To see a commentary note, click on a blue square. To see the Latin text, click on a green square.  

ACT V, SCENE i blue
BEATRIX, REPARATUS

Beatrix struggles to call back Reparatus from his flight, but in vain. Finally she wraps her hands around his knees and delays him for a little while.

spacerBEAT. Ah, my son, halt your hasty steps. You flee your mother?
spacerREP. I flee the memory of myself and your countenance, for shame for my sin makes it an object of fear.
spacerBEAT. If you’re afraid of your mother’s face, to what things are you running?
spacerREP. Sinful, I’ll remove this care-worn body from the sight of all men, and try to escape mankind and myself as well.
spacerBEAT. Wait. Pray grant poor Beatrix a small delay. For if you go away, my life will flee as well. Now I’ll be called your mother no more, lest this sad word drive you to run away. So that you may set aside your care, I’ll set aside the mother. Now I don’t press on you a mother’s unhappy prayers, receive those of a serving woman. Take these tears as payment for this brief delay. So that I may at least die happy, grant me permission to address you with my final words, then leave me when I am about to die. Why recoil from giving your mother this little space of time, since she gave you life? If you stop your flight for even just one hour, I will said to have lived thanks to you. Then I’ll cheerfully submit to my final fate. Who will allow me to die in your stead?
spacer REP. Let nobody pity me and exert himself to die in my stead. Let nobody refuse to do so. This hand would not have given so many men to death, if it were granted anyone to die in my stead. Having been made so cruelly responsible for other men’s deaths, why do I expect a redeemer? I’ll die for myself. Having shown so many the way to their final doom, I’ll become my own executioner and offer up this victim, sacred to the infernal Styx, and put an end to my soul’s loitering in this body, so that the world does not perish, burdened by my weight. I must find the ridge of some lofty mountain where men are used to look down on the sea, fields, and cities. From there I’ll be borne down towards the waters, and hang lacerated from the sharp crags, made a grave spectacle for the entire world, its men and beasts. Forget me, since I wish to die. Why slow down my steps with your weight, as you cling to my knees with both your hands? Leave me alone. Death’s work must be hastened along.
spacerBEAT. Stop, I beg in you in the name of the pains I endured in giving you birth.
spacerREP. I beg you in the name of the greater pains you endured during my lifetime, let me go to my death.
spacerBEAT. I’ll never commit such a savage wrong.
spacerREP. So let me commit it, since I cannot commit a worse.
spacerBEAT. Wait while a say a few words.
spacerREP. I must confess that listening to you speak will be worse and more burdensome to me than any manner of torture. But speak. Let listening to my mother be added to my heap of woes. Give me wholesome advice, but you won’t sway my mind from the flight it is undertaking.
spacerBEAT. What words should I say first, or next, and to whom should I address them? With your stubborn mind you violently rebuff the signs of my love. I know that I shall be speaking to the winds and storms, but speak I shall. The God of Winds, He who rules the storms, will be able to sedate your tempestuous heart and your harsh winter. Oh my son! Am I calling you my son. You shun your mother, Reparatus? Maybe I shouldn’t speak thus?
spacerREP. Call me depraved.
spacer BEAT. Although you give yourself a name worse than those in Hell, terrible, dire, baleful, unheard-of, savage, the memory and sweet love of you will always remain in my mind. No power can ever remove a mother’s loyalty from its place in her heart, no matter if you have banished her from yours. Oh how sweet to remember your childhood years! Then you stretched forth your hands and hung from my neck for kisses and loving sports, and then you sought to follow your mother around with your tearstained face, asking that I take you up in my arms, a pleasant weight, and carry you about, and that I let you recline on my bosom when sleep overcame your eyes, against your will. Woe is me! How greatly savage change has been able to change your nature, and a day has brought on such a catastrophe that you have been able to reject the pious love of Beatrix, and her just entreaties, a day on I have seen you reject a mother’s advice with your heart of adamant, when she has come to you on her knees! forbid my approach, shun your mother’s embrace, disdain her tears, and avert your face while she makes her final speech. You have begotten monstrosities, time. Nature has reversed its course. We mothers are deceived when we believe we have given birth to men. We have produced crags, wild beasts, stones. Where are you taking me in my misery, my sorrow? Alas for me! What have I done? I have sinned with my impious words. I should not have called you these things, I call myself a wild beast and stone, words more fit for my misfortunes. For, if I were not a savage beast, I would have produced a son less wild than you. And if I were not a stone, you would not have stonily shuddered at my entreaties. You would not be standing there, hardened, letting my tears pass by your averted eye and deafened ear. [Aside.] Now what do I do? Shall I shout at the lightning? Or trouble cliffsides with my prayer? Did he groan, overcome by my sorrow? Did he show deference to my weeping words? [Aloud.] Now I’m swept along, pitiful because you feel no pity for me. Alas! I desire to die, when I see that the man for whom I live takes no heed of me, the man for whom I compelled to grieve, heedless of himself, the man on whose behalf I weary God with my ardent prayer has taken on a hostile and ungrateful attitude towards God. So how can I make my final entreaties and plaints? To God? To whom should I address the prayers you have rejected? To God? But you have removed God from your heart. To the Saints? Sooner will they sway the angry Thunderer with their prayers than you. You wall in your heart with adamant, and your breast is hardened by indomitable brass. You alone, Virgin Mother, at the sound of whose prayers the heavenly Father of men and gods sets aside His anger, kook upon my sorrow. Come to the aid of my son, for you are a mother. Help his mother, for you have born a Son. With that countenance with which you pitied your Son when He was nailed to the cross, at the time He in his innocence elected to die for us sinful men, take pity on my son. Forbid to die a boy whom your Son’s precious blood redeemed from the yoke of death. Make the Shepherd return the straying sheep to the flock, and a mother do the same for her son.
spacerREP. You’ve been given enough time to torture my soul with your piety. Thus far, I have silently borne the punishment of listening to these words of maternal live. Now I flee, lest this weight of care I feel pent up in the fibers of my heart oppress me. I flee myself. I flee the sight of you. I flee God and the light of day. If I could, I would also flee this thing which I am, lest it be my accuser and the breath of life testify to my sin. When you hatefully gave me the use of this breath of life, would that you had given my person to burial! I would have had you as a less unhappy mother, and (a worse evil) you would not have not produced me as a grave bane for mankind and the world. But I flee, I shall entrust my sins to escape alone.
spacer BEAT. So you cruelly flee your mother’s sight, and have no pity for her. This won’t happen. Either cease your flight or remove me as an impediment to your escape. You will see that in no other way can this grip of mine be relaxed but thus. Either restrain yourself or cut me down.
spacerREP. You’ll easily obtain that. [He attempts to kill her but fails.] Oh my hand, that has all but forgotten its fury! So must you be urged to commit crimes, my mind, and don’t do them freely? I am ashamed of this sluggishness. Let my violent hand fly to my mother’s throat, and let this passion open the way to my escape. [At this point the angel and devil intervene.]

