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JOOST disguised as a merchant, PHILANDER disguised as an Ethiopian

JO. If anybody were to call me Joost or a monk —
spacerPHIL. Bah, the whole tribe of Joostes are blockheads or fools in comparison with yourself.
spacerJO. Ha! Who are you disparaging, you little slave? Should I walk about with a stick, as if I were lame? That man Joost, I love him as much as I do myself. He has the reputation of being a boon companion and a very learned fellow. He reads Latin so wrll that there are barely three monks who could rival him.
spacerPHIL. And as far as Greek goes —
spacerJO. As far as Greek goes, I’m a merchant and I’ve sold it. Have you seen Philander, my Ethiopian?
spacerPHIL. In a mirror sometimes.
spacerJO. He’s a great drinker and whorer, avoid his company. Joost would have been a Cardinal or at very least a bishop, had he not corrupted himself by adopting Philander’s morals.
spacerPHIL. Are you mocking me, you dog? Open your head so I can have a look inside. Now spare me any more of your silly sallies. Where the fool ends, there begins the merchant. We must call Laverna outside. I am to be exchanged for a fee. This is what you are doing, isn’t it?
spacerJO. I’m girding my loins for that very reason. I’ve already received twenty guilders from this establishment, which I’ll stash in my hood and lavishly distribute at our convent.
spacerPHIL. In your hood, idiot?
spacerJO. Ha ha he, I imagined I was wearing a hood. But henceforth I’m a merchant, selling parchment scrolls to the learned and vermillion and white lead to the ladies. blue Call me Joost and I’ll file a lawsuit against you.
spacerPHIL. Devil take it, we’ve been acting like fools long enough. Father is coming out.



spacerGAUD. Dromo, run at full tilt to the wrestling-school, the tennis courts, to the tightrope walkers, to the knocking-shops. Make Philander come home. Get going. Whom do I see. A merchant with an Ethiopian? I’ll cross-examine the fellow, and not let slip the bawd’s business. Hey, dealer, wait. What’s your price for the Ethiopian?
spacerJO. Fi — fi — fi—
spacerGAUD. Five guilders? I’ll pay you cash on the nail if he’s not full of ulcers or scurf.
spacerJO. You aren’t taking me seriously. I am asking for guilders to the number of fi — fi— fi —
spacerJO. My tongue stut — stut — stut—
spacerGAUD. Ha ha ha, why didn’t you bring along an interpreter?
spacerJO. My tongue does this bec — bec — bec —
spacerGAUD. He’s rattling, he’s not talking.
spacerJO. I’m telling you my tongue is resisting me, just as horses do.
spacerGAUD. Perhaps he’s a stutterer. You understand?
spacer JO. I thought so myself. My tongue is stuttering indistinctly. But unless you pay out fifty guilders, you won’t take away the Ethiopian.
spacerGAUD. Fifty? Now you’re speaking all too clearly, I wouldn’t put such a price on the Sultan of Ethiopia. But why is his face so hangdog?
spacerJO. His eyes are bleary and awash with rheum —
spacerGAUD. Spit it out: Romania.
spacerJO. He suffers from rheumatism of the eyes. He doesn’t dare look at sunlight.
spacerGAUD. An enduring monument to humor! [Gesturing towards his home.] Do you have the free time to visit this house?
spacerPHIL. Unless this fellow helps us out, we’re royally ruined.
spacerJO. No — Not at all. Is it your desire to receive us with jests and laughter?
spacerGAUD. Humor and happiness, with which my house always resounds. Have no fear, my guest. I require your judgment regarding certain commodities.
spacerJO. Po — po — po — good sir.
spacerGAUD. Hang on, I say. Are you ill because you’re spitting up the Pope?
spacerJO. Begging your pardon, good sir, I sell nothing but tobacco and Ethiopians.
spacerGAUD. Really? I have a good supply of nicotine imported from foreign parts. When possible, I like to burn and inhale it in my leisure hours.
spacerJO. You must excuse me. Smo — smo — smoke bothers this fellow’s eyes.
spacerGAUD. Hey, Moor, what do you say?
spacer JO. He speaks Abyssinian. Do you understand it?
spacerGAUD. Whoo! Where do these Abyssinians live? In the hollow of the moon? I don’t understand a syllable, I know that for sure. What’s he called.
spacerJO. Milli Mushumps.
spacerPHIL. Milli Mushumps.
spacerGAUD. Milli Mushumps? Tell him to bid me adieu in the Abyssinian manner.
spacerJO. Houden zoccar Mamolucchi.
spacerPHIL. Sous, trous, eurwhiglin.
spacerGAUD. Wow, what’s this misch-mosch of speech? Dealer, swap your Mushumps for a right handsome sum. Hey, there’s no devil but gloom. Farewell.
spacerJO. Bully, Mushumps.
spacerPHIL. Is he really gone, Father? blue Hang me if our business isn’t balanced on a knife-edge. His stammer saved us.
spacerBOTH Ha ha he.
spacerGAUD. Whiggy? What’s that. Oh, these fine parrots! I couldn’t control myself when I started to laugh. Keep on with this humor forever. I am easily the first singer in this choir.
spacerALL Ha ha he.
spacerGAUD. Oh my loins and sides! Can anybody serve as our spokesman and explain why we are laughing so copiously?
