Tessera caerulea — commentariolum. Numeri cum lineis subscriptis — notae textuales in quinque comoediae lineas. Tessera viridis — translatio.
ACT V, SCENE i
JO. It’s beyond belief that Celia grew up in Maarten’s household. Learn, all you overly upright folk, the advantage of crime, and what profit Maarten derives from being swindled by me today. He desired to possess his daughter Celia, which he shouldn’t have done, and he received the mute as his son, whom he could never corrupt. Such is your character, Joost.
ACH. Do you want to know what kind of character you have? Make this public and I hang. As if speaking out of a cloud, you must inform Maarten to refrain from this marriage: he must beware of committing a monstrous sin. This is your duty. Don’t reveal anything further.
JO. Ha ha he. A pimp advises me of my duty. Good gods! How many advantages would ensue if the mask were ripped off this outrage? Celia would be manumitted from this infamous way of life.
ACH. But against everybody’s will I’d —
JO. Heavens. Because Maarten discovered his daughter with my help, he could easily be dissuaded from hating the Pope. Musonius’ lascivious amour would be quenched by the same “sister.” And (what takes the prize, and makes Loyola snarl) Philander will gain Celia against the Jesuit’s will and with his pate unshaven. Why should I hold back from spreading this happiness in every direction?
ACH. Hold up, postboy.
JO. Why hold me up in mid-gallop, donkey?
ACH. Because I’d be mad to publish all this and be more of a fool than you seem to imagine. I tell you, Joost, if your whisper even a syllable about Celia being Maarten’s daughter, having learned this in Confession, I’ll pursue my legal rights to the utmost, so that you’ll be no stranger to peril.
JO. As if you wouldn’t be thanked when this were accomplished. Indeed, you’d find yourself receiving no small reward.
ACH. Right, so that song of lamentation you were singing today for Loyola wouldn’t apply to me, Oh hangman, get to working.
JO. So why disclose this theft to me alone?
ACH. So that you’d keep quiet about it.
JO. Why conceal from Maarten and Celia?
ACH. Because I’m not yet tired of living.
JO. You monster of a man! You’d want all these joys to disappear because you’re nervous?
ACH. Yes, so I wouldn’t dance at the end of a rope I’d see the whole town ablaze.
JO. I’ll hang in your place.
ACH. You can’t. The laws of the courtroom don’t apply to monks.
JO. You puppy, you starveling, let the laws deal with me as they can, as they dare. I’ll not conceal this from Philander and Celia for another minute.
ACH. You pigsty, you drunkard, by these well-chewed thumbs, if you violate the sacred seal — And furthermore, in the presence of what witnesses did you hear these things? I vigorously deny everything, and then I swear, and furthermore I forswear. What do you do then? Let our subtle doctor, Duns Joost the fool, see to that.
JO. He whom you name is not the most scurvy of men.
ACH. Make the attempt.
JO. With bell, book and candle I consign you to Hell.
ACH. Curse me more quietly, lest Monsieur Michel the merchant overhear.
ACT V, SCENE ii
MONSIEUR MICHEL, JOOST, ACHERON
MICH. Come,. come, my sword thirsts for blood, je n’endurai pas ces injures sans tirer quelque sang. Is anybody here named Scarabaeus?
JO. By heavens, no, great sir.
MICH. Are you his relative?
MICH. Or possibly well-disposed towards him?
ACH. Oh, he’s a wicked fellow and a great glutton, he whose skin I’ve often marked with a whipping.
MICH. In my rage I didn’t see who you were. Il sera mieux pour vous ne pas m’avoir recontré fâché. Monsieur Acheron. My boot is not so worn out that it can’t make you a dead man.
JO. Monsieur Michel, now your fuming nose could keep my toast warm instead of a plate.
MICH. Oh you grasping pimp, you rotten devil! Why are you fleeing, Joost? After I’ve killed this fellow, you will bury him. Answer, macquereau, what have you to say for yourself, so that I might not hound you and all your family with fury and hatred for dealing with strange merchants? Is your Michel not worthy to sell you an Ethiopian?
ACH. Your scurvy behavior stood in your way. What are you talking about?
MICH. Afterwards that evil Scarabaeus did’t think his insolence satisfied until he had heaped me with public insults.
JO. Right, by heavens, I can bear witness to his ill treatment.
MICH. What? You were there for our contentious squabble?
JO. I was? Why shouldn’t I have been? And, like a gallant, I cheered my heart with a great guffaw.
MICH.J'aimerais mieux être pendu qu’ être mocqué de vous.. Haven’t the Duchess of Sharlaroum and all female sovereigns fallen in love with me? Am I not a Frenchman? Am I not a merchant? Am I not pugnacious? Am I not noble? Do I not have twenty thousand crowns on deposit with the bankers? Do I not own six gold necklaces? Do I not possess gems? Not twenty rings? Not a Spanish sword, to the terror of my enemies? And yet I am mocked.
