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Enter CHALINUS, from the house of ALCESIMUS, dressed in woman's clothes.
Where are you, you who imitate the morals of the Massilians1? Now, if you wish to be taking liberties with me, is a good opportunity [* * * at your risk. By my troth, you are undone. Come, only step this way. * * * Now I fancy that when a witness out of * * * * * * * * I'll find * * * * thus out of the street I order * * * * a murmur I * * * STALINO
Now am I in extreme danger, between the stone and the sacrifice, nor know I which way to fly * * * * * The wolf-dogs * * * it was * * * CHALINUS
I' faith, I do think * * * * old there now like new.] STALINO
turning about . I'll go this way. I trust that the omen of a bitch's barking will prove the better2. CLEOSTRATA
What are you doing, my husband, my good man? Whence come you in this guise? What have you done with your walking-stick, or how disposed of the cloak you had? TWO MAID-SERVANTS
While he was playing his loving pranks with Casina, he lost it, I fancy. STALINO
aside . Utterly undone! CHALINUS
coming up to STALINO . Shall we go to bed again? I am Casina. STALINO
Away with you to utter perdition! CHALINUS
Don't you love me? CLEOSTRATA
Nay, but answer me; what has become of your cloak? [ STALINO
running about, exclaiming . Upon my faith, wife, the Bacchantes! Bacchantes3! Bacchantes! TWO MAID-SERVANTS
He's making pretence on purpose for, upon my word, no Bacchantes are exhibiting at the present time. STALINO
I forgot that. But still, the Bacchantes!---- CLEOSTRATA
How, the Bacchantes? Why, that cannot be. TWO MAID-SERVANTS
By my troth, you are in a fright. STALINO
What I? CLEOSTRATA
to the SERVANT . I' faith, do tell no lies, for it's quite clear. * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *] STALINO
Won't you hold your tongue? OLYMPIO
I' troth, I certainly shall not hold my tongue; for with the greatest earnestness you begged me to ask for Casina as my wife. STALINO
That I did on account of my love for you. CLEOSTRATA
I' faith, of her rather. Turning to CHALINUS. He'd have been making an attack upon you, in fact. STALINO
I been doing these things that you mention? CLEOSTRATA
And do you ask me that? STALINO
If indeed I have done so, I've been doing wrong. CLEOSTRATA
Just come back in-doors here; I'll remind you, if you have forgotten anything. STALINO
Troth, I think, I'll believe you in preference as to what you say. But, wife, do grant pardon to your husband for this; Myrrhina, do entreat Cleostrata! If ever, from this time forward, I love Casina, or even think of it, should I love her, I say, should I ever hereafter, in fact, be guilty of such a thing, there's no reason, wife, why you shouldn't lash me with twigs as I hang up by the arms. MYRRHINA
On my word, I do think that forgiveness may be granted for this. CLEOSTRATA
to MYRRHINA . I'll do as you request me. To STALINO. On this account with the less difficulty do I now grant you this pardon, that, from being a long one, we mayn't be making this Play still longer. STALINO
You are not angry? CLEOSTRATA
I am not angry. STALINO
Am I to trust your word? CLEOSTRATA
You may my word. STALINO
No person ever did have a more amiable wife than I've got. CHALINUS
Keep to her, then. CLEOSTRATA
to CHALINUS . Come you, give him back his walking-stick and cloak. CHALINUS
taking them from behind him, where he had held them . Take them, if you wish. Upon my faith, a great injustice has really been most egregiously done me; I've been married to two husbands; neither has behaved to me as to a new-made bride. The PLAYERS.
Spectators, what's to be done within, we'll tell you here. This Casina will be discovered to be the daughter of this person next door4, and she'll be married to Euthynicus, our master's son. Now it's only fair that with your deserving hands you should give us deserved applause. He who does so, may he always keep his mistress without the knowledge of his wife. But he who doesn't with his hands clap as loud as he can, in place of a mistress, may a he-goat, soused in bilge-water, be palmed off upon him5.
1 Of the Massilians: It is not at all settled by Commentators what is the meaning of this line. Massilia, now Marseilles, was a colony of the Phocæans. Cicero, in his Speech for L. Flaccus, particularly alludes to the strictness of their morals. It is possible that this good character may have passed into a proverb, and that Chalinus banteringly calls Stalino one who cultivates Massilian or the strictest morals. Schmieder, however, thinks that a pun on the word "Massilienses" is intended, and that as Stalino has met with a "mas," or "male," where he had hoped to find a female, Chalinus comes forward and asks him what he thinks of the Mas-silians; just as we in a similar case might say (though perhaps rather tamely) the Man-chester people.
2 Will prove the better: It is somewhat difficult to say exactly what he means. In l. 927, he seems to be anneyed at being called back as he is running (probably down one of the streets that debouched on the stage). "Revocamen," "being called back," was particularly considered as a bad omen among the Romans. He, perhaps, now changes his mind, and says to himself, "This is a bad omen; I'll turn back; and bad as it is, the barking of my wife may prove a better one."
3 Bacchantes! Bacchantes!: He tries to make an excuse by implication: pretending to be in a fright, he shouts out, wishing them to believe that he has met a gang of Bacchanalian votaries (who were not very particular as to doing mischief to any one they met). Unfortunately for him, a servant-maid suggests that no feast of Bacchus is going on at that time of the year, and that consequently the Bacchantes are not "out."
4 Of this person next door: Schmieder suggests that Myrrhina has not hitherto seen Casina, but now, on hearing so much of her, enquires into her history, on which Chalinus explains how he begged her of the woman who was going to expose her, and Myrrhina then recognizes in her her own child, whom she had ordered to be exposed. This practice, especially with regard to female children, was by no means uncommon among the ancients, and even with the more respectable classes. We must remember, however, that in the Prologue it is stated that the servant who found her is ill in bed.
5 Palmed off upon him: Warner, in his concluding Note to this Play, informs us that "Machiavel had undoubtedly this Comedy of Plautus his eye when he wrote his Clinia."
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