Johannes Kepler and King Henry III of France ROBERT LALONDE Self-published work Publisher name: Robert Lalonde First edition: February, 2010 In the public domain ISBN: 978-0-9783909-3-8 Canadian drama (English) - 21st century Contact: robert. lalonde @umontreal.ca Johannes Kepler Dramatic characters (13) Johannes Kepler, astronomer Matthaus Wackher von Wackenfels, court advisor Katharina Kepler, Johannes' mother Cristoph Kepler, Johannes' brother Caleb, Jewish money-lender Mustapha, Arab merchant Hobnot, Caleb's servant Cuddie, Mustapha's servant Ursula Reinbold, Katharina's neighbor Urban Krautlin, surgeon, Ursula's brother Luther Einhorn, magistrate Johann Ulrich Aulber, magistrate Albrecht von Wallenstein, general in the imperial army Soldiers, Jews, peasants, Arabs, plague-stricken men Time: 17th century Places: Bohemia, Austria-Styria, Germanic lands Act 1. Scene 1. A street in Leonberg. 1601 Enter Ursula Reinbold and Urban Krautlin Ursula. Sick to the core. Urban. Come, sister, enter here, where you may find Some remedy in hope at least. Ursula. What, in that house of humbling and of mumbling? in that Katharina's house? Urban. Is she not known for herbs and medicines That healing suns have rarely beheld? Ursula. We will see whether that can be revealed. Urban. She comes at a bad time for your disease. Enter Katharina Kepler Katharina. What, Ursula? Why do you stand today Where often you have scorned to set one foot? Ursula. No soreness after dinner, piercingly Strong in my bowels, could have in the hours Of an Antartic night convinced me thus To greet you at your door, except for this I suffer under. Katharina. Is it an inflammation, wringing gout, A fever sparing no known organ, heats That speed the unsuspecting fool to death? Urban. No, none of these. Ursula. My illness is a secret spy, who comes And goes in corridors, not seen to peep In any chamber till his powders blast Most of the building. Katharina. Then enter gladly here. Urban. I will be generous if you succeed. Ursula. O! O! Relieve these pains, or let me hear Thick grass grow silently around my head. Katharina. Inside my house, the faithful can at last Behold a miracle none can deny. Urban. Come, sister, you are safer now. Exeunt Ursula, Urban, and Katharina Act 1. Scene 2. A street in Prague. 1601 Enter Johannes Kepler and Matthaus Wackher von Wackenfels Johannes. Yes, on the death of Tycho Brahe named Imperial mathematician in Prague. Matthaus. Who doubts the fox has found his hole? Johannes. Not for the love and adoration of The goddess of the world, promotion, do I seek to rise, but for astronomy's. Matthaus. I should believe you. Grammar gives us suck With dialectics and with rhetoric To yield us mind and tongue, whose progeny May be obtained as jealous mistresses Reclining wantonly on narrow beds. First music kisses tickling our rapt ears, Then follow her twin sisters rushing in: Arithmetic, geometry- all three You have already slept with, but there is One more you keep in secret from men's eyes: Astronomy the lovely. Johannes. I have; none other merits my cold bed. Matthaus. But yet do you propose to marry her? Johannes. The sun will sooner turn around the earth, As some have dreamt awake, than my faith fail. Matthaus. Then please our emperor and for yourself You'll finger gold a-plenty, but the world Gains more in that: the knowledge of that world. Johannes. My face is to myself anonymous. If you knew Kepler better, you would not Be Kepler's friend. Know that your Kepler is Subject to sores, scabs, and foul, putried wounds. Like a house dog, I fawn and wag the tail Whenever pleased; I gnaw o n bones and chew The dry bread of subservience, snap at legs Of strangers, then come back and fawn once more, To seek approval and to sniff about In books the dungheap of hypotheses, At all times still dependent on the smiles Of lordships, looking pitiful with tail on ground Whenever scathingly reproved, to which More fawning follows, licking of the hand That strikes, until the puppy wins the prize: His master's favor, though uncertainly. Matthdus. But you have that which few dare to possess. Johannes. One certain purpose I achieve at will: The power to expose false certitudes. Matthdus. Then what can worry you? Johannes. My mother, mean half- skeleton who fights Against most of her neighbors, bony wolf In bushes mouthing nightly as she stalks. Matthdus. An all too common pest in town or court. Exeunt Johannes and Matthaus Act 1. Scene 3. A street in Leonberg. 1601 Enter Caleb and Luther Einhorn Luther. O! Many miseries of my own making may Be turned away at once with that amount. Without that sum, I should not live. Caleb. Because you are a magistrate, I may Obtain advantages against a cheat. Luther. Will I be grateful to one whom many freezing in debt have cursed to find comfortably lying beside his fire? Caleb. Done. Luther. Tomorrow? Caleb. At my house. Luther. Safe! I revere your scroll, eternal lamp, And candelabrum. Enter Urban Krautlin Urban. My good best friend, Luther. Luther. Greet a companion at last better comforted than he miserably was. Caleb. Money makes him. Urban. Who is sadder with more money on him? Luther. This loan cannot be forgotten, Caleb. Caleb. I do not doubt it, sir. Urban. Call him a Jew, Caleb, if he forgets you. Caleb. I will if he remembers. Luther. Well answered. Exit Caleb Safe! Urban. I'm heartily glad to find you out of an immediate and dangerous debt. Luther. Shivering on waves of the sea inside an oarless tugboat, Urban, on which I would not condemn unrepentant child murderers when I catch them. Urban. Very happily resolved. Should we go in to dinner? Luther. I'll gladly pay for food and drink to friends And other unknown smilers I may like. Urban. A Jew creates for us the sun on earth A second time with money. Exeunt Luther and Urban Act 1. Scene 4. A field outside of Leonberg. 1601 Enter Hobnot and Cuddie Hobnot. Say, Cuddie, should we dance and sing awhile? Cuddie. Too willingly I laze and doze all day. Hobnot. I'll string my lute while you blow on your flute. Cuddie. Right, though I would much rather blow on yours. Hobnot. Sweet, so would I, while hiding deep in night. Cuddie. A man may not allow such pleasures to Be known to spying neighbors loathing them. Hobnot. (singing One morning as a child of twelve, Cuddie. (singing Hey-ho nostalgia time, Hobnot. I scratched and yawned, I rose and pissed, Cuddie. With clog on heel to school we trudged. Hobnot. The teacher found we could not count, Cuddie. Hey-ho the doltish clowns, Hobnot. So nose to ground and arse in air, Cuddie. He made us add at either end. Hobnot. On Sunday, boys feign to adore, Cuddie. Hey-ho the priest and cross; Hobnot. For man nailed high with arms spread wide, Cuddie. His snot's on chest when nose is blown. Hobnot. A youth loves fights with Arab Jews, Cuddie. Hey-ho Jerusalem, Hobnot. And lifting skirts with dark veil on, Cuddie. For mixing seeds should favor peace. Hobnot. With her hole plugged, one more is sought, Cuddle. Hey-ho two men in bed, Hobnot. On sterile ground their seed to spill, Cuddle. For pleasures rise when planters fall. Hobnot. All holidays must end some time, Cuddle. Hey-ho sad roundelay; Hobnot. We lie in church and rings exchange, Cuddle. To bring discomfort to our home. Hobnot. A man comes in to rest or play, Cuddle. Hey-ho forget that dream; Hobnot. She'll make him work, complain all day, Cuddle. Before his bread is dipped in cream. Hobnot. With pointed breasts she'll scream and cry, Cuddle. Hey-ho the wind and rain; Hobnot. We plead with songs to one unique, Cuddle. False note: same woman everywhere. Hobnot. Her belly swells with none of ours, Cuddle. Hey-ho the little brats, Hobnot. Who feed on cakes while learning rules; Cuddle. More Hobnots and more Cuddies grow. Hobnot. All men are knaves, all women whores, Cuddle. Hey-ho the end is near, Hobnot. But then so what? We eat and fuck; Cuddle. That life is best when we ask less. Hobnot. So ends our madrigal most pastoral. Cuddle. Airs of the country favored by the few. Hobnot. Here to assure our entertainment best Comes forth a kind of Jew or Jew unkind. Enter Caleb Caleb. What, loons like pebbles on my path, knaves, kerns, dreary clods in Sunday hats, little folk as thin and pliant as my shoe-laces, though never so useful? Hobnot. Do we suck out your air? Caleb. No, all ways are favorable to me, for I, main figure in my tribe, dispensed today a deed of charity likely to be of lasting profit only to myself. Hobnot. His generosity rises to cast down. Cuddle. My tongue is blue with cold. I must attend To a dear brother grieving in his house, Who nearly died in bed last night alone. It was so cold that when he blew his nose It fell away. Hobnot. Cool ears of usury sleep on warm sheets. Caleb. I am unlike a huddler with his lambs. Each day the rich are happier than you are, For every moment money we caress To buy rich food, neat clothes, and houses warm In breadth and influence. Note this at last. Hobnot. We do and groan at it. Caleb. I eat my profits with a lusty mouth, Enlarge my paunch in mounting piles of flesh, For I long mightily to gorge and swill. It makes me happy. Glad I am this day. Not only am I joyous to eat meat Beyond all thoughts delicious, but I am Much gladder still that few men can afford So fine a dish, although they seem to faint Quite overburdened in trying to obtain Once in a year what I consume each meal. Hobnot. No doubt horseradish, cucumber, beets mixed with pike, goose liver, and roasted lamb. Caleb. We smack the lips before your eager face And drop in privies finer nutriment Than what appears on envious country plates. And thus say I to my own glass each night: "Be great, be greater, greatest, best of all; In sight of nations triumph as you wish, Or as you might, or will." Cuddle. He might do it. Caleb. I will go in now, to possess all lands Once promised me, by Moses written well, To wealth and fame in the entire world. Hobnot. Ha! Caleb. We will arise and swell, and, swelling, grow In exploitation, yet beloved by some, No Arab in his tent allowed to speak One word against our growing; otherwise, In prison he must shrink for speaking ill Against the powerfullest. Cuddle. Should we hear more? Caleb. This I aver to every Hebrew ear: "Do not heed the opinions of the great And bloated only, but of lesser men's, For small fry bite small enemies to death." We feed their dreams with plenty. "For one night, I slept like Solomon between two whores With richest garb in palaces of gold," Smile thankfully materialists I serve. Hobnot. A starving spider's dangling from his web Is our best lot next to a richer Jew's. Caleb. I am the one called in, for all the rest Still err in lacking confidence to fight With tools of war and thought against the foe. Hobnot. He's called in, Cuddie, while we are called out In frosts to tend our silly sheep in want. Caleb. I sigh and say: "My people, do not fear, For I with my god will contend with them, Oppose fools to destruction, so that all The Christian world with us will arm themselves To lift the flags of death in mighty fleets." Cuddie. A goodly power favors his estate. Caleb. When we return with force in Palestine, We will begin to wear the helm and sword That will make nations tremble in our midst. Expect the favorites of god, o r that Celestial mushroom governing the world, To drive men's bones as fragments to our will Before our thought-usurping caravels. Hobnot. Meanwhile, he cheats. Caleb. I answer to the blind: "Your house is there," When it is clearly on the other side. Cuddie. And takes their money. Caleb. My money is much dearer than my wife. If I discover any of it in Your hand, I will stone you to death for it. I will not pardon here. O, no, I'll wear A woman's garment first and that you know Is quite against the habit of our sex, Or else pull down my father's breeches while He dozes, contrary to what bestirs My usual prick of mind. Hobnot. Ambition speaks with her own tongue at last. Caleb. I will do this and not a second thing. I may not plow with one ass and my ox. I am brought in and may possess all that I lack in all the earth and heaven, too. I sit before my house and say: "All this Is mine, and none may take a dust-ball out Of it, on pain of gibbering in cells Far smaller than the box where his cats piss." I am established, like a sheat of stone Beneath a mighty mansion, soon to be The praise of nations. Hobnot. And very dangerous to be dislodged. Caleb. Receive known prophecies on days of doom. You'll bury thousands more each day of life Than all our newborns thriving in the year. God's finger points at you as men of sin And vilest lewdness. If you stand with us, You will be blessed beyond all men above, In riches, wisdom, gladness, and renown- Yes, those who love us will be praised and clasped, With gifts of love received in every house, Rejoicers dancing in the halls of kings, While those who hate us will be cursed and spoiled, With plagues unknown abandoned in the fields, Contemners idly slipping into graves. Enter Mustapha Here is my friend, the one particular, As only he can be who helps us to Important money. Mustapha. Friend of my coffers! Caleb. Friend of my houses! Mustapha. Friend of my harems and my palaces! Caleb. Friend of my vessels and commodities! Hobnot. They worship demons of their own invention. Mustapha. Have you received my orders? Caleb. I have and thank you mightily for them. Cuddle. Good, thank the turbaned thief society Allows for its own profit. Caleb. Why should not east with east embrace at last? Deliberate neglect of Arab art And science is on the world's puffy cheeks A scorching black-streaked brand of whorish shame. Mustapha. Most have in their worst follies and contempt Forgotten all the lore proud Europe owes To mathematic figures and designs First demonstrated on our sapient scrolls. Caleb. For those we praise you everlastlingly. Mustapha. Remind yourself how well a Persian mind First calculated more precisely Than thought of in Gregorian calendar A shorter year adjusted to the sun. 10 Caleb. Love well the stranger, for you may obtain From him good merchandise, and he from you Some money lacking, to our mutual weal And miracles of fortune in the land. Throw out your shepherd's crook and follow us. Hobnot. We are instructed by this fair exchange. Cuddle. And happier for our betterment to serve Inspired prophets of commercial love. Exeunt Caleb, Mustapha, Hobnot, and Cuddie Act 2. Scene 1. The imperial court in Prague. 1609 Enter Johannes Kepler and Matthaus Wackher von Wackenfels Matthaus. Astromers who follow errantly The errant ways of planets look and blink, But always fail to see what they perceive. Johannes. In Tycho's papers I have traced more orbs In true positions than were ever known. Matthaus. Then arm yourself with incredulity, To guide the wayfarers back to their house. Johannes. To them I'll show my new astronomy. Matthaus. The motions of the planets on your charts Seem like their second birth, at last to be Known to intelligent humanity. Johannes. Copernicus dispelled old Ptolemy's Night-vapors with his steady centric sun. Matthaus. But like a janizzary in the heat Of noonday desert dunes you pull down hard The phantom horses of their epicycles. Johannes. True, careful measures of triangulation Between the sun, the earth, and Mars show that Our planet moves like any other, fast Whenever near the sun, and slower as It moves away. Matthaus. To verify your measures, I will need Ten lives in prison served with meat and wine. Johannes. If you are weary of my calculations, Take pity on the man who verified Them seventy times. Matthaus. I pity enviously. Johannes. If speeds of planets change as the result 11 Of one sure force exerted by the sun- A reasonable supposition- The sun can never lie exactly at Their center-point. Matthdus. Then where? Johannes. The planets court the sun In an elliptic roundelay, where he Basks at one focal-point. Matthdus. If proven to be true, may Kepler be Acknowledged as the priest of nature's book. Johannes. And there is more to tell: The area swept by any planet's path Around the sun in equal units of Time is a constant value and the same. Matthdus. More unsought mysteries by Kepler solved! What is the nature of this mighty force? Johannes. We can conjecture that as all the earth Pulls down this stone, the stone in turn pulls up The earth. Thus, in my new astronomy, Mechanic reasons are for the first time Made beautiful and true. But I despair To fly a bolder course throughout the skies When my mind's caked in silence of their frosts. Matthdus. First publish widely, then the wintry sun Of this world's honor may to your content Melt them forever. Exeunt Johannes and Matthaus Act 2. Scene 2. A street in Leonberg. 1609 Enter Ursula Reinbold and Urban Krautlin Ursula. Her pills and herbs make me a little better than I was, but yet much worse. Urban. On portions of a sumptuous cake, we often find, to taste it all, our best friend sprinkle death. Ursula. How can I trip her down? Urban. Her son owes me money. Degenerate quean! Ursula. Never in my hearing use that word. I once disrobed before men's eyes the filthiest parts of whoredom, now happily transformed by honest virtues and my husband's cudgel into a sweeter form of womanhood. Urban. Dregs of neighborliness! We swallow familiar filths, undone and forever unhappy. Ursula. I usually leave her house devoid of pain and wretchedness, and yet, brother, in the end n o sweeter than I was. Urban. A paradox smelling of damnation! 12 Ursula. What honorable person would not grind The teeth at this? Urban. Is patience virtue? Stoic foolishness, The doting father of Christianity! Ursula. Some plot I'll simmer in my pot of hate, Though slow quite dangerous, lest we imbibe Hell's broth on a kind woman's salver. Exeunt Ursula and Urban Act 2. Scene 3. The imperial court in Prague. 1612 Enter Johannes Kepler and Matthaus Wackher von Wackenfels Matthaus. What's this? A groom sporting a club at court? Caleb. No, sir, merely his toothpick. Good day to you. Matthaus. I have once seen that prosperous beard murmuring in the imperial palace. Caleb. No, sir, you never saw it in your life, And so we'll go. Exeunt Caleb and Hobnot Enter Caleb and Hobnot Caleb. Ten men sit smiling in a room of scorn, Refusing to pay what they borrowed. Here, take this cudgel, sir. Knock out the brain Of my first debtor reeling drunk from there. Hobnot. Ha! Are you mad? Caleb. Are you my man or not? Stand and obey. Hobnot. I may return to prison for this deed, Where, for your benefices, I have lain Twice, or perhaps three times before. Caleb. Conceal yourself behind that pillar. Go. Hobnot. I will not do it. Matthaus. Ha, is it possible? Court debts now die Dishonored and unmoarned and creditors Sleep not with wives but witches of revenge. Johannes. As court advisor to the emperor, You may with profit rail on fools and knaves. Matthaus. What, will you leave the court? Johannes. I have to the world given my "Dioptrics" and I have no more to say. Matthaus. With your "Dioptrics", we can understand At last what we behold. Johannes. A friend speaks kindly. Matthaus. Your virtual image is much truer than The world's as we see it. 13 Johannes. I see with double convex lenses that You mean to flatter. Matthdus. To keep you rather. Our Emperor Rudolph Second of that name Deposed! His brother, pious in his hate Of any who denies religious truths, Elected in his stead! I am a- whirl, Outside the sway of your controlling sun. Johannes. The headstrong emperor permits me for Three hundred thirty guilders every year And sixty more for firewood to keep my Position as mathematician in the court As well as in the district of fair Linz. Matthdus. At Linz, I'll visit you. Johannes. At Linz, I'll always welcome best of friends. Exeunt Johannes and Matthaus Act 2. Scene 4. A tavern in Linz. 1612 Enter Mustapha and Cuddie carrying a huge jug Mustapha. A little farther bend the pliant knee In pain and sorrow. Cuddie. My master, here I'll sit and breathe awhile. I lack the strength to fart. Mustapha. Rest; to restore you faster, drink your fill. Cuddie. (farting best of recompenses! Mustapha. You offer incense to a god we see. As taught by Avicenna and by Paul, Unwatered wine stuffed bloating may amend. Cuddie. The better, then, unless the wine is mixed With some saliva of sweet men of sin. Mustapha. Strive for your pleasure. Put the heavy jug Down as our lamp of wisdom. In this land, 1 sell luxurious cloth, with licorice, Dates, raisins, precious spices of all kinds, And with huge profits hugely drink all day Wines of the grape, wines of the fig and more. Why work again if our reward is work? Cuddie. Ah, ah! Mustapha. Defeated Rudolph rests, an emperor Of dust. On the cold ground let him remain. Drink, boy, for in the passing of a dream, We'll stink as any king bereft of breath. Cuddie. Where is our tavern- keeper, master Froth? 