Lights up, stage right. CAIRO is sitting in his room, forlorn. He looks up, and
stares off into the night sky.
CAIRO: Why hast thou forsaken all that I am? How the breadth of mine life seems
taken away, and anguish prevails. Lo, there is no one of whom I take brotherhood with. Campsio hast not returned my letters;
I fear that the night doth take a form, a shape, of the demon that shalt consume my soul, forever.
Enter PANTHERIO, cloaked and holding a large bowl of fruit.
PANTHERIO: How now, Cairo?
CAIRO: [sullen] How now, Pantherio.
PANTHERIO: But, ist thou troubled? On this, such a fine eve?
CAIRO: The night has been anything but! But, O! I shalt not burden thine own night.
I must have my own moon tonight, alone. Am I a wolf on such a night? Have I been cast out so easily? So frail, as a pawn on
a board with a king staring at me; and t’other side, a queen ready to slash me.
PANTHERIO: But! This is nonsense, Cairo. O but if I could entice thee with wine.
But here, all I have is this fruit.
CAIRO: On a night such as this, something as sweet as fruit cannot be accepted.
PANTHERIO: But, Cairo…if thou shalt not take the fruit, then what ever shalt
I do with it?
CAIRO: Perhaps there is someone who would need it more than I?
PANTHERIO: But who? Where would this stranger lurking in the dark be found?
CAIRO: Sparkio has trouble with funds lately--or perhaps Don Tinio, who has not
had employment for some time.
PANTHERIO: But, are they not friends of yours?
CAIRO: Some may’f speculated.
PANTHERIO: And where are these friends of thee?
CAIRO: I know not.
PANTHERIO: Surely friends would comfort thee in thy struggle on this night?
CAIRO: If these friends be around, where doth thou see them? Look around thyself
and show me my friends!
PANTHERIO: There, now, Cairo. Brave Cairo--calm thyself! Why, now I wish’t
so deeply for that wine, to calm thee.
CAIRO: No. The comfort of wine would not suffice.
PANTHERIO: But the comfort of friends would exhume thy exuberance?
CAIRO: Art thou asking me or art thou declaring this to be truth? For the truth
cannot be a question.
PANTHERIO: Thou art very wise, Cairo. I shalt take this bowl of fruit with me,
as thou hast declined the offering. But lo, I shalt find a soul much more wanting.
CAIRO: A soul more wanting than myself is a soul I would not like to meet on a
night such as this.
PANTHERIO: So dark a soul as yours, Cairo; I shan’t touch it.
Lights up, center stage. In an alley outside Cairo’s abode, Pantherio paces.
PANTHERIO: My poison bowl, he did not take! How clever is he, mine enemy who believes
me to be a dear friend, to discuss his loneliness? I now must take this bowl to a fool, and say it was a gift! A gift from
that Moor, who believes me to be an ally!
COZTANSIO appears, loud and brash, drinking mead.
COZTANSIO: But who is this man speaking so loudly in such an ally? Someone I have
ignored in the past, to be sure?
PANTHERIO: How now, Coztansio. On a night so beautiful and dripping with lovely
stars, how hast thou attempted to ruin it? Ignoring me quite loudly aren’t we?
COZTANSIO: Hast thou seen Stevio? He, too, I was to be ignoring on this eve.
PANTHERIO: Thy queries are quite uproarious, Coztansio. Tell me, hast thou spoken
with the Moor, Cairo?
COZTANSIO: He hast not called upon me on this eve, nor for a fortnight.
PANTHERIO: Not for such a long time--yet art thou not a friend of Cairo?
COZTANSIO: I would not identify him as friend nor foe. Alas, for thee, I have
PANTHERIO: Such strong condemnation from a man carrying around a large flask full
of mead! Thou art such a drunkard, can I take thine words so seriously?
COZTANSIO: Can or don’t, may or won’t, I care not a feather off a
PANTHERIO: Not a villain, not a friend. A drunkard, to be sure! Have this bowl
of fruit, if thou wishes. Else I shall leave it in front of Cairo’s abode, for a stranger to pick up and eat!
COZTANSIO: I need no fruit, Pantherio.
COZTANSIO leaves. PANTHERIO paces again.
