Act 5. Scene 1. Judgment Hall
Enter the two citizens
1 Citizen. No ending to the ill let loose on us.
2 Citizen. Are montrous sins to be left as they are?
1 Citizen. If so, friend, let us strike our neighbor dead,
Make pies of cousins, let our children woop
In forage of a loving mother's blood:
All welcome if we find no justicer.
2 Citizen. We have a frowning master in the king.
1 Citizen. The earl of Somerset imprisoned well!
2 Citizen. O, well reminded: captured with his wife!
1 Citizen. His direst promulgations against force
Of crimes appropriately serve this earl.
2 Citizen. A murder answered with a murder, teeth
With teeth of blood.
1 Citizen. The law's a fox allowed on hatching crimes.
2 Citizen. Show hangmen's faces while they moan or plead.
1 Citizen. No mercy to please violence.
2 Citizen. Condign reward for murder.
1 Citizen. But yet an earl, therefore not to be hanged.
2 Citizen. Think of his jail-cell as we eat mince-pies.
1 Citizen. The jail uncomforting, I sometimes think.
2 Citizen. I say so, and perhaps deserved, although
Few speak against the great except the great.
1 Citizen. No eyelid big with sorrow for an earl.
2 Citizen. O, no! O, no!
1 Citizen. For murdering deserves all ills the heart
Of man invents, morever a king's doom.
2 Citizen. You read my dreams as they wish life to be.
1 Citizen. Nursed by your arts, in sucking wisdom's dug.
Enter the first counsellor and Fernando
Counsellor 1. But is this certain?
Fernando. Noted sir, I have oracular proof of Brewen's murder.
Counsellor 1. Committed by whom?
Fernando. By his wife together with her lover and accomplice.
Counsellor 1. Lasciviousness kisses murder.
Fernando. Unless I miss my aim, both fiends will hang
Next week, I hope.
Counsellor 1. What else may be revealed?
Fernando. A second murder.
Counsellor 1. Hah? Which?
Fernando. Perpetrated by Ebdiah, his parishioners' particular subject of hate, on Libertine, the grossest lipper fit to die, though no crime allowed as yet in Christian countries.
Counsellor 1. The motive?
Counsellor 1. Paid by whom?
Fernando. A certain Jeremy is shrewdly suspected, who caught the wencher wooing the coldest of any daughter.
Counsellor 1. As the newliest appointed magistrate in thes eparts, I'll interrogate all prisoners.
Enter Anne, Sapience, and guards
Fernando. Note sadly captured nests of poisoners.
1 Citizen. We see and then agree.
Counsellor 1. Wife of the murdered one?
Anne. No murder, sir. Who speaks of murder here?
Counsellor 1. I do, this man as your accomplice.
Sapience. O, no accomplice, sir.
Counsellor 1. As cruel a case as I ever read.
Anne. No cruelty. O, none.
Counsellor 1. What, not confess at once? To hold the limbs
Of mayhem, we apply the instruments
That let each muted victim speak aloud.
(The guards reveal the rack
Anne. O no! Not that on tender woman's frame!
I die before I say one word to you.
Sapience. Hold. I confess foul murder.
Anne. Ha? Are you mad?
Counsellor 1. You killed her husband?
Sapience. I did.
Counsellor 1. Bind first the woman.
Anne. O, no! O, no!
1 Citizen. I shudder at the marks to be bestowed
On young and tender flesh.
2 Citizen. I shudder for the husband, who cannot
In justice speak except through whorish mouths.
Sapience. Must I be placed there next?
Counsellor 1. A simple matter of judicial form.
Received in her position, prisoners
Reveal more matter, as our courts desire.
Anne. I'll tell you everything, sir.
Counsellor 1. Who murdered Brewen?
Anne. You ask such difficult questions, sir. I'm sure I cannot guess everything.
Counsellor 1. We start with a few notches.
Anne. Ha! All's hope lost. I'll never bear this. I
Admit I killed my husband.
Counsellor 1. Here justice triumphs on the primest seat
Of our authority. Unbind the whore
Who first thought to trick us, but know as well
You will be tried tomorrow, and the ropes
Applied whenever we suspect a lie.
As shepherds, careful with their flock, espy
The wolf, so likewise our authority
Intends to mash down haters of the fold
Our citizens tread in, which we protect.
You have performed what I should tremble but
To know. Remove the shames of humankind.
Exeunt Anne and Sapience, guarded
1 Citizen. Judiciously and judicially reasoned.
2 Citizen. I like this magistrate so far.
Counsellor 1. The next case now. Prepare to see dark deeds,
Unspeakably remorseless, nature-wild,
A murderer disguised as shepherd, false
In vows, in sacraments, in sermoning.
Enter Ebdiah, guarded
Thus, you confess to killing Libertine?
Ebdiah. Have I denied it yet?
