Reconstructing lost plays/Keep the Widow Waking/Act 5
Act 5. Scene 1. Anne's house
Enter Nathaniel and Martha, the latter richly attired
Nathaniel. Are mysteries revealed? Yourself at least
The richer by the pomp you pile on back
And front thanks to a mother's back and front,
A bond conferrable to my disgrace!
Martha. Will you regard no other music but
What you can whistle? I am poorer by
The all-day worries I may lose my all.
Nathaniel. And I my life and more.
Martha. By whom?
Nathaniel. Peer at my mother with discretion, be
Advised she is perhaps no longer that.
Martha. How is this threatened?
Nathaniel. With smoke and bullets.
Martha. Because of Toby stiff to keep his own.
Nathaniel. Because of stiffness now no longer mine.
Martha. Then marry far away.
Nathaniel. Who should I marry? Would you recommend
A candied widow sweeter in her lust
Than one I first sucked on? Show me one such
To view a son outgalliard Dowland when
I wake from bed to dream myself asleep.
Enter Anne, Nicholas, Francis
Anne. Is that yew mine? If so, his branches wither off
Aslant, companiate with dankest grounds.
Francis. I meant to ask even before you did.
Anne. Ha, turning to veer off at once from us?
Nicholas. Stay, youth.
Nathaniel. Done, vicar. I remain because you do.
Martha. The youth, I hear, fears violence in his house.
Anne. I know he does.
Francis. From whom?
Nathaniel. Her husband's brother shoots with more than looks.
Francis. John? What says Toby then?
Nathaniel. He winks and smiles.
Anne. I am no newly minted coin to bear
A husband's visage over mine, but rub
Him hard each day so that with days the coins
Of spite wear off on him like everyone's.
Nathaniel. Not when like a potato Toby thrives,
Supplanting neatly all my rows of corn.
Martha. Why not beat Toby past all surgeries?
Nicholas. Religion should object.
Francis. It should, I recognize at once, but why?
Nicholas. Are we not lifted tiptoe on the mount?
Below, I lose an eye for every eye
I strike; uphill, I keep it and forgive
All those who knock off mine.
Francis. Remembered fitly as I rightly guess:
Should Toby walk off with my chasuble,
Let him command the chasuble and all.
Nicholas. None superscribes above that scroll, I guess.
Francis. A citizen of his Virginia tobacco
Takes soonest leave should Toby smoke his pouch.
Likewise, undraped, a king with appanage
Unlike another's neatly stays bound here:
Not Jones' banqueting room at Whitehall
Secures him from God's law above our own.
Nicholas. Transforming our church into a love-school.
Francis. Determinedly, as a consequence
Of what was glibly meted out before.
Nicholas. Men mock, indifferently sleep awake,
Ignore with sapience, gibber: what remains?
Love like a turnip thrives beneath such snow.
Nathaniel. Where I lie safely should a mother stay but true.
Anne. I will, I hope.
Martha. A widow prospers though her friends do not.
Nicholas. Not leaping without bootlaces because
You leapt into some money recently?
Martha. The money now unloosens like the lace
From my once bosomed bodice.
Anne. But never yet the friend to borrow from.
Martha. A friend I will owe to as once before.
Francis. Is this accounted as rank usury?
Nicholas. It is and to my thinking straight away
Forbidden to us all.
Francis. Have we not then consumed the fruits of it
And thereby should stand guilty as she is?
Nicholas. Some thrust off backward to the parish poor
In service to religion, thereby good.
Let wooden fools, as busy as their clogs,
Chopines, or klompen be instructed here.
Francis. My sin forgiven if I labor hard
To think it is!
Martha. Your money may wear down my back again.
Nicholas. Now, madam, we smell sin in your mishaps.
Francis. Far truer if a muzzle-loader should
Be charged against your own son's quietude.
Anne. My lucky consellors, I have today
Forbidden Toby ever to use such.
Francis. Then all is well if ever I guess well.
Exeunt Anne, Nicholas, and Francis
Act 5. Scene 2. Margery's house
Enter Margery and Mary richly attired
Margery. We spend and lose whatever may be won.
