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ACTUS III, SCENA i blue
Trochaic septenarii

ALCHEMIST, BARBARA

spacerALC. What do I have to do with you, Barbara?
spacerBARB. What do I have to do with you, charcoal-burner?
spacerALC. Why don’t you get lost — unless you want me to drive you away with my fists, you whore?
spacerBARB. Why did you swear that you would marry me?
spacerALC. I admit it, but it happened under the influence of wine. What I did drunk, I now undo sober, and I’m sorry for the whole matter.
spacerBARB. So why did you give me a wedding ring, the one you see here?
spacerALC. How often must I snarl at you and tell you that I’m making undone what was done, you wicked Barbara. Now give me back the ring!
spacerBARB. It’s no use being a bastard; I won’t give it back. [He grabs at it.] What are you doing, you worthless man?
spacerALC. Give it here.
spacerBARB. I won’t give it back; I’d rather die.
spacerALC. Give back the ring.
spacerBARB. Won’t happen. Let me go! You dirty scoundrel, why are you holding me? Let me go, you captain of liars! Let go, you monster of crime!
spacerALC. You whore, why are you shouting? Do you want me to massage your head with my fists?
spacerBARB. Just come near or touch me with one finger and I’ll dig out your eyes right away with my sharp-toothed, razor-edged nails.
spacerALC. If you don’t return the ring, I’ll slaughter you just like a hog.
spacerBARB. If you don’t go away, you smoked fox, your are as good as dead. By all the gods and goddesses I’ll snatch those filthy breeches, all shiny with grease and slime of all kinds, right off your ass, you nastiest of all scoundrels.
spacerALC. You whore, why are you shouting so loudly here in the open?
spacerBARB. I like to. Let me shout, you lowest of the low, you useless dregs, you nightmare, liar, trifler, idler, slime, glutton. You’re lighter than a feather, you crook, vile, public latrine, depraved beast — whatever is the most wicked of all men. You killed your father and mother. But now, by God, what do I see? I’ll run away so that the Lawyer and the Parson don’t bump into me. [She flees.]
spacerALC. What’s this, what’s this? The whore has suddenly vanished? She’s nowhere. Some misfortune must have come upon her. But what’s that to me even if Barbara never returns the ring? I gave it to her as a marriage token, and the fool thinks its gold, but it was fabricated by me from copper to look like gold. But now I’ll go, as I earlier promised our courtier, to make gold from mercury today with my alchemical sleight-of-han

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ACT III, SCENE ii

SHYSTER, PARSON

spacerSHY. I offer Your Reverence supreme thanks for the eggs which you gave me. By heaven I will carry out both your requests energetically: first I will send Barbara back, as soon as she returns here, and second I will so plague, so harass that peasant debtor of yours that he won’t know who he is or where he is.
spacerPAR. Very well. Now farewell, most excellent of men.
spacerSHY. And a thousand farewells to Your Reverence as well.
spacerPAR.. I will go home and work on the upcoming sermon for this evening.
spacerSHY. I will stay here for a while, since (if my eyes don’t fail me) I see some merchant coming this way. Wonderful! I am happy with merchants, and they are to my taste, since great gifts come to me from them.

