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Enter DÆMONES, from his cottage.1
to himself. 'Twas rightly done, and it is a pleasure this day for me to have given aid to these young women; I have now found some dependants, and both of them of comely looks and youthful age. But my plaguy wife is watching me in all ways, lest I should be giving any hint to the young women. But I wonder what in the world my servant Gripus is about, who went last night to the sea to fish. Troth, he had done wiser if he had slept at home; for now he throws away both his pains and his nets, seeing what a storm there now is and was last night. I'll thoroughly cook upon my fingers what he has caught to-day; so violently do I see the ocean heaving. A bell rings. But my wife's calling me to breakfast; I'll return home. She'll now be filling my ears with her silly prating. Goes into the cottage.
Enter GRIPUS, dragging a net enclosing a wallet, by a rope.
to himself . These thanks do I return to Neptune, my patron, who dwells in the salt retreats, the abode of fishes, inasmuch as he has despatched me finely laden on my return from his retreats, and from his Temples, laden with most abundant booty, with safety to my boat, which in the stormy sea made me master of a singular and rich haul. In a wondrous and incredible manner has this haul turned out prosperously for me, nor yet have I this day taken a single ounce weight of fish, but only that which I am here bringing with me in my net. For when I arose in the middle of the night, and without sloth, I preferred profit to sleep and rest; in the raging tempest, I determined to try how I might lighten the poverty of my master and my own servitude, not sparing of my own exertions. Most worthless is the man that is slothful, and most detestably do I hate that kind of men. It behoves him to be vigilant who wishes to do his duty in good time; for it befits him not to be waiting until his master arouses him to his duties. For those who sleep on for the love of it, rest without profit to themselves and to their own cost. But now I, who have not been slothful, have found that for myself through which to be slothful if I should choose. Points to the wallet. This have I found in the sea to-day; whatever's in it, it's something heavy that's in it; I think it's gold that's in it. And not a single person is there my confidant in the matter. Now, Gripus, this opportunity has befallen you, that the Prætor2 might make you a free man from among the multitude. Now, thus shall I do, this is my determination; I'll come to my master cleverly and cunningly, little by little I'll promise money for my freedom, that I may be free. Now, when I shall be free, then, in fine, I'll provide me land and houses3 and slaves: I'll carry on merchandize with large ships: among the grandees I shall be considered a grandee. Afterwards, for the sake of pleasing myself, I'll build me a ship and I'll imitate Stratonicus4, and I'll be carried about from town to town. When my greatness is far-spread, I shall fortify some great city: to that city I shall give the name of "Gripus," a memorial of my fame and exploits, and there I'll establish a mighty kingdom. I am resolving here in my mind to prepare for mighty matters. At present I'll hide this booty. But this grandee pointing to himself is about to breakfast upon vinegar5 and salt, without any good substantial meat. Gathers up the net, and drags it after him.
Enter TRACHALIO, in haste.
Hallo there! stop. GRIPUS
Why should I stop? TRACHALIO
While I coil up this rope6 for you that you are dragging. GRIPUS
Now let it alone. TRACHALIO
Troth, but I'll assist you. What's kindly done to worthy men, isn't thrown away. GRIPUS
* * * * * There was a boisterous tempest yesterday; no fish have I, young man; don't you be supposing I have. Don't you see that I'm carrying my dripping net without the scaly race? TRACHALIO
I' faith, I'm not wishing for fish so much as I am in need of your conversation. GRIPUS
Then, whoever you are, you are worrying me to death with your annoyance. TRACHALIO
takes hold of him . I'll not allow you to go away from here; stop. GRIPUS
Take you care of a mishap, if you please; but why the plague are you dragging me back? TRACHALIO
I won't listen. TRACHALIO
But, upon my faith, you shall listen. GRIPUS
Nay but, another time, tell me what you want. TRACHALIO
Come now, it's worth your while at once to hear what I want to tell you. GRIPUS
Say on, whatever it is. TRACHALIO
See whether any person is following near us. Looks back. GRIP. Why, what reason is there that it should matter to me? TRACHALIO
So it is; but can you give me some good advice? GRIPUS
What's the business? Only tell me. TRACHALIO
I'll tell you; keep silence; if only you'll give me your word that you won't prove treacherous to me. GRIPUS
I do give you my word; I'll be true to you, whoever you are. TRACHALIO
Listen. I saw a person commit a theft; I knew the owner to whom that same property belonged. Afterwards I came myself to the thief, and I made him a proposal in these terms: "I know the person on whom that theft was committed; now if you are ready to give me half, I'll not make a discovery to the owner." He didn't even give me an answer. What is it fair should be given me out of it? Half, I trust you will say. GRIPUS
Aye, even more; but unless he gives it you, I think it ought to be told to the owner. TRACHALIO
I'll act on your advice. Now give me your attention; for it is to yourself all this relates. GRIPUS
What has been done by me? TRACHALIO
pointing at the wallet . I've known the person for a long time to whom that wallet belongs. GRIPUS
What do you mean? TRACHALIO
And in what manner it was lost. GRIPUS
