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ACT II, SCENE i
ULFERUS, ETHELBERTUS, GUMINA, FABA, EADBERTUS, THEORGUS, ULFADUS, RUFFINUS

Ulfadus is declared heir to the throne, albeit against his will, and is crowned as the successor with the extreme good wished of the lord.

The king is seen sitting in council amidst his lords.

ULFER. You glories of our thriving court, you scarlet-clad lords, the god who controls the great empire of this world has made this to be the sum of his immovable law: nothing remains unchanged. Each passing day wears down the universe with its invisible wear and tear. Things have their destinies, as do kingdoms, the stars themselves do not escape transformations, and heaven is not without its disturbances. See what the earth can look forward to, and time, fleeing by with its years, will take me too with its passage. Let it be so: even if an hour manages to check its flying wheels and a year stands still in sloth, the Fates have a means for making their entry, and a thousand forms of death lie about a royal household. Every highway to a royal palace wends its way through hostile armies. Hence I am appointing Ulfadus as the personage next to the throne, the associate pillar of the realm. My lords, do you approve?
spacerETH. Outlive Jove, great-spirited leader. But if you are settled on blessing your lands with a fair prince, you should appoint Ulfadus.
spacerFAB. He has his father’s spirit. He has wholly imbibed Ulfadus together with his mother’s milk, a boy born to govern.
spacerEAD. Nature made him lord over the royal court at his first begetting, he claims the scepter by right of being the firstborn.
spacer JUM. He who appoints a leader for his people kindles wholesome sunlight for the world.
spacerTHE. A divine hand created this lad for the scepter. Starry Leo has suffused his heart with fire. Mars has shaped his hand, Jove’s majesty his face, Minerva his mind, and the Grace his lips. Thus every god has flowed into this one boy, and in every respect the marks of kingship shine forth.
spacerULFER. May Ulfadus govern as heir to his father’s house! (The insignia of royalty are brought in by boys.)
spacerALL May Ulfadus govern as heir to his father’s house!
spacerULFER. Bring the scepter here, boys. Son, take this emblem of royalty from your father’s hand. After his death, may you bear the weight of government, for a long time and happily.
spacer ULF. No man can be happy bearing this weight. Let golden sleep be late in translating you to the stars after you have ruled the realm, father. Let Ulfadus shape his life as he wishes, far from government and the hubbub of affairs. The man who wields a scepter over himself and is a dutiful subject to his own self, he is a blessed ruler. A royal robe, a head adorned by a crown of gold and gems, a train rich with purple, an ivory throne with its tawny columns, a house that reaches up to the stars in rivalry, a copious army clad in bronze, a field groaning under many horses, acres — these things do not make a king. He is a king who possesses the realm of a modest mind, who transcends hope and fear, indulges his mind with nothing immoderate, accepts Fortune’s threats and smiles with the same calm face, and victoriously tramples this uncertain world underfoot. He associates minds with heaven, and empires with earth. Father, it is these emblems of power, these scepters, that I ardently pursue.