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ACT III, SCENE iii blue

MERCHANT, SHYSTER

spacerMERCH. What! Am I to wait until the Courtier gives me the cash? I’d prefer to die any kind of miserable death. Or can it really be that Menalcas will leave me here without suffering any harm, and that I don’t cheat him of all the money which I owe him?
spacerSHY. He is really coming towards me, but I don’t know what he is carrying under his cloak.
spacerMERCH. I’m afraid that our Lawyer is not at home.
spacerSHY. Merchant, what are you seeking here?
spacerMERCHspacerMERCH. God help me, I did not see Your Worthiness. Greetings, most eminent Doctor.blue
spacerSHY. Greetings, my dear Merchant. What are you carrying under your cloak?
spacerMERCH. A cap which I give to you and breeches all of silk.
spacerSHY. For me? I offer you great thanks, Merchant. Tell me what you want me to do, for you will find me most grateful.
spacerMERCH. There are two matters which I wanted to ask you to manage carefully.
spacerSHY. What matters?
spacerMERCH. First find some subterfuge to make the Courtier pay me the three hundred Philippics which he has long owed me.
spacerSHY. So, you want me to file a huge lawsuit against him at the court of his Lordship the Prince?
spacerMERCH. If you may.
spacerSHY. I think so. Just give me the statement of account.
spacerMERCH. Here, my learned Doctor, you have it and you hold it with his receipt signed all in order.
SHY. Excellent, my friend Merchant. Now tell me the other matter.
spacerMERCH. If you’d like to hear, I’ll speak.
spacerSHY. Speak, I’m all ears.
spacerMERCH. There’s a certain Peasant to whom I owe one hundred and ten Philippics; they call him Menalcas.
spacerSHY. I understand.
spacerMERCH. I told him I’d pay him everything tomorrow. But, Dominus Doctor, if you can find some trick, some scheme by which I do not have to pay, you could certainly be enriched with some gift from me, a gift which will be far from small.
spacerSHY. I will easily do this. But did you give him a acknowledgement of receipt, by any chance?
spacerMERCH. Not at all.
spacerSHY. Now are there witnesses who know that you are a debtor to this Peasant who you say is Menalcas?
spacerMERCH. I am not aware of any.
spacerSHY. Excellent. Now how did it happen that you owe Menalcas?
spacerMERCH. I bought grain from him.
spacerSHY. At what price?
spacerMERCH. For each sack I promised three Philippics.
spacerSHY. Only three Philippics? If I had known of this, I would have bought them and sold them right away for triple the price.
spacerMERCH. That’s what I did.
spacerSHY. By heaven, you acted correctly!
spacer MERCH. But, Dominus Doctor, be sure to make a provision that I do not have to pay.
spacerSHY. I will do so, my dear merchant; just calm your mind. I will handle this peasant in such a way that he himself will say that what happened did not happen at all. Or perhaps you have doubts about my reassurances?
spacerMERCH. Far be it from me to have doubts about you, my most excellent Doctor.
spacerSHY. Be assured that I will use my skill in such a way that the Courtier, even if he didn’t owe you anything, still will pay every penny promptly. And Menalcas, whom you owe, will get nothing at all from you. Is this enough reassurance?
spacerMERCH. More than enough. Live long, and farewell. [Exit.]
spacerSHY. And a long life to you as well, Merchant. By heaven it’s only right that I give daily thanks to God Almighty who made a Pragmatic blue out of me and by whose grace I am practically overwhelmed with gifts. No day passes without its reward — indeed no hour passes which does not bring crowds of clients to me with sometimes hams, sometimes cheese, then sausage, grain, wine, hemp, eggs, sheep, cows, hogs, chickens; sometimes cuts of beef, cuts of wild boar, lamb, or veal; sometimes bags of dollars or ducats, money of all types. Indeed business great and small is conducted according to my will and under my control. Broad estates grow for me, and all the while the miserable divinity student, rummaging through his desk for all his theological studies, touches only the water jug with his lips, gnaws on beans, and wages constant war with fleas, with lice, with mosquitos and bugs. Oh unhappy philosophers, o even more unhappy poets with their thousands of syllogisms, with their thousands of verses. They will never in their entire lives, even if they live longer than Nestor, attain the riches which are bestowed on me in one day. You doctors are no less unfortunate: after examining a thousand urine samples and a thousand stool samples and after writing prescriptions for the fat apothecary to fill, you will barely (I repeat), perhaps never, drive off pitiable want and famine. I will become that Croesus, that wealthy Crassus, that blessed King Philip, or whichever mortal is the richest person anywhere.
spacerNow, what does this Peasant want here?

