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Enter ADELPHASIUM, ANTERASTYLIS, and an ATTENDANT.
The man who wants to find abundance of employment for himself--a woman and a ship, these two things, let him procure; for no two things do produce more trouble, if, perchance, you begin to equip them; neither are these two things ever equipped enough, nor is the largest amount of equipment sufficient for them. And as I mention these things, from experience at home do I now say thus; for we two, even from daybreak up to the present hour of the day, have never ceased either washing, or scrubbing, or rubbing, or dressing, smoothing, polishing, painting, trimming, with all our might, and at the same time the two maid-servants, that have been provided for each of us, have been giving us their assistance in washing and cleaning; and in carrying water two men have become quite weary. Fie upon it! how great a plague there is in one female. But if there are two, I know full well that they are able to give to any one, the mightiest nation whatsoever, more trouble than enough, in being night and day, always, at all hours, dressing, washing, rubbing, polishing. In fine, there's no moderation in women, nor do we understand how ever to set a limit to washing and scrubbing. But she who is washed clean, unless she is thoroughly dressed, in my notion at least, is just as though she were dirty. ANTERASTYLIS
I really wonder, sister, that you talk in this fashion; you who are so knowing, and discreet, and clever; for when with all care we have ourselves in trim, hardly and with difficulty do we find poor pitiful admirers. ADELPHASIUM
Such is the fact; but still reflect upon this one thing; a limit is best to be observed in all things, sister; all things in excess give too much trouble to mortals of themselves. ANTERASTYLIS
Sister, prithee, do reflect that we are accounted just in the same way as pickled salt-fish1 is thought of--without any relish and without sweetness; unless full oft and long it is soaked in water, it smells badly, and is salt, so that you cannot touch it. Just so are we. Women of this class are utterly tasteless, and devoid of grace, without dress and expense. MILPHIO
apart . She surely is a cook, Agorastocles, according to my notion; she knows how to soak pickled fish. AGORASTOCLES
pushing him away . Why are you thus troublesome? ADELPHASIUM
Sister, do, there's a dear, forbear. It's quite sufficient for others to say that to us, not to be ourselves as well proclaiming our foibles. ANTERASTYLIS
I'll have done, then. ADELPHASIUM
I thank you: but now answer me this; are all things here which ought to be provided for propitiating the Gods? ANTERASTYLIS
I've taken care of everything. AGORASTOCLES
apart . How charming and joyous a day, and full of delight, worthy of Venus, by my troth, whose Aphrodisia are celebrated to-day! MILPHIO
apart . Any thanks for me, for calling you out of doors? Oughtn't I now to be presented with a cask of old wine? Say it shall be given. Don't you answer me? His tongue has fallen out, I imagine. What, plague on it, have you been struck with amazement standing here? He shakes him. AGORASTOCLES
apart . Do let me love on; don't disturb me, and do hold your peace. MILPHIO
apart . I'll hold my peace. AGORASTOCLES
apart . If you had held your peace, why then that "I'll hold my peace" would not have been in existence. ANTERASTYLIS
Let's go, my sister. She moves. ADELPHASIUM
How now--why, prithee, are you now hastening that way? ANTERASTYLIS
Do you ask me? Because our master is waiting for us at the Temple of Venus. ADELPHASIUM
Let him wait, i' faith. Do you stay; there's a crowd just now at the altar. Do you wish yourself to be pushed about among those common prostitutes, the doxies of bakers, the cast-offs of the spelt-bread sellers; wretched creatures, daubed over with grease2, followers of poor slaves, who stink for you of their stable and stall3, their seats and very sheds; whom, in fact, not a single freeman has ever touched or taken home with him, the twopenny strumpets4 of dirty trumpery slaves? MILPHIO
apart . Away with you to utter perdition! Do you dare, then, to despise the slaves, you hussey? As if she was a beauty, as if kings were in the habit of making her their choice. A monstrosity of a woman! Diminutive as she is, she does spit out such mighty words--seven nights with whom I wouldn't purchase at a cupful of vapour. AGORASTOCLES
