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Enter PARDALISCA, from the house, laughing aloud.
to herself . Upon my faith, I do not believe that at Nemea1, nor do I think that at Olympia, or anywhere else, there ever where such funny games as these ridiculous games that are going on in-doors here with our old gentleman and our bailiff Olympio. In-doors, all over the house, all are in a bustle; the old man is bawling away in the kitchen, and urging on the cooks. "Why don't you go to work at once? Why don't you serve up, if you are going to serve up? Make haste; the dinner ought to have been cooked by this." And then this bailiff is strutting about with his chaplet2, clothed in white and finely rigged out. And then these women are dressing up the armour-bearer in the bedroom, to give him to be married to our bailiff in place of Casina; but the artful baggages very cleverly conceal what the upshot of this3 is really to be. Then too, in a manner quite worthy of them, the cooks are very cleverly doing their best to the end that the old gentleman mayn't get his dinner. They are upsetting the pots, and putting out the fire with the water. At the request of these ladies they are so doing;they, too, are determined to bundle the old fellow dinnerless out of doors, that they by themselves may blow out their own stomachs. I know these female gluttons; a merchant-ship4 full of victuals they can devour. But the door is opening.
1 At Nemea: Nemea was a town near Corinth, where games were held in honor of Hercules, in remembrance of his slaying the Nemean Lion. At Olympia, in Elis, the Olympic games in honor of Jupiter were celebrated.
2 With his chaplet: Among the Romans the bridegroom wore a wreath or chaplet of flowers on his head.
3 The upshot of this: The meaning of this passage is obscure. It perhaps, however, means that they conceal from Chalinus how far they intend him to go in the joke, for fear lest he should refuse his services.
4 A merchant-ship: "Corbitam," "a merchant-ship." This word gave rise to the French word "corvette." Merchant-ships are said to have been so called from their carrying a "corbis," or "basket," at the mast-head; probably to show at a distance that they were traders, and not ships of war.
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