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ACT III, SCENE iv

MENALCUS, SHYSTER

spacerMEN. Hallo, hallo, open up here.
spacerSHY. Why are you knocking, why shouting?
spacerMEN. Lordy, Lordy, Mister Lawyer, I came to you just in time!
spacerSHY. What news do you bring?
spacerMEN. I have no news, but I am bringing this cheese to you.
spacerSHY. Why this?
spacerMEN. So that you can show me how to deceive and cheat our wicked Parson of the hundred Philippics which I owe him.
spacerSHY. What is your name?
spacerMEN. My mother called me Menalcas.
spacerSHY. Isn’t it the case that a Merchant here in this vicinity owes you one hundred and ten Philippics?
spacerSHY. Your statement is correct. But I ask, Mr. Badvocate, blue who told you this?
spacerSHY. Who? Have no doubt that it is written on your nose in every detail.
spacerMEN. On my nose? You must be a very learned man since you can read what was never written. Oh if only my father had made a pettifogger of me. How shrewd I would be!
spacerSHY. Of course. But explain to me what must be done about the Merchant.
spacerMEN. In this same action I want to hand him over to you to be undone.
spacerSHY. I will very gladly do that. I will gut that merchant and your parson in such a way that they won’t know they are alive. But one thing is required for this matter, Menalcas. Do you know what I want?
spacerMEN. No, by God, but this is why I came to you, to learn what I don’t know. So now tell me, so that I can know it.
spacerSHY. It is, of course, that I need money.
spacerMEN. For what purpose? Did I not give you a cheese, Dominus Doctor, or is there something else?
spacerSHY. Indeed there is, because first I must buy a lot of paper on which to inscribe the suit against the Parson and the Merchant.
spacerMEN. I understand.
spacerSHY. Then I must buy ink.
spacerMEN. Sir, I understand that as well.
spacerSHY. Then I must buy pens.
spacerMEN. This likewise I understand.
spacerSHY. Then I must hire a clerk to engross everything.
spacerMEN. I understand.
spacerSHY. Then I must buy some men to deny that what did happen, happened.
spacerMEN. What men?
spacerSHY. False witnesses.
spacerMEN. I likewise understand this.
spacerSHY. Then I must get my own retainer.
spacerMEN. Right, I understand this as well.
spacerSHY. Now Menalcas, while I am devising these tricks and falsehoods to cheat the Pastor of his money and to gnaw the Merchant to the bone, I must first toil under the burden of infinite, even indescribable, stress and strain.
spacerMEN. Excellent, I understand this.
spacerSHY. As a result, unless you for your part bring me cash in hand right away, you are pleading with me in vain, Menalcas.
spacerMEN. But, Dominus Doctor, seeing that I have no cash, what would you advise me to do?
spacerSHY. What? Don’t you have grain in your barn, wine in your cellar, cattle in your pen, or something similar which you happen to have and which you could bring me in place of money?
spacerMEN. I do indeed have at home a lot of grain, wine, and cattle.
spacerSHY. So why don’t you quickly bring something from these instead of cash?
spacerMEN. But if I deceive my Pastor and if I get to where I want to be, then I will give you whatever you wish.
spacerSHY. No, unless you bring it up front, we are washing bricks for nothing. blue That’s my final word, and if you want me to continue devising these schemes, go and bring me a fat reward. Now I have no more leisure to chatter with you, countryman, for you see this Courtier is coming here to me. Go and bring me the gift, Menalcas.
spacerMEN. Farewell. I will see to it and soon be back.