ACH. Monsieur, do you not have need of a health-giving whore to drain off your choler and purge your kidneys?
MICH. Oh par ma foi, am I born to suffer ridicule? Acheron poltron, I’ll slice you up with a single word, you impious thief?
JO. Really? What’s this madman saying? Are you accusing him of theft?
MICH. Come, you dust and darkness. Death is the final limit of all things. You shall hang, Acheron. Tell me, tell me clearly: where did you receive Celia for the benefit of Joost here?
ACH. Why ask? Was she not your merchandise, rascal? Did I not acquire her when you brought her from Paris?
MICH. Pourquoi vous dissemblez? Joost, help me beset this man as long as this business remains hot, which strips him of his shame and sense of decency.
ACH. Are you sure? I’ll pay a great price for your silence.
JO. He’s weakening, monsieur, he has nothing to say to the contrary. Pray continue.
MICH. Un, deux, trois, quatre paroles. I’ll be brief because I dislike a long story. Fourteen years ago this city was wasted by fire. Raging Vulcan is the most frightful of all things, and the inopportune night-time doubled both the slaughter and the panic. Mothers howled, infants bawled, and every man became a stranger to his neighbor and a kinsman only to himself. Then Maarten’s wife Calliope, this girl’s mother, handed Celia, wrapped in swaddling clothes, to Acheron, who chanced to be present during the confusion. She looked out for her sweet little daughter, but failed to outlive her joy and perished in the flames. There was nobody to ask for the return of her daughter. She was abandoned to this man’s criminal heedlessness.
JO. I suppose that Maarten believed his daughter burned to an ash along with her mother.
MICH. Yes, yes, so he thought. O, meschant qui n'est pas capable de faire rien de bon. My brother Le Cour, a French merchant, received Celia, now two years old, from this Acheron, brought her to Paris, and maintained her as her ward. There, by means of a signed and sealed document, it was agreed that my brother Le Cour (who died not long thereafter) or whoever succeeded as his heir, would return the girl to the pimp when she attained the age of reason and war marriageable. As a man should, I strictly adhered to the contract and restored her two years ago.
ACH. Heavens, Michel, if there is any truth in oaths, I’ll arrange for the judges to pay you back with stripes for this uncouth tale.
JO. But are these things clearly established by sealing-wax and writing-pens?
MICH. Ha ha he. Par ma foi, they are clearly established. I’ll convict this person by his own signature. I’ll return like a winged dragon bearing authentic documents.
ACH. I’m ruined! Oh, Joost, I seem to feel the onset of a sore neck. Pray why do you not weep?
JO. What a stroke of luck! The truth would nev erhave emerged from this Acheron’s pit if that Frenchman had not been in a stew. My pimp, be friendly and help me. Afterward I’ll take thought about your safety.
ACH. I don’t refuse.
JO. And so I’ll share this joy with Philander Just keep standing here until he comes out wearing a happy look, and, if our friendship counts for anything, nothing very harsh will be decreed for you.
ACT V, SCENE iii
CAPTAIN PONS, MUSONIUS, PHILANDER, ACHERON
ACH. Why not, since I have no means of flight or resistance? Woe’s me for “arms and the man,” here’s that Captain Pons, the Captain of the Guard. Right now I’d rather encounter a rhinoceros than him.
CAP. You, whoever of the common sort you chance to be, pick up those two gleaming swords It’s silly for you to take it amiss that I have knocked the swords out of two men’s hands at a stroke. What if you were a hundred armed knights? With only a nod of my head I can make two men more peaceful than the sea is when the halcyon brings forth her chicks.
PHIL. You spouter of boastful words, do you imagine that you were born to make me recoil from a duel or shudder at shedding Musonius’ blood?
CAP. I could storm a castle or a city at the same time I pulled you away from your fight. I’m amazed that nobody has learned how to be my equal in fortune. Mars and martial service have conferred on me the title of Captain Vander Pons, either because I have swept clean the ocean’s pond in my naval battles, or because Horatius Cocles, who defended the pontoon bridge over the Tiber, was the first of my line.
PHIL. Summarize all that in a poem, I beg you. But why roll your eyes that way?
ACH. Have you lost something, signor?
MUS. Pray, have you seen that corpse of mine, pale and disfigured?
ACH. That corpse of yours? Are you in the habit of going about disembodied, like that Hermotimus?
MUS. I’m asking for my mute, you hateful soul. Or have you seen Celia? That light of my life carried off his noble corpse for burial. Ah Celia, let me accomplish this task!
CAP. You soft, effeminate lads, I wouldn’t purchase seven nights with the fairest of queens for a single cupful of mist. Allez, allez, soldats gallants. You city-sluggards, what mischief to you make amidst your idleness and and effete peace. Wedding-songs, a masque, a wedding, and Celia. You are very pugnacious in support of your venery, but cowards for your nation. But it is my duty to settle your quarrel in the presence of your parents. Show me the way to your fathers’ houses.