But I know in what manner it was found; and I know the person who found it, and who is now the owner. That, i' faith, is not a bit the more your matter than it is my own. I know the person to whom it now belongs; you, the person to whom it formerly belonged. This shall no individual get away from me; don't you be expecting to get it in a hurry. TRACHALIO
If the owner comes, shan't he get it away? GRIPUS
That you mayn't be mistaken, no born person is there that's owner of this but my own self--who took this in my own fishing. TRACHALIO
Was it really so? GRIPUS
Which fish in the sea will you say "is my own?" When I catch them, if indeed I do catch them, they are my own; as my own I keep them. They are not claimed as having a right to freedom7 nor does any person demand a share in them. In the market I sell them all openly as my own wares. Indeed, the sea is, surely, common to all persons. TRACHALIO
I agree to that; prithee, then, why any the less is it proper that this wallet should be common to me? It was found in the sea. GRIPUS
Assuredly you are an outrageously impudent fellow; for if this is justice which you are saying, then fishermen would be ruined. Inasmuch as, the moment that the fish were exposed upon the stalls, no one would buy them; every person would be demanding his own share of the fish for himself; he would be saying that they were caught in the sea that was common to all. TRACHALIO
What do you say, you impudent fellow? Do you dare to compare a wallet with fish? Pray, does it appear to be the same thing? GRIPUS
The matter doesn't lie in my power; when I've cast my hook and net into the sea, whatever has adhered I draw out. Whatever my net and hooks have got, that in especial is my own. TRACHALIO
Nay but, i' faith, it is not; if, indeed, you've fished up any article that's made8 GRIPUS
Philosopher, you. TRACHALIO
But look now, you conjurer, did you ever see a fisherman who caught a wallet-fish, or exposed one for sale in the market? But, indeed, you shan't here be taking possession of all the profits that you choose; you expect, you dirty fellow, to be both a maker of wallets9 and a fisherman. Either you must show me a fish that is a wallet, or else you shall carry nothing off that wasn't produced in the sea and has no scales. GRIPUS
What, did you never hear before to-day that a wallet was a fish? TRACHALIO
Villain, there is no such fish. GRIPUS
Yes, there certainly is; I, who am a fisherman, know it. But it is seldom caught; no fish more rarely comes near the land. TRACHALIO
It's to no purpose; you hope that you can be cheating me, you rogue. Of what colour is it? GRIPUS
looking at the wallet . Of this colour very few are caught: some are of a purple skin, there are great and black ones also. TRACHALIO
I understand; by my troth, you'll be turning into a wallet-fish I fancy, if you don't take care; your skin will be purple, and then afterwards black. GRIPUS
aside . What a villain this that I have met with to-day! TRACHALIO
We are wasting words; the day wears apace. Consider, please, by whose arbitration do you wish us to proceed? GRIPUS
By the arbitration of the wallet. TRACHALIO
Really so, indeed? You are a fool. GRIPUS
My respects to you, Mister Thales10 Going. TRACHALIO
holding him . You shan't carry that off this day, unless you find a place of safe keeping for it, or an umpire, by whose arbitration this matter may be settled. GRIPUS
Prithee, are you in your senses? TRACHALIO
I'm mad, in need of hellebore. GRIPUS
But I'm troubled with sprites; still I shan't let this go. Hugs the wallet. TRACHALIO
Only add a single word more, that instant I'll drive my fists smash into your brains. This instant on this spot, just as a new napkin is wont to be wrung, I'll wring out of you whatever moisture there is, if you don't let this go. Seizes the wallet. GRIPUS
Touch me; I'll dash you down on the ground just in such fashion as I'm in the habit of doing with a polypus fish11. Would you like to fight? Assumes a boxing attitude. TRACHALIO
What need is there? Nay, in preference, divide the booty. GRIPUS
You can't get anything from here but harm to yourself, so don't expect it. I'm taking myself off. TRACHALIO
But I'll turn aside your ship from that direction, that you mayn't be off anywhere--stop. Stands in front of him, and holds the rope. GRIPUS
If you are the helmsman of this ship, I'll be the pilot. Let go of the rope now, you villain. TRACHALIO
I will let go; do you let go of the wallet. GRIPUS
I' faith, you shall never this day become a scrap the more wealthy from this. TRACHALIO
You cannot convince me by repeatedly denying, unless either a part is given me, or it is referred to arbitration, or it is placed in safe keeping. GRIPUS
What, that which I got out of the sea----? TRACHALIO
But I spied it out from the shore. GRIPUS
--With my own pains and labour, and net and boat. TRACHALIO
If now the owner, whose property it is, were to come, how am I, who espied from afar that you had taken this, a bit the less the thief than yourself? GRIPUS
None whatever. Going. TRACHALIO
seizing the net . Stop, you whip-knave; just let me learn of you by what reasoning I am not the sharer, and yet the thief. GRIPUS
I don't know; neither do I know these city laws of yours, only that I affirm that this is mine. Looks at the wallet. TRACHALIO
And I, too, say that it is mine. GRIPUS
Stay now; I've discovered by what method you may be neither thief nor sharer. TRACHALIO
By what method? GRIPUS
Let me go away from here; you quietly go your own way, and don't you inform against me to any one, and I won't give anything to you. You hold your tongue; I'll be mum. This is the best and the fairest plan. TRACE.