spacerULFER. By what passion are you being swept along, my son? What god has taken control of your mind and put it into a divine frenzy? Your words sound inhuman, nor do your wishes make any mortal sense. You refuse a crown? Power, that great stroke of good fortune, something than which no god (suppose he wished to do so) could give you anything greater, this you avoid by dragging your heels? You refuse the high honors of rule, which a man would hope for even if purchased at the cost of boundless efforts, and gained by resorting to the bloody ways of war, sinister wiles, hidden poison, and a thousand crimes.
spacer ULF. If a divinity inspires my mouth and a god my mind, should I refuse to obey?
spacerTHE. A divinity also inspires the Furies, nor does Acheron’s Avernus lack its god. The god who has commanded you to shun the honor of proffered kinship, he is one who has never ruled over Olympus and the mansions of the stars. He is a spirit of the black Styx, having a mouthful of envy, a weaver of deceits.
spacerULFER. Why bandy words? If heaven does govern your mind, obey your father. Let the crown press down your hair. (The king attempts to crown him.)
spacerULF. Oh, stop giving me orders, father. Your hand is threatening my shoulders with a weight they cannot support, let me overcome my father with my humble entreaties. I gladly resign the realm to my brother, let Ruffinus wield the scepter.
spacerRUF. I should wield the scepter, brother, with you put out of the way? God grant me better! The pursuits of sweet repose summon me too, where I, far removed from the burden of cares, fully in control of myself and risen above the capricious rule of Fortune, might spend my unsullied days in happiness. The royal court is yours, brother, as your birthright.
spacerETH. What a remarkable thing! The scepter entails piety, yet it is rejected.
spacerULFER. They are not estranged by love of power, as were the sons of Oedipus. Avoidance of power divides my offspring, in an amazing contest. I have spoken. Let Ulfadus hold the reins of government.
spacer ETH. This is commanded by your birthright, by the will of the public, the decree of our privy council, the zeal of our lords, the safety of the realm and by your father, whom it would be criminal to resist.
spacerULF. It is permitted me to deprecate this honor.
spacerULFER. The more you refuse the scepter, the holier the hand in which you will hold it. Glory pursues the man who flees it, but flees the man who pursues it. You will reign, I swear by the fires of the eternal heavenly home, you will reign. No god will ever budge me from this decision.
spacerULF. Ulfadus is defeated by his father.
spacerULFER. Let his hair be pressed down by the high crown. (Ulfadus is crowned.)
spacerULF. But my head by cares.
spacerULFER. And the robe his shoulders.
spacerULF. A great burden on my neck.
spacerULFER. And the scepter his right hand.
spacer ULF. I shall not hold it aright. It is a weapon aimed at myself.
spacerULFER. Now ascend the throne.
spacerULF. It is truly a scaffold, where God torments kings.
spacerULFER. Let every man acknowledge his chosen prince. Let happy heaven preserve forever this day, made auspicious by its command. Long live my Ulfadus. (Each man takes a turn in kissing Ulfadus’ hand.)
spacer RUF. World’s jewel, gods’ delight.
spacerETH. Glory of the lords, thunderbolt of Mars.
spacerJUM. Scales of Astraea, solace of the wretched.
spacerFAB. Pillar of government, salvation of the people.
spacerEAD. Terror of the guilty, god of the innocent.
spacerULFER. Now let the trumpet assault the air with its musical brass. Let the harvest of the Indies smoke on all our altars. Let the royal court be at leisure for games, let our sprightly youth cheer in measured dances. Let Mercia celebrate triumphs, and let all our empire celebrate happy days.

