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Enter CLEOSTRATA, from her house.
to herself . This was the reason, then, i' faith, why my husband entreated me, with such great earnestness, to make haste and invite my female neighbour to our house---- that the house might be clear for him to be taking Casina there. Now, therefore, I shall by no means invite her, so that liberty of free range shan't be any way given to worn-out bell-wethers. ALCESIMUS is coming out of his house. But look, the pillar of the Senate's coming forward, the safeguard of the public, my neighbour, the person who is finding free range for my husband. I' faith, the measure of wit1 that has been sold to him, was purchased at no cheap rate. ALCESIMUS
to himself . I'm wondering that my wife, who's already waiting at home, dressed out, to be sent for, hasn't been invited by this to my neighbour's here. But see, here she is; she's come to fetch her, I guess. Going up to CLEOSTRATA. Good day, Cleostrata! CLEOSTRATA
And you the same, Alcesimus. Where's your wife? ALCESIMUS
She's waiting in-doors for you to send for her; for your husband requested me to send her to help you. Do you wish me to call her? Going towards the door. CLEOSTRATA
Let it alone; I don't care; * * if she's busy. ALCESIMUS
She's at leisure. CLEOSTRATA
I don't care about it; I don't want to be troublesome to her; I'll see her at a future time. ALCESIMUS
Are you not getting ready for a wedding there at your house? CLEOSTRATA
I am getting ready and making preparations. ARC.
Don't you require an assistant then? CLEOSTRATA
We have enough at home. When the marriage has taken place, then I'll call upon her; for the present, farewell, and bid her the same from me. Goes into her house. ALCESIMUS
to himself . What am I to do now? To my sorrow. I've done a most disgraceful action for the sake of that vile and toothless goat, who has engaged me in this. I've promised the aid of my wife out of doors, as though to go lick dishes2 like a dog. A worthless fellow, to tell me that his wife was going to send for her, whereas she herself declares that she does not want her. And upon my faith, it's a wonder if this female neighbour of mine hasn't already her suspicions of this. But yet, on the other hand, when I reflect with myself on this notion, if there were anything of that, there would have been enquiries of me. I'll go in-doors, that I may lay up the ship3 again in the dockyard. Goes into his house. Enter CLEOSTRATA, from her house. CLEOSTRATA
to herself . Now he has been finely made a fool of. In what a bustle are these unfortunate old fellows. Now I do wish that that good-for-nothing decrepit husband of mine would come, that I might make a fool of him in his turn, after I have thus fooled the other one. For I long to make a bit of a quarrel between these two. But look, he's coming. Why, when you see him so serious, you'd think him a decent person. She stands on one side, unseen.
1 The measure of wit: "Salis." Literally "salt." The meaning of this passage is obscure in the extreme, and it is difficult to form a conjecture what it really is, further than that it is not complimentary to Alcesimus.
2 To go lick dishes: He alludes to the habit of puppies, and grown-up dogs as well, of being very ready to find their way to the cupboards of their neighbours.
3 Lay up the ship: He means his wife, who is all dressed out ready for her voyage to her neighbours, and whom he will now order to be unrigged and towed into dock.
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