bar

ACT V, SCENE ii
ANGEL, REPARATUS, DEVIL, BEATRIX

Reparatus, planning on killing his mother, is dissuaded by the angel, but urged on by the devil. Lest this happen, Beatrix lets him go and leaves him.

spacerANG. Stop.
spacerREP. What voice in the air assaults my ear?
spacerANG. Of air.
spacerREP. What do I care about the complaints of a heavenly nymph? Either depart or hold your silence, air. Or, to keep my sword’s aim true, give me some light.
spacerANG. Do right.
spacerREP. Shall I put my sword away?
spacerANG. So I say.
spacerREP. And hold my hand?
spacerANG. You understand.
spacerREP. It’s fit for a murderer his mother to erase.
spacerANG. It’s a disgrace.
spacerREP. Why am I speaking to the empty wind? Does a fickle breeze have the breath of life?
spacerANG. You have that right.
spacerREP. Are you some man’s spirit, hidden in the bracken?
spacerANG. You’re mistaken.
spacerREP. Or are you sent from Hell, or some place lower?
spacerANG. From heaven’s tower.
spacerREP. From what part of heaven, if you’re so pious?
spacerANG. From the skies.
spacerREP. And who are you sent to help?
spacerANG. Yourself.
spacerREP. Does my character allow it?
spacerANG. Know it.
spacerREP. To piety can I aspire?
spacerANG. Aim higher.
spacer REP. At my age, good things don’t flow in a spate.
spacerANG. Not too late.
spacerREP. But you should know my inward and outward evils, and take them to heart.
spacerANG. Set them apart.
spacerREP. How can a part of my mind be banned?
spacerANG. It can.
spacerREP. What? How can it be removed?
spacerANG. By love,
spacerREP. My heart’s affection?
spacerANG. That’s the connection.
spacerREP. And faithful love?
spacerANG. Of God above.
spacerREP. And the power of sorrow?
spacerANG. Pray tomorrow.
spacerREP. Teach me what I can say in prayer to make God less angry?
spacerANG. “Woe’s me.”
spacerREP. But when I try to speak my tongue stays still. I know not why, but from praying I am banned.
spacerANG. I understand.
spacerREP. What is it? Tell me, from what serpent do I suffer this evil?
spacerANG. The devil.
spacerREP. What is he trying to do?
spacerANG. Harm you.
spacerREP. To what deceit is he steering?
spacerANG. Give him a hearing.
spacerREP. I’m listening.
spacerDEV. Hey.
spacerREP. What place do you offer for my dying? As a servant you’ll have me.
spacerDEV. The sea.
spacer REP. You want me to seek out water? But what god or human means will break my mother’s band?
spacerDEV. Your hand.
spacerREP. I should lay hands on my mother?
spacerDEV. None other.
spacerREP. Then my unwilling hand should seize her in her despair?
spacerDEV. By the hair.
spacerREP. My hand cannot do it, though my mind is willing.
spacerDEV. Not thrilling.
spacerREP. God will not allow.
spacerDEV. Here’s how.
spacerREP. What do you command, you creature from below?
spacerDEV. Lay her low.
spacerREP. Whom should I strike? My hand’s no help.
spacerDEV. Yourself.
spacerREP. I should die by my own blow?
spacerDEV. Now you know.
spacerREP. I must obey. Watch, mother. Since my body is given no room to flee, my sword will open this way of escape for my soul.
spacerBEAT. Stop, you’re free to go. Just set aside this frenzy. Flee, son, flee, I am not standing in your way. Let the price of your escape be the breath of life. You want to flee from your mother? She agrees. It it is permitted, depart. Just repay your mother with the gift of the life I gave you as a babe. I pray you preserve this, now for me, but for God forever. [Exit.]
spacer REP. Good, she’s departed. My pain is lessened. Along with herself she has taken the wei9ght by which I thought my soul was being all the more oppressed, like Atlas groaning under heaven, or Enceladus wholly buried under Aetna. blue Bah, the dire madness of this evil, and the black tempest of my conscience! How long will you continue to drag me along and make me die in life with the pricks of your sorrows, my harsh woes? Why will this self-butchery continue to feed the insatiable hunger of gloomy Orcus, never losing its consuming cares, growing anew to receive new punishments, more than does the immortal liver of Tityrus? blue When shall I hope for your days again, you stars of my tender youth and you former bright lights of piety, faith, shame, religion, and fear, when there was a place for innocence in my soul? You have perished, alas, and plunged me in the dark ways of the shadowy Styx, as I sought out crimes. Now one thing remains, that I breathe out the final suffering of this life, and be overwhelmed by the eternal horror of night, before than I can feel God’s avenging hand, driven down to Erebus by the fire of His lightning. Now I shudder to live any more. It is painful to look on mortals any longer, this is why I fled from the sight of my mother, and why I shall flee the stars as well. What am I feeling/ Horror has suddenly stunned my eyes, their sight is being overcome by sleep’s shadows. Hell is preparing something terrible and cruel. I obey, whatever ruler of black Avernus you may be, I obey.

bar

ACT V, SCENE iii
A DEVIL with specters, then DESPAIR with THE SEVEN DEADLY SINS, HERESY costumed as Cacus, FINAL UNREPENTANCE, REPARATUS

The Devil casts Reparatus into a sleep, and then terrifies him with specters. Finally he introduces Despair with the seven deadly sins, and Final Unrepentance and Heresy, in the form of Cacus, to show him various kinds of death. Reparatus then awakes, ponders all the kinds of death he has been shown, and deliberates which he should choose.