14 Mustapha. Pissing in his sleep below the stairs. May his wet breeches honor, as ours do, The holy bread and wine with meat of pork. Cuddle. On a sad grave praying, may parishioners Lie drunk on vapors wafted from my corpse. Mustapha. The pious Christians waste their time in church With what we do more pleasantly: eat down Our god with wine. Cuddle. Because he did not see me in his church, The parson cursed me bitterly today. Mustapha. To chatter with a single man each day Suffices to turn me from all the rest. Cuddle. Priests will I push off even in my tomb. Mustapha. Blind piety reproves blind atheists, And gives them spectacles to see quite clear What never can be seen. Do not heed them. Of heaven no one knows a beggar's fart. Our terror, hope, disdain, indifference Are fumes; we talk; the day begins; we talk; Each day is ended with its smoke; we talk. Cuddle. To weep for Jesus is a vanity, Because he's dead, with spiders in the dust Of centuries long buried. Mustapha. If your religion be To clasp a willing virgin, And celebrate your vigor in her blood, Then I'm religious; If to deface with love-songs margins of Hymn-books and snore during the rituals be Acts of deep piety and songs of grace, Then I'm religious. Cuddle. I practice charity as Paul suggests, For man and woman I love equally In bed. Why should I not? Both have two arms, Two legs, and places man can enter deep. Mustapha. My idle words lack power to describe Tenacity in camels, or the sway Of a girl's hips, but this I say to fools Inside a church: do not stay there, for sleep Is better, drinking best. In mosques, I strike My brow on mats and raise my arse in air, Because I drink too much. Cuddle. The temple dreamt by lusty Solomon, The books of angry sages, parables, 15 Return of prodigals, and miracles Are wonderful and true, but not above The urine of a man who has not heard One word of them. Mustapha. Truth needs no miracle to be believed. The caller on my minaret cries out: "Time for a glass! Drink deeply all day long, Bowl after bowl until the night arrives, And then tomorrow morning pray at once So that you may in joy begin anew." Cuddle. There is more soul in overflowing cups Than in all churches, mosques, and synagogues. Mustapha. As prophets of the tavern once revealed: "Look elsewhere for a man to combat lust And heresy, for these my scabbard's pierced, My falchion limply trailing on the ground, My horse's bit well fastened to its tail, And I ride backward as fast as I can." Cuddle. I never listen to a priest; instead, I always do whatever I should not. Mustapha. Physicians warn us of grave illnesses, So long as to their science we submit; So does the priest with his disease. I say: There is more danger in our doctor's pills, As well as their creators, fabricants, And sellers than in sleeping hot in sin. Like fractions multiplied by fractions, We are diminished cruelly by them. Cuddle. My parson asks: "Why do you drink so much? Why are you always at the cards and dice?" I answer thus: "I drink because I drank; I'll play because I play." Mustapha. Beware that only gravediggers for fees Receive one's body worthy of regard. If by my death no one has lost, How can I say in life I won? To drink too much is folly to the wise. Cuddle. To drink too little is the lot of fools. I'll dally with my bottle-neck and cling Lasciviously to her fat bottom's end. When am I wiser grown? Not when my host declares: "Give him a cup of wine," but when he says: 16 "Here's Cuddie with another cup of wine." Mustapha. When it is time for prayers, promise to Renounce one thing: the prayers, only those, And you'll fare all the better every day. Cuddie. The table on which stands our pot Is much more precious than the cross, our cork More saintly than his nails, our ruddy wine More satisfying than his ghostly blood. Mustapha. Drink, help your neighbor: Jesus on his cross Did not know more. Cuddie. If God be good, he'll pardon all our sins, If God be bad, he surely is not. Mustapha. If you arrive from heaven, I will heed The stories of your heaven, but if not, I'll kiss Mohammed when he flies back down. Enter Johannes Kepler Cuddie. What, will a Lutheran in taverns peep On Sunday of all times? Johannes. It seems I must be mocked before I say One word. Where is my brother? Cuddie. Where you should look for him. Mustapha. A Lutheran will to a Papist speak And a Mohammedan in the dark house Of wine and disputation? Johannes. I am united with all Christians in A special bond of love and willingly With all my brethren trade in words of peace. Contrariwise, our leaders couch no more With old simplicity but with the witch Of trouble and dispute, interpreting Maliciously each Papist word and deed. Mustapha. True, fiery heads in foul Germanic lands With heat and smoke obscure our common path. Sir, what is your profession? Not divine? Johannes. As chief mathematician of our town, I am expected to yield prophecies; As teacher in the seminary school, I am instructed to make young men wise. Mustapha. For the first, we see folly dressed with robes Of borrowed wisdom; for the second, mouths Of fools make wisdom seem but folly's mask. Cuddie. His brother's near. Mustapha. Let us rejoice in full view of the sun. 17 After despair of heavy toil: new life. Cuddle. Our burden's lighter when the profit's known. Exeunt Mustapha and Cuddie, enter Cristoph Keppler Johannes. How, Cristoph, chewing hard on the tough meat Of the world's faults? Then spread on it for once A little mustard of spiced charity, Unless you hope with moping to be saved. Is it well seen to creep dispiritedly, In shabby corners spitting spiteful scorns, With tavern brawling ever entertained, Before each plate full-garnished dinnerless, Unsociably sociable? The inimproved with jangling stupefy The man of purpose in perpetual scales Of interruptedness. Cristoph. I am unlucky each day of my life. I should in bed remain, to watch the streaks Of the day's sun sweep on the coverlet. As pewterer, I hold more metal in My wares than mettle in my saddened soul. Johannes. What of our mother? Cristoph. If to snarl and to mumble over broths Be a poor widow's fortune, she is well. Johannes. She makes the very heart of charity Seem ugly to her neighbors. Cristoph. For my part, I fare all the worst By her attentions, as may be divined In my deep wounds and scars. I sleep with trouble daily, without love. By children I am beaten, bitten by Most animals, chased from my house to ponds And back. Last week, I nearly drowned when winds Hurled like a constable's incipient wrath My boat, and my neck nearly burnt to ash When mother's busy skillet fell o n it. When will you visit her? Johannes. When I arrive in Leonberg. Cristoph. The week when Wednesday follows Saturday. Exeunt Johannes and Cristoph Act 3. Scene 1. A street in Linz. 1615 Enter Caleb and Hobnot Caleb. They owe me money. Hobnot. I heard of that. 18 Caleb. Then follow my behests, lest you become Cursed in your dealings with a careless world. There will be blotches on their hands and feet, They will behold their face before a glass And say in deepest fear: "This not not I," They will bend down to defecate and find No hand to wipe themselves in cleanliness. Their loins will burn in full extremity Of itching. Mildews will forever breed On creases of their brow, untouched by mead. There will not be one part of wholesomeness In their entire body, out or in. They will be men accursed of all, but most By their own selves. Like blots o r tumescence Cut off as soon as seen or smelt half-way, They will be treated as disease unknown. Their mouth will be well-rounded in an "O", Not knowing any other syllable But that of pain and sorrow. They will lack tools and roads to kill themselves, Without an eye to guide the final blow, Quite earless to the rushing of a stream, And enemies will laugh to find their griefs Incurable and mounting. Hobnot. Hell is no fable; it lies in your head. Caleb. If they are punished hard, I'll gladly lose My gold with pleasure, like virginity. Hobnot. Yet poverty, we know, is a neglected sister. Caleb. And wealth our most essential mistress: love Her well. She like a goddess makes the lame Winged Atalantas bending to no fruit, Turns fools into well-read philosophers And sages into fools, makes men admire Songs of hoarse ladies like the Orphean lyre, And students of a needless fantasy Into commanding popes. Hobnot. A money-lender who forgets a debt Would seem to us a proven miracle. Caleb. The only miracle man ever saw Is man believing in a miracle. If we eat, copulate, drink, and disturb No one, then our religion's good. Enter Cristoph Kepler and Urban Krautlin 19 Night-treading whisperers of darkest shame, Far have I followed you, possessing tongues And wits to make the worst of matters good. You owe me money, sirs. Bethink yourselves: Can you expect to laugh and cog at this? Urban. I'll pay you when my debts are reimbursed. Caleb. My money! Cristoph. Dissembling Urban, I paid everything To all extremities of satisfaction. Urban. A tinsmith baffling me? Caleb. My money! Enter Johannes Kepler Urban. Pay what is owed. That would be best for you. Cristoph. I paid what I affirmed I would. Johannes. The matter of a tavern reckoning? Urban. Keep your wife warm in bed. Cristoph. Ho, Urban, hear my harshest diatribe: You lie. If dogs could lie, your lies would be Like those of surgeon-dogs, pretending to Amend the sickly each day of their life. Urban. Confusedly dishonest! Blockish block! I loathe a bad comparison much worse Than a bad man. Caleb. My money! Cristoph. A fool heeds blows. Urban. I will anoint you king of kingly fools. (They fight Johannes. What, Christians striking hard each other's face For money? In deep shame desist for once. Caleb. If blows could either kill the maddened beasts Or turn them into grateful Solomons! Cristoph. O! O! I'm blinded. Urban. That makes me happy. Eyes by lying blood Stung and disfigured! Yet that's too brief a pain, for I intend To spend the rest of my life hitting you. Cristoph. How firmly yet his clumps of hair are seized, No less than the main matter o n his head. Urban. I have felt joy in fixing well a bone, But never half so much as breaking yours. Taste that and more. Ha, still with teeth and arms? Cristoph. Yes, happy even in my death-throes, sir, Provided I can blister well a face 20 Twice-perjured every minute it can speak. Johannes. Enough. Urban. I spy a constable afar, which saves A cheating fool from further punishment. Exit Urban Caleb. There goes part of my money. Johannes. It would be best to try another day. Caleb. I'm tamed for once. But let your brother heed: A lender's mercy will not last beyond A hungry flea's lifetime in well- washed sheets. From furnishing with Brahe's observations A glorious map of stars, together with Sure means to calculate precisely Exact positions of the planets in The past, the present, and the future. Cristoph. Leonberg- News of certain death At the stake. Johannes. Hah? Cristoph. She witchcraft. Johannes. My grief. To Leonberg! I remiss. Bad news no, horrible- our mother's from almost is accused of buttons burst in have been too Exit Caleb Exeunt Johannes and Cristoph Hobnot. I begin to tire of that poorest of rich masters. Johannes. Well thought on! Hobnot. But what I wish for I can never know, Or even care to know at all. Exit Hobnot Johannes. Here is my handkerchief to wipe some blood Away from brow and teeth. Henceforth, forbear Such tricks as quite distract to his despite A science-minded man by science loved Act 3. Scene 2. A street in Leonberg. 1615 Enter Ursula Reinbold and Katharina Kepler Ursula. Scorned and debased as a glass-maker's wife! Scorns will be paid and then in full repaid With doubled double interest. Katharina. Have you not often prospered with My potent salves and herbal tonics? 21 Ursula. I have, as you will find when your tin cup is cruelly melted on your eyes and ears. Katharina. This is to help one's neighbor! Old shoes should die in closets. Ursula. As you will find, because your home's in hell. Katharina. Miserable woman alone, with no one to help. Ursula. Your kind of help is mostly known to hurt. Katharina. Bad tempers make it so. Ursula. Go, old thing; shuffle towards damnation. Exit Katharina and enter Urban Krautlin Urban. The villagers say she is accused of witchcraft. Ursula. Behold her tongue of accusation, and, with some luck, the whip that waits on sinning. Urban. I think you have done well. Ursula. I know I have. Urban. Her son owes me money. Ursula. You saw me, bent and grimacing, enter her house with seething belly, when she gave the potion that sickens, since which day every minute is to me a lurking grave. Urban. No doubt some nasty beverage usually of marvellous benefit to an evilly constituted woman. Ursula. Not pains as the result of an abortion, as she maliciously suggests. The same concoction lamed Beutelspacher, our worthy foolish schoolmaster. There is more to tell and gape at. Cristoph Frick, the butcher, once felt a painful twitch in his thigh as she casually passed in front of his shop, and this without her even touching him. When he kneeled at her pew, begging for help, immediately the pains were relieved. Hear more: Daniel Schmid, the tailor, once invited her to his house to show with pride his two gurgling bouncing babies. As she looked over their cradle to bless them, they suddenly plopped breathless on that same night. Moreover, I have heard neighbors complain of bewitched livestock, of moaning and of kicking in stables and fields, first noticed in her presence. Urban. I am no lawyer, but these appear to be the beginning of good indirect evidence. Enter Johannes Kepler Johannes. For holy Christian charity and love, Retract the awful accusation. Ursula. When two suns rise from Western skies. Johannes. Malicious lies! And for what reason? Urban. Can a sister lie in such a matter? 22 Ursula. To defend a mother, you know, is to invite inquiry into her son's habits. Scrupulous authority may find no oil of sainthood painted on your brow and lips. Re-enter Katharina Kepler Johannes. O, mother, you are dreadfully threatened. Katharina. What, menaces? How, monkey turd, by you? Johannes. Of witchcraft. Katharina. Ha, witchcraft! Ha! O, slaves, it can be proved By no one, yet I may be quite annulled. Ursula. I'll be quiet and serenely meditate on my deeds the day you are awfully condemned, redeeming any lesser fault of mine. Truth is a soft bed-light. Katharina. How have I hurt you? Ursula. Your breathing harms. Katharina. She is of Leonberg malice the sorceress, a cat's black companion in evil. Ursula. A goat is your companion and that our magistrates will discover. Johannes. Old female babble. Ursula. They'll probe into every hole in your body to find where the devil pleasured you. Exeunt Ursula and Urban Johannes. I'll consult all the lawyers I know with those I do not. Do you grieve to give your enemies strength? The innocent smile at lies and innuendoes. This accusation will be dismissed and laughed over foam of beer in October. Katharina. I once lived with an aunt condemned to death at the stake. Johannes. Hah? Katharina. They will recall the day when I asked that my father's skull be disinterred and turned into a drinking vessel- for I had heard in a sermon that a drinking cup in shape of a skull is a pleasant custom of ancient people-, but my request was refused by the gravedigger, since I lacked a form of approval by any figure sufficient in authority. Johannes. Mere turpitudes! Katharina. I once drove a cow to death and roasted one side of it for your brother, Henry, who, refusing the dish, said: "Let a fat hungry devil eat it." This son angrily left the house and, to beat back a thin demon into his larger hole, impaled the calf of that cow on the door of its stall. Johannes. What of Beutelspacher? Katharina. I never harmed Beutelspacher. He was lamed when leaping over a grave- stone with a heavy basket on his back. Johannes. I have since childhood heard many neighbors declare these words: "Katherchen is garrulous, hot-tempered, nasty, quarrelsome, vengeful, inquisitive, 23 preparing many dangerous potions she knows little of and offering neighbors spoiled beverages from her favorite tin cup." Katharina. The same was said of my grandmother, a restless and violent bearer of grudges, often ablaze with ferocious hatreds, though sound in matters of religious doctrine. Johannes. We plummet from the reach of heaven to Pant in the narrow pits of law. Exeunt Johannes and Katharina Act 3. Scene 3. A Leonberg hunting lodge. 1615 Enter Urban Krautlin and Luther Einhorn with muskets Urban. Tomorrow we will hunt the boar with spears. Luther. These muskets well may serve for other game. Urban. If only man could be allowed to use Such instruments of order to prevent The practice of known evils! One I have In mind, a bitter creditor I hate. Luther. Hold, that can never be. Enter Caleb Urban. The cobra rises to stare down two dupes Choked on the poison of high interests. Luther. You owe him money, too? Caleb. The world owes me my due, which I will get. Urban. What, glorying in our fierce miseries? Caleb. Why do you point a musket on my face When I have saved you? Has not Jewish gold Cut injury away from Christian nets? Luther. For shame, put down your weapon. Urban. It is no sin to kill a sinning Jew. Luther. You still forget I am a magistrate. Down, lest I study never to have known Your love or your contempts. Caleb. Is it religious to be courted first For money, then abandoned when men lack? Luther. You come forth naked. Where in secret cave Or closet darkly lurks your servitor? Caleb. My man is quite forgotten as he lies I guess not where. Luther. It may be easily seen that on this night From us you will retrieve but filthy words, In no wise filthy money. Caleb. The filth returns to man. 24 Exit Caleb Urban. I have a small request, not to the friend, But to the magistrate. Luther. Your neighbor is a witch, some people say. Urban. That. You will hear my urgent plea, I hope. We understand each other? Luther. Hum, yes, or no; I cannot delve through all, Unless the accusation is prepared With careful study, in full cognizance Of good or bad report, what men have seen Or only thought they saw, what men have heard Or only were told of. To sift away The inadmissible is duty's oath In magistrates of soundest judgment, yours To pick out grains and choose the rightful tares, Preventing poison ere the case is weighed. Urban. In serious matters, friends can silently Behold each other and know all is well. Exeunt Urban and Luther Act 3. Scene 4. Before the Leonberg court-house. 1615 Enter Katharina Kepler Katharina. (knocking at the door Ho! Ho! Someone within! No man or beast? Enter Hobnot above Hobnot. Who knocks? What is your wish from our dark house Of questioning and pain? Katharina. O, sir, I beg you- Ha! I have once seen That faceless face of blood. Hobnot. And so have many more: my mother's one, A face that killed her well. Katharina. The Jew's most servile of his serving-men. Hobnot. No more. I left my master to become The worthy village executionner. Katharina. Where is our honored master, kindly judge In matters of deep faith? He must be just In a poor fearful woman's case, or else I am forever in my grave undone. Hobnot. He left an hour ago. Exit Hobnot above Katharina. Ha! Gone? Ignored and mocked by a dry knave? Re-enter Hobnot below Hobnot. Some quiet would be seemlier. I have been At tortures all this morning, sounded with 25 Such cries as must hurt any head of sense. Katharina. O, there you wring me in a frenzied knot. Hobnot. What is the nature of your trouble? Katharina. I am accused of witchraft. Hobnot. You'll surely be burnt to death, at best Stoned shoeless in your shirt. Katharina. Do not quite kill me in my terrible And lonely fears. O! O! O! Hobnot. Limbs fit for mangling, so that justicers May know accomplices of evil life. I'm new yet at this goodly line of work, And will quite humbly take the happy charge As part of my apprenticeship, most glad For the experience. Katharina. What, will they take me soon? Hobnot. Weep on dry pillows; with tomorrow's moon The iron chain must be your bedsheet, which I will prepare and whistle as I wait. Exit Hobnot, enter Urban Krautlin and Luther Einhorn Urban. That is the woman, woeful man's worst woe, The drily sapless witch, apt to prick off With wooden finger honest men to death. Katharina. Sir, do not listen to unhappy man When you know truth is almost always born From the unhappy pit of woman's grief. Luther. I should know reasons to know neither, for I have not studied this bad case as yet. Katharina. A neighbor and his sister only tell Lies to be rid of me. Luther. Go, go; I'll summon you, should there be need. Urban. Will she escape so soon? I challenge you, In presence of this worthy magistrate, To make my sister well. Katharina. Ha! Ha! Ha! Drawing on my withered breast The sharpest of all swords except the tongue Of a deceiving mouth? Luther. Ha! Are you mad? Am I a magistrate Or fellow to the bibbing swaggerer? Is fury your high lord? Reflect how Christ Kissed his dark sweaty post in quietness. Is drunken folly king? Remind yourself How he drank vinegar with broken mouth. 26 The man wept blood. Will you with wet cheeks laugh? The man wept blood. Will you with roaring throats Presume to understand when Rome could not? Urban. O for the belly of Democritus To keep from bursting at the sight of spleen! What actor plays not folly, foolishly Distraught at a fool's fault, or laughingly Make light of it, applauded by more fools? I will choose good when charms are cut away. Katharina. No, I refuse, considering well that To put off evil by a counter-evil is A witch's game. Exit Katharina Luther. Illegal matter, sir. Before a court Of justice threatening and in the eyes Of a well-thought-of justicer? My ears Against my will imbibe men's foolishness In drunken sadness. Urban. You will not find it so when patience hears, Like a compliant king, the dangers we Are daily subject to by women's tricks: Outside Jerusalem, but deep within The burning pit of Sodom. For our weal, Take out from Adam yet another rib; The first one's rotting in her heart and mind. Luther. More senseless village business all day long! What sweaty stones of toil we stagger with To find the little nugget! I'll next teach My horse some grammar, easier task by far Than to conceive the reasons of men's pains. Exeunt Urban and Luther Act 4. Scene 1. Katharina Kepler's house in Leonberg. 1616 Enter Johannes Kepler and Matthaus Wackher von Wackenfels Johannes. I have accused the Reinbold family Of slander. Is this just? Matthaus. I do not know. Say why you have done this. Johannes. I stab the hand that hits me. Matthaus. Perhaps to be ensnared and glued the worse With spider-laws, to your own detriment. 