Act III, scene iii
Enter Schiller at night.
Pray on, lank yawning goat, lest others tread
The murderous trolley, garnished now with soap
And smoothish oils to grease the eager hand
Unwanting; carolled in the sky of lees ...
But fie – like to the Bosun speak I now
In rough-shod ungrammatic repartee
My mind doth chatter like my teeth, like dormice
Clandestine harbingers of morrow morn.
Gestures skyward – dawn beginneth to glow.
Come, spawning Phoeb', the vanguard of the day
My vineyard towers grace with wandering glow
And spread thy dewy fingers o'er this vale
Like Circe's cobweb shining; debonair
As all the other orbs in heaven are not
Their nightly selves. And shun the brightened flax
Which reaps itself until fond night departs.
Enter Trolleyman
Comestibles I bring to break your fast
Yea every dish, eaten from first to last
By kings of yore, is curdled in this bowl
And e'en the worst befits this hovellish hole
Where none but slug and crab importunate
E'en vole or nautilus boring through my pate
Lament, in need, Diana's acrid rout,
As doth the greasy heron hereabout.
(emotionally) Pray silence. See the melting dawn arise
As Peter Pan lopes dimly through the skies
Observe the stars extinguished one by one
Consumed by Zeus; they are his breakfast bun
The Milky Way is drunk, and Mars consumed
In bellicose intestines all consumed.
This day shall be more fateful than such as we,
More fateful e'en than they who shun the docks
For fear their ankles fettered be; for shame
Of what may happen hereabouts, or there
Where jolly tars in some connivance scheme
To invocate increase of seamen's pay;
Further afield, by Afric's sable shores
I left my first love weeping by the gum
Her polecat dead; and was it not my lot
To know the future of each mortal soul
To scan with puissant lens, as Colquhoun did
(Secret astrologer of Rangoon's crew)
Whose tower Galileo built, whose ramp
Led skyward, fashioned by the King, who bade
All artefacts of use, all astrolabes
All several spheres and telescopes be kept
From sight of him or other folk? I tire
From much-mouthed sentences of little use
And rhetoric, apprentice to my jaw,
Doth learn not quick his trade in me. He serves
As joiner to my wit and spirit grand
Apace. More fateful shall this day become
Than was the night we too lay, arm in arms,
Embracing like the foetus in the womb
The soft placental altar of repose
Unticketed. My dream is of a day
When, palatal, my mouth agape and dry
There'll chance upon the surface of my tongue
No wanderer, acute and wholly formed,
Nor farer of the seas and swelling brine,
To fashion yet in words those things of fire
Which burned in deeds, the Tyrian sea beyond.
The bound of man's endurance, weaves such fruits
As grow in distant Basibode, my love
To turn once more about. More fateful yet.
He stops talking.
Verbosity may be ...
                           (as if starting from a trance) In spite of life
Put down your violin and bring my fife!
Exit Trolleyman
The sloops at anchor reck me not a jot
I shall not more a step from this fair field
Make falt'ring egress. See how nature grins
Like mothers at a bartered bridesmaid's wake.
See how she smirks, as if some vasty wit
Had coined, in mirth, a never-ending jape
Of manner quite unseemly; see the clouds
Chuckle on the wind that wafts them seaward
And double up in joy at what they've seen,
Before releasing all their inner selves
To weep with wild guffaws and drown us men
In wild aquatic tumult.
Enter Servant with food.
                           Thou art come!
T'allay the anguish of the ill-fed tum!
Good Schiller, see my breath is short and weak
My legs nigh worn away from running hard
To bring to you this missive. In my pouch
I bear a smallish bat. Dissect him now
To see what auguries his guts may hold.
Produces a bat from pouch the same and offers it to Schiller
What fest'ring missive this – a horrid prank
I shun the haruspex:
He lights the bat with his cigarette lighter.
                           Good day, thou bat!
So see, good man, I'll have no more of that!
Stamps out angrily
(indignant) What ails this grim and sullen knight-at-arms?
That wern a missive, wight – brought hot-foot
And now my ankles singe the earthen soil
As if Inferno's fires had found a way
To daunt the master-cook; O petrarch, why
Should those of verbal skill reverberate
When Homer in his season, or in mine,
Should, notwithstanding hyacinthine lust,
Deflocculate! Serve you I shall not!
I'll seek again those tomes of crime forgot!
See here, my man, yond fetid vermin's not
Fit missive for the likes of me, I say.
So shall you tell your master ...
                                       None I serve
Who shuns the goodly bat! Its magic whole
Stems from a greater, and a lesser, power,
That which taught the trade of men and moles
To moles and men alike ...
                           You'll cease this straight!
That I shun, until in explanation
You exculpate yourself for th'burning of't.
See here, Schiller, your honour's small to those
Whose merit's greater – many they, meseems,
Who do not shun the order's execution
Ere its conception is complete. Now, sir,
It was you, that said I should collect
That horrid flying mouse from his rank cave
As secret missive to your very self
And from the selfsame. Yet, ere my return,
You change your mind, and burn the paltry bat
Plucked at my peril from its homely grot.
I shun your shunning o'th'beast I fetched
Just as the poodle needlessly was shot
By Carybd (boor and Turk!) but four days past.
I shot the bat no whit! It stank, and so
I burnt it wholesomely in cleansing fire.
And now its spirit, in th'empyrean flame,
Lowers, and awaits my spirit's call
To higher duties in the realms beyond
The house of fish.
                           I shun the hake and cod!
I eat no fish! But halibut I prefer
If any I digest. This wasted journey
Has quite delayed my tea, and now I burp
I feel quite sick and, Schiller, you're to blame!
Three hours overtime I wish, and seven buns,
As increase for my wife and child. No bun,
No work! The Union states it must be so:
An you'll not pay my staying, I shall go!
He walks off.
Re-enter Trolleyman with a bass trombone.
Good sir, I could not find a single fife
Wherewith a man might serenade his wife
Or ward his creditors away withal
Financial dissolution to forestall.
Melikes no whit your numbers, crabbed and rhymed
As by a third-rate bard who boils his pot
Of basil, nay of Basibode a jug
Fair coiled in potter's writhe; my eyes, grown dim
Perceive no more the fragrance of those herbs
Which music cozened on my furbid brane.
Had you but brought my fife, my sight restored
Had quizzed thy rustic face for lies ill-hid.
Then I ...
Enter Harris
                At last! Your villainy disclosed!
You, sir, the King should roundly now chastise
An he were not with child; watch thou this watch!
Hypnotizes the blind Schiller
My head grows dim.
(aside) Surprise!
                                      my neck unscrews;
The frailest maid I ape in my demise.
O, where my limbs? My torso is all gone.
(shouts) My JUDGES, come! I bear to thee my soul,
My inner being breaks in twain ...
                                      (loudly) SURPRISE!!!
Schiller jumps in surprise and then starts weeping and screaming. He rushes off stage tearing his hair and clutching the tromboon.

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