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to himself . To Jove the opulent, the renowned, the son of Ops1, the strong, the mighty in power, who riches, hopes, kind plenty does bestow, joyously and gratefully do I offer the sacrifice of thanksgiving, inasmuch as in a friendly way they have bestowed for my friend this opportunity of satisfying his necessity and of borrowing the money, so that I can lend him aid in his need. Whereas I no more dreamed, or thought, or imagined that I should have this opportunity--that same has now fallen from heaven as it were. For my master has sent me to Eretria2; he has given me the money to purchase some trained oxen for him; but he said that the fair would take place seven days hence; a simpleton to trust this money to me whose propensity he knew; for this money I shall misapply in some other purpose: there were no oxen for me to buy. Now I'll both promote the success of my friend, and will give my inclination full enjoyment. The pleasures that belong to a long time will I serve up in a single day. Crack, crack3 it will be upon my back; I don't care. Now, to a person that is my friend I shall present these trained oxen from out of my purse; for this, in fact, is a delightful thing, handsomely to bite your thrice-dotted niggardly, antiquated, covetous, spiritless people, who against their servant seal up the saltcellar with the salt. It's a virtue, when occasion prompts, to hold them in contempt. What will he do to me? He'll order me to be beaten with stripes, the fetters to be put on. I may get a beating. Don't let him fancy that I shall go begging to him. Woe be unto him! Nothing new can now be inflicted upon me but what I have already experienced it. But see, here comes Pægnium, Toxilus's boy.
1 The son of Ops: He seems to intend a jingle on the resemblance between "Jove the opulent" and "the son of Ops." The Goddess Ops of the Romans was the same Divinity as the Rhea of the Greeks, and was daughter of Cœlus and Terra, and became the mother of Jupiter by her husband Saturn. She was also known by the name of Cybele, Bona Dea, Magna Mater, and Tellus.
2 Eretria: This was a city in the island of Eubœa, on the Eastern coast of Greece
3 Crack, crack: "Tax, tax." The noise of the cracking of the
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