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ACT III, SCENE v blue

COURTIER, SHYSTER

spacer COURT. Servant, be careful to hide the rabbit secretly under your shirt, so that no one may chance to see what you are carrying there. Now follow me.
spacerSHY. From what I can gather, the courtier is coming to me with gifts. For it is not by accident that his servant follows him and is nervously carrying something wrapped up under his shirt.
spacer COURT. Greetings, Doctor, a thousand times, greetings.
spacerSHY. Greetings to you, o man of action. We will go inside, if you please.
spacer COURT. There is no need, Lawyer; I can say what I want in three words, for I must go straightway to the Alchemist.
spacerSHY. As you wish, great sir. Here outside I will do whatever you command to the best of my ability. It is your job to determine what you wish, but it is my duty to perform what you command and to eagerly undertake what you order.
spacer COURT. Dominus Advocate, there is no need to use such debasing expressions. Instead it is my duty to serve Your Excellency.
spacerSHY. I beg Your Highness to leave off such modesty towards me, a most humble servant. By heaven, do not hesitate to speak to me.
spacer COURT. I will do so. Do you know that Merchant to whom I have owed a great sum of money for more than ten years?
spacerspacerSHY. I know that foul fellow.
spacer COURT. I ask you to entangle him in some trickery, if this can be done through the law, and to skin him for me with legal wiles, so that he loses his coin.
spacerSHY. That’s fine; I will prepare a million schemes. I will become a serpent, and by heaven, with more spinning than a potter’s wheel, I will be the architect of his doom. I will forge countless subterfuges until I lead this villainous merchant away from the coin. But before I try any deceptions, confess to me what I ask, unless it is a bother.
spacer COURT. Ask. I will reveal to you whatever I know.
spacerSHY. Were you not a minor when you were first a debtor to the Merchant?
spacer COURTCOUR. You are going down the correct path, Lawyer.
spacerSHY. That’s good. But one other useful things occurs to me.
spacer COURT. What?
spacerSHY. Just this: within the past ten years, when the Merchant demanded that you pay the money which you owed, with what attitude or language did he address Your Nobility?
spacer COURT. With a harsh attitude and harsh language, as well as abusive words.
spacerSHY. Excellent; I like this.
spacer COURT. Every time he met me, he abused me violently and subjected me to loud reproaches.
spacer SHY. Yes, very good. So first I will allege that you were not of age.
spacer COURT. Correct.
spacerSHY. Then I will accuse him of unlawful violence.
spacer COURT. I like this a lot.
spacerSHY. You will swear that the Merchant pursued you with slanderous shouts and hisses in a most abusive manner.
spacer COURT. Hooray!
spacerSHY. At the same time you will affirm that he then belabored your entire noble family with serious insults.
spacer COURT. Beautiful!
spacerSHY. Then you will simultaneously testify that he not only damaged you, but he also wounded the entire group of courtiers as a body with his foul tongue.
spacer COURT. Clever!
spacerSHY. In this way I will ensure that the wretch finds out at a very early date that what was alleged by him has been cast back on himself.
spacer COURT. Smart!
spacerSHY. After doing this, we must make a case against him.
spacer COURT. Profound!
spacerSHY. Thus he will be convicte?.
spacer COURT. I know of nothing more suitable.
spacerSHY. Then, since you are the damaged party, you will demand that a thousand or more Philippics be paid to you.
spacer COURT. By whom?
spacerSHY. Well, by your Merchant of course, when he has been convicted.
spacerCOURT. Shrewd!
spacerSHY. In this way he will not only lose the money which he owes you, but he will also be in debt to you for a large amount.
spacerCOURT. I certainly have never heard anything more crafty.
spacerSHY. So now, if this scheme pleases you, and if you want me to carry out the plan which I just explained, I will go inside and indict a very serious case against the Merchant.
spacer COURT. Yes indeed. It pleases me, I want to do it, and I so order it, my dear Doctor. I will cause no further delays for Your Excellency. Farewell.
spacerSHY. And my Your Nobility live well.
spacer COURT. Now, I almost forgot something that I should have done before.
spacerSHY. What?
spacer COURT. Servant, come over here for a minute and pull the rabbit out of your shirt.
spacerSHY. What will you do with it?
spacer COURT. Naturally I will give it to Your Prudence. I will soon give you even greater gifts if the matter goes well.
spacerSHY. By heaven it’s too much. o man of action, I offer you my undying thanks. I ask you who caught the rabbit, which is really fat.
spacer COURT. Our court Huntsman. Do you see how neatly he hit the left ear with his musket ball?
spacerSHY. I see, but the back paw is also damaged, on the left side. I wonder how both could happen at the same time.
spacer COURT. Easily.
spacerSHY. I don’t understand.
spacer COURT. Like this: with one shot the Huntsman struck the rabbit at that moment when the rabbit was scratching his left ear with his left paw.
spacerSHY. Ha, ha, by God, that did not occur to me.
spacerCOURT. So farewell, and be sure to eat the rabbit very soon with great gusto.
spacerSHY. I will do so, if you do not deign to be my guest. He’s gone. I think I have stayed here long enough with my profits. So now I will carry this cheese and these silk breeches inside, along with this cap and the rabbit. The eggs which the Parson brought me are already there.

