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ACT II, SCENE i blue
CELIA in the window, ACHERON

spacerCEL. I have received the sweet kiss of the early dawn. Oh how useless a consolation for an imprisoned girl! I receive this kiss of the rising breeze while others are enjoying their husbands’ lips. Do I truly see that pledge of the rising sun, the star of Venus? Greetings, auspicious star! May you be the prophetess of a happy marriage for me. Aurora immediately blushed with bashfulness.
spacerACH. By thunder, nobody can long endure in this family, if such it is. My lady Laverna is inside, clasping Scarabaeus to her bosom. But I am obliged to make a long journey to the harbor to investigate the French merchants. I forget why, but I must go, on pains of being beaten with an iron maul. Keep going, keep going, I’ll not entrust Celia to you, no, no.
spacerCEL. He’s speaking about me.
spacerACH. Ah, good health, my snow-white little girl. Are you unaware of the marriage to Maarten being readied for you today?
 spacerCEL. You both wish me good health and murder me, my patron. Is it fitting to for me to be handed over to that mouldy, festering old man? I’d rather feed dogs with my blood.
spacerACH. You put your finger on the matter precisely, Celia. Your countenance and your loveliness deserve a man of my sort. Look at this well-turned calf, this arm, this sturdy frame. What would you give me if I were to defraud Maarten? A kiss?
spacerCEL. With smacking lips.
spacerACH. An embrace?
spacerCEL. That’s too much —
spacerACH. Pish.
spacerCEL. — unless you immediately put one over on this beast.
spacerACH. If I were to steal the key while my wife was asleep —
spacerCEL. You’d eagerly be granted entry — [aside.] so as to plunge out the window headlong. [Alas.] Woe’s me, fenced in on all sides!
spacerACH. So shake another tree, Maarten. blue My wife commanded just now that I should fly to the harbor. Along the way I must meet with Loyola, at Baucia’s house. I’ll inform him about the wedding and tell him Maarten’s the bridegroom. He’ll disrupt all this, he’ll turn over every stone so that Maarten has nothing substantial over which to rejoice.
spacerCEL. Excellent, my protector. But you are slow in forestalling this danger. See how Maarten’s door has creaked. blue
spacerACH. You’re troubling yourself overmuch, my little girl. I’m off with the winds. [Exit. ]



spacerCEL. Do I see Musonius coming out? How my heart leaps! In his unhappiness he torments himself and takes no pleasure in anything save when that mute servant of his emits a groan to accomp;any his wailing.
spacerMUS. I have wearied the night, the stars, and the trees’ dark shadows with my love, but now I release them from any future obligation give me a patient hearing. Yet will you listen to me, as often as I breathe forth the lifeless name of Celia? What do you say? Your posture sufficiently proclaims your willing spirit, you refuse nothing. For if silence stands for assent, a speechless person denies nothing. So you’ll still remain silent? Oh you companion of my unhappiness, who cannot help but remain silent! I needlessly ask you to be silent, you sweet consolation of a boy. Hear me, please. Your nature makes you trusty, and your virtue makes you good. Adieu, the riddle of my love and a better fortune. My father is my rival, an old man is Celia’s lover. An old man is my rival, and my father the bridegroom destined to possess Celia.
spacerMUTE Mmm.
spacerMUS. A sweetly-breathing groan, music of unhappiness! Thus the bees buzz as they alight on flowers. But today Celia is to be taken away. That light of my life scarcely once appeared before me and is always the death of me, while my father has appointed me his representative to sway the unwilling girl. Why am I not also a mute? Stepmother nature, you have given me a tongue so I might destroy myself. What are you thinking of these things? Why nod your head in this way? Doesn’t your head sink down to your lovely shoulders? No, but the weight your master’s woes bear it down. Thus the poppy, borne down by the morning dew, nods its tender head when intoxicated by a shower.
spacerCEL. Musonius.
spacerMUS. Ah, my Phoebe, my music, my oracle.
