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Enter TOXILUS, from his MASTER'S house, with a purse in his hand.
speaking at the door to the PERSONS within . Take you care of that in-doors; I shall betake myself home just now. DORDALUS
Toxilus, how are you? TOXILUS
How now!--pimping filth mixed up with mud! How now!--public dung-heap! dirty, dishonest, lawless, enticer, disgrace to the public; you hawk after money, greedy and envious; you impudent, rapacious, craving fellow (in three hundred lines no person could run through your villanies), will you take the money? Holding out the purse. Take the money, will you, shameless fellow. Take hold of the money, will you. Are you going to take the money, then? Can I make you take the money, filth? Keeps moving it away. You didn't suppose that I should have had so much money--you, who didn't venture to trust me at all except upon oath? DORDALUS
Do let me recover breath, so as to give you an answer. Fellow, dregs of the populace, you stable for she-slaves, you liberator of harlots, you surface for the lash, you wearer-out of the fetters, you citizen of the treadmill, you slave everlastingly, you gormandizer, glutton, pilferer, runaway, give me the money, will you. Give me the money, impudence. Can I get the money out of you? Give me the money, I say. Why don't you give me the money? Are you ashamed of nothing? You impersonation of slavery, a Procurer is asking money of you for the liberation of your mistress, so that all may hear it. TOXILUS
Troth now, prithee, do hold your tongue. For sure your voice is in first-rate strength. DORDALUS
I've got a tongue made for returning a compliment. Salt is provided for me at the same price as for yourself; Unless this tongue protects me, it shall never lick a bit of salt. TOXILUS
I'll cease to be angry now. It was for this I blamed you, because you refused to trust me for the money. DORDALUS
'Twas a wonder, indeed, that I didn't trust you, that you might do the same to me that some of the bankers do1. When you've entrusted them with anything, they immediately run more quickly away from the Forum than a hare, when, at the games2, he's let out of the entrance of his cage. TOXILUS
holding out the money . Take this, will you. DORDALUS
Why don't you give it then? TOXILUS
giving it . There will be here six hundred didrachms, full weight and counted; cause the damsel to be set at liberty, and bring her out here forthwith. DORDALUS
I'll have her here this moment. I' faith, I don't know to whom now to give this money to be tested3. TOXILUS
Perhaps you are afraid to entrust it to any one's hands? DORDALUS
Strange if I wasn't. More quickly, now-a-days, do bankers abscond from the Forum, than a wheel spins round in a race. TOXILUS
pointing . Do you go that way, through the alleys, the back way to the Forum4; let this damsel pass through the same way to our house, through the garden. DORDALUS
I'll have her here this moment. TOXILUS
But not in public view. DORDALUS
Very discreet. TOXILUS
To-morrow she must go to return thanks5. DORDALUS
I' faith, just so indeed. TOXILUS
While you've been loitering, you might have got back. Exit DORDALUS; TOXILUS goes into the house.
1 Some of the bankers ao: As to the character of the "argentarii," or "bankers," at Rome at this period, see the Curculio, l. 373, and the Pseudolus, l. 296, and the Notes to those passages.
2 When, at the games: he probably alludes to the games in the Circus, at the Floralia, or Festival of Flora, when hares and deer were hunted. See the Fasti of Ovid, B. 5, l. 372. These animals were sometimes brought in nets, and sometimes in cages, the "porta," or "door," of which is here mentioned. Probably, one reason for hunting the hare was the fact that it is destructive to flowers (especially pinks and carnations), which were under the tutelage of Flora.
3 To be tested: The "argentarn" were licensed to be "probatores," "triers" or "assayers" of the goodness of the coin in circulation.
4 Back way to the Forum: Dordalus is to go through his house (which adjoins that of the master of Toxilus) to the Forum, for the purpose of procuring the manumission of Lemniselene from the Prætor, who sits in court there. The reason for his being advised by Toxilus to go the back way probably is, that he does not wish, by their walking in the main street, to attract attention to the fact that he has purchased her freedom. The Procurer, too, having to carry the money to the assayers, probably would not like to attract too much attention to his precious burden. As they are to come back the same way, Lemniselene is to enter the house where Toxilus lives at the back entrance, which accounts for her coming thence, in the Fifth Act, without having appeared on the stage since she went back, after speaking with Sophoclidisca, into the house of Dordalus.
5 Go to return thanks: It was the custom solemnly to return thanks to the Deities on liberation from servitude.
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