THE ROYAL PAGEANT CELEBRATING THE CORONATION OF ULFADUS’ CORONATION

THE ARGUMENT OF THE PAGEANT

Cadmus of Thebes, having sown the dragon’s teeth, rouses soldiers from the earth. These, coming together in a martial dance, fall by mutually inflicted wounds. Cadmus says that they are destined to recover their lives, if they are touched by the scepter of the most excellent prince. And so, touched by Ulfadus’ scepter, they are brought back to life and depart after having kissed the prince’s hand.

spacerCAD. I sow the dragon’s teeth, a terrible seed. Burst forth from the furrows in martial rage, you warlike legion of commanders. Let palms celebrate this day with no single frond, palms of victory and defeat alike. (Here the soldiers are summoned forth and perform a martial dance. When it is finished, he continues.) Thus this band has laid each other low in battle. Rescuing them is a job for kings. The Fates promise to give them back the stolen light of day, on this condition: if, my prince, the honor of your scepter touches them in death with its splendor.
spacerULF. Ask my father for his scepter.
spacerCAD. The Fates’ destinies rely on you.
spacerULF. Let this race of heroes live on. (They are revived at the touch of his scepter.)
spacerCAD. Rise up, you martial band, on a better day. Prostrate yourselves and adore the man responsible for such a great stroke of good fortune, the triumph of the world, the person closest to Ulferus. (They lay down their arms at the prince’s feet, pick them up again, and retire, having kissed his hand.)

