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to himself . Servants who, though they are free from fault, still stand in awe of punishment, those same are wont to be serviceable to their masters. But those who fear nothing, after they have merited punishment, hit upon foolish plans for themselves: they exercise themselves in running; they take to flight. But, if they are caught, they acquire from punishment a hoard, which by good means they cannot. They increase from a very little, and from that they lay by a treasure. The resolution that's in my mind is to be determined to be on my guard against punishment, before my back comes to lose its state of soundness. As hitherto it has been, so does it become my hide still to be, without a bruise, and such that I should decline its being beaten. If I have any control over it, I shall keep it well covered up1. When punishment is being showered down on others, don't let it be showered down on me. But as servants wish their master to be, such is he wont to be. He is good to the good, bad to the bad. But now at our house at home there do live so many rogues, lavish of their property2, bearers of stripes. When they are called to go fetch their master, "I shan't go; don't be plaguing me; I know where you are hurrying off to," is the reply. "Now, faith, you mule, you're longing to go to pasturage out of doors3." With better deserts, this advantage have I reaped from them, and, in consequence, I have come from home. I alone, out of so many servants, am going to fetch my master. When, to-morrow, my master comes to know this, in the morning he will chastise them with bull's-hide spoils. In fine, I care less for their backs than for my own. Much rather shall they be bull's-hide-scourged than I be rope-scourged4. Moves on.
1 Well covered up: He alludes to the practice of stripping disobedient slaves, for the purpose of flogging them.
2 Lavish of their property: That is, of their backs.
3 To pasturage out of doors: This was probably a proverbial, phrase for going to the "thermopolium," the "hot liquor-shop" or "tippling- house," so much frequented by the slaves. See the Trinummus, l. 1013, and the Note to the passage.
4 Bull's-hide-scourged--rope scourged: "Bucædæ--restio." The latter word properly signifies "a ropemaker." The former is probably coined by Plautus.
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