spacerJO. No, unless it’s because we’re human.
spacerGAUD. Good for you, my philosopher.
spacer JO. And there’s something else. This Ethiopian was a bit glum. Then I said “ha ha, keep your spirits up,” and the took my “ha ha, keep”as mockery.
spacerGAUD. Didn’t you just tell me he speaks nothing but Abyssinian?
spacerJO. He’s certainly an infant when it comes to speaking the language of this country, but he understands something of it.
spacerGAUD. Because you’re being so jolly, let us each have a goblet of French wine. By heavens, you’ll come inside.
spacerJO. I never indulge in the fruit of the vi — vi — vi —
spacerGAUD. Good heavens, no violence! No guest in my house is compelled to drink as if he were a captive. I am issuing you a kind invitation.
spacerJO. I never indulge in wine.
spacerGAUD. You’ll try some English beer.
spacerJO. Nor am I accustomed to beer.
spacerGAUD. What? You drink water, my little fish?
spacerJO. Not water either. Rather I am wont to wet my palate with the aura of the air.
spacerGAUD. Tush, I’ll never trade a sip of wine for either air or its aura. Farewell, my excellent fellow. High Jupiter himself is your butler.
spacerJO. Now the door’s well closed for the second time, ha ha he.
spacerPHIL. Men’s faith, I’ll use a strangling-cord on you if you let out any laugh. Here’s Scarabaeus. Take care not to run aground on this reef, Joost.


ACT III, SCENA iii blue

spacerSCAR. In future, I’ll never stand in my own way in this fashion. I’ve crept about all the alleys and the people inform me that the Frenchman Monsieur Michel won’t be home until this evening, so that, unless my master has better luck in finding him, we’ll never get our hands on an Ethiopian.
spacerPHIL. Do you understand what this villain is saying. We must reach Michel the merchant first, or some other Ethiopian will get the better of me, to my lasting disgrace.
spacerJO. Make another prophecy, coward.
spacerSCAR. Here’s a clean and neat mirror. For it I am indebted to my fingers and this thieving left hand of mine. Oh, stupendous! In this mirror I can see the face of the man who stole it. Oh, what a hateful visage! Who has such a gaping mouth? I’m convinced it’s not mine. Am I indebted to some wild boar for these teeth?
spacerJO. Now’s the right time to make our approach. [Knocks on the door.] Tick tock.
spacerSCAR. Hey, you stranger with that Ethiopian, don’t give our door another thumping. I’ll answer on it’s behalf.
spacerJO. I believe the right distinguished Lady Laverna lives here. Acheron has sent me ahead of himself, together with this slave who’s up for sale.
spacerSCAR. In future she’ll be no stranger to you, she herself is coming out right now.
spacerJO. Most splendid signora, may I kiss your lips?
spacerLAV. Would that this would by no means happen!
spacerJO. Pardon a foreigner.
spacerLAV. Possibly this can never happen again, as if it had not happened.
spacerJO. Your nature and your kindness attract me.
spacerLAV. Pray follow me into my humble home. This house and its mistress are yours to command.
spacerJO. But first I must fulfill my promise to Acheron and hand over this Ethiopian.
spacerLAV. Come here, my Ethiopian. If I kiss him he won’t blacken me. I’ve always adored these swarthy faces. We won’t quarrel over his price. But I’ll renounce him if he doesn’t have a supply of virtues that matches the number of guilders you ask.
spacerJO. He indeed has as many virtues as he has years. He boasts twenty outstanding abilities: he is a warrior, a musician, and takes first place in the fleet, in the wrestling-ring, and in the young folks’ dancing. The day would run out before I could enumerate everything.
spacerLAV. And my money would run out if I gave such a sum.
spacerSCAR. Indeed he could fetch sixteen guilders, including his head, feet, and all his guts.
spacerJO. He cost me more than that. But give me sixteen guilders, most fair signora, and you’ll take him.
spacerLAV. Really? I admire your easy manners for yielding so easily concerning the price. I too can be swayed. You say he can sing?
spacerJO. None sweeter.
spacerLAV. Hey Celia, come down when I tell you. Scarabaeus, you and the Ethiopian must rouse her with song. We’ll go into the dining room and do our sums more accurately. Follow me, my fine merchant.



spacerPHIL. Help me, all you Loves and Graces. Having gained the mountain, I either tread the Milky Way of love or walk in the darkness of death. Oh Eloquence! Let me be intelligent for this single moment, or stupid forevermore.
spacerSCAR. Come, Ethiopian, tie my points and brush my shoes. When our master has gone abroad, I’m your boss. Don’t you admit this, you pert fellow?
spacerPHIL. By the crocodiles and the River Nile, I have a generous master. And greetings, sweet nymph. Pray lend me this ivory hand.
spacerCEL. He’s very uncouth, I shudder at the sight of him.
spacerPHIL. Ahi laffa, just allow me to caress these fingertips so that I can tell you about your affairs and your fortune. I’m an Egyptian palm-reader.
spacerSCAR. You churl, I command you to look at this hand and forget the little girl.
spacerPHIL. Supreme Anubis! How much soil and dirt do I see here? The mud in the palm of your right hand foretells of a hundred-acre estate. Go off and wash your hands, and you’ll come back a wealthy farmer. {Exit Scarabaeus.]
