Scene 5 (of 12) : Divine Correction and the Reformation of the Realm

lines 1580-1909

The entry of Divine Correction swiftly leads to the purgation of the vices from the court. Divine Correction’s opening speech is a detailed discussion of the nature of kingship. He asks the audience, ‘What is an king?’, And gives the radical answer, ‘Nocht but ane officer’. Divine Correction is surprised that Good Counsel is not on good terms with Rex Humanitas, and appalled to see Verity and Chastity in the stocks. He orders their release and makes his way to the court. The courtiers, Wantonness, Solace, and Placebo see him, and although they do not know who he is, decide that Rex Humanitas should see him. Divine Correction, however, does not wait to be introduced but instead interrupts Rex Humanitas’ dalliances with Sensuality, telling the king that he has slept long enough in Sensuality’s arms. Divine Correction banishes Sensuality from the King’s presence, but she pleads successfully to be allowed to seek lodging among the spirituality. Divine Correction advises Rex Humanitas to call a parliament of the three estates, and Diligence is ordered to tell the estates to attend the king. Divine Correction then examines Wantonness, Placebo, and Solace. In a more conventional morality play these three figures, like the vices, would be banished from the King’s presence. Divine Correction, however, accepts the argument that kings do need some lawful recreation and merriments, provided they are kept within bounds. The scene ends with Divine Correction, Rex Humanitas, and the other characters leaving the stage.

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