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Now do you hold your tongue for the present, and, that lamb, whichever is the fatter of the two---- LYCONIDES
Very well1. STROBILUS
Do you, Congrio, take that, and go in-doors there pointing to EUCLIO'S house ; and to a MUSIC-GIRL and some of the PEOPLE with provisions do you follow him; the rest of you this way, to our house. LYCONIDES
By my troth, you've made an unfair division; they've got the fattest lamb. STROBILUS
But the fattest music-girl shall be given you then. Do you, therefore, go along with him, Phrygia2. And do you, Eleusium, step in-doors here, to our house. LYCONIDES
O you crafty Strobilus, have you pushed me off here upon this most miserly old fellow, where if I ask for anything, I may ask even to hoarseness before anything's found me? STROBILUS
'Tis very foolish, and 'tis thanklessly done, to do a service to you, when what you do goes for nothing. LYCONIDES
But how so? STROBILUS
Do you ask? In the first place then, there will be no confusion for you there in the house; if you want anything to use, bring it from your own home, don't lose your trouble in asking for it. But here, at our house, there's great confusion, and a large establishment-- furniture, gold, garments, silver vessels. If anything's lost here (as I know that you can easily3 keep hands off--if nothing's in your way), they may say, "The cooks have stolen it; seize them, bind them, beat them, thrust them in the dungeon"4. Nothing of that sort will happen to you, inasmuch as there will be nothing for you to steal. Follow me this way. LYCONIDES
I follow. STROBILUS
knocking at the door of EUCLIO'S house . Ho, there Staphyla, come out and open the door. STAPHYLA
from within . Who calls there? STRO. Strobilus.
1 Very well: Congrio answers "licet," by way of assent to Strobilus, thinking that he is asking him to take the fattest lamb, on which Strobilus gives him the leanest one. Hildyard suggests that Congrio fancies that Strobilus is asking which is the fattest cook, and not the fattest lamb, and accordingly says, "Very well," thereby admitting that he is the fattest of the two. If there is any such wit intended in the passage, it is very recondite.
2 Phrygia: "Phrygia" was an appropriate girl for a "tibicina," "music-girl," or female player on the flute, as that instrument was originally introduced from Phrygia, or Lydia, which adjoined it. Eleusium would probably derive her name from Eleusis in Attica, where the mysteries of Ceres were celebrated. Players on the "tibiæ" were much in request on festive occasions, especially at weddings, as in the present instance. The "tibicina" were probably hired in the market-place, the same way as the cooks.
3 You can easily: "Facile," "easily," seems a preferable reading to "facere." If the latter reading is adopted, there are three consecutive verbs in the infinitive mood, which, even in the (occasionally) uncouth language of Plautus, sounds very uneuphoniously, "Facere abstinere posse."
4 In the dungeon: "Puteus" here signifies the black hole or dungeon underground (called also "ergastulum"), where the refractory slaves were put in confinement.
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