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VULPINUS Gods above and gods below, what Lernean morasses of cares this single day has begotten! But may evils destroy you all, you sacrilegious gentlemen, together with all your devils of Grilluses and Strombilises! I’d rather be dead than fail to play tricks on you in short order. You are not rustics but the countryside itself, more sheep-like than your sheep. They both strove to care for me and, if it please the gods, to share me. Now I know full well how equivocal this “division” was. The one attacked my loins with his whips, the other battered my shoulders with his sticks, and neither gave me nourishment for belly or bladder. Yet both loaded me down with such great labors that today I took consultation with myself about by what manner of death I might rescue myself, and that would now have been accomplished by hanging had a noose been at hand. This is the way of it, Mercury: you who bought this earth at the price of heaven are existing so pointlessly among mortals and are being mocked everywhere. Woe’s me, Vulpinus, you’ve been ruined! (Enter a two-headed ghost, bobbing both heads.) What Furies are flying around you? Oh unhappy me! Mortals hold me in scorn and right now the Underworld is seizing me for punishment. (He retreats into a corner, and by turns enter Bell., Marcus, Strombilus and Grillus, who dance with the ghost and then exit. And when all this has been done, he comes out.) Just so, just so. By heaven, Jupiter is angry, he has aroused these avenging shades of Orcus to do me harm. So, Mercury, why not be wise to your own advantage? You should return and seek out the supernals. And from there you should henceforth be an immortal tormentor of mortals for their ingratitude. Come, I like the plan. (He quickly dresses himself with his caduceus and wings once more.) Farewell, earth, never to be greeted again by Mercury. He is in exile from you, and you from him.

With God and the Graces