27 Enter Cuddie with a barrel Cuddle. Sir, I'm sent by your mother for a few coins, poor as I am, to say she's in a worse fright and trouble than ever she was. Johannes. Is it the Arab merchant's serving-man? Cuddie. Cuddie, by his own avowal and assurance. In Leonberg, our Arab merchant works, or rests, as firmly and opulently established with us as in many other places of high and low renown. I arrive with comfort for certain griefs easy to be dislodged and with beatitude to anyone with money. Johannes. I do not want more wine. Cuddie. Horrible apostasy, if I may humbly and regretfully say so, as so many have pronounced kicking and leaping in market-place and houses of merriment. I offer you pardon, clemency, peace, a very great loving hand, a heaven for sinners on earth. Mercy was delivered to David's murdering envious heart, received by Habbakuk, promised to Zachariah, assured by Paul: do you reject it? Our citizens accuse each other, strike each other's neck and occiput, sometimes to death, an irremediable condition in the judgment or hope of many. Some lie for profit, steal for advantages, sleep for pleasure in a neighbor's bed, all these no doubt reprehensible, with speedy and inevitable vengeance often bloodily falling on the perpetrator's caboche. Where is mercy? Here, revealed to you for all times and to your better hope, relief, and amendment, here, away from dissension, towards the ruddy light of light wine, to the shame and freezing of unbelievers. One cup may ease you of most dolors and sorrows, by your own making or not, by your friends' making or not, as it may please any who partake of it, translunar, or daily seen by us in common paths or obscure byways. Who says otherwise? Ananias and Sapphira fell down dead for not purchasing modest repose and companionship and do you refuse? Do you stop your ears from the voice of reconciliation and joy and not leap away from the coffin of no drinking? Matthaus. Here limps your drooping mother. Enter Katharina Kepler Katharina. More horrors for deathless eld. Johannes. Sit quietly beside your worried son to tell your story. Katharina. A tale of a twelve-year- old girl, Katharina Haller, daughter of a laborer, who jumped in fright on looking at my almost rotted face around a corner of the mercer's shop- why wonder at it when considering 28 what her parents likely accuse me of? Cuddle. She swore your venerable mother hit her on the right arm. Katharina. When I only approached and extended my hand towards the girl's. These lies are infamously supported by her drunken witness, daughter to a brickmaker. Cuddle. The girl's pains were already assuaged and becalmed when I heard her puling next to the court-house. Katharina. Pains motivated, I think, by her being forced to carry heavy bags of brick to the kiln, a task she would happily be rid of. Matthaus. Very probable. Katharina. The villagers now say that my cup of charity tastes strongly of witchcraft. Johannes. You have worse news, I can tell. Katharina. I have done foolishly with foolish intent. Johannes. What now? Katharina. I offered Luther Einhorn, magistrate in my case, my best silver cup, should he omit his report to the chancery. Johannes. Attempt at bribery! A criminal offense! Katharina. I grant you that and surely will lament This fault till final ashes sink my head. Matthaus. Now hated even by sensible people. Johannes. Flee from Leonberg. Katharina. I will not. Johannes. Run to my sister's house in Heumaden. Katharina. No. Johannes. I say you must. Katharina. Never. Johannes. What will convince you? Katharina. Nothing. Cuddie. (striking her A pitiable case. Johannes. Ha! Are you mad? Matthaus. He has knocked her senseless to the ground. Cuddie. Conserve with care my wine of goodness and pity and pay me later, for, by faith in my own judgment, as may be read with many prophets of old, I'll liberate a son and mother from contumelies by guiding her with all niceties of comfort in my cart to Heumaden, where my master intends to be affirmed further and more solidly on the rock of more abundant riches. Exit Cuddie carrying Katharina Johannes. I'll follow a fool to save my mother. Matthaus. And I the wine. Exeunt Johannes and Matthaus with the barrel Act 4. Scene 2. Before Margarete Kepler's house in Heumaden. 1617 29 Enter Luther Einhorn Luther, (knocking at the door Arise, dull Cristoph Kepler, from your lair. A packaged fly from broken nets of law May drop away, to die more cruelly, As desiccated grubs awaiting still The lazy open tooth that can cut them. Enter Cristoph Kepler Cristoph. Am I undone? Luther. I have warned, and am left unheeded, sir, I have with soreness pleaded, and am left Unheeded, like a Sunday schoolmaster. Cristoph. O, sir, disclose what may or must be done And I will die your servant in good forms Of surest law with strict exactitude. Does this concern my mother? Luther. It does, most awfully. Cristoph. Your errand without guile. Luther. I'm instructed by the superior adviser of the courts to arrest your mother for the crime of witchcraft. Cristoph. Death! Luther. Take heart. If she be guilty, we have her In blood; if not, she's safe. Cristoph. Snares and troubles! How can I escape? Luther. Speak briefly: have you served a filthy witch In any way? Cristoph. O, never, sir, never, never, never, never, as I hope to live and die as an honest citizen. Luther. That may be doubted from a son's report. Cristoph. My mother surely understands the truth. Luther. I hope that may be hoped for. Know that she Attempted to bribe a just magistrate. Cristoph. Ah, no! This news half poisons heart and blood. Luther. I'm not so loving to her now as once I was when dressed in robes of innocence And knew no evil in a woman's heart. Cristoph. What should be done? Luther. Snatch her away from her home, strip her clean, Until we spy some bones of truth on her. Cristoph. Let it be done. Luther. She's here? I may see her? Cristoph. No no, out on a silly errand. Luther. No doubt to fetch your food and serve your meals. Let her be promptly sent to me in haste. Cristoph. I am no son if this be left undone. 30 Luther. I must forewarn you: few accused of this Of heinous crimes the worst reveal clear truths. Cristoph. Sir, if there be no other way at all Of finding out and leading by the hand In open nakedness shy verity, Which mirrored goodness hopes for and expects, Let her be tortured. Luther. Now you speak kindly, for her sake and yours. Cristoph. Should she be proven guilty, burn her well. A guiltless man of crime must never know. Luther. No covin will be bargained. Let her stand With truths, or rot on beds of rope with lies. Matthaus. There is a second defenestration In Prague: three Papists, good administrators But worse than devil martyrs in the cause Against the Lutherans, from windows thrown Down from a height of fifty feet. Enraged, Haphazard ragtags of fool- Protestants Seize cowls of dead-to-worlds Franciscan monks And coats of Jewish merchants, folded with No known opinion on each faction's hate, And murder them in open common streets. Johannes. Most certainly the start of furious wars. Exeunt Luther and Cristoph Enter Cuddie Act 4. Scene 3. Margarete Kepler's house in Heumaden. 1618 Enter Johannes Kepler and Matthaus Wackher von Wackenfels Johannes. In sight of false religions they embrace, Ixions all aflame, with clouds. Matthaus. The summer thunder is now cannon fire. Johannes. Say what is heard concerning our worst fears. Matthaus. Here's one who always prances leisurely. - Now, sir, reveal to us why you are seen To enter rooms with one hand o n your hip Or buttock and the other on your cup. Cuddie. I think our buttocks are to body parts What altars are to hushed divinity. Matthaus. Why, Cuddie? Cuddie. Much like a priest I place my hands on them 31 With bowed head praying that the Jesus from My friend's tomb enters in my tabernacle. Matthdus. So, sir, you are conscripted in our fights, We hear. You must be made to lay aside The cup and laurelled song. Cuddle. Called to the wars? I hope to hang instead. Matthdus. The wreathed bowl upraised will not serve here. Cuddle. Although they cannoneer, I'll snort in bed. Matthdus. No sleep for sluggard shoulders but in dust. Enter soldiers Cuddle. Am I the magnet to these iron men? I Soldier. Come live with us in tents. Cuddle. No, rather die with you in bandages. 1 will stay here to pray for you most nights, In moving tributes well remembered. 2 Soldier. March in our serried ranks. Cuddle. I had planned nothing more laborious than To shake off droplets from my sated prick. 3 Soldier. Come, shallow belly, or with lead be filled. Cuddle. I'll lie a weeper on my monument If war-crazed folly urges more than words. Johannes. Poor mouth, of happy laughter choked and stilled. Cuddle. Reveal to me with skill, large sons of Mars, Why we are fighting. Why must Cuddie die? Why should my blood gild a pope's golden shoe? Can we eat crusty pies of Lutherans? Johannes. A light man's jests die in the ears of Mars. Cuddie. I'm wretchedly abused if I must die Because some kiss a virgin's painted toe. Matthdus. The eyes of childhood guess why we should fight. Cuddie. Should I return, I may keep one or none, Or worse than all a third above the brow, A Cyclop mighty only in my wounds. Matthdus. There is no more to say. Cuddie. Thus in their ease and comfort old grey-beards Wave us to death. You wrinkle, cup in hand, And buzz before a fire, when we return With more holes on our face than honeycombs. Matthdus. That must be if it must. Cuddie. To carry lances chapped hands never sought, And die to please invisibilities? 32 Be justified by faith and works, and help The useless epicurian poltroonize. Matthdus. That may not be. Cuddle. Bid them, I beg you, sirs, to let me go. Matthdus. You may not stay. Cuddle. Where not? Above the earth? Will Cuddie lie Like any breathless creature underground? Matthdus. Learn to fight well; that is your present school. Cuddle. If I behold one naked enemy, I'll shriek and heavily becrap my seat, As I do here. 1 Soldier. Foh! Filthy knave! 2 Soldier. Foh! Filthy, stinking knave! 3 Soldier. Beat him, or make him go. Cuddie. Unhand me, sirs, at once; 1 am a priest. 2 Soldier. What kind? A nauseating Lutheran? Cuddie. No, a far holier one, and best to know, A hairy priest of Bacchus, as you see. 1 Soldier. Give to a coward fool a helmet brave. 3. Soldier. Take him.- Resistance? Turn him upside-down. Cuddle. I march with shoe of steel on frightened head. Exeunt soldiers carrying Cuddie Johannes. Is this religion? Deadly fooleries! Matthdus. We smell the horrid, putrifying flesh Of the three-way-split evangelical Church of the day. What of your post? Quite safe? Johannes. No, I prognosticate for my own self Fear, shakings, noise, a heavy tuneless drum, Not the light heart that often has played with The jangling music of the popish scorn. Matthdus. Mathematicians of two emperors Adhering to the Augsburg bargain, hold, I hope, but a child's reason in their fear. Johannes. I often tremble even with my own. I am denied communion in the church Of Wurttemberg. Matthdus. Why? Johannes. Because I do not lift my hands and shout That popes are antichrist. Who should not make Of his own groaning music, voice, and text? Matthdus. Plead to the university. Johannes. To our immodest chancellor I have Appealed, to be immodestly denied. Thus I prognosticate for the new year 33 Of sixteen-nineteen, graceless of all times: I know a neuter-gendered animal Resplendent in the roses, looking at Its enemy. The milky blood that gushed From our lord's side to all parishioners Is soured, and we fit meat for butcher knives. Matthdus. As if we only meant to say we live. With what defeated sluggish quiescence Man goes, before the failing of the light, From sleeping chambers to the wormy bed, With prayers to undress his bones in sleep! Exeunt Johannes and Matthaus Act 4. Scene 4. A street in Heumaden. 1620 Enter Cuddie as a soldier Cuddle. Ho, friends, fools, comrades, fools, companions-in- arms, more fools still! Is Cuddie the soldier expected to charge without arms and naked the enemy alone? Is showing your back backing? Did my mother smile down at me and yield her breast for this? (An explosion is heard Ha! Was that the foe or flatulence? Ho, fellows, friends, acquaintances, friends, citizens, friends, shallow stocks, friends, is Cuddie your whole war? Is one man alone to save your thatched rooftops from fire, spare runaways hiding in your cellars, keep enemies at bay from larder and buttery? A corpse is the silliest sight in all the world. All fools if Cuddie be your redeemer! Ho, filthy fools-at-arms, filthy madmen-at-arms, filthy vacillators-at-arms, filthy drunkards-at-arms, filthy, filthy, filthy- Enter soldiers How are you, great and loving friends? I Soldier. Here, take this. Cuddie. What is this thing? 1 Soldier. A firearm, fool, to kill your enemies. Cuddie. In my anxieties, I'll shoot at you More often than on them. Reflect on this: Is it not safer for us all if I Be safely shut in prison? 2 Soldier. Right, to be hanged afterwards. Cuddie. I'll ply my musket instead. 3 Soldier. Aim at the foe, my friend, that would be best. Cuddie. Well reminded. 34 1 Soldier. What noise is that? The enemy? Cuddle, (shooting I'll kill them all. 2 Soldier. Ha! Ha! He has shot me on my right thigh. 3 Soldier. Ha! Are you mad? Cuddle. You were well warned, I guess. Exeunt 1 and 3 Soldier carrying 2 Soldier, enter Mustapha O, my master, my fine master, my fine and loving master, great welcome to greatest Mustapha from the trembling mouth of a cursed, weary, famished, bleeding, filthy, dishevelled soldier. Mustapha. Rise. Do you weep? Cuddle. Take me away. Rise as my savior still. Mustapha. My Cuddie loathes the world and seeks to flee. Cuddle. I'm blinded and cut off in fear and hate. A poor man's smoky vision of the world Is necessarily untrue, because He is not asked to stoke it. Only you, The rich, can hope to hold its shadowed form. Mustapha. But you must earn the right to live with me. Let me first question you politically. Cuddle. Good students answer what good teachers say. Mustapha. The old emperor, Matthias, has died. Who succeeded him? Cuddle. I cannot know; I only bled for him. Mustapha. Ferdinand the Second, his cousin, elected in Frankfurt last year. Cuddle. Good. Mustapha. Who leads the Bohemians? Cuddle. I cannot know; I only felt their blows. Mustapha. The Bohemians, conferring royal dignity on Elector Friedrich the Fifth of the Palatinate, son-in-law to James the First of England, are led by Count Henrich Matthias Thurn. Who leads the new emperor's forces? Cuddle. I bless wise answers in blind confidence. Mustapha. Emperor Ferdinand the Second has persuaded Maximilian, duke of Bavaria, to lead his forces. The duke's army first entered Linz, on his way to break Bohemia to its knees. Cuddle. Good. Mustapha. More matter worthy to be known: Friedrich of Bohemia has been decisively beaten at White Mountain, outside of Prague, and escaped as a winter king to Holland, a battle won by the baron of Tilly over Count Matthias Thurn and Prince Christian Anhalt-Bernberg, while Maximilian of Bavaria has entered Prague, sacking that great city 35 with his imperial army. And so you see the war is ended, and you almost killed for nothing. Cuddle. Good. Mustapha. To refresh your state from utmost penury, I should give you one hundred guilders. Here is the money. Cuddle. O, my good master! Mustapha. Yet hold. I begin to waver, even after cursory examination, concerned with the ultimate benefit derivable from my gift. Cuddle. Why? Mustapha. In strict philosophical terms, I doubt whether to give you one hundred guilders is the wisest use I can make of them. Cuddle. One hundred guilders represent superfluous beer-froth on skeptic beard and lips, but death-in-abeyance necessity to me, for, unless I receive one hundred guilders or an equivalent amount, I may not eat today, and, if I quit the wars, I have no place to stay and sleep. Mustapha. True, Cuddie, but many deep philosophers of east or west may to your detriment affirm that, like a gardener hired in the house of knowledge, I may fructify the use of one hundred guilders to a greater breadth of fortune's trees of happiness than is generally possible in a poorer one. Cuddle. I agree, master, that the one hundred guilders may be used to better purpose, and yet without them I may starve. Mustapha. But you have not yet demonstrated why I should give you the one hundred guilders, for my one hundred guilders may prevent a hundred men from starving. Cuddle. That, too, is doubtful. Mustapha. It is, Cuddie. Cuddle. The careful thinker concludes that everything may be doubted: historic observation, moral law, and scientific demonstration, acknowledging no fundamental principle we must obligatorily adhere to. Mustapha. In a Pyrrhonian sense, or manner of extreme doubting, that statement is doubtful, for if we say: "everything is doubtful," that statement may be doubted. Cuddle. And therefore we assert that if everything may be doubted, nothing can become doubtful, insofar as doubting that everything is doubtful makes everything certain. Therefore, to promote a greater degree of general happiness, first posited to be doubtful and then not, I should get the one hundred guilders. Mustapha. I doubt that. Cuddle. Have we not accepted that if we doubt everything, we doubt nothing? Mustapha. A false conclusion, Cuddie, because that statement may be doubted as well. 36 Cuddie. We therefore conclude that the opinion "everything is doubtful" is false, insofar as it may be doubted, and because it is doubted, some things may be true and others false. Mustapha. I doubt that, too. You will not obtain the one hundred guilders, but food and bed as my new secretary. Cuddie. My wisest master! Exeunt Mustapha and Cuddie I fear much, for you more. To resurrect Despair and pull him shrieking from his shroud In joy, the body's recondite perhaps, Must be the object of our daily work. Exeunt Johannes and Matthaus Act 4. Scene 6. A street in Leonberg. 1620 Act 4. Scene 5. A street in Heumaden. 1620 Enter Caleb with a coffer and Luther Einhorn Enter Johannes Kepler and Matthaus Wackher von Wackenfels Johannes. My nerves are shot to pieces with concern And buried in the grave of my sad thoughts. Matthaus. More on your mother? Johannes. The chief council of the ducal chancery has ordered her arrest. She is imprisoned at Leonberg, to be diligently examined on forty-nine theological articles while confronted with her accusors. Should she plead not guilty, she will immediately be stretched o n the rack, an old woman's body gleaming in a horrid sweat. Matthaus. To Leonberg! For the supposed witch Caleb. No money? Luther. No, Jew, I need more time to pay you back. Caleb. Excuses are the naked beggars whom Wise dealers spurn with foot. Luther. You hold me by the throat, stout Hercules, As firmly as when he Achelous pressed To earth, and, breaking off his captive horn, Spread much abundance. So do citizens Bestow to fruitful-headed usurers, Of whom I hope you form a company. Caleb. I'll seize from you securities instead. Luther. Which pledges will you take? Caleb. This first. Luther. My hat? 37 Caleb. Yes. Luther. My chain? Caleb. Yes. Luther. My shoes? Caleb. Yes. Luther. My cloak? Caleb. Yes. Luther. My shirt? Caleb. Yes. Luther. My breeches? Caleb. Hum, hah, huh, grr. Luther. O, slavery and death! Exit Luther and enter 3 Jews A synagogue. Will you not contribute To that great aim and hope for life in life? Caleb. A synagogue? Why? To keep sheep in it, As bushy as your beards, or beds of lice? (He chases them away Pay for a synagogue? No, stab me first On sharpest candelabrum. Caleb. What do you think, my friends? Are these worth much? (They look at the items Examine carefully each item: is The hat in fashion nowaways or not? How heavy is the chain? Is it pure gold? Can these shoes crush at once insolvent fools? Can his cloak hold off wintry Austrian winds? Does his shirt have some stiches here and there? 1 Jew. Tomorrow we will tell. Caleb. Good. 2 Jew. We understand, resourceful Caleb, why You flow more fully than you did before. Caleb. And so do I. 3 Jew. We may yet in Vienna soon admire Enter 3 beggars Who are these now? 1 Beggar. A rout of beggars, Caleb. We know you. Caleb. No, you do not, for otherwise your hands Would not stretch idly on a holiday. 2 Beggar. Some charity! 3 Beggar. A little charity! Caleb. What would you do with money? 1 Beggar. If I had money, I would eat today. Caleb. Put this inside your bag. 1 Beggar. One small coin? Caleb. Eat that. Exit 1 Beggar What would you do? 2 Beggar. Give it to my poor father, so that he May eat today. 38 Caleb. Put this inside your bag. 2 Beggar. One small coin? Caleb. Let him eat that. Exit 2 Beggar Caleb. And you? 3 Beggar. I would invest it in a silly scheme, By which a fool or two a million win, And thousands more a thousand million lose. Caleb. I empty coffers in your tiny bag. 3 Beggar. Ha, coins seen copulating in my sight! Caleb. Take all and may these multiply for all. Exit 3 Beggar What do you say, rich beggar, to my proof? A man needs no religion to be good. Exit Caleb Act 5. Scene 1. The court-house in Guglingen. 1621 Enter Johann Ulrich Aulber and Hobnot Our Hobnot, hangman with the finer touch And style, unknown as yet in Guglingen. Hobnot. I thank you. Johann. Of Hobnot many wish they have not heard, Or most especially felt. Hobnot. I thank them. Some have named me king of chain And rope, an emperor in spikes and wheels, Great captain of strappadoes, doctor of Most awful suffering, of deep-felt burns The master and the secretary. Johann. Deservedly bestowed. From Leonberg We have obtained word that a woman swears Of witchcraft she knows nothing. Innocence Uncertainly with hand on lips walks forth. Hobnot. How, innocence! Johann. Which may be doubted, as our colleague has, The probing Einhorn. Howsoever, sir, Hot irons should plead for or else against. Hobnot. Here are her sons, I think. Johann. Let us see whether truth can be plucked out, With help from Hobnot, from a woman's breast, Enter Johannes and Cristoph Kepler Johannes. We come to comfort a dear mother's fears. 