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Enter the ASS-DEALER, with a BOY.
to himself . According as it was pointed out to me, this must be the house where Demænetus is said to live. To the BOY. Go, boy, and knock, and call Saurea the chamberlain out here, if he's in-doors. The BOY goes to knock. LIBANUS
Who's breaking in our door in this fashion? Enough there, I say, if you hear me at all. THE ASS-DEALER.
No one has touched it as yet: are you out of your senses? LIBANUS
Why I thought that you had touched it, because you were steering your course in that direction. I don't want the door, my fellow-slave1, to be thumped by you; I really am attached to our house. THE ASS-DEALER.
I' faith, there's no fear of the hinges being broken off the doors, if you answer all who make enquiries in this fashion. LIBANUS
This door is of this habit; it cries out at once for tho porter, if it sees any door-kicker at a distance coming towards it. But what are you come for? What are you enquiring about? THE ASS-DEALER.
I wanted Demænetus. LIBANUS
If he were at home, I would tell you so. THE ASS-DEALER.
Well, his chamberlain then? LIBANUS
No more is ne at home. THE ASS-DEALER.
Where is he? LIBANUS
He said he was going to the barber's. THE ASS-DEALER.
Hasn't he returned, since he went there? LIBANUS
I' faith, he hasn't. What did you want? THE ASS-DEALER.
He was to have received twenty mine of silver, if he had been in. LIBANUS
What was it for? ASS-D.
He sold some asses at market to a dealer from Pella. LIBANUS
I understand; you are bringing it now. I think that he'll be here just now. THE ASS-DEALER.
Of what appearance is your chamberlain Saurea? If it's he, I shall be able to know at once. LIBANUS
Lantern-jawed, with reddish hair, a little pot-bellied, with glaring eyes, middling stature, sour aspect. THE ASS-DEALER.
A painter couldn't have more correctly described his appearance---- And, i' faith, I see the very man; he's coming this way, wagging his head. LIBANUS
Whoever gets in his way when he's in a passion, he'll be for striking him. THE ASS-DEALER.
By my faith, if, indeed, he were coming filled with the threats and the courage of the grandson of Æacus2, if he were to touch me in his wrath, in his wrath he would be getting a thrashing.
1 My fellow-slave: He so calls the door, from the fact of its being under the control of the "janitor," or "doorkeeper," who was also a slave. Ovid has a similar passage in his Amores, B. 1, El. 6, l. 74. In his address to the "janitor," he says, "Duraque conservæ, ligna, valete, fores' "And you, ye doors equally slaves, hard-hearted blocks of wood, farewell."
2 Of of the grandson of Æacus: He alludes to the wrath of Achilles the son of Pelens, and grandson of Æacus, "the direful spring" of the Grecian woes, with which the Iliad commences.
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