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Enter ERGASILUS 1
Supreme Jove! thou dost preserve me, and dost augment my means. Plenty, extreme and sumptuous, dost thou present to me; celebrity, profit, enjoyment, mirth, festivity, holidays, sights, provisions, carousings, abundance, joyousness. And to no man have I now determined with myself to go a-begging; for I'm able either to profit my friend or to destroy my enemy, to such extent has this delightful day heaped delights upon me in its delightfulness. I have lighted upon a most rich inheritance without incumbrances.2 Now will I wend my way to this old gentleman Hegio, to whom I am carrying blessings as great as he himself prays for from the Gods, and even greater. Now, this is my determination, in the same fashion that the slaves of Comedy3 are wont, so will I throw my cloak around my neck, that from me, the first of all, he may learn this matter. And I trust that I, by reason of this news, shall find provision up to the end.
1 Ergasilus: He has just come from the harbour, where he has seen the son of Hegio, together with Philocrates and Stalagmus, landing from the packet- boat. Now, as he speaks still of his intended dinner with Hegio, to which he had been invited in the earlier part of the Play, we must conclude, that since then, Philocrates has taken ship from the coast of Ætolia, arrived in Elis, procured the liberation of Philopolemus, and returned with him, all in the space of a few hours. This, however, although the coast of Elis was only about fifteen miles from that of Ætolia, is not at all consistent with probability; and the author has been much censured by some Commentators, especially by Lessing, on acccunt of his negligence. It must, however,be remembered, that Plautus was writing for a Roman audience, the greater part of whom did not know whether Elis was one mile or one hundred from the coast of Ætolia. We may suppose, too, that Philopolemus had already caused Stalagmus, the runaway slave, to be apprehended before the arrival of Philocrates in Elis.
2 An inheritance without incumbrances: "Sine sacris hereditas." The meaning of this expression has been explained in the Notes to the Trinummus, 484.
3 Slaves of Comedy: -- This was done that, when expedition was required, the cloak might not prove an obstruction to the wearer as he walked. The slaves in Comedies usually wore the "pallium," and as they were mostly active, bustling fellows, would have it tucked tightly around them. The "pallium" was usually worn passed over the left shoulder, then drawn behind the back, and under the left arm leaving it bare, and then thrown again over the left shoulder,
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