ACT V, SCENE iv
MONSIEUR MICHEL, CAPTAIN PONS, MUSONIUS, PHILANDER
MICH. Vander Pons, you invincible officer, je suis fort heureux de vous voir.
CAPT. You do well, merchant.
MICH. Philander, Musonius, gallants, beso las manus. I bring as much joy to you as the autumn shakes leaves from the trees.
PHIL. What are you saying?
ACH. Will somebody forestall the hangmen and buy this cloak?
MICH. Do you have two swords in order to murder me, Acheron? Fie, fie. Señor Capitano, wield your sword and your justice against this sacrilegious man.
CAPT. But my sword-bearer has no thought of a weapon or doing harm.
MICH. Sous correction, let this great thief not disown his seal or his signature.
ACH. You fine young men, this is only the third time I’ve fallen to my knees since I sprouted a beard. Now show your favor to a pimp who has deserved every manner of hatred, rescue a helpless man.
CAPT. Get up. After we’ve come to a decision about your misdeed. we’ll decide about mercy.
MICH. Let me stab this robber with my writing-pen, I’ll sketch his crimes with his bile and blood.
ACH. Allow me to describe my misdeeds in my own words, Alexander the Great. Then kill me whenever you desire.
CAPT. Come now, this grace is granted you.
ACH. Cock your ears, Musonius.
MUS. What’s the need?
ACH. Less than fifteen years ago, your two-year-old sister was lost in a great fire.
MUS. My mother Calliope died at the time.
ACH. With her swan song she sang a tearful dirge to me amidst the flames, rescue my daughter. Others enriched themselves with more ambitious plundering, I kept this little babe and preserved her at home.
MUS. You have made me blessed. But is she alive, pray?
CAPT. Tush, tush. These things can be tolerated. Get to the conclusion, Acheron.
ACH. I bethought myself how pretty she is, how attractive, how worthy of my collection of whores. Hence Monsieur le Cour, the brother of this wasp here, gave me his advice and allowed me to keep her in my custody at Paris.
MUS. Unworthily done.
ACH. But if she had lived according to your ways of life, what sweeter graces could Celia have acquired?
PHIL. Is she yours?
MUS. Your little girl for two whole years, that lovely, splendid girl?
PHIL. She, as white as ivory, as white as snow?
MUS. On whose brow I so often shone my beams of love?
PHIL. She who lies closer to my inmost being than my heart itself?
ACH. She’s the same, nobody else.
PHIL. Somebody give me wings. I seem to be hovering midway between this city and heaven. Oh words as sweet as honey! She would be worth her weight in gold, should some purchaser come along. Juno never whispered anything sweeter in Jove’s ears.
MICH. See the document, see the seal, see the witness. This beast could wrench out my eye sooner than extricate himself from this. Now, Acheron, go and hang yourself.
CAPT. This joy will turn out otherwise for you than you think, Philander. For since family affection and the gentler love of nature cools y ardor quicker than I can say so, nevertheless Celia will never marry a man whose monstrous crime surpassed all measure in the boy’s butchery.
PHIL. Immortal gods! Are these things to be alleged again for my infamy, for the shipwreck of my love? Are you even seeking to kill me in the presence of the Captain of the Guard?
CAPT. I advise you to be considerate in making your accusations. What are you complaining about, Musonius?
MUS. I had a mute in my service, the very spirit of sweetness. The mute was borrowed by this bloodthirsty man, and three hours later I found him dead.
CAPT. Could Philander be guilty of such a murder?
PHIL. I’m tormented by his abuse. Brave captain, let me be allowed to bring a suit of slander against this man who reviles me.
CAPT. You may. What were you complaining about the pimp’s thievery, monsieur?
MICH. Je vous prie that he go to the crows. Je ferai ballade about his death, the filthy poltron. Grasping for a small profit, he furtively abducted the girl. These are the things I disgorged to ruin the pimp. Beso las manas, indomitable Captain Vander Pons, and I curse you all.
ACH. Listen here, Monsieur Loathed-by-All, we’ll exchange a few words. Captain, how much difference is there between a thief himself and a man who protects the thief?
CAPT. The penalty is the same for both, the judgement embraces them both equally.
ACH. Then Je vous prie that he go to the crows. For ten years after his brother Le Cour had departed this life, he was an accomplice in my crime of holding on to Celia. He received payment for her keeping and upbringing. He was not unaware of the thing, he kept his silence. He deserves prison, let him be dragged to the Gemonian Stairs.
MICH. Oh, this unconquerable warrior knows me, he knows me.
ACH. Relying on his slyness, Monsieur Michel disclosed this theft when he chose to. Farewell.
CAPT. You continue to argue, you talkative fellow? Don’t you fear this raised eyebrow of mine, you artful juggler? Why did you retain this bright beauty for ten years to be sold for sexual purposes? You’ll pay for this either with prison or a huge fine.
