Collaborative play writing/Cardenio/Act 4

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Act 4. Scene 1. Before a cave

Enter the master of the goats and a goatherd

Master. That boy is as sweet-faced- may nature if not his mother comfort him!- as a goat-master ever doted on.

Goatherd. Should he still have a mother, I believe she's a woe-woman at this hour.

Master. Why should the lad wander into unpeopled mountains, where nothing is as if it were?

Goatherd. Except hunger and sharp winds. His melancholy, master, explains she-devils sometimes speaking through his eyes and togue. He has had some unspeakable deed foully played on him, I very much fear.

Master. What of the madman we see erringly stumbling across wet parts of the fields almost every morning? How does he eat?

Goatherd. Sometimes he steals our victuals, though we desire him to feed with us. Instead of a grace, he beats us on the head, then grovels, hands filled with dirt and meat towards his mouth.

Master. Where does he sleep?

Goatherd. Where night-time overtakes languor.

Master. Some fair-snouted woman is responsible, skittish in vagaries, variable in bleatings, the usual cause of men's madness.

Goatherd. Should he lodge within the sound of us, I know our music would allure. How attentively he stands while we holler, how transfixed while the boy murmurs love-ditties to nobody!

Master. May-day approaches.

Goatherd. When we'll foot it, no?

Master. Disorderly, ridiculously.

Goatherd. With contests in wrestling, hammer-tossing, and more, such as who farts loudest. Should we invite women to these games?

Master. No, they are undeniably feeble in appreciating such high-noted arts.

Goatherd. Here is our meat of the day.

Master. Two onions and a slice of bread!

Goatherd. Who feeds better? No eating of thistles for us.

Master. Not the duke or court-canaries warbling praises to his toe-nails chew so quietly and serenely without worries.

Goatherd. Yet we should use women in some way.

Master. How otherwise but in the usual way?

Goatherd. Bouncing, rubbing, fretting, the hedge-way, the behind-the-herd way, where pleasure waits for a man with or without instruction.

Master. Our sermon of the mount, where low ones cover the lowest.

Goatherd. The poor in earthly heaven.

Master. Mourning little, meek when we achieve, filled when we spill, merciful when we give and receive, pure when her back is dirtied, peaceful when she is, with no persecution of the loins, never reviled unless we rise before her turn.

Goatherd. The madman comes.

Master. He wanders strangely over to us.

Goatherd. Not a word to cross him, master, if you love your shoulders.

Master. We'll note the maddest fits, to entertain our friends at supper-time.

Enter Cardenio

Cardenio. More horsemanship! Hell-riding is denounced:

Return my steeds loose to their native wilds,

Beasts all too manly noble to be made

The property of baseness. What report

Did he write to his brother? What a man

Was I? Why do I never open doors?

She's married to Fernando, or else dead.

No, Perseus did not know his seat as well

As Parthians, riding smoothly with no rein,

Unmatched in virtue's firmness. Will this lord

Die when men rail on him? Is it not meet?

Master. I do not know what to say, neither can I unriddle wildness, though all Spain's confessors challenge me for this.

Cardenio. I will return to court, where virtues grace,

With a large list of praises neatly penned!

What venom-worlds smell there, mere food for snakes,

When commendations bait to ruin fools!

All his reports are gyves and manacles

To keep me bolted there, while senders fuke

In games of treachery.

Master. Fuke?

Cardenio. To enter several holes with hats or not.

She fainted to be his. I know she did.

But why did I not enter? I should have.

That tears me, though some others may be used.

You have an aspect fitting Plato's dream,

And, as it seems, much travelled, Strabo-deep:

Have you not seen the phoenix of the earth,

I mean, Luscinda, whom, against my will,

I failed, a traitor's poison to himself?

Goatherd. By nature's truth, not I.

Cardenio. I have, and know her haunts, where she builds up

Her cloudy nest, till, like the credulous,

I showed the mint-leaves to a friend made sure,

Who has robbed me of them. Believe no friend,

Keep counsels closely hidden. Do you sleep

On women? Do not let your pride or hers

Be wanton to display her charms to men.

Love is contagious, so that breaths of praise

Or glances kindle down its flame, to turn

A friend into a greener stellion, shown

And demonstrated, though it hurts my brain

To speak of that when goatherds onion me.

Goatherd. Some moral we may profit by one day.

Enter Violante in a goatherd's clothes

Master. Our timid boy? The madman pensively

Observes. Go towards him, boy, look his way.

Violante. Alas, I tremble when I speak to men.

Cardenio. A pretty youth! Come here, child. Do your songs

Import something of love?

Goatherd. Ah-hah, that theme again? Should the boy please him, we'll trace something on the ground.

Violante. My only subject, sir.

