Collaborative play writing/The Countess of Challand/Act 4

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Act 4. Scene 1. Bianca's palace

Enter Pietro and Carlo

Carlo. As obstinate as foolish?

Pietro. When I decide to love, I do with hope Of gaining my resolve, or let all slide.

Carlo. So heedless, too! No sooner in the town But flying to destruction!

Pietro. You are my brother; otherwise, I would Be deadly angry for such mopes and scowls.

Carlo. On whose behalf? All those beguiled by such Like crabs on sand-heaps fight to enter holes.

Pietro. Hold to that sentence by the middle, let It wander safely off.

Carlo. I say what most but whisper of her deeds.

Pietro. You are no brother if you rather heed Reports than what I say.

Carlo. A brother who arrives to hold a head Inclined to drop off for a woman's face.

Pietro. You see a viper overhanging on Each twig in every forest.

Carlo. And you content to stay still, though their eggs Breed patiently in your regardless hair.

Pietro. Had you but seen this countess-

Carlo. Not seen, but heard enough from stories to Decline that honor.

Pietro. I take into account none but myself.

Carlo. Then you will kill yourself, I hourly fear, All in love's business as you intervene.

Pietro. Then you receive our father's patrimony.

Carlo. And so I will.

Pietro. Yes, by that scorn, you hope to save my life. I will regard you when you are less mad.

Carlo. That may be in my grave.

Exit Carlo

Pietro. Does my hope live? I think I see it does.

Enter Bianca

Bianca. You grow before my portal.

Pietro. Till cut and taken gently in your house.

Bianca. We'll see men heed religion ere that time.

Pietro. Two consecrated wafers on each side Of you rest willing to be prayed for, with Bent head most sweetly tongued in quietude.

Bianca. Transports to make all women smile, though our Religious fathers often weep at it!

Pietro. Moreover, I smell vineyards on your lips.

Bianca. For benediction, on my cushions pray.

Pietro. While you do so on my cathedral stones.

Bianca. Either, provided your soul rises high.

Pietro. I feel it rising at this very time.

Bianca. To fall off at your pleasure.

Pietro. A woman may convert without a priest.

Bianca. As for your penance, do not fear me yet: Instead of beads prepare to handle hosts Of flesh inscribed in secret native charms, Flesh sweetly open for your very case, Stalls of confession, one man at a time.

Pietro. Hosts harboring still a most sacred head!

Bianco. As you kneel, kiss the sweaty crucifix- O spring of love and torment!- where lie still Both pleasure and salvation.

Pietro. I know it does.

Bianca. Look for no stripes but only sheets to rest On, penitential robes for your offense, Uplifing your soul's thrusting, make it spent But after some good sweat, for otherwise I may me blamed for strictness. I refuse To be considered so, but, as for you, Do not spare me: be harder to please best.

Pietro. My pleasure since I first began to stink!

Bianca. Ha! Ha! Wit grows along with potency.

Pietro. Quite sure of it.

Bianca. By that wise sentence, guess what I require.

Pietro. I cannot guess the decade of my birth.

Bianca. A task of peril, trifling matter yet For such a growing lover as you seem.

Pietro. By my love, I profess myself to be Your most obliging knight, be it to tear My father's flesh for feeding poisoners.

Bianca. Not his, but that of others.

Pietro. Ha?

Bianca. Are you amazed, my man? Unless you do, You see the pit most often dreamed about As sheltering forever locked away.

Pietro. To kill-

Bianca. Yes.

Pietro. My mother never bore me for that skill.

Bianca. She ought to have done.

Pietro. Ah, who must die?

Bianca. Love, let it not displease your thoughts to know I warmly welcomed other men this week.

Pietro. Forgotten!

Bianca. Yet both intend to make me suffer, all Because of one grieved boy called jealousy.

Pietro. O, had you dallied with my father's bones, I still would work to make you always mine.

Bianca. I have done worse: played with the devil's own.

Pietro. Who?

Bianca. A pair of counts, whom I refuse to greet On common walks, unless bled thoroughly White on white pavements, for I recognize As certainly as woman's wishes they Intend to do me harm and leave me dead.

Pietro. Why?

Bianca. So filthily love taints their spirits that I nightly fear rapes doubled everywhere A man may enter.

Pietro. I bear a sword for them.