MICH. Morbleu, I have spread the birdlime for my very own self.
ACH. Oh how happy we’ll be in the workhouse!
CAPT. May the gods damn you.
ACH. No, you.
ACT V, SCENE v
MAARTEN, JOOST, THE CAPTAIN, PHILANDER, MUSONIUS, ACHERON, MONSIEUR MICHEL
MAART. You are browbeating me, Gaudentius. I won’t share my happiness without pangs of regret. Let Philander have her for is wife, as long as I first have her for my daughter.
PHIL. I’m in heaven, if he’s speaking the truth.
MAART. Ah Celia, did you go astray in shunning my love. It was not lust but rather nature which fanned this fire. Restrain the pimp so he can’t go outdoors.
JO. For my sake, forgive everything. You’ll call me a profitable friend. Today I dealt with you deceitfully, but a great friendship often results from a bad beginning.
MAART. I love you more than the other friars, so that I would have you die a gentler death. Philander, Musonius, why stand there glumly? You are allowed to dance. Not all dancing is forbidden: I am the first to preach this as a point of our doctrine.
CAPT. You may dance the Pyrrhic with shields, as has always been permissible. He who argues to the contrary will eat his dinner in Hell.
MAART. My son, do you imagine that your share of your father’s estate is diminished now that the rumor’s spread about that you have a sister? Or what is it that makes you look so downcast?
MUS. May my sister flourish forever, father, and I have no ill designs on your fortune. But I learned the value of rejoicing when I lost my bleating lamb, my mute.
PHIL. Since you are a man of ever-proven probity, Maarten, in your presence let me clear myself of the suspicion of having shed blood.
MAART. Support yourself, Philander, and speak out.
PHIL. Your son’s voiceless servant lies here dead. I am accused, but am as innocent as if I had been born this very day.
JO. What will you say when your dwarf returns to you safe and sound, Musonius? Ha, what to do say?
MUS. Safe and sound, Joost?
MAART. You should keep silent as long as you are overcome by your sorrows. Philander is too liberal and kindly than to have done those things. But come forth, my good sir Acheron, you thief, and also your accomplice, the merchant Monsieur Michel, that article of bad merchandise.
MICH. Sache que je suis un gentilhomme et ne suis pas à être usé come ce p0ltron. Pardonne-moi cette faute, bon veillard.
MAART. Don’t address me in Syriac or Hebrew.
MICH. No, it’s French, and I’ll educate you in French. And furthermore, your pretty daughter speaks excellent French.
ACH. Maarten, I wholly commend and entrust myself to your good faith. You are not so naive as to have no idea of the power of avarice. But I returned your daughter to you intact and unharmed, acting in good faith as well as any man could have done.
MAART. Be of good cheer. We Martinists do not hate whores and pimps for any other reason than that in Italy they enrich the Pope by paying a monthly tax. But you should receive all pardon and forgiveness when this is compared to the good treatment you have given Celia.
MICH. Oh Madonna, Celia is joining us.
ACT V, SCENE vi
CAELIA, FAUSTINA veiled, THE CAPTAIN, MAARTEN, JOOST, PHILANDER, MUSONIUS, ACHERON, MONSIEUR MICHEL
MAART. Musonius and Philander, hold me up in your arms, I’m swooning with joy.
PHIL. Why be afraid? Why grow pale? Why turn yourself away, Celia?
CEL. My distaste is not for you, Philander, and even less for Musonius. And you, noble warrior, you’re my salvation and happiness because it was by your effort that the sad quarrel between my lovers cooled off. May you always be noble.
CAPT. When did you hear that, my lady?
CEL. It’s the talk of the town and made me hurry back. Now let your virtue support me yet further, by allowing me never again to set foot in Acheron’s filthy place.
ACH. Command something else, my Celia. Be free. If you desire three of my molars or this nose of mine, for your sake I’ll allow myself to be despoiled of them.
CEL. You’re beginning to joke and spin stories. Be sure to keep your promises! But this is a matter for which you need to lend your support.
CAPT. Speak, girl. I’ve been keeping this killing-instrument at my side and it’s been idle far too long, but I don’t refuse to enter combat even with a Centaur.
CEL. But this is tinier than a fly, it doesn’t require a battle. Just make sure that this sexagenarian grandfather looks for another wife.
MAART. I’m a changed man, my honey. Grant me a kiss (for we Martinists like this), and I promise to disavow our engagement.
CEL. I believe that today all mankind has set aside its savagery. Here’s a kiss for you.
MAART. Ah my girl, I can’t refrain from embracing you. Choose a man with whom you may be joined forever, as long as he is not too closely related or of the same blood. He won’t refuse, I promise.
CEL. Am I awake or asleep? Ah, timid girl, why hang back. You who have been accustomed to cast eager eyes on Musonius, why not hang from his neck? Why have you blushed, Celia?