spacerCEL. Ah Musonius, how long you’ve stayed away from this window, which is all the brighter when you are looking at it!
spacerMUS. Ah my dearest, henceforth you will not reproach me for my delay, you will draw much closer to me. In our very same house you will be a mistress and a wife.
spacerCEL. You mock my girlish gullibility.
spacerMUS. No, I mock my own life. But perhaps I am a being over-bold. I am not now offering a lover’s wheedlings, but rather the dutifulness of a son.
spacerCEL. A son? How much poison are you concealing with that tender word? I desire to become a mother when my good fortune allows me to marry you, but it would be an incestuous disgrace to be your mother.
spacerMUS. You should beware calling something base which is bound to come to pass. No, Celia, I implore you to bestow your affection on my father Maarten. He is a better man than my scurvy self, and you’ll love him twice as much.
spacerCEL. How such a display of virtue befits you! But when you plead your father’s case you are murdering yourself.
spacer MUS. Assuredly the love of my father is a finer thing than a thousand Celias. Sweet Celia, pardon my prudence or, if you prefer, my prayers. Trust me, there is no ill fortune in gaining an old man’s bedchamber. And how many faults counterbalance the advantages of youth?
spacerCEL. You’ll never convince women of this, even if you urge them a hundred times over.
spacerMUS. But he whom you adore the most is a futile, deplorable boy. He haunts taverns and squalid hovels. If this mute could speak, he could go on all day and night recounting my wayward habits.
spacerMUTE Um.
spacerCEL. Good-bye, you artful deceiver. You oblige me to shut my window. It’s shameful for Musonius to lie, and even more so to speak ill of himself. [She closes the window and disappears.]
spacerMUS. Oh Hell and its Furies! Is another man to gain Celia thanks to my effort, is my father to build upon the ruins of his son? Let my tears speak the rest. You are made speechless by nature, me by love.
spacerMUTE Um.
spacerCEL. What do you see? Are you trying to distract my mind from its love?
spacerMUTE Hu huh.
spacerMUS. Ah, you never can. After I cast eyes on this girl, I don’t remember seeing any other woman. Celia’s fine splendor has dazzled my eyes. But, mute, let us recline beneath this window. Here I’ll build myself a tomb.



spacerJO. Who would have ever expected such grace from an evil pimp?
spacerPHIL. A talent of gold for the man who frees me of my worry about this Maarten. I sought the cure for my idleness and sloth in a marriage-bed, but that’s where I lost Celia. But somebody’s overhearing our conversation.
spacerLOY. It’s Musonius, with his mute Harpocrates b stretched out beside him. Philander, it’s my whim to flavor an exquisite swindle with some vinegar.
spacerPHIL. To whose detriment?
spacerLOY. To Maarten’s.
spacerPHIL. Tell me how.
spacerLOY. Some other time. But the success of the scheme hinges on this mute. You’re saved if you can borrow him from his master, even for a one single small day.
spacerPHIL. He’ll not deny me. I’ll direct my steps towards this corpse of a man.
spacerLOY. Put your shoulder into my projects, Joost. I need to write letters to the most powerful sovereigns. [Exeunt.]
spacerPHIL. Greetings, Musonius, you most excellent of men.
spacerMUS. No such man is alive.
spacerPHIL. Who isn’t?
spacerMUS. I’m talking about this fine lad.
spacerPHIL. Get up, what are you doing?
spacerMUS. I’ve been measuring the geography of this inert body. Now I understand how few inches my urn will need to be, and how few ashes it will contain.
spacerPHIL. You’re speaking about gloomy things. Did Niobe give birth to you after having been turned to stone?
spacerMUS. Philander, I’m so in love with my sorrows that I refuse to share a part of them with you, and begrudge them all for myself.
spacerPHIL. Oh the melancholy which haunts you! There no obsession which is less welcome — or more sweet. Stay here and smooth your wrinkled brow, we’re friends.
spacerMUS. As far as I’m concerned, we’re very close friends.