apart . Immortal and omnipotent Divinities, what is there among you more beauteous? What have you that I should deem you more immortal than I am myself. in beholding with my eyes these delights so great? But Venus is not Venus; for my own part, her will I worship as Venus; that she may love me and prove propitious. Milphio!--hallo! Milphio, where are you? MILPHIO
apart . See, here I am with you. AGORASTOCLES
apart . But I want you boiled5. MILPHIO
apart . Why really, master, you are making merry. AGORASTOCLES
apart . Why, it was from yourself I learnt all this. MILPHIO
apart . What, even to be in love with her whom you have never touched? Really, that is nonsense. AGORASTOCLES
apart . I' faith, the Gods as well do I love and fear from whom, nevertheless, I keep off my hands. ANTERASTYLIS
Alas! upon my word, when I look at the dress of us both, I'm grieved at the way we are dressed out. ADELPHASIUM
Why really, it's quite in a proper style; for our master's gain and our own we are dressed quite well enough. For no profits can result, if the outlay exceeds them, sister; therefore, that is better to be had which is enough, than that which is more than enough. AGORASTOCLES
apart . So may the Gods love me, may she love me (I had rather she than the Gods), Milphio; why, this woman has it in her power to force a flint-stone to be in love with her. MILPHIO
apart . Upon my faith, in that you certainly tell no lie, for you are more senseless than a flint-stone to be in love with her.< AGORASTOCLES
apart . But consider this, will you; I've never soiled her6 with a kiss. MIL. apart . I'll run, then, somewhere to a fish-pond or a pool, and fetch some soil. AGORASTOCLES
apart . What need is there of that? MILPHIO
apart . I'll tell you; to soil her lips and yours. AGORASTOCLES
apart . To utter perdition with you! MILPHIO
apart . For my part, I'm there already. AGORASTOCLES
apart . Do you persist? MILPHIO
apart . I'll hold my tongue. AGORASTOCLES
apart . But I wish you to do so always. MILPHIO
apart . Why really, master, you challenge me at my own game, and still you make fun of me. ANTERASTYLIS
At present, sister, I suppose you think yourself quite well enough drest; but when the instances of other courtesans are compared, then you will be having the heartache, if perchance you should see any one more nicely drest. ADELPHASIUM
Envy was never inbred in me, my sister, nor yet spitefulness: I had rather by far that I was adorned with a good disposition than with gold; gold is met with by luck, a good disposition is found by nature. I very much prefer for myself to be called good than fortunate. It more befits a courtesan to show modesty than purple; and more does it become a courtesan to show modesty than golden jewels. Evil habits soil a fine dress more than mud; good manners, by their deeds, easily set off a lowly garb. AGORASTOCLES
apart to MILPHIO . How now, you; would you like to play a merry and a frolicsome prank? MILPHIO
apart . I should like. AGORASTOCLES
apart . Can you, then, give attention to me? MILPHIO
apart . I can. AGORASTOCLES
apart . Be off home, and go hang yourself. MILPHIO
apart . Why? AGO. apart . Because you'll never again hear so many words as sweet as these. What need have you to live? Only listen to me, and go hang yourself. MILPHIO
apart Why yes, if, like grapes that are drying7, you'll hang together with me. AGORASTOCLES
apart . But I do love her. MILPHIO
apart . But I, to eat and drink. ADELPHASIUM
to her SISTER . How now, you? How say you--? ANTERASTYLIS
What is it you ask me? ADELPHASIUM
Do you see? My eyes which were full of dirt, are they clear now? ANTERASTYLIS
looking close at her eyes . Why, even still there's a little dirt in the middle of the eye. ADELPHASIUM
Lend me your right hand, please. AGORASTOCLES
apart . And would you really touch or rub her eyes with unwashed hands? ANTERASTYLIS
Too great indolence has taken possession of us to-day. ADELPHASIUM
For what reason, prithee? ANTERASTYLIS
Why, because we didn't come long since, before daylight, to the Temple of Venus, to be the first to place fire upon her altar. ADELPHASIUM
