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Ceadda sends the priests Clytus and Probus (otherwise called Tityrus) to enter the royal court in disguise and baptize the princes.

spacerCEAD. Thus far, concealment in shadows has sweetened our days, and love has joined us as we pursued quietude of mind. Now God summons us to lofty work. Now that we have been summoned, broad daylights’ dust and hard struggle’s effort awaits us. Matters take on another aspect: our stage has a change of scene. Each of you undergo a change of costume. (Here Clytus and Tityrus put off their priestly robes and are seen wearing secular habit.) Let the splendor of the royal court disguise the one of you, and the garb of a harmless rustic the other. Heaven’s virtue has brought to Christ’s flock the scions of the royal house, that sweet pair of brothers. But the living water has not yet washed from their souls the blot of ancient sin. The palace keeps them both under close guard. Let us attempt to gain entry. (From a glass vial Ceadda pours water into Tityrus’ hollow staff into the pommel of Clytus’ dagger, and into his own cross.) Let each of us carry this water, Tityrus in his staff, Clytus in his steel, and me in my cross. Let our watchword be ONE GOD. Be steadfast and daring. Our cause will supply us with good fortune and courage. If any mischance should bring our long-for death, we are blessed. The stars await us as victors.
spacerCLYT. We rejoice to follow where heaven’s summons calls us.
spacer TIT. Oh would that beautiful death would rob us of the light of day, amidst our bloody perils! I burn with your fires, Christ.
spacerCLYT. But the safety of your rule forbids you from exposing your person to such great dangers, reverend bishop. Ulferus will not forgive your robes of office.
spacerCEAD. No sight of sufferings, no royal wrath, no weapons and fires, nor a thousand manners of death will keep me from going. Take away his royal insignia, which another hand has granted to his government, and what is a king? He a man no greater than other men, nor better. He ought to adorn his mind with the beauty of the virtues. That makes him a god no less great than the world he rules. But if he makes war on heaven and harms God with his savage intention, he is the worst kind of beast, and yet he is not to be feared. God bridles the haughty. Let’s hasten, and let each of us make his way through the forest murk where his individual path leads. But before that, let us enjoy a beloved embrace. Farewell, comrades.
spacerCEAD. Farewell, excellent bishop.
spacerTIT. I shall bring Ruffinus these gifts of the countryside. Let our journey separate us, although we are united in love.



Chorebus, being sought for punishment because of the false witness he bore, decides to live in the forest as a robber. The priest Tityrus is caught and searched by them, but is freed by his companion Clytus.

