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Sixteen Lines: Fifteenth Line

After the Governmental Authority has granted permission for the Woman to keep the Child, she wordlessly thanks the Man for pleading their case.

The little baggage hath a witchcraft in her, I confess.

This is an odd thing to say, isn’t it? It’s a joke, of course, but a dangerous one. I wonder if it’s an attempt, possibly a not entirely conscious attempt, to keep a sort of deniability in case anything goes wrong. In case the child does turn out to be of demonic origin, I mean, or in case the decision leads to some further trouble in the town. On the other hand, it could just be an expression of wonder that we all, authorities assembled including the speaker, permit this child to misbehave in a way that would certainly not be permitted in another child, one with a father. The waywardness of the child is clearly a matter of significant concern to the town, and yet somehow there is charm in it.

Which brings up the question: is my character for or against this? The answer that I came up with is that the statement isn’t about the Child at all, but about the Man—I am excusing his behavior in being thanked by the Child. Thus, why I am against it, I am not so strongly against it as I am for him; I am, in effect, apologizing. It’s a minor key speech, or the closest thing to it that I have in this shouty role.

Tolerabimus quod tolerare debemus,