spacerCEL. Come now, I’m eager to hear what your augury has to chatter about. Would that the screech owls of the night and a hoot owl would forecast my death and burial!
spacerPHIL. May sweetest Salvation, the palm of victory, more fragrant than nard, forbid this! A kiss for your love.
spacerCEL. My love, Ethiopian?
spacerPHIL. As if you didn’t love me. I discovered this, my pretty little thing.
spacerCEL. Hold your tongue. You’re making this up because you despise me.
spacerPHIL. Despise you? There’s a man whom you love most greatly, a sad and stern young man. Do you want to name him plainly? Musonius.
spacerCEL. Oh, my secrets stand revealed! What infernal being taught you of this?
spacerPHIL. Humor me if I reveal the rest.
spacerCEL. Go on, speak.
spacerPHIL. And as your next-best darling you have an elegant gentleman, handsome, sweet as honey, Gaudentius’ son Philander.
spacerCEL. Musonius has indeed penetrated into my inmost heart, while Philander is encamped nearby on love’s threshold.
spacerPHIL. Oh happy me. [Reenter Scarabaeus.]
spacerSCAR. Hey, you Nile, I give back the lands and acres you granted me. I’m nobler than suits a countryside rustic. I want another favor from Nature.
spacerPHIL. Why not? How many transverse lines do I see in the Mountain of Saturn — and a gallows.
spacerSCAR. A gallows, slave? Are you saying I stole a rabbit or a mirror?
spacer PHIL. I’m not saying that, you won’t hang. But so many gallows are collected here that you’ll either become a judge with power of life and death, or a hangman. This would readily become clear, if I know how many joints you have in your individual fingers.
spacerSCAR. Wait while I count them. [Exit.]
spacerPHIL. Oh, what a steely, unlovely roadblock!
spacerCEL. Oh palmist, how precisely you wounded my heart just now!
spacerPHIL. Hush, lovely Celia. I’m no Ethiopian, but rather a fellow-countryman of yours and a friend of Musonius. This hand will at once provide you with freedom and an abundance of love.
spacerCEL. What a wonderful, unbelievable thing!
spacerPHIL. And yes, and soon you’ll be calling yourself blessed, Celia. This deception begins with amazement and ends with delight. I must smear your face with black unguent. Do you accept this blackening?
spacerCEL. Very much so.
spacerPHIL. It does nothing to spoil your beauty. Even heaven is darkened during the night, so that it might shine forth all the brighter. Next you must put on these clothes I bring. Thus you will escape to Gaudentius’ house, as if you were a purchased slave.
spacerCEL. To Gaudentius, you say? Then I’ll run into Philander’s affection, not Musonius’ embrace.
spacerPHIL. There was no suitable purchaser in the neighborhood other than Gaudentius. Celia, you must guard against Maarten as if against death. Next, Loyola will take you from Gaudentius at a price, and place you under the protection of a certain Baucia.
spacerCEL. Baucia? I know a widow of that name in Goldsmiths’ Row. blue
spacerPHIL. You remember her? Good cheer, pleasure, decent clothing, and above all your lover await you there.
spacerCEL. I give you great thanks for things worthy of a daydream and a fairy tale. Would that I could believe you!
spacerPHIL. You may scorn me, but your freedom does not deserve your disdain. Hang me if Loyola the Jesuit (a man, as you know full well, is devoid of any pretense and fraud) doesn’t appear to relieve you of all your hesitation.
spacerCEL. You have gained my trust, and my affairs cannot be any worse place than they way they fluctuate in this brothel. But what will happen to you, stranded in this tavern?
spacerPHIL. I’ll look after that. [Enter Scarabaeus.]
spacerSCAR. Pay attention to your master, Ethiopian. There are the same number of joints in this hand as in the other one. You’re the expert, count up the total.
spacerPHIL. My master, the path of your life is uncertain, surrounded by all those gallows. Your right hand proclaims you to be a hangman, but your left one a magistrate.
spacerSCAR. Then what if I cut off my right one?
spacer PHIL. It would remain for you to be a judge all your life, but you would cut off a great and wealthy marriage along with that right hand.
spacerSCAR. Ah you clown! I feel love is making my heart thump. But who’s thumping the door?
spacerPHIL. It’s Laverna.
spacerSCAR. She wants to marry Scarabaeus once Acheron’s dead.
spacerCEL. Shh, the merchant’s returning. Help me, Cupid. Soon I’ll flee to Musonius.