PANTHERIO: No. Not at this time! But the eater of this bowl shalt certainly be
linked to the demise of such a brat as Cairo! And my perfect alibi, the one I shalt entice next…Campsio. Another Moor!
What more luck might I have on this enchanting eve?
Lights up, stage right. The market place at night. SPAULDIMONA is purchasing bread
from a merchant. Pantherio approaches.
PANTHERIO: What a beautiful night for such a beautiful sight!
SPAULDIMONA: How now, Pantherio. What can a dutiful woman do for thee on such
a night as this?
PANTHERIO: Hast thou seen the brave Moor, Cairo lately? The one who hast talked
much about thee in recent times.
SPAULDIMONA: I have heard nothing from him. Is this bowl of fruit a gift from
him? Was it meant for me?
PANTHERIO: Ah, how brazen of thee! To assume such a gift belongs to thee. No,
this is my bowl of fruit. Its recipient may look at is it as a gift from myself. Would thou care to be as such?
SPAULDIMONA: I have enough fruit. Perhaps thou shalt make an announcement here
in this marketplace, as the moon kisses the night? With a mouth as big as yours, shalt we expect it?
PANTHERIO: Harsh harsh, m’lady. But I shant be making an announcement on
this eve. No, I am a hound tonight--a tracker. Always searching. When I find who I am looking for, my quest is at its end,
and I am at peace. Good eve to thee, madam.
SPAULDIMONA: And to thee, Pantherio. A good eve would not involve seeing the likes
of thee for the remainder.
PANTHERIO: Mistress of the virtuous tongue art thou! Oh, blessed, blessed…take
pity on me!
He bows and walks away.
BAGELO and DOUCHEBAGGIO enter.
SPAULDIMONA: And now how Bagelo and Douchebaggio. Ist there a second moon tonight
to spy on thee?
BAGELO: Hast thou seen Sparkio?
SPAULDIMONA: Sparkio, Sparkio! Where art thou Sparkio?
She laughs and walks away.
DOUCHEBAGGIO: Tis my pleasure to not be a husband of hers.
BAGELO: Just one?
DOUCHEBAGGIO: Shall she torture an entire army perhaps?
BAGELO: An army of husbands--to be sure. One to be married to her, must be armed
at all times!
DOUCHEBAGGIO: What a night to spend at the Coliseum tonight; such a spectacle!
BAGELO: Aye, aye. But lo, no one appreciates the art the way that it was, when
it was precious--now, not precious, but still a delight! And yet there is no one to cheer or bemoan?
DOUCHEBAGGIO: Mayhaps Bigfannio will step into the arena, would thou like that?
BAGELO: Art thou speaking of mine involvement--alleged--in a protest a few suns
DOUCHEBAGGIO: Twas not even a fortnight and hast thou forgotten? What a ruse!
BAGELO: Aye the day was ours!
DOUCHEBAGGIO: Now hush! Must not allow ears to hear. We are a ball of wax, to
BAGELO: The secret continues to be kept among us.
They laugh, and walk away.
END OF ACT ONE
Lights up, Bigfannio’s throne. He is being fanned, appropriately. NASHOVIO,
a slave, kneels before him.
BIGFANNIO: Again, thou wishes to be fair, as I am to be fair to a lion! Thou art
stealing many loaves of bread, I am told!
NASHOVIO: I beg thee, a second chance! These loaves of bread, they mean nothing
BIGFANNIO: Thou art an imposter. Nashovio is not known for such a weak posture
as this. Is this my slave? Guards?
NASHOVIO: Tis me, tis true. Many Moors thou hast seen.
BIGFANNIO: Ah yes, and ye be the latest in trading secrets with those who wish
to overthrow me. True?
PANTHERIO: Good Caesar!
BIGFANNIO: How now, Pantherio! Thou brings me a bowl of fruit? What laughable
gift is this?
PANTHERIO: No! But, no! This be not for thee. Nor is it for thy slave.
NASHOVIO: Fools! I am no slave! I laugh and spit at thee! Hah! I mock the Caesar!
Hail, hail! Twenty thousand scrolls have been forsaken!
NASHOVIO spins and twirls, and dances away. Bigfannio shakes his head.