Cardenio. Sit here, then. Never tremble, loveliness.

Arcadia never wrongs a goatherd-boy.

Violante. Why do you look on me?

Cardenio. It puzzles my philosophy to see

That rudest blasts, sunblows, and dashing rains

Have marked no fiercer furrows on your hands,

Or hurt the bloom of poppy-colored cheeks.

You weep too, do you not?

Violante. I sometimes do.

Cardenio. I weep. Extremely young and not bold!

Violante. But feeling far more sorrows than my years.

Cardenio. Yet all these have not broken your complexion.

You have a strong heart, much the happier still.

I know you are a very loving woman.

Violante. A woman, sir?

Goatherd. Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! He takes the boy for a woman.

Cardenio. You met the disappointment; foulest blurs

Cross out such loves as ours.

Violante. You read truth in my face.

Cardenio. Where lies the fault? The rising man in us?

You trusted someone?- Ho! I hit the cause.

Violante. Not far astray from very violent truths.

Cardenio. This world is full of noble cozeners.

Young virgins must be wary on their way.

I know a duke's son turned into a knave.

Will you be ruled by me?

Violante. I will.

Cardenio. Then kill yourself.

Violante. By no means. How, commit self-murder? No.

Cardenio. The surest way to kill a villain's hope

Of worse deceptions, conscience netting him

The longest day he swims across in lust.

I'll have it so.

Goatherd. I fear, the tempest of his fits is returning. Row back, all hands.- Sir, do you lack anything?

Cardenio. More lies that cannot hurt while standing steeled

Against all farther wrongs. Behind me, boy,

Or woman, I now think. I will avenge.

O treacherous Fernando, have I caught

My enemy and hers?

Goatherd. Help, master, otherwise he kills me certainly.

Violante. Fernando, the duke's son?- I'm free from him.

Exit Violante

Cardenio. Fernando, I will pull your marrow for

Wrongs heaped on frailer heads. Faith-breaker, knave,

I'll suck the blood together with your eyes.

Master. Hold off, this goatherd is no duke's son.

Cardenio. Good. Let him slink to court, to hide the false.

Not all his father's guards will shield him there,

Or should he prove too strong for mortal arm,

I will solicit every flatterer

To send me vengeance. I will do it now.

The wrathful elements will wage such wars

As vultures will haunt him, to pick his heart,

And nature pour forth all her plagues in aid

To join in punishment of trust betrayed.

Exit Cardenio

Goatherd. Go your ways, and vengeance with you!- I pray you, feel my nose: is it still there, master?

Master. As well as may be.

Goatherd. He pulled at it as if dragging a bullock backward by the tail. Had it been another man's nose or prick, who can tell where they had been? He has so dashed over it that I'll never whistle to my goats again, to make some holiday in clover. Come, will we go? I fear. Should the fool return, our second course may be worse against my stomach.

Master. Walk on ahead. I'll find the boy again.

Goatherd. Do not linger.

Master. No, I am always quick when thus aroused.

Exit the goatherd and re-enter Violante

You are no boy.

Violante. Ha?

Master. Voice, gesture, faces, everything you are

Bespeak of soft and female handsomeness.

You put on seeming, with that garb deceive,

Persuading me you play the swain for game,

To cloak some hidden lust, forced by a need.

I wait too long to mark disguise's shifts,

Not understanding woman's lustier ways

In country courtship. That strange madman's coil

Drove woman shaking out. Such fears betray.

If proven right, I'm happy. Come here, boy,

Where did you leave the herd?

Violante. Grazing below, sir.- What do you mean in stroking thus my cheeks?

Master. You have not learnt to whistle yet or fold,

How to make dogs bring in the strayer-offs.

Violante. My will is able, but my knowledge nill.

Master. A proper woman! Do you always blush?

Most certainly a woman! Speak, false man.

Violante. Ah, how I tremble still! Unusual

To find such kindness at a master's hand!

Always a poor boy, every time distraught.

Unhand. Too much indulgence makes boys rude.

Master. Are you so cunning?

Violante. The eyes take fire, and measure every piece

Of youth about me. Pricking with the eyes!

My goats lack water, master: should I go

To drive them to the cisterns? I can wish

I were five miles away from men who hurt.

Master. All this is not sufficient, hidden prize,

To make a fool of me. The hair like sheep,

The delicate fine hands! Change colors, do.

You understand, a very woman's face!

Violante. Out, strangely beside! Though of that sex,

You are so honest and so truly good,

Despite disguises, that you never wrong

So faint a creature begging you to hold.

Master. Entirely made for love! Will you comply?

I'm all the warmer with your cooling speech,

And nothing you can say can dull the edge.

Violante. The foulest searching hairy hands again!-

My breeches now?

Master. I'll look inside for once.- You lack something.