spacerLAV. You’re certainly quite pale, my Celia. Come inside together with the Ethiopian. For the bargain is struck, and if I have the merchandise you want, my dealer, I won’t cheat you to the least degree, even if the deal were done in darkness.
spacerJO. Signora, you send me off laden down with the generous reward of your affection. [Looking at the chest.] Oh by our prince’s life, what’s this mistake? You cripples and Cappadocians, you have brought my treasure-chest to the wrong place, pack-mules that you are. Damn you!
spacerLAV. Signor, don’t disdain Laverna. You can store a hundred thousand florins in this safe container.
spacerJO. To the harbor, you uncouth fellows. Fetch back this load when I tell you. My Venus, I do not scorn you. I shall place this chest before the altar of your beauty, just as I do my soul. Let it stay with you as a deposit for the slave, not because I have any fear about my client’s wealth, but because this is the way business is done, unless you refuse.
spacerLAV. I’ll readily grant this. Hey, porter, call out my butler Scarabaeus.
spacerJO. There is more in this chest than people might imagine. Therein are certain church offerings which ought to be hung up before tomorrow. [Aside.] Loyola, you donkey, are you grunting? [Aloud.] See how tightly its slats are fixed together. You could throw this off a mountain and it wouldn’t fall apart in pieces. [Aside.] Loyola, have you emptied your bowels? The stench is coming close to betraying you. [Enter Scarabaeus.]
spacerLAV. Take this chest into the bedroom.
spacerSCAR. Where Celia is wont to sleep?
spacerLAV. Right. But are we to have no prearranged signal for returning the chest?
spacerJO. There’s no need for anything but a letter written in my handwriting.
spacerLAV. By what name should I call you?
spacerJO. Don Quixote de la Mancha.
spacerLAV. Good heavens, what a splendid name. These merchants are not commonplace folk. He speaks more eloquently with his lips than his tongue, because they’ve spent a lifetime at sea, that cradle of Venus. But this is more conveniently considered at another time. I bid you farewell, Don Quixote. I have business with Gaudentius. The Ethiopian will find out what manner of man awaits him.
spacerJO. Long life and happiness, signora. Name your terms. Here are fifteen guilders. [Aside.] And my philosopher Loyola is in a barrel, where he’ll be marinated in brine. Cargo, I’m a mad Franciscan and a disgrace to wisdom!



spacerMICH. Mal di terra, where’s the Ethiopian? Dépêche, Pandar. blue I’ll take my sword and run you through unless you hurry, you uncouth person.
spacerJO. What man here is swifter than a potter’s wheel? I’m ruined, we’re killed. Here’s Monsieur Michel,
that bilious Frenchman, together with a genuine Ethiopian.
spacerMICH. Follow me, paupette. Monsieur, bon jour. Do you know where Laverna lives? blue
spacerJO. What do you want with her?
spacerMICH. What do I want with her? What’s your business in asking? Beware lest you incur the wrath of my sword, if you keep asking this. Mordieu, what do I want with her? She sent for me and this Ethiopian. Monsieur Acheron demanded my presence. Now are you better instructed?
spacerJO. But I auctioned off the Ethiopian in your absence, Monsieur.
spacerMICH. O Dieu immortel, que les hommes sont inconstants. Michel was unfit to auction off an Ethiopian? I’ll knock on the door.
spacerJO. She’s gone off to shop for groceries.
spacerMICH. Bien, bein. Vous êtes un gaudisseur, comme je vois. blue What if she were to return?
spacerJO. That couldn’t happen without my meeting her, were I present.
spacerMICH. Just so, just so. Nevertheless I’ll make the attempt. Quick, quick, open the door. Hey, servants, come down. How long am I going to be kept out here, pray tell? {Enter Scarabaeus.]
spacerSCAR. Servants!
spacerMICH. Peasant Scarabaeus, tell me whether Laverna has gone abroad anywhere this morning. Par ma foi, I’m burning with no small amount of anger. Bring me a fan, you little servant, so I may cool myself.
spacerSCAR. Who do you think I am? Do I look like a servant?
spacerMICH. This fripon is no servant.
spacerJO. [Aside.] I hope this will break out into a quarrel so the Frenchman will be driven off.
spacerSCAR. You’re a fool. Your father was a fool, and so was your grandfather, your great-grandfather, and your great-great grandfather.
spacerMICH. Coquin, je te romperai le cul for this rude insult. blue
spacerSCAR. I don’t give a damn whether you do or don’t have any uncles, friends, enemies, kinsmen, or sons. They’re all dunces. Are you a Frenchman, monsieur? Where’s your chest?
spacerMICH. Patience, Dutchman. Vous me fait grand tort. blue Were you a gentleman, we’d immediately fight a duel to the first blood or to the death. Is a stinking, filthy jailbird to heap such imprecations on a magnificent gentleman? Oh gods both large and small, how I am a-boil!
spacerSCAR. What do you have to do with gods, you donkey? Where’s your common sense?
spacerJO. By heaven, you’re free to go away, you’re hateful.
spacerSCAR. You’re hateful, by heaven, and you’re free to go away.
spacerMICH. Mort bieu, macquereau. blue All the Rhone couldn’t quench my rage, je ne veux pas endurer cela. blue Eleazer, you Ethiopian, do me the favor of dashing out this trifling beggar’s brains.
spacerSCAR. I want him to try. [Scarabaeus is knocked off his feet.]
spacer MICH. So, so. Eleazer. Let me kick him in the ribs. Ursa Major, and you very barking Dogstar, si j’avois mon epée je te couperais la gorge. blue On your feet, poltron, and answer me while you’re still alive.
spacerSCAR. Monsieur, “anger is a brief madness.”blue So I freely forgive you this wine-induced raged, since you seem rather irate. But this one thing I proclaim to you, that you should not be unaware of my manners. I am not a servant, but the ruler of this household when Master is not present.
spacerMICH. See, see. Has your mistress no authority among the members of her household?
