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Enter PLANESIUM, followed by PHÆDROMUS, from his house.
My Phædromus, make haste. PHÆD.
Make haste for what? PLANESIUM
That you mayn't let the Parasite escape; the affair's of consequence. PHÆD.
Nothing have I1 of consequence; for what I did have I quickly made away with? Seizes CURCULIO. I've got him; what's the matter? PLANESIUM
Ask him whence he got that ring: my father used to wear it. CURCULIO
Why, troth, and so did my aunt. PLANESIUM
My mother gave it him to wear. CURCULIO
And your father, in his turn, to me. PLANESIUM
You are talking nonsense. CURCULIO
I'm in the habit; for by reason of it I make a livelihood the more easily. What is the matter now? PLANESIUM
I entreat you, don't be keeping me from finding my parents. CURCULIO
How can I? Have I got your father and mother hidden beneath the stone? Holding up the ring. PLANESIUM
I was born a free woman. CURCULIO
And so were many others, who are now in servitude. PLANESIUM
Really now, I'm vexed. CURCULIO
For my part, I've told you how this came into my possession. How often must you be told? I cheated the Captain at dice, I tell you. THERAPONTIGONUS. THERAPONTIGONUS
eyeing CURCULIO . I'm all right; see, here he is whom I was looking for. How do you do, good sir? CURCULIO
I hear you; three casts of the dice, if you like, even for that scarf of yours. THERAPONTIGONUS
Why don't you go to very perdition, with your casts and catch-pennies2? Either give me back the money or the young woman? CURCULIO
with an air of surprise . What money? what rubbish are you talking about to me? What young woman are you demanding back of me? THER. The one that you took away this day from the Procurer, you scoundrelly fellow. CURCULIO
I took none away. THERAPONTIGONUS
Why, surely, I see her. There she is. Pointing to PLANESIUM. PHÆD.
This young woman is free. THERAPONTIGONUS
What, my female slave free, to whom I have never given her liberty? PHÆD.
Who gave you possession of her, or of whom did you buy her? Let me know that? THERAPONTIGONUS
Why, I paid the money for her through my banker--a sum which I'll have refunded to me fourfold by you and the Procurer. PHÆD.
You, who understand how to traffic in young women, kidnapped and of free birth, come you before the judge. THERAPONTIGONUS
I shan't come. PHÆD.
I may call my witness3 to the summons. THERAPONTIGONUS
No, you mayn't. PHÆD.
May Jupiter then utterly confound you: live without witnesses4 then. CURCULIO
But I'm a person that he may summon. PHÆD.
to CURCULIO . Do you step this way. THERAPONTIGONUS
What? A slave summoned as a witness? Take you care. CURCULIO
Well, that you may know it, I'm free. THERAPONTIGONUS
Then come before the judge. There's for you: take that. Gives him a blow. CURCULIO
O townsmen, townsmen, help. THERAPONTIGONUS
Why do you bawl so? PHÆD.
What right have you to strike him? THERAPONTIGONUS
Because I choose. PHÆD.
to CURCULIO . Step this way you pushes him towards the CAPTAIN ; there, I'll give him up to you. Hold your noise. CURCULIO
Phædromus, prithee do save me. PHÆD.
As I would myself and my own good Genius. Captain, prithee, do tell me whence you got that ring, which this Parasite purloined from you. PLANESIUM
kneeling before the CAPTAIN . By your knees, I do entreat you to give us that information. THERAPONTIGONUS
What matters that to you? You might as well ask after this sabre and this scarf, how each came into my possession. CURCULIO
What airs the swaggerer does give himself! THERAPONTIGONUS
Send that fellow away pointing to CURCULIO ; then I'll tell you all. CURCULIO
It's nonsense what he says. PHÆD.