Counsellor 1. Hard! No sense of contrition hereabouts?
Ebdiah. Contrition? In this clothing? I deny
The thing is possible.
Counsellor 1. Let me on torments dwell, how pointedly
We punish murder. In some Tartar blood,
We flinch at fellest cruelty, although
We batter worse for Christian money. Know
Our laws have cruel teeth, which you will find.
Citizen 1. He should be flowing.
Citizen 2. He should and must, in red.
Counsellor 1. Thus speak the citizens, allowed by us,
Aimed at each traitor of the flock within.
Who paid the fee?
Ebdiah. Fernando did.
Fernando. I'll make a mockery of bleeding when
I prove the traitor lies.
Counsellor 1. Ebdiah, laws discover all untruths.
Again I ask who paid the fee of death.
Ebdiah. Your fool-discoverer, Fernando did.
Counsellor 1. Where is our executionner?
Fernando. Sick, perspicacious sir, I summoned to
Replace the knave with his compunction.
Counsellor 1. O, very welcome here! But yet you may
Apply no maiming torture on yourself.
Counsellor 1. This must be further thought on. Jeremy,
Suspected in his daughter's guardianship,
Particular in chastity's defense,
I hear, must be called for, and keenly met
Fernando. He comes at once.
Counsellor 1. Is your name Jeremy, a priest defrocked
For lewdness with his daughter?
Jeremy. She strays past every thought.
Counsellor 1. Your daughter, I presume.
Jeremy. About to be a noted one, I feel
It is most nearly so.
Counsellor 1. You know this man?
Jeremy. Once my assistant.
Counsellor 1. In virtue or in crime?
Counsellor 1. Ebdiah foully murdered Libertine:
Who paid the sum?
Jeremy. No one. He murders for digestion's sake.
Ebdiah. Ho, is that possible?
Jeremy. If once I catch this daughter, she will know
What thing it is to rob a father's mind.
Counsellor 1. Good magistrates prevent a tragedy.
Come, Jeremy, to us speak truth: are you
That parish Midas feeding slaves with gold?
Jeremy. He danced the night before his crucifixion:
Is that too trivial? Therefore, I swear I
Am out of love with all religions and
You all, and so I'll go away to think.
Counsellor 1. Bind tightly spinners of unlikeliness.
Fernando. I'll be his surety.
What rhapsodies afflict this magistrate?
Counsellor 1. Once more: how much do you pay murderers?
Jeremy. Ebdiah does it freely.
(A guard strikes Jeremy's face
Jeremy. A martyrdom. I hate that.
Counsellor 1. I loathe a liar more.
Fernando. In faith, I always did.
Citizen 2. Let him be wrung.
Counsellor 1. I thought of that before you did, I guess,
No serious officer more careful to
Distil the essence from impurities.
1 Citizen. We witness man's derision of the state.
2 Citizen. Obnoxious lizard dallying before
A bench of worthy judges.
Counsellor 1. Although no longer needed here, I thank
You, sirs. Remove the prisoner. To him
We'll speak tomorrow.
1 Citizen. Ha! More on these procedings I will read.
2 Citizen. I have a meeting elsewhere.
Exeunt Ebdiah, guarded, and the two citizens
To him, our frowns tell all. Come, speak the truth.
Jeremy. I stifle. Let me not live long enough
To moan at my departure. Horrid girl!
My soul's a tomb, each secret unrevealed,
While happy brethen crawl and taste within,
Though living, rotting. Here is love for her,
My consolation at the latest hour,
The heart entwined like new-created leaves
Beside hers, in law's cold and bitter winds.
No magistrate should with his bony mouth
Meet mine, but hers alone, unhappy as
I am when she is absent from my pains.
I faint on such a thought. How like a rag
I seem without her, soggy-limp, in tears
Suffused, between death's legs, my bed, not here,
Or else I'll open otherwhere her pit.
Counsellor 1. Does he feign madness?
Fernando. No, madness feigns like him.
Counsellor 1. We will not spare you, sir.
Jeremy. Familiar with so many miseries,
I bellow: "Excellent!", unpeopling hell,
To make all fellows snug in company.
Fernando. What slowly labors from assassin mouths
Still savors pleasantly to nostrils quick
In apprehension. Does not Jeremy
Cast lips of scorned revolt against the state?
Then let those lips be cut away at least.
Counsellor 1. No doubt he will reveal more matter soon.
Fernando. Or let his limbs be stretched to mimic death.
Jeremy. I'll thereby speak much as I have before.
Counsellor 1. Ha, is he weary of his very flesh?
Fernando. What should we do? That fellow-servants show.
Enter Amaryll and Trencher
You have discovered it?
Amaryll. Here it is.
Counsellor 1. A pill?
Fernando. Sufficient to make dumb dementia speak.