BIGFANNIO: This, I cannot stomach much longer. He is a different person every
day. Much like Hoffio. Fortunately I sent him to Cyprus for a time. What bring thee, then, Pantherio? To such a busy man as
PANTHERIO: But Great Bigfannio, am I expected to bring forth something for thee?
Art mine hands to be great ships carrying bounty from another land?
BIGFANNIO: Thou hands are to be placed cupping thy mouth, if I am to be voicing
PANTHERIO: Hast thou seen Cairo lately, speaking of Moors?
BIGFANNIO: He hath not shown his person around my quarters, no. Doth thou wish
to speak to him? Go to his house and see him then!
PANTHERIO: Oh but I have! And so forlorn was he. Lonely and depraved. For a soldier
such as he, part of your army--has he nothing to do?
BIGFANNIO: Darksidio is returning from his campaign, and there is nothing else.
DARKSIDIO: And I return now.
BIGFANNIO: How now, Darksidio.
DARKSIDIO: What is this I hear of Cairo? Is the lonely soldier something groomed
by thee, Bigfannio? Shall I be worried?
BIGFANNIO: Thou may worry only about thine own purse and family whose hands must
be open to accept the payment I give to thee. Worry not about older soldiers.
DARKSIDIO: Perhaps I shalt see Cairo, so as to show him his loneliness is warmed
by my presence?
PANTHERIO: It was not warmed by mine, to be sure.
DARKSIDIO: The stench of thee cannot be tolerated by the foulest rat on earth;
how shalt Cairo react?
PANTHERIO: Thou art a great warrior, Darksidio. But not a friend of mine, to be
DARKSIDIO: Any collection of yours I would want no part of.
PANTHERIO: Take this bowl of fruit, then, as a parting gift. May we never see
each other’s glance again.
DARKSIDIO: Fruit? I was on my way to the market--can this really be a gift from
such a rodent?
PANTHERIO: If a mouse offered thee a bag of gold, would thou turn thy head and
DARKSIDIO: Perhaps I take this bowl…and give it to Cairo. As a gift of friendship.
PANTHERIO: But I tried that already, dear Darksidio. And he stiffened and declined
DARKSIDIO: An elephant may try to fornicate with a baboon; but the two shalt never
make an offspring. Thine offer to Cairo was just such an imaginary progeny.
PANTHERIO: Thou makest haste of thine disliking of me; and here be thy bowl. A
gift to thee, Prince Darksidio. [He bows.]
DARKSIDIO: Do not bow to me; thou art a king among peasants, but a skunk among
royalty. The last I saw, skunks can not bow.
PANTHERIO: Then I simply bid adieu. And good day to thee, Darksidio.
DARKSIDIO: And may the sun hide behind clouds at your approach.
Lights up, stage right. The marketplace. CAMPSIO and SPARKIO look on as DARKSIDIO
shops at the marketplace, carrying the basket of fruit.
CAMPSIO: How now, Sparkio. Can this be Prince Darksidio, carrying a basket of
fruit? While at the marketplace? How the sun shines on him.
SPARKIO: A special soldier indeed!
DARKSIDIO: Ah, how now Campsio. This basket is not for me; twas a gift from Pantherio,
a foul man who wanted to discard this basket of fine fruit. And I shalt deliver it to Cairo, my fellow soldier.
CAMPSIO: Cairo! Now there is a hearty laugh! Cairo, the weak soldier who has shut
himself into his home, afraid of sunlight?
DARKSIDIO: Why must thou be so hard on Cairo? Has he not provided for this empire?
CAMPSIO: This empire was better two fortnights ago; when Cairo was off in his
little adventures. Now all I hear is his bemoaning. Like a dog barking at the moon, nightly. So much desperation!
DARKSIDIO: But he has seen much, Campsio! He hath not had a woman in some time,
either, as I’m aware.
CAMPSIO: No, how could he be? As he spends his time following the scent of Spauldimona,
who has shown no interest time after time? And he chases her still! He is a dog, to be sure! A Labrador!
DARKSIDIO: What happened to the times when the two of you shared a lodge? Were
not these times grand and bountiful?
CAMPSIO: He decided to leave it all behind when he became such a tramp. He is
no longer a friend of mine, it is true! And that keeps him in his home, bemoaning this and that! Sparkio cannot even see him.
