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Enter EUCLIO, from his house, driving the COOKS and the MUSIC GIRL before him.
(calling out, while CONGRIO and the others are running off) Come back! Where are you running to, now? Hold you! LYCONIDES
Why are you crying out, you stupid? EUCLIO
Because this instant I shall give your name to the Triumvirs1. LYCONIDES
Because you've got a knife. LYCONIDES
'Tis the proper thing for a cook. EUCLIO
Why did you threaten me? LYCONIDES
I think that it was badly managed, that I didn't pierce your side with it. EUCLIO
There's not a person that's living this day a greater rascal than you, nor one to whom designedly I would with greater pleasure cause a mischief. LYCONIDES
I' faith, though2 you should hold your noise, really that's quite clear; the thing itself is its own witness. As it is, I'm made softer by far with your sticks than any ballet-dancer. But what right have you to touch us, you beggarman? What's the matter? EUCLIO
Do you even ask me? Is it that I've done less than I ought to have done? Only let me---- Is going to strike him. LYCONIDES
Now, by my faith, at your great peril, if this head should feel it! EUCLIO
Troth, I don't know what may happen3 hereafter; your head feels it just now! But what business, pray, had you in my house, in my absence, unless I had ordered you? I want to know that. LYCONIDES
Hold your noise, then; because we came to cook for the wedding. EUCLIO
Why the plague do you trouble yourself whether I eat meat raw or cooked, unless you are my tutor4. LYCONIDES
I want to know if you will allow or not allow us to cook the dinner here? EUCLIO
I, too, want to know whether my property will be safe in my house. LYCONIDES
I only wish to carry the things away safe that I brought here! I don't care for yours; should I be coveting your things? EUCLIO
I understand; don't teach me; I know. LYCONIDES
What is it, on account of which you now hinder us from cooking the dinner here? What have we done? What have we said to you otherwise than you could wish? EUCLIO
Do you even ask me, you rascally fellow? You who've been making a thoroughfare of every corner of my house, and the places under lock and key? If you had stopped by the fireside, where it was your business, you wouldn't have had your head broken. It has been done for you deservedly! Therefore that you may now know my determination; if you come nearer to the door here, unless I order you, I'll make you to be the most wretched of creatures. Do you now know my determination? He goes into his house. LYCONIDES
Where are you going? Come you back again! So may Laverna5 love me well, I'll expose you at once with loud abuse here before the house, if you don't order my utensils to be restored to me! What shall I do now? Verily, by my faith, I came here with unlucky auspices; I was hired for a didrachm6; I stand in more need now of a surgeon than of wages.
1 To the Triumvirs: "Trisviros." Though the scene is in Greece he refers to the "Triumviri capitales," who were Roman magistrates. They took cognizance of capital crimes, and they apprehended criminals. In conjunction with the Ædiles, they had to preserve the public peace, to prevent unlawful assemblies, and to enforce the payment of fines due to the state. They had also the care of the public prisons, and to them was entrusted the punishment of criminals. They had authority to inflict summary punishment upon the slaves and the lower orders, though, probably, not upon those who enjoyed the rights of Roman citizens.
2 I' faith, though: In Hildyard's edition this and the next line are given to Euclio; but they seem much more likely to belong to Congrio, as we do not find that any person has beat Euclio with sticks, whereas Congrio has already complained of the rough usage he has experienced.
3 What may happen: Euclio is laughing at his "ifs," which commence the saving-clause of all cowards. He does not care what Congrio will do but he knows that he has already made his head to feel it.
4 You are my tutor: One of the duties of the "pædagogus," or "tutor of boys," would be to see that they did not eat unwholesome food.
6 For a didrachm: "Nummo." It has been remarked, in the Notes to the Pseudolus, that a "nummus," or didrachm, of nearly twenty-pence of our money, was the wages of a good cook for a day's employment. See the Pseudolus, ll. 800--810.
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