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... those who are2 of a thrifty turn of mind, modest, and without servility. ... Chains, rods, and mills; their shocking brutality becomes worse. ... She who keeps my friend and me engaged. ... (Exit.) Enter FIRST BACCHIS.

I have heard3 that Ulysses underwent toils innumerable, who, in wanderings, was twenty years away from his native land. But this young man by far outdoes Ulysses; who here in this spot is wandering within the walls of the city. ...

... She was of the same name with myself. ...

Sweep out the house4 with brooms, work briskly. ... Will some one call that most dirty fellow with the water-pail5 and the water. CLEOMACHUS, SECOND BACCHIS.

... But if a life6 of wantonness is perchance preferred by you, consider the price that I agreed to give you that at that age you might not be following me for nought ... that from no one else you might be receiving a yearly pay, except from oneself, nor be toying with any man ... like slugs upon a man. PISTOCLERUS, SECOND BACCHIS, SERVANT. ...

As like as milk7 is to milk; whatever is her name ...

The soldier who sells his life for gold ... I know that his breath is much stronger than when the bellows of bull's hide are blowing, when the rocks melt where the iron is made.

Of what country did he seem to you?

I think he is of Præneste8; he was such a boaster.

... The city ... and I don't think it is in spurious boastfulness. ... Enter FIRST and SECOND BACCHIS.

... My heart, my hope9, my honey, my sweetness, my nutriment, my delight. ... Let me bestow on you my love ... the Arabian ... Has Cupid or has love overpowered you? ... Perhaps to suspect that you are in love. ... Get money from that quarter ... for I really do believe that with ease you can enchant the heart of any man10.

1 The portion from the commencement of this scene down to the beginning of the thirty-fifth line, is translated from the fragments of the beginning of the play which have been lately discovered by the research of Ritschel. It was generally supposed by Commentators that the beginning of the play had been lost, and that the author of the Prologue, or some other writer, had supplied the hiatus by adding a first scene of his own composition; in which he represents, somewhat inconsistently, Pistoclerus as having been in love with the First Bacchis before the play began, whereas it is obviously the intention of Plautus to represent him as drawn into the amour by her allurements during the First Act. It is worthy of remark, that the learned and ingenious Rost was of opinion that the beginning of this play had not been lost, and that it properly commenced at line 35, "Quod si hoc potis est." This opinion, however, is thoroughly controverted by the result of the researches of Ritschel. Although, for the sake of brevity, these fragments are here grouped into one Scene, to supply the place of the spurious Scene which formerly occupied their place, it is clear that they are really the remnants of several Scenes, introductory to the attempt of the First Bacchis to entrap Pistoclerus. The fragments are ordered differently by different editors.

2 Those who are: It is not unlikely that this and the next three lines are fragments of a Prologue, spoken by Pistoclerus, in which he is complimenting the ingenuity shown by the slave Chrysalus throughout the piece as he is making reference to the punishment of slaves when speaking of "chains, rods, and the mill;" to which latter place refractory slaves were sent for hard labour.

3 I have heard: This is probably the commencement of a Scene. The First Bacchis is revolving her plans against Pistoclerus, who is wandering through the city in search of the mistress of his friend Mnesilochus.

4 Sweep out the house: She is evidently ordering the servants to put the house in readiness against the arrival of her sister from abroad.

5 The water-pail: "Nassiterna" was a pail, or water-pot, having three spouts or mouths.

6 But if a life: Here is another Scene. It would appear probable that the Second Bacchis, having heard, on her arrival, that Mnesilochus, by his friend, is in search of her, signifies to the Captain her intention to remain at Athens, and not to accompany him to Elatia in Phocis, on which he reminds her of the sum of money he has given her, and the original terms of the agreement. It would appear that he proceeds to threaten with his wrath any more fortunate rival; and then concludes by inveighing against harlots in general, as "limaces," "snails," or "slugs," in the same way as a Comic writer of our day might style them "leeches," or "bloodsuckers." It may be remarked, that with the ancients, the avail was the emblem of salacity.

7 As like as milk: Here again is another Scene. Pistoclerus has caught sight of the Second Bacchis, but being unaware that she really is the person whom he is in search of, he remarks upon her strong resemblance to the First Bacchis, with whom, by this time, he has probably had an interview on the subject. His servant then comes and informs him that she is the person whom he is looking for, but that she is under the protection of a mighty Captain, whose breast heaves like a pair of blacksmith's bellows.

8 Is of Præneste: He has a hit here at the people of Præneste, whom he has in a former play censured for their bad grammar, and whom he here represents as occupying the same place in Roman estimation, as the Gascons do, whether deservedly or not, in ours.

9 My heart, my hope: The First Bacchis seems here to be repeating her first lessons in the attack which she is about to make on the heart of the novice Pistoclerus; she is evidently conning over the flattering things that she intends to say to him.

10 The heart of any man: With this line conclude the fragments which have been brought to light by Ritschel; in the previous editions the next line commences the second Scene, the spurious Scene preceding it.

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  • Commentary references to this page (3):
    • Maurus Servius Honoratus, Commentary on the Aeneid of Vergil, Serv. A. 10.493
    • Maurus Servius Honoratus, Commentary on the Aeneid of Vergil, Serv. A. 12.7
    • Maurus Servius Honoratus, Commentary on the Aeneid of Vergil, Serv. A. 6.383
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