Well, what proposition do you venture to make? GRIPUS
I've made it already; for you to go away, to let go of the rope, and not to be a nuisance to me. TRACHALIO
Stop while I propose terms. GRIPUS
I' faith, do, prithee, dispose12 of yourself forthwith. TRACHALIO
Do you know any one in these parts? GRIPUS
My own neighbours I must know. TRACHALIO
Where do you live here? GRIPUS
pointing . At a distance out away yonder, as far off as the farthest fields. TRACHALIO
pointing to the cottage of DÆMONES . The person that lives in that cottage, should you like it to be decided by his arbitration? GRIPUS
Let go of the rope for a moment while I step aside and consider. TRACHALIO
Be it so. Lets go of the rope. GRIPUS
aside . Capital, the thing's all right; the whole of this booty is my own. He's inviting me here inside of my own abode to my own master as umpire. By my troth, he never this day will award three obols away from his own servant. Assuredly, this fellow doesn't know what proposal he has been making. To TRACHALIO. I'll go to the arbitrator with you. TRACHALIO
What then? GRIPUS
Although I know for sure that this is my own lawful right, let that be done rather than I should now be fighting with you. TRACHALIO
Now you satisfy me. GRIPUS
Although you are driving me before an arbitrator whom I don't know, if he shall administer justice, although he is unknown, he is as good as known to me; if he doesn't, though known, he is the same as though entirely unknown.
Enter DÆMONES, from his cottage, with PALÆSTRA and AMPELISCA, and SERVANTS.
to the WOMEN . Seriously, upon my faith, young women, although I wish what you desire, I'm afraid that on your account my wife will be turning me out of doors, who'll be saying that I've brought harlots here before her very eyes. Do you take refuge at the altar rather than I13. THE WOMEN.
We, wretched creatures, are undone. They weep. DÆM.
I'll place you in safety; don't you fear. But why turning to the SERVANTS are you following me out of doors? Since I'm here, no one shall do them harm. Now then, be off, I say, in-doors, both of you, you guards from off guard. They go in. GRIPUS
O master, save you. DÆM.
Save you. How goes it? TRACHALIO
pointing to GRIPUS . Is he your servant? GRIPUS
I'm not ashamed to say yes. TRACHALIO
I've nothing to do with you. GRIPUS
Then get you gone hence, will you. TRACHALIO
Prithee, do answer me, aged sir; is he your servant? DÆM.
He is mine. TRACHALIO
Oh then, that is very good, since he is yours. Again I salute you. DÆM.
And I you. Are you he who, not long since, went away from here to fetch his master? TRACHALIO
I am he. DÆM.
What now is it that you want? TRACHALIO
pointing to GRIPUS . This is your servant, you say? DÆM.
He is mine. TRACHALIO
That is very good, since he is yours. DÆM.
What's the matter? TRACHALIO
pointing to GRIPUS . That's a rascally fellow there. DÆM.
What has the rascally fellow done to you? TRACHALIO
I wish the ancles of that fellow were smashed. DÆM.
What's the thing about which you are now disputing between yourselves? TRACHALIO
I'll tell you. GRIPUS
No, I'll tell you. TRACHALIO
I fancy I'm to move the matter first. GRIPUS
If indeed you were a decent person, you would be moving yourself off from here. DÆM.
Gripus, give attention, and hold your tongue GRIPUS
In order that that fellow may speak first? DÆM.