MAART. My reborn daughter, you better part of myself, you can’t do that. Heaven forbids. Musonius calls you his sister. Now you are not adorable to him because of your rosy loveliness, but because of your blood.
MUS. Greetings, you unexpected sister whom I am beholding after all these years. This single word “sister“ has had the power to banish overpowering Cupid.
CEL. Hurry up and cook my raw happiness. My happiness remains unripe until I understand everything.
MAART. Legal records, affidavits, the Frenchman, Acheron, or, if needs be, the torture-rack will make this certain.
CEL. I have trusted in the gods, I hope for happy things. Father, do you forgive my forwardness?
MAART. Easily, easily, my daughter. The sun refused to look down on our mutual sin.
CEL. I appreciate your fatherly attitude. I’ll also call Musonius by the name of “brother” if he yields to my entreaty and falls in love with this innocent girl as a replacement for his lost Celia.
MUS. My sweet dear sister, I dedicate whatever remains of my life to my deceased mute. Daily the memory of him will induce many a sign.
FAUST. Rather, you should look at me, Musonius, you adorable young man. This voice is a stranger to you, but this face is quite familiar.
MICH. Has fragrant Faustina returned to us?
ACH. This runaway slut has appeared to us to bid us farewell before her death.
MUS. So you’re alive? You’re alive, my mute? But I’m being silly, now you speak sweetly. Ah are you alive, my darling boy? Once more I’m acting like a madman, she’s neither a mute nor a man, but rather a dazzling woman. Tell us who you were, you most eloquent girl. I don’t want to support you in Attalid style any longer.
FAUST. My guardian Michel always kept my family, my parents, and my nation secret from me, so that I was put on the auction block as a serving-girl and a slave. Sailing from Paris together with my beloved Celia, I was sold as a slave to Acheron, but I immediately began to burn with the love of a freeborn woman. I often beheld you virtues, your nobility, your character. Alas, my eyesight was wounded as often as your always-bright image returned to it.
MUS. Go on, you soul of eloquence.
FAUST. The whole city was of a single heart in its admiration of Celia. As befitted a prudent woman, she admired only Musonius. What more dire thing could be done to Faustina than was done by her closest friend? Daily our lovesickness grew, especially for you, since you stood midway between the loneliness of solitude and companionship. Laverna desired a mute. Since I lacked a cure for my love but was never lacking in wit, an idea came to me. A public holiday gave me the occasion to to go out of our household clad in greet finery, which I exchanged for the rags of a boy. I fled to Brussels. It was a long time before I was able to eke out a meager living because of my youth while stubbornly remaining silent (which would have been all but impossible for a woman). After a long while I got this artifice down pat. Twice I timidly appeared at this door here, and, thanks to my silence, easily acquired a master.
MUS. In what name do you now rejoice?
MUS. Faustina? I’d refuse to grant you as a consort to Jove, even if he begged me a hundred times over. But why were you half-dead? How are you now gotten up so elegantly? I can ask you for a thousand tales.
FAUST. It would be a long story to describe the trick that has been played, and what mischief has been committed today. That friar present among us will recount the sequel more pertly than any sparrow.
JO. I did a good job of imparting my artfulness to this mute.
FAUST. As for your question about this display of dress, no sooner had we heard that Captain Pons had forbidden you to fight than Celia bestowed upon me beauty of both countenance and clothing. Ah, ah, Musonius, if I exist outside your heart, I have not yet returned to myself.
MUS. May the goddess of Safety forbid!
MAART. Indeed this Faustina could be placed among the sisters of our Separation, albeit by her own admission she’s a runaway whore.
ACH. And yet I’ll not let you marry her.
CEL. Why not?
ACH. I paid money for her.
MAART. Today your wife received a hundred guilders from me.
ACH. But in order to return into your good graces regarding Celia, perhaps I shall commit another offense against you in the future. Then you can take your revenge for both.
MICH. In vain, Acheron. I’ll risk this neck of mine rather than allowing you to be more generous to Musonius than myself. Philander, je vous pre, fetch us your father Gaudentius. Quick, quick.
PHIL. Why this unexpected errand?
MICH. I tell you, monsieur, go, and do so with happiness.
PHIL. I’m going.
MICH. Bel amour, mort Dieu! I am in favor of amours. You, Faustina, will dance, and you, Musonius, will laugh. Maarten will whinny and Captain Pons will growl. Perhaps Joost will eat something. We’ll all make merry, and Acheron will hang.
ACT V, SCENE vii
GAUDENTIUS, MAARTEN, THE CAPTAIN, MONSIEUR MICHEL, FAUSTINA, CELIA, PHILANDER, MUSONIUS, ACHERON, JOOST
ACH. Oh our changed times, you best of men! A pimp can develop a sense of shame. Laverna is blushing, glumly sitting here with us and refusing to eat or drink.
MAART. Something remains she will rue even more.
ACH. Although we are ashamed.