Prithee, do let me know. THERAPONTIGONUS
I'll tell you: to PLANESIUM get up. Listen to this matter, and give attention. My father Periphanes used to wear it. PLANESIUM
Ha! Periphanes? THERAPONTIGONUS
He, before he died, gave it to me as being his son, as it was right he should. PLANESIUM
O Jupiter! THERAPONTIGONUS
And on that occasion he made me his heir. PLANESIUM
O filial affection, do thou preserve me, since I have carefully preserved thee. Welcome, my brother. THERAPONTIGONUS
How am I to believe that? Tell me, if you are speaking the truth, who was your mother? PLANESIUM
Who was your nurse? PLANESIUM
Archestrata. Amid the sacred rites of Bacchus she had carried me to see the sights * * * * * * * after we had come thither, when now she had found me a place, a whirlwind arose5; the scaffolding6 of the stage there tumbled down; I was greatly alarmed, and then some one, I know not who, seized hold of me trembling and frightened, neither alive nor dead; and in what manner he carried me off I cannot say. THERAPONTIGONUS
I recollect that disturbance happening; but, do you tell me, where is this person, who carried you away? PLANESIUM
I know not; but showing a ring this ring I have all along preserved by me, with it long since was I lost. THERAPONTIGONUS
Give it me to look at. CURCULIO
to PLANESIUM . Are you in your senses to be trusting it to that fellow? Holds her arm. PLANESIUM
Do you only leave me alone. (She gives it to the CAPTAIN.) THERAPONTIGONUS
examining it . O Jupiter! This is the same that I presented you upon your birthday; I recognize it as easily as my own self. Welcome to you, my sister. PLANESIUM
My brother, welcome to you. PHÆD.
I trust the Gods will prosper this matter for you. CURCULIO
And I, for all of us. To the CAPTAIN. Do you, as having this day arrived, give a dinner in honor of your sister he pointing to PHÆDROMUS , to-morrow, will give one in honor of his marriage; we promise that. PIÆD.
to CURCULIO . Do you hold your tongue. CURCULIO
I shan't hold my tongue, as things are turning out so well. Captain, do you promise her to him; I'll give the marriage-portion. THERAPONTIGONUS
What is the marriage-portion? CURCULIO
What, that I give? Why, that always as long as he lives he's to feed me. THERAPONTIGONUS
I' troth, he says what's fair; with my consent you shall do so. But this Procurer owes me the thirty minæ. PHÆD.
For what reason so? THERAPONTIGONUS
Because he agreed with me on these terms to give it back: that if any one should assert her to be free born in due course of law, he would, without dispute, pay back all the money. CURCULIO
Then let's go to the Procurer. THERAPONTIGONUS
I agree. PHÆD.
This first I wish; to despatch my matter. THERAPONTIGONUS
What's that? PHÆD.
That you will betroth her to me. The CAPTAIN considers. CURCULIO
Why do you hesitate, Captain, to give her as a wife to him? THERAPONTIGONUS
If she is agreable. PLANESIUM
My brother, it is my wish. THERAPONTIGONUS
So be it then. CURCULIO
You do rightly. PHÆD.
Captain, do you betroth me to her for my wife? THERAPONTIGONUS
I do betroth her. PHÆD.
pointing to CURCULIO . And to him do I promise support at my expense. CURCULIO
You do kindly. But * * * * * * * * THER,
* * * * * But see, here's the Procurer coming; my treasurer7, I mean.
1 Nothing have I: Planesium says, "res," "the affair," is urgent. Phædromus, understanding the word as meaning "property," says, "I've got none; what I had, I soon squandered."
2 Casts and catch-pennies: "Cum bolis, cum bulbis." Literally "with your casts of dice and your onions." He probably uses the word "bulbis" solely for its similarity to "bolis," by way of alliteration. A little variation is made in the translation, to keep the spirit of the passage, which it is impossible to do by adhering to the letter.
3 Call my witness: It was a custom with the Romans, when a man was summoned by another to go with him at once before the Prætor, for the plaintiff, if the defendant would not go quietly, to call any bystander to be witness (antestari) that he had been duly summnened; and, having touched the ear of the witness, the latter was bound to aid in dragging the defendant to court. Only free persons could be witnesses. For this reason the Captain tells Phædromus that he cannot summon a witness on this occasion, as he knows that Planesium is not free, and supposes that Curculio is also a slave.
4 Without witnesses: "Intestatus." An indelicate allusion tended in this line.
5 A whirlwind arose: Many mishaps appear to have happened to families through the lawlessness and violence of which the Festivals of the Divinities were the occasion.
6 The scaffolding: Suetonius tells us that the reign of Tiberius was rendered memorable by the fall of the scaffolding in the theatre of Fidenæ.
7 My treasurer: In allusion to the money which he intends to have back from the Procurer. "Thesaurum" seems here to have the signification of "treasurer" or "treasury."
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