SPARKIO: He has not called on me. I’ve tried multiple times to rhyme with
him, but he takes no time with me.
DARKSIDIO: Oh yes, thou lovest thine Sonnets to spray all over town! Well I’ll
be kindly leaving thee and visiting a true friend now.
CAMPSIO: May he find you well, Prince Darksidio!
DARKSIDIO: An oak tree is softer than thy heart, Campsio.
CAMPSIO laughs, and DARKSIDIO leaves.
Lights up, center stage. Cairo is sitting in his room once again.
CAIRO: And again I sit…for my legs cannot withstand anymore use. Shall I
amputate them? Shall I simply take my sword, that needs no use any longer, and slash them off?
DARKSIDIO: How now, Cairo. How can thou speak this way?
CAIRO: Darksidio! Thou hast returned…a fortuitous campaign, I gather?
DARKSIDIO: Yes. But as Bigfannio loves his taxes, I cannot offer my family more
coin as he loves to take them from me.
CAIRO: Aye. Ah--thou hast been speaking to Pantherio, I see.
DARKSIDIO: Yes, that rogue had given me this bowl of fruit to give to you as he
could not successfully cede.
CAIRO: Tis true, I could not accept. And yet thou wants to be the second gifter?
DARKSIDIO: Only for thine own health. Fruit may help thine bleak outlook on life
lately. I have heard news…
CAIRO: It is true! Have I friends?
DARKSIDIO: Am I not a friend to thee?
CAIRO: Art thou?
DARKSIDIO: Friends do not ask each other if they art friends. They simply embrace
and share their thoughts and emotions, and laughter.
CAIRO: My questioning is my demise! O, how can thou consider me a friend? Who
DARKSIDIO: Why must thou abate friendships so? Is it this woman thou pines for?
Art thou worried about thine acture?
CAIRO: Thou speaketh of Spauldimona. I wish not to hear her name…for each
letter of her name represents a needle entering my soul.
DARKSIDIO: But, good Cairo! Why doth thou speak this way? Sure, thou hast something
to give her?
He offers the fruit.
DARKSIDIO: Give to her this fruit, for it represents the sweet nature of thy soul;
and its nectar proves her to be the alderliefest!
CAIRO: This basket of fruit? A gift from a gift, from a gift. Is this to be considered
heartfelt? It is passed down…it is an heirloom.
DARKSIDIO: But an heirloom may mean something deeper! This is a part of thee,
Sir Cairo! Take this fruit to her, and say nothing more! Do not look for her approof! Merely offer it, and be done with it!
CAIRO: Thou hast convinced me…of merely giving an offer. A symbol of hope,
to be sure.
DARKSIDIO: To be sure indeed.
CAIRO: Trusteth friends.
DARKSIDIO: True words, Good Cairo.
END OF ACT TWO
Lights up, stage right. Spauldimona’s front yard. She is gardening. CAIRO
approaches, with the basket of fruit.
CAIRO: The ripest tomato could not be as sweet as thou art shining in the sun.
SPAULDIMONA: Ah! How now, Cairo! Warrior of the east, brave Cairo! What brings
thee to my garen on such a day?
CAIRO: I have brought thee a gift…
SPAULDIMONA: A basket…that devil Pantherio tried to bribe me with this gift--
CAIRO: Then may I hang my head and go?
SPAULDIMONA: But of course not! Please, the gift is an actual gift if it comes
from the hands of thee.
CAIRO: But thine own hands may dig the earth and find such fruit and vegetables
from thy garden patch.
SPAULDIMONA: Oh, difficult Cairo! Thine hands acute with the supple ripe fruit
mean so much more than the fingers of the earth, coldly displaying their offerings!
CAIRO: Then thou shalt accept mine gift?
SPAULDIMONA: I shall! Now, doth thou wish to take in this basket with me? Perhaps
under this very sun, which warms the forest surrounding us?
CAIRO: O to be sure, that would send me into the throes of heaven’s open
arms! But lo, I must report to Bigfannio, if there be any news for a soldier’s plot.
SPAULDIMONA: Then I shall pretend thee with me, and the fruit shalt taste more
She kisses him on the cheek. Cairo embraces her, and then he leaves.