spacerPHIL. In the name of our friendship I beg you entrust this little mute to my good faith for a few hours.
spacerMUS. My turtledove? In the meantime, who’ll be silent? Who will groan?
spacerPHIL. You claim to be unwilling to share your sorrows with any\one. To you also refuse to share even your servant? Even your joys?
spacerMUS. For a few hours? You may have him. What did I say? Heavens, I can’t. Can I sleep without the lad? I can’t even let go when awake.
spacerPHIL. You’re mocking me with your impudence.
spacerJO. If you entrust the boy to us, you’ll have no cause to fear for his morals.
spacer MUS. Let this be your concern, Philander, and put him to your use. He’ll give you no trouble and expects no care. What am I saying? Will we be separated. These tears are words of refusal.
spacerPHIL. Pish, you’re taking back your words so often? I’m tired of this dithering.
spacerLOY. My fine dear sir, you won’t regret either the effort or the injury. You’ll be doing a fine thing in contributing to the rescue of the fair Celia from this shabby household.
spacerMUTE Hah.
spacerLOY. Lift a finger, if you agree.
spacerPHIL. See how he’s smiling, Musonius, and happily raising his hand.
spacerMUS. Here’s your guest. Treat him in a way that befits a free-born, noble gentleman.
spacerPHIL. You give your advice to a willing, heedful man.
spacerMUS. I’m being cooled by the [...] of my sighs. Meanwhile I’ll lie down in this gentle shade.



spacerPHIL. We’ve got the boy. For the rest, our efforts are moving forward too slowly. Cupid is a swift, winged little god. The day is passing and we’re getting nowhere. Where’s the man who promised me my one night’s pleasure?
spacerLOY. What kind of man are you, pray? It is granted you to embrace her for one night. But in what sense? Either in a remote way or in a proximate one, blue as the Schoolmen say.
spacerJO. You’re a fine fellow, neither truthful and yet not a liar.
spacerLOY. The pot’s now a-boil and it’s time to skim our pot. In the first place, there’s no noble swindle that lacks its metamorphosis. And so at this point I bid you all to become other creatures.
spacerJO. Oh, what manner of beast will Joost become?
spacerLOY. A plump rabbit.
spacerPHIL. And I’ll become a puppy, whom Celia kisses as she goes to sleep.
spacerLOY. You’re joking. Joost. You’ll pretend to be a huckstering merchant, understand?
spacerJO. I’d prefer to hawk anything but Jesuits.
spacerLOY. Why?
spacerJO. Their the shoddiest of merchandise, nobody would give a farthing for them.
spacerLOY. Not in the world. You’ll import Moors and Ethiopians into the city.
spacerPHIL. And what then?
spacerLOY. Philander, I possess an unguent with which I’ll make you as black as the chimney-sweeps. In this way you can gain admission to the pimp’s home as an Ethopian.
spacerJO. And I’ll answer as if I were the bawd, “I don’t want to buy this Ethiopian.”
spacerLOY. This is what you get when you admit a Fransciscan into your counsels. It’s up to my diligence to make sure that the bawd needs this. At my urging, your father Gaudentius has requested to buy an African or Ethiopian.
spacerPHIL. The business is going well, Joost. Come then, I’m an Ethiopian.
spacerLOY. Let us proceed formally. You are an Ethiopian, not identically but by the mode of similitude.
spacerPHIL. But suppose I’m let in for my father’s uses and purchase. As Cassius said, to whose advantage? blue
spacerLOY. Fie, Philander! Silken clothing is not always the best. Is not your Celia in the same establishment? Caress her hands and breasts. Pretend to be Musonius, for whom she loves more than she does you, and let her bribe you into getting her out.
spacerJO. Clear your head with hellebore, Loyola. blue I’ll answer on behalf of the girl: “I’m not permitted to go outdoors, Ethopian. The bawd forbids it.”
spacerLOY. Purge your belly with rhubarb, donkey. There’s a shrewd trick hidden here. When Celia has been convinced in her mind that this is Musonius’ scheme, she’ll swap clothing with Philander.