GAUD. Maarten, display a mild and subdued disposition. It’s better to stifle hot blood than to shed it.
MAART. Beso las pies, Gaudentius. Now you are the master, clearly you are royal. Foi de chevalier, je mourrais pour un tel homme.
GAUD. Ha, Monsieur. Where have you been so long?
MICH. Monsieur, I am the lowliest of all men. I wouldn’t love you any the more if Lais of Corinth were to return to life.
GAUD. Oh you humorist! Our fellow-citizens are assembled, the Captain of the Guard is present, and there’s a large crowd as well as gruel-eating Joost. Have you such important business that you must address me in public?
MICH. Greater things await you. Keep your usual disposition. Now that the sin has been wiped clean, I do not want my repentance to stand in the way of the good service I am about to perform.
GAUD. Enough circumlocution. Continue.
MICH. First of all, take an admiring look at this girl’s face.
GAUD. You mean Celia? Since it has turned out well for you in regard to your father, I rejoice. Lately you have been called Celia, but I don’t know your original name.
MAART. Patience in Adversity.
GAUD. Patience in Adversity? Oh you ridiculous fellow?
PHIL. So let her keep her reputation as lovely Celia.
CEL. I like that better.
GAUD. Patience in Adversity? To hell with that polysyllabic name!
MAART. I have no objection, Gaudentius. Let her forever be Celia.
GAUD. Patience in Adversity? Oh you exquisite fools!
MICH. I was not speaking of Celia, Gaudentius, but rather of this strange lady.
GAUD. Upon my life, she was once Musonius inseparable companion.
MUS. That’s so, Gaudentius.
GAUD. She appears to be worth whatever price you care to name, once you look at her face. Here’s a kiss!
MICH. But how does she strike you when you learn that she’s your Lydia. Ha, what have you to say to that?
GAUD. My daughter Lydia? I’ll furnish her dowry if she’s my Lydia.
FAUST. Oh Diana! This name “Lydia” often rang in my ears.
MICH. Now the die is cast. I’ll either be safe from all harm or dead twice over. Gaudentius, you should recall that solemn and splendid stage-play performed eleven years ago, when those children of our more powerful citizens who were equipped with a more attractive appearance and nature graced our theater with their performances and subsidies.
GAUD. You mean that lavish, strife-filled, sad play in which Lydia, then four years old, played a nymph on the stage?
MICH. The very one, the very one. Maarten, ill-disposed toward such spectacles, and his accomplices who were strict in managing our prince’s affairs made a commotion at the very apron of the stage. The fight raged back and forth and led to insults, to wounding, and finally to death. In this riot, as happens, there ensued vandalization of the stage-scenery and its opulence. Then Lydia, distinguished by the fairest of gems and necklaces, was abducted. Along with myself, she was wafted off to Paris by favoring breezes. But now, with the winds yet more friendly, she is returned to the bosom of her father.
GAUD. God Almighty! If these things are true, the house of Acheron has yielded up its dead this day.
MUS. If they are true? If only someone would dare whisper that these things are inventions!
CEL. Ah my bedfellow, I’m happy you have been born into so august a family.
FAUST. I am indeed aware of this. Once I was an unhappy little doll, dressed up in gold tights for a masque, something little girls easily remember. Or else I’m dreaming.
GAUD. Have you forgotten your nurse?
FAUST. She was named Bal — Bala —
FAUST. That’s her.
GAUD. I should be an ingrate towards the gods if I held back any further. My dove, you are indeed Lydia. Let me weep copious tears. Now, I pray, let me die.
PHIL. Greetings, my long-lost sister Lydia. You are scarcely luckier to have me for your brother than to have Musonius as your lover.
MAART. Oh Guudentius, now we’re both in heaven. I almost called this a holiday, on which we have been permitted both to father a full-grown daughter and enjoy her presence.
GAUD. Patience in Aversity? And the pair whom have been brought together by good fortune, why should wedlock not unite them inseparably? We’ll drink we’ll laugh. Ha, this is a man’s holiday!
MAART. That greatly matches my wishes.
GAUD. And so may Hymen auspiciously join you, lads and lasses.
MAART. And Roger the Deacon. May you have peace, many children, and prosperity.
MICH. You yourself should say this, Gaudentius. There are not twenty thieves like me, who has freely restored Lydia.
FAUST. I admit it. So forgive the merchant, father.
GAUD. He has easily earned this.
ACH. Nor are there ten pimps like Acheron, who looked out for Celia with such uprightness.
CEL. The thing’s obvious. Don’t make trouble, father.
MAART. As long as he abstains from tobacco and swearing.
ACH. Oh excellent fellow!
CAPT. Nor are there three soldiers who could contend with Captain Pons, who today has subdued savage duellists with merely a frown.
PHIL. We are now of one mind and you can call the both of us the crowning achievement of your peace-treaty.
JO. But tell me, is there another Joost who is my equal?
