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Enter EUCLIO, with some chaplets of flowers in his hand.

EUCLIO
I wished at length to screw up my courage to-day, so as to enjoy myself at the wedding of my daughter. I come to the market, I enquire about fish; they tell me that it is dear, that lamb is dear, beef is dear, veal, large fish1, and pork, all of them are dear. And for this reason were they still dearer; I hadn't the money. I came away thence in a rage, since I had nothing wherewithal to make a purchase; and thus did I baulk2 all those rascals. Then I began to think with myself upon the road, "If you are guilty of any extravagance on a festive day, you may be wanting on a common day, unless you are saving." After I disclosed this reasoning to my heart and appetite, my mind came over to my opinion, that I ought to give my daughter in marriage at as little expense as possible. Now I've bought a bit of frankincense, and these chaplets of flowers; these shall be placed upon the hearth for our household God, that he may grant a propitious marriage to my daughter. But what do I----? Do I behold my house open? There's a noise, too, within; is it that I'm robbed, wretch that I am?

LYCONIDES
speaking within the house . Seek of the neighbours a bigger pot3 if you can; this one's too little, it can't hold it.

EUCLIO
Woe to me! By my faith, I'm a dead man; the gold's being carried off--my pot's being looked for. I am certainly murdered, unless I make haste to run with all haste in-doors here! Apollo, prithee do assist and help me, whom thou hast already, before this, helped in such circumstances. Pierce with thine arrows the plunderers of my treasures. But am I delaying to run, before I perish outright. He runs into his house.

1 Large fish: "Cetus" or "cete" properly signifies fish of the whale or dolphin kind; it perhaps means here simply the larger and coarser fish in use among the Romans, like plaice or codfish with us. He probably would not ask the price of "pisciculi," or "small fish," as their dearness would terrify him out of his wits.

2 Did I baulk: "Manum adire" probably signified "to kiss the hand" to a person when expecting something more than that, and thereby "to make a fool of him." He asked the prices of all the commodities, and probably chaffered about them, then kissed his hand to the dealers, and left the market without purchasing. Some think it alludes to a feint or baulk made in wrestling.

3 A bigger pot: Congrio is bawling out within doors for a bigger "aula," "pot" or "jar," to be brought for his cooking, on which the old hunck thinks that some thieves have discovered his own dear "aula."

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