Attend, Itell you. To TRACHALIO. Do you say on. GRIPUS
Will you give the right of speaking to a stranger sooner than to your own servant? TRACHALIO
O dear! how impossible it is for him to be kept quiet. As I was beginning to say, that Procurer, whom some little time since you turned out of the Temple of Venus--see pointing at the wallet , he has got his wallet. GRIPUS
I haven't got it. TRACHALIO
Do you deny that which I see with my own eyes? GRIPUS
But I only wish you couldn't see. I have got it, and I haven't got it; why do you trouble yourself about me, what things I do? TRACHALIO
In what way you got it does matter, whether rightfully or wrongfully. GRIPUS
If I didn't take it in the sea, there's not a reason why you shouldn't deliver me up to the cross. If I took it in the sea with my net, how is it yours rather than my own? TRACHALIO
to DÆMONES . He is deceiving you; the matter happened in this way, as I am telling you. GRIPUS
What do you say? TRACE.
So long as the person that has the first right to speak is speaking, do to DÆMONES put a check on him, please, if he belongs to you. GRIPUS
What, do you wish the same thing to be done to myself, that your master has been accustomed to do to yourself? If he is in the habit of putting a check upon you, this master of ours isn't in the habit of doing so with us. DÆM.
to TRACUALIO . In that remark only has he got the better14 of you. What do you want now? Tell me. TRACHALIO
For my part, I neither ask for a share of that wallet there, nor have I ever said this day that it is my own; but in it there is a little casket that belongs to this female pointing to PALÆSTRA , whom a short time since I averred to be free born. DÆM.
You are speaking of her, I suppose, whom a short time since you said was my countrywoman? TRACHALIO
Just so; and those trinkets which formerly, when little, she used to wear, are there in that casket, which is in that wallet. This thing is of no service to him, and will be of utility to her, poor creature, if he gives it up, by means of which to seek for her parents. DÆM.
I'll make him give it up; hold your tongue. GRIPUS
I' faith, I'm going to give nothing to that fellow. TRACHALIO
I ask for nothing but the casket and the trinkets15. GRIPUS
What if they are made of gold? TRACHALIO
What's that to you? Gold shall be paid for gold, silver shall have its weight in silver in return. GRIPUS
Please let me see the gold; after that I'll let you see the casket. DÆM.
to GRIPUS . Do you beware of punishment, and hold your tongue. To TRACHALIO. As you commenced to speak do you go on. TRACK.
This one thing I entreat of you, that you will have compassion on this female, if, indeed, this wallet is that Procurer's, which I suspect it is. In this matter, I'm saying nothing of certainty to you, but only on conjecture. GRIPUS
Do you see how the rascal's wheedling him? TRACHALIO
Allow me to say on as I commenced. If this is the wallet that belongs to that villain whose I say it is, these women here will be able to recognize it; order him to show it to them. GRIPUS
Say you so? To show it to them? DÆM.
He doesn't say unreasonably, Gripus, that the wallet should be shown. GRIPUS
Yes, i' faith, confoundedly unreasonably. DÆM.
How so? GRIPUS
Because, if I do show it, at once they'll say, of course, that they recognize it. TRACHALIO
Source of villany, do you suppose that all other people are just like yourself, you author of perjury? GRIPUS
All this I easily put up with, so long as he pointing to DÆMONES is of my way of thinking16. TEACH.
But now he is against you; from this pointing to the wallet will he obtain true testimony. DÆM.
Gripus, do you pay attention. To TRACHALIO. You explain in a few words what it is you want? TRACHALIO
For my part, I have stated it; but if you haven't understood me, I'll state it over again. Both of these women pointing to them , as I said a short time since, ought to be free; pointing to PALÆSTRA she was stolen at Athens when a little girl. GRIPUS
Tell me what that has got to do with the wallet, whether they are slaves or whether free women? TRACHALIO
You wish it all to be told over again, you rascal, so that the day may fail us. DÆM.
Leave off your abuse, and explain to me what I've been asking. TRACHALIO
There ought to be a casket of wicker-work17 in that wallet, in which are tokens by means of which she may be enabled to recognize her parents, by whom, when little, she was lost at Athens, as I said before. GRIPUS
May Jupiter and the Gods confound you. What do you say, you sorcerer of a fellow? What, are these women dumb, that they are not able to speak for themselves? TRACHALIO
They are silent for this reason, because a silent woman is always better than a talking one. GRIPUS
Then, i' faith, by your way of speaking, you are neither a man nor a woman to my notion. TRACHALIO
How so? GRIPUS
Why, because neither talking nor silent are you ever good for anything. Prithee to DÆMONES , shall I ever be allowed to-day to speak? DÆM.