Lights up, center stage. BIGFANNIO is being hounded by PARKRIDGETTE, and SPARKIO.
PARKRIDGETTE: May there be the arms of babies upon thine chest, suckling at thy
teet! While thou spay these poor children and slay into a garden of lust and have the temerity to do so with eyes of laughter!
SPARKIO: Ah, my favorite sermon from my favorite spinster, yes Bigfannio?
BIGFANNIO: I do not wish again to see this person be brought before me. Peasants
do not belong in my presence!
BIGFANNIO: How now, Cairo. What doth bringeth thee to me on this day?
CAIRO: But is there not news? As I’ve seen Darksidio return from a campaign.
Is there nothing thou needst from me?
BIGFANNIO: I needst thou to keep this socialization going, Good Cairo! We had
not seen thy presence for some time. I had thought perhaps the devil had finally taken thee.
CAIRO: No, not the devil! An angel…an angel whose bosom ignites my soul
and heart alike!
BIGFANNIO: Then take this angel and consummate if thou wishst. And Sparkio, bring
this squawking quail to my doorstep again, and I’ll see both of thee hanged!
PARKRIDGETTE: Surely thou wants to see the centurions burn, and those Cyprus demons
win the war! Thou doth pray every night to see a centurion burn, a baby dissected by garbage cretins, and insects from Troy
to devour us all!
SPARKIO: Come, Parkridgette, I shall take thee to a wonderful lunch!
Lights up, center stage. The marketplace. BOYDIO, DROPIO and AGENTIO all sing
and sway together drunkenly.
BOYDIO: But point me to the cirque, good Dropio! We are running low on mead!
DROPIO: Sing, O sing my Caesar of Swill!
AGENTIO: Are there wed madams here, or shall I abate?
CAIRO: Good men! The news today is wondrous! No news of war, and my woman awaits
with a basket of fruit to enjoy!
AGENTIO: How now Cairo! Is she but a maiden? Or doth she have a husband?
BOYDIO: Hear not his words, Cairo. But come! Join us! For a drink! Only once!
We shall make sure the wine is sweeter than the fruit thou wisht to eat!
CAIRO: Oh, but to be among friends. For one drink? Surely…the sun drips
into the night as we speak.
DROPIO: The night takes its time devouring the day today, Good Cairo. Come!
CAIRO joins them, and they all lock arms and sway.
PANTHERIO enters, rubbing his hands.
PANTHERIO: What luck on such a day when truly the sun shines down! No news of
war! Certainly, Cairo’s time shalt be pruned whilst wasting away in this tavern of travesty…and Fair, Fair Spauldimona…what
Lights up, center stage. The marketplace is full of horror! SPARKIO and DARKSIDIO
are all in the middle of the marketplace.
CAIRO enters, with AGENTIO and DROPIO, all drunk.
CAIRO: Hark! I feel as though one drink somehow drank its way into more…
DROPIO: Apologies, sir! Now, to thy woman!
DARKSIDIO: Woman? The fair Spauldimona thou speaketh of!
CAIRO: How now Darksidio! What brings thee all to this setting?
DARKSIDIO: News, good sir, news! But not good news indeed.
CAIRO: Not good news now? But only just today, the news was great!
SPARKIO: Then bad news follows…for Spauldimona is dead!
CAIRO: What words are these…to break a man’s heart, smash it to pieces?
DARKSIDIO: Hast thou not heard then…whilst the three of thee wasted away
gurgling the devil’s elixir…the maiden Spauldimona has been poisoned!
CAIRO: Poisoned? But who…who could do this?
SPARKIO: Why it was THEE!
DARKSIDIO: NO! The fruit, it came from…Pantherio!
CAIRO: But this cannot be true! Where is my Spauldimona!
SEACRESTIO appears, carrying her body.
SEACRESTIO: Why here, how now Cairo. Is it not so shocking…look upon the
dead eyes of this fair maiden, eating from your gift.
DARKSIDIO: I say, it was Pantherio who did this.
PANTHERIO: Never shall I take this sort of blaming from thou, Darksidio, who hast
wish’d my death for some time. Calling me rodent! Calling me a disease!
DARKSIDIO: Thou art a disease! And now Cairo has befallen thy wretched stench
of leprosy upon this day!