spacerCHOR. What place will conceal me with its shady crannies? What thicket with its brambles? I tripped. The forest made a noise. You deep woodlands, open up your dark bosom, yawn wide the vast jaws of your caverns. Create places for me to lurk, the magistrate’s attendant is hard on my heels.
spacerFAUST. Why fear things which are safe. The deep quiet of the woods and the black shade of its branches are guarding you enough.
spacerCHOR. Even shade has light to reveal the guilty. Be silent, you woods. And you, Sylvanus, ruler of its groves, lord of the Dryads, conceal my flight. The leaves have rustled, I’m being dragged alive to the fire. Oh Faustus, hide my person under some dark recesses. (Ceadda passes by, making his way to the palace of Ulferus. He wears a hat encircled by a green ribbon.)
spacerFAUST. Which one of the gods is this? Divinity is obvious from his gait, his dress, and the brightness of his countenance. He goes his way with his hair bound with forest green.
spacerCHOR. Oh god of greenery! Protect this refugee, Father.
spacerCEAD. (He cries out amidst his prayers and exits.) Oh the fire, oh the flames!
spacerCHOR. I am trembling all over. With its prophetic mouth an owl is singing of fire and flames. May these torches of Avernus first burn Sylvanus and his entire forest! Damn that ill-omened owl, that horned god.
spacerFAUST. You even address a divinity with rude speech?
spacerCHOR. Every man is a god to himself, to whom he should pay his first reverence. You may call all the others gods, albeit lesser ones, when they serve your turn, and Furies when they harm you. Do you pledge your loyalty, Faustus? Why stand amazed so long?
spacerFAUST. No man breaks his word more quickly than he who was overly quick in giving it. Come, tell me what you have in mind.
spacer CHOR. This single means of survival remains, to live by theft. I plan on driving my quarry through the glades and the shadow. Previously we hunted game, henceforth we hunt wallets. Caves will furnish their natural homes, a farmer with food, and a wayfarer will provide the rest. Nature, that great plunderer of her own world, has taught us these arts. The moon steals Phoebus’ light, Phoebus mists, mist earth’s dampness, earth the seed of Olympus, fire feeds on air, water despoils fire, deep earth is watered by rivers — all the strength of things is derived from theft. What about kingdoms? They thrive thanks to the support of despoiled peoples. The noble plundering of kings escapes punishment, and great thieves carry off their spoils with impunity, whereas the gallows suppress commoners’ thefts.
spacerFAUST. I pledge my loyalty and my hand as your partner in banditry.
spacerCHOR. So let our hunting encircle the vast forest, and scour the many ways of its numerous paths. (Enter Tityrus, carrying a staff and a little caged bird.)
spacer TIT. Trusty staff, you sweet protection on my journey, you assistant in my great work, beneath your rough exterior you carry a great token, celestial water, a heavenly stream of life. Oh, keep your faith! But why does a sudden dread seep through my limbs, and what force is tugging me backwards against my will? I do not know what I have to fear, yet I am afraid. This forest does not breed bears, nor this ground wolves, and yet I seem to be making my way amidst ferocious wolves and bears. God speed my enterprise!
spacerCHOR. Stay. Hand over your weapons.
spacerTIT. Weapons?? Which I never carry?
spacerFAUST. Never, rascal? You who carry that oak with its great knots and its iron?
spacerTIT. You are looking at a harmless branch, an innocent stick.
spacerCHOR. I swear by the Acheron, if you don’t drop your weapons you’re a dead man.
spacerTIT. Oh! Leave me this guide on my journey, this help for my walking.
spacerCHOR. I kill a man who hesitates.
spacerTIT. This is the gift of my father Mopsus, an ancient possession, an inherited token of my ancestors. Oh, let me keep my beloved staff, let me keep it.
spacerFAUST. I refuse. (He snatches away the staff.)
spacer CHOR. And add some coins.
spacerTIT. You must believe I have coins, although I am not in need.
spacerCHOR. Either produce some coins, or my bloody steel will mint you into a coin.
spacerTIT. If I become a coin, I’ll bear the handsome image of our king.
spacerFAUST. You’ll bear the greedy image of your own mind, you nephew of Charon. Tell me, where are you pressing your journey?