spacerPHIL. Ethiopian clothes?
spacer LOY. Yes, and she’ll escape to Gaudentius’ house as if she were a blackamoor. Who doesn’t understand the rest? This suffices for now, as the Schoolmen acutely say.
spacerPHIL. So you’ve found a way to destroy me utterly? She’ll be neatly conveyed to my father, and may good fortune attend this. Meanwhile, shall I be left to starve in the pimp’s household clad in a woman’s dress, locked up in his shrine? I’ll never do that.
spacerJO. Ha ha he. I am very worried lest in the meantime some lover impregnates you.
spacerLOY. There’s never anything more unreasonable than a blockhjead. You anticipate what I was about to say when I got to the heart of the mater. In Baucia’s dining room I have a chest, which this mute and three porters will have delivered to the bawd. When the others have left, the mute will remain to stand guard over this ornate chest. You’ll put on his cape as if you were a porter. Get ready to flee as fast as you can, and you can re-dress yourself elegantly. The mute will remain in the brothel dressed as a woman.
spacerPHIL. Well said about the mute! In this way I’m a free man and Laverna can never object to what’s been done with the mute.
spacerJO. My quicksilver! Now the matter’s a cinch. I’ll make my entrance as a humble merchant, and Philander as an Ethiopian. Disguised by the same cosmetics Celia will make her escape to Gaudentius. Changed into a porter, the mute frees Philander. Everything will be contained with in a single turn of the sun. But, Philander, what if Loyola were to be enclosed in this chest?
spacerLOY. By no means, by no means.
spacerPHIL. I beg you, Loyola.
spacerLOY. I’ll never do it. The business does not require it.
spacerJO. Oh, it’s very important. It’s your character alone which will assure Celia’s suspicious mind that this scheme was hatched by Musonius.
spacerLOY. But I need to write letters to the great men throughout Europe. I receive a daily stipend of ten gold pieces from the papal fisc to do a correspondent’s work.
spacerJO. Pray put that off until a later time.
spacerLOY. So you want this risk to be thrust upon me. Well then, you go to the market-place exclusively, I’ll get in the chest inclusivelyi and we’ll commit a memorable crime.
spacerJO. Now my eyebrow’s jumping. blue This man’s being tossed about in the same sea.
spacerLOY. Joost, you make sure that the chest is brought here and taken away again.
spacerJO. I quite understand my role.
spacerLOY. Maarten’a not far away, coming to take away his bride (a sexagenarian marry such a tender young thing!). I must remain encamped a while until he makes his appearance.
spacerJO. Let it be so. We’ll seek a drink of wine and prepare the costume.
spacerLOY. But don’t forget our agreement, Philander. You’ve sworn to become a Jesuit. So there will be no real connection between yourself and Celia, as if you were husband and wife, but only a logical connection, as the Schoolmen say, between a young man and his mistress.
spacerPHIL. In both senses I pledge myself to you. [Aside.] I’ll see you hang first, you and your uncouth northern Schoolmen.



spacerLOY. Should I work myself into a sweat so that Celia will be a concubine exclusively for Philander? Nonsense! Is a cook not permitted to lick his fingers? Ah, nights of furtive venery! This is what pricks me. And (let it be said with reverence to our Order’s headquarters), blue there not many nights are passed in solitude. Mmm! But Señor Inamorato blue his very own self is coming out. Here’s the cold water with which I’ll quench your fire.
spacerMAART. It’s correct, these coins are not cheap metal forgeries, nor are they clipped. I wouldn’t cheat somebody with a single farthing to become the governor of India.
spacerLOY. Would that he’d gobble down a poisoned fig, or that this dagger of mine were consecrated, so that I could murder this insect either potionally or punctually!
spacerMAART. It is greatly to be hoped that my fellow citizens would share my attitude, and that every man would marry six or seven wives. That way we would be enhanced by many sons and could slaughter Spinola in our first battle, and afterwards conquer Rome and possibly the . blue
spacerLOY. Heavens, you could command a legion among the gabbling geese. blue
spacerMAART. Hey, I see the sight of a Jesuit.
spacerLOY. With a witty exorcism I’ll blow him across the ocean.
spacerMAART. First thing, I’ll look out for my purse.
spacerLOY. [Singing.] Let holy water soak the doorways
spacerspacerAnd make our foeman flee in four ways,
spacerspacerLest there come, our homes to greet,
spacerspacerAny evil having feet.
spacerspacerBefore the dawn brings light to bear,
spacerspacerWith sign of cross this do I swear.