If you utter a single word more this day, I'll break your head for you. TRACHALIO
As I had commenced to say it, old gentleman, I beg you to order him to give up that casket to these young women; if for it he asks any reward for himself, it shall be paid; whatever else is there besides, let him keep for himself. GRIPUS
Now at last you say that, because you are aware it is my right; just now you were asking to go halves. TRACHALIO
Aye, and even still I ask it. GRIPUS
I've seen a kite making a swoop, even when he got nothing at all however. DÆM.
to GRIPUS . Can't I shut your mouth without a drubbing? GRIPUS
pointing to TRACHALIO . If that fellow is silent, I'll be silent; if he talks, allow me to talk in my own behalf. DÆM.
Please now give me this wallet, Gripus. GRIPUS
I'll trust it to you; but for you to return it me, if there are none of those things in it. DÆM.
It shall be returned. GRIPUS
Take it. Gives him the wallet. DÆM.
Now then listen, Palæstra and Ampelisca, to this which I say: is this the wallet, in which this Procurer said that your casket was? PALAESTRA
It is the same. GRIPUS
aside . Troth, to my sorrow, I'm undone; how on the instant, before she well saw it, she said that it was it. PALAESTRA
I'll make this matter plain to you, instead of difficult. There ought to be a casket of wicker-work there in that wallet; whatever is in there I'll state by name; don't you show me anything. If I say wrong, I shall then have said this to no purpose; then you shall keep these things, whatever is in there for yourselves. But if the truth, then I entreat you that what is my own may be restored to me. DÆM.
I agree; you ask for bare justice only, in my way of thinking, at least. GRIPUS
But, i' faith, in mine, for extreme injustice; what if she is a witch or a sorceress, and shall mention exactly everything that's in it P Is a sorceress to have it? DÆM.
She shan't get it, unless she tells the truth; in vain will she18 be conjuring. Unloose the wallet, then giving it to GRIPUS , that as soon as possible I may know what is the truth. GRIPUS
first unfastens the straps of the wallet, and then hands it to his MASTER . Take it19, it's unfastened. DÆMONES takes out the casket. Alas, I'm undone; I see the casket. DÆM.
holding it up, and addressing PALÆSTRA . Is this it? PALAESTRA
That is it. O my parents, here do I keep you locked up; here have I enclosed both my wealth and my hopes of recognizing you. GRIPUS
aside . Then, by my faith, the Gods must be enraged with you, whoever you are, who fasten up your parents in so narrow a compass. DÆM.
Gripus, come hither, your cause is being tried. To PALÆSTRA. Do you, young woman, away at a distance there say what's in it, and of what appearance; mention them all. By my troth, if you make ever so slight a mistake, even if afterwards you wish, madam, to correct yourself, you'll be making a great mistake. GRIPUS
You demand what's real justice. TRACHALIO
By my troth, then, he doesn't demand yourself; for you are the opposite of justice. DÆM.
Now then, say on, young woman. Gripus, give attention and hold your tongue. PALAESTRA
There are some trinkets. DÆM.
looking in the casket . See, here they are, I espy them. GRIPUS
aside . In the first onset I an. worsted; takes hold of the arm of DÆMONES hold, don't be showing. DÆM.
Of what description are they? Answer in their order. PALAESTRA
In the first place, there's a little sword of gold, with an inscription. DÆM.
Just tell me, what the characters are upon that little sword. PALAESTRA
The name of my father. Next, on the other side, there's a little two-edged axe, of gold likewise, with an inscription: there on the axe is the name of my mother. DÆM.
Stay; tell me, what's the name of your father upon the little sword? PALAESTRA
Immortal Gods! where in the world are my hopes? GRIPUS
Aye, by my troth, and where are mine? DÆM.
Do proceed forthwith, I entreat you. GRIPUS
Cautiously, or else aside away to utter perdition. DÆM.
Say, what's the name of your mother, here upon the little axe? PALAESTRA
The Gods will that I should be preserved. GRIPUS
But that I should be ruined. DÆM.
This must be my own daughter, Gripus. GRIPUS
She may be for me, indeed. To TRACHALIO. May all the Gods confound you who this day saw me with your eyes, and myself as well for a blockhead, who didn't look about a hundred times first to see that no one was watching me, before I drew the net out of the water. PALAESTRA
Next, there's a little knife of silver, and two little hands linked together, and then a little sow. GRIPUS
aside . Nay, then, go and be hanged, you with your little sow and with your little pigs. PALAESTRA
There's also a golden drop20, which my father presented to me upon my birthday. DÆM.
