitchen-master.
MEN. But who is that whom I see off in the distance? Isn't that my neighbor Corydon? By Hercules, if my eyes are working, it is. Hey, he's been my friend from childhood. Good gods, we certainly have a great shortage of citizens like him. He is really a man of old-fashioned honor and uprightness. No civic trouble at all will ever start with him. How happy I am when I see that a few remnants of his tribe still remain. Yes! Now it is a pleasure to live, after seeing him. I'll go to meet the man here, to greet and converse with him.
COR. It is certainly worthwhile to review in my mind those men I saw with my own eyes around the kitchen stove. To one side of the hot oven was placed a small round table, and it was so soaked with Bacchus' liquor that you might call it a sponge, not a table. At its head sat the palace butcher, a man really loaded, with a long, thick, black beard. He is a handler of shameful things, with a hellish face and deep-set, devilish eyes. Next to him was some scribe with a face marked with red pustules and showing all the signs of a wine-soaked drunkard. This man was then telling a particularly silly story from his collection of choice sayings and jokes and entertaining his fellow drinkers.
MEN. May the gods love me, how I like to listen to him! He speaks with such wit, as far as I can hear, about these spongers and skunks who infest the palace.
COR. First I saw some man with crooked eyebrows, a narrow forehead, dishonest, with a pot belly. I think he could easily do the work of eight men in drinking, so much of a deep-guzzling sot is he, one who takes it straight out of the bottle. A whole vintage would not be enough for him all by himself, he give such joy to his gullet — and he is our chief!
MEN. How well does our comrade know the habits of our chief! I could wish that he would become the chief of our chiefs.
COR. And, may God be my witness, they were using more oil on their porridge and more straight wine than King Charlemagne himself uses. Thus they live their merry lives, thus they fill their bellies by sponging, and like mice, always spy out someone else's food and eat it. Nobody can readily surpass them in gluttony. For example, every day they find yesterday's leftovers, and they destroy whole piles of plates. But this is the worst thing: we noble farmers have the duty of filling up and stuffing these huge bellies and enormous paunches by our plowing, sowing, harrowing, harvesting, and sweating.
MEN. I would have addressed him long since, but I was afraid that he would stop reporting the habits of these parasites that he saw. I'll let him continue.
COR. In consequence, after they have partaken of two or three hundred feasts and banquets, and after they have invited themselves—very conveniently!—to take deep drafts toasting the joyful health of their sovereigns, you can easily recognize them from the trembling of their wine-soaked limbs, from their hangovers, their high-color and leanness, their unsteady gait as if staggering from drunkenness. Moreover, if you invite them to a feast, they will run faster than a deer, with longer strides than a stilt-walker. But if anyone invites them to court or to be a witness, then they catch the gout and move slower than a snail. But who can count such a number of pantry-tenders, sub-pantry-tenders, or so many big bellies, so many co-banqueters, and other such skunks in our palace? To tell the truth, if I were born with a hundred heads like the Lernaean Hydra, I still could not expose all the parasitic wiles of these men. (Menalcus emerge from concealment.)
But look, here's my comrade Menalcas. How well is it going here?
MEN. Hey, I was really delighted to hear this talk of yours!
COR. You heard it?
MEN.. Right from the beginning. How well you, a good man, described the habits of these bad men!
COR. Bah, I spoke only the hundredth part of what I could say, if I had the time. But how are you doing? How's it going here?
MEN. How? Very unhappily.
COR. May the gods give you better.
MEN. The gods are doing something like this.
COR. Like what?
MEN.. I'll tell you, if I see you have any time or leisure.
COR. Even if I were busy, Menalcas, if you want to talk, I am never too occupied to pay attention to a friend.
MEN. You are showing the same kindness that I have often found in you.
COR. So go ahead and say what you want to me.
MEN. I'll talk.
COR. I'm listening.
MEN. I'm wondering if you know Antrax, our King Charlemagne's cook.
COR. Who? That fellow with the big head and very big feet?
MEN. That's him.
COR. The one with the fat calves and the red hair?
MEN. A painter could not better depict his shape, by heaven. Alas, my heart and my brains are split down the middle whenever there's any mention of that man.
COR. Why, by Hercules? I'm asking you.