spacerCHOR. To the palace of Ulferus.
spacerFAUST. You cross the ruler’s threshold? What’s the reason for your trip?
spacerTIT. I’m taking these bounties of the countryside as small gifts to great Ruffinus.
spacerCHOR. Oh, the crime! You use your peasant’s gift to honor an enemy of the gods, a man who loathes great Jove, thanks to whose criminal testimony I have been arrested and ruined, a follower of Christ? You will atone for the wrongdoing of the both of you by suffering a cruel death.
spacerFAUST. What interest do you take in the gods?
spacerTIT. I abominate the gods, I abjure them as tree-trunks, a scurvy crew of divinities. I am a Christian.
spacerCHOR. You’re a plague, a cancer, a bane.
spacerFAUST. You’re a wizard, spewing poisonous incantations and the Styx. This is the reason why you were humbly begging for that stick of yours. That wand, a caster of spells, is out of your reach. First we’ll probe around in the folds of your clothing, and then in your heart. (From his chest they remove Tityrus’ scourge, made of braided wires.)
spacerCHOR. The Furies’ dreadful lash! Oh, spoils of Dis! (Likewise a belt fashioned out of the same material.)
spacerFAUST. Scourges terrible with their bite! Ice-cold hooks! A crop of iron barbs!
spacerCHOR. A throng of little boys has died by these stings, breathing out their souls in a protracted death. It’s a kind of torture. (They take out a volume of the Gospels.)
spacerFAUST. There’s a magic incantation hidden here, charms are entrusted to these pages. Let’s read the writing. (He reads out the book’s title.) A — A magic book! You finally stand reveled.
spacerTIT. Your eye has made a mistake. You may better read the words as The Gospel of Matthew.
FAUST. Quiet, rascal. You are intoning monstrosities.
spacerCHOR. (Reads from the same book.) “A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves.” Sinful! By its magical art it identifies us as thieves. Come now. It’s a matter of life and death. Choose. Do you want to die an awful death? Then confess in Christ. Or, if you’d rather keep your life, curse Him.
spacerTIT. I despise the hooting of your voice, I scorn robbers’ empty threats. Even if the madness of Dis itself were guiding your hand, if the Furies together with the marsh of Acheron with all its monsters were to savage me with their spears, could you take away Christ. I am a Christian. [He opens his shirt.] I bare the veins of my breast. I expose my life, see how my chest is open to your steel. Its point will find Christ in every fiber of my being.
spacerCHOR. Come, Faustus, let’s rush at him and busy our swords. Their points can meet in the middle of his heart. (Clytus comes out, and by pretending to have a company of men with him he routs the robbers.)
spacerCLYT. Oh God, be at hand. Tityrus? Come here, you faithful band of friends, come here.
spacerFAUST. What whirlwind —
spacerCLYT. I’ve caught the gentlemen.
spacerCHOR. We’re being taken away to our burning. All our safety lies in flight.
spacerCLYT. Stay. Hand over your weapons.
spacerCHOR. Take them, take them. I’m horribly ruined. [The robbers run off.]
spacer CLYT. They’ve run away swifter than clouds. The fear created by their sins makes things seem worse than they are, and carries them off as runaways. A blessed loss of my way has forestalled an impending murder.
spacerTIT. It has also forestalled me from crowning my hair with the victor’s palm.
spacerCLYT. A victory-palm delayed grows greater. Hasten and complete your journey through the thick of the woods. Farewell. (Exit.)
spacerTIT. With my staff this enemy has stolen my great store of baptismal water. How can I carry what remains? My single hope is the vial entrusted to my little bird. This water will easily escape the watchmen’s notice Well, then. And you, you pleasant consolation of my labor, you happiness of the countryside, you sweet songster of the forest, you innocent Siren, you glory of your airy race, always thankfully praising your Creator, if I took you up when you were banished from your paternal nest and carefully nourished you, not allowing you to be lacking any of your first feathers, now be mindful and repay me. Be more sparing in drinking this water. Thus the court, captivated by your plumage, will see and admire you. Thus the winged chorus perched on the lords’ high towers will give you its applause.