MAART. In Hell.
JO. Shush. I’m the only one who, as soon as brimming goblets make their appearance, will expose all your errors.
MAART. Concerning the two mute creatures.
GAUD. Concerning the Ethiopian and the twenty guilders.
MAART. Concerning Laverna and the hundred guilders.
GAUD. This business appears to concern Loyola the Jesuit and why he should be locked up, since everything is so peaceful.
JO. Come, support me with your wit and your happiness, and that sophomoric Loyola will delight you all with his jests.
MAART. Nothing the same or similar.
JO. Acheron, make Scarabaeus appear forthwith with a ladder. And let each of you conceal himself under the eaves without any noise or commotion. I’ll speak with Loyola as if I were alone.
ACT V, SCENE viiiLOIOLA from the window, SCARABAEUS, JOOST, GAUDENTIUS, ACHERON, THE CAPTAIN, MAARTEN, PHILANDER, MUSONIUS, FAUSTINA, CELIA, MONSIEUR MICHEL
SCAR. Joost, where shall I say you are, my chaplain? Are you going to take some academic degree?
JO. I certainly could in view of my high morals, but this pistol is aimed at us, belonging to the Jesuit who today took a chamber pot and —
SCAR. Oh my delight! You will justly be called the patriarch of all felonies.
JO. Here, raise the ladder at the window, where Loyola thinks he may most advantageously leap down.
SCAR. What is he going to do?
GAUD. Patience in Adversity!
MAART. Shush, Gaudentius, control yourself.
JO. Scarabaeus, let me speak in your ear a piece of advice, well soaked in vinegar.
JO. Very quickly, you hear?
SCAR. I understand.
JO. From behind, while he’s sailing into harbor.
SCAR. Heavens, that’s lovely?
JO. You understand this scheme?
SCAR. You have ask? All your rascality has rubbed off on me.
JO. You may safely show your round head with its square cap.
LOY. I’m here to confront you, Joost. Bah, you [...], you scholiast, you boor. Fall on your face, you cattle. You’ll never dodge the shot of this pistol.
JO. Venerable Loyola, show your head
LOY. Away with you, you starveling monk. I’ll make your paunch digest this lead. I’ll make you fart out that stinking soul of yours with a great blast.
JO. Dominus Doctor Loyola, if I ever fail you again —
LOY. Would that all you secular monks, both individuals members of particular orders and orders of particular members, were standing before me as an incommunicable individual, so I could destroy them all with a single blast.
GAUD. Patience in Adversity, Joost? What wonderful hilarity!
JO. Please hear me, good Master of Opinions. Here’s a ladder or a purchase which I have placed here for your feet, not without personal risk, and you thank me with a wound?
LOY. Ha, Joost, very witty. For the sake of distinction is this joke of yours urbane or rustic? I have my suspicion that this ladder may be a moveable body and escape me if I set foot on it. Remove yourself as far as possible, my friend. I’m well aware of your probity.
JO. Why hesitate fearfully? Sloth will work to your disadvantage.
LOY. I choose to climb down in my own way, facing backwards lest you hurl a dart at my back. Have no fear concerning this pistol of mine. If it were actually loaded with gunpowder, Joost, you would already be finished. Go, go. May starvation and chastity destroy Scarabaeus and all this household!
JO. Proceed with good omens. If you happen to be a tightrope-walker, pray continue. Proceed, Loyola.
LOY. Where am I being taken? Where am I? Is this my limit before which, as the Schoolmen say?
JO. Excellent, master, or, if you prefer, very excellent. I argue thus. Every pestilential exhalation is suspended in air. You are a pestilent exhalation. Therefore —
SCAR. He draws his conclusion so exactly that, if anyone has a different sentiment, he isn’t sentient at all..
LOY. You are cawing foolishly, like crows. Am I to suffer myself to be caught like a little fish on a line? Help me, my disciples. Come to my aid, my fellow citizens.
CAPT. What’s this disturbance? Is it not permissible for a watchman to place a malefactor on the gallows?
LOY. A malefactor? Of what crime am I guilty, Captain? Do I look as if I’ve taken up arms against justice? And all the idle crowd as gathered here to enjoy the spectacle of my death.
MAART. You’ll hang, you vilest of men, you’ll hang. Afterwards your body will be carved up for the wolves and dogs.
LOY. I maintain that dogs are forbidden to eat meat during Lent. Captain Vander Pons, is it legal to inflict this punishment without benefit of trial? I’ll draw a thousand distinctions before I die.
CAPT. If it is not permissible by martial law to put a man to death without a trial, I’m a blockhead.
GAUD. Or, if it is permissible, after we muzzle him and he’s dead we’ll summon him to court.
LOY. Are you then opposed to our Jesuit fatherhood, Gaudentius?
GAUD. Why not? Atlas supports the heaven and Jesuits are supporters of Hell.