Mary. Whatever we may lose the widow wins.
Margery. How was our money got?
Mary. Riding on the widow's back.
Margery. Where wends the money?
Mary. Like costly hay forked down on our own.
Margery. May ready money, lone desert streamlet, sprinkle over desires of dress and trinketry before we groan in hospitals.
Mary. Through a daughter's conduit, you hope.
Margery. Income like eternal banquets once assured were you not a piece warmed over the skillet of Toby's eloquence!
Mary. I simmer near another plate.
Margery. A pullet dropped from Toby's mouth down to his brother's?
Mary. Liking the first should make prophets presage I will covet the second.
Margery. Behold a mother warm at backing you
Should your back be used for advantages.
Mary. Venture houses on that bet.
Margery. The one I own may evermore be kept
If you can house the man eligibly.
Mary. How else? By guiding him straight in.
Martha. Because I win friends, I always lose.
Margery. A debtor surely to the widow!
Martha. I crumble next to a wall of riches. Howbeit, listen further: a plundered house may yet be refurbished.
Martha. By exposing a sort of love, the thighs and hair of it, boldly to the husband's brother.
Mary. Note leisurely, madam, that John is a friend nearer my hairs than yours, a mate by whose mating I intend to fructify.
Margery. How, fructify?
Margery. By the usual conduit. Should not a mother hold upright a slipping daughter? How can one best steady such than on the poles and platform of marriage?
Martha. Phallus and tongue on your occasions if you achieve it! Is not the hopper forbidden from that hopping thrush since first she pecked on the brother's seed?
Mary. Stale porridge by now much cooled!
Martha. Porridge which once made you fat.
Mary. Daughter and mother now mulcted by him.
Martha. Allow a third among you without the fattening.
Margery. All of you with thin pockets, gaze and cringe
At visits none at present wishes for:
A creditor astir to fatten griefs!
Toby. Behived gentlewomen, consider me the forager to serve you home.
Martha. Sweet in collecting debts.
Toby. Stinging, if need be, in strictest accounts.
Margery. I have no money, sir.
Toby. Ten days, madam.
Margery. No pity?
Toby. Ten days, madam.
Martha. I carry no money, sir.
Toby. Ten days, madam, I say and have already said.
Martha. What do you think of a tawdry slave?
Margery. Entirely his wife's now.
Martha. O for that deed I signed! I can remove
Ink-stains by sprinkling lemon juice and salt
But never yet the active blotter-out.
Margery. She scampers round about to sniff out love.
Mary. Faith of my body, hers belong to mine
Since I assigned the suitor to petition here.
Margery. Is my house a brothel?
Mary. No, worry-trodden mother, as I show
More readily at present than before.
John. Blessings of every day on mother and daughter!
Mary. Sir, we both smile and cringe under egregious needs of that and more if you intend to deceive.
John. At your service, maid.
Mary. Granted, but for what purpose?
Mary. Granted, but in what way?
John. The usual way, girl.
Mary. Granted, but what is your end of pleasure? Not marriage?
John. You speak of the end when the front moistens untouched. Marriage is love's ground, pit, and marble-slab unless we agree.
Mary. We agree after your promise, sir.
John. Before a city-full of witnesses any woman wishes for. Unless I do as I speak, call me no longer John but dirty-dog John.
Mary. Then I will grant in whatever way you please.
John. (kissing her
Loose rib of man's body, you do not object to kissing, then?
Mary. O, hardly ever, sir.
John. Christmas-faced mother, you also approve, I hope, of kissing at love's first encounter?
Margery. The apostles kissed. Objections? None.
John. We will agree on that.
Margery. Conclude even more pleasurably with no objection at the start or end of a parent's discourse, or else on hers, I wager. A sin before marriage? I say no sin. I will add to that theme: no sin, because, sir, copulation adds to love, dispersing light out of bushes.
John. I despair unless I see hers.
Mary. You will perceive more than the sight of it. In my prayer-book, a maiden has no business in causing man's despair. She must both show and do.