MEN. Because, by heaven, I know for sure that the four gods Vulcan, the Sun, the Day, and the Moon have never shone on any man more wicked than he is.
Cor. Who? Him? Antrax?
MEN. Yes, I say him, Antrax.
COR. What did he do?
MEN. What didn't he do? Why are you asking me this? In one word, he is clearly driving me to distraction.
COR. I don't yet understand where this is heading.
MEN. You know my daughter?
COR. Your Amaryllis? How could I not?
COR. You mean the one-eyed girl?
COR. What did he do with her?
MEN. He raped her, and then after raping her the rat sent home here with a new-born child.
COR. . By Jupiter, what am I hearing?
MEN. Only the facts. And, Corydon, we could not be in a worse situation that we are now. First, my daughter obviously lacks a dowry. Then, the thing that was a secondary dowry for her is now lost. She cannot be married now as a virgin.
COR. You tell me a surprising thing: will the one who raped her not then marry her?
MEN. The criminal certainly promised that, but he does not want to stand by his promise any longer.
COR. Don't you have any shysters, any pettifogging lawyers, any judges whom you can approach, whom you can tell about this crime, who could be helpful?
MEN. Alas, I approached everybody.
COR. So why are they not helping you?
MEN. Bah, you need ask? I'm poor, I have no cash. There's no one who will take a bite out of a cook.
COR. Alas, how many lawyers there are among men who, in my opinion, are just like flies, gnats, bedbugs, lice, and fleas; they are a plague, a nuisance, and a mischief, and of no use to respectable men.
MEN. Their doorways are like the gates at a tollbooth: if you pay, they open; if you have nothing to give, the gates don't open. And these men invent lawsuits where no lawsuits exist.
COR. And they trim their unhappy victims down to their skin — alive!
MEN. They extort fees; they contort the law.
COR. Daily they dream up new ways to fleece their targets; according to their law, boiling water is cold. But look here now!
MEN. What is it?
COR .Speak of the devil!
COR. The very one. Wait here.
AN. After giving my girlfriend some bacon, I'll now go inside so I can see what kind of feast there is for us.
MEN. I can scarcely keep myself from flying at this villain's head.
COR. By heaven, keeping your anger so near the surface is really foolish. How much better it is to approach him with kind words and first make your request. A good attitude in a bad situation cuts the trouble in half.
MEN. I hear you.
AN.. But who are these peasants who are making their way towards me? It's Menalcas. Watch out! If I don't pay close attention, I'll be stuck in a mess, because he is coming this way with a gladiatorial attitude.
MEN. I'll do what you say.
COR. Go on.
MEN. Hey, Antrax, take a look at us.
AN. No, I'm in a rush.
MEN. Hey, come back here, Antrax, come back. Someone here wants to talk to you.
AN. No, I'm going somewhere else instead.
MEN. Hey Antrax, stop.
AN. I'll pretend that I don't know them.
AN. Who in the world are you? What do you want? What do I have to do with you?
MEN. It's me.
AN. Who are you to bother me and delay a busy man?
MEN. I'm your father-in-law.
AN. You are now telling stories to the dead. You are stupid. You are trying a settled case.
COR. (to Antrax): At least find out who he is.
AN. I know who he was; who he is now, he can find out for himself.
MEN. But before you leave here, I want you to tell me when you are going to celebrate your marriage to my daughter.
AN. You are talking nonsense.
MEN. But I want you to tell me. Hey, Antrax, tell me when you will celebrate your marriage to my daughter?
AN. Do your jaw or your teeth itch, since I see that are annoying me? Maybe you are looking for bad trouble here. If you were planning to say such things, why didn't you bring a drum with you?
MEN. But I want to know this, since you have shown up here at such a convenient time.
AN. You wretch, why are you making such an uproar here in front of the palace? Do you think you are still in the country? Go away, away, far from this doorway. Go back to the country, go right away. Go away from the doorway.
COR. Are you now acting as our police force?
AN.. That's what I like to do. Be off!
MEN. Too angry.
AN. Do you want to know how angry I am? By Hercules your face is not far from a disaster, now that these tooth-smashers on my hands are itching for you.
MEN. You'll be in big trouble if you even touch me or come any nearer. I'm now going to pursue my rights at law. You will not escape the crimes that you have done by threatening me.
