Instant Monologues
Machiavelli Mandrake Instant Monologue


THE MANDRAKE
by Niccoló Machiavelli

FRIAR

I wish to return to what I was saying before. As far as your conscience is concerned, you have these general premises: where there is a certain good and an evil that is uncertain, you should never abandon the good for fear of the evil. Here there is a certain good: you will become pregnant, you will acquire a soul for the Lord God. The uncertain evil is that the man who lies with you after the potion will die. There is record also of those who don't die, but because it is in not certain, it is good that Messer Nicia should not run that risk. As for whether the act is a sin, that's easy: because it is the will that sins, not the body; and it's a sin if it displeases the husband, whereas you are obliging him; or if you take pleasure in it, whereas you find no pleasure. Besides this, you have to consider the purpose in all these things. And your purpose is to fill a seat in paradise and make your husband happy. The Bible says that the daughters of Lot, thinking that they were the last women left in the world, lay with their father. And because their intention was good, they did not sin.






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