Bianca. Together with another instrument, Both here to give me pleasure.

Pietro. I have had promises.

Bianca. You will contend with more than promises.

Pietro. Tonight.

Bianca. When I behold their heads inside this scarf.

Pietro. Agreed. Then down goes that feigned maidenhead The world once knew you by.

Bianca. Show me I may in honor know your love, Then hail the day with shouts when hearing first Of my dishonor bleeding in Challand.

Pietro. My hope in life or death! To give us joy, Instruct me on the way to reach those two.

Bianca. I'll satisfy you at all points, except The main one, and that only till this night.

Exeunt Pietro and Bianca

Act 4. Scene 2. Mansino's palace

Enter Pompina and Alicia

Alicia. What are you hiding there?

Pompina. A thing most pleasurable in grief or joy.

Alicia. I fear all the worse for the saddest life.

Pompina. Fear that it ends too late, not early, girl.

Alicia. Leave here without the bag.

Pompina. My only point of pleasure?

Alicia. For my rest. Otherwise, I'll rifle it Out of your hand.

Pompina. Consider your eyes lightly. If you do, I'll please a woman better than a man.

Alicia. Will you run mad, forebear all company?

Pompina. I'll have my pleasure.

Alicia. Where?

Pompina. The way we all go, downward with our mouth In dust.

Alicia. Ah, no. Give me the packet.

Pompina. I would rather be dead than see what I know, know what I see.

Alicia. I'll have it.

Pompina. (striking her No.

Alicia. Ha? Ha? Ha? Striking on a friend who prizes you Above security?

Pompina. So I do.

Alicia. My eyes!

Pompina. Come closer to hurt more.

Alicia. What have you there?

Pompina. The prettiest object.

Alicia. A dead man's foot?

Pompina. Inviting me to worthiest meditations. Do you fear death, Alicia?

Alicia. I'm in a fever at the thought of it.

Pompina. The poorest philosophy! This thing puts me to mind of my end, worth the stink, for, by that, I know myself to be what I am: a kind of nothing, corrupted, akin to knowledge obtained by most venerable scholars.

Alicia. Owls clap their wings at such knowledge.

Pompina. I'm strangely ready for his prick.

Alicia. I'll call in officers preventing that.

Exit Alicia, enter Pietro and Carlo

Carlo. How, a girl sniffing on her plate of worms?

Pietro. No matter of note compared with the matter troubling us.

Carlo. Since I cannot dissuade you, I must secure you otherwise from annihilation.

Pietro. To kill is easy enough.

Carlo. May bravest justice couch on both our swords.

Pietro. It does. Because two men intend to kill

My mistress, kill them first.

Carlo. Enough worthess fellows exist for seconding your hand, yet few so dedicated to hideous madness as I choose to be.

Pietro. Give me more of your arm, less of your tongue.

Carlo. You'll find no traitor to your designs. I wish I could be the enemy who saves you, but I see I cannot. Therefore, I'll slay love's enemies, unless I choose to prick love instead.

Pietro. Do not, or else you murder me indeed,

More than your random talking ever did.

Carlo. Evil strikes like a serpent out of its pit when anger overturns the rock of discretion. I wish I held your viper on my sword.

Pietro. You have no conception of Bianca's worth.

Carlo. I do not, because it does not exist.

Pietro. You are disposed to be merry.

Carlo. Beyond all measure sadder than my grave.

Pietro. Enough reflections! The world will witness strangest doings on this day, because love whispers as madness' prompter on our stage. Study our fathers' chronicles, where precedents seem ample of all the oddest and most dismal actions provoked by such squires of love as I profess myself to be. Listen: I am bound to serve the lady I love best, while you salute others whom you only say you love, doing what other men do, safely and secretly. He knows not love who does not run madly in the streets, pushed on by his fire.

Carlo. I prefer not to run mad until the age of sixty, for then even folly becomes pleasant.

Pietro. I would rather live inside marble than untouched by love's fire, die at twenty than exclaim at a venerable age: "O, had I loved!"

Carlo. No fear of that, I fear.

Pietro. No, I fear noth- Ha! Look there.

Carlo. The counts approaching nimbly!

Enter Mansino and Baizzo

Mansino. A shameless strumpet I once likened to Lust's putrid muck-heaps under monuments!