spacerDEV. Good, he’s resting. Come forth, you monstrosities of Avernus, fill this man’s senses with new terrors and new sorrows. Be present, you nimble crew of satyrs, deceive his mind with infernal specters. [They dance.] Enough, depart. Now you, savage Despair, come forth from your caverns in the earth, leading your band of sisters with both hands, they who take their names from everlasting death, though mankind calls them the mortal sins. And let Heresy take on the appearance and woman’s costume of Cacus, and bring along with matching steps Final Unrepentance. Fill him with love of death and offer him life’s final gifts with your hands. Urge him to quickness with your brief address, so that he’ll make ready his doom.
spacerDESP. I am Despair, born of Hellish night, and I come to you, Reparatus, bringing advice, that by a violent death you do away with those evils which weary you. Think of the mass with which your heavy cares are growing, of how God’s great anger is roused against you, of how greatly your sins disturb your mind — and you hesitate to die? The light still retains your soul, and the longer you draw out your life, the more the gowning burden of sorrow will bring you protracted evils. Why feed the fire with grass, and extend your life by a delayed death? Expire once, so you will escape a thousand harms. We offer you all ways of dying, choose the best of these. Behold how Judas, who betrayed his God, cracked his neck while dangling in the breezes by this rope, spilling his guts on the ground. Dare this deed, imitate his example with a brave hand. Die, despair, perish.
spacer PRIDE I am Pride, the daughter of Lucifer, always a rebel against God, always plotting a heavy downfall for men. I am in the habit of giving matrons new colors with which they may paint their pallid faces, vermillion and rouge, and I have taught them to pile up their hair in tall heaps to adorn their heads. Having made you a rebel against men, an ingrate towards God, heaven, and your parents, I bring you the advice that you should end your hateful life by falling from that mountain peak, taking a tumble like that suffered by Lucifer when he was wrenched from the sky and sought the Styx.
spacerAVARICE I am dire Avarice, an enemy to the mind, the mother of sly profit, at whose instigation you stripped so many good folks of their property, filling so many men with the spirit of rapine and robbery. I bring you this mattock, with which you may plumb the earth’s secret veins, and and allow yourself to be buried alive when your excavation collapses on you, so that your life may escape.
spacerLUST I am the teacher of debauchery, the torch and mother of adultery, wanton Lust of the incestuous bed. I come to you as a sure herald of coming evil, and I urge you to plunge your body into those waters.
spacerENVY Envy commands you to handle these vipers.
spacerGLUTTONY Drunken Gluttony toasts you with these poisons.
spacerWRATH Wrath gives you this sword, to plant in your breast.
spacerSLOTH Sloth requests that you take this flint and slice open a vein, so that your soul may flow out lightly, without effort.
spacerHERESY Heresy, hateful to heaven, offers you this torch, by which she thinks you are fit to be burned and debarred from the halls of heaven. Take the advice of Cacus.
spacerUNREPENTANCE But first give a hearing to Final Unrepentance’s warning words. You must blaspheme God, the saints, and life, and accurse yourself and your times. Then dash your brains out with this rock and perish forever.
spacerDEV. It’s done and over. Now range about, striking the ground with your feet. Strew tokens of dire death around this place. [They dance.] Make your escape. Why are you delaying, Sloth? Get running.
spacer SLOTH I can’t.
spacerDEV. Surely you can walk?
spacerSLOTH No.
spacerDEV. Flee, I tell you.
spacerSLOTH Let your sister ride on your back, brother, in lieu of a carriage.
spacerDEV. Get up, why are you taking your time?
spacerSLOTH This is very hard work.
spacerDEV. Quickly.
spacerSLOTH Hand me a cushion.
spacerDEV. Here you are.
spacerSLOTH Make haste slowly, I don’t want you to jounce.
spacerDEV. Reparatus, you must die. With me your guide, you must violently join the shades of the Underworld. Shake off your slumber and die.
spacerREP. [Waking up.] See, I follow wherever you, the ruler of the Acheron, summon. Why be timid, my mind? Was that apparition real? Or did some deceitful vision cheat my eyes when they were plunged in slumber? It must have been a false one, for I was sleeping. I have set aside these Hellish visions, but not my intent. Am I awake? It’s true. Am I being hounded by infernal specters? That’s true too. See, see, my mind, how many ways of dying merciful Erebus has shown me. This is the rope, that the mattock, there’s the mountain. And look here, here are the vipers, the sword, torches, rock, poison, and the flint. And yet I delay in submitting to my doom? I regret that I cannot enjoy all these deaths at once. Now this abundance reduces me to helplessness. It’s as hard to choose a death as just now it was not to die. Look, the messenger sent from the Styx returns to you. Heresy has assumed Cacus’ appearance once more, to resolve your doubt about a choice of death. I must use the form of dying she commands. [Enter Cacus.]

bar

ACT V, SCENA iv
CACUS, REPARATUS

Encountering the real Cacus, Reparatus thinks he’s a demon, since Heresy had previously appeared to him in Cacus’ guise, sent to him to show how he should die. But finally, when Cacus attacks him while shouting absurdly, he snatches up a cross and knocks him flat, and offers him a choice among ways to die.