39 Johann. That may not be. Johannes. Our mother, kept at gloomy tower gate On used straw, clapped in chains, so that to scratch Becomes a problem in geometry. Johann. A magistrate upholds no favorite. We will examine her beliefs with care. Johannes. O, master, this is what we fear the most. Johann. Why should you fear if she be innocent? Cristoph. We do not doubt or fear that you will wring The surest truth from her. Johann. For Katharina Kepler's sake I hope That may be hoped for. Johannes. More terrors and afflictions! Johann. The only prisoners who need fear are Those who in fear seek to blot out clear truth. Johannes. I'll scrape and wash my knees in their own blood Until our duke grants mercy in this case. Johann. We will await his answer. Exeunt Johann and Hobnot Johannes. A mother groaning in her senseless chains With worse than senseless keepers at her side! Cristoph. And what consumes my heart is that they sit At our expense beside a goodly fire. Johannes. And she allowed to freeze in shadows! Cristoph. O, every hour we lose good money. Johannes. Is it the money that concerns you most? Cristoph. No, this: if they cannot distinguish truth, We may be stretched and ground to pasties, too. Johannes. More arguments to gargle on with dread! Cristoph. Let her be tortured for my money. Johannes. O, this, O this- I can sustain no more. Cristoph. Will you sink now? The duke may yet disarm With kindness what these men prepare for her. Johannes. True. I conceive, to give our mother life. Cristoph. I will see whether I may yet persuade With more gold coins her keepers to be kind To an old mother, our wet-pated chick With open beak uncertain in her nest. Johannes. Whose painful habitation may yet be More comfortable than that other house She is invited in, I mean her grave. Cristoph. Come, will you go? Johannes. I will, my Cristoph. So, to horse with speed! 40 But what will I think of along the way? Cristoph. Think of lost money every day to spur Your courser on. Johannes. No, I will study to be patient like Old stoics smiling as they grieve in fire. Cristoph. Well thought on! Johannes. I wrote a book of patience of my own. Cristoph. Is it your "Harmony of the worlds"? Johannes. In my "Harmony of the worlds", I show that the cube of the ratio between two planets' distance from the sun equals the square of the ratio between their rotation periods. Cristoph. Good. Johannes. Huh, does the sneering cynic wave his hand? Some say: "The man has ice-floes for a heart, And sciences make him ridiculous," But I aver to all who know and love: To work out pain in thinking of n o pain Is sovereign against our melancholy. Cristoph. You think aright. Johannes. I think in mazes to avoid the house Where thinking nothing is my blank despair. Cristoph. You have considered much. Johannes. I plunder on Egyptian silver bowls Where planets are inscribed. Enthusiasm Roars in my mathematic signs like fire. The circle is to a straight line What trumpets are to soldiers, Or holidays to peasants. My soul is not transformed by Mercury Arising in the seventh house In quadratures to Mars, But by the writings of Copernicus And Brahe burning, otherwise dark star In dark oblivion lost. Cristoph. High meditations easing our distress! Exeunt Johannes and Cristoph Act 5. Scene 2. A torture-chamber in Guglingen. 1621 Enter Johann Ulrich Aulber and Hobnot Johann. Are all our instruments in readiness? Hobnot. They seem to sweat but to begin new work, The sadder remnants of past prisoners. Johann. Be merciful to truth and not to her, For truth we love, though bloody in her birth. Hobnot. I'll be her midwife. 41 Johann. The prisoner's accusers keep long hours in our chamber, enduring the cold in hope of nudging her in heat. Hobnot. I seem to hear their heavy noiseless steps In haste from wall to wall in the next room. Johann. We have studied with diligence the deposition of these accusers and find them convincing here and there in some very indeterminate parts. Hobnot. Let the prisoner speak or squeak, so long as she gives birth from the mouth to some little baby-truth a long time blubbering on our bed of ropes. My Berta and I will search her bowels for such a trembling embryo this day, I promise you. Johann. I do not doubt that. But who is Berta? Hobnot. The name I have given to this gear. Enter Ursula Reinbold and Urban Krautlin Ursula. Is it done? Are we happy? Johann. We hourly expect the duke's decision. Ursula. Likely to be wise and good, but more especially wise. Johann. We recognize in him the sagest conductor of any dukedoom known in Europe. Urban. No doubt. Who will bring us the news? Johann. Baron Matthaus Wackher von Wackenfels, advisor to the emperor. Ursula. A friend to Johannes Kepler, her son. I do not like that. Urban. Let him plead. Should pleading carry it, we plead in vain. Johann. Hobnot, go see whether this messenger has arrived. Hobnot. I will, master. Enter Matthaus Wackher von Wackenfels I need not go. He comes in haste. Matthaus. A letter for you, master Hobnot. Johann. Our servant is Hobnot; my name is master Aulber. Matthaus. Your pardon, good master Aulber. Johann. Give me the letter. Matthaus. May its whiteness proclaim new innocence on earth. Ursula. No, glorious truth, only that. Johann. The duke declares that the opinion of the judicial faculty at the University of Tubingen is upheld in this instance, maintaining that the Kepler woman should be shown instruments of torture in presence of the executionner: the rack and the garotte, the branding irons, needles, pincers, and ropes, every part of his trade, but suffer none of them. Matthaus. The duke has spoken. 42 Johann. The wise are silent. Exeunt Ursula and Urban Go, Hobnot; hale with vigor our fearfullest guest. Truth may yet be gleaned, though the ground seems dry and brittle. Hobnot. Especially after rainfall of the eyes. Exit Hobnot Matthdus. Be merciful. Johann. I'm merciful to her victims, if she had any. Matthdus. It matters little if a hundred murderers go free, provided innocence's garments lie untouched. Johann. What if a hundred innocent prisoners choke? They climb on their rope towards a higher justicer. No guilty villain may go free, lest we ruin a good world. Matthdus. We presume that the guilty are innocent. Johann. We presume that the innocent are guilty. Matthdus. Cruelty disguised as justice! Johann. Injustice disguised as mercy! Matthdus. Justice? A puny giant killing unknowingly. Johann. Mercy? A colored viper killing secretly. Matthdus. Be lenient and expect to your own hopes a tastier pear than clemency, with greater benefits no earthly gardener can devise or guess. Exit Matthaus, enter Hobnot and Katharina Kepler Johann. Is it the witch? Hobnot. It is. Johann. How many men have you desiccated? Katharina. I assure you, good master Aulber, none. Johann. A woman hides truth more earnestly than her bush and buttocks. We see mushroom troops of grooms daily transformed into filthy bits of straw, beggars in your parish streets. We have watched you with horror do this to them. Katharina. No. I never learned how. Johann. You may only have intended to hurt them, but to a witch one malicious thought is sufficient for a multitude of good persons to grieve, with loathing of their lives. Stand here. Our authority protects us from the secret wiles of witches and bad women. Katharina. This cold room I know, where stand even colder men within. Johann. Your prison garment is too thin. Unless you speak the entire truth at last, you'll soon be warmer, but not in any way you'll like. 43 Katharina. Ah, my not-to-be-rid- of-never-ending terrors! Hobnot. Good, good. Johann. An innocent woman afraid? Come, speak truthfully, so that we may sleep this night for once. Katharina. What can you wish to know I have not told? Johann. You have like a mannish sorceress in Ursula Reinbold's belly planted a cruel seed. Release her from sickness. Katharina. I did not harm her, nor did I ever wish to. Johann. Did you administer to her and to her neighbors soothing draughts that kill? Katharina. Never. Johann. Show her the wheel. Katharina. O, mercy! Hobnot. Barbara can break arms and legs, Barbara can like willows bend them. Katharina. Mercy! Ah, ah! Johann. In tears truths flower. Katharina. Ah, ah, ah, ah! Hobnot. A son's wife breaks the mother's arm holding him, and that is well, for otherwise his self is entirely his mother's all life long, but this she can break limbs in a crueller fashion, making them, like sleeves on an unworn cloak, more pliant than your tales. Johann. Will you speak better with more truths? Katharina. I have told everything ten times or more. Johann. Show her the rack. Katharina. Still mercy! Hobnot. Berta can stretch a woman's bones to wires. Katharina. Ah, ah, ah, ah! Johann. Admit you slept with Satan. Katharina. No, no. Hobnot. Berta delivers truths while sparing few, and with ropy hands indifferent to yelling. Johann. No more words? Katharina. I'm stifled in a foggy fear. Johann. Show her the iron tooth; demonstrate its uses. Hobnot. If the others do not, Susanna can spur your tongue to miraculous gallops. Katharina. Ah, ah, ah, ah! Hobnot. The second wife bites a mother's hopes more sharply than the first. I assure you, iron pierces, and some have wept before my shiny face at the discovery. Johann. Hobnot can play cruel music on all organs. Hobnot. May my face drizzle with sweat together with your blood, should truth lie sleeping in a world unknown. Katharina. Let me catch my breath; I'll say something, say something, something. Hobnot. Is this not well, master? Johann. We are winning, Hercules; the hydra of lies is vomiting her away. Katharina. And yet my something may be your nothing. 44 Johann. Is witchcraft the most cherished of your sciences? Katharina. No. Johann. Tell me the truth and hope. Katharina. My only hope is not to hope. Johann. A magistrate, not yet unkind enough, Adjures you to repent and cheat our foe, The always naked tempter of deep lusts, For otherwise some fearful, horrid pains Are likely to ensue. Katharina. The age of iron breathes. Johann. You will need all your healing salves today. Katharina. Pull out vein after vein, and flesh from bone, For I have nothing richer to confess. Johann. Now, Hobnot, set her free. Hobnot. Ha! Johann. Come, are you fainting? Hobnot. In joy, good master. Katharina. Free? Free? What is that word? Johann. Catch the bewildered fool. Hobnot. I hold her, master. Johann. Will you both fall? Unsteady? Hobnot. My master, we have done well, I think. We are today witnesses to a small part of glory on this earth, for innocence in not speaking has spoken certainly. Johann. That may be so. Hobnot. A triumph for the law! A triumph for our master Aulber! Enter Luther Einhorn Luther. A triumph? How? Johann. She is released. Luther. Oh, no! Johann. She is, Luther; your opinions on this case have to the utmost reach of capable knowledge been proven entirely wrong. Luther. Ah, ah! Johann. The duke declares that the trial costs should be paid by the Keplers, the Reinbolds, and by Luther Einhorn. No peer in Austria and Styria can speak with clearer sun-like judgment, overlying all the world except the dark streams of empty Eurebus. Luther. A second time I'll become a Jew's slave weeping on my oar. Johann. Well deserved. Luther. With peace of mind, I'll pocket tribulations, To pay them back in virtuous meditations. Johann. Well. Exit Luther Katharina. Should I return to Leonberg? I will Be torn to pieces in my neighbors' love. 45 Hobnot. Go, or else stay. We love the stench of you, For through your garment's windows justice sits, To look out on the world with confidence. Exeunt Johann, Katharina Hobnot, and Act 5. Scene 3. A street in Linz. 1626 Enter Caleb, Mustapha, and Cuddie Caleb. England first chose to rid itself of our industrious tribes, followed by France and Spain. We are allowed to live in few cities of Europe. But since the beginnning of squirmishes between rival Christian factions and of battles fruitlessly plowing fruitful ground, we rise, we spread. A few hundred in Prague, and then perhaps a few thousand, and then perhaps a few million. Maximilian of Bavaria with his imperial army sacked Prague, but, in his need of money, refused to enter Jew city, since which day, I laugh at fools with bankers and with merchants. Mustapha. And you no less than most. Caleb. With millions richer. Daub your lips and chin With grease of Christians' baneful enmity, Fat sausage thick with mustards of despair. Mustapha. You lend them money for the armements? Caleb. All these and more, much more. There is no part Of commerce, out or in, I have not probed With golden fingers, to the darkest depts Of her wide buttocks. Mustapha. Most excellent. While many starve, you swell. Caleb. To roundnesses unthought of yet by priests. Mustapha. Some say the hiring of general count Albrecht von Wallenstein in the imperial troops will make of our lasting pains briefer wars. Caleb. I count on him. Peace I have courted, too, As any page his mistress. Will you leave? Mustapha. I should, while these bombarbments last. Linz is invaded: what else can I say? I am for quiet and my bowl of wine. Caleb. It is prohibited to you, but I Sin worse in my own creed. Reserve for me A seat in hell if ever you expire. Mustapha. Our final bargain sealed! Cuddie. Belief in hell creates a people's hell. Mustapha. Which Lutherans, denying purgatory, In folly hug and purr to their own breast. 46 Both flatter us that their true god, unjust In life, may yet be perfect in the next. Caleb. Lies are the salad of divinity, Assuring good digestion of half- truths. Cuddle. Where will we go, unholy mullah? Mustapha. I thought at first to France, but now the French Grow hateful to my placid pagan eyes. Richelieu, that wily unroman cardinal, defender of his people not faith, encourages Christian the Fourth of Denmark on the Lutheran side to invade Habsburg territories. But then, my friends, why should I be surprised? He is a priest: imposture is his guide. Caleb. The Danish king, we hear, is beaten by the baron of Tilly. Cuddle. We must escape, if only because of the peasant rebellion. Mustapha. True, the Fadinger revolts scare me worse than a thousand warring kings. Caleb. Senseless frights! The peasant troops, we hear, are already slaughtered by count Peppenheim of the imperial forces. Mustapha. A greater famine likely will ensue. Caleb. The rich are quiet stoics when men shrink. Mustapha. Am I banished by Mars' clamor? I care little. In every country there is food and water, and woman with her slit. Cuddle. I'll bake our dough of sloth and fornication With goodly relish. Enter peasants Hide me, good master. My own kind I sweat To see in gentlest slumber. Mustapha. Ho, do not fear. You are my own again. Cuddle. What are they seeking? Mustapha. Food, not more men. (The peasants look inside doors and destroy property Cuddle. When peasants enter here, here I do not Exist or know myself, except in turd, Which I will rather banquet o n than fight. Caleb. Turn towards influence your head of paste. Mustapha. If they recover you, I'll buy you back. Cuddle. Thanks to my saviors. Mustapha. Here we find in sick puddles frogs afloat, Cold remnants of what peasants may devour. Cuddle. Were I a fly in them. Exeunt peasants 47 Mustapha. Man is a rusty key, which on the lock Of peace breaks in his filth and tawdriness. Caleb. Unless I quite mistake a human face, Which I so rarely do, these men of stone, Whose first progenitor Deucalion should Have dropped in muck and trash, belong in full To a fair captain quite down o n his luck, Who owes me money. I will follow them, And then poke at the hive where my thugs stir, A mightier host no country ever knew, Who buzz in debtors' ears: "Gaze at the sun No more, sad zanies, sweat but for the Jew, But for the Jew on boulders break your nails, Lest bees in your ease sting a lazy fool With sharp zeal towards law- courts, jails, and death." Exit Caleb Mustapha. Where may I not turn? Money is adored In holiest churches, synagogues, and mosques. Cuddle. Too many fear and loathe a turbaned head. Mustapha. To those, unlike my usual mode of thought, I sell the smoke of cooked meat, not the meat. Cuddle. You do well. Mustapha. I yield to friends what I from foes I steal. Cuddle. Again well done. Mustapha. Give me my old-yet- new Coran, unmarked; I cringe in finding frantic friends I hate. Cuddle. Here. Enter 3 Arabs with clubs Mustapha. (reading Infinity of wisdom on one hand! 1 Arab. Mere mockery! Mustapha. Sir, you disturb profound and lasting dreams In studious meditation o n themselves. 2 Arab. He laughs at us. Mustapha. He may not curse where kindness shines so clear. 3 Arab. Beat him. (3 Arab chases Cuddie away, while 1 and 2 Arabs beat Mustapha to death Re-enter Cuddie Cuddie. O, my poor master! Killed? Cuddie is alone. I return a shepherd, poor and needy, forgotten of the world. O, my kind master! I'll raise poisoned sheep to feed all believers. Ha! Ha! Ha! 48 Ha! Ha! Live, master, with my foul revenges. Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Enter Johannes Kepler with a manuscript and violets Johannes. Is dying Austria laughing at her dead? Cuddle. No, laughing loudly when a soldier weeps For dying comrades willing many times To die for emperors and dirt. To whom do you bestow these flowers? Johannes. My mother. Cuddle. Dead? Johannes. Released from her cold dungeon, she survived For a few months, no more. Cuddle. What are you now? Johannes. As chief mathematician in the court Of Emperor Ferdinand, I live o r die. Cuddle. Prosperity avoids your sight, I fear. Johannes. But what offends worse than neglect in state My mind is that my pen has caught a cold And sleeps anidiomatically. Cuddle. In these war-times, what fruitful enterprise Does not lie in her womb choked and annulled? Johannes. So long as I can read and calculate, Germanic lands may swill on beer or blood. Cuddle. I think unhappiness has filled our land Much like Grandazzo's crucifix, which took Up all the space in the entire church, So that surprised parishioners had much To do to find a seat and saw their priest Smile under Christ's armpits encouragingly. Johannes. I press my face on violets, but my mind Is shaded strangely with a thousand more. Cuddle. "Have patience," says the stoic as he smiles. Johannes. The stoic seeks tranquillity of mind, Considering pains unavoidable, though A likely source of good or good disguised. Cuddle. The epicurian likes me best. Johannes. The epicurian seeks all pleasures and Avoids all pains as the worst of all crimes. Cuddle. The cynic I hate worse of all. Johannes. The cynic voids his nose at any pain Or pleasure, each one swerving in the curve Of time but to the other. Cuddle. Take what is best from these philosophies. 49 Exit Cuddie carrying Mustapha and enter Matthaus Wackher von Wackenfels Matthaus. Is it Johannes? Johannes. Johannes, or his ghost. Matthaus. Where are you going? Johannes. Where all men go: towards their grave. Matthaus. But not today, I hope. Johannes. Towards my mother's and my final womb. Matthaus. Are these your dear Rudolphine tables? Johannes. Rudolphine tables will be printed soon In Ulm at my expense. Lost sailors will Be glad to read them, lost astronomers Will bless my memory with better books. As in a vision I appear to see Hipparchus, Ptolemy, Copernicus, And Brahe living on its frontispiece; Mine is the visage at the desk below, Ungrateful coinage scattered right and left, Not on the table where I labor hard. Matthaus. Is genius never like himself in grace, Most happy in his gifts? Johannes. The tables lack in spirit sustentation Buoyed in me for stay-at-home voyages. Matthaus. I'll follow you to dark sides of the pit. Johannes. Do it like Horus, with one finger on His placid mouth. Matthaus. I like him best of all. Johannes. Diminishers. Avulsion. Exeunt Johannes and Matthaus Act 5. Scene 4. A street in Regensburg. 1630 Enter general Albrecht von Wallenstein, attended by 1 Soldier Albrecht. My horse's sweaty hooves are purpurine. The Lutherans reel backward from our swords And shields as readily as Calvinists. While Tilly spurns the Danish king, we tilt The prince of Transylvania from his horse. 1 Soldier. Our German soldiers laugh to find the Dane And the Hungarian wading in their gore. Albrecht. The dukes of Pomerania and of Mecklenburg, Unfortunate in their allliances With Danes, stand pale, negotiate, and I Received as the new duke of Mecklenburg! The faces of their stoutest are compressed 50 Flat to the bone, some almost featureless, At best protuberances of hurt flesh, While others moan suspended like pale pears On trees from shrunken anklets. Underneath, Red juice drips slowly on the leaves and moss, The ruddy sprinkled on the green and grey, When we find time to work. Old news and stale. 1 Soldier. Your Ludwig died today, some say. Albrecht. My favorite, and what a thing he was! Our soldier, seeking for voluptuousness Where a sword has already cut it, still Avoiding at all costs the worst of foes, His mirror, sits on an old tomb and mopes. 1 Soldier. Place your bruised feet on these soft cushions, sir. Albrecht. Where frowns our starry advisor? Enter Johannes Kepler You? Johannes. At your command, most potent general. Albrecht. Well, well. Johannes. If Rome once honored with a triumph theirs In reputation, fighting fiercely And levelling revolted subjects, shamed, Secure in chains on charriots, why may not Brave Wallenstein receive equivalent Rewards for feats few have attempted, none Accomplished in our times? Albrecht. My stars reveal I can accomplish more. Johannes. Few can doubt it. Albrecht. If only from my stars I could read more! Disclose again what you from stars can guess. Johannes. Oh, nothing I have not already told. Albrecht. Repeat good hopes and better: will I rise? Johannes. Ha! Will you rise? Prognostications of Etruscan Tages were not surer to The citadels of Latium. Albrecht. Well, well. Yet here we have disease and pests. Johannes. Oh, all the better. Aesculapius in The form of a bright golden snake snuffed out The plague in Rome: what in our modern times May not imperial sapience yet devise? Albrecht. If we could read the stars! Johannes. How many worried men in Europe wish They could but read your mind, my general! 51 There destiny, they say, smiles o r else frowns. Albrecht. Some say, I am the main defective hinge That shuts the door of peace against our face. Johannes. True. Albrecht. If we could read the stars! Johannes. O, I am sick. Hope totters blindly still. Albrecht. Ha, sick, sick as most of your prophecies? Enter 2 Soldier Bad news, I fear. 2 Soldier. My general, brave Ludwig's dead. Albrecht. Expected, yet no less- I can express No more, expecting to be understood. 2 Soldier. My general, the college of electors have Met, leaving you quite destitute of all, Abandoned still by folly's emperor. Albrecht. No more a general! How can I live, Or even die? Johannes. Ha, madness in our stars! 