Ulfadus visits Lycamber in prison, who pretends to be steadfast, while his father stands aside and cheers him on.

Theorgus is present, unobserved.

spacerLYC. Have no fear, my prince. I gladly suppress my sorrows. As far as I am concerned, prison is a royal court, chains are decorations for my limbs, squalor is elegance, stench a scent wafting from Elysian gardens, darkness a stellar brilliance, the horror of this still dungeon sleep to ease my distracted mind, and this situation a sweet vacation from my cares.
spacerTHE. Prettily done, deception itself could do no better work of misleading him.
spacerLYC. Let Theorgus (and I abominate my father’s name) loose the thunderbolt of rage against me, let him arouse all the Styx, being worse than the Styx himself, relying on God I shall defeat him in his anger.
spacerTHE. Although my mind shudders at his words, I must nevertheless bear them.
spacerULF. Defeat every kind of monster in this single Theorgus, Tartarus has never contained in its bosom a worse plague than he. He is a man whom dire lust for gold drags breathlessly along, as well as bloodthirstiness, envy, ambition, criminality, fraud, wrath, error, impiety, sin, and all the plagues born of Tartarus’ night. Being worse than the Inferno, in that single breast of his he carries around all Acheron.
spacerTHE. I swell with rage, my heart’s a-boil, I’m shaking. The blood breaks forth from my uncontrolled heart, burning against my enemy.
spacerULF. And if he threatens you with murder by a cruel death?
spacerLYC. I hope for it. It would be sweet to die for Christ.
spacer ULF. Oh continue, blessed man. And so that greater strength from heaven might inspire you, behold the cross of Christ, Ceadda’s great gift.
spacerTHE. I hold that artist of deceit in my hand.
spacerLYC. A blessed token! Christ, I embrace Your throne Dear cross, you give me courage. With you to guide me, I shall fearlessly travel through swords, through balls of fire, and through whatever horrible, cruel thing the earth breeds.
spacerULF. The guard has forbidden me to linger here. Farewell. (Exit.)
spacerTHE. [Emerging.] You have blessed your father, having worked your trickery with divine skill. Ceadda is overthrowing the royal household. His pledge suggests an excellent scheme.
spacerLYC. I’ll keep it against the hour it is needed.
spacerTHE. Soon, when, accused of loving Christ, you stand at Phoebus’ altar, you must throw up your hands to Ulferus and yield the palm to him, defeated, convincing the brothers by the pious example of your submissive mind. If they follow their father’s urgings and offer up incense to Phoebus, the laurel is yours. If they refuse it to Phoebus, their father will kill the both of them. You will be my companion in ruling a vacant royal court. And, should the destiny of the government allow, you will be able to rule by yourself.
spacerLYC. It is a father’s task to command, and a son’s to obey. (Exeunt.)



Feigning faith in Christ, Verebodus probes Ruffinus’ mind.

Ruffinus uses his hand to push Verebodus away.

spacerRUF. Be gone, you speaker of falsehoods, you contriver of deceits, you who have the heart of a Ulysses and the face of a Sinon.
spacerVER. May the lengthy passage of days witness your happiness, Ruffinus, if you let me speak.
spacerRUF. When a happy man experiences a lengthy passage of days, that makes him unhappy.
spacerVER. Thus may you be raised to the scepter, powerful in your nation.
spacerRUF. You are praying for an evil, teeming with cares. The man who craves misery should go running to the scepter.
spacerVER. Thus may fame extol your noble name to the skies.
spacerRUF. Fame is such a fragile good, the fickle breath of those who praise a man goes flying off into thin air.
spacerVER. Thus may Christ bear you up with His mighty hand to the starry tracts of heaven.
spacerRUF. You are being shrewd. Speak on with that usual deceit of yours.
spacerVER. I confess, noble prince, that my uncontrolled rage once spewed its poison on Christ. As a devotee of the gods, I added fire to your father’s mind, already burning on its own. Thus I was moved by the ordinance of our ancestral law and my mistaken love of the gods. Thus I was inspired by blind fear of Thundering Jove. Now another power is inspiring my mind. A greater God infuses my inner being. I am afire with celestial fire. Ruffinus, Christ — oh, my heart, my overflowing heart! — it’s keeping the word hanging on my lips.
spacer RUF. Tell me what it is.
spacerVER. Christ is scorching my heart with His hidden heat.
spacerRUF. I perceive an avenue for deception.
spacerVER. May the earth open and swallow me alive, if anything is being feigned as a swindle. Too late in life, I have learned to deal in serious matters, hating levity.
spacerRUF. Open up your heart. I promise to trust your words.
spacerVER. The sun was tending downwards from mid–heaven when I was walking by myself in the deep forest, bent on relaxing my mind. As I went along, many images came to mind. What God moved your mind to rescue me, guilty of sin and beyond hope, from a fiery end, at a time when by speaking the truth you were bringing down on yourself the furies of my irate father? While I was brooding on the things, the path led me onward, to a place were black fear overcomes the murky night and shapeless shadows keep away the light of day. I started. The place resounded with a great murmur, the shaggy grove swayed. Then at length a celestial voice came to my ears, singing this song: “Vain Verebodus, why are you attempting to injure heaven with your Giant-like act of daring? He who rages against Christ is committing sacrilegious act of daring against God.” Scarce had I heard this heaven-sent pronouncement when an unaccustomed fire started feeding on my heart, and, spreading through my veins, it erased my anger, my hatred, the torches of my Furies, and the night-time of my blind mind. After it had burned Jove, it reduced the lesser gods to ashes, and that troop of the Acheron. Only Christ thrived and was nourished, He was the conflagration in my hidden heart. By the eternal brilliance of the stars, Ruffinus, by the hope of youth, by your youthful hope, and by the venerable divinity of the Christ You worship, tell me from what source or who will open the way to Christ for me.
spacer RUF. Are you seriously asking me?
spacerVER. I swear by heaven’s fearful fires, these are serious things I crave to know.
spacerRUF. I answer your question. Ceadda urged me to adopt this piety of mind.
spacerVER, Ceadda? I understand. Tell me when and where.
spacerRUF. Today, when I chanced to be wandering, chasing my quarry through trackless glades, having left my father behind —
spacerVER. Could such a great thing be accomplished in such a brief space of time?
spacerRUF. It is not yet completed. When night overcomes the daylight I shall go back, so that he might sprinkle my head with holy water.
spacerVER. If you permit, my prince, I shall accompany you as a comrade.
spacerRUF. I shall go before, alone. You may follow my footsteps a little behind, lest any suspiciousness betray our plan.
spacerVER. Sound advice. I await the night. [Aside.] He’s caught. My scheme is borne along by a longed-for breeze. And see, our leader wants to speak with us.