O, there's no need for doing that; those who have faces suited for the night only, make haste to go and sacrifice by night; before Venus is awake, they are already hurrying with all haste to sacrifice; for if they were to come when Venus is awake, so ugly are they, upon my faith, I do believe they would drive Venus herself away from the Temple. AGORASTOCLES
apart . Milphio! MIL. apart . Poor Milphio, i' faith! What do you want with me now? AGORASTOCLES
apart . Troth now, prithee, do mark how she speaks honied wine! MILPHIO
apart , Nothing at all, except tile- cakes8, sesamum, and poppies, wheat and parched nuts. AGORASTOCLES
apart . Do I seem at all to be in love? MILPHIO
apart . In love to your loss, a thing that Mercury is by no means in love with9. AGORASTOCLES
apart . Why, really, by my troth, it befits no lover to be in love with pelf. ANTERASTYLIS
Let's go, my sister. ADELPHASIUM
Do, please, just as you like. Follow me this way. ANTERASTYLIS
I'll follow. They move. AGORASTOCLES
apart . They are going. What if we accost them? MILPHIO
apart . You accost them. AGORASTOCLES
going towards them . In the first place, health to you, the elder; and you, the younger, health to you in the second degree of estimation; to the ATTENDANT you, the third, health to you, without any place in my estimation. ATT.
In that case, faith, I've wasted my oil and my labour. AGORASTOCLES
to ADELPHASIUM . Whither are you betaking yourself? ADELPHASIUM
What I? To the Temple of Venus. AGORASTOCLES
Why thither? ADELPHASIUM
To propitiate Venus. AGORASTOCLES
How now? Is she angry, then? Upon my faith, she is propitious. I will even answer for her. Stands before her. ADELPHASIUM
What are you about? Prithee, why are you annoying me? AGORASTOCLES
Thus cruel? Alas! ADELPHASIUM
Let me go away, I beg of you. AGORASTOCLES
Why in such a hurry? There's a crowd there at present. ADELPHASIUM
I know it; there are other females there whom I wish to see, and by whom to be seen. AGORASTOCLES
How can it give you pleasure to look at ugly people, and to afford one so beauteous to be looked at? ADELPHASIUM
Because to-day, at the Temple of Venus, there's a fair for the courtesans; there the dealers meet; there I wish myself to be shown. AGORASTOCLES
To wares unsaleable, its right to entice the buyer of one's own accord; good wares easily meet with a purchaser, although they may be placed in concealment. How say you? When, at my house here pointing will you lay your head and side by me? ADELPHASIUM
On the day on which Orcus sends away the dead10 from Acheron. AGORASTOCLES
I've got in-doors I know not how many golden coins in a state of madness. ADELPHASIUM
Bring them to me; I'll make their madness pretty soon come to an end. MILPHIO
with indignation . A nice one, upon my word! AGORASTOCLES
Away to utter and extreme perdition with you, and go and be hanged! MILPHIO
aside to AGORASTOCLES . The more I look at her, the more insignificant11 she is, and a mere bauble. AGORASTOCLES
Keep your prating to yourself; I'm tired of it. To ADELPHASIUM. Come, do lift up this outer garment. Raises it from the ground, and attempts to embrace her. ADELPHASIUM
I'm in a state of purity12; prithee forbear to touch me, Agorastocles. AGORASTOCLES
What am I to do, then? ADELPHASIUM
If you are wise, you may be saving yourself your anxiety. AGORASTOCLES
What? Me not be anxious on your account? What are you about, Milphio? Beckons to him. MILPHIO
aside . See now, my aversion, this13. Aloud. What is it you want with me? AGORASTOCLES
pointing to ADELPHASIUM . Why is she angry with me? MILPHIO
Why is she angry with you? Why should I trouble myself about that? For that is rather your own concern. AGORASTOCLES
On my word, it's all over with you this very instant, if you don't make her as smooth for me as the sea is at the time when the halcyon14 is rearing her young ones there. MILPHIO
What am I to do? AGORASTOCLES
Entreat her, soothe, and flatter her. MILPHIO
I'll do so with all diligence; but see, please, that you don't afterwards be giving this ambassador of yours a dressing with your fists. AGORASTOCLES
I'll not do so. ADELPHASIUM
