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[73] There was nothing to be done, we were victims enwound in a new labyrinth, and the idea of washing had begun to grow pleasant, so we asked him instead to show us the bath, and after throwing off our clothes, which Giton began to dry in the front hall, we went in. It was a tiny place like a cold-water cistern, and Trimalchio was standing upright in it. We were not allowed to escape his filthy bragging even there; he declared that there was nothing nicer than washing out of a crowd, and told us that there had once been a bakery on that very spot. He then became tired and sat down, and the echoes of the bathroom encouraged him to open his tipsy jaws to the ceiling and begin to murder Menecrates's songs,1 as I was told by those who could under[p. 145] stand what he said. Other guests joined hands and ran round the edge of the bath, roaring with obstreperous laughter at the top of their voices. Some again had their hands tied behind their backs and tried to pick up rings from the floor, or knelt down and bent their heads backwards and tried to touch the tips of their toes. While the others were amusing themselves, we went down into a deep bath which was being heated for Trimalchio.

Then, having got rid of the effects of our liquor, we were led into another dining-room, where Fortunata had laid out her treasures, so that over the lamps I saw . . . . little bronze fishermen, and tables of solid silver, and china cups with gold settings, and wine being strained through a cloth before our eyes. Then Trimalchio said, “Gentlemen, a slave of mine is celebrating his first shave to-day: an honest, cheeseparing fellow, in a good hour be it spoken. So let us drink deep2 and keep up dinner till dawn.”

1 Menecrates was specially honoured by Nero (Suetonius,Nero, c. 30).

2 See note, p. 51.

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