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What's the matter?

I want the chains to be got ready.

Listen to me, I beg of you; afterwards order them to bind me as much as you please.

I will hear you; but hasten the matter very quickly.

If you order me to be tortured to death, see what you obtain; in the first place, you have the death of your slave. Then, what you wish for you cannot get. But if you had only allured me by the reward of dear liberty, you would already have obtained your wish. Nature produces all men free, and by nature all desire freedom. Slavery is worse than every evil, than every calamity; and he whom Jupiter hates, him he first makes a slave.

You speak not unwisely

Now then hear the rest. Our age has produced masters too grasping, whom I'm in the habit of calling Harpagos, Harpies, and Tantali, poor amid great wealth, and thirsty in the midst of the waters of Ocean; no riches are enough for them, not those of Midas, not of Crœsus; not all the wealth of the Persians can satisfy their Tartarean maw. Masters use their slaves rigorously, and slaves now obey their masters but tardily; so on neither side is that done which would be fair to be done. Their provisions, kitchens, and store-cellars, avaricious old fellows shut up with a thousand keys. Slaves, thievish, doubledealers, and artful, open for themselves things shut up with a thousand keys, which the owners hardly like to be granted to their lawful children, and stealthily do they carry off, consume, and lick them up--fellows that will never disclose their hundred thefts even at the gibbet; thus in laughter and joking do bad slaves take revenge upon their slavery. So then, I come to the conclusion that liberality renders slaves faithful.

Rightly, indeed, have you spoken, but not in a few words, as you promised me. But if I do make you free, will you give me back what I'm asking for?

I will give it back; but I wish for witnesses to be present; you'll pardon me, master, I trust you but little.

Just as you please; let there be present even a hundred; then I shouldn't care about it.

going to the door of the house of MEGADORUS . Megadorus, and you, Eunomia, please come here, I beg of you; the business finished, you shall return directly.

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