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Enter EROTIUM, from her house.
My life, Menaechmus, save you. PENICULUS
And what for me? EROTIUM
You are out of my number. PENICULUS
... that same thing is wont to be done for the other supernumeraries1 of the legion. MENAECHMUS of Epidamnus.
I would order a skirmish to be got ready there at your house for me to-day. EROTIUM
To-day it shall be done. MENAECHMUS of Epidamnus.
In that skirmish we two shall drink. Him shall you choose that shall be found there the better warrior with the goblet; do you make up your mind with which of the two you'll pass this night. How much, my love, when I look upon you, do I hate my wife. EROTIUM
Meantime, however, you cannot help being wrapped in something of hers. What's this? Takes hold of the mantle. MENAECHMUS of Epidamnus.
taking it off . 'Tis a new dress for you, and a spoil from2 my wife, my rosebud. EROTIUM
You have a ready way of prevailing, so as to be superior in my eyes to any one of those that pay me suit. Embraces him. PENICULUS
aside . The harlot's coaxing in the meantime, while she's looking out what to plunder ... to EROTLUM for if you really loved him, by this his nose ought to have been off with your teething him.3. MENAECHMUS of Epidamnus.
Take hold of this, Peniculus: I wish to dedicate the spoil that I've vowed. PENICULUS
Give it me. Holds it while MENAECHMUS puts it on. But, i' faith, prithee, do dance afterwards with the mantle on in this way. MENAECHMUS of Epidamnus.
I--dance? I' faith, you're not in your senses. PENICULUS
Are you or I the most? If you won't dance, then take it off. MENAECHMUS of Epidamnus.
to EROTIUM . At a great risk have I stolen this to-day. In my opinion, indeed, Hercules didn't ever carry off the belt from Hippolyta4 with danger as great. Take this for yourself he takes it off, and gives her the mantle , since you are the only one alive that's compliant with my humours. EROTIUM
With such feelings 'tis proper that real lovers should be animated. PENICULUS
aside . Those, indeed, who are making haste to bring themselves down to beggary. MENAECHMUS of Epidamnus.
I purchased that for my wife a year since at the price of four minae. PENICULUS
aside . The four minae are clearly gone for ever, as the account now stands. MENAECHMUS of Epidamnus.
Do you know what I wish you to attend to? EROTIUM
I don't know; but I'll attend to whatever you do wish. MENAECHMUS of Epidamnus.
Order a breakfast, then, to be provided for us three at your house, and some dainties to be purchased at the market; kernels of boars' neck, or bacon off the gammon5, or pig's head, or something in that way, which, when cooked and placed on table before me, may promote an appetite like a kite's: and-forthwith---- EROTIUM
I' faith, I will. MENAECHMUS of Epidamnus.
We're going to the Forum: we shall be here just now. While it's cooking, we'll take a whet in the meantime. EROTIUM
Come when you like, the things shall be ready. MENAECHMUS of Epidamnus.
Only make haste, then. Do you follow me to PENICULUS . PENICULUS
By my troth, I certainly shall keep an eye on you, and follow you. I wouldn't take the wealth of the Gods to lose you this day. (Exeunt MENAECHMUS and PENICULUS.) EROTIUM
speaking at the door of her house . Call Cylindrus, the cook, out of doors this moment from within.
1 Supernumeraries: The "adscriptivi," who were also called "accensi," were a body of reserve troops who followed the Roman army without any military duties to perform, and who were drafted off to supply the deficiencies in the legions. In battle they were placed in the rear of the army. Of course they could not claim the same advantages as the regular soldier; and his own position is likened by the Parasite to theirs.
2 A spoil from: "Exuviae" means either the slough or cast skin of a snake, or the spoil taken from the enemy. Perhaps the latter is the sense in which it is here meant, as he has described his operations as a perfect campaign.
3 With your teething him: Judging from this remark, perhaps she has accidentally forgotten to kiss her dupe, Menaechmus.
4 From Hippolyta: Hercules was commanded by Eurystheus to obtain the belt or girdle of Hippolyta, or Antiope, the Queen of the Amazons. This he effected, and gave her in marriage to his companion Theseus, by whom, after giving birth to Hippolytus, she was put to death. Some accounts, however, state that she was slain by Hercules.
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