John. Some object to that, whom I avoid. Olaus Magnus demonstrated that each snowflake bears a different hexagonal shape, all the truer regarding women's minds.
Margery. O, minds more variable than ten thousand snowflakes! We are blizzards, sir.
John. I worry I may then freeze beside your daughter's bed.
Margery. Few men confuse Mary's flesh with snow.
John. If you lie, expectation limps out gasping back to his stool of solitude.
Margery. Very unlikely, unless I have misunderstood my daughter all this time.
Mary. We are commanded to love another.
John. Luckily for me.
Mary. Moreover, heavy sins prevent us from attempting boulders of dispraise.
Margery. May those who even consider so receive fragments of those straight on lidless orbits.
Mary. The aim of virtue is pleasure.
Margery. Is not virtue the aim of pleasure? I thought to have read so in the epistles.
Mary. In another love-book, then.
John. No more thoughts of reading at this time, I pray, but rather let me press your love-book on my knees before I genuflect at Sunday service.
Mary. Well before, I guess, unless I sicken to a jellied palsy.
John. A man also worries when a woman's love resembles Hodja's mausoleum, where only side-doors open, not the main entry. I am throughout for all in all. Aristotle tells me that youth is always steered with the rudder of pleasure.
Mary. I like your rudder.
John. To like what we ought forms disposition. We lean on the mizzen mast of ease on a pleasant voyage provided we sail neither with too much of the wind of passion nor too little, as ordered by Captain Virtue, who guides our boat towards the isles of happiness.
Margery. I believe you mean my house.
Exeunt Margery, Mary, and John
Act 5. Scene 3. Anne's house
Enter Nathaniel and Anne
Anne. Am I not loved as straigthly as before?
Nathaniel. Unloved because unloving.
Anne. Because of Toby's love, I add love-drops
Down basins of what I already filled.
Nathaniel. A Toby who builds pageant palaces
Between the champaign ridges of our love!
Anne. O, never can he separate two parts
Of cherries without splitting either part.
Nathaniel. Sure that he may and may yet do at will.
Anne. Pursuing innocence at night as well?
Nathaniel. How otherwise? The day is long enough
To harry. Just before first cockcrow, he
Awakes me groaning, not for reasons he
Awakes the groaning partner of his sweat.
Anne. He makes you thrive. Reflect on what he brings
Inside our house from friends and enemies.
Nathaniel. Spoils I have little use of after needs
Are met indifferently.
Anne. Sums that providers welcome to provide.
Nathaniel. Sums needful to get what we never need.
Anne. And from the brother?
Nathaniel. No further shots and cries near death are heard
But yet a mouth I will not listen to.
Anne. I will forbid him from this house.
Nathaniel. Do, to live longer.
Anne. Although a brother Toby will live by.
Nathaniel. I hear some worried steps.
Anne. In spite of worry, a wife Toby loves,
More evident by bags he carries home
Than those he nightly shifts about in bed.
Enter Toby with bags of money
Toby. Martha's, Margery's, and some of others! To add to personal weal, the one who piles up goods over goodness kisses and praises his receiver. (kissing her
Anne. Open deceiver, you kiss but then you shoot.
Toby. Only love-looks henceforth after convincing my brother to avoid our doorstep.
Nathaniel. Excellent, should the purpose be to shoot me elsewhere.
Anne. Never my Nathaniel, as I live!
Toby. Never either, as I live!
John. Greet a wonder: married to one I first called "morning whore".
John. Soaked in fomentations to cure imagined wounds of love.
Toby. To whom?
John. One to whom you once owed love's eternal assiduities: a Mary bold with leg and arm behind modest curtains.
Toby. One I was railed at for loving.
John. One I will dyslogisticly answer if attempted again.
Toby. I lack mustard on this sausage. Why am I not angrier?
Nathaniel. Unwary wayfarer of the desert, look for no sausage but scorpions under every stone.
John. Ho, hear Glissenti's nearest scholar: more eloquent in death than contentment.
Nathaniel. Sometimes both together.
John. So vehement! Yet I infer from Seneca that passion's violence is no proof of its being just.