Baizzo. I wish society held it honorable to darken a lord's hands with Bianca's blood.

Mansino. I will no longer attend a dream. Honor, respect, patience: all these banished from consideration! Dishonest trull! I'll tear out her tongue from the back of her neck, or commit some other deed of madness on that never-heard-of open woman.

Pietro. You have said overmuch. (stabbing Mansino

Baizzo. Ha? Ha! A stranger stabbing my best friend?

Carlo. Why not? Do you protest?

Baizzo. Your folly pleases me.

Carlo. Not yet content with humor, sir.

(They fight with swords

Mansino. I die for a whore I abandoned: very perfect. Was I swaddled carefully for this? (he dies

Pietro. Maim and kill the slave, Carlo.

Carlo. If I do not, call me an otter on His rock-pile, starving without fish or crab. (stabbing Baizzo

Pietro. You have destroyed in haste the bravest yet.

Baizzo. I die for my friend's sake: a trifle, then! Life is not worthy of philosophy:

So I lie dumb. (he dies

Enter Riccardatto and an officer-of-law, re-enter Alicia

Alicia. I left her here- Ha, dead?

Pompina. Almost. (she dies

Alicia. The foot alas quite poisoned!

Riccardatto. More matter for a mother's grieving all Along this way!

Pietro. Guard your life, Carlo.

Officer. My musket warns neither must ever move Away from where the voice of law commands.

Carlo. Caught!

Officer. You may know something of these corpses, sirs.

Pietro. I do not deny we do.

Alicia. Pompina! Why flow all these tears for one Devoid of any tear for her own sake? In death she caught a fly, her happiness.

Officer. I marvel at these slaughters.

Pietro. Why? All of these are of the world and so There to behold.

Riccardatto. Conclude, as does Alicia, that this life Is worth no tear at parting.

Pietro. I can discover reasons to weep for Myself, but few for other people's heads.

Carlo. Why weep for corpses who are nothing now?

Pietro. Concluding that the all is nothing, then?

Carlo. I believe in nothing, not even in disbelief.

Riccardatto. Do you possess two ropes, good officer?

Officer. The slaves must be tried first, I think. O, yes, It is just so. Then forward both, with speed Advance, for you towards death, for myself Perhaps rewards!

Exeunt the officer, Pietro, Carlo, Riccardatto, and Alicia, bearing the bodies

Act 4. Scene 3. The brothel

Enter Torbido and Voga

Torbido. Vago is much detained, but yet, I fear, Not satisfied as usual.

Voga. In no wise, by my stays and carcanets.

Torbido. Damned less-than-whorish maiden bitch!

Voga. I think she gets not up to his.

Torbido. What should we do? Our client moans, reneges On instant monies.

Voga. When next I see that whore-bitch- hah? Hold there. I should not rail thus on our very trade.

Torbido. Throttle her instantly before my next blink, or look over her behavior carefully, as old men with Suzanna.

Enter Vago

You seem to bear a sorry mien, Vago.

Vago. I vehemently do, depending nonetheless on the person with whom I speak.

Torbido. Not satisfied?

Vago. In a manner of speaking, no.

Voga. I will not call her whore, the title being Too royal for her case.

Torbido. Choose others of a surer rank among The many we care for.

Vago. Not today, perhaps not tomorrow.

Voga. No? Neither Tawny Tammie, nor the Sugary One, nor Ruth of the Fields, nor Judith of the Missing Head-

Vago. Perhaps not any for any while. Other houses of conjunction exist in the district, dens of merit some may be inclined to investigate or determine for a man's betterment and exercise.

Torbido. O, no, O, no!

Vago. Why not? Do you contradict? I know such houses exist and will inspect them more closely in the near or farthest future.

Voga. This cannot be. I abjure you-

Vago. No, no; I adjure what I once said about your premises to friends I hoped one day to love, or at least tolerate at breakfast.

Torbido. My sun of profits impossibly stops, like Joshua's.

Vago. The phallus of your profits declines, uselessly astir, not with the end wished for, but shrinking sadly down, the sack empty when most full, as far as I can analyze at this juncture of conjunctions.

Exit Vago

Torbido. What a doomsday is this! Indeed, my air Appears afire with anger. We will see Some officers appear to blame our house, As David Yaweh after stealing wife.

Voga. I will instruct her further in this gear.