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ACT II, SCENE ii
MESSENGER, ULFERUS, WITH THE REST

When the burning of Apollo’s temple is announce, Ulfadus proclaims himself a Christian and is banned from his father’s sight.

spacerNUNC. (Panting for breath.) Great king, while the royal court was celebrating it festival pageants — oh, the bitter fate! — Phoebus’ high house collapsed, that great work of a bygone age.
spacerULFER. What? That structure of enduring marble? That citadel of the supernals, striking heaven with its roof, that lofty mass with its hundred pillars has collapsed?
spacerNUNC. It is overthrown, and not even an ash remains of such a great work.
spacerULFER. Did it suffer this misfortune because Jove was hurling his lightning?
spacerNUNC. Heaven is free from blame. They say that somebody belong to the sect of Christians hurled torches blazing with the fire of Tartarus into its inner sanctums. The fire opened up a way for itself, with nothing preventing it, and, raging through the heaped-up treasures, it kindled its first fires within. Nor did the sacrilegious fire dread the countenance of the bright god. Phoebus caught fire from a torch foreign to the sun, and his locks with the gold of his his rays learned to smoke, bested by Vulcan. Finally the fire’s fury burst outside and overcame the roof, enveloping the shrine with its heat. It collapsed, burying Phoebus under its mass. Thus it became both a tomb and a temple. But Apollo was unable to lie covered with his own ashes. With a hostile whirlwind the south wind bore off in the air whatever remained from the conflagration.
spacerULFER. Oh, the bold misdeed, the baleful crime of the Furies! From what unspeakable stock has this sect of Christians spring? What part of Dis, what corner of that damned world has created this spawn of a Gorgon-like plague?
spacer THE. They are conspiring to wage wars against the sun’s supernals. Oh, the citadel of the sun! Oh, the palace! Oh, the house of the gods!
spacerULFER. Could any profane — Could anybody do this criminal deed? But let it be so. Let him consign his person to perpetual lurking-places, let him seek the stars as a refugee, let him hunt for hidden, trackless, unimagined places, this guilty man will still not avoid my wrath. Punishment will put down this rascal.
spacerJUM. Wield your scepter happily, destined to see the old age of that son of Neleus, and do not not add your fire to heaven as a glory brighter than the stars, before this Christian arson suffers a total ruination by plague, the Furies, steel, and numerous deaths.
spacerULFER. Their nemesis is decided. Let a dire army of evils oppressed the Christians. Whoever is pious towards Christ and has abjured the ancient divinity of the gods, be he of my blood, be he my son or my father, it does not matter. I swear by the Thunderer he will spew forth his hateful spirit. (They all unsheathe their swords.). Against the gods’ temples? Let savage steel disport itself in the throats of that unspeakable sect. Give your hands to this, my lords. Confirm your faith towards the gods on your oath, let every one of you touch your swords together and imitate me in repeating the formula which I take the lead in pronouncing. (He kneels and brandishes his sword.) You thundering gods, and you, ruler of the Styx, and likewise you, master of the deep, mighty with your waters, come bear witness. May this sword-point pierce my guts if it does not cut through the guts of Christians.
spacerALL May this sword-point pierce my guts if it does not cut through the guts of Christians. (Ulferus did not draw his sword.)
spacerULFER. Why are you hesitating, Ulfadus? Surely you are not ashamed to make an open profession of your belief in the gods? Surely you are not ashamed to suppress the Christians’ dire hatreds and ferocious assaults on heaven? Just piety suits a prince. Join your vows to ours.
spacerULF. Tell me what I should swear.
spacerULFER. The ruin of that guilty sect.
spacerULF. I am of the opinion it is innocent.
spacerULFER. It is an enemy to the gods.
spacerULF. Gods created by vain belief.
spacerULFER. What Fury is inspiring your heart. What deluded error has robbed you of your wits? Are you opposing your father seriously or as a joke?
spacerULF. It would be wrong to oppose one’s father in jest.
spacerULFER. So you believe the mansions of the stars are devoid of gods?
spacerULF. They are full, but they are filled with the One Who steers the universe with his reins.
spacerULFER. So Jupiter alone steers its immense mass with his reins?
spacer ULF. Jupiter is atoning for his unclean life, plunged in Avernus. I mean Christ.
spacerULFER. Blood-draining horror makes my limbs tremble. Christ, you profane fellow? You are an infamous disgrace to your father! How did this dire plague corrupt your mind? Come, you recalcitrant boy, attest to Jove with your oath. Touch your steel to ours, and consign the Christians to the Dire Ones, or this steel will pierce your guts if you decline.
spacerULF. Forgive me, father, if I refuse to consign this harmless sect to the Dire Ones, since I am a follower of Christ.
spacerULFER. Die, criminal. (Ulfadus attacks Ulfadus with his sword, which Faba turns aside.)
spacerFAB. Stop your violent assault, oh stop, my prince. Perhaps a magical trick has deceived Ulfadus. Time will bring him to better counsels.
spacerULF. Take this disgrace far away from his father’s sight. Don’t return to look upon your father’s face until repose and love of the gods restore your mad mind. Be quick in your flight. It was an ill-omened day that conferred on you the scepter. But let that pass. If the boy scorns his father’s government, the boy will come to dread that government’s thunderbolt. If I continue to rule, I shall prevail. If I am overcome, I shall abdicate. Retire to the adjoining room, my lords, I require a few private words with Theorgus.