MAART. Oho, bad things.
spacerLOY. You lie. Every being is a transcendental good, as the Schoolmen say. blue
spacerMAART. Answer my question, didn’t you smear this door with poison?
spacerLOY. In the devil’s name.
spacerMAART. Oh, faith!
spacerLOY. You speak ill of holy exorcism?
spacerMAART. Exorcism?
spacerLOY. That’s what I say. I was sprinkling holy water.
spacerMAART. Oh me!
spacerLOY. I blessed the door with the sign of the cross.
spacer MAART. Fie, I’m drenched with fear, I’m quite undone. I bid you turn your back so as not to look at me, you butcher.
spacerLOY. I’ll turn myself away from your sect more willing than you could possibly ask. I’m dripping beads of sweat. Would that you would remove yourself forthwith!
spacerMAART. The sign of the cross! That’s frankly established. If my puppy were to cross this threshold today, I’d pin him to the ground with my staff.
spacerLOY. Why bob your head with that goatish beard and your little bands, blue you who gobble down a huge amount of pork on every day of fasting?
spacerMAART. Oh Celia, if this house has no back door I’ll do without you for today.
spacerLOY. What if I lend you a ladder? Do you want to climb up the building to the window?
spacerMAART. Get away. There is too much hierarchy in the rungs of a latter, I keep all hierarchy and steps of rank at arm’s length. Ugh, you nauseate me, there’s so much stench in your vial of unholy water.
spacerLOY. Ugh! The stench of your mouth turns my stomach even more.
spacerMAART. Poor me! I must take some risk. I can’t be separated from my gentle Celia for even a single night.
spacerLOY. Is this donkey regaining his courage and mocking my effort?
spacerMAART. Perhaps after three hours this invocation of the cross will lose its power. Best to come back after I’m full with a meal.
spacerLOY. [Aside.] After three hours? In what a tight space that squeezes me! {Aloud.] You with that weasel face, what if I return to your good graces?
spacerMAART. You’re telling a tale to a deaf man. blue I loathe you. Pish, go away, I say, go away.
spacerLOY. There’s something to your advantage I’d like to disclose to you.
spacerMAART. Whatever you might say, you’re a liar.
spacerLOY. This Celia on whom you dote is a shameless whore.
spacerMAART. You’re slandering her.
spacerLOY. Just go into the brothel and you’ll catch her in bed with a lover. They are planting horns.
spacerMAART. I’d prefer they go on sleeping than for me to enter. This door is unclean, it stinks with the sign of the cross.
spacerLOY. Your a fine bridegroom, withholding yourself because of a single cross! What if you were greeted by a thousand crosses? blue Of course you’d go into greet your darling.
spacerMAART. Why are you kneeling? I’m shunning this idolatrous cult, you filthy fellow.
spacerLOY. There’s no point in withdrawing yourself. If you go to her you’ll be most welcome.
spacerMAART. Ah, kill me first.
spacer LOY. You’re unkind, my cuckoo. Why do you refuse?
spacerMAART. I’d put up a fight before being borne off to an exorcism.
spacerLOY. Hey, calmly, calmly. I’ll drag you by the nose so that the exorcism’s fumes don’t trouble that tiny brain of yours, since I know how miniscule it is.
spacerMAART. My fellow citizens, I’m being murdered. This cutpurse is after my wallet and my gold.
spacerLOY. You beast, get away with that roaring of yours! Do you want to rouse the whole neighborhood. Answer me, you ancient Priapus, what would your new bride do with you?
spacerMAART. She could join me in learning ancient Hebrew.
spacerLOY. So you’ll be her schoolmaster rather than her husband. When your ulcers, your coughs, and your cancer have done you in, that will be teaching her Hebrew. Get away, you barking dog. If you look back towards this window, I’ll soak you with holy water.
spacerMAART. Oh! I rejoice to be rescued from the terror of this Fury. Plague take you and your shaven head!



