Reason for stopping: Finished Act II, scene xviii. Wrote Act II, scene xix. Hands hurt, and not ready to start Act II, scene xx--the final scene of Act II, at which I can declare the book officially 2/5th drafted.
Although I probably have two or three scenes to add to act II to develop Ben Jonson better before he starts killing people. (The killing people is not a spoiler, as it's historical.)
Maybe I'll write those longhand on the plane to Torcon or something. Longhand writing on planes is nice.
Antony: Now let it work. Mischief, thou art afoot,
Take thou what course thou wilt!
--William Shakespeare, Julius Caesar, Act III scene ii
"Wills. Jack, Tom, Richard." They embraced and kissed him before he sat, which eased Will's sore heart a little. He hadn't the spleen to be angry when they treated him like fragile Italian glass; it was, he knew, a measure of their love.
"A spare crowd tonight. Tom, you're out of jail."
It had been a play called The Isle of Dogs that had seen Nashe locked away on suspicion of sedition, and Will glanced around the Mermaid for its second author, Ben Jonson. These satirists sailed very close to the wind. Admirable--but the wind changed frequently.
"Out of jail and drinking to it."
"Chapman claims he's close to ending his revisions on Master Marley's Hero, and he'll be along when it's finished." Fletcher's eyes sparkled above his freckled cheeks, a comment on the likeliness of that.
Nashe snorted into his wine. "Kit's been dead four years. I rather think he would have had the poem finished in a month at most--"
"Chapman has to be sure he's eradicated all the bawdy bits. It takes a while to find them all, it being Kit's work--"
Will replied, dropping into a chair as laughter rose around him. He waited for the pause, and filled it to an approving roar. "--and for George, longer than most. Where's the bricklayer, Tom?"
Nashe tapped a pipe out on the edge of the table and twisted a knife in its clay bowl. "Ben? Still jailed--"
"No one stood his bail?"
Burbage, stretching until his shoulders cracked. "Henslowe loaned him four pound to eat on."
"Four pound? At what rate?"