spacerSCAR. Perhaps.
spacerMICH What’s this “perhaps,” coquin? And does she have an Ethiopian at home?
spacerSCAR. What if I refuse to answer?
spacerMICH. What if you receive another beating?
spacerSCAR. Yes, not to beat about the bush, she’s bought one, and this dealer sold him to her.
spacerJO. One such as neither you nor any of your colleagues has brought from Paris.
spacerMICH. An odious comparison! Do you want me to plunge my sword into that paunch of yours? Fie, fie, Laverna, you have dealt with me unkindly. Avez vous d’ argent pour acheter des autres? Gramercez, blue you witch, with your money you have enriched strangers more than your original agent. Tell this to your stinking Laverna, Scarabaeus: I’ll have my revenge. You all will rue this deed, so you won’t go unpunished for this theft. I have spoken, Scarabaeus. Flee, flee with me, you Ethiopian slug. [Exeunt.]
spacerSCAR. I’ve suffered a wretched beating, having received blows from head to foot. There was a magic charm in this fight, else I would have given this Frenchman a good thrashing, surer than death.
spacerJO. You’re offering the excuse of an enchantment, you donkey, when you didn’t dare raise a finger?
spacerSCAR. What are you saying, you calf? Why didn’t you come to my aid when I was in this extreme peril?
spacerJO. The enchantment held me fast. I was often on the verge of giving you my help, but the enchantment paralyzed me.
spacerSCAR. But now, if that ulcer-eaten fellow were to encounter me I’d pound him with my fists. [Reenter Michel.]
spacerMICH. Mordieu, my heart’s on fire. Bouffon macquereau, blue has the bawd not yet returned? Show me your face, beast. Hey, you rascally vagabond, if you were a prince I’d take this sword and cut you into slices. If you have any estate or wealth, Scarabaeus, you should draw up your will. When I return I’ll murder you, if I have the free time. [Exeunt Michael and Scarabaeus.]
spacer JO. Ha ha he, I’ve had my fill of revenge. I’ve not forgotten the cat he substituted for the rabbit in my hood. Do your dealings with Celia, Philander, if she doesn’t happen to be a man. I’ll write a note the bawd, and friend Loyola will play his pranks shut up in his cave of Trophonius. blue



spacerSCAR. My head’s ringing loudly, like a bell. Ther’s a ding dong in my skull. What if I were to loiter here, hey ho? Thanks to the blows I’ve received, my head is one big bump, and yet I sense that my wisdom has grown together with my head, inasmuch as I do not like these squabbles. But I see Mistress together with Gaudentius. Now I must conduct myself vigorously.
spacerGAUD. Ha ha he, with what arrogance your clown bears himself!
spacerLAV. Scarabaeus! Someone’s shaken him up.
spacerSCAR. Hah, is some giant or centaur challenging me to a fight?
spacerGAUD. A fearsome beast!
spacerSCAR. Mistress, if you have good sense forgive me this peccadillo I’ve just now committed because of my bravery, or I’ll easily wax hot. If I do, I’ll spare neither sex nor age.
spacerGAUD. Capitano Scarabaeus, pray spare Gaudentius.
spacerSCAR. If you don’t put a foot wrong I’m easily appeased.
spacerLAV. But what have you done so that you’re preparing yourself an altar and a suppliant priest?
spacerSCAR. That French monsieur was so unwise as to provoke me in a quarrel, but I got the better of the steamed-up gentleman.
spacerLAV. You’ve treated Michael harshly, he who is my all and who greatly adores me?
spacerSCAR. Perhaps others crow about their feats, but I refrain from boasting.
spacerGAUD. Ha ha he, how did you murder the man, pray tell?
spacerSCAR. No, I regard it as more expedient to keep my silence, since I love neither a boaster nor a liar.
spacerLAV. He was always pugnacious, Gaudentius. But look here, bring out the Ethiopian I bought today.
spacerSCAR. He’s a pretty boy for you to have paid sixteen guilders.
spacerLAV. Hush.
spacerGAUD. Sixteen guilders. I paid out twenty. Is this how you’ve fleeced me of four gold pieces?
spacerLAV. Ow, I beg you, good sir — I paid out sixteen guiders cash in hand, and bound myself to give four more in the future. Take them. You’ll say this slave was fairly bought.
spacerGAUD. For the rest, he’s not unhandsome, save for that face and its blackness. [Enter Dromo.] Well met, Dromo. What about my Philander?
spacerDROM. In truth, Master, he possesses the ring of Gyges blue if he’s going about in this city.
spacerSCAR. Greetings, Dromo. You’re a great man, but a lesser one than Scarabaeus.
spacerGAUD. These things are troublesome to no small degree. This son of mine pesters me a great deal, unless I wish to learn something or meet some man, if he is in the marketplace. Dromo, take this Moor under your care until Loyola asks for his return. Laverna, this work has made you my friend.



