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[65] Could they spring forward at a better time than when Licinius had arrived? when he was holding in his hand the box of poison? and if after that box had been delivered to the slaves the friends of the woman had on a sudden emerged from the baths and seized Licinius, he would have implored the protection of their good faith and have denied that that box had been delivered to them by him. And how would they have reproved him? Would they have said that they had seen it? First of all that would have been to bring the imputation of a most atrocious crime on themselves besides, they would be saying that they had seen what from the spot in which they had been placed they could not possibly have seen. Therefore they showed themselves at the very nick of time when Licinius had arrived and was getting out the box, and was stretching out his hand, and delivering the poison. This is rather the end of a farce than a regular comedy; in which, when a regular end cannot be invented for it some one escapes out of some one else's hands, the whistle1 sounds, and the curtain drops.


1 Scabillum is the Latin word. “Scabillum, a kind of musical instrument which by the pressure of the foot always produced the same tone. They danced to it on the stage, and it seems to have been used to denote the beginning and end of an act.”—Riddle, Lat. Dict. in voc.

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