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[95] While this lover's play was being performed, an inmate of the house came in with part of our little dinner, and after looking at us rolling in disarray on the ground he said, “Are you drunk, please, or runaway slaves, or both? Who turned the bed up there, and what do all these sneaking contrivances mean? I declare you meant to run off in the dark into the public street rather than pay for your room. But you shall pay for it. I will teach you that these lodgings do not belong to a poor widow, but to Marcus Mannicius.” “What?” shouted Eumolpus, "you dare threaten us.' And as he spoke he struck the man in the face with all the force of his outstretched hand. The man hurled a little earthenware pot, which was empty, all the guests having drunk from it, at Eumolpus's head, broke the skin of his forehead in the midst of his clamour, and rushed out of the room. Eumolpus would not brook an insult; he seized a wooden candlestick and followed the lodger out, and avenged his bloody forehead with a rain of blows. All the household ran up, and a crowd of drunken lodgers. I had a chance of punishing Eumolpus, and I shut him out, and so got even with the bully, and of course had the room and my sleep to myself without a rival.

Meanwhile cooks and lodgers be laboured him now that he was locked out, and one thrust a spit full of hissing meat into his eyes, another took a fork from a dresser and struck a fighting attitude. Above all, a blear-eyed old woman with a very dirty linen wrap round her. balancing herself on an uneven pair of[p. 193] clogs, took the lead, brought up a dog of enormous size on a chain, and set him on to Eumolpus. But the candlestick was enough to protect him from all danger.

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