Undoubtedly there is; but I cannot restrain myself any longer from embracing you. My daughter, blessings on you; I am that father who begot you; I am Dæmones, and see, your mother Dædalis is in the house here pointing to his cottage . AMPELISCA
embracing him . Blessings on you, my unlooked-for father. DÆM.
Blessings on you; how joyously do I embrace you. TRACHALIO
'Tis a pleasure to me, inasmuch as this falls to your lot from your feelings of affection. DÆM.
Come then, Trachalio, if you can, bring that wallet into the house. TRACHALIO
taking the wallet . See the villany of Gripus; inasmuch, Gripus, as this matter has turned out unfortunately for you, I congratulate you. DÆM.
Come, then, let's go, my daughter, to your mother, who will be better able to enquire of you into this matter from proofs; who had you more in her hands, and is more thoroughly acquainted with your tokens. TRACHALIO
Let's all go hence in-doors, since we are giving our common aid. PALAESTRA
Follow me, Ampelisca. AMPELISCA
That the Gods favour you, it is a pleasure to me. They all go into the cottage of DÆMONES, exceptGRIPUS. GRIPUS
to himself . Am I not a blockhead of a fellow, to have this day fished up that wallet? Or, when I had fished it up, not to have hidden it somewhere in a secret spot? By my troth, I guessed that it would be a troublesome booty for me, because it fell to me in such troublous weather. I' faith, I guess that there's plenty of gold and silver there. What is there better for me than to be off hence in-doors and secretly hang myself--at least for a little time, until this vexation passes away from me? Goes into the cottage.
Enter DÆMONES, from his cottage.
to himself. O ye immortal Gods, what person is there more fortunate than I, who unexpectedly have discovered my daughter? Isn't it the fact, that if the Gods will a blessing to befall any person, that longed-for pleasure by some means or other, falls to the lot21 of the virtuous? I this day, a thing that I never hoped for nor yet believed, have unexpectedly discovered my daughter, and I shall bestow her upon a respectable young man of noble family, an Athenian, and my kinsman. For that reason I wish him to be fetched hither to me as soon as possible, and I've requested my servant to come out here, that he may go to the Forum. Still, I'm surprised at it that he isn't yet come out. I think I'll go to the door. Opens the door, and looks in. What do I behold? Embracing her, my wife is clasping my daughter around her neck. Her caressing is really almost too foolish and sickening.
Goes to the door again, and calls out. 'Twere better, wife, for an end to be made at last of your kissing; and make all ready that I may perform a sacrifice, when I come in-doors, in honor of the household Gods, inasmuch as they have increased our family. At home I have lambs and swine for sacred use. But why, ladies, are you detaining that Trachalio? Oh, I see he's coming out of doors, very seasonably. Enter TRACHALIO, from the cottage. TRACHALIO
speaking to those within . Wheresoever he shall be, I'll seek Plesidippus out at once, and bring him together with me to you. DÆM.
Tell him how this matter has fallen out about my daughter. Request him to leave other occupations and to come here. TRACHALIO
Very well22 DÆM.
Tell him that I'll give him my daughter for a wife. TRACHALIO
Very well. DÆM.
And that I knew his father, and that he is a relation of my own. TRACHALIO
Very well. DÆM.
But do make haste. TRACHALIO
Very well. DÆM.
Take care and let a dinner be prepared here at once. TRACHALIO
Very well. DÆM.
What, all very well? TRACHALIO
Very well. But do you know what it is I want of you? That you'll remember what you promised, that this day I'm to be free. DÆM.
Very well23. TRACHALIO
Take care and entreat Plesidippus to give me my freedom. DÆM.
Very well. TRACHALIO
And let your daughter request it; she'll easily prevail. DÆM.
Very well. TRACHALIO
And that Ampelisca may marry me, when I'm a free man. DÆM.
Very well. TRACHALIO
And that I may experience a pleasing return to myself in kindness for my actions. DÆM.
Very well. TRACHALIO
What, all very well? DÆM.
Very well. Again I return you thanks. But do you make haste to proceed to the city forthwith, and betake yourself hither again. TRACHALIO
Very well. I'll be here directly. In the meanwhile, do you make the other preparations that are necessary. (Exit TRACHALIO.) DÆM.
Very well--may Hercules ill befriend him with his "very-welling24;" he has so stuffed my ears with it. Whatever it was I said, "very well" was the answer.
Enter GRIPUS, from the cottage.
How soon may I have a word with you, Dæmones? DÆM.
