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Enter ARGYRIPPUS, from the house of CLEÆRETA, addressing her within.

ARGYRIPPUS
Is't thus it is,--me to be shut out of doors? Is this the reward that's given to me who deserve so highly of you? To him who deserves well you are unkind, to him who deserves ill you are indulgent. But to your own misfortune, for now from this spot will I go to the Triumvirs1, and there I'll take care your names shall be. I'll punish capitally yourself and your daughter, you enticers, pests, and destruction of young men! For, compared with you, the sea is not the sea; you are a most dangerous sea. For on the sea did I find it, here have I been cleaned out of my wealth. What I have given, and what kindnesses I have done, I find them all valueless for good, and thrown away. But from hence-forth, whatever harm I shall be able to do you, I will do it, and do it at your deserts. I' faith, I'll reduce you to the verge of poverty, that state from which you have risen. By my troth, I'll make you to know what you now are, and what you once were; what you were before I visited that daughter of yours, and, in my passion, bestowed upon her my affection; on coarse bread2 you were enjoying your life, in rags, and in want. And if these you had, especial thanks did you return to all the Divinities. Now, bad woman, you the same person, when 'tis better with you, don't know me through whose means it is so. From a wild beast, I'll make you tame through hunger, only trust me for that3. But I have no reason to blame your daughter herself; she does not deserve it in the least. She acts by your command; she obeys your bidding; you are her mother, you too her mistress. I'll revenge myself on you; I'll ruin you; as you are deserving, and as you merit at my hands. But look now, the hag, how she really doesn't think me worthy for her to come to and address and deprecate my resentment. But, see, the enticer's coming out at last, I think. Here. before the door, I'll address her in my own fashion, as I please, since I'm not allowed to do so within.

1 To the Triumvirs: The "Tresviri," or "Triumviri," were in duty bound to receive informations relative to public morals, and were empowered to inflict summary punishment on persons of the rank and occupation of Cleæreta. They have been more fully referred to in a previous Note. It will not be forgotten that, though the scene is in Athens, Plautus is making reference to Roman customs.

2 On coarse bread: "Sordido--pane." According to the Commentators, this means brown bread with the bran in it. Terence, in his Eunuchus, calls it "panis ater," "black bread" Juvenal calls it "dog's bread."

3 Trust me for that: "Me specta modo."Literally, "only look to me."

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