Peeter van Bredael, "Commedia dell'arte Scene in an Italian Landscape," date unknown
There they are, the Columbines and Harlequins playing behind every Doctor’s back, and here we are, indentured, pressed into service, legion. If we’re a hundred, or a hundred times a hundred, it makes no difference. You and I, wearing dull black, sweating as we pull the drapery back, un- furling backdrops. It’s us who’ll loose the knots on the ballast of ponderous argument, sandbags to tie the rococo confection down. Even tasked with curtain calls countless as the stars, we’ll do our job, dash through hidden crossovers to haul away that gold-braided bloody velvet, reveal the troupe—roses tossed, as they take infinite bows. And while that job’s doing, we’ll whisper its end.