What's your business, Gripus? GRIPUS
Touching that wallet, if you are wise, be wise; keep what goods the Gods provide you. DÆM.
Does it seem right to you, that, what belongs to another I should assert to be my own? GRIPUS
What, not a thing that I found in the sea? DÆM.
So much the better does it happen for him who lost it; none the more is it necessary that it should be your wallet. GRIPUS
For this reason are you poor because you are too scrupulously righteous. DÆM.
O Gripus, Gripus, in the life of man very many traps there are, in what they are deceived by guile. And, by my troth, full often is a bait placed in them, which bait if any greedy person greedily snaps at, through his own greediness he is caught in the trap. He who prudently, skilfully, and warily, takes precaution, full long he may enjoy that which is honestly acquired. This booty seems to me25 to be about to be made a booty of by me, that it may go hence with a greater blessing than it first came. What, ought I to conceal what I know was brought to me as belonging to another? By no means will my friend Dæmones do that. 'Tis ever most becoming for prudent men to be on their guard against this, that they be not themselves confederates with their servants in evil-doing. Except only when I'm gaming, I don't care for any gain. GRIPUS
At times, I've seen the Comedians, when acting, in this fashion repeat sayings in a wise manner, and be applauded for them, when they pointed out this prudent conduct to the public. But when each person went thence his own way home, there wasn't one after the fashion which they had recommended. DÆM.
Go in-doors, don't be troublesome, moderate your tongue. I'm going to give you nothing, don't you deceive yourself. GRIPUS
apart . Then I pray the Gods that whatever's in that wallet, whether it's gold, or whether silver, it may all become ashes. Goes into the cottage. DÆM.
This is the reason why we have bad servants. For this master, if he had combined with any servant, would have made both himself and the other guilty of a theft. While he was thinking that he himself had made a capture, in the meantime he himself would have been made a capture: capture would have led to capture. Now will I go in-doors from here and sacrifice; after that, I'll at once order the dinner to be cooked for us. Goes into the cottage.
Enter PLESIDIPPUS and TRACHALIO, at the further end of the stage.
Tell me all these things over again my life, my Trachalio, my freed-man, my patron, aye rather, my father; has Palæstra found her father and mother? TRACHALIO
She has found them. PLESIDIPPUS
And is she my countrywoman? TRACHALIO
So I think. PLESIDIPPUS
And is she to marry me? TRACHALIO
So I suspect. PLESIDIPPUS
Prithee, do you reckon that he will betroth her to me? TRACHALIO
So I reckon26. PLESIDIPPUS
Well, shall I congratulate her father too upon his finding her? TRACHALIO
So I reckon. PLESIDIPPUS
Well, her mother too? TRACHALIO
So I reckon. PLESIDIPPUS
What then do you reckon? TRACHALIO
What you ask me, I reckon. PLESIDIPPUS
Tell me then how much do you reckon it at? TRACHALIO
What I, I reckon---- PLESIDIPPUS
Then really, do carry over27. Don't be always making a reckoning. TRACHALIO
So I reckon. PLESIDIPPUS
What if I run? Pretends to run. TRACHALIO
So I reckon. PLESIDIPPUS
Or rather gently, this way? He walks slowly. TRACHALIO
So I reckon. PLESIDIPPUS
Ought I to salute her as well when I arrive? TRACHALIO
So I reckon. PLESIDIPPUS
Her father too? TRACHALIO
So I reckon. PLESIDIPPUS
After that, her mother? TRACHALIO
So I reckon. PLESIDIPPUS
And what after that? When I arrive, should I also embrace her father? TRACHALIO
So I don't reckon. PLESIDIPPUS
Well, her mother? TRACHALIO
So I don't reckon. PLESIDIPPUS
Well, her own self? TRACHALIO
So I don't reckon. PLESIDIPPUS
Confusion, he has closed his reckoning28; now when I wish him, he doesn't reckon. TRACHALIO
You are not in your senses; follow me. PLESIDIPPUS
Conduct me, my patron, where you please. They go into the cottage of DÆMONES.
1 Echard remarks that the interval between the last Act and this is filled up with Plesidippus carrying Labrax before the Prætor and his trial, an, likewise with what passes in Dæmones' house.
2 The Prætor: The slave about to be manumitted, or to receive his freedom, was taken before the Prætor, whose lictor laid the "vindicta" or "festuca," "the rod of liberty," on the head of the slave, on which he received his freedom.
3 Land and houses: Is not this wonderfully like Alnaschar's reverie in the Arabian Nights, so aptly quoted in the Spectator?