1 Soldier. Take comfort, sir. Albrecht. My Ludwig, and my function! O, why did you not die instead? Exit 1 Soldier I'm mad. No? Am I not? Our Ludwig should be honored. Johannes. I will praise him. Albrecht. A glib tongue you possess, as do your stars, Tongues that can flatter princes in demise. Johannes. I well may be unapt for elegies As well as many other practices. Albrecht. In war, he did not own, as many do, Mars on his tongue, Thersites in his heart. Johannes. No. Albrecht. Can you say more? Johannes. I can, yet I must practice first, I think. His dog has died, they say. I'll practice skills With moving epitaphs on his dead dog. Albrecht. Well thought on! Enter 3 Soldier bearing a dead dog Johannes. O, let me swallow all of Hippocrene Atop mount Helicon! This is a theme Few can attempt and fewer yet achieve. Albrecht. A fine beginning! Johannes. Brave Ludwig's dog is dead, our Puff-ball gone! Bad days, worse nights: the good die with the bad, The good and bad remain. This was no dog, 52 But its idea! Puff-ball, when aroused, Was never heard to growl or bark aloud, Content with biting hard his master's arse. He neither pissed nor heavy biscuit dropped On his good mistress' gown; instead, he played As soldiers do, his master's, lifting up His hindlimbs as he briskly marched in tune, The little warrior with his master's cap. After explosions flashing right and left, When his good captain lost his arms and legs, Still on the ground, Puff-ball pulled at his trunk, Expecting to see his good master rise And frolic one more time. When he did not, Puff-ball stretched on the ground, pretending he Was dead, as many times he sported thus, But then he raised his head with sadder eyes While contemplating his still captain still. So, lying tristful, this fond dog grew faint, And, fainting, caught a chill; n o longer did He eat but seemed to mourn beside the dead. Alone, untended, with foul coat ungroomed, Puff-ball expired.- What, welling, general? Albrecht. The breeze blows cold today. At a bad time Has faithless Ferdinand abandoned me. Bad emperor- O, worse than bad, O, worse than worst men can Describe and then expect to be believed! For Gustav Adolph, king of Sweden comes For him and his, and Sweden comes for blood. Johannes. More of that still! Albrecht. Not sick, Johannes? Johannes. Yes, sick, and almost dead. Albrecht. Go bury our dead soldier. Exeunt Soldiers 2 and 3 bearing the dead dog Johannes. More and then worse! Worse and then worst of all! Albrecht. A good dog, Kepler. Johannes. True. Albrecht. A very good dog, my Johannes. Exit Albrecht Johannes. Diminishers. Avulsion. Enter plague-stricken men 53 White mouths, to suck out knowledge. Live in books, So that the worms in them may live on you. I measured heavens' circuit; now I read For all eternity earth's shadowed round. (He dies 1 Man. I saw my brother leap into the fire Meant for my cousin's carcass. 2 Man. This looks like Kepler. 3 Man. Can scientists be eaten? 1 Man. I doubt that. 2 Man. With papers too well stuffed. 3 Man. Yet what of that? Our mouth is paper, too. 1 Man. Disguise yourselves as priests and bury him For a good fee, my best advice today. Exeunt plague-stricken men bearing Johannes 54 King Henry III of France Dramatic characters (16) Enter the duke of Guise and Catherine de Medici Charles IX, king of France Catherine de Medici, queen mother Henry of Anjou, duke, later King Henry III Henry of Guise, duke of Lorraine Charles of Lorraine, duke of Mayenne Henry of Navarre, king of Navarre Henry of Conde, prince and cousin to the king of Navarre Gaspard de Coligny, admiral of the Huguenot faction Ludovico Gonzaga, duke of Nevers Jean-Louis de La Valette, duke of Epernon Anne de Joyeuse, viscount and later duke of Joyeuse Pepin, Huguenot scholar Marie, wife to Pepin Crudmore, beggar Turpin, Crudmore's son Jacques Clement, Dominican friar Soldiers, servants, Turpin's woman, the lord of Maurevert, Persephone and her suitors, Caylus' corpse, a shoemaker, a tinker, a water-carrier, and a barrel-maker Time: 16th century Place: France Act 1. Scene 1. The Louvre in Paris. 1572 Catherine. Is there no earthquake grumbling deep below To swallow down dark heaven's renegades? Guise. I'll be your earthquake. Catherine. Do, do. Earn a queen- mother's gratitude. Guise. I will devise a plot, whose like on earth Was never seen, or even thought about. Catherine. Make me your secret bedside book of woe. Guise. The king proposes marriage with Navarre And his unhappy sister. Catherine. I know he does. Guise. The Huguenots may hate that. Catherine. Who says a woman better can beguile? Men pluck down crown and laurel as they wish. Guise. I know if Protestants ascend, we fall. Catherine. Filth of the realm, threat to established ways. Guise. They killed my father: I should kill them, too: What can be simpler, gracious mother-queen, To understand? Catherine. The king defends assailants at the fort Of Orange. 55 Guise. And desecrators of the sacrament At Rouen, Calvin's merchants rightly dead, Contempt's demolishers of pyramid And crosses at the house of razed Gastines. Catherine. He orders that the governor of Metz Should make no difference between religion And novelties. Too lukewarm for my blood! Guise. I'll marry murder with duplicity, Whose offspring will in full rejoice your heart. Catherine. Our prophet of revenge against revolts! Guise. I will be more than prophet of your joys: A church-born flayer of apostasy. A Huguenot, to scare his child asleep, Will whisper no more: "Devils come for you In darkness if your eyelids do not shut," But rather: "Close your eyes, lest black the Guise Haul disobedient spirits shrieking to Fresh open graves." Catherine. Be secretive; reveal to none your thoughts. Guise. Am I the Guise? Am I who I must be? Catherine. It would be tedious and too over-long Once to thumb over all the catalogues Of sin that must be answered with their blood. Guise. Coligny might not have my father's head Lopped off, but I will do as if he did. Catherine. Louis of Conde planned to steal away, While I for peace beseeched, the king at Meaux. Guise. With dazzled fools I do not often jest. Catherine. What do you call religion with no thought On guided penance, priesthood paid for saws Without due ordination, confirmation, A stillborn bastard best forgotten still? Guise. Coligny's mouth is much reformed but not His purse, as critics may allow when he Obtains ecclesiastic prebends from His brother, Chatillon, though dead awhile, Remuneration to be pocketed From a religion he abhors and loves. Catherine. My Henry, man at Jarnac in full pride And savior in the fields of Moncontour, May be a better son for my conceits, 56 Against the royal council's hopes of truce Caressed by Montmorency and de Mesme. Guise. We'll prove uncertain dreams of peace to be As halting as mild Gontaut-Biron's gait. Catherine. God's honor is our cause. The Huguenots May not be borne. That being done, I'll dream Of Henry's marriage with the English queen. Exeunt the Guise and Catherine de Medici Act 1. Scene 2. Before the cathedral of Notre-Dame in Paris. 1572 Enter King Charles IX, the duke of Anjou, the king of Navarre, and the prince of Conde, attended by servants Charles IX. There's feasting on this day among the good: A marriage-pact between two kingdoms grown. Navarre. A marriage-bond between religions, too. Charles IX. At last we clasp our wish and to our state That wish must be acclaimed as fortunate: The marriage of my sister, Margaret Of Valois, and Navarre at Notre- Dame. Navarre. The tomb of our religious enmities, And we the figures on the monument, Together with gisants of peace in France. Anjou. A catafalque the people in our realm Religiously expect to kneel before. Navarre. Love smiles propitiously and without guile. In golden satin France and Anjou shine, Like twin suns reigning over Paris streets. Charles IX. The dazzled bride in purple velvet gown Embroidered with fresh lilies, gladdening The sight of her well-wishers! Navarre. And yet, you know, this celebration is No sacrament to our reformed religion. Conde. The bridegroom with his followers will stand Outside while king and bride rejoice within. Enter Catherine de Medici and the duke of Guise Catherine. In honor of your marriage day, Navarre, I have forgotten black, since all my thoughts Shine like a cloth of innocence this day. 57 Charles IX. More benedictions o n their happiness! Navarre. More signs of favor on our amities! Charles IX. This blessed event, which follows closely The marriage of Prince Conde to Marie Of Cleves, loved sister-in-law to the Guise, Is double binding of our mutual love And end to all dissensions. Ha, the Guise, Is it not so? Guise. So. Charles IX. We have in our fond heart no greater hope Of happiness than to behold at last The old religion with the newer one Serenely kiss in soft bonds of peace. Exeunt Charles IX, Catherine de Medici, Anjou, and the Guise, attended Navarre. We celebrate our newer Paris mass While muttering in fear inside dark caves. Conde. The treaty, once a bride at Saint Germain, Is now a garish whore. Navarre. The Spanish agents murdered without fear The count of Egmont and the count of Hoorn. Conde. Last month, French troops were crushed at Saint Ghislain. Help our insurgent and despairing friends Of the Low-Countries in their heady war Against the miserable tyranny Of the fierce duke of Alba. Navarre. I have asked France for money in our wars At Flanders and obtain the promises Of money. With foot-soldiers and horsemen I'll join the prince of Orange. Conde. We keep as sacraments communion And baptism- Navarre. Deny that prayers for the dead refresh A grimy sinner roaring in his fire. Conde. Swear that Saint Roch is powerless to cure Even the milder forms of flatulence. Navarre. No priests but deacons, not the popish beast But a consistory.- Can Anjou help? Conde. The duke of Anjou is a girl-like boy. Exeunt Navarre and Conde Act 1. Scene 3. A street in Paris. 1572 Enter the duke of Anjou and the duke of Guise 58 Guise. A union born in Satan's head, so that One half of France may burn the other one! Anjou. Pope Gregory and Francis Alencon Are of my mind: an insult to our God, A deadly peril to all souls in France. Guise. My uncle could not from the surly pope Obtain a dispensation for this bond. Anjou. What can this marriage breed? No son of peace, I fear. Margot once slept with me, with you As well, some say. Guise. Peace on forgotten sins! Anjou. While Huguenots still rage in convent lusts. Guise. The royal army in red helmets with The white cross fierce against the paler heads Of Huguenots in bloody fields of France: I breathe but in that smoke. Anjou. The king seduces well Coligny's hopes While envying King Philip, envying You, of that liberty which most he lacks. Guise. No king in his own house, much less the realm. Exeunt Anjou and the Guise Act 1. Scene 4. A street in Paris. 1572 Enter the king of Navarre, the prince of Conde, and admiral Coligny, attended Coligny. We only gain what in a war is won. Navarre. Behold what in a marriage is obtained. Conde. What we have won tomorrow may be lost. You have but married maybe. Navarre. A woman, I hope, with a state in peace. Coligny. What is kept up with power is torn down With power. Catholics adore our God And yet despise his worshippers to death. Navarre. The king is lenient. Coligny. Proceeding from his weakness, which may be To their advantage wrought on. Navarre. If traitors live, we are stout and full-grown. Are you not, Conde? Conde. I am a coach with one wheel. Being moved Hurts me the more with those who rest in me. Navarre. He is of one religion. Conde. Why should two friends have one religion, or One hope? As if we search reality With just one arm? Navarre. Philosophy! Coligny. A pretty game no doubt. 59 Navarre. What do you wish for, nephew? Conde. But to transform my soul into a Louvre, Where I am king and courtier, serving all, Commanding all, both loving and beloved. Coligny. More of the same. Navarre. He's ours and noble. Conde. O, neither noble nor ignoble, And neither kind nor yet unkind, Or neither well-taught nor untaught, A tangle of silk-threads and weeds. Coligny. His father died religiously. Conde. I am a changeling to my own self, Robbed from my bed by strangers I have known. One finger blasted off his right hand. Navarre. I think I spied the lord of Maurevert. Conde. Charles de Louvriers! Navarre. A private quarrel. Conde. Believe so if you can o r must. Navarre. Ho! Send the admiral to surgeons' care. Exeunt attendants, bearing Coligny Conde. What times are these! What men command these times! Navarre. Come. To the Louvre! Conde. To be shot at again? Navarre. The honor of the king has been engaged. He may no more add "traitor" to his name Than sit below a peasant robber's knee. Enter the lord of Maurevert with an arquebus, above Navarre. This way, Coligny. Coligny. Ha, so it is. (The lord of Maurevert shoots below and exits Navarre. Ha! Conde. Oh, Admiral Coligny has been shot. Navarre. Not dead! Conde. His left arm is transpierced, and there is more: Exeunt Navarre and Conde Act 1. Scene 5. A tennis court in Paris. 1572 Enter King Charles IX and the duke of Guise Charles IX. All that I offer for their benefit Comes back at me with pain. Guise. Men's hopes are good when well kept within bounds. Charles IX. I need no courtier in this second court, 60 For otherwise a king may not improve His skill with such excessive courtesies. Guise. I will put you to a good sweat, my king. Charles IX. Consider each ball as a Hughenot And rap him sorely against my feet. Guise. I need not, knowing well your majesty Can sharply punish any he can find. Charles IX. I should especially hit those who stray Outside the confines of the court, whom I Can never reach. Guise. I'll fetch them back, or crush them as they rest. Charles IX. At our game's end, they'll lie well knocked, I'm sure. Enter the prince of Conde Conde. O, justice, justice, goodliest majesty! Charles IX. Why? Conde. Some rag of justice for our naked France! Our admiral Coligny is laid low, Shot by a Catholic. Charles IX. Ah, no! Two fall assassinated here. O, it is come, the day of reckoning And doom in luckless France. Is Conde here Or a bad dream? On lowliest dung-holes faint. The musket-ball that struck the face of Mars Has given us an even sharper blow. Our sides ache at these news, our honor bleeds. Conde. What peace can Huguenots expect from kings Who murder us in secret while we feast? Charles IX. Expect a murderer caught and attached, Tried quickly, stretched to a band's length, until The foam of every accomplice bleeds From his pinched mouth, then hear him loudly wail And hate each inspiration on the wheel. Conde. Our tall Coligny is alive. Guise. Alive? Conde. Yes, duke, on his bed gasping painfully, A surgeon's shadow over his pale face As long as this sad day and longer night. Charles IX. Inquiries will be made and suddenly. Christophe de Thou will know of this event And render us a full report or die. Guise. Where is Navarre? Conde. Where I am now, at the queen-mother's feet, For any help in these extremities. Charles IX. How well I am obeyed! Am I a king? 61 Can majesty's oil shine on a king's brow When riot-mongers spit on it at will? Conde. The Huguenots bear swords. This may not pass. Charles IX. Go, justice you will cut and eat yourself With satisfaction of all factions' hate. Conde. In vengeance start to fear that Catholics Will crush between their teeth a bloody fruit. Catherine. A fierce affront to the good king and me! Anjou. I will remember him. The Guise jumps far And to an awful precipice he'll sink, Fit subject to make Crassus laugh in tears Who barely smiled before. Catherine. Speak to the king. This must be answered soon. Anjou. He comes at last and breathing in his haste For vengeance and redress. Exit Conde Enter King Charles IX Guise. I should proclaim at once my innocence. Charles IX. You must and should. Guise. My liege, this sad event, confusion's worst, Is quite unlooked for. Charles IX. Ah, I believe you. Exeunt Charles IX and the Guise Act 1. Scene 6. The Louvre in Paris. 1572 Enter Catherine de Medici and the duke of Anjou Catherine. The lord of Maurevert is the duke's man. Anjou. How is it possible? A subject to Command and overpeer like a stage-king? Catherine. Clouds swell. Anjou. Strike terror in the valleys without bolts Of thunder, warning none of your approach. Catherine. Let mountains rest like smoke and earth like mud. Charles IX. My eyes are red from weeping and my ears Hot from my subjects' curses. Honor's lost Unless I punish in a dreadful sweat Conspirators against our royal hopes. I'll hold the scissors while bland Atropos Cuts off legs with ambition. Anjou. Some say: "The duke of Guise is much to blame." Catherine. Although the duke of Guise is much to blame, The duke of Guise is not an enemy 62 Of God and us. Anjou. No? Then I recognize no friend on earth. Catherine. His enemies are ours, and yet not ours Because not dead. Anjou. The Protestants are friends if they obey. Catherine. I'll belch out swollen toads bespotted with The lard of witches' brew should these be friends. No friends at all and that we plainly see When Calvin's goats can thrive. To Phlegeton With doctrines nurtured in a German cell! Do they deny our purgatory? Good. Let them all rot in their created hell. Our Jesus never bled for Protestants. Anjou. Kill friends instead who live to our dismay. Catherine. Will you not thunder, king? Return to me, My Theseus. Ariadne, robbed of all, Abandoned on the shore of Naxos, or Sad Maguelonne, round-bellied without cause, Did not cry out so vainly to the clouds As I do here at court. Charles IX. I'm in a Zacharian muteness till I hear A blood-crazed child of vengeance born of us. Anjou. Unless I quite mistake his hasty steps, The duke of Guise advances to spur on Death's slower bloody horses of the night. Enter the duke of Guise Catherine. The Guise, you have done well and not done well. Anjou. One day, I'll prick this hairy basilisk. Guise. Is Maurevert my own? He is, and yet His hands and eyes are none of mine at all. Anjou. The Guise equivocates all France to hell. Catherine. I'm in a tortured frenzy till the foes Lie at our feet on stranger beds asleep. Charles IX. O, mother, our gashed country's weal and mine, What dreaded scheme of treason would you have A shaken king unwillingly perform? I swim in a dark pool which I can hope Is not the blood of wounded angry France. Guise. The king of Spain frowns darkly at our sloth. Anjou. Should we hear further from a purchased duke? 63 The king of Spain is your good master, not The king of France. Guise. The king of Spain and the pope understand, Promote, and help religion as I do. Catherine. Hear wisely and speak well, my forward son. Will you have Philip's cannons at our gates? To stuff Spain's throat of war the Guise feigns to Be his entirely, but only so When Huguenots in shadows subtly lurk To strike at will against all Catholics. Guise. These conflicts simmer in confusion's oil Because the king defends the rotted weed Of Calvinists in the Low-Countries' dikes. Anjou. Ha, do you hear, the Guise? A single word Against my brother is the lodestone that Will draw a dagger's point from Anjou's spite. Catherine. Peace on all sides who think God's favor is More precious than their bellies! Protestants This night must die before they ever rise. Charles IX. Ha? Catherine. In wetted bedsheets smother till he breathes His last Coligny, lest what Christians won At jubilant Lepanto to our cause Be lost forever. Guise. The mighty king of Spain expects our king To barter his false face for a true mask. The Protestants in Paris armed and hot In August: what worse prospect can be seen? Catherine. Hear: fifty leaders of their faction's worst Will sleep in their imagined hell tonight. Anjou. What, slaughters general? France kiling France? Catherine. The Guise will lead our troops. See him display The cross of innocence against Christ's foes. Guise. I will not bathe except in Calvin's gore. Charles IX. This must be scanned in council. Catherine. The council at this moment hears our case And will no doubt debate their quiet deaths. The duke of Nevers captures eyes and ears. Anjou. Too sudden, mother! O, too violent And hasty-arbitrary to be well! Catherine. Our deaths are dreamt about by children. Guise. Tomorrow false Navarre, as spies reveal, Will no doubt dampen swords in timid blood, 64 Unless we play as Christ's own soldiers armed. Anjou. Conjectural, as our own musket-fire! Catherine. Stay, son. Charles IX. Do not abandon now a king besieged By scattered arrows of uncertainty. Guise. Unless you do and do and do again, Low-arsed adventurers will peep inside Your Louvre at night to massacre us all. Exit the Guise Catherine. I hear Gonzaga's steps astir with news. Charles IX. O, misery unknown, unthought about, Atop in huddles with more miseries! Enter Ludovico Gonzaga Catherine. Speak, duke of Nevers, is the council warm? Does war prevail, or death to our religion? Gonzaga. The council of the king decides for life With murder of the fifty leaders you Disclosed to us as traitors to the state. Catherine. I have borne sons, among whom is a king, But never yet my heart leapt up as now, A moment's grace. I thank the count of Retz- Gonzaga. Armand de Clermont and Teligny rose And threatened, Jean de Morvillier was heard To weep for those who slap his cheeks and neck- Catherine. To cut to pieces all the heretics! France, henceforth pray to me, a holier Joan, Defending patriots and the only church. Anjou. To strike preventively is safest still. Catherine. Must a fond mother's robes sweep on the filth Of palace floors with pleadings? Are you mine? Charles IX. King Francis was by Spanish enemies Clapped up in shame, I, by my family: Who are more dangerous to a king's rest? To kill them is a lively death to me, Not to kill them a kind of deadly life. Then kill them all. Let not one man be left To blame me for this crime, a loathed one, Well cogitated to please handsomely Mere strangers: a pope and a king of Spain. 65 Catherine. My own and king! Charles IX. The white cross bleeds already in my heart And belly's core. Exeunt Charles IX, Catherine de Medici, Anjou, and Gonzaga Act 2. Scene 1. A street in Paris. 