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Enter SYRUS, from the house of MICIO.

SYRUS
speaking to AECHINUS within. Say no more; I myself will arrange with him; I'll make him glad to take the money at once, and say besides that he has been fairly dealt with. Addressing SANNIO. Sannio, how is this, that I hear you have been having some dispute or other with my master?

SANNIO
I never saw a dispute on more unequal terms1 than the one that has happened to-day between us; I, with being thumped, he, with beating me, were both of us quite tired.

SYRUS
Your own fault.

SANNIO
What could I do?

SYRUS
You ought to have yielded to the young man.

SANNIO
How could I more so, when to-day I have even afforded my face to his blows?

SYRUS
Well--are you aware of what I tell you? To slight money on some occasions is sometimes the surest gain. What!--were you afraid, you greatest simpleton alive, if you had parted with ever so little2 of your right, and had humored the young man, that he would not repay you with interest?

SANNIO
I do not pay ready money for hope.

SYRUS
Then you'll never make a fortune. Get out with you, Sannio; you don't know how to take in mankind.

SANNIO
I believe that to be the better plan--but I was never so cunning as not, whenever I was able to get it, to prefer getting ready money.

SYRUS
Come, come, I know your spirit; as if twenty minae were any thing at all to you in comparison to obliging him; besides, they say that you are setting out for Cyprus----

SANNIO
(aside.) Hah!

SYRUS
That you have been buying up many things to take thither; and that the vessel is hired. This I know, your mind is in suspense; however, when you return thence, I hope you'll settle the matter.

SANNIO
Not a foot do stir: Heavens! I'm undone! Aside. It was upon this hope they devised their project.

SYRUS
aside. He is alarmed. I've brought the fellow into a fix.

SANNIO
aside. Oh, what villainy!--Just look at that; how he has nicked me in the very joint. 3 Several women have been purchased, and other things as well, for me to take to Cyprus. 4 If I don't get there to the fair, my loss will, be very great. Then if I postpone this business, and settle it when I come back from there, it will be of no use; the matter will be quite forgotten. "Come at last?" they'll say. "Why did you delay it? Where have you been?" So that I had better lose it altogether than either stay here so long, or be suing for it then.

SYRUS
Have you by this reckoned 5 up what you calculate will be your profits?

SANNIO
Is this honorable of him? Ought Aeschinus to attempt this? Ought he to endeavor to take her away from me by downright violence?

SYRUS
aside. He gives ground. To SANNIO. I have this one proposal to make; see if you fully approve of it. Rather than you should run the risk, Sannio, of getting or losing the whole, halve it. He will manage to scrape together ten minae6 from some quarter or other.

SANNIO
Ah me! unfortunate wretch, I am now in danger of even losing part of the principal. Has he no shame? He has loosened all my teeth; my head, too, is full of bumps with his cuffs; and would he defraud me as well? I shall go nowhere.

SYRUS
Just as you please. Have you any thing more to say before I go?

SANNIO
Why yes, Syrus, i' faith, I have this to request. Whatever the matters that are past, rather than go to law, let what is my own be returned me; at least, Syrus, the sum she cost me. I know that you have not hitherto made trial of my friendship; you will have no occasion to say that I am unmindful or ungrateful.

SYRUS
I'll do the best I can. But I see Ctesipho; he's in high spirits about his mistress.

SANNIO
What about what I was asking you?

SYRUS
Stay a little.

1 On more unequal terms: "Certationem comparatam." This was a term taken from the combats of gladiators, where it was usual to choose as combatants such as seemed most nearly a match for each other.

2 If you had parted with ever so little: This passage is probably alluded to by Cicero, in his work, De Officiis, B. ii. c. 18: "For it is not only liberal sometimes to give up a little of one's rights, but it is also profitable."

3 In the very joint: "Ut in ipso articulo oppressit." Colman translates this, "Nick'd me to a hair."

4 To take to Cyprus: He alludes to a famous slave-market held in the Isle of Cyprus, whither merchants carried slaves for sale, after buying them up in all parts of Greece.

5 3 Have you by this reckoned: "Iamne enumerasti id quod ad te rediturum putes?" Colman renders this, "Well, have you calculated what's your due?" referring to the value of the Music-girl that has been taken away from him; and thinks that the following conversation between Sannio and Syrus supports that construction. Madame lacier puts another sense on the words, and understands them as alluding to Sannio's calculation of his expected profits at Cyprus.

6 Scrape together ten minae: Donatus remarks, that Syrus knows very well that Aeschinus is ready to pay the whole, but offers Sannio half, that he may be glad to take the bare principal, and think himself well off into the bargain.

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