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ACT II, SCENE iii
ULFERUS, THEORGUS

Ulferus consults with Theorgus about his son’s defection to Christ.

spacerULFER. Theorgus, you sweet consolation of my cares, I am obliged to admit that I bear a wound in my veins, and that a great pain burns deep within my bones. Ulfadus, the heir to the throne and Ulferus’ delight, hates Jove, and chooses to adhere to that disgraceful Christian sect. Oh, the blot on our royal house! Am I to believe that Fate, divinity, or the supernals have ever presided over our affairs? We worship the gods at great expense with temple, incense, statuary, and flocks, and they repay us with these things? Fortune, the single goddess of this earth, spins the world with her saucy whirlwind. Happily she assaults the sacred heights with her insolent sport. She spins her globe over my head, and then turns it back in the direction which will inflict the most harm. Oh, that bestial whore, that blind daughter-in-law of Pluto, that shameful goddess, that Fury of Hell, that sister of snakes!
spacerTHE. Prince Ulferus, your mind, sick with cares, has lost the light of truth. Every kingdom is subjected to a government heavier than itself. Kings command their flocks, but the god rules over kings themselves. Nor are the gods’ destinies fated. Rather, the gods have imposed laws on the Fates: Jupiter speaks, and the Fates obey his great command. As a result, kingdoms and their leaders are whirled around by the Fate’s circle, together with their cities and their fortunes, and the vicissitudes of peace and war. Nothing is managed by chance. If there is any such thing as chance, it fearfully depends on the will of the god, by whose command it stops its fickle wheel, or moves it this way or that.
spacer ULFER. So it is in accordance with the will of Zeus that such great pain has overcome Ulferus, and such a foul plague has bested Ulfadus with its poison?
spacerTHE. One of the Sisters of Acheron’s realm has prevailed, she has prevailed with charms whispered by her Circe-mouth.
spacerULFER. This wrong was visible to Jove and he failed to hurl his fires?
spacerTHE. He thought it better to entrust this turn of events to you. Our land begs you to be the avenger of this dark crime as its Jove. You must be its champion and throw your torches.
spacerULFER. When a crime is hidden in dark night, Jupiter wields his forked lightning. When it is committed openly, royal hands draw their sword.
spacerTHE. But this toxin does not spread with a silent flow, or creep into humble cottages on a quiet foot. It has infected the royal court It has cast its plague on our lords. It has boldly insinuated itself into the family of Ulferus. When a fire has triumphantly overcome its roof and the heat tolerates no delay, a house collapses into ashes.
spacerULFER. So we must bring to bear the triple strength of Alcides, Jove’s lightning, Cynthius’ arrows, and the steel of Mars. Let none of these weapons fail to play its part in obliterating those enemies of the gods.
spacerTHE. Let them first set a notable example by accomplishing the ruin of Verebodus. Let Ulfadus witness his dire death. The downfall of this lofty lord will shake his spirits, and the punishment of such a great man will bridle the court.
spacer ULFER. Just so. I swear by Olympus, this man has overcome my child by wiles and incantations. Oh, what punishments await the villain! When lords pay their just forfeits, fear makes the common folk turn around.
spacerTHE. There are those who are overcome by good-will with its friendly discourse, and by gentle guidance, whereas harsh rigor inflames them. A royal mind is wont to be convinced by affection. You should approach your son pleasantly and, in the first place, employ a gentle remedy.
spacerULFER. I fear that the poison stored up deep within his being will not yield to a physician.
spacerTHE. Then you should press him with threats.
spacerULFER. Imagine he’s unafraid.
spacerTHE. He who is unafraid of words will fear welts. Force tames a recalcitrant man.
spacerULFER. A servant is tamed with clubs, and a child by a whipping.
spacerTHE. You should regard anyone who refuses to be swayed by affection as a servant, even the son of a king. He who cannot be governed by reason is a child, even if he is old man of advanced years.
spacerULFER. Often rigor makes an obstinate man worse.
spacerTHE. Often rigor improves him.
spacerULFER. A king should fear whatever marks him as unbecoming.
spacerTHE. You should deny that a man who justly punishes crimes is unbecoming.
spacerULFER. Being overly just often harms a ruler.
spacerTHE. More so being lax. When the cause of the gods is at stake, it is the downfall of kings to be overly merciful.
spacerULFER. He who combines a gentle auspice with his rule governs happily. Good faith preserves governments, good faith follows upon affection, and affection attaches itself to mild commands.
spacerTHE. When affection overcomes faults, let it hold sway. When it cannot, let fear prevail.
spacerULFER. But suppose a father attempts everything in vain —
spacer THE. When a man’s body is burning with decay, the physician cuts off that part, lest his sound members acquire the infection’s taint.
spacer ULFER. If he cuts off parts nearby the heart, he kills the patient.
spacerTHE. If in your timidity you don’t strike the decayed parts, you perish.
spacerULFER. Are you bidding a father’s hand strike down his son?
spacerTHE. I am advising you that the gods must be protected by a king’s hand.
spacerULFER. Well then, I shall protect them. But first you must summon all your powers of mind and art to return this son to the gods and to his father.
spacerTHE. Gifts will appease the gods. It is necessary that a golden harvest of coins must precede my mind’s attempt. At the altars I shall slaughter a thousand head of cattle from our sacrificial flock. Let your hand flow with gold, and I shall purify Ulfadus of this Stygian disease.
spacerULFER. Gold will not be lacking. Meanwhile I give you this diamond as a token of your king’s good faith. Bring this work to a successful conclusion and you will receive a fee that equals my scepter in its worth.
spacerTHE. My task is to make an attempt on Ulfadus, my prince. [Exit Ulferus.]

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ACT II, SCENE iv
THEORGUS alone

Theorgus, mindful of an insult, plots to gain revenge.