Behold our tablet: does it not catch light?
Our bulwark, strong against prevarication!
Counsellor 1. Will it afflict his spirits?
Trencher. We call them idiot pills. I assure your judicialship, one grain of this concoction makes cunning villains speak like imbeciles, and imbeciles like cunning villains, so that remotest deeds we thought gone from view are often happily guessed at.
Amaryll. Often has my husband, forcing me to swallow such as these, discovered what I never thought he knew, to my distress, he always silent but forgiving.
Fernando. At you again, dissembler. Open your mouth, unless with iron wrenched away.
Jeremy. No, no, no.
Fernando. Chew pleasantly on what is given me by an itinerant doctor, whom neighborhood ignorance declares unfit to practice.
Jeremy. No, I refuse.
Fernando. Another word and you are blots we leave
Behind. Once more, the hollow you lie with!
Jeremy. No, I refuse.
Fernando. (forcing his mouth open
Thus, thus, thus.
Jeremy. Friends, I must be silent for a time at least, for it ill becomes opinion to resound among dignitaries.
Fernando. That vicious turtle will lie on his back,
I promise you.
Amaryll. It has happened to me too often enough.
Trencher. And I the witness, complaining.
Counsellor 1. Is the brain in ferment?
Fernando. The operation works. Behold his eyes.
Counsellor 1. A glaze of nothing.
Fernando. His brain most like the hundred-year old cheese
I keep inside the cellar!
Amaryll. Strong in delight.
Trencher. Full of matter.
Fernando. My remedy for madness! Now the tide
Is strong within, and bulging to come up.
Counsellor 1. He seems to sleep.
Fernando. Oh, no, he thinks instead.
Trencher. To wayward Jeremy much the same thing!
Fernando. The tablet works differently depending on temperament.
Trencher. How like a fool he gapes!
Amaryll. Though substance seems to sizzle in the pan.
Counsellor 1. A mind contending with itself, I think.
Fernando. That vulture, reason, no more picks along
His crawling meditations.
Jeremy. My mind is bleeding.
Fernando. Good. Terror is awakening from sleep.
Scream for his brother, death-throes, Jeremy:
We'll charm the villain out.
Amaryll. To let him speak as children in their dreams.
Counsellor 1. No blows except kind words.
Trencher. He holds danger attached, unwilling to let go.
Fernando. Now I suspect his brain close to a parrot's in capacity.
Trencher. Improving, then?
Counsellor 1. Why does he gurgle?
Fernando. A kind of simple preparation to
The happy flowing of intelligence.
Amaryll. If good for nothing else, he'll prove excellent entertainment with Batholomew puppets.
Jeremy. O, cousin, I know fevers.
Fernando. No cousin, yet I'll ape delusion for
His benefit and ours.
Jeremy. O, cousin, listen: all my brain's on fire.
Spill gently whitethorn bushes over it.
Counsellor 1. To keep his ostrich secrets! I know him.
Fernando. You must recover, cousin, or else hear:
Our female doctor in dark chambers will
Keep you against your will, to nourish you
With even stronger medications.
Jeremy. Oh, no! My reason totters in the dark.
Fernando. No help for it if naughty. Patience dies,
Awaiting resurrection or erection
Of all the spirits you can summon here.
Trencher. Here is your needle, misty doctoress.
Amaryll. Speak truthfully, good patient, or else as
Your doctor, I'll inject your arm with dirt.
Jeremy. O, let no woman prick me, for then I
Am sure to scream. To honor humankind,
Kill all the mothers.
Counsellor 1. More mummeries, but closer to our theme.
Say at once and then speak again no more:
Fernando. Where did you meet Ebdiah? How much did
You pay the villain?
Counsellor 1. But staring.
Fernando. So, left where we once were.
Counsellor 1. Out with him, and with you! I swear I like
This case much less. To prison with the knave
And calculated craft!
Exeunt Amaryll and Trencher, with Jeremy, guarded,
No word more, sir. Tomorrow we will mend.
Yet know you are suspected. I will sift
A thousand villains ere I miss but one.
Exeunt the first counsellor and Fernando
Act 5. Scene 2. A street
Enter Jeremina, Trencher, and Amaryll
Jeremina. No man about for me.
Trencher. Worse than even that: your father weeping in jail.
Jeremina. Judged to guilty! I alone.
Amaryll. No, with us.
Trencher. Our former mistress to be hanged today.
Amaryll. Our would-be master, too.
Trencher. There is a sun tomorrow.
Amaryll. If we can see it from the cellar.
Trencher. Some say Fernando is the guiltiest knave.
Amaryll. I always knew him to play villainy.
Trencher. Proving no guilt in others directs the way for knives to enter in one's own.
Trencher. Where uncertainty existed, he created surety, to his detriment.
Exeunt Jeremina, Trencher, and Amaryll