Ulferus is provoked against the princes by Verebodus, Theorgus, and Jumina.

Theorgus, standing apart, looks for a favorable opportunity to lodge his complaint

spacerULFER. Tell me, my heart is troubled by a double possibility: is a better opinion moving my boys, or a worse one?
spacerVER. A stubborn power confirms them in their rebellion. Great king, you father deserving of better offspring, I shall tell you clearly. I have obeyed your commands. I used all arts and methods for putting on a face, the arts recommended either by my shrewdness of mind or by my years of experience. Whatever my mind, fertile with devices, could invent I put into practise. Like a watchful solder who attacks a citadel in wartime, looking for an easy entrance by this way and by that, artfully scouting the pace, and yet fails to take the safely-defended stronghold with his assaults, so I industriously beset the boys with my discourse — in vain. When I attempted to approve the gods, they smiled, and they refused to swear their loyalty in order to gain the scepter of the royal house. They scoffed at at my contention they were placing a blot on their family reputation. They denied their father’s good merits and the good-will of his lords, they challenged the threats of their offended father, scorning his hatred and death. “Who would imagine that a father would dare such a crime?” asked Ulfadus, and, having spoken thus he mindlessly took a step backwards, saying, “Let Ulferus burst his guts, I shall cleave to the Christians’ laws through all punishments and forms of death. Go and tell this to my father.”
spacerULFER. Ulfadus bade this tune be sung to Ulferus? A little to an old man? A subject to his sovereign? A son to his father? A stony chill pervades my marrow. Oh great master of the sea, spew up a beast such as once tore Hippolytus to shreds, though undeserving. This bull will be more just in employing his wrath.
spacerTHE. {Aside.] A royal prayer! As a subject, I’ll nudge the father in this direction. [Aloud.] Oh, the dire crime of these young men! Oh the father’s injury!
spacerULFER. This statement strikes me like a scourge.
spacerTHE. How will the house of Theorgus suffer its downfall?
spacerULFER. It will stand forever.
spacerTHE. My son, my son, that fine devotee of great Jove, that darling of the gods and sweet adornment of the supernals, my Lycamber — oh, Theorgus’ great reproach — is turning his back on the gods, having embraced the divinity of that Jewish leader. You offspring are responsible for this insanity, Ulferus.
spacerULFER. May Hell take Ulferus’ offspring, together with their father! With Persephone for their mother, I have fathered snakes, and with their hellish mouths they are breathing their plague throughout my royal court. May the gods drown these monsters in the Styx! (Enter Jumina.)
spacerJUM. My prince —
spacerULFER. What else?
spacerJUM. Ulfadus is spewing his venom at all your lords. He assailed me with his rabid mouth and with his curses he avers that Oswin gave up the ghost by my wounding. I swear by heaven’s Jove, unless that boy bridles his uncouth tongue, my sword will do the bridling. Should I endure his biting words unavenged?
spacer ULFER. It would shame me to hear any more. His vengeful father should have punished him long ago. Go fetch the both of them. I swear by every law of the heavenly citadel, I shall condemn both guilty boys to death, both as their father and as their judge, if they do not worship the gods with incense. I shall cease to be their father. And you, Theorgus, set out the couches in Phoebus’ temple, let Phoebus shine with his bright locks. Let Lycamber appear. If he fails to adore Phoebus with incense, I swear by the Thunderer that I shall destroy him. Do not delay. (Exit Theorgus.)
spacerVER. If you wish your sons to be of a better mind, put on a happy face. Sweet promises overcome young minds. If they remain untamed and resist, then you may unbridle your anger and let it play its part. Thus they will be softened.
spacerULFER. I like your mild advice. It is proper to leave nothing untried so that I might enjoy my boys.
spacerVER. They’re here. I shall step back and be an observer. (In Ulfadus’ ear, as he passes by.) Be firm, Ulfaldus. Keep in mind what you have decided.



