Saturday, April 25, 2009

April 25, 2009: Prologue to Tragedy

LOLSCHACH's Journal: April 25, 2009:

Yesterday, found paper scrap. Old. Brittle. Supposedly stolen from Oxford.

First page of lost English play. Written around 1600. Anonymous. Possibly Shakespeare? Must remember to investigate.

Italian ancestor ROLSHACCHIO is major character. Lived in Siena.

This rank and reeking city, this Siena!
How it doth scream, like Bedlam in a very butcher's-shop
A-teem with idiot changelings.
(Photo credit:jurvetson)

At library, read article. Professor thinks play is based on fact. Also thinks play is highly fictionalized. Hurm. Familiar situation.

First page lists major characters:

Don David Dreyburg -- Wealthy gentleman bachelor.

ROLSHACCHIO -- Bastard. [Hurm. -l.0.l] Companion of Dreyburg.

Edwin Blackstaff -- English mercenary. Also called "the Fool".

Lavinia -- Blackstaff's maiden daughter.

Duke Mantua -- Alchemist. Transformed into demigod while trying to create gold.

Title character is called "Oswaldo Magus."

History must be preserved. LOLSCHACH ancestor must not be forgotten. Lost pages of play must be found. May require time, broken bones.

For now, should copy into journal what I have. First fourteen lines of play. All spoken by ROLSHACCHIO.

* * *

The Tragicall Hiftorie of OSVVALDO, Wizard of Siena


Once-fair Siena, stirred now by the sword
Of Florence, flaileth lately like a dog
Ill-used, that, frantic, straineth ‘gainst his cord
And collar – choked to death, e’en ere he’s flogged.
Now beats in every breast the drum of war,
Echoes in every ear Bellona’s voice.
Mark them that march the streets to steal and whore,
And slay their neighbours – ’Struth, by their own choice!
Assassinations underneath the rose
Betwixt the cities’ spies doth multiply;
The flood-wall wavers, as the blood-tide flows,
And when ‘tis overtopped, then must men die.
The squires and strumpets, drowning down below,
Will clamor, "Save us!" And I’ll whisper, “No.”
"God's bodykins! 'Tis quite a drop!"
(Photo credit: robin.elaine)


  1. LOL- smart and funny. Good prologue. XD

  2. wait- monologue...I meant monologue (It was veryvery late in the evening when i first read the piece).