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Enter SAGARISTIO and the DAUGHTER of SATURIO, dressed as PERSIANS.
Doesn't Athens seem to you a rich and opulent place? DAU.
I've seen the appearance of the city; the customs of the people I've observed but little of. TOXILUS
apart . At the very outset has she forborne to make a wise remark. DORDALUS
apart . I cannot by her very first words form an estimate of her wisdom. SAGARISTIO
What as to that which you have seen? How does the city seem fortified to you, with its wall? DAU.
If the inhabitants have good morals, I think it's properly fortified. If Perfidiousness, and Peculation, and Avarice are exiled from the city, Envy in the fourth place, Ambition in the fifth, Scandal in the sixth, Perjury in the seventh. TOXILUS
apart . Bravo! DAU.
Idleness in the eighth, Injustice in the ninth, Immorality, which is the very worst in its attack, in the tenth. If these things shall not be away from it, a wall a hundred-fold were too little for preserving its interests. TOXILUS
apart . What say you? DOR. apart . What do you mean? TOXILUS
apart . You are among those ten companions; you must depart in banishment from here. DORDALUS
apart . Why so? TOX. apart . Because you are perjured. DORDALUS
apart . Really she has spoken not without some cleverness. TOXILUS
apart . That's to your advantage, I say; you buy her. DORDALUS
apart . Upon my faith, the more I look at her, the more she pleases me. TOXILUS
apart . If you do buy her, immortal Gods, no other Procurer will be more wealthy than yourself; at your will you'll be turning people out of their estates and households; you'll be transacting business with men of the highest rank; they'll be longing for your favour; they'll be coming to make merry at your house. DORDALUS
apart . But I shan't allow them to be admitted. TOXILUS
apart . But then at night they'll be singing1 before your threshold, and be burning down your door; do you at once order your house to be fastened with a door of iron2, change for a house of iron, fix in thresholds of iron, a bar of iron and a ring; if you don't prove sparing of the iron, do you order thick fetters of iron to be rivetted upon yourself. DORDALUS
apart . Away to utter perdition! TOX. pushing him . Go then, make purchase of her, and follow my advice. DORDALUS
apart . Only let me know how much he asks for her. TOXILUS
apart . Should you like me to call him here? DORDALUS
apart . I'll go to him. TOXILUS
accosting him . How fare you, guest? SAGARISTIO
I'm come; I've brought her pointing to the DAMSEL , as I just now said I would. For yesterday at night the ship arrived in harbour: I want her to be sold, if she can; if she cannot, I intend to go away from here as soon as I can. DORDALUS
Greetings to you, young man. SAGARISTIO
If indeed I shall dispose of her at her own price---- TOXILUS
pointing to DORDALUS . Why, you'll either sell her handsomely with him for your purchaser, or you can to no one. SAGARISTIO
Are you a friend of his? TOXILUS
In the same measure as all the Divinities who inhabit the heavens. DORDALUS
Then you are an assured enemy to me; for to the race of procurers no God was ever so kind as to prove propitious. SAGARISTIO
Attend to the business in hand. Have you any need to purchase her? DORDALUS
If you have need for her to be sold, I, too, have need to purchase her; if you have no sudden occasion to sell, just in the same degree have I to buy. SAGARISTIO
State a sum; name a price. DORDALUS
The commodity is your own; it's for you to name a sum. TOXILUS
to SAGARISTIO . He asks what's right. SAGARISTIO
Do you wish to buy at a bargain? DORDALUS
Do you wish to sell at a handsome profit? TOXILUS
I' faith, I'm sure that both of you would like to do so. DORDALUS
Come, boldly name your price. SAGARISTIO
I tell you beforehand; no one will dispose of her to you on warranty. Do you so understand it, then? DORDALUS
I understand it. Declare what's the lowest price at which you'll offer her, for which she may be taken by the purchaser. TOXILUS
Hold your tongue, hold your tongue. Really, upon my faith, you are a very simple man, with your childish ways. DORDALUS
Why so? TOXILUS
Why because I wish you first to make enquiries of the damsel which relate to your interest. DORDALUS
And really, upon my faith, you've given me no bad advice. Look at that, will you. I, an experienced Procurer, had almost fallen into the pit, if you had not been here. How important a point it is to have a person your friend at hand when you are about anything. TOXILUS
