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Enter AESCHINUS, from the house of MICIO.
to himself. They really are killing me while too intent on performing the nuptials with all ceremony; the whole day is being wasted in their preparations. DEMEA
Aeschinus ! how goes it? AESCHINUS
Ha, my father! are you here ? DEMEA
Your father, indeed, both by affection and by nature; as I love you more than my very eyes; but why don't you send for your wife ? AESCHINUS
So I wish to do; but I am waiting for the music-girl1 and people to sing the nuptial song. DEMEA
Come now, are you willing to listen to an old fellow like me? AESCHINUS
What is it? DEMEA
Let those things alone, the nuptial song, the crowds, the torches,2 and the music-girls, and order the stone wall in the garden3 here to be pulled down with all dispatch, and bring her over that way; make but one house of the two; bring the mother and all the domestics over to our house. AESCHINUS
With all my heart, kindest father. DEMEA
aside. Well done! now I am called " kind." My brother's house will become a thoroughfare; he will be bringing home a multitude, incurring expense in many ways: what matters it to me ? I, as the kind Demea, shall get into favor. Now then, bid that Babylonian4 pay down his twenty minae. To SYRUS. Syrus, do you delay to go and do it ? SYRUS
What am I to do? DEMEA
Pull down the wall: and you, Geta, go and bring them across. GETA
May the Gods bless you, Demea, as I see you so sincere a well-wisher to our family. GETA and SYRUS go into MICIO'S house. DEMEA
I think they deserve it. What say you, Aeschinus, as to this plan ? AESCHINUS
I quite agree to it. DEMEA
It is much more proper than that she, being sick and lying-in, should be brought hither through the street. AESCHINUS
Why, my dear father, I never did see any thing better contrived. DEMEA
It's my way; but see, here's Micio coming out.
1 The music-girl: "Tibicinae," or music-girls, attended at marriage ceremonials. See the Aulularia of Plautus, where Megadorus hires the music-girls on his intended marriage with the daughter of Euclio.
2 The crowds, the torches: See the Casina of Plautus, Act IV., Scenes 3 and 4, for some account of the marriage ceremonial. The torches, music-girls, processions, and hymeneal song, generally accompanied a wedding, but from the present passage we may conclude that they were not considered absolutely necessary.
4 Bid that Babylonian: This passage has much puzzled the Commentators; but it seems most probable that it is said aside, and that in consequence of his profuseness he calls his brother a Babylonian, (just as we call a wealthy man a nabob,) and says, "Well, let him, with all my heart, be paying twenty mine (between £70 and £80) for a music-girl."
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