spacerCAC. Why re you seeking out deserted byways, Brother Reparatus?
spacerREP. If put off dying pending your return, doubtful by which kind of doom I should best succumb.
spacerCAC. You did wrong to doubt, you are a man of little faith. A man can die in the Lord by any manner of death.
spacerREP. Tell me, my mind’s Fury, how should I best die?
spacerCAC. I’m not your mind’s Fury, but rather God’s spokesman Cacus.
spacerREP. Let’s suppose you are the spokesman of Avernus’ Heresy, wearing the guise of Cacus. Now tell me the way I should die?
spacerCAC. You imagine I’m possessed by a demon?
spacerREP. Who doubt’s you’re a demon yourself?
spacerCAC. Woe to you, since you dared called call Cacus a demon!
spacerREP. The worst of demons.
spacerCAC. Thus you call a minister of the Word?
spacerREP. You’re the Devil’s mouthpiece.
spacerCAC. In truth, I tell you you have sinned.
spacerREP. That’s a trifle, I’ve sinned again God Himself.
spacerCAC. That would be a trifle, if you hadn’t heaped me, one of the Elect, with slanders.
spacerREP. Come then, punish me, and teach me by those injuries what manner of death I should choose to satisfy God and yourself.
spacerCAC. Away with those unclean words, you offend my pious ears. What satisfaction could help God or yourself? That’s a pagan word.
spacerREP. You should abandon that pretense of scurvy sanctimonious and teach me how to die in accordance with my merits.
spacer CAC. Merits? What are merits to you? Why do you put any credence in vain good works and merits? I loathe and abominate merits.
spacerREP. Am I still being toyed with by those specters? Or has Erebus sent this parrot here to torment me with horror of eternal punishment before I die, since his tongue is worse than Hell, Purgatory, and their torture?
spacerCAC. Be still, with your Caananite talk. Where did you find the name of Purgatory in God’s Word?
spacerREP. If it were not in His Word nor in reality, it would be sufficiently proven by the look of your face and your barking. You imitate Cerberus the hound when you open your hungry mouth with a triple noise.
spacerCAC. I hate hunger, nor are Lent and unpleasant Fridays to my liking. And I shun Ash Wednesdays, Sabbath-keeping, vigils, prayers of rogation, and the four Seasons. I have expunged all those words from my calendar. As far as I’m concerned, the year is a feast, every day is a feast of the Lord. And if my empty stomach growls because of fasting, that’s no fault of my own, but rather of my ancestors, whom superstition, God’s over-harsh commandments, and the savage example set by Christ compelled to abstain from the eating of meat.
spacerREP. Alas, cruel Avernus! How long will I be tormented by the delay created by this half-human monster and the infernal Styx? How I want to stop this fellow’s vocal organs, whose makes my ears ring with their unspeakable noise!
spacerCAC. You profanely speak of ears, noise, ringing, and hateful vocal organs in God’s church?
spacerREP. Holy prophets, martyrs, and apostles, under compulsion and unworthy though I am, I call upon your faith: I pray you remove this plague from my sight and hearing. Help me amidst such great evils.
spacer CAC. And you invoke the saints?
spacerREP. Come to my aid, you blessed souls.
spacerCAC. Oh you man of little faith!
spacerREP. Come forth, you protectors and armed divinities.
spacerCAC. You’re demonically possessed.
spacerREP. That’s for sure, with you as a companion.
spacerCAC. Me? Beware lest you provoke the spirit within me. Zeal for God all but consumes me.
spacerREP. Let Hell consume me, I pray. Now I want to repent, to be rid of this monster.
spacerCAC. That word “repent” kindles the fires in my mind. I desire to fight more heatedly. For you bear the mark of that Beast engraved on your forehead.
spacerREP. What new thing is the Fury preparing?
spacerCAC. Firstborn of Satan, I want you to draw your weapon.
spacerREP. So I’m to wage war against accursed Furies? What weapon should I use to subdue this savage plague? I remember there’s a cross not far from here, made out of tree-branches. I used to pour forth prayers before that piece of wood when I was pious. As a boy I learned it had wonderful powers to ward off demons. I’ll wrench it from the ground and counter this Fury by smiting his unmentionable parts. {Exit to fetch the cross.]
spacerCAC. Haven’t I been possessed of the spirit and zeal when I chased off this dog, who insulted Israel’s camp with a word not in Scripture? His is the voice of the Antichrist, his father is either Gog or Magog himself. The villain doesn’t know how to speak Hebrew. Salvation herself cannot save him. In the sight of God, he’s a pagan or worse than a publican, as he hopes that faith can be placed in good works and believes that any human crime can merit eternal punishment. [Reparatus comes back.] But look here, he’s returned. Oh the shame! He is carrying with him an artfully-made crucifix. I’d rather look the Devil in the face, I’m ruined! Into what shadows can I flee?
spacer REP. My plan’s succeeded, he’s terrified. To arms, to arms! I mean you, you hound of Acheron. Why are you delaying now? See how, against my will, you make me brandish this powerful cross for your punishment. For I hate you worse than death or Hell, I abominate you, you chattering bane on mankind. Although your heart abounds with every form of crime, my intention is always to live and die untouched by you.
spacerCAC. Continue, wave that idol of Moloch in your hand.
spacerREP. I shall continue, although you burst.
spacerCAC. Beware lest I hurl an anathema maranatha against you. blue
spacerREP. I have no time for your magical words or incantations.
spacerCAC. May cursing and the destruction of Cain fall upon you! May you eat hay like Nebuchadnezzar! May the plagues of louse-ridden Egypt oppress you! May you never eat butter or taste a honeycomb, or consume the flesh of sparrows to kindle your lust. May thrushes and geese, and a thousand such dainty dishes be absent from your dinner-table! May you never be enrolled the Family of Love, blue or have the leisure to sport with the holy Sisters! May you be impotent and sterile, and (which I regard as the worst misery of them all) may you have the leisure for good works!
spacer REP. Since you’ve hurled plenty of blessed maledictions against me, now hear what I want. To put it briefly, I pray that your false-Christian faith always be inimical to chaste morals. Let ut it abound like the Hydra, and, like the Hydra, let its heads be chopped off continually. Let it not see more than two or three ages of the world go by. Let it make its home in the north, where the sun grazes the air with its fire averse as it travels on its oblique wheel, where most wits are sluggish with their dull senses, and souls are torpid because of the cold air. And when God has decided to punish the sins of some people or other, may He set aside His forked lightning and use only the scourge of your mouth to oppress the world. May your fatal doctrine always be repugnant to kings’ scepters, and no less so to themselves and to God. blue May you also chose to prefer popular democracy to your ancestral monarchy, for the one is mad and the other sober, the one fickle and the other constant. Let it be the bane of peoples, the enemy of the Church, the downfall of the royal throne, the ruination of the common folk. Let it hate nothing more than truth and good order. May you seize other’s property, and bequeath to your your own bloodline an empire gained by evil plunder. May you be enveloped in an innate thirst for gore, and a frenzy for innocent blood. And when you die and spew forth your hateful spirit, let these sacred words assail your ears and strike your mind with terror: the sacrifice of the cross, holy water, anointment, Purgatory, auricular confession, atonement, faith in works, vows, free will, prayers, voluntary affliction, indulgences, images and invocation of the saints, fastings, order, chastity, merit, the episcopal mantle, linen vestments, miters, altars, the priest —
spacer CAC. Oh the abomination! Don’t you blush when you say these things to the Elect? Rise up, my zeal, strike with a sling and the jawbone of ass, use this armament against this Philistine of a single, solitary faith. Oh you artisan of good works! In the spirit of Adonai I command you, who are rebuilding the Tower of Babylon with its varied languages, to expire forthwith.
spacerREP. You wicked professor, I command you to back away from this cross.
spacerCAC. So you won’t die?
spacerREP. So you’re not yet fleeing the cross?
spacerCAC. Die, you tail of the Beast.
spacerREP. Get back, you shit of the Devil.
spacerCAC. You live?
spacerREP. Come closer and find out.
spacerCAC. Where are you, Jehovah?
spacerREP. Rather, you should summon Jove of the Underworld from the Pit.
spacerCAC. Avenge Your servant, now consider Cacus’ faith.
spacerREP. A most cacative faith!
spacerCAC. But I see in your face that nothing can be accomplished by God’s spirit or voice. Let it be done by the sword.
spacerREP. The demon’s reached for his sword. I’ll counter him with this cross.
spacerCAC. Just as Judith did to Holofernes, so I’ll behead your cross with this sword.
spacerREP. Rather this cross will batter your snake-like, heretical head. [Hits him with the cross.]
spacerCAC. Oh spare me, I’m ruined.
spacerREP. The Fury is laid low by the cross.
spacerCAC. Spare my life, I beg you.
spacerREP. Is this spirit asking for his life?
spacerCAC. Believe me, I’m no spirit. I’m called Cacus. Behold my flesh, my face, my skin with its broken bones.
spacer REP. You didn’t arrive here, newly sent up from the Styx?
spacerCAC. I don’t know the Styx or any demon, and I’ve never appeared to you from Hell, save possibly in the spirit.
spacerREP. In the spirit, you did. Something of you was here during the night, sent from the Styx.
spacerCAC. I’ve not seen the Styx.
spacerREP. Keep on and you will.
spacerCAC. Stop and explain this one thing, why are you preparing to slaughter me, as men do calves?
spacerREP. Because I can make no sacrifice more acceptable to the Styx.
spacerCAC. What wrong have I done you?
spacerREP. When I was wanting to die you stayed my hand with the importunity and tedium of your speech.
spacerCAC. Let me go, and I’ll leave you the opportunity to die.
spacerREP. You’re late in finishing your oration. You’re still rattling on.
spacerCAC. I’ll make it short. Die, and have Cacus as your executioner. I have spoken.
spacerREP. Good! You have been taught to hold your tongue by your misfortune. But you’ll learn better thanks to your death. Meanwhile you should know that the love of death has departed my mind, from the moment I laid hands on this tremendous cross,.
spacerCAC. Let go of it, so that you’ll be free to die. Remove the obstacle of such a holy vocation.
spacerREP. You die first, whose sanctity thrives without good works. How I’d prefer to follow your example!
spacerCAC. At least let me choose my manner of dying.
spacerREP. Granted. Do you want to fall off that mountain, or bash your head against this rock?
spacerCAC. Where in the Gospel do we read that anyone died this way? It’s sinful for a man to be killed by a death not mentioned in Scripture.
spacerREP. Do you desire to be buried alive?
spacerCAC, We should not bury our talent. blue
spacerREP. You can spill your blood with this flint.
spacer CAC. For a eunuch to die, or a circumcision to be performed, with a flint is an error of the Jews, unsuitable for those who profess the reformed faith, to whom it is granted to increase.
spacerREP. You’ll drink these poisons?
spacerCAC. The precept forbids that, be ye sober.
spacer
REP. Would you like to be burned by these fires?
spacerCAC. I have been commanded that it is better to marry. blue I’d prefer a thousand weddings than a single burning.
spacerREP. Be drowned?
spacerCAC. The water of the Flood is gone.
spacerREP. Offer your limbs to vipers?
spacerCAC. My worms don’t permit.
spacer
REP. What do you think of this rope and sword?
spacerCAC. It’s a hard choice. The one took off General Holofernes, and the other our Brother Judas, who gave Christ a kiss in charity, and wished to see his master die for a price rather than for free. Then in his active faith he went and hanged himself.
spacerREP. Follow his example and die by the noose.
spacerCAC. Let this be, in the Lord. Order my brothers to come and hear my last words.
spacerREP. They’ll be here in time. Soldiers, arrest Cacus, he’s condemned to death.