spacerLAV. Do I see some porters, footmen belonging to our republic? Oh you who carry loads, do me a boon by lending me your shoulders to bear Acheron, that object of my hatred, to his funeral.
spacerSCAR. On that condition, I’d have another fight with that French merchant.
spacerLAV. Or you have come to take away the chest, but it’s already been removed. Where is that letter from Don Quixote de la Mancha? So, so, it’s elegantly written. Scarabaeus, there’s some chest-bearer in the dining room. Bid him produce that which has been entrusted to his diligence. The dealer’s asking to have it back. Heavens, I’ll read through the merchant’s flatteries, my eyes wide open. Oh, how lucidliy written is this sentence! I pity you, deaker. Listen to this, you who say my beauty is faded. I have left both my chest and my soul at your home, my delight. The beams of your loveliness have set my soul ablaze. If my chest also catches fire (which I consider likely), I am not pressing you to return it. Would that were an Arabian nest, lined with incense and myrrh! Then these fragrances could be offered up to Laverna by her priest. Don Quixote de la Mancha. By Juno, I’ll take possession of the chest and the church offerings he told me are inside it.
spacerPHIL. Have you any further instructions for us?
spacerLAV. Nothing, save that you shouldn’t take this chest away, you porters.
spacerPHIL. It’s not to be removed? Why?
spacerLAV. How naively you challenge me! You ask a woman for her reason?
spacerPHIL. Among a free people it’s intolerable for a merchant to be despoiled of his goods.
spacerLAV. Sue me, ha ha he.
spacerPHIL. What am I to do? Every second is a month along as Celia is awaiting me in the inner sanctum of our household. Let us snatch these things, if you please, so we are not embarrassed by this litigious female.
spacerSCAR. What’s this, you turd? Snatch this and wrest it away? Beat a quick retreat if you don’t have a shell to protect your shoulder blades, like a snail.
spacerPHIL. May the French pox destroy you, both the servant and the whore.
spacerSCAR. “The servant,” corpse-face?
spacerLAV. I’m not yet so used up and ancient that I don’t have lovers. A man who has been able to send such an elegant chest as a small gift must be wealthy. How many teeth do I still have, Scarabaeus. Consult your list.
spacerSCAR. When I first came to you, you had eighteen and a half. Three were ejected while you were coughing, two were extracted with forceps when you had a toothache, you swallowed to with the gravy while dining, and you spat out four in response to Maarten’s vehement entreaties. I believe you have seven and a half remaining.
spacerLAV. Now we’are rich. I turned a profit of four guilders over the Ethiopian, and I’ll receive a hundred for Celia when Maarten comes by. Afterwards I’ll excavate for gold within the bowels of this chest.
spacerSCAR. Shh, shh, Maarten’s coming out, together with that well-fed, greasy religion of his.



spacerMAART. Roger the Deacon is of the belief that we should convert Celia to our heresy, notwithstanding Loyola and his cross and holy water.
spacerLAV. What’s he talking about? My patron, may joy and festivity bless this day for you, and all those that follow. Poor Celia is eating her heart out. Surely this sluggishness of yours betokens some abatement of your love.
spacerMAART. But in the meantime I’ve picked her this bridal bouquet.
spacerLAV. Po-pow.
spacerMAART. “Po-pow?” Are you seriously insane?
spacerLAV. That’s an expression of admiration, my patron.
spacerMAART. Don’t admire the Pope. Rather, look at me, my wallet is pregnant with a hundred guilders. Lead me to Celia, who is destined to be pregnant with a hundred children.
spacerLAV. I approve the omen, and your servant will open the door for you. Why are you recoiling, good sir? There’s no dog at the doorway.
spacerMAART. I’ll start displaying symptoms of a faver, thanks to Loyola’s exorcisms.
spacerNEB. More likely you are feverish from a hangover. Hey Scarabaeus, we’ll have dancing and a wedding, a wedding! That’s my consolation. Celia is so mild-mannered that she can’t chastise Nebbia.
spacerSCAR. How many flautists are there at your house, boy? How many flautists?
spacerNEB. Oh, in our household all flute-music is deemed profane.
spacerSCAR. And yet you should admit your friend to your banquet, Nebbia. I’ll repay you with another dinner when I marry my mistress.
spacerNEB. I’ll be careful to do so. Nevertheless, I promise you nothing but the bread of wholesome advice, three small dishes of prayers, five sausages stuffed with sermons, and possibly a goose. And every time you take a mouthful of bread we say grace.
spacerSCAR. You say grace! In our household we say grace once and for all for the coming year.
spacerMAART. Whew, somebody’s cheated me out of Celia and substituted a most foul spectre. Oh Loyola! Now I’m being thrashed beneath your cross.
spacerLOY. [From within the chest.] Oh, if I could get away safe and sound, even at the cost of having my ears cropped!
spacerNEB. Oh me! This is a daughter of Persephone.
spacerSCAR. Where’s your wedding?
spacerLAV. Oh me, entirely ruined!
spacerMAART. Give me back my purse. It’s unfair that you have my handsome money in exchange for a swarthy Ethiopian.
spacerLAV. Oh, good sir. In my frantic fear I carelessly threw everything away. When I sweep my house, possibly I’ll find your purse. You, you evil slut, why did you conspire to kidnap Celia?
spacerMUTE Mum.
spacerLAV. When were you let in? With the chest?
spacerMUTE Mum.
spacerLOY. Ah, Quixote, that very deceptive schemer, has ruined us all. I’ll bash out your teeth for pretending to be a mute, you evil girl.
