previous next


to himself . In wondrous ways1 do the Gods make sport of men, and in wondrous fashions do they send dreams in sleep. As, for instance, I, this very last night that has passed, have sufficiently experienced in my sleep, and, mortal that I am, was much occupied therewith. I seemed to have purchased for myself a beautiful she-goat. That she might not offend that other she-goat which I had at home before, and that they mightn't disagree if they were both in the same spot, after that I had purchased her, I seemed to entrust her to the charge of an ape. This ape, not very long afterwards, came to me, uttered imprecations against me, and assailed me with reproaches; he said that by her means and through the arrival of the she-goat he had suffered injury and loss in no slight degree; he said that the she-goat, which I had entrusted to him to keep, had gnawed away the marriage-portion of his wife. This seemed extremely wonderful to me, how that this single she-goat could possibly have gnawed away2 the marriage-portion of the wife of the ape. The ape, however, insisted that it was so, and, in short, gave me this answer, that if I didn't make baste and remove her away from his own house, he would bring her home into my house to my wife. And, by my troth, I seemed very greatly to take an interest in her, but not to have any one to whom to entrust this she-goat; wherefore the more, in my distress, was I tormented with anxiety what to do. Meanwhile, a kid appeared to address me, and began to tell me that he had carried off the she-goat from the ape, and began to laugh at me. But I began to lament and complain that she was carried off. To what reality I am to suppose that this vision points, I can't discover; except that I suspect that I have just now discovered this she-goat, what she is, or what it all means. This morning, at daybreak, I went away hence down to the harbour. After I had transacted there what I wanted, suddenly I espied the ship from Rhodes, in which my son arrived here yesterday. I had an inclination, I know not why, to visit it; I went on board a boat, and put off to the ship; and there I beheld a woman of surpassing beauty, whom my son has brought as a maid-servant for his mother. After I had thus beheld her, I fell in love with her, not as men in their senses, but after the fashion in which madmen are wont. I' faith, in former times, in my youthful days, I fell in love, 'tis true; but after this fashion, according as I'm now distracted, never. Now beyond a doubt, surely thus this matter stands; this is that she-goat. But what that ape and that kid mean, I'm afraid. One thing, i' faith, I really do know for certain, that I'm undone for love; to the AUDIENCE consider yourselves the other point, what a poor creature I am3. But I'll hold my tongue; lo! I see my neighbour; he's coming out of doors. Stands aside.

1 In wondrous ways: -5. These lines occur also in the Rudens, l. 593.

2 Could possibly have gnawed away: There is a poor play on words. here with reference to "una;" how "one" goat could "ambadederit," "gnaw away," or "doubly eat" (literally speaking) the dowry--that is, how one goat could do the work of two.

3 What a poor creature I am: This seems to be the real meaning of "quanti siem;" Gueudeville has adopted it; but there is considerable difference of opinion among the Commentators on the sense of the passage.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

load focus Latin (F. Leo, 1895)
hide Places (automatically extracted)

View a map of the most frequently mentioned places in this document.

Sort places alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a place to search for it in this document.
Rhodes (Greece) (1)

Download Pleiades ancient places geospacial dataset for this text.

hide References (35 total)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: