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Enter GRIPUS, from the cottage.
How soon may I have a word with you, Dæmones? DÆM.
What's your business, Gripus? GRIPUS
Touching that wallet, if you are wise, be wise; keep what goods the Gods provide you. DÆM.
Does it seem right to you, that, what belongs to another I should assert to be my own? GRIPUS
What, not a thing that I found in the sea? DÆM.
So much the better does it happen for him who lost it; none the more is it necessary that it should be your wallet. GRIPUS
For this reason are you poor because you are too scrupulously righteous. DÆM.
O Gripus, Gripus, in the life of man very many traps there are, in what they are deceived by guile. And, by my troth, full often is a bait placed in them, which bait if any greedy person greedily snaps at, through his own greediness he is caught in the trap. He who prudently, skilfully, and warily, takes precaution, full long he may enjoy that which is honestly acquired. This booty seems to me1 to be about to be made a booty of by me, that it may go hence with a greater blessing than it first came. What, ought I to conceal what I know was brought to me as belonging to another? By no means will my friend Dæmones do that. 'Tis ever most becoming for prudent men to be on their guard against this, that they be not themselves confederates with their servants in evil-doing. Except only when I'm gaming, I don't care for any gain. GRIPUS
At times, I've seen the Comedians, when acting, in this fashion repeat sayings in a wise manner, and be applauded for them, when they pointed out this prudent conduct to the public. But when each person went thence his own way home, there wasn't one after the fashion which they had recommended. DÆM.
Go in-doors, don't be troublesome, moderate your tongue. I'm going to give you nothing, don't you deceive yourself. GRIPUS
apart . Then I pray the Gods that whatever's in that wallet, whether it's gold, or whether silver, it may all become ashes. Goes into the cottage. DÆM.
This is the reason why we have bad servants. For this master, if he had combined with any servant, would have made both himself and the other guilty of a theft. While he was thinking that he himself had made a capture, in the meantime he himself would have been made a capture: capture would have led to capture. Now will I go in-doors from here and sacrifice; after that, I'll at once order the dinner to be cooked for us. Goes into the cottage.
1 This booty seems to me: This passage is very obscure, and has been variously interpreted. He seems, however, to mean that more good will come of restoring the booty to its owner than of keeping it.
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