The king tries in vain to overcome the princes’ steadfastness. Ceadda is prevented from addressing the king.

spacerRUF. Come hither, my sons, you glories of my proud house, the single hope of my scepter, your father’s assured preservation. The both of you are inspired by Christ, having shown Jove the door. Oh the foul injury inflicted on our family! Alas, your father’s sorrow! Have you, who should have struggled with an eager mind to imitate your father in exercising his lofty powers and in undergoing the chances of war, entered into ways devoid of light? Are you, in your cowardice, adoring your Jewish leader? The lion, not so degenerate from its ancestral strength, does not lie about from its earliest age, devoting itself to leisure: rather, while still small, it whets its wrath and, mighty with the character inherited from its father, tests its claws on lesser beasts. Ulfadus, you fine star of our kingdom, you bulwark of my reign, you ought to be ashamed to consecrate the early days of your maturity to a slothful divinity. Be noble, think great thoughts, and restore yourself to Jove. Thus you will rise up as a victor, to the glory of your father, destined someday to wield the reins of this mighty district.
spacerULF. So we are being accused of cleaving to the idleness of a base mind, with Jove forgotten, and not to be attracted to noble arts, being led in the direction we are?Am I mistaken, or is our virtue able to lift us any higher than when, having embraced God, that blessed Divinity, almighty, true, and good, it abandons this earth and, borne aloft over the homes of the gods, shuns whatever lies below? Fear is a sign of base spirits. You, if you choose, may send us there where the fury of Mars drives forth legions, and I shall be borne through missiles and swords, should the cause of justice demand. When any man decamps to Christ, this is no proof of his cowardly fear. I admit that thus far I have employed the incense of Sabaea to worship the countless throng of gods whom the long passage of years, persistent in believing falsehood, has consecrated. But God has inspired me with a better mind. Thus when a driver sees his wagon run off the road, he steers his team back to its proper direction.
spacer ULFER. You abjure your right to rule?
spacerULF. I love assured rights to rule, in contrast to doubtful ones.
spacerULFER. What man would provide rights to rule to an enemy of the gods?
spacerULF. Christ.
spacerULFER. Indeed, a king of thieves.
spacerULF. The Chief of kings.
spacerULFER. Who once upon a time died, nailed to a shameful piece of wood.
spacerULF. Yet the same Person, ennobled by His spoils, returned to the beings of heaven in glory.
spacerULFER. Triumphing by the death of what man?
spacerULF. By the conquest of the Styx.
spacerULFER. He mastered Dis, who was overcome and suffered death?
spacerULF. And, returning to the supernals, He destroyed the night.
spacerULFER. No man buried in Erebus has come back.
spacerULF. Save when Christ made His way back to the supernals.
spacerULFER. I suppose that in his lifetime he did not have his fill of punishment, so he revived to bear the burden of a disgraceful cross.
spacerULF. He revived so as to return home to His starry court.
spacerULFER. By what power?
spacerULF. By His own and that of His Father.
spacerULFER. Of what father do you speak?
spacerULF. He for Whom the vast machinery of the universe toils, God. And the Son is God Himself and coeval with the Father.
spacerULFER. Ulfadus, what witch, what wizard has cast a spell over your hapless self? Are you crazy enough to place your trust in such monstrosities? Shake off this lingering disease, and go where your father’s command urges.
spacerULF. I hasten to go where Christ urges.
spacerULFER. If you imagine the title of father is a light thing, you still should fear a royal scepter.
spacerULF. I understand that a father and a king are both to be feared, but God is more dreadful, being greater than kings.
spacerULFER. I admit that Jove rules over kings themselves. So I command you to dread Jove.
spacer ULF. Who dreads a wooden stump?
spacerULFER. Oh, you saucy boy! You will be compelled to do that which you refuse to do freely.
spacerULF. If virtue can be compelled.
