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Enter GELASIMUS.

GELASIMUS
... to the AUDIENCE . But as I had begun to tell you; while I have been absent hence, I've now been consulting with my friends and with my relatives. They have been my advisers to the effect that I should this very day kill myself with starvation. But don't I see Pamphilus with his brother Epignomus? Yes, 'tis he. I'll accost the man. Goes up to PAMPHILUS. O longed-for Pamphilus! O my salvation! O my life! O my delight! right welcome. I rejoice that you've returned safe from abroad to your native land. Welcome.

PAMPHILUS
Welcome, Gelasimus.

GELASIMUS
Have you been quite well?

PAMPHILUS
I have taken good care of my health.

GELASIMUS
I' troth, I'm glad of it. I' faith, I confoundedly wish I had now a thousand measures of silver.

EPIGNOMUS
What need have you of it?

GELASIMUS
I' faith, that I might invite him to dinner, and not invite you.

EPIGNOMUS
You are talking against your own interest.

GELASIMUS
This, then, that I might invite you both * * * * * * for my part * * * * * I should not avoid1 * * * * * * there is nothing so * as this * * * *

EPIGNOMUS
Troth, now, I'd ask you with pleasure, if there were room left.

GELASIMUS
Well, standing, then, I'll gobble down a bit in the scramble.

EPIGNOMUS
No, only this one thing can be done.

GELASIMUS
What?

EPIGNOMUS
When the guests have gone, that then you may come----

GELASIMUS
Hurra! capital!

EPIGNOMUS
To wash the pots, I mean; not to dinner.

GELASIMUS
The Gods confound you! What say you, Pamphilus?

PAMPHILUS
I' troth, this day I'm engaged to dine elsewhere abroad.

GELASIMUS
How, abroad?

PAMPHILUS
Really abroad, on my word.

GELASIMUS
How the plague do you like, thus wearied, to be supping abroad?

PAMPHILUS
Which do you advise me?

GELASIMUS
Order a dinner to be cooked at home, and word to be sent to him who invited you.

PAMPHILUS
Shall I dine at home, alone?

GELASIMUS
Why, not alone; invite me.

PAMPHILUS
But I'm afraid lest he should scold me, who has been to this expense for my sake.

GELASIMUS
It may easily be excused--only listen to me; do order a dinner to be cooked at home.

EPIGNOMUS
. Not by my advice, indeed, will he act so as to disappoint that person this day.

GELASIMUS
Will you not be off from here? Perhaps you suppose that I don't see what you're about. Do you look to yourself, please. To PAMPHILUS. How that fellow is gaping after your property just like a hungry wolf. Don't you know how men are set upon here in the street at night?

PAMPHILUS
So many the more servants will I bid to come and fetch me, that they may protect me.

EPIGNOMUS
He won't stir--he won't stir; because you persuade him so earnestly not to go out.

GELASIMUS
Do order a dinner to be cooked at home with all speed for me and for yourself and your wife. Troth, if you do so, I don't think you'll say that you are deceived.

PAMPHILUS
So far as that dinner is concerned, Gelasimus, you may be dinnerless to-day.

GELASIMUS
Are you going abroad to dine?

PAMPHILUS
I'm going to dine at my brother's, hard by.

GELASIMUS
Is that fixed?

PAMPHILUS
Fixed.

GELASIMUS
By my troth, I hope you may be struck with a stone this day.

PAMPHILUS
I'm not afraid; I shall go through the garden; I'll not go abroad.

EPIGNOMUS
What say you to that, Gelasimus?

GELASIMUS
You're entertaining your deputies; keep them to yourself.

EPIGNOMUS
Why, faith, 'tis your own business.

GELASIMUS
If, indeed, 'tis my own business, avail yourself of my assistance; invite me.

EPIGNOMUS
By my faith, I see, as I fancy, one place still for yourself only, where you may recline.

PAMPHILUS
Really, I do think it may be managed.

GELASIMUS
O light of the city!

EPIGNOMUS
If you can manage to recline in a small compass.

GELASIMUS
Aye, even between two wedges2 of iron. As little space as a puppy can lie in, the same will be enough for me.

EPIGNOMUS
I'll beg for it some way or other; come along. Pulls him along.

GELASIMUS
What? This way?

EPIGNOMUS
Yes, to prison. For here, indeed, you'll not find any further entertainment3. Let's be off, you Pamphilus.

PAMPHILUS
I'll but salute the Gods: then I'll pass through to your house forthwith.

GELASIMUS
What then?

EPIGNOMUS
Why, I said that you might go to prison.

GELASIMUS
Well, if you order it, I'll go there even.

EPIGNOMUS
Immortal Gods! really, by my troth, this fellow might be induced by a dinner or a breakfast to bear extreme torture.

GELASIMUS
Such is my nature; with anything can I struggle much more easily than with hunger.

EPIGNOMUS
I know it: at my house full long enough has this facility of yours been experienced by me * * * * * * while you were the Parasite of myself and my brother, we ruined our fortunes. Now I don't wish you to be made by me from a Gelasimus into a Catagelasimus4. EPIGNOMUS and PAMPHILUS go into their houses.

GELASIMUS
And are you gone now? Surely he is gone. Now have I need of a wise resolution. Both are gone; consider, Gelasimus, what plan you must adopt. * * * * What, I? Yes, you. What, for myself? Yes, for yourself. Don't you see how dear provisions are? Don't you see how the kindness and the heartiness of men have vanished? Don't you see how drolls are set at nought, and how they themselves are sponged upon? By my troth, not a person shall ever behold me alive on the morrow; for, this instant, in-doors will I load my throat with a bulrush dose5. And by this I shall not give cause for men to say that I died of hunger. (Exit.)

1 I should not avoid: The meaning of this fragment seems to be, "I really would invite you both, if it were in my power; but as I have nothing to offer you, you might as well give me an invitation."

2 Between two wedges: He will take so little space, that he will be able to sit in the compass that lies between two wedges, when driven into a tree for the purpose of forcing out a portion of the wood.

3 Further entertainment: "Genium." The Genii were tutelary Divmities, each supposed to have charge of an individual from his birth to his death. They were propitiated with wine and sacrifice, and hence the notion arose that they took pleasure in revelry and feasting. From this circumstance, the word "genius" came to signify a persons "capacity for" or "love of enjoyment."

4 Catagelasimus: He makes a poor joke on the name of Gelasimus, by way of an excuse for not inviting him. "When helping me to spend my fortune, you were 'Gelasimus,' one that amused us by your wit and drollery. I'll not now be instrumental in making you henceforth a butt and a subject of ridicule to others:" the word being the name of Gelasimus, compounded with the Greek preposition κατὰ.

5 A bulrush dose: He means that he will go and hang himself with a rope made of bulrushes, which he calls a "bulrush dose" or "draught."

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