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to himself . It seems marvellous to me, that Strabax, my master's son, hasn't returned from the country, unless perchance he has slily slipt in here into this den of corruption of his. ASTAPHIUM
aside . Now, faith, he'll be roaring at me if he espies me. STRATOPHANES
I'm much less savage now, Astaphium, than I was before; I'm not churlish now; don't thee fear. She runs to a distance. What wouldst thee be at? What? ASTAPHIUM
What, say you? Why, I'm waiting for your churlishness. STRATOPHANES
Say, command me what thee dost please, and in what way thee dost please. I've got all my manners anew: my old ones I've parted with. I can e'en fall in love, or take a mistress now. ASTAPHIUM
Upon my faith, you do tell me fine news. But tell me, have you---- ? STRATOPHANES
A mistress1, perhaps, thee means. ASTAPHIUM
You've understood nicely what I meant to say. STRATOPHANES
Hark you, since I've been so many times backwards and forwards to the city, I've become quite a chatterer; I'm now a right good stalkers2. ASTAPHIUM
Prithee, what's that? That's nonsense; perhaps you intend to mean "talking." STRATOPHANES
Just so; it differs mighty little from stalking. ASTAPHIUM
Prithee, do follow me in-doors, my love. STRATOPHANES
holding out some money to her . Take this for thyself; keep it as a ledger3 for thee, that thee mayst give me thy company this night. ASTAPHIUM
taking the money . You are the death of me, with your "ledger." What kind of beast am I to say that is? Thy don't you say "pledge?" STRATOPHANES
The "r" I make a saving of; just as the Prænestines4 have "conia," for "ciconia." ASTAPHIUM
Prithee, do follow me. STRATOPHANES
I'll wait here a little for Strabax, till he comes from the farm. ASTAPHIUM
Why, Strabax is at our house. He has just come from the farm. STRATOPHANES
What, before he went to his own mother? Alas, the man's worth nought, i' faith. ASTAPHIUM
What now, your old habit? STRATOPHANES
Well, I'll say nought. ASTAPHIUM
Prithee, do come indoors. Give me your hand. Takes his hand. STRATOPHANES
Well, take it. To the AUDIENCE. I'm being led off into a public-house, where I shall be but poorly entertained for my money. They go into the house of PHRONESIUM.
1 A mistress: "Parasitum." This word, if the correct reading, cannot mean anything else than "a mistress" here, in which sense Lambinus asserts that it was sometimes used. If that is not the case, we must be content to agree with Schmieder, that the passage is corrupt.
2 Right good stalker: He means to say "cavillator," a "chatterer;" but instead thereof, mispronouncing the word, he calls it "caullator," which was perhapspa word of no meaning; it has been translated "stalker," from its resemblance to "caulis," "a stalk."
3 As a ledger: In his bungling, he calls "arrhabo," a "pledge" or "earnest," "rhabo," which had no meaning. Of course this cannot be literally translated, but something tantamount is given in the Translation, in order to convey the spirit, by making him miscall "pledge" "ledger."
4 The Prænestines: In the Trinummus, l. 609, he jokes at the expense of the people of Præneste, for using the expression "tammodo." Here he says that they were in the habit of calling "ciconia," a "stork," "conia." They are also alluded to, apparently as braggarts, in the Fragment at the beginning of the Bacchides.
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