AN. Leave me alone.
MEN. Are you going to marry my daughter?
MEN. The devil will shit all over you unless you tell me the truth.
AN. You are wasting your breath.
MEN. I beg you by Hercules, tell me in all seriousness, cook, what I ask you. Won't you marry my daughter?
AN. Sure I will.
AN. With all her innards.
COR. You pervert, why did you debauch her?
MEN. Why did you dare to do this?
AN. I wanted to.
MEN. Hey, Corydon, go get a sword.
COR. Why do you need a sword?
MEN. To kill him first, then myself.
COR. No need, for starvation will kill this wicked cook very soon now.
MEN. You criminal, what are you saying? What are you saying, you biggest liar of all liars who fill the earth? Did you not swear that you would marry her?
AN.. I admit it, but now I don't want to marry her.
MEN. You swore in solemn words.
AN. And well-considered words, too.
MEN. Hey, you criminal, you swore falsely.
AN.It's easy to swear, but to keep your oath—that's not easy.
MEN. Corydon, stand on his other side and really load him down with curses.
COR.Gladly. If I were a dog, I wouldn't run any faster after a rabbit.
MEN. Heap many bad words on him.
COR.Now I'll make you notorious with my words, you bastard.
AN. Go ahead.
COR. Wicked man!
AN. That's true.
MEN, Shameless pervert!
AN. Why not?
AN. Well done!
MEN. Child molester!
AN. That's me.
AN. Keep going.
AN. I admit it.
AN. You are telling an old story.
AN. Now that's quite true.
COR. Corrupter of girls.
MEN. Lazy lout.
AN. You sing charmingly!
MEN. You beat your mother and father.
AN. And I killed them too, so I would not have to give them food. That wasn't wrong, was it?
COR. We are really tossing our insults into a leaky barrel, we are wasting our efforts.
AN. Do you want to call me anything else?
MEN. Look, you. You care nothing for our words, so we will deal with you with fists. Now take this.
AN. Let me go.
MEN. Bring him along, Corydon. If he doesn't come, grab him.
COR. I am grabbing him. Take this.
MEN. Put him half way between the sky and the earth.
AN. Let me go.
COR. I won't.
MEN. Feel this!
AN. Get your hands off me.
MEN. See if your knife here is good and sharp.
COR. I have my knife right here, and I am eager to slice the guts of this adulterous cook. I can hang them around his neck like a child's bauble.
AN. I'm done for.
COR. Not yet, but soon you will be. Now should I finish him off?
AN. I'm done for.
MEN. Not yet. Instead, let's first beat him with sticks.
COR. Yes, with a lot.
AN. I'm done for.
COR. Why did you dare corrupt a girl, you lecher?
AN. By the love of the gods, it's all over with me!
MEN. He lies. Beat him! Why stop? Go on beating!
AN. Is this how you act? I must use my lungs. Hey, out here, Machaerio.
MEN. Stop your mouth.
COR. See how loud his nasty hole is.
AN. Out, Stephanio, Dromo, out here!
COR. Why don't you be quiet?
AN. Out here, I say.
COOKS I hear an uproar. By God, what do I see! They are flattening our Antrax with their fists.
AN. I'm begging you, spectators, come give me help.
Cooks. We are here, boss.
AN. Give me some help here.
COOKS Bring the hardened stake, Dromo!
AN. Throw this peasant with his feet up like a slaughtered sow. You, Stephanio, grab that boor by his beard.
COOKS. Here's a lit torch. Stick it in his face. Look how his beard smokes!
AN. You, dig out the sight out of his body.
COOKS I have hold of his eye.
AN. Now make his eyes appear on the top of his head.
COR. Woe is me!
MEN. Let me go.
COOKS Go on, get away, run off to hell. Take this, you — because you fled last, you get this reward. Boss, we got here just in time to bring you help.
AN. So why not go in with me? Matters went very well, very successfully for me today. I removed a supreme pest from the marketplace.
MEN. Do we really have to take this injustice and just grumble about it?
COR. Now woe is me, now I have real experience of that old proverb, something bad always comes from a bad neighbor.
MEN. Look how my lip is split.
COR. You look how my beard is burnt to the roots.
MEN. Now, Corydon, come on; give me a hand; don't desert me. For a man must see that his friend's business is put on a firm foundation.