1572 Enter Turpin and a woman, fondling each other Turpin. Some stolen beauty in these turpitudes! Enter Crudmore and exit the woman Should I quit fornication's hidden nest? Crudmore. No, do it all the time, do it before My face. Be carnal-minded and then live. Go. Mortify at once timidity, Kill coyness in her bud, dive like the bee In open blossoms, stick there till you drop In heavy sweetness. Be my son again. Turpin. I'm strangely tempted by your ordinance. Crudmore. To live alone is death; new pillowmates Obtain if you cannot detain them long. Let no one chide and rail before your face: "You frigger much too rarely, Turpin." No, Do it in every garden, every room, Do it in muck, do it in sun or rain, Explore the pit some feign they cannot taste With man's strong juices and with strenuous strokes. Do it until you blister. Turpin. I'll be a woman's fool if I submit. Crudmore. Ah, better far to whimper as her fool Than with a bell and cap to entertain A king in your own follies and despair. Firk her and fuck her, too. Firk him as well. The foul and soiled ones are despised by worse: Do it likewise with them, more often, for Most dally trifling even better still. Turpin. I should be taking notes. Crudmore. Go. Glory in the flesh. What else have you? Be rich in red drops, heavier with thick hair On hairless bosom. Let her Tethys- like Spread silver beads of sweat o n brow and breast, Permit her to lie over you, thick mount In forestry of unexplored desire. 66 Be hers, let her be yours, become her cunt, Let her possess a phallus, crucify Each body's needs with every pleasure known. While soldiers daily hear a woman weep, I hear mine laugh in tears and willingly. Turpin. Ha! Do you always follow these conceits? Crudmore. My calling is to foutre twice a day, Three times before mass. Hear: I go to church To moon or doze, I go to bed to work. Confound a priest: do it behind church-doors, On straw-piles and on grass, do it with him As well, should he rise as temptation's son. Turpin. I am too timid for this gear, I think. Crudmore. Be daring: fornicate with anyone You can. A little more than ten is good. Be sexed like pastures of prevented goats. Proliferate like moss: who will judge you? The saints? Should you not rather judge the saints instead? Turpin. I feel much bolder now. Crudmore. Good fornication is the body's house Of glory. In the Paphian temple lie, A phallic Jesus smiling at our deeds, Between two thighs, the only happy place, No other heaven for us but for that, No happier hour can here be spent at all: Three gates of Venus open half the night, Which all the women and most men adore, Except perverted blots, shame of our kind, Priests with their juiceless tribes. Do as they do, Be faithful to your pleasures, high or low, And not another's, if you love yourself. Turpin. Yet preachers swear lust finds his punishment In his own wind. Crudmore. Serve Venus in her works, or warp condemned, A slave to other people's appetite. How can a man or woman copulate Most of the time and live unhappily? If you are fortunate in languid loves, You may with luck be happy in all things. Do we own organs just for show, or use? Is it not wiser to fall lowly on Our knees inside fanes of idolatry Where our reward is known to any fool? 67 Turpin. It is. Crudmore. To watch a woman languishing in vain Is hell's and purgatory's course of pain. Let her light fan blow your uncertain lust Afire with longing. Turpin. These are new sermons. Crudmore. Be dissolute, no matter what priests say. Men frown in hearing once what most, had they The means, would do a thousand times each day. Turpin. I will forget my curate. Crudmore. No eye remembers passing friends who leave. Turpin. I'll get a woman now. Crudmore. I plant, she waters, and the flower's joy, In awe of your own body and of hers Or his, not of the spirit, nothing worth Except philosophers'. But this is yours, This yours, that yours as well, and all is yours That can be felt on you and you on her. The rest is gewgaw. Enter two Catholic soldiers while the bell of Saint Germain l'Auxerrois rings 1 Soldier. Before the morning light bleeds on the panes Of house and church, some Protestants will know Whether our purgatory is to be Their prison or our fable. Otherwise, Pack them like onions straight in rows to hell. 2 Soldier. We bait and stab. 1 Soldier. We rail and foin. 2 Soldier. We force them to their knees, in blood abashed, To pay due homage to our virgin swords If not to our transcendent virgin's foot. 1 Soldier. Eschew all forms of dalliance till the knaves Rot on forgotten grounds. 2 Soldier. I will forget the body of a girl In these assaults and aim at man alone. 1 Soldier. From highest turrets fling the caitiffs down. 2 Soldier. Bartholomew day is a feast of joy. Exeunt Crudmore and Turpin Enter a Huguenot citizen Act 2. Scene 2. A street in Paris. 1572 Huguenot. What bell is that? 1 Soldier. No white cross on his hat. 2 Soldier. No red one on his breast. 68 1 Soldier. Indulgence is a stranger quite unknown And tolerance a fabler to be mocked. Huguenot. Indulgences we laugh at, honored sirs, With medals, pictures, statues of old saints, Who need no trash in heaven as they sing. 2 Soldier. Thrust him for that jest. Huguenot. Am I in danger? Ha? Ha? Will you hurt A man unarmed, one whom you do not know? 1 Soldier. Yes. 2 Soldier. Bind him. Huguenot. Will you, because I cannot kneel and pray To your Jerome and lion, do me harm? 1 Soldier. On this Bartholomew day, we enjoy To watch foes bleeding on the stony ground While puffing out their shortest, latest breath. 2 Soldier. Less talking and more stabbing. Huguenot. Ha! Ha! Despair and death! Enter Crudmore 2 Soldier. One of our own. Crudmore. Who is the prisoner? 2 Soldier. A man condemning his own life away. Crudmore. A Protestant? 1 Soldier. He boasts of it. Crudmore. Here, take my crutch; beat him to death with it. 2 Soldier. No, daggers are quite sharper. Crudmore. Give me no coins today: melt them instead, Together with all metals you can find, For rapiers, larger swords, and cutlasses, To wound to death protesting Protestants. 1 Soldier. A beggar famous for his charity! 2 Soldier. True ignorance can offer sound advice. Huguenot. A sober-minded man, intent to gain In my despair his heaven with our hell. 2 Soldier, (stabbing him to death There in a stream of blood-drops as we speak. 1 Soldier. Will you earn money, Crudmore? Throw him down Into the thickened Seine, white mud with black. Exit Crudmore, bearing the Huguenot citizen 2 Soldier. Municipal authorities have shut The city gates to keep the Huguenots Inside, while thousands of their soldiery Outside our barriers blink and worry still. 69 1 Soldier. More prizes for this day all Catholic! Exeunt the Guise, servants, and soldiers, bearing Coligny Enter above in Coligny's bedchamber the servants of the Guise 1 Servant. The admiral is sleeping. 2 Servant. Not deep enough for me. Enter below the duke of Guise Guise. Come, is it done? 1 Servant. Not yet. 2 Servant. We lose time talking. 1 Servant. Do it. I'm still a virgin in this work. 2 Servant, (stabbing Coligny I can prick well a man in bed. 1 Servant. This I will do. (Coligny is thrown down; the Guise kicks him Guise. Our country's murderer will always be Alive to my despite. Take him away. I will slice off his head at leisure and Send the red trophy to Pope Gregory. As for the trunk, street-urchins begging in The shadows of Saint Germain l'Auxerrois Can surely invent worse outrages Than soldiers of Picardie ever can. Act 2. Scene 3. A street in Paris. 1572 Enter Pepin and Marie Pepin. Coligny assassinated in his bed on Bethisy street! My friend, Pierre de la Ramee, syllogism's son, gone to visit Aristotle! Marie. Coligny's lieutenants spiked to death at the Louvre! Pepin. Our soldiers locked out! Marie. And we locked in! Pepin. How can I escape? Marie. Men with a white band on their left arm stripped Polisson's body of his best clothes. Pepin. And farther down the street the Laviterne house with mutilated, men, women, and infants swimming with closed eyes in a new Seine! Marie. Thanks to our dearest Catholic neighbor, Froissy, who hid us both in his cellar, we escape for a time their justice. Working humanity! Pepin. I owe him money. Marie. A leper's money will be fondled on And kissed. Ha! Ha! Who comes? Pepin. We'll hide in mud like swallows. Exeunt Pepin and Marie, enter the duke of Guise and servants chasing a Huguenot citizen 70 Guise. Death to our God should he escape unhurt! 1 Servant. We hold him. 2 Servant. Dang him to purgatory at long last. Guise. Crush out his head-piece like the rotted pear Of his religion. 1 Servant, (crushing him Done. Guise. Till now, I never hated Luther's fools Since first I held and sucked Megaera's breast. To Saint-Germain-des-Pres with wings of love, That small Geneva of lost heretics, For greater slaughters and new hope in France! Navarre. Dissimulate. I am Navarre no more And you no shirtless prince of Conde. Stare, Blink, slaver, speak as they expect or wish. Enter King Charles IX, attended Charles IX. Today we spare all princes of the blood. Conde. Why should you, sir? Most of our friends are dead. Charles IX. Provided you convert. Navarre. Some oil on our pale foreheads or else blood! Conde. A cruel choice! Charles IX. Do you accept? Navarre. A king's word on it. Conde. A prince's, too. Exeunt the Guise and soldiers, bearing the Huguenot citizen Act 2. Scene 4. The Louvre in Paris. 1572 Enter the king of Navarre and the prince of Conde Enter Catherine de Medici Catherine. Do they agree? Charles IX. They do. Catherine. Then welcome bleeding to God's grace and ours. Charles IX. Attend the king and prince. Navarre. Like children sent to rooms for punishment. Conde. With red heads not red arses. Navarre. I saw the king shoot at his subjects from His balcony. Conde. He comes, and with a violent anguished look. Exeunt Navarre and Conde, guarded Catherine. Navarre and Conde left alive for us Serve as a counterweight to help pull down The heaven-pointing engines of the Guise. 71 Charles IX. I heard the populace yell out: "The Guise And our religion!" None spoke well of me. Catherine. Navarre and Conde in our house of peace! Charles IX. And yet thoughts burn in me, a visionless White fire, not understood, with devils born Each minute in my belly torturing. We hold the door to terrors and afflictions. Catherine. Our way is lurid with great sorrows till We sleep in the right place and nakedly. (The bell of of Saint Germain l'Auxerrois stops ringing A silence in sleeps of forgetfulness! To our affairs.- Do you attend? Not here? My Henry fondles secretly Marie, The prince of Conde's wife. A mother can Win him away from that distracting spell. Exeunt Charles IX and Catherine de Medici Act 2. Scene 5. A street in Paris. 1572 Enter Pepin and Marie Pepin. The Seine is sick with corpses. Marie. We will be quite unable for a while To swallow any fish or weed from it. Pepin. Friends move without moving towards Chaillot and Auteil. Marie. In a broth of bones and macerated flesh. Pepin. You have attended but distractedly a scholar's explanations, excellent in scarcity of elocutionary digressions, on the most likely reasons underlying our disasters. Marie. True, the only conflict women care about is the war against wrinkles. Pepin. Is that not Crudmore and a Catholic? Enter Crudmore and Turpin Crudmore. Not Crudmore and a Catholic except To ardent well-armed Catholics I know. Pepin. You have converted, I hear, so many times from one to the other that you can no longer know who you are. Turpin. My father, I think. Crudmore. And father of my son, I hope. Marie. You are remorseless tyrants to your wife And mother if you ever doubt her faith. 72 Crudmore. She has abandoned me to my own self, Once a good scholar, now a begging slave. Pepin. No better prospects? Crudmore. I deserve no better house than none at all, for I'm tireless in shunning work. Turpin. So am I, since first we rowed and swam away from England's tide of persecution against honest vagrancy. Marie. Are you lame, too? Crudmore. No more than I or you. He only likes To imitate his father. It can draw Some tears and pieces from the tender ones. Turpin. I am rewarded with the first by love And with the second by more belly-food. Pepin. I can get both from mine. Turpin. I should take her away from you, then, sir. Marie. I would not follow you for heaven's prize. Turpin. That's my bed. Pepin. More soldiers! Exeunt Pepin and Marie and enter two Catholic soldiers 1 Soldier. More often than I pissed. 2 Soldier. Your tale makes mine all the more stiffer still. 1 Soldier. Stay, vagrant cur, are you a Catholic? Crudmore. Well proven to a holier man than you. 2 Soldier. He means the pope, I guess. 1 Soldier. And you? Turpin. His son. 2 Soldier. Go. Crudmore. We thank you, sirs. Exeunt the Catholic soldiers Turpin. No luck today. Crudmore. Some disembowelled Huguenot houses may yet flow with eatables. Exeunt Crudmore and Turpin Act 2. Scene 6. The Louvre in Paris. 1572 Enter King Charles IX and the duke of Guise Charles IX. An end to massacres! Duke, by our throne And scepter never in our life forsworn, Let fresher gallows rise on Paris streets To dissuade the killers. - Nevers!- Where Is Nevers? Send that duke and Angouleme To promulgate on every parish wall That rioters will hang, a kingly oath With a sincere and truest verity 73 Declared, to be most strictly followed here. Guise. The pope, well pleased, engraves to Europe's joy Commemorative medals of our deeds: Avenging angels striking down with swords The heinous enemies of God and France. Charles IX. They say four thousand of our citizens Swell in the streets and fields for kites, or move With lifeless life in the undrinkable Seine, while King Philip, almost never seen To smile or wink, with pleasure loudly laughs. Guise. Your guard protected ably Walsingham. Charles IX. What of the infidel at Montargis? Guise. Renee of France is saved. Charles IX. I meant to kill some traitors- was that not What the queen-mother said? or do I dream?- Yes, traitors, not a single Protestant. Guise. You see how bitterly the common rout In Paris hate to death all Huguenots. Charles IX. You killed Coligny? Guise. And Landry, the great bowler, in an hour, Who lost his life and all his bowling-pins. Charles IX. A pleasant savor to a dead rat's tooth. Enter Catherine de Medici O, mother, far more than your fifty slain! Exit Charles IX Catherine. Thanks to the king, some Huguenots still live. Guise. His clemency is cruel. Catherine. A brace of Luther's stooges hide at Mons, About eight-hundred freezing in pale fear, To be surprised as soon as they reach France By the resourceful duke of Longueville. Guise. He will not fail unless he loses breath. Catherine. Breathe life into religion's panting corpse. Guise. Resistance still in La Rochelle, Sancerre, And Sommieres must at all costs be cut off And brought down branchless in our zealous fire. The Protestant with self-love marries, breeds Cool confidence, who, with unshriven feet, Stroll casually to an eternal fire. Where should invented prayers lead except To pack hell with more souls? Inspired heads, 74 Who need no priest to pardon, gargle texts From springs of their own making, promulgate As if Paul whispers nightly in their ears Interpretations, as if angels sing With such a voice of power in their house That one could swear they eat their bread with Christ. Catherine. What from such doctrines is expected but At the last trumpet to see bodies ripped With shrieks from their grave- clothes, led off like slaves Towards the lonely house of deathless death? Onward with mercy for all souls in France! Exeunt Catherine de Medici and the Guise Act 2. Scene 7. Before the gates of La Rochelle. 1572 Enter the duke of Anjou, Ludovico Gonzaga, the king of Navarre, and the prince of Conde, attended Anjou. Do these confederates with scorn refuse Armand of Gontaut as their governor? Then raise a siege till every citizen Of La Rochelle is shot or stabbed to death. Gonzaga. Rebellion will be pinched in winter time. Anjou. The duke of Aumale swears he will have blood Or La Rochelle most loyal to the king. Gonzaga. His promises are well- aimed musket-balls. Anjou. How many hardy soldiers stand with us? Gonzaga. Twenty-eight thousand. Anjou. How many soldiers crouch in fear with them? Gonzaga. One thousand soldiers with two thousand more Inured for fighting. Anjou. My brother, Francis Alencon, intends This stormy day to be their last o r his. Gonzaga. His cannons roar against their fainting ears. Anjou. Then, La Rochelle, beg for our clemency. Gonzaga. The duke of Guise to reinforce our troops! Enter the duke of Guise and Charles of Lorraine Guise. Why is not La Rochelle a hole of blood? Anjou. The Guise, we have not yet begun to try Our mighty forces in this heady fight. Gonzaga. What of the other cities in revolt? Guise. My brother knows and loves the latest news. 75 Charles. In anguish Sommieres sweats to be besieged By troops of Montmorency. Say what we Must do until the wives of La Rochelle Gnaw grievingly their finger-nails and arms On dust-heaps for lost husbands, fathers, sons. Anjou. Wait for the duke of Aumale's coming with His potent force at dawn. Guise. Can they be starved? Gonzaga. My spies reveal some of their men begin To chew on their house-rats. Anjou. Bring to my tent Jean-Louis de La V alette, A gentleman I wish to know more of. Two men with me to welcome Aumale well! Exit Anjou, attended Guise. Do you not waver at these strong assaults? Navarre. No, duke. We are remorseless Catholics. Conde. And what we were before we never knew. Guise. Well. Exeunt the Guise and Charles Gonzaga. Come, will you follow Mars' only son? Navarre. We must. Conde. We will and must because our will is such. Exeunt Gonzaga, Navarre, and Conde Act 4. Scene 1. The king's castle at Plessis-les-Tours. 1577 Enter Jean-Louis de La Valette and Anne de Joyeuse Valette. Damville, to please his wife, is now declared A traitor to religion and the state. Joyeuse. He's ours and welcome. Valette. What is prepared today for our delight? Joyeuse. A royal feast with meat of every kind, Known and unknown, with artichoke and corn, With carrot, cauliflower, squash, and bean, With onion, lettuce, watercress, and leek. Valette. No coriander? Joyeuse. With coriander, too, besprinkled well With ginger, cinnamon, and parsley. Valette. And to our view? Joyeuse. A masque of spring- leaved women dressed as men In color of rapt fools. They will perform Forbiddenly in dark Sicilian dales, Where you will wish yourself transformed into 76 A mouse to see what men postiche can do. V alette. The king in pink and silver suit enjoys Such goodly not ungodly joys. Enter King Henry III Henry III. I have conceived a ploy, where Anjou's faith Will be much darkened in the people's hearts Forever, if I live. Valette. Ah, what? Henry III. No, later, Jean-Louis. There seems to be Some jolly banqueting in readiness. Joyeuse. I have devised for my renowned king A fitly entertainment that should please. Here is a poet to prepare our ears For what our eyes may readily swoon in. Enter Pepin Pepin. Now welcome, gentle feasters all. In titillating candlelight, We will italianize the French, Feast palates, eyes, and ears, Out of her hellish crevices Receive a new Persephone In floral pageants never seen, Where you will wish yourself An actor in the fairy scene, Both man and woman in a trice, To know the pleasures of each sex, Where everyone declares: "Love is no sin." Henry III. Call for my mother and my queen in white. Joyeuse. Ah, highest majesty, can this be wise? Henry III. Call them, I say. My mother likes a masque Or four, though rarely quite so bold and true. Exit Joyeuse Valette. I stiffen as I sit in hope of love. Henry III. Already too susceptible, Jean-Louis, To spill youself before the rightful time. Re-enter Joyeuse with Catherine de Medici Good mother, sit, to hear some country fare. Catherine. A pastoral? Henry HI. You'll think yourself astride shy Daphne's lap. Where is my modest queen? Joyeuse. No doubt at prayers still, my goodly liege. Henry III. The better, then, perhaps. Enter Persephone, followed by her suitors Pepin. Persephone is followed by 77 A round of suitors very bold. (They whisper to her and make signs of their intentions All hope to fertilize their love In bosky regions moist and hot. (A suitor takes her by the hand and covers her Joyeuse. In Saint Priapus' temple I should kneel. V alette. And I officiating as the priest, With Aretino as my prayer-book, A bedpost as my pulpit and my charge With bread and wine invited to be free And charitable to all men of faith. An instrument her choice presents To please a girl as she expects. Exeunt Henry III, de La Valette, and Joyeuse (A second suitor provides a dildo No Dido is this helpful boy, Though burning in an obvious fire, But a good dildo he provides, Such that boy-women should apply To majesties alive at front and back. Catherine. Courtly extravagance! Exit Catherine de Medici (The suitors enter the bushes with Persephone Thus ends the better to begin our masque. Exit Pepin Henry III. I am invited to rehearse in there. Act 4. Scene 2. The king's castle at Navarre. 1578 Enter the king of Navarre and the prince of Conde Navarre. In southern parts, our troops continue to Attack their castles, sack their churches, rob Their merchants, rape their nuns, and massacre Defenseless citizens and farmer's sons Wherever they are found. Conde. A stew of mayhem poisoning our lips As soon as we sip it. Who should now choose Our side when reading these atrocities? Navarre. There is no honest treaty possible With Catholics, whose Jesus is their hate. 78 Conde. None with the debonnaire girl-king at least, In rosy vapors dancing with his sweets, Wan ministers of his voluptuousness. Navarre. A foutred king cannot be bold with men. Conde. Then let us raise far pricklier implements Than those King Henry's fork is rubbed against: No ranks of poles but battle-axe and pike. Exeunt Navarre and Conde Act 4. Scene 3. The Louvre in Paris. 