Torbido. Do so, or else watch me run mad with grief. Remind yourself on how Tunisian friends Revealed Nefzaui's perfumed garden, how Rapt we lay flowing by the loved one's pleas.

Voga. I do and will apply such knowledge here.

Torbido. Do so, to earn my trust forevermore.

Voga. I will devise the uncropped to moan so: "By God, no more caresses, kissing, in Disorder of the smock mere ticklings, but,Once to appease my torment, dig down deep

In flesh the phallus, there is only that, The white-hot streamlet pouring far inside, Down to the utmost bottom of the well."

Torbido. She should have learnt that sooner.

Voga. Had she no mother to inspire her on How to inveigle men the way we wish? I am astonished at the laxity

Of modern education.

Torbido. The proven ancient ways forgotten quite!

Voga. No application! Looseness and indifference!

Torbido. None of our childhood doctrines taken as A subject worthy of the dullest pates!

Voga. Snores, not regard, songs, no profitable injuctions on conjuctions!

Torbido. Receive her in your bosom, to suck there The sour milk compendium of a whore's Instructions. Do so femininely.

Voga. To be ejected generously once The lips advance, athirst for sapiences.

Torbido. If not, close shop and die.

Voga. To do what? I was cradled for my work.

Torbido. So I in mine, like Moses in his crib, Delivering men's lust from bondages.

Enter Noce-Moscata

A culprit strolling on her Sunday rounds!

Noce-Moscata. What crying wrong have I committed now?

Voga. You are no whore. I say that to your face.

Torbido. Does she not blush at that?

Noce-Moscata. O, sir, keep constantly a wholesome girl,

Nevertheless, for sake of charity.

Torbido. Why, to pay laxity? Not pay for such, Or yet allow to prosper if I can.

Voga. You were commanded always to please men.

Noce-Moscata. Why should I when the men do not please me?

Torbido. I do not feed you to please you, but to Please men as often as you are bid to.

Voga. Thus should you do, unless I quite mistake The meaning of our trade.

Noce-Moscata. I will be warmer.

Voga. We will discover that more instantly.

Noce-Moscata. O, not another now!

Voga. Another, and another, with one more, Until you play the newly perfect whore, For none become so without practicing, First lightly with the fingers, up and down The trembling keyboard.

Torbido. Some tunes of wisdom in this house at last!

Voga. Next softly to his flute. Advance the lips

Thus, in a kind of windy murmur, then Like savory endives lick it to the tip, But only on the underside. Just so.

Noce-Moscata. Foh! Foh! I will not put my mouth on such.

Torbido. Will not? Will not?

Voga. I am ashamed to find a maiden of Such shame, my own, my pupil, unadvised!

Noce-Moscata. Command me to clean floor-boards with my tongue.

Torbido. Be seen as filthy as each client is, To win by such degrees his richest clothes.

Voga. Most finally, you must receive with smiles The fulness of his brunt, no matter for The grunting near the ear, the slobbering All over your kind face.

Torbido. You will surpass at that and more, I swear.

Noce-Moscata. Can I do so and live?

Torbido. Exceed in knowledge of man's body Valerio's calculations on volumes, Tartaglia's formula of the tetrahedron.

Noce-Moscata. Can I do so and live?

Torbido. One trial more To make you fully whore, Or sent out by the door.

Noce-Moscata. Whore-knowledge nearly like a loyal wife's!

Torbido. Another client! To him pantingly!

Enter Decio

Noce-Moscata. I recognize at once my man of woe.

Voga. Which man is horrid here? None, none, I say.

Torbido. All good, entirely good, by the mass.

Voga. Sir, you arrive most fitfully in time. Behold a joyous virgin for your bed.

Decio. I will not take her.

Noce-Moscata. Why not? (kicking him

Decio. Ha! If a virgin a virago, too, Not such a strumpet as men hanker for!

Torbido. Am I a witness to the heaving sin Of horrible, abominable, and Disdained no-fucking? A new client spurned?

Voga. My cheeks will flame forever day or night.

Decio. Keep her inside menageries of lust, Not for a man's most quiet time of rest.

Voga. I will hook backward that deliquent To teach what she abhors to understand.

Torbido. Let me not hear of a girl's sex until Her wit improves by lust's instructions.