COR. I am practically beside myself from anger. By God, what is this if it is not injustice? By heaven he will never get away unavenged. We did not succeed one way, so we will try it another way.
MEN What way? Tell me.
COR. Menalcas, do you know our King Charlemagne's secretary?
MEN.Not at all; what is his name?
COR. His name is...is...is, Lord! It is...
MEN. Say — What's the problem?
COR. By heaven I've swallowed his name accidentally. And just now it was hanging on my tongue. It's Einhard!
MEN. Tell me what he looks like.
COR. He is a man of vigorous appearance, reddish, of average height.
MEN. Not a bad person, in your description.
COR. In his face is a cheerful seriousness, and in his words is true faith.
MEN. What then?
Cor. Approach him.
MEN. Good idea.
COR. Tell him in order everything about your daughter.
MEN. I'll do it.
COR. And explain everything in a rational manner. In that way you can expose all Antrax's wickedness. At the same time take your daughter and her baby in his blankets with you. When he hears her, he will pity her. He is a truly sympathetic man, far different from some of our lawyers here who swoop like hawks on our money.
MEN. I call the gods to witness how valuable it is to be wise! I never visit you without learning something before we part.
COR. So we must take care to be quick about it. But do you know what I want even more?
MEN. I don't know, but I will when you tell me.
Cor. Be sure that you have some little gift when you go to him.
COR. Don't you know that not only judges, who are human, but even Jupiter the Supreme is persuaded with gifts.
MEN. But I have nothing.
Cor. Don't be stupid. Don't you have a cheese, or a chicken, or something similar?
MEN. Bah, how unfair it is that those who have less are always adding something to those who are rich. But — now I know what gift I will bring, because I just caught a rabbit, and if I am not chased out of the house, I should give it to the secretary. What do you think of that?
COR. Just as you like. But why don't we go home now.
MEN. Let's go.
IM. In my view, this is a foolish and stupid practice: people are in the habit, if they expect a person, of keeping a lookout for him, but, by Hercules, he doesn't come any sooner on that account. I am doing this same thing in keeping a lookout for my Einhard, my soul, my heart's delight, who will not come any sooner just because I am waiting. But even if I had to await him for many days, indeed, to tarry for many years, nevertheless I know well that one short hour (I only wish it were now!) when I might enjoy the sweet presence of my Einhard, could render any delay or any tedious waiting short and easy for me.
O supreme Lord, O most lofty Ruler of the heavens and earth, O if that blessed time were now at hand, that splendid, longed-for, golden and happy time, I say, when I as a wife might kiss the dear hands of Einhard, my husband, when I might be with him, make sport with him, touch him, sit by him, talk with him, and enjoy him freely and entirely! Ah, how many floods of delights would sweep over me! Why then, I imagine, I would be living in the most joyful and wholesome paradise of all delights! For as often as I call to mind Einhard's steadiness and perfectly unassuming conduct,
and whenever I lovingly pass in review his wit, his charm, his loving heart, the playfulness that shines forth in his face, his character, his walk, his voice, all these thing so vivid in my mind, which have come (as it were) from the University of King Cupid, then I am able to blot out of my heart all the sons of kings, of princes, of generals, from whatever high rank they may descend. As for what concerns me, and as far as I can discern, this my one and only Einhard, by heaven, leaves all others behind by a great length. All by himself he takes this contested prize from everyone born and raised in this courtly atmosphere. Granted, he can recount no battles, no wounds, no hunting expeditions, no warlike deeds, no equestrian exercises, no statues erected to his grandfathers or forefathers, nothing like those things which now-a-days recommend courtiers. But who has such a noble heart, who has such noteworthy talents of mind, which have made famous all the nations ruled by my lord father, King Charlemagne? I also say: who would not kiss him, would not love him, would not imprint his image deeply in her heart and soul? As for this love of mine, which has brought me into this place—the brighter it burns and is fed by my heart's fire, the more it has fastened itself with firmly-fixed roots.
But now I have been walking here in vain, and in vain I seem to be waiting for my love, my heart, and my one and only delight, since as I can hear, at this moment the trumpet is sounding the signal for supper. I believe that Einhard will be seated with my father Charlemagne at the same meal. I'll take myself inside.