bar

ACT V, SCENE v
POLIANDER, CACUS, REPARATUS, AIO, SOLDIERS

Poliander brings Aio to Reparatus, who makes him a robbers and appoints him Cacus’ executioner. Cacus, now about to be hanged, preaches to the robbers.

spacerPOL. What’s this strange look of things, with Reparatus equipped with a crucifix, and Cacus with a rope?
spacerCAC. This is the hand of God, Who appoints our destinies in advance.
spacerREP. Be still. And now, my comrades, learn of this Cacus’ attempts against me. Recently, when a Stygian slumber held me in its grip, a crew of Furies sent from the cavern of the Phlegethon greatly terrified me. Among them was Cacus, dressed in woman’s clothing, as you see, and offering me this torch in his hands. He bade me be burned alive by its blazing fire, and others gave various other suggestions, in accordance with the individual enthusiasms of his companions. And then, when I was deliberating what manner of death I should endure, Cacus met me again. I imagined him to be the image of Heresy I had seen before in my sleep, in the guise of Cacus, but I found him to be a man more brutal than death and the Stygian Avernus, and I shudder to describe his uncouth jokes and the nuisance of his voice, which is as hateful as sin. Then he obliged me to lay an unwilling hand on this cross by drawing his sword with the intention of stretching me out on the ground, lifeless. I knocked him down with the cross and condemned him to hang by the neck from this branch, so as to pay a swinging price for his rebellious disposition against his leader and yours.
spacerPOL. Come, let him be hanged quickly, let’s recruit a new robber to take the place of Cacus. This man brought a weight of gold and silver along with himself, the price of his safety.
spacerREP. Bid him approach. [Enter Aio.] Tell me your name.
spacerAIO Aio.
spacerREP. And your breeding?
spacerAIO I’m a Cretan on my mother’s side, a Roman on my mother’s.
spacerREP. What’s your nation?
spacerAIO The island of Crete.
spacerREP. Where were you brought up?
spacerAIO In the household of a political man.
spacerREP. What do you want of me?
spacerAIO Two things.
spacerREP. Name them.
spacerAIO First that I be made robber, and second that I be made an executioner.
spacerREP. An executioner of whom?
spacerAIO Of Cacus.
spacerREP. Granted. Do your duty.
spacerAIO Hey, Doctor Cacus, I’ll prove to you that faith depends on works.
spacerCAC. For what reasons do you believe that faith in works is dependable, you wicked, evil spirit?
spacerAIO Because of the works of the flesh, Doctor Caca.
spacerCAC. The flesh is weak. blue
spacerAIO If it is ruled by the spirit, it is strong.
spacerCAC. I deny that.
spacerAIO I’ll prove it. You stole my wife Candida because the flesh governed you and the spirit of the flesh showed the way. For the sake of that work or works, I’ll your make your faith precious and I’ll make it depend from that tree-branch.
spacer CAC. This is your thanks because I selected your wife for the ministry, blue made her powerful in the spirit and eloquent, and appointed her a preacher of the Word? Because I made her fruitful with child, and taught her she should dedicate her hands and body to the service of pious robbers? For which of these reasons do you think I am worthy of death?
spacerAIO I think you are worthy for these reasons, and those, and all of them, and that you deserve to set an example to both men and women by being turned into a long letter blue on that branch. You teach women to preach the Word and enter into theological disputations? How do you imagine controversies can be settled, if women have the right to join in the discussion, since they never keep quiet of their own free will? Settle this in a few words. This will be your peace and quiet.
spacerCAC. Brothers, come hither and listen to Cacus as he is about to die. I’ll give you a few precepts appropriate for my position and the time before this rope shows me the way straight to heaven, where my soul will repose in the bosom of Abraham, and eat and drink with the Lord. Each one of you who makes his way to heaven must be a sinner and sin stoutly, so that faith alone will save you, and you must shun good works. It is inevitable, brothers, for us to sin in this condition in which we live. So let us sin freely. Let us not allow our talents to be hidden in the ground. In this world there is no activity which you can call evil, except for this one, not to believe. Let us have faith that, if we fornicate a thousand times, or commit a thousand thefts a day, or murder our mothers and fathers, our salvation remains unshaken. Commit sin. For, just as when my babes Magdalenula and Johanellus shit in a corner at home, everybody smiles as if they have done well, so our faith brings it about that the shit of our deeds does not stink before God.
spacerAIO But your faith does not keep your simile from stinking.
spacerCAC. Hold your silence, seducer.
spacerREP. Put an end to his speech, bailiff, and to his life.

