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[98] But the constable was not so deficient in energy. He took a cane from the inn-keeper, and pushed it under the bed, and poked into everything, even the cracks in the walls. Giton twisted away from the stick, drew in his breath very gently, and pressed his lips close against the bugs in the bedding. . . The broken door of the room could not keep anyone out, and Eumolpus rushed in in a fury, and cried, “I have found a thousand pieces; for I mean to follow the crier as he goes away, and betray you as you richly deserve, and tell him that Giton is in your hands.” He persisted, I fell at his feet, besought him not to kill a dying man, and said, “You might well be excited if you could show him the lost one. As it is, the boy has run away in the crowd, and I have not the least idea where he has gone. As you love me, Eumolpus, get the boy back, and give him to Ascyltos if you like.” I was just inducing him to believe me, when Giton burst with holding his breath, and all at once sneezed three times so that he shook the bed. Eumolpus turned round at the noise, and said “Good day, Giton.” He pulled off the mattress, and saw an Ulysses whom even a hungry Cyclops might have spared. Then he turned on me, “Now, you thief; you did not dare to tell me the truth even when you were caught. In fact, unless the God who controls man's destiny had wrung a sign from this boy as he hung there, I should now be wandering round the pot-houses like a fool.” . . .

Giton was far more at ease than I. He first stanched a cut which had been made on Eumolpus's forehead with spider's webs soaked in oil. He then took off his torn clothes, and in exchange gave him a short cloak of his own, then put his arms round him, for[p. 199] he was now softening, poulticed him with kisses, and said, “Dearest father, we are in your hands, yours entirely. If you love your Giton, make up your mind to save him. I wish the cruel fire might engulf me alone, or the wintry sea assail me. I am the object of all his transgressions, I am the cause. If I were gone, you two might patch up your quarrel.” . .

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load focus Introduction (Michael Heseltine, 1913)
load focus Latin (Michael Heseltine, 1913)
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    • E. T. Merrill, Commentary on Catullus, 93
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