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ACT III, SCENE vi blue
COURTIER, ALCHEMIST, DEMOCRITUS

spacerCOURT. Now I’ll head for the Alchemist, who is cooking up gold for me. But look, by good chance he is standing there at his furnace. But what kind of frightful figure is coming here? Why is that jailbird laughing?
spacerDEM. Ha, ha, he, things are going very well. I just persuaded the Merchant to pledge fidelity to Folly. Look, there stands the Chemist.
spacerALC. Why are you laughing at me, toothless old man?
spacerDEM. How can I not laugh when I see you so covered in smoke?
spacerCOURT. What business do you have here? Please tell me why you are laughing.
spacerDEM. Ha ha ha.
spacerALC. By heaven I don’t know what this old goat wants here. He just appeared with his mouth wide open with laughter just like a jester.
spacerDEM. Ha ha.
spacerCOURT. Fool, why are you laughing?
spacerDEM. Ha ha.
spacerCOURT.  Ha ha.
spacerALC. Ha ha.
spacerCOURT. [to the Alchemist.] Why are you laughing, ha ha ha?
spacerDEM. Ha ha.
spacerALC. Ha ha.
spacerCOURT. Do you think he’s maybe crazy?
spacerALC. Perhaps his spleen is damaged. blue
spacerDEM. Ha ha, not so. Instead, Alchemist, your brain is damaged.
spacerALC. What?
spacerDEM. I said you are crazy, not me.
spacerALC. I don’t understand what he is saying.
spacerCOURT. Forget about this idiot clown. Let him laugh, since he’s insane.
spacerDEM. Ha ha.
spacerCOURT. But how is the Philosopher’s Stone coming along?
spacerALC. One change makes a difference, when it is pulled perfect in every aspect.
spacerCOURT. Hooray!
spacerDEM. Ha ha.
spacerALC. Do you see the color which the gold is assuming?
spacerCOURT. I don’t see it.
spacerALC. No? Take the magnifying glass and look here.
spacerDEM. It’s right for me to look with my magnifying glass. Ha ha ha.
spacerCOURT. Now I see a golden color. Do you think it has cooked enough?
spacerALC. Not yet.
spacerCOURT. Why?
spacerALC. All the mercury has not yet been transformed.
spacerCOURT. Pray tell me what indication allows you to know?
spacerALC. You ask? Because, of course, it still possesses its native white color.
spacerDEM. And I see that you both still possess your native insanity.
spacerCOURT. What do you mean? By some chance do you know the alchemical arts?
spacerDEM. Most certainly! I have examined scarcely anything in such detail as the delusions of chemists. blue
spacerALC. Well, perhaps you have some Process?
spacerDEM. Why not? The most efficacious.
spacerCOURT. Perhaps you have found some Tincture?
spacerDEM. Ha, the most perfect of all.
spacerALC. You are deceived, for there is hardly anything more efficacious than what is contained in this vial.
spacerDEM. Ha ha, ha.
spacerALC. Yes, for this is that elixir, as the Ethiopians call it. This is that Azoth, which has long been the most famous in the world and which Paracelsus carried around in the pommel of his sword.
spacerDEM. Ha ha.
spacerALC. This is that material with which I harden mercury itself, with which I make solid that which is fluid, and fluid that which is solid. Now tell me, old man, what are these chemical mysteries?
spacerDEM. Ha ha. Which ones?
spacerALC. Well of course those which are spoken of everywhere: The Leaping Fool, The Dragon which Eats its Tail, The Green Lion, The Fleeing Stag, The Eagle which Flies, The Crow’s Head, The Black which is Blacker than Black.
spacerDEM. Also The Foolish You, a fool who is more foolish than a fool.
spacerALC. What about the Seal of Hermes, The Lute of Wisdom?
spacerDEM. “Of Folly” you should rather say.
spacerALC. But do you know what they mean?
spacerDEM. Ha ha, how could I not know?
spacerALC. So tell me the meaning of alchemy, so that I may see that you are an initiate of the art.
spacerDEM. I can give you not just one meaning, but many. First it is an art without art, every part without part. Its work is to puff up a fire and to beg for a hire. Its end is to give all false hope, then to hang on a rope. How about that? Isn’t alchemy contrary to creation in all respects? Just as creation in the beginning made everything from nothing, so your alchemy renders everything back to nothing. Now, do you still want me to present a picture of our alchemy?