bar

ACT VI, SCENE vi
APISTIUS, AIO, CACUS, POLIANDER, REPARATUS, POLYPUS

Apistius begs for Cacus’ life. Then he confronts Cacus with Polypus, wearing the costume of a Gnostic and requesting to be enrolled in the robber’s numbers, for examination. Finally Aio accuses him and exposes him as a spy amidst the robbers.

spacerAP. What’s this thing? What man is this crowd surrounding? Do I see Cacus about to die by hanging?
spacerAIO Get up, Doctor. Say good-bye to the world and to everybody.
spacerCAC. Good-bye, brothers. Remember my final words. Again I exhort you to shun good works, lest they rise up against you on the world’s Last Day. And you two of the Sisterhood, Candida and Catharinula, you dear souls and beloved wives —
spacerAIO I deny it, for one of them belongs to me.
spacerPOL. And the other is consecrated to God.
spacerCAC. — good-bye.
spacerAP. Stop, bailiff. Listen, friends. I beg you, Reparatus, that you remit Cacus’ death-sentence. Granted, he has deserved to die. But if you kill this man, the robbers’ republic will collapse. For I think it is sufficiently well known how many benefits he has conferred on us. I shall show how many he will take away by dying. In the first place, in the absence of Doctor Cacus, our free robbers’ faith, which condemns works, will shrink to nothing. Scruples will overcome our men, and virtue, having been removed, will seek to regain its old place. Then the crew of women, zealous for novelty, whom he has induced to come a-flocking to us by hope of a Gospel mission, will soon be diminished, so that we will have no hope for a posterity. Add to them all the thousands of men who he daily recruits to our flock by his deeds and doctrine, when he teaches everybody to live licentiously, and to enjoy impunity in their evildoing. Having duly considered these things, I demand that Cacus have his life.
spacer REP. Although I’d rather die than give this Cacus his life, I yield, overcome by your entreaties and the facts of the manner. Let him live, on this condition: that in my presence he never dare make noise with his mouth unbidden, but rather, wherever I appear, he be a silent preacher.
spacerCAC. Thou shalt not muzzle the ox when he treadeth out the corn. blue
spacerPOL. But you can muzzle the mouth of a donkey.
spacerREP. Like a thief in a night, so this man assembles nocturnal meetings where he delivers addresses and prayers, by which he assaults the universal faith of the Church.
spacerAIO Let him also be required to give back my wife.
spacerAP. I guarantee he’ll do these things. Yet indulge Cacus by letting him speak at this time and place. I’ve brought a long a man well-versed in the Gnostic art, who desires to take up our profession, and it is incumbent on Cacus alone to make a determination whether he is in agreement with him regarding his vocation, since he is expert in those tricks and dodges appropriate to their uncouth way of life. Bid him conduct a quick examination.
spacerREP. Let it be done. Let each of them take his place. Aio will serve as Cacus’ secretary.
spacerAIO Gladly. That’s one step up from being an executioner. Novice, you may present yourself before Doctor Cacus.
spacerPOLY. I’m ready.
spacerCAC. What do you seek, brother?
spacerPOLY. To become a robber.
spacerCAC. Write that down.
spacerPOLY. “A robber,” I have written.
spacerCAC. You seek a sacred task. Do you know your alphabet?
spacerPOLY. Somewhat.
spacerAIO What should I write?
spacer CAC. He’s a somewhat literate robber. Can you feign being a Christian on the outside, yet deny your faith without any scruples, if the occasion requires?
spacerPOLY. I’m ready.
spacerCAC. Write that down.
spacerAIO To put it briefly, he’s more than a robber.
spacerCAC. Are you prepared to heap jeers and reproaches on a pastor of the Church, and scribble manifestos against the See of Peter?
spacerPOLY. I’m ready.
spacerCAC. Are you able to choose questionable authorities so as to conceal your errors?
spacerPOLY. I can.
spacerCAC. And to follow men’s improbable opinions, so as to diminish faith in the Church? And to have contempt for the writings of learned and erudite men, in comparison with your own trash? And to prick them with the sting of your evil voice, when your arguments accomplish nothing? And to regard as doubtful the statues of the Church and the councils of the Fathers? And to lie when appropriate? To betray Christianity and abuse the ears of the common folk and of princes with your novel inventions? To value holy things at naught, and human things at everything? Are you ready?
spacerPOLY. I am
spacerCAC. And then to put the labor of your pen and voice at the service of enemies of the faith, so as to expose innocent men and brothers to the swords of princes? And to be shameless in pretending to be a pious and Catholic sheep of the Church? To have God in your mouth and faith in your manners, as if you had not strayed from the way of blessedness? Are you ready?
spacer POLY. I’m ready to publish books against the Church and my brothers, under my own name or someone else’s as the need arises.
spacerCAC. You’re writing?
spacerAIO Yes.
spacerCAC. What?
spacerAIO That he’s the worst of rogues and similar to Cacus.
spacerCAC. If you can preach and speak with applause, I adjudge you a fit robber.
spacerPOLY. I’ll make the attempt, if only you give me your ears.
spacerAP. We shall, and you may take as your text the fact that robbers and are brilliant, with a brief display of rhetorical method in praise of robbery.