spacerULFER. It can. I shall compel you, you rebel. Ruffinus is next in line for rule. Fetch the crown. I swear by the household gods of our hearth, Ruffinus has earned his brothers place, let it encircle his hair with its noble gold. (A boy offers up the crown.) Come, my son, let this tawny crown brighten your temples.
spacerRUF. Reverend father, my youth will collapse, groaning under such a great weight. I am called to share my brother’s lot.
spacerULFER. You follow your brother, son, and abandon your father?
spacerRUF. I follow Christ and imitate my brother, being his companion.
spacerULFER. Oh, you are your father’s sad death! Oh, the great sorrow? You, you single ray of light amidst his doubtful circumstances, you pillar of our ancestral glory, you turn your back and flee? Is this how you disdain the sacred bonds of kinship, the sweet name of father and son? Come, change your intention.
spacerRUF. This is an intention which God has sent to my heart from heaven, God Himself, God has placed in the fibers of my being the seeds of a better life. Oh, the visions with which God has assailed my mind!
spacerULFER. Tell me how.
spacer RUF. The morning star was knocking on the rosy gates of day, when the usual call of the horn drove the royal court to the forest. Our father rode in the forefront, handsome with his head held aloft, spurring the flanks of his spirited steed. I myself followed my father, riding at my brother’s side. Now our young lordlings were outspread through the great tracts of the forests. Our careful hunting encircled the lairs of our quarry, and our keen-nosed hounds were sniffing the air as they roamed about the haunts, their noses held to the ground. At length their outcry alerted us that a stag with branching horns had been started, and our companions came from all sides at a run. An accident befell Ulfadus. Within the wood was a deep ditch, with thick shrubbery growing on both its sides, and a thin sheet of water concealed its muddy bottom. Their our chosen course brought us both. Ulfadus rode ahead and was the first to feel his horse stumble headlong, while I hauled back on my reins. My brother took the fall, unharmed, clinging to the back of his fallen horse. While we were experiencing an unwilling delay in rescuing the horse, our quarry went flying by, along with the hounds. Our companions disappeared, and then we spent a long time wandering about in the forest vastness, vainly seeking paths through the trackless wastes of its grounds, until we finally rested our weary sides on a delightful bed of leaves. Without delay, sleep overcame us with kindly steps. Here I’ll tell you wonders, you must trust me in my narration. There appeared before our eyes a vision of two leaders. They were unlike in their shape and in their appearance — (Enter a messenger.)
spacer MESS. Great king, Bishop Ceadda has come to your royal palace and begs an audience.
spacerULFER. That priest of Christ?
spacerMESS. The Christians’ father.
spacerULFER. The disgraceful monster? I should listen to his Circe-like words? I should tolerate the sight of him? Keep out that plague. Stop, I’ll speak to the man. Tell me, my lords? Should I permit an audience?
spacerJUM. I’m afraid of his deceits.
spacerFAB. He’ll be intimidated by your august brow’s bright beams and grow humble.
spacerULFER. Go on, let him enter. What have I commanded?
spacerVER. If he speaks he’ll spread his disease. (Enter Ceadda.)
spacerULFER. Go far away, you unspeakable bane.
spacerCEAD. Ulferus —
spacerULFER. Ulferus forbids you to speak.
spacerCEAD. The Ruler of the universe bids me speak, and he is greater than Ulferus.
spacerULFER. Keep him away, my lords.
spacerCEAD. I depart, although not under compulsion. Nevertheless store up my words in your mind, which later you may ponder. You are removing a servant of Christ from your house and from your presence, but you will humbly seek out my house and my presence.
spacerULFER. Brought there by your poison, I suppose. Let the man begone.
spacerCEAD. Farewell.
spacerRUF. Where are you fleeing, Father Ceadda? Receive his son. (Ruffinus is forcibly torn away from Ceadda’s side.)
spacerULFER. Hold him, my lords. Oh, master of the realm of darkness! Have I sired monsters, who disdain their father and worship wizards?
spacerMESS. And Lycamber is being dragged here, his hands bound. Now the incense is warmed for Phoebus.