1578 Enter King Henry III and Catherine de Medici Catherine. No love remaining in a brother's eye? Henry III. Does not the colored beetle hungrily Bore in the kernel of his king and France? Catherine. Fit brothers are discovered in the ranks Of favorites of kings! Henry III. Francis of Espinay, lord of Saint Luke- Catherine. Francis of Espinay, lord of Saint Luke, Should be rid of. Henry III. How! He has done some signal services To France no courtier can attempt as yet. Catherine. Kings have loved minions and these minions have Been often prized above his treasury, But never yet a wasp invaded hives To rule in them as if he were a king. Henry III. A mother always wishes to be rid Of any love or friend except herself. Catherine. Henry of Saint-Sulpice, base badger, fed On courtly honey. Henry III. Yet Jacques de Caylus' cousin bled with me At La Rochelle and in a quarrel was Found stung to death for me two years ago. Catherine. Arch-minions I can hate. Henry III. All will prove true to France and to her king. Enter Anne de Joyeuse Joyeuse. My liege, there is a duel ended that Will mar our joys awhile. Catherine. Ha, minions in a duel! Henry III. Who dares to fight against express commands Of his own king? Joyeuse. My liege-lord, Jacques de Caylus- 79 Henry III. Is Jacques de Caylus challenged? Joyeuse. No, Jacques de Caylus is already hit. Henry III. By whom? Joyeuse. Three knights defending your high royalty Have fought against three knights defending I Do not know why your brother. Henry III. No! Catherine. I dreamt it would be so. Henry III. Who fought for me? Catherine. O! What intrigues are these, Joyeux? Vile grubs Intent on spoiling loving brothers' meats? Joyeuse. Among your majesty's defendants in This mighty duel Maugiron in arms. Henry III. What happened to my friendly Maugiron? Joyeuse. Louis de Maugiron is dead. Henry III. Ah, no! And Caylus? Enter servants carrying Caylus' corpse Joyeuse. Dead after thirty hours in agony. Henry III. Ah, no! He bears more wounds than I have ears To be obeyed. And loyal Livarot? Joyeuse. Hurt but still living. Henry III. Two dead for me, and I have nothing gained From the exchange but wringing of grieved hands. Joyeuse. On Anjou's side, dead are rash Schomberg and Hot Riberac, but Entraguet will live. Enter Jean-Louis de La Valette V T alette. The duke of Anjou has departed from Our amiable court. Catherine. No! Henry III. Again? Catherine. My son! See what a king's contempt achieves. Valette. With Bussy, Simier, Cange- Joyeuse. No blood of worth in any of these three To feed a dying horse-fly! Henry III. Where? Valette. To Angers. Henry HI. Where he will plot. Valette. Then on to the Low- Countries, it is said. Henry III. Where the chief cockerel will in good time Stand on his perch to spy for fox or wolf Inside his territory and then cluck His hens towards some grains to hatch revolts. Exeunt Henry III, Catherine de Medici, de la Valette, and Joyeuse, with servants bearing Caylus' corpse Act 4. Scene 4. A street in Paris. 1579 80 Enter Marie and Crudmore Marie. Stabbed in his cellar, Crudmore. Crudmore. Forever dead! Unholy is the hand That strikes for holiness. More violent deaths For Jewish fables! Marie. He brought me important money at the end from the king's banquets and other twirlihoos. Crudmore. Well thought on! Marie. He pleased me with a deal of conversation, too. Where is he now? I can very well see him conversing with Paul and Augustine about matters of deep doctrine. He might have eaten honeyless locusts with the Baptist, slept with his bobbing Savior in the tempest, or gorged till vomiting on miraculous fish and bread. Crudmore. Doubtless, if offered the chance. Marie. How he would have enjoyed to be at Cana's feast, with all that wine flowing! On a lazy Sunday forenoon, I often saw him smack his lips at the mere thought of it, reaching for yet another can or bottle. Crudmore. I joined him happily in those celebrations. Marie. I remember how angry he became on hearing Herod's story, how he thundered, and how gladly he would have pulled at that tyrant's beard with no meed to hope for in return, provided n o armed retainer of his stood by. And Judas! O, how Pepin's fists shook in anger at the only traitor. O, how he punched, kicked, and generally pummeled the picture of that awful dissenter! "Give me a poniard," he would command, and, hacking at our old barn- house door which burnt in last year's fire, he seemed to destroy Judas' face on it, pierced with so many holes that one could very well pity that door. He used a flail, too. Crudmore. Commendable piety! Marie. On the first Easter morning, we understand that though Jesus had predicted that in three days he would rise in glory, no apostle stood before his grave- perhaps because they had a more important meeting elsewhere. In any case, my Pepin often declared: "I would have stood there and waited, Marie. I would have asked you that very morning to prepare for me a heavy basket of pullets and bread, intending to breathe in my Savior's temporary home all day long and all the rest of the week if need be." Had he been Catholicly given, my husband would have much enjoyed to be received in the king's Order of the Holy Spirit for their silver-doved collars, often repeating to all his friends that the Holy Spirit was his favorite ghost. 81 Crudmore. He was also carnally given, I hear. Marie. Extremely so, quite adept to know That pleasure costing less than money to Yield and worth more than money to receive. Crudmore. Revered for poetry, too. Marie. Some said his poems, taken at first flush, Could outdo Homer's in brave martial feats, Sad Virgil's in lone shepherd's fruitless loves, Though true it is those who opined that way Were friends of his, some drunk, or even mad. Crudmore. I saw him quite affected by a play Once in the palace-house of Burgundy At the recondite death of Portia's nurse. Marie. The author was his friend; that was his way Of being courteous. In most instances, He chortled at the most pathetic parts, Was often asked to leave the theater Even by vulgar fools. He only wept During Good Friday, as if chewed on by The fish he was consuming. Exit Marie and enter Turpin Turpin. More luck today. Crudmore. You received alms at the Bordeleau farm? Turpin. No charity, and yet this neighbor I Can like today and afterwards all week. Crudmore. Why? Turpin. These eggs were his this morning. Crudmore. You stole his eggs? Turpin. I did. Crudmore. Bad, son. You should not take away your neighbor's eggs. Turpin. Why not? Crudmore. What if he stole yours? Turpin. He would never do it, having so many of his own. Crudmore. Who is the woman I found sleeping on your bed? Turpin. His wife. Crudmore. You stole his wife away? Turpin. No, she walked to my bed by herself. Crudmore. Bad, son, very bad. You should not take away a man's wife. Turpin. Why not? Crudmore. What if he seduced yours? Turpin. After I'm done, he can have her back. Crudmore. They'll call you evil- nurtured and I shamed, In dust-heaps grieving, as some fathers do 82 A hundred times at least each day they live. Turpin. No matter as for that. Crudmore. Can you not keep her? Turpin. No. Women are a loose yoke. Exeunt Crudmore and Turpin Act 4. Scene 5. A field of war outside La Fere. 1580 Enter the prince of Conde and Huguenot soldiers Conde. The soldiers in La Fere deny the rights Of my authority? Good, for this show, I may with one blast kill religiously All my opponents on a single day. 1 Soldier. Some may be hiding in these darkened shrubs. 2 Soldier. No matter. We are stiff for anything A pack of anguished coward hinds may lift With which to threaten in their senseless fear. Conde. Picardie's widows will forever mourn Man's needless obdurateness. Enter Catholic soldiers They charge. 2 Soldier. Down towards their imagined purgatory. Conde. Then cross them, not with holy water but With their own blood.- Come, folly's images, Graves hunger for your bones. (They fight Exeunt retreating Conde and Huguenot soldiers, enter Jean- Louis de La Valette and Anne de Joyeuse Valette. Here's joy of fighting and some winning prize I understand. Joyeuse. Where is the prince? I think I should be heel To toe against a rebel slave and win. Valette. Inside this house, I think, for certain locked. Joyeuse. Then hack all doors with battle-ax and knife, With elbows and with fingers if they fail. Re-enter Conde with Huguenot soldiers more Valette. A trick to spoil us! Joyeuse. My teeth against his own and one of us To die most valiantly! (They fight. Conde strikes Joyeuse down and Hugenots soldiers strike down Valette Enter more Catholic soldiers 83 2 Soldier. Ha, ha, escape, my lord, or die today. Conde. Retreat! Retreat! We may not stand and live. Exeunt Conde and Huguenot soldiers 1 Catholic Soldier. Both dead? 2 Catholic Soldier. Neither, but the viscount of Joyeuse lost some teeth and part of his jaw. Exeunt Catholic soldiers bearing de La Valette and Joyeuse Act 4. Scene 6. The Louvre in Paris. 1582 Enter King Henry III and Ludovico Gonzaga Henry III. For his unquestioned valor, my good friend, Jean-Louis de La Valette of Languedoc, Created on this day the duke of Epernon! Gonzaga. O, well deserved! He almost killed outright In combats close with renegades perplexed The prince of Conde. Henry III. Thanks to those sharp encounters, Conde flies To Germany, where may he ever hide By faith alone, afraid of our stout arms In Luther's faithless churches. Gonzaga. The duke of Joyeuse, we are pleased to learn From his physicians, out of danger stands At last, although with seven fewer teeth And badly knit jaw-bones, preventing speech. Henry III. The duke of Joyeuse is at once declared Lord admiral of France. Exit Gonzaga and enter Jean-Louis de La Valette Henry III. No lingering limp? Valette. What if I had? With one leg I would ride The vessel of our country's purposes And jettison superfluous shipmates. May I discover on a surgeon's knife No pity till our wars at last are done. Henry III. Where is Joyeuse? Valette. Behind me in position, never yet In loyalty towards his lovely king. Enter Anne de Joyeuse Henry III. Ha, can you speak, duke? Valette. I doubt it, my good liege. Henry III. Yet try again. Joyeuse. Hermagh dfgeis davo. Henry III. I thank you, duke. 84 Valette. Ha! Did you understand him? Henry III. I did. Did I not, Joyeuse? Joyeuse. Rfjjd fheio veviwer firi. Henry III. Let them complain of super-minions: mine Are precious to the happiness of France. Of Spain! I had for him prepared a match With the prevaricating English queen, Which must not be believed o r thought of now. Gonzaga. The king with news from the duke of Brabant! Exeunt Henry III, de La Valette, and Joyeuse Act 4. Scene 7. The Louvre in Paris. 1584 Enter Catherine de Medici and Ludovico Gonzaga Gonzaga. Since losing Antwerp, Anjou is a sponge Seeped heavily with hard-to-be- dislodged Despair, worse than a mildew to help ills Which filled with dust the mouth of our last king. Catherine. Since first I heard William of Orange choose The duke of Anjou as the mighty sovereign Of the Low-Countries, I have seldom smiled In thinking of my plight. A son of mine, After the signing at Plessis-les- Tours, Approved by all but Holland and Zeeland, Protector of a state against the king Enter King Henry III Catherine. I do not like your face today, my son. Henry III. It will not hide away from you this night. Catherine. O, ominous! May terror press my heart To stop its needless, hapless hammering Before a word too terrible to know Hits my pale ears. Henry III. Grief speaks with a mouth full of stones. Catherine. I'm a trapped rabbit sniffing anxiously At the dull-yellow muscled back of a Serene and ready python. Henry III. My brother, duke of Anjou, is no more. Catherine. O, I am struck. Henry III. Our rebel brother dead! Catherine. O, O, the serpent springs and wraps itself Three times around my live-dead body's form, Where I may live imprisoned in its folds For many hours still. 85 Henry III. Some calmness at these sorrows, mother, for He died of a disease none could prolong, And is transformed, some would aver, into A son of heaven, far more blessed in That name than any son of yours can be. Catherine. Ah, ah, ah, ah! I am for shrieking half The day in bed and all the night beneath This kindest of all grounds. Henry III. Griefs rise and face the day. No help from tears Can be obtained and little from such cries. Catherine. Ah, let me lose both voice and life at once. Gonzaga. Believe in God. Acknowledge that this death Is good for him and thereby to us all. Henry III. Gonzaga, to her chamber gently lead My mother, to be watched, examined, drugged To angel stillness by our best physicians. Catherine. I know the woeful in their greater dole. Ah, will Navarre be king? I am a child With sharp knives playing on her future griefs. Exeunt Catherine de Medici and Gonzaga and enter Jean-Louis de La V alette V alette. My liege, this saddest of afflictions- What can compare to a dear brother's end? I'm lost in things to say, I ruminate With moaning pain. Ulysses on his raft, When Neptune's anger blew on Ino's veil, Could not be more distraught than I am now At these unwelcome news. Henry III. Our Epernon is now our colonel-general, The martial head of all the infantry. Valette. A prize I thought beyond my farthest ken! Henry III. My enemies include the Protestants, But also Catholics, thanks to the Guise. You have been witness to my female acts: Now look and wonder at my maler ones. I wish to be a king, and all of France Will feel and know about a king's intent. Exeunt Henry III and de La Valette Act 4. Scene 8. A field of war outside Coutras. 1587 86 Enter the king of Navarre, the prince of Condes, and soldiers Navarre. The king jumps on his war-horse to attack Our forces at the German borderline. Conde. The Guise to be commander of his troops! Navarre. The treaty of Nemours with that duke's league, Containing edicts never read o r known Against reformed religion, which they name Abhorrent heresy, enjoining all Our pastors in a day to leave the realm, Makes me worse than I was towards Rome's fools, A man complete in dolor and in hate. Conde. We'll meet them there. Navarre. In thankfulness of his exploits, the king With terror yields Verdun, Saint Diziers, Toul, And Chalons: all of these in a duke's name. Conde. Sixtus, head of their superstitious church, Declares a bull in scorn of Salic law, Negating your pretention to the crown Of France forever. Navarre. King Henry has refused to promulgate That silly bull, for which I'll gratefully Hug him with my most potent arms of war. Conde. Will the intrigues of Spain, a foreigner, Dictate to us in an unhallowed league? Navarre. No, no, as all of France will know about And with wide-ranging terrors feel amain. Enter a soldier bearing an unconscious Anne de Joyeuse This is or was the duke of Joyeuse's trunk. Conde. He lives. Navarre. But should he, prince? Some say his massacre Of at the least eight hundred Huguenots In June at Saint Eloi displeased his king, For whom he dared to storm with arms Coutras. Conde. He dies at the fierce battle of Coutras. Exeunt Conde and a soldier bearing Joyeuse Navarre. A prisoner of war, though massacrer Of ours, should be well treated. In our chests, He yields a banquet of ten hostages: 87 One hundred thousand ecus.- Let them sink. Re-enter Conde Conde. Done. Navarre. The duke of Joyeuse dead! Announce this bit Of news to our French king and laugh awhile. Conde. With his loved brother, Claude, of Saint Sauveur The lord, joined in one common lonely grave. Exeunt Navarre and Conde Act 4. Scene 9. A field of war outside Vimory. 1587 As witnesses of rising fortunes of the Guise. I will protect the eastern front against Invasions of the harried German hosts. Charles. What of the king? Guise. The king is confident he can prevent The joining of Swiss-German armies with Discouraged plowboys prodded by Navarre. Charles. Elizabeth of England and the king Of Denmark bellow on their poor investments. Enter a second soldier Enter the duke of Guise, Charles of Lorraine, and soldiers Guise. Is Vimory achieved and sorrowing? Charles. The Swiss are routed backward to their pits. Guise. More yielding to my will! Bid citizens To open. We will at our leisure take Her in great joy. Exit one soldier The burgrave of Dohna and de la Marck, The boiling duke of Bouillon, melt in beer Where are the horseless reiters? 2 Soldier. Retreated to the castle of Auneau. Guise. There groaning will they sorely beat their hands And sweat to find an angry duke of Guise. Does France lack ground for graves? When they behold Our arms, with hasty fingers Germany Will rake up shallow pits to hide her fear. Exeunt the Guise, Charles, and the second soldier Act 4. Scene 10. A field of war outside Auneau. 1587 88 Enter the first and third soldiers of the Guise's army 1 Soldier. The duke is much incensed. 3 Soldier. In such conditions far away at night Brave soldiers run. 1 Soldier. Too late! He comes. Enter the duke of Guise and Charles of Lorraine Guise. I trimphed at Auneau and did the king Choose to negotiate with enemies? Charles. A true word, brother. Guise. Ha, cheated of a triumph by this king! Charles. The German troops convinced to go back home By Henry's payments in Swiss mercenaries! Guise. To Paris, where this Henry will much rue His treason of a duke. My league ascends, Whose purpose is to rear and to promote Supremacies of Rome, the only church, In all affairs of state, States- General To be the head of finance and taxation. I have well thought on this. A case is made Of Henry as usurper to the crown, At all costs necessary to let slip The Salic law in favor of Navarre. I can be king as a descendant of Old Charlemagne and then establish for All times a Holy Inquisition in The land of France, to cure religion's head With stronger potions than our pastors can. Charles. O, O, my brother, you reach overfar- Guise. As high as to a crown, first earth's then heaven's. Charles. Well. Exeunt the Guise, Charles, and soldiers Act 5. Scene 1. A street in Paris. 1588 Enter Crudmore and Turpin Crudmore. The people of Paris, Catholic in their hatred, under the influence of the Committee of Sixteen, show dissatisfaction at the king's failure to defeat the Calvinists. Turpin. I can enjoy a popular uprising. Crudmore. The Guise arrives to be acclaimed by us, And, it is feared, to challenge mightily Inside his palace walls a king reproved: Confusion's masterpiece when friends fight friends. Turpin. Good. 89 Crudmore. Raise barricades and towers when the powerfullest meet. Turpin. Better still. Enter a shoemaker and a tinker Shoemaker. Leave nothing at the Louvre except a roaring queen- mother. We'll plunder it. Some say good paintings can be found There and some comfortable chairs. We'll whisk away with joy a few from those Who have too many. Tinker. Prosperous houses in Paris and in the suburbs weep through windows and smoke with rage through doors. Shoemaker. I can look askance at this king and hiss. Hit a king's face and make him moan. Tinker. In foulest clothes and with a mouth decayed We'll do it and then laugh outlandishly. Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Shoemaker. Burn him with his bedfellows. He goes forbiddingly the fruitless path, in behind-part ways, thoroughly on the barren side. Turpin. Is this no sweet revolution? The weaver will obtain an ocean of yarn, the shoemaker a realm of shoe-laces, the tinker a wilderness of pans, the rope- maker work for a hundred men! Crudmore. When men die, more women are available. Turpin. A barricaded baroness, a kept cony-cunted countess, an undoused duchess! White arses, ours! Unsnood your hair and all The rest besides. A man can plant in there. O, wrap your legs on either side and tap My arse with either heel for deeper thrusts And brisker stirring! Open doorless rooms To man and let him smiling lie with you. Crudmore. A hanging matter, Turpin. Turpin. Because they lose some wad inside their twat, Must Turpin lose his neck? Tinker. You know women, sir? Turpin. Am I of straw, or angel without sex? I have with women often tussled, sir. They like to fuss in clean shirts. Crudmore. Be well aware: the mildest woman's needs Will leave a brave man gasping o n his floor. Shoemaker. Beauty deceives and laughing mouths are sepulchres. Did I not see you in my daughter's room At dawn with a broad hat below your eyes? Turpin. That twelve-year old no higher than my hip 90 Who goes to bed with men as often as A whore cajoles or sickly drunkards piss? Shoemaker. O, basest slave! What son-in-law is this? Say, father of this prize I never sought To find and to my shame must be thought of, Have you once touched church- door? Crudmore. When I was drunk and heaved my meal on it. Tinker. Hold, sirs, fight kings with other enemies Of all the people.- Ha! Look there: a sight I love above an eager mother spread Across my bed: the duke of Guise well armed. Crudmore. Watch this duke rise like sunlight stained with cloud. Alecto's deadly nipple has he pressed For milk to make our makeshift king lose half His shirt in shreds and fragments of breast-bones Together with his life. Enter the duke of Guise, Charles of Lorraine, and Paris citizens Paris citizens. The Guise! The Guise! The scarred one! Marked of God! Guise. The Committee of Sixteen has this morning welcomed me with joy and thankfulness. Stand sturdily and with piked ranks beside religion, brave people of Paris. Should King Henry fly from his shaky Louvre, the Committee of Sixteen will take complete control of the government. Shoemaker. The Guise! The Guise! The Guise as our new king! Guise. A king? A king? Oh, no, that cannot be. Has any seen two rainbows east and west? Charles. A king? Oh, no, my brother cannot aim So high. Is he the Guise or Icarus? Guise. Before the pale-faced king, I will demand Instead and sooner than he ever wished Debates and parleys in States- General, To be imposed at Blois, and force the loon To love his people and religion's cause. Paris citizens. The Guise! The Guise! The marked one! Stamped by God! Charles. Go, take up staves and swords, neglected hinds. This day may yet be warm for some of us. Shoemaker. We'll make a monarch blush outside his skin. Turpin. Should he resist and puke before our arms, We'll mash him to a powder small enough 91 To load a famished baby sparrow's back. Charles. We'll blow the palace rooftop on his crown. Crudmore. I hope he signed his will. Guise. Prepare yourselves for slaughters in our streets And mayhem in our houses. Big with care On your behalf, religion will give birth To graces martyred France has never known. I will convince the barren king, o r die, To love his people as a monarch should, To hug religion as a leader must. My horse will wade in blood up to its hough Until these resolutions are achieved. Shoemaker. The Guise! The one man for religion's sake! Tinker. The Guise! The Guise! He will provide the path, Work for poor starving patience pining still. Charles. No doubt. Exeunt the Guise, Charles, and Paris citizens Turpin. Will this revolt be wisely carried forth? Crudmore. Walk out the door: a fool will speak to you. Exeunt Crudmore and Turpin Act 5. Scene 2. The Louvre in Paris. 