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Enter a MAID-SERVANT, from the house of EROTIUM.
MAID-SERVANT of Erotium.
Menaechmus, Erotium says that she entreats you much, that at the same opportunity you'll take this to the goldsmith's, and add to it an ounce in weight of gold, and order the bracelet1 to be fashioned anew. Gives him a bracelet. MENAECHMUS SOSICLES
Tell her that I'll attend both to this and anything else that she shall wish, if she wishes anything else attended to. MAID-SERVANT of Erotium.
Do you know what this bracelet is? MENAECHMUS SOSICLES
I don't know, unless it's of gold. MAID-SERVANT of Erotium.
This is the same one that you once said that you had secretly stolen out of the closet from your wife. MENAECHMUS SOSICLES
By my troth, 'twas never done. MAID-SERVANT of Erotium.
Prithee, don't you remember it? MENAECHMUS SOSICLES
Not in the least. MAID-SERVANT of Erotium.
Give it me back then, if you don't remember it. Tries to take it. MENAECHMUS SOSICLES
Stop. Pretends to examine the bracelet. O yes, I really do remember it; it's the same, I believe, that I presented to her. MAID-SERVANT of Erotium.
I' faith, it is the same. MENAECHMUS SOSICLES
Where are the clasps which I gave her together with them? MAID-SERVANT of Erotium.
You never gave her any. MENAECHMUS SOSICLES
Why, faith, I gave them together with this ... MAID-SERVANT of Erotium.
Shall I say that you'll attend to it? MENAECHMUS SOSICLES
Do say so; it shall be attended to. I'll take care that the mantle and the bracelet are brought back together. MAID-SERVANT of Erotium.
My dear Menaechmus, do, pray, give me some earrings2, the pendants to be made two didrachms in weight; that I may look on you with delight when you come to our house. MENAECHMUS SOSICLES
Be it so. Give me the gold3; I'll find the price of the workmanship. MAID-SERVANT of Erotium.
Give it yourself, please; at a future time I'll give it you back. MENAECHMUS SOSICLES
No, give it yourself; at a future time I'll give it you twofold. MAID-SERVANT of Erotium.
I haven't any. MENAECHMUS SOSICLES
But when you have it, do you give it me, then. MAID-SERVANT of Erotium.
Do you wish for aught? MENAECHMUS SOSICLES
Say that I'll attend to these things, aside to be sold as soon as they can, and for what they'll fetch. The MAID-SERVANT goes into the house. Has she now gone off in-doors? She's gone, and has shut the door. Surely all the Gods are favouring, amplifying, and prospering me. But why do I delay while opportunity and time are granted me to get away from these procurers' dens? Make haste, Menaechmus; pull foot and quicken your pace. I'll take off this chaplet4, and throw it away on the left hand side throws the chaplet down , that, if they follow me, they may think I've gone in that direction. I'll go and meet my servant, if I can, that he may learn from me these blessings which the Gods confer upon me.
1 Order the bracelet: "Spinter" or "spinther" is another name, derived from the Greek σφιγκτήρ, for the Latin "armilla" or bracelet. It received its Greek name, from its keeping in its place by compressing the arm of the wearer. Festus tells us that the bracelet called "spinter" was worn by the Roman ladies on the left arm, while the "armilla" was worn on either.
2 Give me some earrings: The drops of the earrings were probably to be of the weight of two didrachms. The earring was called among the Romans "inauris," and by the Greeks ἐνώτιον. The Greeks also called it ἐλλόβιον, from its being inserted in the lobe of the ear. These ornaments were worn by both sexes among the Lydians, Persians, Libyans, Carthaginians, and other nations. Among the Greeks and Romans, the females alone were in the habit of wearing them. As with us, the earring consisted of a ring, and a drop, called "stalagmium," the ring being generally of gold, though bronze was sometimes used by the common people. Pearls, especially those of elongated form, called "elenchi," were very much valued for pendants.
3 Give me the gold: He asks for the gold with the intention of stealing it; for, in spite of their wealth, it is evident, from this, and what appears in the sequel, that both he and his brother are by nature arrant thieves.
4 Take off this chaplet: This he had been wearing at the "prandium," or "breakfast," at Erotium's house. The latter appears to be a more fitting name for a meal that was taken generally about twelve o'clock; while "the cena," which commenced in general at about three, cannot with propriety be termed anything else than a "dinner."
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