Lycamber, who has pretended to be a Christian, sacrifices incense to Phoebus in the presence of the king and his lords. The princes, scandalized by his deed, are remanded to close imprisonment.

spacerULFER. And you, Lycamber, you scion of a priestly family, pledged to the altars and a notable supporter of the gods, have you imbibed Christ have you had your fill of the Christians’ plague? Are you so mad as to destroy so many glories in a single crime? Return yourself to the gods and to your father, while there is an opportunity for pardon.
spacerLYC. Prince Ulferus, on whose decision I freely pin my cause, the assured health of my mind consecrated me to Christ.
spacerULFER. The meaningless health of your mind alienated you from the gods? I pronounce my sentence on this case. Offer incense to Phoebus and much favor of Ulferus awaits you for doing as you are bidden. Refuse incense to Phoebus, and much wrath of Ulferus awaits you for your recalcitrance. On the one hand are rewards, and on the other, torments. What error is stealing away your mind, Lycamber? Can Christ provide salvation for your affairs, when he was unable to help his own? He endured an ugly death between thieves, defenseless, helpless, naked, mocked, and wretched. The gods give salvation. Phoebus gives brilliance with his inspiration, Mars gives strength, and Pluto wealth. Power goes before Jove, beauty before Venus. Juno is mighty with her honor, and Mercury with his mind. Every god shines forth with his fair gift. You see your two destinies, look to your decision. (Boys produce badges of honor, and soldiers instruments of torture).
spacer LYC. I am equally unmoved by the frown or the smile of my fortunes. I am overcome by virtue. The great weight of your speech and the case you make oblige me to make a public condemnation of my errors, my prince. I gladly give incense to Phoebus. (He takes a spoon of incense.).
spacerULF. Oh, the traitor! Alas, stay your hateful hand, stay it. (He dashes the incense from his hand.) Are Stygian apparitions to gain your holy worship? (He attempts to overthrow the statue of Phoebus, as Theorgus runs up.).
spacerRUF. Let this Hellish snake suffer a fall.
spacerTHE. Thundering gods! Phoebus is tumbling down.
spacerJUM. Are we to witness these foul insults to the gods without seeking vengeance? What Biston, what snow-fed Gete — ? For the god, the god who guides the reins of the bright daylight to have thus fallen in the presence of our nation’s fathers, before the eyes of the king! Alas, the world’s great wrong!
spacerULFER. I shudder, I am frozen. A stony paralysis freezes my limbs. My swollen wrath yields to this stupor. Aetna itself could not warm my heart, these monstrosities have gotten the best of my furies, my anger stands silent. Verebodus and Theorgus, let this boy and that one be buried and oppressed with blackness, that of a black cell with narrow walls, a blackness such as holds sway in the caverns of the shades. A day teeming with my noble rage will decree a hideous death. (The princes are led off to close confinement. Chorus or interlude.).

Go to Act V