spacer POLY. I shall. Oh, my brothers, place before your eyes the faith of your vocation and the honor of your lot in life. This is an apostolic distinction. Thanks to you, the laws and statues of nations thrive, justice is cultivated, and laws established, but without your effort they would fall and dissolve back into nothing. And if the poor, either in spirit or in property, are called blessed, then your lot is very happy, both in spirit and wealth, since you are recruited from the lowest dregs of humanity. I think that the kingdom of Saturn has returned to earth, since you like a common style of life, and a rough cuisine of an all but animal-like character, with acorns for your table. I like to call you gentle, for you are wont to endure miseries, blue and you people lament them, I mean as you are being dragged off to jail and the gallows. And I proclaim that you are no less merciful, being possessed of hearts that feel pity and are accustomed to soften in the presence of human suffering. And I call you pure of heart, for your single most praiseworthy feature is to be equipped with a worldly heart. If anybody tried to deny you are pacifists, I would demonstrate that you are. Whoever either makes peace or prevents wars from being fought is a pacifist. You accomplish this by removing money, the cause of evil contentions. You prevent wars when you send wayfarers to imprisonment bound hand and foot, or back home stripped bare. If it ever befalls you to be caught, then with what ardor and thirst for justice grips you as you stand at the bar or before the gallows! The result is that I think you most blessed on this score, that all men who either knew robbers when they were alive, or witness them executed by a just death, acknowledge that they suffer this for their merits and for justice’s sake. Now I am moved to speak of your works of piety. For you feed the hungry, namely an army of fleas and lice, and give them your blood to drink, and cover their nakedness with the clothing you share among you. Next, you haunt prisons and execution-places, and either bury your dead brethren or are yourselves buried by them. And by way of conclusion, I say you have done all these good things without good works. I have spoken.
spacer CAC. I find nothing in this man to disqualify him from becoming a robber.
spacerAIO Nor do I. Being a robber, let him hang from this rope instead of Cacus.
spacerAP. Of what crime do you accuse him?
spacerAIO Of deceit, and of committing the worst of harm against your republic.
spacerPOLY. You lie, vagabond.
spacerCAC. It’s not permissible to say racha to a brother.
spacerPOLY. So what? He’s lying, I tell you.
spacerCAC. Beware lest you call a crime something approved by tradition.
spacerPOLY. I tell you again, he’s lying.
spacerCAC. I answer you again, every man is a liar.
spacerPOLY. And so you’re a man.
spacerCAC. Well then, too bad for you, for lashing out with me logically and apocryphally.
spacerREP. Silence. Let Aio continue to cross-examine the accused.
spacerAIO I maintain he’s a traitor, sent by the enemy for your destruction.
spacerAP. How is that established.
spacerAIO In order to prove this, I ask that I be permitted to pluck his beard, in the hair of which I will either discover a concealed letter, or that some manner of deceit is lurking there.
spacerREP. Approach him.
spacerPOLY Hey! If you pull out its hairs my beard will lose its beauty.
spacerPOL. The beard is a mark of the Gnostic sect. If you pluck it out, he’s turned into a reprobate.
spacerAIO. Come, show me your chin. [Plucks the beard.]
spacerPOLY. I’m ruined!
spacerAIO What do you have?
spacerPOLY. You’ve killed me!
spacer AIO Hey! Aren’t you Polypus, hiding behind this political beard?
spacerPOLY. I’m Polypus, Aio.
spacerAIO You should have told me this before, master. I was late in recognizing you. It’s too late to help you. Now I can only make sure you die the most pleasant death possible.
spacerPOLY. Exert yourself to do that, I beg you.
spacerREP. What man have you exposed?
spacerAIO An old political gentleman, the keen-scented hound of Caesar, his loyal dog and lover of him alone. By his own admission, he’s not even loyal to his own father, but he is steadfast in that most universal faith possible, by which I mean none at all. He’s my master, as you see, a man so innocently depraved in his manner of life that he acknowledges in himself no sin or scruple about anything at all, save that he did believe the fable by which I told this gullible man about traps being set for him by a mage and the threats of the magistrates. Then I stripped him of his goods while he was hiding in a well. Sorrow-stricken about this, and moved by embarrassment for his deed, which he regarded as unworthy of a political man, he borrowed the Gnostic’s clothing and came to you, desiring to bury his mistake in the forgetfulness of foreign soil. In order that this be done with expedition, you should know that he disinherited his wife and sons and made me heir of his ancestral wealth. Then he had a magistrate remove this woman, a Christian worshipper of the one God, from his household, so that she would be debauched at your hands. For the sake of these things he requests to die a pleasant death.
spacerPOLY. Poor me! Is that how you beg pardon for my misdeeds?
spacerAIO Quite so. For what good could I say about you?
spacerCAC. Listen, brothers. I sing strange and wonderful things.
spacerPOL. Balaam’s ass opens its mouth and asks for your attention.
spacerREP. What does he have to say?
spacerPOL. Perhaps he’s possessed by a demon. Speak up, Caiphas. blue
spacerCAC. The lost sheep is found, the penny has turned up. My gown was stolen and behold, brothers, it’s sitting on this man’s back.
spacer AP. By what evidence do you prove that?
spacerCAC. This part’s the handiwork of Catharine, and that part was made by Candida. Here’s the place little Magdalenula took a shit on it, and Joannellus peed here. You can tell that by the smell, you don’t even have to look at it. So tell us, Polypus, how it can to be that you came here wearing Cacus’ costume?
spacerPOLY. Some young man dressed in it came to my house in the city. Thinking him to be a Gnostic fellow, I fobbed off my sons on him to be brought up in his faith. After my wife was driven away, my servant Aio despoiled me of my goods, and I got ready to flee here in the young man’s clothing, and to imitate him with my disguised face. Now the young man is wearing my clothes as he presides over my household and children.
spacerAIO In a single day you have been a political man, an old lady, and a robber. So that you may adopt yet another appearance, you ought to dress yourself with the gallows.
spacerPOLY. You say that, you traitor?
spacerAIO Do you continue to deny these things, my innocent friend?
spacerAP. What’s your decision about the political old man, Reparatus?
spacerREP. Let’s first hear what news sad-faced Orianus has to tell.

bar

ACT V, SCENE vii
ORIANUS, REPARATUS

Orianus describes to Reparatus how Sophronia has spattered her face with poison for the sake of preserving her chastity, and how she was healed by the shepherd Philenus. Moved by piety, Reparatus entrusts her to the care and custody of Orianus, and forbids any robber from committing violence against her, on pain of death. And he sentences her husband Polypus to imprisonment,. threatening him with a speedy hanging if anything worse befalls her.