Anne. You promised to avoid this house.
John. I have my own, friendly to Toby and you.
Toby. All I wish for.
Exeunt Toby and John
Nathaniel. I know such hand-in-hand slaves, mischief-friendly against all purposes.
Anne. Love slackens on me as I pull each way.
Nathaniel. You will find me finding.
Anne. On my part, I have already found.
Exit Anne with the bags, enter Nicholas and Francis
Nathaniel. What do you call the mother of coins and whoredom?
Nicholas. Is there any such?
Nathaniel. That everyone finds without my excoriations.
Francis. Or emasculation, we pray. I recommend her to Dent's sermon of repentance to study sins with magnified glasses, though lesser than those of others, thereby avoiding to stand as their advertisement. We are meant to take example in the fall of sinners, not exult, scoff, point, and gleek at them. Both words and works must change in us as if we heard each day Peter's cock crowing. Some regret not the sin but only that they could not sin more profitably, lamenting the lack of occasions rather than the deed committed for. Others accept the crucifixion as an entertainment or as their guaranteed passport to heaven, secure ones sliding in their luge towards hell. Shake and gibber against the face of sin, not with belly-laughs play cards or dice with him. Leave such companion and strain your ears near me, desiring I may save you and you me, for we altogether uplift each other in Christ's love, zealous in good, not reclining in worldly fashions with the worldly, not agreeing with sin as if he were virtue's wayward brother, not desiring to please for the sake of pleasing, but reproving if need be, or keeping steady whenever reproved. Repent not only when you are old, for old sins harden the soul like hands undried. Sins are spurs to virtue if we repent. In sum, this thought only should bow down the unkneeling proud: today a man or woman, tomorrow a stink. Should we wait till ninety to bite off sins when we are toothless? Reflect lastly on hindrances to repentance, I mean examples of the common, who ponder thus to themselves: "we need but do like others to be safe." How so? Are not princes' guests few and will the kingdom we terribly sweat in desiring accept naked half-sleepers of the road? Disacustom your thoughts from that, suffumigate the bright mirrors of their applications.
Nicholas. Loosely applied! How was this obtained?
Francis. I grab no coin or whoredom but ideas at Paul's Cross, reading and shouting as God's minister, his co-adjucate perhaps.
Nathaniel. Repentance? It may be forced.
Nicholas. Your net has perhaps captured.
Francis. In our holy cause, we are permitted to angle widely. We will bewilder them.
Nicholas. To guide them safely at the lamb's feet.
Francis. To offer wholesale the church's milk of beatitudes, watching them suck and pull on her violet-tinted breasts.
Nicholas. But yet this generation, worse than the fanged one if we lose more often than we win!
Francis. To be rewon perhaps, as when David lost two wives to the Amalekites but recovered both with slaughter, despoiling even the feeble beside Besor.
Toby. You are welcome again, bravely rediscovered ministers, twice more since early morning at my wine.
Nicholas. We merely seek to hook mouths, master Toby.
Toby. Truly, I find myself already lifted and benetted inescapably.
Francis. Have I not repeated so? At table, all things may all the more be reconsidered happily.
Toby. I feel constrained indeed to offer more.
Nicholas. Good, if I understand a man upright.
Francis. Or even, if I venture, excellent.
Toby. What do you say to more bread, cheese, and wine?
Nicholas. I say I am religiously bound to them.
Francis. I lack words.
Toby. What awful sounds make me spill? My wife's, not at this time succumbing under pleasures!
Exit Toby, running
Nicholas. The good expected may be lost to us.
Francis. I lack thoughts.
Nicholas. Nathaniel! No? Not he? A lad, I thought,
With looks of spoilers if not spillers!
Francis. I lack all even worse than ever now.
Nicholas. Forebodings chill every consideration.
Re-enter Toby, bloody
Toby. My wife is dead, the murderer, her son,
Bound naked on her bed.
Nicholas. Ah, wretched times!
Toby. What can remain for me now?
Francis. An occasion to write a good book on a bad wife.
Nicholas. To him and pardon.
Exeunt Toby, Nicholas, and Francis