I want you to make enquiry of her, of what family or in what country she was born, or of what parents, so that you mayn't say that you've bought her at hazard by my persuasion or suggestion. DORDALUS
On the contrary, I approve of your counsel, I tell you. TOXILUS
to SAGARISTIO . Unless it's troublesome, he's desirous to make a few enquiries of her. SAGARISTIO
By all means; at his own pleasure. TOXILUS
to DORDALUS . Why do you delay? Go to him yourself; and do you yourself ask him as well, that you may be allowed to make such enquiries as you please; although he has told me that he gives permission to do so of her, still I had rather that you yourself should go to him, that he mayn't be holding you in contempt. DORDALUS
You give me very proper advice. Accosting SAGARISTIO. Stranger, I should like to ask some questions of her. Pointing to the YOUNG WOMAN. SAGARISTIO
From earth to heaven, whatever you like. DORDALUS
Just bid her to step this way to me. SAGARISTIO
to the YOUNG WOMAN . Go you, then, and humour him. To DORDALUS. Make enquiry, question her, just as you please. TOXILUS
to DORDALUS . Well, well3, get on then; make your preparations. Aside to the YOUNG WOMAN. Take you care to commence with a good omen. DAU.
The auspices are favourable. TOXILUS
Aside to the YOUNG WOMAN . Hold your tongue. To DORDALUS. Step you aside here; I will now conduct her to you. DORDALUS
Do what you think is most for my interest. TOXILUS
to the YOUNG WOMAN, who advances with him . Follow me. To DORDALUS. I've brought her, if you are wishful to make any enquiries of her. DORDALUS
But I want you to be present. TOXILUS
I cannot do otherwise than pay attention to this stranger pointing to SAGARISTIO , whom my master bade me show courtesy to. What if he doesn't choose that I should be present together with you? SAGARISTIO
Yes, but do come. TOXILUS
to DORDALUS . I'll lend you my assistance, then. DORDALUS
You're lending it yourself as well when you are assisting your friend. TOXILUS
Examine her. Aside to the YOUNG WOMAN. Hark you, be on your guard. DAU.
aside . Enough has been said to me. Aloud. Although I am a slave, I know my duty, so that whatever he asks I'll tell the truth as I have heard it. TOXILUS
pointing to DORDALUS . Young woman, this is an honorable man. DAU.
I believe you. TOXILUS
You'll not be long in servitude with him. DAU.
I' faith, and so I trust, if my parents do their duty. DORDALUS
I do not wish you to be surprised, if we make enquiries of you about either your country or your parents. DAU.
Why should I be surprised at that, my dear sir? My state of servitude has forbidden me to be surprised at any misfortune of my own. TOXILUS
aside . May the Gods confound her! so cunning and crafty is she. She has got shrewd sense: how readily she does say what's needed. DORDALUS
What's your name? TOXILUS
aside . Now I'm afraid she'll be tripping. DAU.
My name was Lucris4 in my own country. TOXILUS
The name and the omen are worth any price. Why don't you make purchase of her? Aside. I was greatly afraid that she would be tripping. She has got herself free. DORDALUS
If I make purchase of you, I trust that you'll prove Lucris to myself as well. TOXILUS
If you do make purchase of her, never, on my word, do I think that she'll remain your slave throughout the month. DORDALUS
And so indeed I'd hope, i' faith. TOXILUS
That what you wish may come to pass, employ your own energies. Aside. In nothing even as yet has she made a slip. DORDALUS
Where were you born? DAU.
According to what my mother told me,in the kitchen5, in a corner on the left hand. TOXILUS
to DORDALUS . This woman will prove a lucky Courtesan for you; she has been born in a warm spot, where full oft there is an abundance of all good things. Aside. The Procurer was taken in when he asked where she was born. She has played him off nicely. DORDALUS
But I ask of you, what is your country? DAU.
What should be mine but that where I now am? DORDALUS
But this I'm asking, what was? DAU.
Everything that was, do I consider as nothing, since it was, and is not now. Just like a man when he has breathed forth his spirit; why enquire of him who he was? TOXILUS
aside . So may the Deities kindly favour me, right cleverly. And yet I really do pity her. DORDALUS
But still, young woman, come, tell me at once which is your country? Why are you silent? DAU.
