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Enter MENAECHMUS of Epidamnus.
MENAECHMUS of Epidamnus.
to himself . By my faith, this day has certainly fallen out perverse and adverse for me, since the Parasite, who has filled me full of disgrace and terror, has made that all known, which I supposed I was doing secretly; my own Ulysses1, who has brought so great evil on his king--a fellow that, by my troth, if I only live, I'll soon finish his life2. But I'm a fool, who call that his, which is my own. With my own victuals and at my own expense has he been supported; of existence will I deprive the fellow. But the Courtesan has done this in a way worthy of her, just as the harlot's habit is: because I ask for the mantle, that it may be returned again to my wife, she declares that she has given it me. O dear! By my faith, I do live a wretched man. OLD MAN
apart . Do you hear what he says ? DOCTOR.
apart . He declares that he is wretched. OLD MAN
apart . I wish you to accost him. DOCTOR.
going up to him . Save you, Menaechmus. Prithee, why do you bare your arm? Don't you know how much mischief you are now doing to that disease of yours? MENAECHMUS of Epidamnus.
Why don't you go hang yourself? OLD MAN
What think you now? DOCTOR.
What shouldn't I think? This case can't be treated with even ointment of hellebore. But what have you to say, Menaechmus? MENAECHMUS of Epidamnus.
What do you want? DOCTOR.
Tell me this that I ask of you; do you drink white wine or dark-coloured? MENAECHMUS of Epidamnus.
What need have you to enquire? DOCTOR.
... MENAECHMUS of Epidamnus.
Why don't you go to utter perdition ? OLD MAN
Troth, he's now beginning to be attacked with the fit. MENAECHMUS of Epidamnus.
Why don't you ask whether I'm wont to eat dark bread, or purple, or yellow? Or whether I'm wont to eat birds with scales, or fish with wings? OLD MAN
Dear, dear! To the DOCTOR. Don't you hear how deliriously he talks? Why do you delay to give him something by way of a potion, before his raving overtakes him? DOCTOR.
Stop a little; I'll question him on some other matters as well. OLD MAN
You are killing me3 by your prating. DOCTOR.
to MENAECHMUS . Tell me this; are your eyes ever in the habit of becoming hard4? MENAECHMUS of Epidamnus.
What? Do you take me to be a locust5, you most worthless fellow? DOCTOR.
Tell me, now, do your bowels ever rumble that you know of? MENAECHMUS of Epidamnus.
When I'm full, they don't rumble at all; when I'm hungry, then they do rumble. DOCTOR.
I' faith, he really gave me that answer not like an insane person. Do you always sleep soundly until daylight? Do you easily go to sleep when in bed? MENAECHMUS of Epidamnus.
I sleep throughout if ... I go to sleep if I have paid my money to him to whom I owe it. DOCTOR.
... MENAECHMUS of Epidamnus.
to the DOCTOR . May Jupiter and all the Divinities confound you, you questioner. DOCTOR.
aside . Now this person begins to rave. To the OLD MAN. From those expressions do you take care of yourself. OLD MAN
Why, he's now really quite favourable in his language, in comparison with what he was a short time since; for, a little while ago, he was saying that his wife was a raving cur. MENAECHMUS of Epidamnus.
What did I say? OLD MAN
You were raving, I say. MENAECHMUS of Epidamnus.
What, I? OLD MAN
You there; who threatened as well to ride me down with your yoked steeds. MENAECHMUS of Epidamnus.
... OLD MAN
I myself saw you do this; I myself accuse you of this. MENAECHMUS of Epidamnus.
And I know that you stole6 the sacred crown of Jupiter; and that on that account you were confined in prison; and after you were let out, I know that you were beaten with rods in the bilboes; I know, too, that you murdered your father and sold your mother. Don't I give this abuse in answer for your abuse, like a sane person? OLD MAN
I' faith, Doctor, whatever you are about to do, prithee, do it quickly. Don't you see that the man is raving? DOCTOR.
Do you know what's the best for you to do? Have him taken to my house. OLD MAN
Do you think so? DOCTOR.
Why should I not? There at my own discretion I shall be able to treat the man. OLD MAN
Do just as you please. DOCTOR.
to MENAECHMUS . I'll make you drink hellebore some twenty days. MENAECHMUS of Epidamnus.
But, hanging up7, I'll flog you with a whip for thirty days. DOCTOR.
to the OLD MAN . Go fetch some men to take him off to my house. OLD MAN
How many are sufficient? DOCTOR.
Since I see him thus raving, four, no less. OLD MAN
They shall be here this instant. Do you keep an eye on him, Doctor. DOCTOR.
Why, no, I shall go home that the things may be got ready, which are necessary to be prepared. Bid your servants carry him to my house. OLD MAN
I'll make him be there just now. DOCTOR.
I'm off. OLD MAN
Farewell. (Exeunt OLD MAN and DOCTOR, separately.) MENAECHMUS of Epidamnus.
My father-in-law is gone, the Doctor is gone; I'm alone. O Jupiter! Why is it that these people say I'm mad? Why, in fact, since I was born, I have never for a single day been ill. I'm neither mad, nor do I commence strifes or quarrels. In health myself, I see others well; I know people, I address them. Is it that they who falsely say I'm mad, are mad themselves? What shall I do now? I wish to go home; but my wife doesn't allow me; and here pointing to EROTIUM'S house no one admits me. Most unfortunately has this fallen out. Here will I still remain; at night, at least, I shall be let into the house, I trust. Stands near his door.
2 Finish his life: "Vita evolvam sua." Literally, "I will wind him off of his life." He probably alludes to the "Parcae," the "Fates" or "Destinies," who were fabled to be the daughters of Nox and Erebus, and of whom, one, named Clotho, held the distaff, and spun the thread of life; another, named Lachesis, wound it off; and the third, called Atropos, cut it off when of the requisite length.
3 You are killing me: "Occidis fabulans." This remark seems rather to apply to the effect of his chattering, upon the old man himself, who is growing impatient, than upon the supposed madman; though, from the elliptical nature of the expression, the latter may possibly be the meaning.
4 Of becoming hard: This was supposed to be one of the symptoms of madness.
6 That you stole: This expression has been already remarked upon in the Notes to the Trinummus.
7 But, hanging up: "Pendentem." When they were flogged, the slaves were tied up with their hands extended over their heads. Probably, the Doctor is intended to be represented as being a slave; as many of the liberal pursuits were followed by slaves, and sometimes to the very great profit of their masters. The "furca" (for want of a better word, called 'bilboes' in the translation) is referred to in another Note.
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