SEACRESTIO: The basket surely came from Cairo and not Pantherio. I take thee to
Bigfannio, for judgment and punishment. But nothing could be more damning than the look of this heavenly body, now whose soul
belongs with God…
CAIRO: Pantherio, is this true? Did thou poison the fruit?
PANTHERIO: The fruit passed into other hands after mine, Good Cairo. Why not look
to Darksidio, instead of myself to blame?
DARKSIDIO: Dark thief! Pestilence!
CAIRO: Pantherio is the one who comforted me in the night, Darksidio! Who am I
to trust! What have I done…how hath I been forsaken! Do I have no friends now!
DROPIO: We are but poor men, Cairo…friends, do not call us that.
CAIRO: I cannot weep…my eyes are in too much pain.
SEACRESTIO: And thy pain will not be washed away with tears of a reptile, “Good”
Lights up, center stage. The gallows. CAIRO, BIGFANNIO, DARKSIDIO, PANTHERIO,
and SEACRESTIO are there. The others look on.
CAIRO: Death is the only fair punishment given to me…
SEACRESTIO: Death is thy gift today, Cairo. For thy real punishment would be to
live for the rest of thy life, knowing that thou took an innocent life just to satisfy thine own selfishness. To justify this
bane, to sit upon thy throne of demons and devils, who crave souls and eat away at innocence; this wrath thou hast brought
upon this town…that is the curse, that is the punishment. We all suffer through your death while thou can only suffer
once the devil hast kissed thee as thou falls into the pits of hell. But we here on earth can never know the real punishment
thou shalt endure.
DARKSIDIO: I claim again this was not Cairo; but that foul Pantherio, who stands
before us all, smirking and laughing inside. His soul is the eater of worlds!
PANTHERIO: Good Darksidio, can thou not see the anguish for my friend Cairo here?
Cairo, we shalt never know why thou poisoned the fruit, to give to thy love…but we are all saddened to lose thee…to
CAIRO: All has forsaken me. I sit upon this rock of shame, and I allow this noose
around my neck to hold me, coddle me, and embrace me. Let the tendrils of the rope constrict and take my life, for I have
no use here on earth any longer!
SEACRESTIO: Ah, and the purpose of life is somehow only in the eyes of thee! What
of our lives? What of the life of the blessed Spauldimona! Whose life thou took, only for thine own amusement! O stifle thy
self pity! It is the devil speaking today! And thou shalt meet him soon enough! Coward! Coward be thee!
CAIRO: Coward I am not! I look upon thee and spit! But only if I could. If my
throat could muster such a liquid to thrust in thy direction…
SEACRESTIO: Speak no more, thou art weak and cowardly. Thou shalt be judged in
hell as well, and here on earth thy body will wither and rot.
CAIRO is hanged, and dies. DARKSIDIO draws his sword.
DARKSIDIO: Then no morals stand today, and no one look upon me! Gabriel, forgive!
But this rodent is the death of sanity today!
He slays PANTHERIO. He looks upon SEACRESTIO.
SEACRESTIO: Death is welcome today! Look, a reunion of demons have come!
DARKSIDIO: The death of Pantherio should be celebrated as a victory of good and
the Lord’s doing!
SEACRESTIO: Thou doth not hold sacred life. Art there not fields of horses and
sheep for thou to slay next? This bloodshed doth not prove anything to God, except that man is willing to shed so much for
his own perverse lust!
DARKSIDIO: Shall I slay thee next, with such a sour tongue spewing such lies?
SEACRESTIO: O I throw myself at thee, Good Darksidio! Come, take my heart and
crush it like a tin box! Destroy me! And thou shalt be released!
BIGFANNIO: Enough of this! What is done is done. Darksidio, either thou must campaign
elsewhere or thou shalt be judged here as well, for murder.
DARKSIDIO: Then I take my own life, and join my only friend here…
He takes the sword, and kills himself.
SEACRESTIO: May the Lord look upon this day as black. The sun is an imposter on
a day such as this. More life taken…and none given. That is the sermon today, from the tongue of the devil. These men
live in the orgasm of Lucifer…sit upon a throne of lies and ulcers and disease. May they all be judged today. For me,
it is enough for my eyes to bear. I must go.
The two leave, and the night descends…