spacerALC. No need, for I have long since seen that you are an ignoramus.
spacerDEM. And I have long known that you are rife with lies.
spacerCOURT. Why do you two keep pushing and pulling this ripsaw of quarrels? Rather than that, produce for once the gold which you promised.
spacerDEM. Is it a fact that he promised you gold?
spacerCOURT. Yes, a huge pile.
spacerDEM. And you trust this vagabond?
spacerCOURT. Why shouldn’t I?
spacerDEM. Do you, Courtier, believe this con man about anything?
spacerALC. You stinking old goat, what are you muttering about? It is a fact that with my skill I will enrich one hundred kings, a thousand generals and princes.
spacerDEM. Ha, you will enrich princes, you who are yourself the most poverty-stricken pauper of all? You who are so haggard and ragged, you who walk around smelling smoked like a barbecue, blue you who have barely one lead penny in your pocket? You (I repeat) will enrich kings?
spacerCOURT. But have you never heard that under a dirty gown supreme wisdom often hides?
spacerDEM. Certainly this is true, but what are your intended goals?
spacerALC. Just these: not just (like Midas) to transmute at any time all substances into pure gold, but also to repel old age and to bring a man back to youthfulness so that he enjoys perpetual health and immortality.
spacerCOURT. Isn’t this enough for you?
spacerDEM. Ha ha, how many lies does he spread with one breath!
spacerCOURT. How so?
spacerDEM. Because real experience of this world has proven that alchemists promise what nature can never tolerate or touch, and this very matter today proves it. Just metals are occasionally transformed into dross, likewise by a similar transmutation these unhappy (alas!) malchemists are formed from alchemists, beggars from doctors, wretched tapsters from soap-makers, blue until (if things go really well) these crooks gain the reputation of counterfeiters.
spacerCOURT. I wonder, my elderly friend, where you learned the character of alchemists.
spacerDEM. How could I not learn this? I have inspected so many states, so many towns, so many cities since I came into this world, as well as entering buildings full of alchemists.
spacerCOURT. Please tell me what you saw in those places.
spacer DEM. I saw very foolish people. I saw eaters and drinkers worn out from the thick smoke. There were dried up bellow-pumpers, deceivers with runny noses, flatters, mockers. In every corner stood bowls, flasks, beakers, jars of stinking liquids. There were mercury, salt, sulfur, lime, vitriol, antimony, chemicals, spirits, tinctures, precipitates, quicksilver. There were burners, and furnaces, and double-boilers, bellows and tongs and charcoal. Here were crucibles, mortars, ovens, test-tubes, and metal plates. And from all of this came no result except dust, smoke, sweat, ashes, gasping, and ill fame. The alchemists themselves walked around exhausted from their bellow-pumping, scorched by the fires, and blackened with the fumes, as if they had been dragged from Etna’s crater.
spacerCOURT. My elderly friend, how exactly, how well you have pictured the alchemical life!
spacerDEM. But how valuable is it to extract the Quintessence by these secret arts?
spacerDEM. But I have found that in fact it is the Dungessence.
spacerCOURT. Ha ha.
spacerDEM. These unhappy people deceive themselves in every possible way until the time comes when they have distilled everything, but still do not have the substance for which they built their small furnaces. But for this they boast one great consolation: it is enough to have aimed high, and they pour forth unhappy laments, complaining of the brevity of life, because (of course) Ars longa, vita brevis. Indeed I will report a fact recently told me by a noted alchemist, who swore an oath that there are more than four thousand men in Paris who are all simultaneously seeking the philosopher’s stone.
spacerCOURT. O accursed greed for gold! It is amazing that this treasure sought with so much effort by so many hunters can can withhold itself and hide so cleverly. blue
spacerALC. But what could be considered more excellent than if someone really made drinkable gold?