Violante. Quench out such foul affections, love's false thieves.

I'll be a woman with an honest man,

To tell so sad a story that your eyes

Cannot but choose to pity it and weep.

Master. No tales but tails are wanting.

Violante. If you have any goodness, let me go.

Exit the master dragging Violante towards the cave, enter Rodrigo and Fabian

Rodrigo. Hoa, goatherd, will you hear?

Fabian. What bawling rogue are you?

Rodrigo. Good day to you. I thought all goatherds were asleep at this hour in this field.

Fabian. I am no goatherd. You had lied, for you were waking when you shouted.

Rodrigo. I am no nearer a goatherd than you are.

Fabian. The duke's son, I think. Pardon me, my lord.

Rodrigo. Did you hear a boy crying?

Fabian. I did. What then?

Rodrigo. Why do you beat your son?

Fabian. To make him cry.

Rodrigo. Can you tell the way to the next nunnery?

Fabian. I can, but the question is whether I will or not. I cogitate, deciding I will not.

Rodrigo. What country-brutish fellowship is this?

My brother tells me by his letters that

The mistress of his soul is near this field

Where she takes secret sanctuary, from

Which place we'll bring her back. Camillo's quest

Is not forgotten either, who seeks out

Your nephew, I think, as his father's hope.

I left dismayed Camillo in my coach.

Fabian. I'll seek to seek.

Exit Fabian and enter Fernando

Rodrigo. Say, brother, why an avid whore's pursuit

Throughout the duchy?

Fernando. I have lost a fair mistress hearts moan for,

And seek the means to win her to my lust.

From traitor nuns I have obtained word of the place

In which she hides from father, lover, all,

To live the usual false religious life.

Rodrigo. You live in troubles.

Fernando. Most noble brother, I admit in full

I have too freely given scope to heats

Intemperate and rashest base desires,

Yet do not think I can engage troth-plight

To any woman fainting in a church

Because she hates my sight. No, never fear.

She has my loins, not eyes. Until this hour,

My passions reign in blood, never in mind,

No newest convert grown to purest thoughts.

I must in anguish spend my days to come,

If I do not take her down: so much love

Attracts my lusts.

Rodrigo. How? In a cloister peeping as you wish

Can never be: no men but priests go there.

Fernando. What should we do?

Rodrigo. I'll serve you once, to save your honor, for

If you do not pull down that whore, you'll lose

The little you have left. Are you not hot

To pray in burial rites?

Fernando. Ha?

Rodrigo. It will be so. We will transport a corpse

To a graveyard, and, coming lately by,

Crave night's admission to place our hearse in.

That is the course, for with such charity

Strict zeal and custom of the house give way.

Fernando. Most opportunely I saw a hearse

Along the way, which for mere gold we'll hire,

To put strange thoughts into unlikely acts.

Rodrigo. Once lodged, the means of her conveyance will

By safe and secret forces be assured.

But, brother, know my terms. If a fair face

Will in the world return, forgetting dreams,

Most earthly-worthy to a brother's eye,

Let me woo her and win her, your consent

With my loose purposes annexed in steel.

Fernando. After I take her, take her, too, twice more.

I do not look with common eyes. She is

A noble woman, who, to make her so,

Lacks two duke's sons, as many women do.

Rodrigo. A lover's praises feast no sickly ear.

Come, to our plot! We bring night in with us.

Exeunt Rodgrigo and Fernando

Act 4. Scene 2. Before a convent

Enter Cardenio and Laurencia

Laurencia. Compose yourself.

Cardenio. Pour hot oils on my head. Luscinda: one

That nature made much stronger than a reed,

How happy had I been were I inside

Her comforting! That maiden is too cold.

Laurencia. Good, calm again. I'll have you so and so.

I'll take this lucid interval to work on you.

These wild and solitary places feed

Your pains with pain. Let better houses guide

You to quit forlorn states that yield no peace.

Cardenio. You speak of convents?

Laurencia. I do.

(Sounds of weeping are heard

Cardenio. Ha! Hark, a sound. Do you hear nothing yet?

Laurencia. The voice of saddest human instruments

Expressing sorrow, no inhabitant

Who likes his life.

Cardenio. The better.

Laurencia. So near our convent, hating wordliness,

A fine place to hear saddest music in!

Cardenio. I'm often visited with such glad airs.

The spirit of some hapless man who died

Or left his love to pine, a faithless wench

Regretting bitterly, now haunt these fields.

Fond echo! I forego my lighter strains today

To hear more heedfully a girl's complaint.

Go whisper jangling in her palest ear

How deeply all our vows have been betrayed,

Both hers and mine, the sorrowing I bear,

See whether hearts of deploration feel

Another's woe, or smile, indifferent.

