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PROLOGUEThe Prologue: It is generally supposed that this Prologue, with the exception of the last two lines, was not written by Plautus it is, however, of grest antiquity, and is found in most of the MSS.
ATTEND to me this day; good things I bring upon the stage; for I think 'tis very just that to the good good things should be brought; as likewise bad things to the bad; that those who are bad may have what's bad, those who are good what's good; bad men are bad because they hate the good; because the good contemn the bad, needs must be that they are good; and therefore, you are good since you have ever abhorred the bad; and both by your laws, Quirites, and by your legions, have you routed them with good success. In like manner now do you give your goodly attention to this goodly company, which is a good one, and. to good people brings this day good things. Ears, eyes, and understanding, shall be amply filled. He that comes hungry or thirsty to the theatre, the same shall carefully give his attention both through laughter and a sharpened stomach; while those who are full will laugh, the hungry will be carping. Now, if you are wise, you hungry ones, give place, and go away; you who are full, stand--aye, sit you down, and give attention. I shall not now divulge the plot, nor yet the name of this play--Pseudolus will fully do that. I imagine then and I think that this is enough which I have said to you. Where mirth, jokes, laughter, wine, and jollity, are the order of the day, the Graces, too, and propriety, joyousness, and delight; he who seeks for other things, that person appears to seek for evil. Away, then, with evil cares, as being men at your ease this day. 'Tis better for your loins to be stretched2, and for you to arise. A long play of Plautus is coming upon the stage.
1 The Prologue: It is generally supposed that this Prologue, with the exception of the last two lines, was not written by Plautus it is, however, of grest antiquity, and is found in most of the MSS.
2 Loins to be stretched: In the sitting position, the muscles of the loins are contracted; hence the present expression.
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