ARIOCH: But hark you, thou art but a trio in thy roles.
ABENDIGO: As is the usual custom of three
MESHACH: Stay thy tongue.
ABENDIGO: In what language wouldst thou have my silence?
MESHACH: I would hear thy silence as an Assyrian.
SHADRACH: Nay, a Philistine.
ABENDIGO: Aye, ‘tis too simple to ape a simpleton.
SHADRACH: Is’t better to simply ape than ape ‘pon such a dullard.
MESHACH: For then, thy silence, I wouldst hear a Thracian, for no better means by which should such a barbarian be known except in the staying of his tongue.
ARIOCH: Stay you! What of thy fourth compatriot, who didst bargain with me for thy table strange, and for whom I shall give report of my judgment.
SHADRACH: Thou art mistaken, sir, there is nowt but us three!
ARIOCH: I shall not be turned by thy jests. Form whence and from where shall I have audience with Daniel, I am in haste.
ABENDIGO: Daniel? That name I know not.
MESHACH: Aye, verily.
SHADRACH: Hold thy peace, thou knaves—
ABENDIGO: Aye, and shall I hold my piece it shall be there and there—
MESHACH: And shall in pieces shalt thy piece be in a most monstrous undertaking—
SHADRACH: And stay thy peace as I shall sue for thy tongue and thy wit for this piece ere the sun stand still in the sky likened unto Joshua in his day. Good sir, and our benefactor, it is with deep regret and most grievous heart that I must report the eternal loss of our once beloved Daniel.
ARIOCH: What’s this?
MESHACH: Aye. Darkens our soul in a most profound sorrow that we doth disgorge news most saddening of our gracious Daniel.
ARIOCH: What say you? Dark tidings of Daniel?
ABENDIGO: To the depths of the foundation of the earth, an’ Abraham’s bosom, do our tears fall in eulogy to our most noble and esteemed countryman--
SHADRACH: Plucked from the zenith of his youth, cast down to mortal earth, this too, too precious form of dust, this frail and fragile mortal frame, sublime in spirit and soul an’ plain in body apparent—
DANIEL: If thou let this one prattle on until he is satisfied, thou shalt see the day the sun expired in the heavens and the moon and stars fall from the dark skies before he is done.
Shadrach, Meshach & Abendigo cry out
ARIOCH: What is this alarm?
MESHACH: Good my lord Daniel! Thou art still warm in the grave an’ thy spirit walks the earth e’en this hour!
ABENDIGO: Zounds! Mine eyes doth behold this visage of my comrade and my lord enshrouded in spirit’s weeds and come to us as we have invoked his name so hast he been summoned!
SHADRACH: Stay you! Spirit accursed or blessed! What mischief mayst thou revel upon our poor, poor mortal casts as thou wouldst have of us?
MESHACH: Hark you! My lord Arioch. Do intervene ‘pon our behalf and challenge this demon spirit come in fit and form of our closely departed Daniel, and bid it come no closer without proclaiming its designs and desires, fiendish or friendly. And who knows if hast come for thy countanence as thou hast summoned it by thy invocation.
ARIOCH: Approach no closer, fiend of the air, whose likeness in face and form is to that of our familiar eye and ear. Stay you! Come not a jot in measure more until thou hast declared thy intent upon us and thy purpose for walking this hour!
DANIEL: Nay come, Arioch, such jests and japes shouldst thou see as counterfeit when this chorus doth play upon thee—
SHADRACH: Hold my good lord! He doth name thee in his passing. Certainly he hast come for thee in this unholy hour!
ABENDIGO: Fie! Fie that this fair enshrouded demon doth seek to take thee!
DANIEL: How now—
MESHACH: When our ancestor Jacob didst wrestle with the angel and thus earned his name Israel, only the break of day caused the spirit to flee and break the empasse—
SHADRACH: Call out the dawn, Arioch, and mayhap it will strike fear in this devil. Call!
ABENDIGO: Give the call of first light, Arioch, ‘tis thy only chance to save thy life eternal.
ARIOCH: I would defy thee fiend!
DANIEL: Satisfied are you now, that I am of flesh and form, if not by the howling of mirth by this knot of japesters at thy expense good Arioch?
ARIOCH: Thou art man before me?
DANIEL: Aye, truer now than ever. Come, let us embrace presently and put out of our mind all things ethereal and immortal. And mayhap this brood of jolly jokesters might put upon a scruple of scruples for there is business at hand and we are to behold the witness of thine eye.
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