ACH. As far as I’m concerned, I’m glad to have a house worthy of this guest. The presence of a Jesuit will do much to bring in a huge crowd of customers to my brothel.
CAPT. Let’s cut this business short. You, bailiff, search to see what manner of depravity he’s concealing in his clothes.
SCAR. Depravity beneath his clothes? Will he suffer the punishment reserved for adulterers?
LOY. Oh, they’re savaging me mercilessly. Sooner hang me up with ten ropes.
MAART. Wait, Scarabaeus. Feel around in his boots to see with what rites and ceremonies he’s freighted down.
SCAR. Stand still, assassin, with your Jesuit arsenal. Here’s a thundering pistol. A box of gunpowder and shot. A consecrated dagger. Five dry figs. Viper’s venom. A vial of stronger poison. Ten grains of blessed mercury. A cylindrical case of full of miracles. A bundle of letters from his brother-conspirators.
LOY. I commend you to unhand the letters. Evert secret written to all the world’s ambassadors and sovereigns is hidden within those documents.
GAUD. Excellent! So they’ll be handed over to the Mercurius Gallobelgicus and be published at the next Frankfurt Fair.
SCAR. Basta, here’s some counterfeit coinage, washed and clipped. All this falls into my possession.
LOY. By no means. I need them all to pay Charon for my passage.
JO. Unlucky Loyola! Long ago you should have heeded my most serious warnings. But now you’ll finally pay attention. Most of all, while standing on the gallows don’t be concerned about your wealth. Scarabaeus and I will divide those coins, as jolly companions should And next, don’t be embarrassed to make a confession of all your misdeeds.
LOY. I shall be careful to do so, inasmuch is this death is not simple but rather a binding one, as the Schoolmen say. Whatever is hidden in my secret inmost self will forthwith be disclosed. I have corrupted two abbotesses and seven nuns, in addition to approximately one hundred and fifty brides and virgins. You must all guard against criminal associations. I did all these things at the instigation of Joost.
JO. Now he’s raving.
LOY. I cheated at dice, I used bogus Latin in my sermons, poison in the kitchen, gluttony during times of fasting, in addition to insulting sovereigns and bribing judges. Oh, you must all guard against criminal associations. I did all these things at the instigation of Joost.
MAART. So let Friar Joost hang, tied to him back-to-back.
JO. Do you owe your friends this advocacy, fool?
GAUD. Venerable Loyola, if you have no further confessions to make, you will peacefully come to rest in the air, extended in length.
JO. I’ll finish the rest very briefly. My father was a butcher, and my mother worked as a cutpurse in the market place. Both of them owned a very sharp knife, such as the one I cherish at my breast as a token of my affection.
MAART. The great rogue has cut the rope.
PHIL. Thereby rescuing himself.
GAUD. What say you, man of Mars? Father? Maarten? Faustina? Celia?
MUS. Ha ha, let him get off safely.
CAPT. Let him come down.
CEL. Our festivities are now a time for love, not punishment. Depart, you wild screech-owl.
FAUST. We owe our marriage mercy and happiness.
MAART. Now let him live safely. Sooner or later, perhaps, he’ll hang like a rabid dog.
MICH. Je vous prie. What great loss have I sustained for which he should’t hang as a dead man? Perhaps I can buy his clothes from Scarabaeus for a few coins.
SCAR. So this execution is to conclude with the loss of a rope?
JO. Come now, Scarabaeus, a banquet is being set for the wedding.
SCAR. By heaven, I promise to be a good guest. You finish this job yourself, Loyola, if you have the free time.
LOY. I am suffering things I deserve and things I don’t. But vengeance is twofold, either immanent or emanent , as the Schoolmen say.
GAUD. Let’s go to the banquet. All our troubles have come into safe shallow water. Hey, there’s no devil but gloom.
ACT V, SCENE ix
JO. Ha ha he. If you were to become a basilisk now, Loyola, I know whom you would kill with your stare.
LOY. This is a wretched situation. Priscian and the Jesuits are always being trounced by these stupid little Friars, whom a severe Socrates would swear could fool nobody, thanks to their idiocy.
JO. Should you be acting in a comedy, being a man more inclined to murder and treason? Leave the jokes and witticisms to me and, if you heed me, you’ll expend your talent on tragedies.
LOY. Do you risk your reputation for giving a very elegant performance, you who have acted such a threadbare play tonight for the benefit of these spectators? You can see how much all the theatergoers regret its tedium.
JO. Your bold criticisms are trite stuff. Nobody will rise from these seats without clapping, unless he is a swine from Maarten’s pigsty or a puppy from Loyola’s den.
LOY. So what shouldn’t you request with confidence?
JO. We’re not so shameless as to boast we have earned any reward, unless you introduce a distinction.
LOY. I’m a truthful man, I shall earnestly make the attempt. You spectators who belong to the university, pray use your hands to support this tottering comedy for the sake of its merit, which is, if not condign, at least congruous, as the Schoolmen say.