spacerLAV. You are speaking under the delusion that one mute understands anothermute. Scarabaeus, run, flee, fetch a craftsman or a hammer. This chest is heavy. Let us divide its riches, Maarten, if there’s any gold inside.
spacerSCAR. Mistress, thieves have opened the chest. It’s unlocked.
spacerLAV. So let’s all have a look. Oh, I’m killed!
spacerSCAR. I don’t have drop of blood remaining. Oh, it’s a dead body!
spacerMAART. We’re all dead. How much I’m suffering for the loss of Celia!
spacerNEB. This is a panic-causing bugaboo. You all back off, and I’ll jump into the chest.
spacerMAART. Not at all, not at all. Flee, my nephew.
spacerLAV. Come close and have a look, Scarabaeus.
spacerSCAR. Good God, not me!
spacerLAV. Have a try or I’ll banish you from my household forever.
spacerNEB. Fie, you timid little rabbit.
spacerSCAR. Help me, Hercules. I’ll interrogate it from a distance. Are you dead? He’s not dead, mistress.
spacerLAV. How have you determined that?
spacerSCAR. If he were dead he would have told us so.
spacerLAV. Have another look.
spacerSCAR. Are you dead?
spacerLOY. Are you a donkey?
spacerSCAR. Oh, he’s one of my acquaintances, he calls me a donkey. What are you doing there?
spacerLOY. Would that you all would go to sea and be caught up in a whirlpool!
spacerMAART. This man is an accursed animal. Nebbia, show some presence of mind and get rid of this evil.
spacerNEB. Quiet, quiet. I’ll greet him, whoever he is. It’s Loyola the Jesuit.
spacerLAV. Pray let’s bury him.
spacerMAART. Or burn him alive.
spacerLOY. Is the sky clear and serene? How much of Holland is flooded? If he takes my advice, every man should hide himself in a chest, since Brother Joost (acting not in his capacity as a friar, nor as Joost, but as an astronomer) has predicted a great inundation.
spacerLAV. Well done, my prophet! Prophesy to us where Celia is.
spacerLOY. Celia is sunk in the flood, and so will you be, you fraud, whoever you are, and you too, you vague personage, unless you shut yourselves up immediately in something completely free of gaps.
spacer MAART. No flood is going to overwhelm us, unless your vial of holy water has soaked this house again. Won’t you answer? Where’s Celia?
spacerLAV. Or who is that unholy Don Quixote who crammed this chest with these wares?
spacerLOY. The clouds are gathering, the crow is cawing, the south winds are muttering. A great flood will overtake us. Let us flee with steps that are progressive rather than regressive, as the Schoolmen say. blue
spacerNEB. You’re getting ready to make your escape? But the swallow is on the wing.
spacerLOY. Let me go, boy, or I’ll dissolve into my constituent elements.
spacerMAART. Scarabaeus, convey this Fury to some cave. I can take no sound counsel in my heart as long as this papist is present. [Exeunt Scarabaeus and Loyola.]
spacerLAV. You show good judgment. So take this man upstairs. Later I’ll either wrench Celia away from this sorcerer, or his own eyeballs.
spacerLOY. This is how you treat a member of my Order? That is not a simple crime but rather a reduplicative one, as the Schoolmen say.
spacerSCAR. Duplicative? I’ll bind you with double bonds.
spacerLOY. Oh accursed Joost! You never drink anything but the devil’s piss.
spacerMAART. Nebbia, fetch a thurible and some incense so we might cleanse the air of this Jesuit stench. And you, what help are you to me in my courting?
spacerLAV. In the meanwhile this scurvy Ethiopian girl has not gotten away. I’ll either be indemnified or I’ll murder Loyola.
spacerMAART. Have you forgotten Celia?
spacerLAV. Not at all, my patron. For now it occurs to me to unravel this tangle. Today I received an Ethiopian into my house (whoever that impostor was), and, in accordance with Loyola’s arrangement, Celia changed her costume and became an Ethiopian, blackening her face. Surer than this daylight, with my own hands I sold her to Gaudentius. Try Gaudentius and see if the male Ethiopian is still at his house.
spacerMAART. In truth, that’s not impossible. For I dreamt of your hen and my charcoalling-station, just as if you were talking about Celia and the Ethiopian. I beg you to help me at Gaudentius’ house.
spacerLAV. Let me first cruise the marketplace to find that mute woman who took up Celia’s costume and disappeared. Once I’ve caught her, I’ll be back in the blink of an eye.



spacerMAART. Hey, boy?, have you come with the thurible? Oh with what zeal I burn, as if I am giving off the scent of juniper smoke!
spacerNEB. I most earnestly pray that the air be freshened with respect to yourself, uncle.
spacerMAART. Quiet, Nebbia. Air is an inanimate thing and we should not pray for the dead.
spacerGAUD. Ha ha he, Maarten. To whom are you offering up this incense?
spacerMAART. Oh, Gaudentius, greetings. I am cleansing our neighborhood of the reek of that stinking Loyola.
spacerGAUD. Did he shit in the street?
spacerMAART. Not at all. Now he’s bound with chains at Laverna’s house. Just now the villain was hiding in a chest.
spacerGAUD. In a chest?
spacerMAART. And by their profane devices they have stolen my Celia.