spacerDEM. Yes, especially if wine can be bought from the innkeeper at a reasonable price!
spacerALC. What about the fact that many princes honor only those physicians who love the Hermetic art?
spacer DEM. Are you not aware that the more ignorant, unthinking, impulsive, unreflecting a man is, the higher he is valued among those becrowned and berobed princes. If you finally get down to the truth, nowadays what is medicine most of the time other than a branch of flattery?
spacerCOURT. My friend, you certainly seem to explain the matter so well that I am almost persuaded to join in your opinion.
spacerDEM. Ha ha, now do you want me to expose the frauds of alchemy?
spacerCOURT. What frauds?
spacerDEM. What they usually employ in transmuting gold, of course.
spacerCOURT. You seem to be speaking honey-sweet words.
spacerDEM. But to me this scoffer seems to be just casting stones.
spacerCOURT. What are you complaining of, Alchemist?
spacerALC. This old man is hindering me in my greatest task.
spacerDEM. Ha ha, didn’t I tell you the truth?
spacerCOURT. But please, expose these frauds.
spacerDEM. I will do so; prick up your ears, alchemist. In the first place, they have pens made of iron which are hollow inside and which they fill with gold dust. They block the holes in them with wax, which become liquid in the flames and the dust flows out into the container.
spacerCOURT. By God, what kind of a trick am I hearing!
spacerDEM. There are others who mix sulfur and litharge. blue
spacerCOURT. Great God, what are you telling me?
spacerDEM. There are those who let gold fall out of their sleeves with such sleight of hand that they fool everyone’s eyes.
spacerALC. I wish this frivolous ape would drop dead on the spot.
spacerCOURT. Keep going.
spacerDEM. There are some who stealthily substitute genuine bits of gold tinged with a reddish color in place of Spanish wax. Others covertly mix gold with the charcoal and when this is burned, they display the gold as if it were just recently created.
spacerCOURT. In the name of all the gods and men, you are exposing all sorts of amazing deceptions of the alchemists!
spacerDEM. Certain of them make a block of wood from two pieces and into a hole in the block they press gold, which they display as newly created from another metal after the gold has been melted within the block. blue
spacerCOURT. By God what are you recounting to me?
spacerDEM. Indeed, I have barely recounted a thousandth part.
spacerCOURT. But come over here for a minute, I want to ask you something.
spacerDEM. Fine.
spacer COURT. My elderly friend, what do you think of our Chemist? Do you think he will accomplish what he promised me long ago?
spacerDEM. What did he promise?
spacerCOURT. That he was willing to create gold for me, and at that time I gave him quite a sum of money.
spacerDEM. What? You didn’t give money to him?
spacerCOURT. Yes, I have to confess, a lot.
spacerDEM. O foolish, unlucky man! When you gave him the cash, why didn’t you make a long capital I of yourself at the same time. blue In formal language I will swear that you have lost the money entirely.
spacerCOURT. Oh, how unhappy I am! What shall I do if that trickster has ruined me?
spacerDEM. Ha ha. If you will take counsel, if you listen to my words, I will place you in a high post of glory.
spacerCOURT. You will place me?
spacerDEM. Yes, you and the Alchemist.
spacerCOURT. I don’t understand what you mean, old man.
spacerDEM. Now come over here, you smoky chemist.
spacerALC. Why are you mocking me, you toothless old man?
spacerDEM. Since I see that you and your master here are both most worthy, by heaven, of serving in the great kingdom of my queen, and if you both want to be added to the list of rich men, stretch out your hands to me and follow where I lead.
spacerCOURT. Where to?
spacerDEM. To this queen of mine, who I say is most lofty and revered.
spacerCOURT. I don’t know what queen you speak of. Instead come inside with me first, so that I can learn this more accurately and so that no one may overhear.
spacerDEM. Most gladly will I do it. Only you too come quickly with us, alchemist, so that you don’t suffer any harm by delaying us.
spacerALC. I’ll be right there. I just have to move the furnace from this place.