He mocks the departing king.

spacerTHE. Go, you wealthy blockhead. Go, you sheep with a fleece of gold. Go, you painted head devoid of thought. This dunce hurt Theorgus and yet trusts him. He seeks to regain me as a friend, whom he called a rabid dog, a hellhound, and the Pope of Dis. Oh you toadstool of a king! He presumably imagines I am appeased, because he sees me powerful as well as injured. He hopes me to be faithful, when he has fiercely aimed his spear at my throat. I shudder when I remember that. I was three inches away from death, me, the high priest of heaven and the sun. I suppose he spewed forth his threats with feigned anger. Let a child in grammar school believe that! He was afraid of Theorgus, unable to withstand of my dignified countenance, the fires flashing in my eyes, and the thunderbolt of my expression. A coward’s mind fails him when he is not feared. Plant your foot where you will, and fear this one thing, that you should not be thought to be afraid. Nonetheless, this rare gem has purchased my loyalty — at a price. (He shows the ring on his first two fingers.) I like the sight of this gem, this beauty of nature, this spark of heaven with a color the same as the stars, this Phoebus of a smaller world, liquid bound in its eternal setting, the world’s eye, greatest glory enclosed in the smallest object, majesty encompassed in a small emblem, first furniture of this earth, the elegance of wealth. I admit that Ulferus has bought my loyalty at this price, and yet has purchased the loyalty of my face, but not my heart. It is enough that I have harmed him. Let my enduring anger feed its lively flames. This stone glows on my fingers, and hatred in my marrow. I swear by Megaera, sooner will my funeral pyre overcome this diamond than the day will come that conquers the passion of my mind. But the creak of the hinge bids me conceal this flood of emotion. I must pretend to be at peace.

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ACT V, SCENA v
TWO COURTIERS, THEORGUS

Impelled by his greed, Theorgus cheats two courtiers

spacerCOURT. 1 Growing to hate me, Fortune has departed my doorstep. Everything is suffering an ill-omened downfall. You must sway the goddess with your prayers and with gifts.
spacerTHE. You are beseeching the mighty divinity of Olympus. She softens Jove, taking the reins away from him, and she bridles the lesser gods at will. And once she has taken wing and abandoned a person, she never returns unless you amass a wealthy gift.
spacerCOURT. 1 ( Giving him earrings.). See here, here’s a noble gift of gems and gold. This adorns the ears — and opens them.
spacerTHE. The friendly goddess will turn her steps back to your household. But, lest she should flee headlong once more, bind her fast with a bejewelled collar. Bound fast by gold, the goddess will remain forever.
spacerCOURT. 1 (Giving him a golden collar.). Fetter the flighty goddess with this golden chain. Farewell. (Exit.)
spacerTHE. If Fortune creates any mortal events, she did well on this one occasion, so that this silly sheep hidden beneath his golden fleece offered himself up to me. I am Destiny’s altar, here the goddess has set up housekeeping. Each man’s mind is his fortune. He who is shrewd in his dealings and has a mind rich with brilliance, happily keeps Fortune at home as his daughter. But if a man is proud-necked without intelligence, he calls on Destiny with an ineffectual prayer. When one’s intellect flaps its wings in the sky, a lofty Fate enters in his doorway. But when the mind abjectly keeps its pinions earthbound, it brings along poverty behind itself. (Enter a second courtier.)
spacer COURT. 2 I have a question to ask you, high priest of the Thunderer. Can you fill my inmost being with all the waters of the Boeotian fountain, Phoebus’ frenzies, all the tunes of the Muses, and whatever passion Parnassus’ water can create? I want to be enrolled in the choir of bards and become a sublime glory of the Muses.
spacerTHE. For what fee do you imagine Phoebus and the Muses can be purchased?
spacerCOURT. 2 (Giving him a golden dish.) Take this dish, heavy with gems and gold. Does this gift please you?
spacerTHE. I like it. A vein of gold will make you a gem of a poet. Go, filled with inspiration, full of the Boeotian choir. All Helicon will well up for your benefit. Sing, and you will surpass the gods themselves with your honeyed voice. Are you not yet growing heated? Are you not yet a celestial swan, saluting the stars?
spacerCOURT. 2 Phoebus has inspired my heart. On pinions I shall pursue the stars, soaring above the mist of the clamorous ordinary folk, above the kingdoms of the winds, and I shall ply my art among the tuneful crews of bards. (Exit.)
spacerTHE. As a goose you will increase the squawking crews of bards.

