Act I, scene i
Enter Chorus, in a tall white gown he.
From Timon's towers, beknownst of neither tribe
That in this land doth mighty strife pursue,
That they, their profits and advantages
To gain, all villainy will undertake,
That whosoever seeks Putresco's aid,
Forgoing fame in this our city's fight,
Must win or die – and dying, win much more.
Exit Chorus
A bus drives across the stage, Putresco at the helm.
Now is my plan, unfinished, yet begun,
With this fine bus to cripple Schiller quite
And of his merchandise three parts to steal
And burn in sacred fire. The one, a sword
Renowned in deeds beside the Tyrian sea,
With vigour and with expertise in war
Rameses' was; the second, sundered yet
From origins of doubtful provenance
This cudgel is; beloved of men of steel
The third, of whom description must be shunned.
The bus halts. Enter a boy.
You sir, Putresco, rotten one, that is,
Are like a bus without a stop or halt
And here a ticket.
                 Knave! Thou call'st me BUN,
A name for lepers and for dogs more fit
Than for the greatest god that e'er bestrode
The threefold world of bus and beak and boots,
Tripartite he –
                (aside) He rambles now, forsooth!
Now listen we:
                           – as did the greater powers
That fashioned as in wit this lowly world
To bring us some to riches, many more ...
But no, be damned, such reasoning is false.
Exit in distraction.
Enter Schiller
I see, Putresco, that of late the sun
That darks the sundial growing there below
For days on end has not troubled to rise
Above the far horizon. Nor the moon,
So cold and poor, unpeopled and unloved,
Vain image of fair Phoebus' limpid ray
That strikes our hearts anew, yet not eschew'd
Remark ... I faint ... I fear I fade away
Sustain me, gods, as to each one in turn
I pass the poison'd goblet and the cake
And hope that ...
Enter Putresco with ticket machine
You, sir, Schiller, shall you buy a ticket?
Nor shun the proper payment of your fare?
Lest you be caught within my vehicle, lacking
The wherewithal t'allow your staying there,
I shall advise: Be not improper found
Unticketed, or as the gods ordained
Your body from your head shall severed be
And fed to starving cats.
                           Good sir, no pence
There are within my pocket dark, nor groats
For I have not been beastly to the poor
Nor yet have shunned the goodly wishing-well
Where men may read the past; there dwelt I long,
Disdaining not the sickly and the weak,
Yet watching in the water, lest some frog
Should leap therefrom and burp some augury
On which my future I could carefully
Calculate upon a log.
                           Your wooden
Repartee annoys me, as of late
The neighing of your horse incensed my wife
Who suffer'd from the palsy. Her I shunn'd
As doth Rangoon the pale explorer's heirs.
And so we see, my friend, no deeds are done,
Save to avenge the death that caused our woe.
Exit Schiller.
Enter Marco Polo with a haversack. He empties it and sets out his wares on the stage.
Good sirs, see now my wares, from distant parts:
The Orient jam, and pumpkins from the pole.
Goes off. Comes on on bicycle with flat tyres. He begins to reinflate them
Oh, that the air in yonder pump could now
Swell like the blush upon my mistress' cheeks
And like the lark return in winter's plumes
To strike my son Charybdis to the ground
Wherein the darkling worm doth sate his lust,
And where the viscous mole doth orgies hold
Within his grotsome hole. O, come, ye nymphs,
And bear my heir unto your lair, and there
Inflate, inflate, inflate the marble'd sheen
That circumvents the wheels of this my steed,
And, like a sonnet etched upon the path ...
Enter Boy with a football.
You, sir!
                           Why, you! You bearded dolt!
Who speak of love while knowing less than babes
That, clinging helpless to their mothers' breasts,
Repeat 'The Punic Wars,' 'The Punic Wars'
A thousand times unto th'unhearing skies
Beneath the mother's chin; revise your speech,
Or else, quite wordless, stay and reinflate
My punctured ball of foot, thou unwholesome cad!
Insolent knave! My servant, come! Why wait'st?!
Enter Servant.
I could not find the pump of which you spake,
Long though I search'd within the closet dim,
And longer, oh! much longer in the shed
Where all your sixteen bicycles are kept
Alone and cobwebbed, oiled but once month,
And many lacking aught to bikes behoven,
A plenitude of pumps t'incarnadine
Now my subject turns to fair romance,
For baby bikes do now proliferate,
With pumpspawn is the closet floor besmothered
(aside) How horrid!
                           – And methinks a goodly yield
Shall Schiller reap before the day is done.
In towers by the distant lake there wait
Three luscious damozels of goodly ilk.
Indeed! Now hie we hence, my sturdy knave.
Exit Polo and Servant.
I am bethought by these a silly child.
Odd's nape! I shun the reckless bourgeoisie;
My wit doth eightyfold exceed their skill
At any trades behoving to their guilds,
Such as might enervate their witless wives,
Or please the gods, effeminate and pale,
Or earn an honest penny in a day,
Or at the pump despise the thirsty poor
Who languish in their dying throes, or seem
To sweat a liquid pure and crystalline
From aught that's foul! Alas, alas, I go!
Lest Lethe's luring temptress on the prowl
Induce me now to quit this mortal flesh.
Enter Marco Polo.
For godsake may you hold your peace, vile boy!
The king this day is come to view his force,
And, an I tell His Grace of your ... your ...
If, Polo, you have naught to say, then I
Shall say it for you – shame I hold not dear,
Nor penalty more grievous than the grace
Of Schiller whom I serve, beyond whose power
Polo's sons, the suitors of Rangoon
(Personages vile and horrible to see)
Who at that lady's door do endless dote
And slobber all day long with lang'rous tongue,
Like thee, Carybdis.
                           Carybd am I not!
Thou canker's son, thou vomit's darling cur,
Engendered of a toad, or of a whelk,
Thou festering catarrh – I love thee not!
Strikes Boy.
Pray strike me not, good sir, my heart is weak
As is your brain – but hence – good Putresc's nigh!
Exit Polo.
Enter Putresco with an apple
This fruit so crisp from yonder bough did fall
As she is fallen now from Schiller's love,
And, as in autumn, fruit doth stink and rot
As one long dead. Methinks another man,
Belike Carybdis, she who so long wept
Has suffered Polo, Marco of that ilk,
To eat her whole.
Enter Marco Polo.
                           Ho! Good morrow, sire!
The drought of summer passed, and in its place
The leaves of autumn fall. I know your aims,
And, good Putresco, I shall thwart you not,
Wherein a subtler scheme may be discerned
(Thereat I bludgeon abrogation might)
Forgoing sense for metrical repose,
And meaning for a brief and shoddy laugh
At whoso fails to comprehend the plot,
Shall hangèd be.
Exit Marco Polo.
                           What a scroobious chap
Is this, than Schiller odder far, I woot,
To him, the East's praelector, fortune-fat
And affluent in his trading with the Pole,
I cry by nights, and eulogise by days,
And on the whole do live a jolly life
But for my sanguine humour. O, this life
Is wearisome, and, lest my evil plan
Should fail, a scaffold I erect nearby,
He bangs nails into a gallows.
Whose muscl'd arms shall hoist me to the sky,
Where, dangling, shall my fate be sealed, and thus
Putresco shall evaporate to pus.

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