to her SISTER . Let's now begone. AGORASTOCLES stands before her. Do you detain me still? You act badly; you make me many fair promises15; of those many, the whole come to nothing at all. Not once, but a hundred times, have you sworn to give me my freedom. While depending on you, I have neither anywhere procured any other resources for myself, nor is this assistance of yours at all visible. And thus none the less am I still a slave. Move on, sister. To AGORASTOCLES. Get you gone from me! AGORASTOCLES
Utterly undone! Come now, Milphio, what are you about? Points at ADELPHASIUM. MILPHIO
addressing ADELPHASIUM . My joy, my delight, my life, my pleasure, apple of my eye, my little lip, my health, my sweet kiss, my honey, my heart, my biestings, my cream-cheese---- AGORASTOCLES
aside . Am I to allow these things to be said in my presence? I'm quite distracted, wretch that I am, if I don't order him at full speed to be hurried off to the executioner in a chariot and four! MILPHIO
to ADELPHASIUM . Prithee, for my sake, don't be angry with my master. I'll make---- ADELPHASIUM
Let me alone. MILPHIO
You are too cross. He'll pay the money for you, and make you a citizen of Attica16, and a free woman. ADELPHASIUM
to MILPHIO, who is standing before her , But why don't you let me go away? What is it you want? Just as he wishes me well, in like manner do you wish me well. MILPHIO
If, indeed, he has deceived you before, from this time forward he shall be truthful to you. ADELPHASIUM
Get you gone hence, will you, you trepanner. MILPHIO
I'll obey you. But on what terms--do you understand? Do let me prevail upon you; do let me take you by those little ears17; do let me give you a kiss. By my troth, I shall now set him a> weeping, if I don't make you kind; and (unless I do make you kind he certainly will do it) I'm dreadfully afraid lest he should beat me. I know the harsh manners of this crabbed man. Wherefore, my delight, pray do let me prevail upon you. AGORASTOCLES
aside . I'm not a man worth threepence18, if I don't tear out the eyes and teeth of that whip-scoundrel. He beats MILPHIO. There's your delight for you! There's your honey! There's your heart! There are your biestings19! There's your health! There's your sweet kiss! Giving him a blow at each sentence. MILPHIO
Master, you are rendering yourself guilty of impiety! You are beating an ambassador. AGORASTOCLES
More than that even still. Beating him again. I shall now add the apple of the eye, the little lip too, and the tongue. MILPHIO
When will you be making an end? AGORASTOCLES
Was it in that fashion I requested you to plead for me? MILPHIO
How then was I to plead? AGORASTOCLES
Do you ask me that? Why thus you should have said, you scoundrel: "his" delight, I do entreat of you, "his" honey, "his" heart, "his" little lip, "his" tongue, "his" sweet kiss, "his" biestings, "his" sweet cream-cheese, you whip-scoundrel. All these things which you spoke of as yours, you should have mentioned as mine. MILPHIO
addressing ADELPHASIUM . By my troth, I do entreat you, his delight and my own aversion; his full-bosomed mistress, my enemy and evil-wisher; his eye, my eyesore; his honey, my gall--don't you be angry with him; or, if that cannot be, do take a rope and hang yourself, with your master and your household: for I see that henceforth, on your account, I shall have to live upon sighing; and as it is, I've already got my back about as hard with weals as an oyster-shell, by reason of your amours. ADELPHASIUM
Prithee, do you wish me to hinder him from beating you, rather than that he should not prove untrue towards me? ANTERASTYLIS
to her SISTER . Do answer him in somewhat kindly terms, there's a dear, that he mayn't be annoying to us; for he's detaining us from our purpose. ADELPHASIUM
That's true. This one fault more will I pardon you for, Agorastocles. I am not angry. AGORASTOCLES
You are not? ADELPHASIUM
I am not. AGORASTOCLES
That I may believe you, give me a kiss then. ADELPHASIUM
I'll give you one by-and-by, when I return from the sacrifice. AGORASTOCLES
Be off, then, in all haste. ADELPHASIUM
Follow me, sister. AGORASTOCLES
And do you hear too? Pay all compliments to Venus in my name. ADELPHASIUM
I'll pay them. AGORASTOCLES
Listen to this, too---- ADELPHASIUM
What is it? AGORASTOCLES
Perform the ceremony in few words. And do you hear? Look back at me. She looks back. She did look back. By my troth, I trust that Venus will do the same for you. ADELPHASIUM, ANTERASTYLIS, and ATTENDANT go into the Temple of Venus.
