Il Volpone, redone -- this installment including description of the Scene, an Argument and some Commentary along with the first Scene of the first Act.
My idea originally was to re-write the film, so as to wash off it the stains of bourgeois, proto-pantsuit pseudo-morality and intolerable worlview ; but while waiting for an Italian expert to send me the original working script I picked up Ben Jonson's original play, and... well...
I honestly think what I aimed to do will work a lot better on this premise, even if I'm stuck throwing away a few ideas (such as my notion of furthering the language meld, to include dialogue in Italian, French and Spanish atop English description) that'd have been a lot more adequate to the sceneggiatura as such.
VOLPONE, a Magnifico.ii VOLTORE, a silent, self-made Merchant and owner of ships from across the bay.
MOSCA, his serving Parasite. CORBACCIO, an ambitious if somewhat dim public servant, born in Chioggia.
CORVINO, an elderly Gentleman, descendent of exhausted Paduan nobility.
ROSALBA, his Maid and Whore.
CELIA, Corvino's Wife, and Syndic. BONARIO, son to Corbaccio.
ATHINA, Corbaccio's Motherly Wife. SIR POLITICK WOULD-BE, a Knight.
ELIANA, Voltore's loving, Wife. LADY WOULD-BE, Sir Politick's Wife.
PEREGRINE, a Gentleman Traveller.
NANO, a Dwarf.
CASTRONE, an Eunuch.
ANDROGYNO, an Hermaphrodite.
COMMANDADORI, Officers of Justice.
MERCATORI, three Merchants.
AVOCATORI, four Magistrates.
NOTARIO, the Register.
SERVITORI, Servants, two Waiting-women, a Man etc.
GREGE (or Mob).
In Chioggia, a small Island Town, rebuilt around panning the Sea for Salt on the ruins of previous settlement attested by Pliny and razed by Pepin. Close to Venice, and by Venice conquered and lost and conquered again, just recently fortified greatly at express order of Michele Steno the year preceding our story, which begins with the Spring of 1413.
Volpone, of sinful childlessness and in like manner wealth,
Offends the Gods in daily feign of sickness, and despair,
Lies languishing so by reciting his act of ruined health
Presents of all receives, all feigning their concern, and care
Onerously all the while hoping to inherit, for which they plot,
New tricks and manners ever sought, that thrive, when bold,
Each tempts the other all the time, and all are sold.
Act 1. Scene 1.
A narrow passageway leading away from the boat sailing to and from Venice proper.
Enter Mosca and a Man.
They try to pass each other, but each getting in the other's way time and again.
Man: If you please.
Mosca: Pray, choose.
Man (pointing his right) : I'll go that way.
Mosca : Then me the other way.
Man : Fair travels, and the best of luck.
Mosca (turning) : Kind sir, now that we are no longer stuck,
Kindly permit another moment's truck :
The House Volpone, heralded by a duck
Which way, and whereabouts is snuck ?iii
Man : It's yet a ways. Cross and go left at yonder pillar,
Then carry on and turn your right once you see a miller
Then on, uphill. The road is bad but at the end you'll find'er.
Mosca (grabbing at his visibly heavy luggage) : Thank you ; and as you say, to you : good luck!
Man (looking after the struggling Mosca) : Hey, you!
Mosca (stopping, dropping his loads with some difficulty and turning) : Who ?
Man : You, you. There's no-one in that way but you.
Is it the job of butler there that you seek ? Tell true.
Mosca : By chance it is! How is it that you knew ?
Man : Two days ago I did precisely as you do ;
Asked of a man the very self-same questions, too!
Mosca : And for what reason are you through ?
Man : I couldn't tell you, nor anybody has a clue
What all goes on in that chaotic pot of sprue
Mosca : Are they a most demanding crew ?
Man : There's only one, but he is such a shrew
He's somehow made out of his house a zoo.
Besides me, four others, and now you
In just one fortnight he went through.
Mosca : Is he demanding ? Prone to fury ? Inclined to... coup ?
Man : All the advice that I have for you,
Is : the less work, the less to rue.
So leave your luggage on the boat, and toodeloo.iv
Mosca (apart) : Then what am I to do, how to proceed...
In truth it isn't hideous greed but mere, modest need
That sent me out of house, and home, a wandering weed.
The Man may even be exact, precise, correct,
His estimation avver'd not worth the checking, once it's checked
Yet if I'm proven unable to feed myself by intellect
The play of life entire I might outright concede
Let go, and by my own hand hang myself, indeed
For naught in trust or money, in chattel or in deed
Naught's to my name, to rely on, and, in turn, protect.
But in that sense only can I be ever claimed perfect
In which I carry all I am with me, like any insect.