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He has gone away from here, and has entrusted to me the most important concern of catering. Immortal Gods how I shall now be slicing necks off of sides; how vast a downfall will befall the gammon1; how vast a belabouring the bacon! How great a using-up of udders, how vast a bewailing for the brawn! How great a bestirring for the butchers, how great a preparation for the porksellers! But if I were to enumerate the rest of the things which minister to the supply of the stomach, 'twould be sheer delay. Now will I go off to my government, to give laws to the bacon, and, those gammons that are hanging uncondemned,2 to give aid to them. Goes into the house.
1 Befall the gammon: An alliteration is employed in these two lines, which cannot be well kept up in a literal translation. As, however, in the translation an attempt is made to give the spirit of the passage, the literal meaning may be here stated. "Pernis pestis," "a plague to the gammons;" "labes larido," "a fail for the bacon;" "sumini absumedo," "a consumption of udder;" "callo calamitas," "destruction to the brawn;" and "laniis lassitudo," "weariness to the butchers." Sows' udder, with the milk in it, first dried, and then cooked in some peculiar manner, was considered a great delicacy by the Roman epicures.
2 Hanging uncondemned: He'll commute the punishment of the gammons and hams, for they shall hang no longer.
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