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Philocleon
Dropping into speech; to the flute-girl
Mount up there, my little gilded cock-chafer; take hold of this rope's end in your hand. Hold it tight, but have a care; the rope's a bit old and worn. But even though it's worn, it still has its virtues. [1345] Do you see how opportunely I got you away from the solicitations of those fellators, who wanted you to make love to them in their own odd way? You therefore owe me this return to gratify me. But will you pay the debt? Oh! I know well you will not even try; you will play with me, you will laugh heartily at me [1350] as you have done at many another man. And yet, if you would not be a naughty girl, I would redeem you, when my son is dead, and you should be my concubine, my little one. At present I am not my own master; [1355] I am very young and am watched very closely. My dear son never lets me out of his sight; he's an unbearable creature, who would quarter a thread and skin a flint; he is afraid I should get lost, for I am his only father. [1360] But here he comes running towards us. But be quick, don't stir, hold these torches. I am going to play him a young man's trick, the same as he played me before I was initiated into the mysteries.

Bdelycleon
Oh! oh! you debauched old dotard! [1365] you are amorous, it seems, of pretty baggages; but, by Apollo, it shall not be with impunity!

Philocleon
Ah! you would be very glad to eat a lawsuit in vinegar, you would.

Bdelycleon
Only a rascal would steal the flute-girl away from the other guests.

Philocleon
What flute-girl? [1370] Are you distraught, as if you had just returned from Pluto?

Bdelycleon
By Zeus! But here is the Dardanian wench in person.

Philocleon
Nonsense. This is a torch that I have lit in the public square in honour of the gods.

Bdelycleon
Is this a torch?

Philocleon
A torch? Certainly. Do you not see it is of several different colours?

Bdelycleon
And what is that black part in the middle?

Philocleon
[1375] That's the pitch running out while it burns.

Bdelycleon
And there, on the other side, surely that is a girl's bottom?

Philocleon
No. That's just a small bit of the torch, that projects.

Bdelycleon
What do you mean? what bit? Hi! you woman! come here!

Philocleon
Oh! What do you want to do?

Bdelycleon
To take her away from you and lead her off. [1380] You are too much worn out and can do nothing.

He takes the girl into the house.

Philocleon
Listen to me! One day, at Olympia, I saw Euphudion boxing bravely against Ascondas; [1385] he was already aged, and yet with a blow from his fist he knocked down his young opponent. So watch out that I don't blacken your eyes.

Bdelycleon
who has returned
By Zeus! you have Olympia at your finger-ends!

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