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Enter CYLINDRUS, with a basket of provisions.
I've catered well, and to my mind. I'll set a good breakfast before the breakfasters. But see, I perceive Menaechmus. Woe to my back; the guests are now already walking before the door, before I've returned with the provisions. I'll go and accost him. Save you, Menaechmus. MENAECHMUS SOSICLES
The Gods bless you, whoever you are. ... CYLINDRUS
... who I am? MESSENIO
I' faith, not I, indeed. CYLINDRUS
Where are the other guests? MENAECHMUS SOSICLES
What guests are you enquiring about? CYLINDRUS
Your Parasite. MENAECHMUS SOSICLES
My Parasite? Surely this fellow's deranged. MESSENIO
Didn't I tell you that there were many swindlers here? MENAECHMUS SOSICLES
What Parasite of mine, young man, are you enquiring about? CYLINDRUS
Peniculus. MENAECHMUS SOSICLES
... Where is my ... ? MESSENIO
See, I've got your sponge1 [Peniculus] all safe in the wallet. CYLINDRUS
Menaechmus, you've come here too soon for breakfast; I'm but now returning with the provisions. MENAECHMUS SOSICLES
Answer me this, young man: at what price do pigs sell here2, unblemished ones, for sacrifice? CYLINDRUS
At a didrachm a-piece. MENAECHMUS SOSICLES
holding out his hand . Receive, then, a didrachm of me; bid a sacrifice be made for you at my expense; for, by my faith, I really am sure in very truth that you are deranged, who are annoying me, a person that's a stranger, whoever you are. CYLINDRUS
I am Cylindrus; don't you know my name? MENAECHMUS SOSICLES
Whether you are Cylindrus or Caliendrus3, confound you. I don't know you, and, in fact, I don't want to know you. CYLINDRUS
Well, your name, however, is Menaechmus, that I do know. MENAECHMUS SOSICLES
You speak like a sane person when you call me by my name. But where have you known me? CYLINDRUS
Where have I known you, you who have Erotium, this mistress of mine pointing to the house , for your lady? MENAECHMUS SOSICLES
By my troth, I have not, nor do I know yourself what person you are. CYLINDRUS
Not know who I am, who have many a time filled the cups for your own self at our house, when you've been drinking? MESSENIO
Woe to me, that I've got nothing with which to break this fellow's head. MENAECHMUS SOSICLES
Are you in the habit of filling the cups for me, who, before this day, have never beheld Epidamnus, nor been there? CYLINDRUS
Do you deny it? MENAECHMUS SOSICLES
Upon my honor,, I decidedly do deny it. CYLINDRUS
Don't you live in that house? Pointing to the house of MENAECHMUS of Epidamnus. MENAECHMUS SOSICLES
May the Gods send to perdition those that live there. CYLINDRUS
Surely, this fellow's mad, who is thus uttering curses against his own self. Do you hear, Menaechmus? MENAECHMUS SOSICLES
What do you want? CYLINDRUS
If you take my advice, that didrachm, which you just now promised to give me--you would order, if you were wise, a pig to be procured with it for yourself. For, i' faith, you really for sure are not in your senses, Menaechmus, who are now uttering curses against your own self. MENAECHMUS SOSICLES
Alas! By my faith, a very silly fellow, and an annoyance to me. CYLINDRUS
to MESSENIO . He's in the habit of often joking with me in this fashion. How very droll he is, when his wife isn't present. How say you----? MENAECHMUS SOSICLES
What do you mean, you rascal? CYLINDRUS
pointing to the basket . Has this that you see been provided in sufficient quantity for three persons, or am I to provide still more for yourself and the Parasite and the lady? MENAECHMUS SOSICLES
What ladies--what Parasites are you talking about? MESSENIO
What, you villain, urges you to be an annoyance to him? CYLINDRUS
Pray what business have you with me? I don't know you; I'm talking to this person, whom I do know. MENAECHMUS SOSICLES
By my troth, you are not a person in his right senses, that I know for sure. CYLINDRUS
I'll have these things cooked directly; there shall be no delay. Don't you be going after this anywhere at a distance from the house. Do you want anything? MENAECHMUS SOSICLES
You to go to utter and extreme perdition. CYLINDRUS
I' faith, 'twere better for you to go in-doors at once and take your place, while I'm subjecting these things to the strength of the fire4. I'll go in-doors now, and tell Erotium that you are standing here, that she may fetch you away hence, rather than you be standing here out of doors. He goes into the house. MENAECHMUS SOSICLES
Is he gone then? He is gone. By my faith, I find by experience that your words are not untrue. MESSENIO
Do you only be on your guard; for I do believe that some woman in the harlot line is living here, as, in fact. this madman said, who has just gone away from here. MENAECHMUS SOSICLES
But I wonder how he came to know my name. MESSENIO
I' faith, 'tis far from surprising: courtesans have this custom; they send servant-boys and servant-girls down to the harbour; if any foreign ship comes into port, they enquire of what country it is, and what its name is; after that, at once they set themselves to work, and fasten themselves upon him; if they inveigle him, they send him home a ruined man. Now in this harbour there stands a piratical craft, against which I really think that we must be on our guard. MENAECHMUS SOSICLES
I' troth, you really counsel aright. MESSENIO
Then, in fine, shall I be sure that I've counselled aright, if you are rightly on your guard. MENAECHMUS SOSICLES
Be silent for a moment, then; for the door makes a noise. Let's see who's coming out from there. MESSENIO
Meanwhile, I'll lay this down. He puts down the wallet. Do you keep watch upon these things, if you please, you sailors5.
1 I've got your sponge: Menaechmus takes Cylindrus to mean as though he were really talking about a "peniculus," or "sponge," used for the purposes of a napkin. He turns to Messenio, and probably says (in the mutilated passage), "Where is my peniculus?" on which the servant, taking it out of the "vidulus," or travelling-bag. says, "Here it is, quite safe."
2 Do pigs sell here: Pigs without blemish were sacrificed to the Lares, or household Gods, in behalf of those who were afflicted with insanity. Menaechmus Sosicles adopts this as a quiet way of telling Cylindrus that he must be mad.
3 Cylindrus or Caliendrus: Probably Cylindrus is so called from the words "cylindrus," "a cylinder," in the sense of a "rolling-pin." Sosicles plays upon its resemblance to "caliendrus," which perhaps meant a "peruke" or "wig," as the Latin word "caliendrum" had that signification.
5 You sailors: Some Commentators think that by the words "navales pedes" he means "oars," as being the feet, or source of motion to the ship, and that Messenio puts his luggage upon some oars on the ground close by, telling them to be good enough to keep it all safe. It is more probable, however, that he is addressing some of the crew, perhaps the rowers who have carried the luggage from the ship. Others suggest that the luggage-porters, who awaited the arrival of ships with passengers and merchandize, are here referred to. This line, in Cotter's translation, is rendered, "Observe these things now, if you please. Behold the ship!" with this note, "Navales pedes, the oars of a ship, put for the ship itself."! De l'Oeuvre ingeniously suggests that "paedes" is the correct reading, and the word is the Greek παιδές Latinized, and signifying, in the present instance, the "ship-boys" or "servants."
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