Voga. Come with us, sir, this whore is none, to our

Shame. Choose another happily.

Decio. I hope such are allowed.

Exit Decio

Voga. I could so mangle you.

Noce-Moscata. I am as heartily disdained here as The daughter in a happy family.

Torbido. Show willingness to learn of whoredom's book As boys their Euclid, calculate men's lust, Test theorems and sub-proofs of perversion, For minds prepared in school excel in life.

Exeunt Torbido, Voga, and Noce-Moscata

Act 4. Scene 4. A street

Enter Clara and Decio

Clara. Hah, Decio! Do I chance to see you by This very day, among the happiest yet?

Decio. It is by chance, though certain by chance to lead where nothing is. Do you accost me for a daughter's sake?

Clara. Not on behalf of my daughter, whom I lost.

Decio. Was she thrust from your house?

Clara. Yes, Decio, because of my husband I lose both husband and daughter.

Decio. Perhaps a daughter fortunately lost.

Clara. O, no, a girl gentle to all the world except men.

Decio. I am sorry to hear it.

Clara. What should I do without a daughter?

Decio. I saw her, not where a mother wishes hers to be.

Clara. Then tell a mother where her daughter is.

Decio. Inside a brothel.

Clara. O, no!

Decio. All too true, seemingly fortunate in misfortune.

Clara. What should she do there?

Decio. She lies inside a brothel, does she not?

Clara. Not with success some cleave to hold, I think.

Decio. Not when I saw her there.

Clara. Then you were offered her?

Decio. Against my fondest wishes, yet refused.

Clara. I'll take her out from there if you show me The house she lies in.

Decio. I will.

Clara. First say how you find me.

Decio. A handsome woman.

Clara. (kissing him Glad to hear such a man say so!

Decio. The daughter loses when the mother wins.

Clara. Decio, I love your face. Will you go with me?

Decio. Inside the brothel?

Clara. Perhaps a more seclusive place.

Decio. My bed.

Clara. See how fitfully that one thought shakes me, all in joy, Decio.

Decio. A warmer proposition than I was Served from the daughter.

Clara. What she once lost a mother joys to win.

Decio. Look there. Is it-

Clara. My husband nearer than we wish! Escape Is my best way. Tomorrow, if you wish, Here, in a meeting fortunate for both!

Decio. Decided gratefully before you spoke!

Exit Clara and enter Agostino

Agostino. Decio!

Decio. Your wish?

Agostino. Hah, Decio! No more frowns and turnabouts! Do you by chance come often by this way?

Decio. I do, by chance, though certain by chance to lead nowhere. Am I accosted for your daughter's sake?

Agostino. Never on behalf of my daughter, whom I am gladder to lose than many other injuries.

Decio. Did she leave you?

Agostino. Yes, Decio, because of her I lose both daughter and wife.

Decio. Perhaps a daughter fortunately lost.

Agostino. I once thought so.

Decio. I am sorry to hear it.

Agostino. What will I do alone?

Decio. I saw her.

Agostino. In a brothel, I can guess.

Decio. In a brothel.

Agostino. O, no!

Decio. All too true, seemingly fortunate in misfortune.

Agostino. What should she do there?

Decio. She lies inside a brothel, does she not?

Agostino. Surely not to please men.

Decio. Not when I saw her there.

Agostino. Were you offered such a one?

Decio. Against my fondest wishes, yet refused.

Agostino. I'll take her out if you show me the way.

Decio. I will.

Agostino. What do you think of me?

Decio. As a handsome man.

Agostino. (kissing him Can this please you? I can be bolder, secretly, away from unknowing, misknowing, unaligned eyes.

Decio. The daughter loses when the father wins.

Agostino. Decio, I love your bulk. Will you go in?

Decio. Inside the brothel?

Agostino. I know a far more darkly hidden place.

Decio. My bed.

Agostino. Your bed, Decio? Do you understand how long a time I have trembled alone in bed, always meant to shake with two or more, till hearing that one word gush with so great a joy in me?

Decio. A warmer proposition than I was Served from the daughter.

Agostino. Let her go see the world.

Decio. Look there. Is it- No doubt it is your wife.

Agostino. To beg you to become her son-in-law, I think. Tomorrow, back to this same place, When first I met man face to face! I beg Low for that promise, Decio.

Exeunt Decio and Agostino