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With very great pleasure have I listened to your discourse. MEGADORUS
Did you hear me? EUCLIO
Everything from the very beginning. MEGADORUS
eyeing him from head to foot . Still, in my way of thinking indeed, you would be acting a little more becomingly if you were more tidy at the wedding of your daughter. EUCLIO
Those who have display according to their circumstances and splendour according to their means1, remember themselves, from whence they are sprung; neither by myself, Megadorus, nor by any poor man, are better circumstances enjoyed than appearances warrant. MEGADORUS
Surely they are; and may the Gods, I hope, make them so to be, and more and more may they prosper that which you now possess. EUCLIO
aside . That expression don't please me, "which you now possess." He knows that I've got this, as well as I do myself: the old woman has discovered it to him. MEGADORUS
Why do you separate yourself thus alone, apart from the Senate2? EUCLIO
Troth, I was considering whether I should accuse you deservedly. MEGADORUS
What's the matter? EUCLIO
Do you ask me what's the matter? You who have filled every corner in my house, for wretched me, with thieves? You who have introduced into my dwelling five hundred cooks, with six hands a-piece, of the race of Geryon3, whom were Argus to watch, who was eyes all over, that Juno once set as a spy upon Jupiter, he never could watch them; a music-girl besides, who could alone drink up for me the Corinthian fountain of Pirene4, if it were flowing with wine? And then as to provisions---- MEGADORUS
Troth, there's enough for a procurer5 even. I sent as much as a lamb. EUCLIO
Than which lamb, I, indeed, know right well that there is nowhere a more curious6 beast existing. MEGADORUS
I wish to know of you why is this lamb curious? EUCLIO
Because it's all skin and bone, so lean is it with care; why, even when alive, by the light of the sun you may look at its entrails; it's just as transparent as a Punic lantern7. MEGADORUS
I bought it to be killed. EUCLIO
Then it's best that you likewise should bargain for8 it to be carried out for burial; for I believe it's dead by this time. MEGADORUS
Euclio, I wish this day to have a drinking with you. EUCLIO
By my troth, I really must not drink. MEGADORUS
But I'll order one cask of old wine to be brought from my house. EUCLIO
I' faith, I won't have it; for I've determined to drink water. MEGADORUS
I'll have you well drenched this day, if I live, you who have determined to drink water. EUCLIO
aside . I know what plan he's upon; he's aiming at this method, to overcome me with wine, and after that, to change the settlement9 of what I possess: I'll take care of that, for I'll hide it somewhere out of doors. I'll make him lose his wine and his trouble together. MEGADORUS
Unless you want me for anything, I'm going to bathe, that I may sacrifice. He goes into his house. EUCLIO
By my faith, you pot taking it from under his cloak , you surely have many enemies, and that gold as well which is entrusted to you! Now this is the best thing to be done by me, to take you away, my pot, to the Temple of Faith10, where I'll hide you carefully. Faith, thou dost know me, and I thee; please, do have a care not to change thy name against me, if I entrust this to thee. Faith, I'll come to thee, relying on thy fidelity. He goes into the Temple of faith.
1 According to their means: Shakspeare expresses the same idea in
“Costly thy habit as thy purse can buy,
But not expressed in fancy.
2 Apart from the Senate: As the Senate consults about the common interests, so are they discussing their common sentiments. Megadorus therefore, on hearing him talking to himself, asks him why he is withdrawing himself from the discussions of the Senate.
4 Fountain of Pirene: Pirene, the daughter of Acheloüs, on Conchreas her son by Neptune being slain by Diana, pined away, and was changed into a fountain, which was in the Arx Corinthiacus, or Citadel of Corinth, and retained her name.
5 For a procurer: Who might be presumed to have a voracious and ungovernable appetite, and probably a large household to satisfy. Some editions however, have "legioni," which would almost appear to be a preferable reading almost enough for a whole legion."
6 A more curious: "Magis curiosam." It is suggested in Schmieder's Notes to Plautus, that Euclio intends to call the lamb "inquisitive" or "curious," "curiosam," because he had found it, when he entered his house to drive out Congrio and his scullions, scraping and smelling about in every direction, as in a strange place it was natural for it to do, but which the old man thought to be done in quest of his treasure. On this, Megadorus, who has not heard, or else has misunderstood, the last syllable for "nem," instead of "sam," asks him what sort of a lamb a "curio" (the nominative of "curionem") lamb is; on which Euclio catches him up, and says he calls a "curio" lamb such a one as he has sent him, all skin and bone, and lean with "cura," "care." "Curionem" is by many preferred as the reading in the 517th line to "curiosam," and perhaps it is the best. Be it as it may, the wit seems far-fetched; and not improbably the word "curio" may have had some meaning which is now lost, other than its usual signification of the master or head of a "curia," or "ward."
8 Should bargain for: "Loces." "Should hire" the "conductores, or "libitinarii," who contracted to perform funerals. He seems to hint that the lamb is so meagre that it is not worth eating. If that is not his meaning, the wit intended to be conveyed by the passage is imperceptible.
9 Change the settlement: "Commutet coloniam." Literally "may change its colony."
10 Temple of Faith: "Fides," "Faith," was a Goddess worshipped by the Romans. Probably, in the present instance, her Temple was represented at one side of the stage, and the door just beyond the side-scene.
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