For my part, I really am telling you my country. Since I'm in servitude here, this is my country. TOXILUS
Do cease now making enquiries about that. Don't you see that she's unwilling to declare, lest you should recall to her the remembrance of her misfortunes? DORDALUS
What's the matter? Is your father in captivity? DAU.
Not in captivity; but what he had, he has lost. TOXILUS
She will prove to be born of a good family; she knows how to say nothing but the truth. DORDALUS
Who was he? Tell me his name? DAU.
Why should I tell of him, wretched man, who he was? For the present 'twere proper for him to be called Miserable, and me Miserable. DORDALUS
What kind of a person was he considered by the public? DAU.
Not a person more acceptable; slaves and free persons all liked him. TOXILUS
You do speak of a miserable man, inasmuch as he's almost lost himself, and has lost his friends. DORDALUS
I shall purchase her, I think. TOXILUS
What, still " I think?" DORDALUS
I imagine that she's of a noble family. TOXILUS
You'll make riches by her. DORDALUS
May the Gods grant it so. TOXILUS
Do you only buy her. DAU.
Now this I tell you: my father will be here directly, when he knows that I've been sold, and will ransom me thus separated from him. TOXILUS
What say you now Don. What's the matter? TOXILUS
Do you hear what she says? DAU.
For although his fortunes are broken, he still has friends. Pretends to cry. DORDALUS
Don't weep, please; you'll soon be at liberty, if--you have sweethearts enough6. Would you like to belong to me? DAU.
So long, indeed, as I don't belong to you too long. I'd like. TOXILUS
How well she does keep in mind her liberty. She'll be producing you fine hauls. About it, if you are about it. I'll go back to him. To the YOUNG WOMAN. Do you follow me. To SAGARISTIO
) I've brought her back to you. DORDALUS
Young man, are you disposed to sell her? SAGARISTIO
I'd like it, rather than lose her. DORDALUS
Do you compress it then into a few words; state the price at which she's offered. SAGARISTIO
I'll do so, as I see you wish it. Take her for a hundred minæ. DORDALUS
That's too much. SAGARISTIO
For eighty. DORDALUS
That's too much. SAGARISTIO
There can't a didrachm be abated from the price which I shall now name. DORDALUS
What is it, then? Speak out at once and name it. SAGARISTIO
At your own risk, she's offered at sixty minæ. DORDALUS
Toxilus, what am I to do? TOXILUS
aside to DORDALUS . The Gods and Goddesses are pursuing you with their vengeance, you rogue, for not making haste to purchase her. DORDALUS
Take them, then. TOXILUS
Well done, you have got a rich prize! Be off, and fetch the money out here. On my faith, she's not dear at three hundred minæ. SAGARISTIO
Hark you, for her clothing there'll be ten minæ added to this as well. DORDALUS
Yes, be deducted, not added. TOXILUS
Do hold your tongue, will you; don't you see that he's seeking an excuse to have the bargain broken? Why don't you be off and fetch the money? DORDALUS
to TOXILUS, as he is going . Hark you, do you keep an eye upon him. TOXILUS
Why don't you then go in? DORDALUS
I'll go and fetch the money. Goes into his house.
1 They'll be singing: "Occento" seems to have a twofold meaning --"to sing to" or "serenade," or "to sing against," "to defame in abusive songs." Perhaps the latter is the meaning in the present passage.
2 With a door of iron: De l'Œuvre suggests that Plautus here alludes to the story of Jupiter and Danaë.
3 Well, well: In Weise's Edition these words are given to Sagaristio, but they seem better in the mouth of Toxilus.
4 Was Lucris: He is enchanted with her name of Lucris, because it so closely resembles "lucrum," "profit" or "gain."
5 In the kitchen: This is the first of her evasions of a direct answer to Dordalus. The cleverness of all of them is admirable, and shows a wish, if possible, to save her conscience in the awkward position in which she has been placed by the gluttony of her father.
6 Have sweethearts enough: This is a somewhat modified translation of the passage. The Procurer uses a brutal expression, which well befits his character.
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