1588 Enter King Henry III and Jean-Louis de La V alette Henry III. Let not the Guise arrive in Paris now. Valette. He's here. Henry III. I greatly sweat at these unwelcome news, So much against our will. He comes enforced And with him come revolt and turpitudes. I peep at windows, spying on each troop Assembled, as if meaning to make his Our palaces, our might, the crown of France. I stain my shirts with creeping out at night To hear the ruder commoners make sport At our delights, in expectation that Most sour the Guise will push out wantonness And love-acts from the throne. Well, let them puff Their cheeks and stare. The duke of Joyeuse, dead On my behalf, as head of Normandy You may henceforth replace, and take as well His post as admiral in all of France. 92 Valette. More honors on a grateful subject's head! Henry III. Prevent the worst. The Paris multitude In rage and hunger pilfer bakers' shops And strut towards the Louvre. Valette. The poorest feed on half- ripe musts of wheat In fields like sand for dryness. Spades they use, Some with the flesh of officers on them. Henry III. What, do they rise already? Valette. Their barricades are up. Henry III. Sleak water-line before the cataract. Valette. Most carry rocks from lack of bread and clubs Instead of meat, adorned with noble blood. Henry III. I dance in quarries. Ha! Where can we leap? Enter Catherine de Medici Catherine. The Guise is standing just outside our gate. Henry III. Swiss guards spar up the door. Catherine. His sword-thrusts fan them down. Henry III. French guards stab any stranger entering. Catherine. French guards fly off to fields or join his side. Henry III. Behold a fruitless king, of uses lopped. Catherine. O, thought beyond belief in any dream! Will Catholic the Guise drop a French crown On Protestant Navarre's ungracious head? Henry III. No, rather on his own. Catherine. How! Henry III. "King Charlemagne's descendant authored him," Would-be usurpers say, who speak all good Of him, all ill to barren France and us. Catherine. O, slave! Will he deny the Salic law? Henry III. The treble string is broken and we play Disordered tunes of woe. Enter Ludovico Gonzaga A boon! The prince of Conde is deceased. Greet cheerfully Picardie's governor. Gonzaga. O, fly, my liege. Henry III. Ha? Gonzaga. The Guise with multitudes of breakers shakes Our stoutest fortressed door with wave on wave That levels all. Henry III. My mettle rusts with this corrosive. Catherine. Fools sleep in tempests. Henry III. To Blois! Valette. In blasts of violent whirlwinds caught in fire! 93 Exit de La Valette Shoemaker. Here's one of them. Henry III. Will majesty hit his knees in despair, Keen in the kitchen with his scullions? No. An ungraved carcass will kiss with sweet breath Before a king consents to his demands. Catherine. A king and a queen- mother must like rats Escape at night through secret water-ways. Henry III. Kiss patience till we rise with her. The night And silence are for any business fit. I will embrace humiliation like My filthy shirt, but yet, if I survive, Pay back the duke of Guise in coins of blood. Exeunt Henry III, Catherine de Medici, and Gonzaga Act 5. Scene 3. A street in Paris. 1588 Enter the shoemaker and the tinker Shoemaker. Compel and annoy. Tinker. Convey the wealthy from the world. Shoemaker. They skip, they jump. Tinker. Those who survive will find some hot days dark In noble people's blood. Enter Jean-Louis de La Valette Tinker. Are you of the king's party? Valette. And mine, (he shoots the tinker Tinker. O, I am hit! Shoemaker. Ha? Exit de La Valette, enter Crudmore and Turpin Crudmore. In every street, hear the authentic voice Of tragedy. Both high and low resound In diapasons of despair and death. Turpin. I'm glad to play the coward on this day. Crudmore. Can you speak, fellow? Tinker. I'll never fatten in this world again. Turpin. See how he sweats and glares. Tinker. Bleeding is thirsty work. (he dies Turpin. He faints. May he forget to die today. Crudmore. Life with slow crutches sighs and moves away. Shoemaker. A single friend so soon away! Crudmore. He kisses the breast of forgetfulness. Enter the duke of Guise and Charles of Lorraine, attended 94 Guise. The city has been won and mine it is. Charles. We enter in a Louvre without a king. Guise. New posts mine to bestow or to withold! Charles. The governor of the Bastille, by you Appointed, and some others all in joy, With praises thank you everlastingly. Guise. I do much more than help my helpful friends: I hurt my enemies, who should thank me, Because thanks to my care, not one of them Now suffer in this world. Charles. None better, brother, by Christ's blood approved. Guise. Some die, some are transformed unwillingly To friends, most beat their pillows in their sleep. Charles. Some have a king forgotten in these frays. The present eye the present man attends. Guise. The frightened king negotiates and fears. Charles. The duke of Epernon, who once held hands With majesty disgraced, has run away, Pushed off as governor of Normandy And admiral of France on your advice. Guise. Who is that white man some mourn darksomely? Charles. No doubt a Catholic hurt in our cause. Turpin. The frost is warm next to this piece of flesh. Guise. A mass and honored burial! Crudmore. O, true, a mass of earth is all he has. Turpin. I will pronounce his eulogy, and then Perhaps obtain his shoes for summer months. Exeunt Crudmore, Turpin, and the shoemaker bearing the tinker Guise. Onward to Blois, where I will greet a king And ply him to my will. Charles. Will you, unknown to fear, court danger still? Guise. She is a wife who promised to obey. Charles. Discard that whore. To Lyon I must go. To an affrighted king and queen you are As welcome as the day to murderers. Guise. Tut, brother, tut. There is no king in France, Except a man asleep on cotton balls. I doze in hell until I earn a crown. Exeunt the Guise and Charles, attended 95 Act 5. Scene 4. The king's castle at Blois. 1588 Enter above King Henry III and Catherine de Medici Henry III. I'll plan a murder none will soon forget. Catherine. Ha, is this wise? Their league is well beloved. Henry III. I will hear mass and then devise a scene Of treason witches never dreamt about, Which should save France from worse calamities. Hear, mother, hear: I wish to be a king. A lewd negotiator with the Guise And Calvinists is not and never was. A king I'll be or die, I promise you. Catherine. I have crossed and re- crossed on all non-roads Of France for Christ, from south- east to north-west, Smiled willingly at hostile rebel heads For peace and our advantage, and is this My only recompense for these travails? Henry III. What fool will follow virtue long despised? A woman is most potent with her tongue, But yet to argue with Navarre, to plead With treason's scarfaced child of woe and death! How have we fared in this? Chased from the Louvre Like serfs from mighty households! Catherine. The Guise! The point where blessed religion's shoe Most pinches, to the halting of our plots. Henry III. The Guise can swallow many houses down, To leave us naked in a heathen wind. Catherine. Forced to attack our friends while we possess So many popeless enemies of truth! The anger of Latona's offspring never fell So monstrously on boasting Niobe. O, sick! May an old woman's miseries Heave proud the Guise into the lowest house Sin plunges lofty sinners on this earth. I have become an empty music box, Bereft of speeches apt to please a king. Henry III. In Venus' temple have I laughed or sung. Now watch a subtle Vulcan in his net Ensnare a traitor to religion's pact Of promised love between all Christian lands. 96 Catherine. Well cut. Now you must sew. Exit Catherine the Medici and enter two guardsmen Henry III. Repeat again how bad a man the Guise Has been, now is, will be, then blacken all Conjectures with improbabilities, So that his solid figure may become A pencilled lerry easy to deface. 1 Guard. A king once fought the Protestants with friends. 2 Guard. A king once reigned in Paris. Henry III. More fuel to my hate. Enter the duke of Guise How, unattended, duke? Guise. Who is the Guise? A coward beggar slave, Or one who forces kings to sigh and yield Against their will? In private study rooms Adjoining royal chambers let us talk. Henry III. Ascend to royalty: we are for you. Guise. Well said. The Guise will not step down again. Exit the Guise Henry III. He'll never crumple bedsheets in this world. Such an unheard-of murder may set off Inside my Louvre a keg of murderous And universal powder. What of that? The one may be, the other is. Prepare. Re-enter above the duke of Guise Guise. I should resign as your lieutenant-general. Henry III. Agreed. A traitor may resign his post. Guise. Base traitors to a kingly traitor are Allowed and just to all the commoners. Henry III. Take hold of him. Guise. Ha, slave! Where is my brother cardinal? Henry III. On bloody knees prepared to follow you. Guise. A king and so unkingly? Henry III. A king at last with power. Stab the duke Into the center of a traitor's heart. (The guardsmen stab the Guise Guise. O! O! I hear no music, (he dies Henry HI. His brother cardinal we'll ship to hell With blasted sails. Let him in torment dance On pikes of his own escort till I come. 1 Guard. We will oblige, my liege. 97 Henry III. Arrest the duke's son, too, but spare his life. 2 Guard. My liege, he's caught. Henry III. In the meantime, to help religion's cause, I will with Mayenne and Navarre debate. Exeunt Henry III and guardsmen bearing the Guise Act 5. Scene 5. The king's castle at Plessis-les-Tours. 1589 Enter Ludovico Gonzaga and Jean- Louis de La Valette Gonzaga. Since the defeat of their armada on Large-bellied English waters in one meal, Their eighty vessels salted and prepared With fifteen thousand dead to season it, We may yet breathe awhile, from Spanish sway Released, France unsubordinated still. Valette. May we remain so ever from their spells. Gonzaga. The king has written to Charles of Lorraine. Charles of Lorraine is not to be appeased. Valette. The king is vehemently and with tears Of rage cried out against by moderates. We hear of Paris riots of such scope That few with money dare to enter it. Enter King Henry III Henry III. My mother's dead. A king may thereby rise The brighter in his hopeful subjects' eyes From her red clouds unburdened. No good deed But as a stranger's hated to the end! Gonzaga. Despised by the most hateful. Henry III. The parliament of Paris has drawn up A charge of murder on their rightful king. I will at once join forces with Navarre In open war against their league and state. Where is our former execration? Gonzaga. In the adjoining chamber. Henry III. Admit the king. We totter should he fail. Gonzaga. At once, my liege. Exeunt Gonzaga and de La Valette, enter the king of Navarre Navarre. A foe may stand and yet with kindness be Received in a king's palace by the fire Of a new-risen day. 98 Henry III. You are Navarre, our loving brother king. Navarre. Say what Navarre must do to earn the more Such welcome kindness from the king of France. Henry III. Against Charles of Lorraine, hot brother to The Guise, raise arms, heap infamy, kill friends, Help enemies: this must be shaped and fixed, Or else be hated by a king of wrath. Navarre. Clasp arms and hands on friendship long delayed. Henry III. Two kings kiss gently at Plessis-les-Tours. Navarre. The worse for Charles and hateful factions' spite. Henry III. Hay in the rack for horses, swords in sheaths For men! Such promises of loyalty Are bits and trappings that will bear us on. Do Protestants own charters from our saints To cog and mesh with traitors? I think not. Two kings rule on a chessboard, set to take With our white army spurning at the false Entire ranks of pawns and bishops, when Each king holds true. If I die in this fray And if you choose aright religion's course, The crown of France is yours. Reflect on that. Exeunt Henry III and Navarre Act 5. Scene 6. A street in Paris. 1589 Enter a water-carrier and a barrel- maker Water-carrier. Those for whom I once carried water, I drown. Barrel-maker. I put in coffins those I served with storing drink. Water-carrier. I bring to houses no water but torches instead. Barrel-maker. No wine in my barrels except men's blood. Water-carrier. Will you join our religious procession, to mar, deface, murder, dispossess? Barrel-maker. Gladly and with renewed hope in humankind. Water-carrier. Some ceremony here! Extinguish my candle. Barrel-maker. So may a king expire. Enter Crudmore and Turpin carrying a heavy bag Ha! Some gain while we attempt not to lose. Turpin. Here's some good achieved. Crudmore. While Rome quaked at the coming of Ceasar's rebel army, beasts abandoned forest lairs to roam with citizens. But 99 why need we wolves when uncontrolled man wanders freely? Turpin. Right. I knew these civil jars would do us good. Barrel-maker. What do you carry, sirs? Turpin. Candlesticks and gold coins, books against submission to tyrants and some jewels. Let us be anything, rotted meat and bones hanging from rusty hooks, rather than dying poor a second time. Crudmore. A prelude to money and hope. Turpin. Look, father, a white man who blackens men's bodies. Water-carrier. The duke of Mayenne will restore the right religion. Barrel-maker. The duke of Mayenne will destroy the false religion. Enter Charles of Lorraine, attended with soldiers Charles. The people speak with wisdom, sign assured That only goodness rises from this strife. Water-carrier. A second Guise! Barrel-maker. A newer Guise to the despair of Huguenots! Charles. May the king, false as any Protestant, Under your curses droop without resource. For Henry's younger brother, of the Guise Avenger, it pertains to act as head Of our religious league. Tracts are dispersed. The Sorbonne says it is a holy deed And full of piety to kill a king. I will add more. A pope's bull is declared, To free the cardinal of Bourbon and The archbishop of Lyon, or else die In excommunication. Henry, king In sinning only, reads his high command. A pope's involved. The king no more directs His cheerful sodomies, but wears a coat Of mail to satisfy a Paris crowd, For otherwise, he will inside his Louvre Smoke in the blood of friends and family. Barrel-maker. A second Guise for the extermination of Protestants! Charles. Infected blood I'll swallow if we shun To beat a king back to his joyless bed Of joy. Exeunt Charles, the water-carrier, the barrel-maker, and soldiers, enter Jacques Clement Turpin. Look, father, a white man who blackens men's souls. Jacques. Why do you say so, son? Is not a Jacobin the truest son of 100 the Church, one who by the eyes and by the ears hooks sinners otherwise destined to sink unconsciously into the stupid realm, nothing but sighs and roaring, no sweetness except to be honeyed in the muck of scared ones, housed by tenants whose rent is loss of flesh and blood to lusty turnspits, roasting arms and legs as often as we cut nails? Turpin. Certainly he is. Jacques. Does not the Church love the poor? Turpin. Too much, for without doubt her prosperity keeps me as I am. Jacques. In no manner as you are. Are you no thief? What bag are you holding? Stolen goods from the deceased? Turpin. As true as I am I. Jacques. A Dominican monk can like a white hound easily sniff out rich wares. You must return these cheerfully. Turpin. Ha? But oh, reflect a little, monk beyond all measure monkish: their owners' mouths, stuffed with turf, can never reclaim such worthwhile goods. Jacques. Are they not stolen nonetheless? Do not dead people leave regretfully behind to their willing sorrow living sons, daughters, mothers, fathers, uncles, aunts, great-aunts, together with sons-in-laws and daughters-in-law and more perhaps, who probably have a far more justifiable claim to this property than you can ever produce in a court of law? Turpin. True. We cheat people of their rightful prize. Jacques. Then you must give back these goods to me. I'll discover their owners and cede the items to them. Turpin. What if the owners are richer than I am? Jacques. An irrelevant and irreverent notion, son! Objects legally belong to their possessors. Poverty gives you no honest claim to other persons' properties. Turpin. No? Jacques. Who ever heard of honest filching? At no period and in no country has human society condoned stealing. A thief is unwelcome in every land, at any time. Turpin. I regret that. Jacques. You should rejoice in it. Let us return to the beginning, to the initial philosophic banquet noted scholars in every age have joyfully tasted, even to gourmandizing, as if you were first son or pupil of deeply searching Socrates: is not goodness good? Turpin. Not if I starve by it. Jacques. Primordial error of irreligious inconsideration! I tell you truly: though pinched Erisichton-like in stringy throes of starvation, you are not allowed to rob. 101 Turpin. I would be wise to quit this dialogue rather than my life. Jacques. Defy Mammon's burdensome sack by burying it in my arms. Crudmore. Not to any monk impudently pretending to a knowledge we cannot see or he can understand. Jacques. Unfortunate son of an unfortunate father! Will you feast on merchandise that is not yours to covet, much less hold? Turpin. Yes, dancing all night with Bordeaux' best and naked firecrackers. Jacques. You fiddle towards damnation. I see two hungry ants feeding in a bag of refuse, whose top the unobserving servant ties up, and all has suddenly been transformed to a darkness perfect to fatten in and choke. Crudmore. I recognize your Lethean mouth, dullness, forgetting half the sentence before it is completed. Marked impudence of these religious beards, Who bluster to impose their dreams on us! Jacques. May God's eye of punishment find you bare in street or forest, in court or field, suspended above you always like a sword, wider, darker, cleaner, and sharper than Damocles' in terror. Exit Jacques Turpin. You have drawn them, father, exactly as they miserably are, domineering slaves who can in no fashion serve the commonalty. Exeunt Crudmore and Turpin Act 5. Scene 7. The king's castle at Saint Cloud. 1589 Enter King Henry III and two guardsmen Henry 111. I will confess to nothing. Should a king Not enter Paris if he wishes? Ha! I should. Fetch me a chaplain, heaven's door Without the key, with Mammon's gold-bar locked. 1 Guard. We will, my liege. Henry III. O, wait awhile. Should you go in or stay? Remembered faults! Have I done well? They say In Paris men who prey o n weakness thrive. Must I be blamed? Should I have kissed the Guise For flicking off my crown? I'll take Louise By the hand, walk in forests to conceive- Our ground is barren. O, a punished thief Is happier. France is of succession robbed. I Guard. My good liege, do you wander?. 102 Henry III. Infertile, dazed, infertile! 1 Guard. Your majesty, a monk approaches here. Henry III. O! Bid him enter and speak well of me. Enter Jacques Clement 1 Guard. Approach, consoling friar. Henry III. Fall on your knees, king. 1 Guard. Should we not search the monk? Henry III. King, fall on unrepenting head. Jacques. The duke of Guise once wore a cloth of gold, But now he wears a coat of green; The duke of Guise commanded men of gold, Now all men's servants tread his muddy face. Henry III. Behold the great example of the world, The proud, the valiant, and the over-bold, Forever vanished in a puff of breath. A king's command has done it. Jacques. A king's command has chopped religion's head. Henry III. His wax is spent and smoky honor stinks. Jacques. The lodestar of our firmament, damp cloth To blot out heretics: is he quite gone? Henry III. Demolished kingdoms were his flags of peace. Jacques. Our temple has become a naked man Aflame, his flesh with vilest daggers torn And lusting. Henry III. Give him love-lies-a- bleeding. Jacques. Fair-weather atheist, captured easily While strutting happily beneath the sun! Henry III. A happy sleep seduces piety. Jacques. You are to blame if men in Paris sin. Henry III. One fewer sinner have I pushed away. Jacques. A false friend is a rich mat covering A rotten hole. Henry III. Great men have always greatly been disgraced. I am my own apocrypha, unread. Even my truths are lies. Jacques. Repent. Henry III. My apple rotting on a growing branch! Jacques. Atone or die. Henry III. When poor men die, friends do not notice it. Jacques. Will crime stand, ever boasting? Mere man kills The Guise and does he smile and shrug at it? Henry III. A man is cured of wounds, but never praise. Jacques. Ha! Is your mind at ease? Henry III. The fumes of Phlegeton are purer. 103 Jacques. I have met many devils: Far-from-God, Forgot-Christ, Exeunt guardsmen bearing King Shredder-of-Gospel Pages, Happy Henry III and Jacques Negligence, Lazy Presumption, Atheist Trap, all of them cheerful and pleasant, whose breath I shake away. Henry III. Men moan; the moon returns. Jacques. The sun shines brightly in the night of crimes. Show signs of faith, create a wonder, God! Henry III. Upturning eyeballs, friar? Wishing for Imagined marvels that astonish fools? Jacques. Faith owns a dagger, still too cool and neat. (Jacques stabs the king Am I invisible? God needs no man to defend him. 1 Guard. Hack him to fragments. (The guardsmen kill Jacques Wished-for demise! We could have searched the fool. Consider our offense, for some will say The monk should have been questioned. Raise the dead, Attorney of our loyalty and faith. - Refused, and rightly so. Let us instead Submit to questioning, agree, and live.