spacerGAUD Why is she yours? Ha ha, “if the sky falls, let us catch larks,“ blueif you are in love.
spacerMAART. Gaudentius, if your neighborliness and mercy have ever served as someone’s protection, help me.
spacerGAUD. You call me neighborly and merciful? I deny you nothing, on condition that you don’t chide me when I laugh vigorously. Gaudentius not laugh? Bah, there’s no devil but gloom.
spacerMAART. You’ll bewitch me with your kindness. Command me as you will, as long as you give Celia into my power.
spacerGAUD. Whoo! Do you want me to do the impossible?
spacerMAART. But the matter fell out otherwise than you imagine.
spacerGAUD. How so, Maarten?
spacerMAART. Celia was caught up in this Jesuit’s snares so that she would disguise herself and pretend to be a man and an Ethiopian (although I adore her all the more because of her ability to pretend). Concealed by these cheating devices, today she is being sold to you in lieu of an Ethiopian.
spacerGAUD. O Dio! Has a white chicken given birth to you? blue You’re a flagrant liar.
spacerMAART. Me tell a lie?
spacerGAUD. Well, perhaps you misrepresented.
spacerMAART. I can pretend when the need arises, but who calls me a liar?
spacerGAUD. You won’t fight?
spacerMAART. I won’t be appeased by a single word.
spacerGAUD. Come, come, make some deposit. If my Ethiopian is Celia, I’ll refund it double. If you are making this up, I’ll keep the whole sum as my profit.
spacerMAART. A fair demand, except that the bawd’s one aim is my ruination.



spacerJO. I’ve overheard the old gentlemen’s conversation in its entirety. not without extreme dread. Unless Gaudentius is more clever, I have a different Celia than the one about whom Maarten dreams. Nothing has ever been more neatly managed. This mute arrived, disfigured by Musonius’ unguent and blackening and dressed in women’s clothes, so Celia could return to him. This boy will be the Ethiopian over whom the old men are quarrelling.
spacerGAUD. Joost, you’re a fine fellow. But what’s happened to Loyola?
spacerJO. Loyola? Perhaps he’s at church or in his oratory.
spacerGAUD. Ha ha he. The captor is taken captive in chains, Joost, and is in Laverna’s custody.
spacerJO. Reverend Father Loyola?
spacerMAART. And would that you and his other confederates were in a dungeon, dead by starvation/ I demand that he be whipped and pay with his life if the doesn’t return Celia.
spacerJO. Quiet, you. I’ll cure you of your zeal with mustard, rue, and pennyroyal. I found this girl, wonderfully disguised.
spacerMAART. What in the world are you saying?
spacerGAUD. Shush, shush, pray let him continue.
spacerJO. An uncouth Ethiopian girl dressed as a man?
spacerMAART. Come three paces closer so you may speak better. All these things sound like a made-up story.
spacerJO. She says she’s been entrusted to Gaudentius as a servant of Loyola. Have I thus been deluded?
spacerGAUD. Aye, may I be cut to pieces if this is not most absolutely true. Have you found the girl at my house?
spacerJO. Get away with you! When you, her guardian, were away from home, the little girl dashed off so she might find her way to her parents in France. So you see the ending of this tale. Here’s your Cynthia, hidden behind a cloud.
spacerMAART. Ah my darling! Why have you clouded over your beauty? Were you present, Laverna? And do you acknowledge that Celia is my honey? [Enter Gaudentius and the mute]
spacerLAV. My patron, with what auspicious joy this befalls you!.
spacerMAART. That hateful monk has brought back my straying Venus.
spacer GAUD. Is this my Philander who hastens on his way? It’s he, beyond doubt it’s he who has created all this disturbance. Once I used to commit similar acts, but I shall make him spend the remains of this day sporing over his books. Farewell, Maarten. Sweep out this oven, you have a long enough beard. Noble wine, good humor, theater, these are Gaudentius’ delights.
spacerJO. Oh, if the bawd were sightless! Unless she’s blear-eyed, my escape route is cut off.
spacerLAV. Woe’s to you, Joost. This is mud, not Celia.
spacerJO. Not a word, I beg you. Will there be someone Maarten can call his own, so that I don’t have to give him back a gram of gold.? Why are you not putting your mind to her marriage, so she doesn’t give us new torments by flitting away?
spacerJO. I’ll join you to Celia as a priest should, if you pay me a florin.
spacerMAART. I’d prefer to possess three mistresses rather than have you join me in a single union. Laverna, when you return to your proper self, hunt for my purse, which you carelessly tossed aside in your panic. Inside it you should find the price of Celia. And be sure to hand the chest back to the porter together with the female costume.
spacerLAV. I refuse to do nothing this excellent gentleman commands. Farewell, monk. (Aside.) If I live, they’ll ready the rack for you.
spacerJO. As long as you are caught out in the same crime.
spacerMAART. Come in now, Celia. Why hang back, my sweetest little cow?
spacerJO. Cancro! blue Bawd, where’s that noble merchant Don Quixote, who is in love with you? My dear Maarten, you who embrace a cloud while you imagine you are holding Juno, blue where’s your Celia? Philander attended to that. And where is my constant partner in crime Loyola? In chains? You laughingstock of our monks and friary, do you want to know what your Joost is doing? He’s having a laugh.

Go to Act IV