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ACT II, SCENE vi
LYCAMBER, THEORGUS

Taking the king’s gold. Theorgus enlists Lycamber as his lieutenant in deception.

spacerLYC. My revered father, at the king’s command I bring you this golden gift. He enjoins that in every precinct of the realm altars should be heated with victims, heaven with prayer, and shrines with smoke. He is seeking to preserve Ulfadus’ safety.
spacerTHE. As long as we gain the gold Ulfadus’ safety be damned. But I have given my word to our cruel sovereign, he must have what I promised. For if Ulfadus does not worship the gods in the traditional way once more, safe and sound, Theorgus is a dead man. Why dwell on Ulferus’ wrath, which is well known? Help your father in his dangerous circumstances, my son.
spacerLYC. My every breath of life is yours. For me, you are the first of gods. I readily employ my hand, brain and mouth in accordance with your bidding, the strength of my arms, the sly vigor of my intelligence, and the all-conquering persuasion of my lips. Just decide what to command.
spacerTHE. You have the daring?
spacerLYC. Should my father command, I would confront Jove even when he was thundering.
spacerTHE. The most important counsels advance themselves in silence. We have need for deceit, not armed force. Can you lie with a fair front? Can you practise deceits with your words? Devote yourself to perfidy with artfulness?
spacerLYC. I can.
spacerTHE. Can you cheat the law of sacred friendship, good faith, agreements, amity and pacts?
spacerLYC. I can.
spacerTHE. Can you put on a face and a demeanor using deceiving signs of the virtues, and feign every manner of modesty, while monstrosities of crime lurk in your polluted heart?
spacerLYC. I can.
spacerTHE. Can you turn your intelligence like a rapidly-turning wheel, now in this direction and now and that? Can you imitate every form of dutifulness, adroit in playing your role, putting only a brief space of time between laughter and tears, understanding and representing aall the turnings of the mind and tokens of the heart?
spacerLYC. I can.
spacerTHE. What else?
spacer LYC. Whatever my father sees fit to add. Do you want me to assume the form and shape of wild beasts? I obey. Do you want me to go about wearing the mane of a horrible lion, oppressed by dire lust for eating, which makes it a pitiless enemy of our flocks? I shall cheerfully roar in the forests as a hideous lion. Do you want my appearance to imitate a wolf with its shaggy fur and its gaping maw, a wolf driven by a man-killing frenzy, ravaging households far and wild? Then late at night I shall become a wolf, an object of fear even to you, and I’ll ruin homes with slaughter. Do you want me to become a snake with a fiery neck, dragging along its huge coils? I shall become a serpent slithering through the fields, and strike at men with my forked tongue. Decide your preference: water-snake or hyena, bull or tiger, snake or bear, I’m equally happy to be any of these beasts, as my father commands.
spacerTHE. Your dutifulness convinces your father, oh my son. But the times have no need for such shapes. Just arrange your facial expression. Let a pious pride be artfully represented by your brow, and false modesty with your mouth. Let candor disport itself in your eyes, trustworthiness in your discourse, seriousness in your carriage, and great gravity in your gait. Let false sanctity impart its color to the whole man. Relying on this scheme, join yourself to Ulfadus as his companion, and, falsely swearing by Christ, disown Jove. As a result, a suitable way for you to work your frauds will open itself. The young man will disclose his mind to you, and you can gently probe his inner thoughts. If any new spark of counsel shines forth, report it to your father. Restore Ulfadus to the gods and you will weigh down your neck with a gold collar.
spacerLYC. It is enough to have commanded this. At my father’s behest, I feel that the gods and goddesses have entered into the inner workings of these cheats. Leave me to myself, and I consign the rest to Fortune.

Go to Act III

 


 

 


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