spacerOR. I bring sad tidings, such as can drag piety from the very beasts and stones of the forest.
spacerREP. Tell me, for here too you will see men with hearts harder than stone and Hyrcanian beasts.
spacerOR. Just, now, while the sun was blazing and I was wandering among in the shade, surrounded by the rustling of the light breezes, I saw a woman fleeing with quick steps. Sorrow was watering her cheeks with a plentiful shower of tears, and a mixture of pallor and flushing was spread across her snow-white face, as when the ground is decorated with an alternation of lilies and roses which rival the rainbow with the varied play of their colors, and vie with Araby in their fragrance. The breeze pushed back her tumble-down tresses, and she had hitched up her dress so as not to slow her progress. Roused by this spectacle, I kept watch there where the unkempt foliage of the forest rises higher. Here the woman’s footsteps brought her, when she was all but dead from fear. In her frenzy, she had scarcely concealed herself, when I saw men coming from every part of the forest. Their noise went up to heaven. I drew nearer, to ask the reason why such an uproar was being raised in those places. One fellow replied, “No mean quarry has escaped our clutches.” ”Who is she?” I inquired. “A nobly-married woman,” he replied, “haled before the judge for belonging to the Christian faith. Then the judge sentenced her to be dragged here to our leader as an exile, so that she would be taken and suffer debauchery at the hands of the robbers. While this matron was being brought here on horseback with an escort of soldiers, weeping copiously, suddenly an unseen madness drove her horse wild so it tore the rein away from the man leading it, and it galloped away from its pursuers. Then, finding an open field, in its great ardor it escaped from site, carrying its burden. We have no idea where in the forest it set the women. We chanced upon the horse, and one of our company, furious with wrath, ran it through in the guts, and just now it has died on the putrid ground.” Having said these things, the soldier fell silent, and, leaving me behind, ran off in his ardor to catch his prey.
spacerREP. Was she found?
spacerOR. She was, but too late.
spacerREP. Perhaps she died by her own hand?
spacerOR. She did not die, but she devised an evil worse than death (if great purity of mind and a chaste character deserves to be called an evil).
spacerREP. I’m curious to learn how the woman managed to preserve life and chastity in such circumstances.
spacerOR. Now learn the nature of her deed. I followed in the place she had gone into the forest headlong, and where wild thorns and shaggy brush made the way rough going, there she had fled with a great effort, and I found her footprints she left as she made her way. Her golden locks hung where it had been torn away by the thorns, and scraps of her clothing hung from their points. Here a fresh rain of her blood befouled the ground. Finally I arrived at the face of cliff, where a cave had been hollowed out, once a lair for beasts, but now with its dark cavern it hid whatever croaked forth poison from its swollen throat. In that place I heard a faint sound of the concealed woman. “What’s the great worth of beauty,” she asked, “if it makes you fear your face will be defiled? If it cannot please your husband, why save it for a suitor? It is necessary for it to be destroyed.” With these words she fell silent, then immediately she said “Drink this poison, you deceptive good, created by nature to be a mirror to reflect the living image of God, so that no mark of defilement or brand of shame may cling to you. Imbibe, you eyes, the poison which alone can remove your ill repute, and keep your bed chaste for Polypus.” This was the end of her words. I approached closer. Then newly-arrived soldiers also closed in from all directions. We entered the cave. Ah, what horror overcame all our hearts at our first glance! For we saw her stretched out on the ground, her face and hands discolored by the black blood of a toad. Her skin was swollen with ulcers, no part of her face retained its attraction. Her whole head was swollen. The pitiful sight! The band which had just now been eager to enjoy her embrace now shrank back, and did not dare stand close to her. Thus love flees when a good thing perishes. Thus we adjudge the allure of human beauty by the eye, and if it suffers a change, it evanesces. The gang went away, and I sought to to console her in her isolation with a short address. As her pain began to increase, I looked around for a remedy for such great ills, but in vain. It chanced that when I looked around the neighborhood with my eyes, drunken with the dew of tears, I changed see the shepherd Philenus seated in a valley across from me, pasturing his sheep in the trackless meadows. With difficulty I came to him, gasping from the speed at which I had come, and told him the story of this sad affair, begging him to lend his hand, well-versed in the medical art, so as to apply it to the suffering soul. Without any delay he gathered up his wholesome remedies for maladies, and headed straight to the cavern. His art and the virtue of his herbs had such great power at nearly all the evil departed from her face. But now the matron is grieving the catastrophe of having her health restored, and hopes once more to die, if she cannot live with her chastity untouched.
spacer REP. As far as I’m concerned, she may. Let her live, mindful of Orianus, mindful of Philenus. Let no man dare violate her noble chastity with his bold hand, lest he suffer an ill death for his sin. Orianus, you must be the guardian of such a rare character, a wife of holy faith. Furthermore, after his clothes are returned to Cacus, bind in tight fetters this old man, a party to such a great wrong and guilty of sin, and keep him alive in a cave, until he repays his wife for the harm he has done her by suffering equal evil. If she chances to die or suffer some grave injury, let him pay for it by a cruel death. Let the world learn from this that evils occur in cities, which require even the avenging hand of robbers.

bar

EPILOGUE
ANGEL

spacerThus far my effort has turned out for the better, and Reparatus is not yet laid low as prey for Avernus. It takes such great effort to make God favorable. The course of humanity’s lot is so fragile that, if it is not given heavenly support, it goes to ruin at every stroke of misfortune, so that salvation is endangered by every foe. I have made this day go by without any killing, so that thus far Reparatus has not stained his hands with his own blood or that of anybody else. I stayed his hand so as it would not murder pious Orianus, and I touched his heart with piety, albeit it is unaccustomed to be swayed by anyone’s misfortunes. And two or three times I restrained him from committing hateful violence against himself. He was willing to spare his mother, so as not to become a matricide. He armed his hand against Cacus with a victorious cross. Finally he avenged faith and chastity: by his good offices Sophronia dwells in the forest, immune from any disgrace, and Polybus is being punished. Thus God’s all-merciful hand disposes all things in such a way that to those whom He wishes to grant a pledge of salvation, His first sends His help as a harbinger. Good beginnings pave the way for a happy ending, and the day which sees a man despair amidst his woes, will quickly be followed by one that’s bound to see him changed.

The end of the first part
Praise be to God

 

 

 



spacer
spacer

spacer
spacer
spacer
spacer



spacer 
spacer