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Enter MYRRHINA, from the house of ALCESIMUS.
to her SERVANTS, at the door . Follow me, my attendants1, here next door. You there! Does any one hear this that I say? I shall be here, if my husband or any person shall seek me. Did I order my distaff to be taken there? For when I'm at home alone, drowsiness takes effect upon2 my hand. CLEOSTRATA
Myrrhina, good morrow. MYRRHINA
Good morrow, my dear Cleostrata. But, prithee, why are you sad? CLEOSTRATA
So all are wont to be who are unfortunately married; at home and abroad, there's always enough to make them sad. But I was going to your house. MYRRHINA
And, troth, I was coming here to yours. But what is it that now distresses your mind? For the thing that distresses you, that same is a trouble to me. CLEOSTRATA
On my word, I do believe you. For with good reason no female neighbour of mine do I love better than yourself, nor any one with whom I have more ties of intimacy, to afford me pleasure. MYRRHINA
I thank you kindly, and I long to know what this is. CLEOSTRATA
My husband has put slights upon me in a most unworthy manner. MYRRHINA
Hah! What is it? Prithee, repeat that same again; for, on my word, I don't in my mind sufficiently comprehend your complaints. CLEOSTRATA
My husband has put slights upon me in a most unworthy manner, and I have not the advantage of enjoying my own rights. MYRRHINA
'Tis surprising, if you say the truth; for husbands can scarce obtain from their wives what's their own right. CLEOSTRATA
Why, against my will, he demands a female servant of me, who belongs to myself, and was brought up at my own expense, for him to give to his bailiff. But he is in love with her himself. MYRRHINA
Pray, do hold your tongue. CLEOSTRATA
looking round . But here we may speak at present; we are alone---- MYRRHINA
It is so. But whence did you get her? For a good wife ought to have no property unknown to her husband; and she who has got any, it is not to her credit, for she must either have purloined it from her husband, or obtained it by unfaithfulness. Whatever is your own, all that I take to be your husband's. CLEOSTRATA
Surely, you're saying all this out of opposition to your friend. MYRRHINA
Do hold your tongue, will you, simpleton, and attend to me. Do you forbear to oppose him, will you. Let him love on; that which he chooses let him do, so long as nothing's denied you at home. CLEOSTRATA
Are you quite in your senses? For really, you are saying these things against your own interest. MYRRHINA
Silly creature, do you always take care and be on guard against this expression from your husband---- CLEOSTRATA
What expression? MYRRHINA
"Woman! out of doors with you!"3 CLEOSTRATA
in a low voice . 'St! be quiet. MYRRHINA
What's the matter? CLEOSTRATA
Hush! Looks in a particular direction. MYRRHINA
Who is it that you see? CLEOSTRATA
Why look, my husband's coming; go you in-doors. Make all haste; be off, there's a dear. MYRRHINA
You easily prevail; I'm off. CLEOSTRATA
At a future time, when you and I shall have more leisure, then I'll talk to you. For the present, adieu! MYRRHINA
Adieu! Goes into her house. CLEOSTRATA stands aside.
1 My attendants: It was considered unbecoming for women of rank and character to appear abroad without their attendants.
3 Woman! out of doors with you: "I foras, mulier." This was the echnica! form used on occasions of divorce or separation.
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