5 Upon vinegar: He alludes to the "posca," or vinegar and water, which formed the beverage of the slaves, and which is mentioned by Palæstrio in the Miles Gloriosus, l. 836.
6 This rope: This is the first mention of the "rudens," or "netrope," from which the Play derives its name.
7 Claimed as having a right to freedom: "Manu asserere" was "to assert" or "claim the liberty of a slave by action at law." Gripus applies the term to the fish of the sea, and means to say that when he catches them, he sells them as his own "venales," or "slaves."
8 Article that's made: "Vas." An utensil or article that is manufactured.
9 Maker of wallets: "Vitor," or "vietor," was a maker of "viduli," or "wallets," which were made of osier, and then covered with leather of various colours.
11 With a polypus fish: The polypus not being eatable, the fishermen would throw it violently on the ground on finding it in the nets.
13 Rather than I: Dæmones here alludes to the disposition of his wife, and says that if the damsels do not quit his house, he shall be obliged to do so in self-defence.
14 Has he got the better: In the use of the word "comprimere," an indecent double entendre is intended; and agreeing with Gripus's remark, that the word in that sense could not be applied to him, Dæmones says that Gripus is right there, at all events.
15 The trinkets: These "crepundia," "trinkets" or "toys," seem to have been not unlike the amulets, or charms, in metal, of the present day. As kidnapping was in ancient times much more prevalent than now, these little articles, if carefully preserved by the child, might be the means of leading to the discovery of its parents; at the same time it may be Justly asked how it came to pass that the kidnapper should allow such damning evidence of his villany to remain in existence.
16 Of my way of thinking: “"Dum hic hinc à me sentiat."” This is clearly the meaning, though one translation renders this line thus: "I easily bear all those things until this fellow may feel that he must go away hence from me," and TRACHALIO moves farther off as he delivers the next line.
17 Casket of wicker-work: "Caudeam." Festus tells us that this kind of casket was made of wicker, and received its name from its resemblance to a horse's tail, "cauda;" others, however, perhaps with more probability, derive it from "caudex," "a piece of wood."
18 In vain will she: By this he clearly means to say that conjuring is all nonsense, and that she has no chance of telling what is in it merely by guessing.
19 Take it: " Hoc habe." This, though not adopted by Fleckeisen, seems to be the right reading, and we have followed the conjecture of the learned Rost in adopting it. Gripus undoes the strap, then holds the wallet to his master, saying, "Take it, it's unfastened." Dæmones takes it, and at once draws out the casket, on seeing which Girpus makes an exclamation of surprise and disappointment.
20 A golden drop: The "bulla" was a ball of metal, so called from its resemblance in shape to a drop or bubble of water. These were especially worn by the Roman children, suspended from the neck, and were generally made of thin plates of gold, of about the size of a walnut. The use of them was derived from the people of Etruria, and though originally used solely by the children of the Patricians, they were subsequently worn by all of free birth. The children of the "libertini," or "freed-men," wore "bullæ," but made of leather. The "bulla" was laid aside at the same time as the "toga prætexta," and was on that occasion consecrated to the Lares. It must be owned that the "little sow," mentioned in the line before, was rather a curious soit of trinket. Thornton thinks that the word "sucula" admitted of a double entendre, though of what nature is now unknown.
21 Falls to the lot: He forgets here that "Self-praise is no recommendation."
22 Very well: "Licet." This word is used by Trachalio in answer to everything that Dæmones says to him.
23 Very well: Here Dæmones begins to pay him in his own coin, and answers him with "licet" until he makes his exit.
24 His "very-welling": "Cum suâ licentiâ." In the latter word he alludes to Trachalio having bored him with his "licets," although, having given him a Roland for his Oliver, he might have surely been content with that.
25 This booty seems to me: This passage is very obscure, and has been variously interpreted. He seems, however, to mean that more good will come of restoring the booty to its owner than of keeping it.
26 So I reckon: For the sake of mere nonsense, Trachalio begins to trifle with his master, by giving him the answer of "censeo" to everything he says; just as he gave his repeated answers of "licet" to Dæmones before leaving
27 Do carry over: "At sume quidem," though not given by Fleckeisen, has been here adopted as the reading. "Censeo" seems to mean "to reckon up," as well as "to think." Salmasius and Gronovius suggest, and with fair reason, that he means jocularly to say, "Don't be always reckoning, but cast up and carry over."
28 Closed his reckoning: "Dilectum dimisit." This expression is explained by some Commentators as alluding to the enlisting of soldiers, to which the word "censeo" was applicable. The play on the word "censeo" throughout this Scene is enwrapt in great obscurity.
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