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Enter CAPPADOX, from the Temple of ÆSCULAPIUS.
to himself . I am resolved to depart from this Temple out of doors forthwith, since thus I find1 the determination of Æsculapius, who sets me at nought, and chooses not that I should be healed. My health is declining, my weakness increases. For now I walk, girded with my spleen as though with a belt; in my stomach do I seem to be holding a twin offspring. I'm afraid of nothing, but that, in my misery, I should burst asunder in the middle. PHÆDROMUS. PALINURUS
speaking to PHÆDROMUS within as he enters . If you do right, Phædromus, you'll listen to me, and banish this sorrow from your feelings. You are anxious because your Parasite hasn't returned from Caria. I think he'll bring the money; but if he doesn't bring it, by a chain of iron he couldn't be withheld from betaking himself to eat at his manger2. CAPPADOX
turning round . What person is it that speaks? PALINURUS
to himself . Whose voice is it that I hear? CAPPADOX
Isn't this Palinurus, the servant of Phædromus? PALINURUS
aside . Who is this fellow with extended paunch, and eyes as green as grass? From his figure I know him; from his complexion I cannot recognize him. O, now I do know him: it's the Procurer Cappadox. I'll accost him. CAPPADOX
Save you, Palinurus. PALINURUS
O source of villanies, save you; how are you? CAPPADOX
I'm just alive. PALINURUS
Just as you deserve, I suppose? But what's the matter with you? CAPPADOX
My spleen is killing me, my reins are in torment, my lungs are being torn asunder, my liver is being tortured, my heart-strings are giving way, all my intestines are in pain. PALINURUS
The liver complaint is afflicting you, then. CAPPADOX
My spleen is expanded. PALINURUS
Take walking exercise3; that's the best thing for the spleen. CAPPADOX
'Tis an easy matter to laugh at the afflicted. PALINURUS
Well, then, do you hold out4 for some days until your intestines become putrid. Now, while the humours are pretty sound, if you do that, you yourself might sell for a worse price than those intestines of yours. CAPPADOX
Prithee, have done with this, and answer me this which I ask; can you possibly form a conjecture on it, if I relate to you what I dreamt last night in my sleep? PALINURUS
Psha, this--pointing to himself --this is the sole person that is really skilled in divination; why, the interpreters of dreams ask advice of myself; the answer that I have given them, by that opinion they all stand.
1 Since thus I find: It being near daybreak, Cappadox comes from the Temple, complaining that he has experienced no relief from his visit.
2 At his manger: "Præsepem," a "manger" or "stall," in allusion to the sensual propensities of Parasites.
3 Take walking exercise: There is little doubt that he means seriously to tell Cappadox that exercise is the best cure for disease of the spleen. The Procurer, however, thinks that he is laughing at him.
4 Do you hold out: This passage has much perplexed Commentators. If a period is placed after "tibi," and "exputescant" is read for "exputescunt," much of the difficulty is removed. None of the Commentators seem to have observed that, in all probability, "si id feceris," "if you do that," refers to the advice previously given as to taking exercise. If so, the meaning is clear. "If you don't take exercise, in a few days your inside will be putrefying. If, however, you do so now, while the humours of the body are not corrupted, your inside will fetch a higher price than your whole carcase put together"--alluding to the worthless character of the Procurer.
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