spacerLOY. Ha ha he. This fool needs no warning that he should take to his heels. Now I have made a clear demonstration that the sign of the cross has the power to dispel evil hobgoblins, such as this little Maarten. But three hours are hurrying by and my quartan fever is returning. Now let Gaudentius come out to buy the Ethiopian. (He knocks.)
spacerGAUD. Speak up, whoever you are.
spacerLOY. A friend of this house.
spacerGAUD. My Irrefutable Doctor! blue I don’t know where I should say I am, in Limbo or in Purgatory, since I see my Loyola. What are you doing?
spacerLOY. I’m holding a fine man by the hand.
spacerGAUD. You could be anywhere in the world better than before my house.
spacerLOY. What is my Gaudentius telling me?
spacerGAUD. Don’t you get my meaning? When you are away, I can repay your praises in equal measure.
spacerLOY. You do everything wittily, not nominally but really, you father of happiness.
spacerGAUD. But when will I have another chance to make you burst with laughter? When we will we warm ourself with songs before a blazing fire? Hah, I could knock heaven with my head! blue
spacerLOY. Whenever you make your way to our Order’s headquarters, either visibly or invisibly, there will be food, there’ll be laughter, there’ll be a whore, there’ll be a fireplace. You are the only man alive with wisdom, my 7most cheerful Gaudentius.
spacerGAUD. Hey, let the world go to smithereens, not one full-moon day will be changed. Mark my words, not a single full-moon day will pass which we will not merrily fritter away.
spacerLOY. Indulge me with your silence. I’m born to be a nuisance to my friends.
spacerGAUD. Go on, my seraphic schemer.
spacerLOY. I ask you to give your aid in a trifling matter.
spacerGAUD. What is it?
spacerLOY. Nothing at all, I assure you.
spacerGAUD. Well done. If it’s nothing, then I refuse you nothing. I bid you and your humble petition a fond farewell.
spacerLOY. Three words, please. Today I have need of a Ethopian.
spacerGAUD. What do you want, you cousin of Pluto? I fear lest you have cloven feet. Stick out your hoof so I may have a look. [To the audience.] I’ll use my staff to test whether he has a body. (Smacking him.) No, he’s not a spirit, he has shoulder blades.
spacerLOY. Yes, he has an organic body and fists. If you hit me again —
spacerGAUD. Pray, can you tell me the truth, my little Spanish fox? Whose throat needs cutting, that you are procuring a terrible Ethiopian?
spacerLOY. If you’re not wrong about this you may kill me.
spacerGAUD. Or is somebody needed to play the part of the devil in some swindle?
spacerLOY. Lately you’ve grown too suspicious of wrongdoing.
spacer GAUD. I have no idea what else an Ethiopian can do.
spacerLOY. This, in fact. And yet I wonder what makes you so suspicious. I mean our Order is about to send out a colony to India. They say that Ethiopians are the best slaves for an Indian expedition. I pray that today you hunt for one amidst the market hubbub.
spacerGAUD. But I’ve never grown accustomed to merchants — or at least rarely, where wine is sold.
spacerLOY. Let’s ascribe that to your modesty. But this bawd nearby is very well practised in these matters, and, in view of the closely relations you used to have with her both diurnal and nocturnal, as the Schoolmen say, you can easily persuade Laverna to take this trouble. I pray you entrust this business to her.
spacerGAUD. Oh my feigned piety and double-dyed iniquity! I’ve long ceased my dealings with the female sex, my beard and grey hair advise me to do so. Look here, you robust athlete, you would sooner get the upper hand in a brothel.
spacerLOY. But there’s a different reason why this task is less appropriate for me. It ill becomes this gown of mine for me to come knocking at a brothel door in broad daylight. Your standing as a neighbor, your authority, all these things belong to you, you most elegant old gentleman —  as long as the will is present.
spacer GAUD. Ha ha he. You want an Ethiopian, Loyola, and you want him today? I won’t refuse the task, you can persuade me on condition that you corrupt me rather than my son Philander.
spacerLOY. Let this be. Let us cheer our hearts with songs and jests.
spacerGAUD. Excellent.
spacerLOY. Thus I comport myself with pride in royal courts, with austerity in public, and with mad hilarity in our Order’s headquarters.. Oh what a most delightful life!
spacerGAUD. Hey, I am yours heart and soul. Look for your Ethiopian this afternoon.
spacerLOY. By this right hand, I love you either simply or with complexity, as the Schoolmen say.
spacerGAUD. Farewell, my dear vagabond. With my help you and all your comrades will find your way to India, together with your Ethiopian. But Laverna’s coming out. The evil woman is looking about as if searching for clients.



spacerLAV. My husband’s sole enthusiasm is to come home drunk. Scarabaeus, go off and fetch him herebefore he drinks away his money and his credit.
spacerSCAR. [Aside.] Would that, with no damage to his health, he might drink so deep that he would never get up and leave the spigot!
spacerLAV. Rather, you should look for Maarten.
spacerSCAR. You bid me look for Maarten?
spacerLAV. No, forget that and go to your master, whatever wine-shop he may be in.
spacerSCAR. What? You particularly want my master to be brought back? What’s your intention? You have me all confused.
spacerLAV. You’re right to say that. Now I want Maarten because he’s closer at hand, and he is killing me with anticipation of income. My goodness, you’ll never find more honeyed words, and more innocent faces and eyes than here at Amsterdam. But his good faith is hanging in the balance. Henceforth I’ll never enter into agreements with Puritans, once I am free of Maarten.
spacerGAUD. {Entering and overhearing her last words.] Excellent woman, now you understand these Presbyterian laymen through and through. They are very piously fraudulent and very fraudulently pious.
spacerLAV. Gaudentius! I wasn’t expecting you.
spacerSCAR. Since you’re a cautious, canny woman, I beg you to do me a favor.
spacerLAV. Speak, good sir.
spacerSCAR. [Aside.] I have a great suspicion that he’s inflamed by my mistress’ beauty, and is thinking of beating me to the punch after Master’s death.
spacerGAUD. I’ll put the thing in a nutshell, Laaverna. I need your help and advice in purchasing an Ethiopian.
spacerLAV. How old?
spacerGAUD. Fairly young.
spacerLAV. Are you in a hurry?
spacerGAUD. Today, indeed, and before lunchtime if you please.
spacerLAV. How much are you prepared to pay?
spacerGAUD. Bring me this beast when you’ve bought him and I’ll reimburse you.
spacerLAV. It’s wonderful how swart, dusky appearances please any man. For your mind is set on prettier delights. You’ll have your satisfaction almost immediately.
spacerGAUD. Ha ha he, beso las manos. blue But look at the hoarfrost on my head, a pretty little girl would freeze solid in my embraces. Good-bye, good-bye, you naughty women, ha ha he. Once upon a time I served in Cupid’s army, not without glory. [Exit.]
spacer  LAV. Scarabaeus, I want to satisfy this magnificent gentleman. So hunt for the French merchant Monsieur Michal in the public harbor, so that you or your master might bring me an Ethiopian.
spacerSCAR. I’m off. [Exit.]
spacerLAV. It’s past eight o’clock, and no Maarten has come here. Would I pass up on a rosy girl such as my Celia even for the blink of an eye, were I man? Would that nature had entrusted this job to me! But the girl needs to be dressed, this warns me not to stay away any longer.

Go to Act III