Now must she heal her blank despair, or die,

Though death will pity much too slowly still.

Laurencia. See how her sorrow strives in you! This strain

Has searched you to the heart.

Cardenio. Too excellent grief! Have you ever loved?

Laurencia. No.

Cardenio. Learn to grieve, then. Go tell my sorrow's pith,

See whether lamentation feels my woe.

Now must she heal her blank despair, or die,

Though death will pity much too slowly still.

Is this not heavenly?

Laurencia I never heard the like.

Cardenio. I'll tell you, abbess, but say nothing yet.

I'm strangely touched by the sorry sound,

Diffusing sweetest peace throughout my mind,

But yet I wonder, what companion sad

Grief brings here to outbid my unsold pains.

Stand off, stand off, stand off, she seems, she is.

Enter Violante

Laurencia. A woeful woman dressed in withered leaves!

Violante. How much more grateful are these craggy hills

And these wild trees than things of nobler wills,

For these receive complaints, and mourn again

In many violent echoes. All good men

Fall dead asleep forever, none are left

Who have the sense and touch of tenderness

For virtue's sake, no, scarcely any yet

From whom a girl expects advice in fears,

Ease to complaining, or redress of wrongs.

Cardenio. This is a verdant sorrow. Gather it.

Violante. What dangers have I run, what insults borne,

Exposing ruins of myself? Grief's blade

On those soul-spotted hinds, two vicious ones!

Who would have thought that such a lout as he,

Whose best feed is coarse bread, best beverage

Clear water, should have so much blood on it?

I shake all over, blushing worse than when

Our thighs are pricked.- Pale nature, hear for once-

To think what men have made of woman's love!

Cardenio. She's not Luscinda, but yet music's own.

When speaking next, heed her as seriously

As widows once possessing loves at sea,

When wild winds every morning blow at dawn.

Violante. I cannot slice the traitor's memory

Out of my mind. Lorn virgins, living yet

To hear my mournful tale when I am ash,

Be wiser. On their oaths no more believe-

No tears, no cries, false all, or anything

A man can promise- than to clouds, that now

Miscarry pleasing shapes, but nothing are,

For they will cheat, if you receive their love,

The very God they worship. Valor, truth,

Discretion, honesty, and all they show

To make these seeming saints are but the wiles

By which male sirens lure us to decay.

Cardenio. Do you weep, abbess? Ah, I hope you do.

I drop into the fountain of her griefs.

Laurencia. She weeps extremely.

Cardenio. Let her weep mountains. Sorrows live in tears.

Laurencia. But not religion.

Violante. O false Fernando!

Cardenio. Ha!

Violante. And oh, fool, fool, I, I, more fool than all,

Forsaken Violante, whose belief

And childish love has made you so, go, die,

For there is no one left to comfort you.

What can bring heart-ease but a quiet grave?

There all the miseries I long have felt

And those to come will sweetly sleep with me.

My spirit wandering in obsequies,

May wayward fortune guide Fernando here,

To weep repentance on my pale dead corpse.

Cardenio. Stay. Is it possible you are the girl

Fernando often speaks of laughingly?

Not Violante, whom he boasts to fool?

Violante. That lost name, spoken by one needfully

Possessed with knowledge of my state, kills fears.

Who are you, sir? From where do you arrive?

Know that I am that hopeless Violante.

Cardenio. And I, too far from any earthly weal

I know of yet, much-wronged Cardenio.

Violante. Cardenio!

Cardenio. I once was thought so.

Violante. I heard your loved one fainted in the church,

The second prey to my Fernando's will.

Cardenio. Should cursed Fernando have the power to

Change you into a boy, lamentably,

Will not such mischiefs make me anything,

To claim an equal share in miseries

His crimes have bred in us?

Violante. Well I know it. It will, no doubt it will.

Yet pardon me, I could not know your face

Before I knew your griefs. When last we met,

The accent of your voice struck on my ear

Like nightmares I had known, but floods of grief

Drowned my remembrance. If you please to sit-

Since finding suffering's companion makes

For something in my nothing- yield an ear.

I will most likely tell you something yet

Of your Luscinda that may silence you.

Laurencia. Some happy blessings on you! Henceforth, I

Protest never to leave you naked. Hold.

We will shift grounds, to guide your sadder steps

To some remoter gloom, where, undisturbed,

We may compare our woes, dwell on the scale

Of mutual injuries, till eyes run down-

Cardenio. And we infect each other with travails.

Laurencia. Is no religious patience heeded here?

Cardenio. Religious patience? But the food of fools,

And we will vomit that, to feed despair

Instead. Worn with griefs, enter caves of death,

And in a sigh yield up our hated breath.

Exeunt Cardenio, Laurencia, and Violante