1 Pickled salt-fish: "Salsa muriatica." Literally. "the pickle of salt-fish," which is supposed by some to have been the thunny
2 Daubed over with grease: "Schœno." This is, by some, thought to have been a rank oil extracted from rushes. Meursius, however, ridicules the idea of an oil being made from rushes, and reads cœno, "dirt," in the present passage.
3 Of their stable and stall: She seems to refer to the lowest class of courtesans, and their seats in the prostitutes' sheds (mentioned by Ballio in the Pseudolus, l. 214) where they were exposed by the "lenones' to the public gaze.
4 Twopenny strumpets: "Diobolaria." Literally, "hired for a couple of obols."
5 I want you boiled: He puns upon the word "assum," which Milphio uses. He intends it to signify "here am I." But as it may also mean the neuter of the participle "assus," "roasted," Agorastocles chooses to take the sentence in the latter sense, as meaning "here I am roasted;" and answers, "I'd rather you were boiled."
6 Never soiled her: There is a puerile and rather Indelicate play in this line and the next two upon the resemblance of the word "limus," "mud," and "limo," "to rub." An attempt has been made to give something analogous in the Translatio"
7 Grapes that are drying: "Uva passa" were grapes hung up in the sun to dry, and then scalded, for the purpose of being used as raisins, or for making sweet wine.
8 Nothing at all, except tile-cakes: "Laterculi" were sweet cakes on biscuits, shaped like a tile or brick. The things here named were probably articles of homely diet, compared with honied wine.
9 Mercury is by no means in love with: As being the God of Merchandize and Profit.
10 Orcus sends away the dead: Which, of course, means never.
11 The more insignificant: "Nimbata." According to some Commentators, this word is a substantive here, and signifies a "slight fillet," of the same colour with the hair which the women used to wear upon the forehead; the idea of Turnebus, however, that it is an adjective, signifying "cloud-like," seems more likely to be correct.
12 A state of purity: This she says, probably, because she is especially careful to avoid pollution, by contact with the male sex, when on the eve of worshipping the Goddess in her Temple.
13 My aversion, this: "Odium meum." He forgets that Adelphasium is only the innocent cause of his master's anxiety.
14 when the halcyon: See the note to the Casina, l. 26.
15 Many fair promises: The semicolon seems to be more appropriately placed before than after "ex multis."
16 A citizen of Attica: Plautus evidently makes a slip here, forgetting that Calydon was in Ætolia, and not in Attica.
17 By those little ears: It was a common practice to take hold of the ears of the person kissed. The Greeks called this practice χυτρὰ, because it resembled the mode of taking up a kind of jug, which was so called, by its ears.
18 Woth threepence: "Trioboli." Literally, "of three obols"
19 Your biestings: "Colostra." This is the first milk after a cow has calved. It is much esteemed for its richness.
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