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to himself . May all the Gods render him unfortunate, should any Procurer, after this day, ever immolate any victim to Venus, or should any one sacrifice a single grain of frankincense. For wretched I, this day, have sacrificed to my most wrathful Deities1 six lambs, and still I could not manage to make Venus to be propitious unto me. Since I could not appease her, forthwith I departed thence in a passion; I forbade the entrails to be cut, and would not examine them. Inasmuch as the soothsayer pronounced them not propitious, I deemed the Goddess not deserving. By these means I fairly played a trick upon the greedy Venus. When, that which was enough, she would not have to be enough, I made a pause. 'Tis thus I act, and thus it befits me to act. I'll make the other Gods and Goddesses henceforth more contented, and less greedy, when they know how the Procurer put a trick upon Venus. The soothsayer, in manner right worthy of him, a fellow not worth threepence, said that in all the entrails misfortune and loss were portended to me, and that the Gods were angry with me. In what matter either divine or human is it right for me to put trust in him? Just after that, a mina of silver was given me. But where, pray, has this Captain stopped just now, who gave it me, and whom I've invited to breakfast? But look! here he comes. ANTHEMONIDES. ANTHEMONIDES
So, as I began to tell you, you sorry pimp, about that Pentethronic battle2, in which, with my own hands, in one day, I slew sixty thousand flying men. LYCUS
Heyday! Flying men? ANTHEMONIDES
Certainly I do affirm it. LYCUS
Prithee, are there anywhere men that fly? ANTHEMONIDES
There were; but I slew them. LYCUS
How could you? ANTHEMONIDES
I'll tell you. I gave birdlime and slings to my troops; beneath it they laid leaves of coltsfoot3. LYCUS
For what purpose? ANTHEMONIDES
That the birdlime mightn't adhere to the slings. LYCUS
Proceed. Aside. I faith, you do lie most egregiously. Aloud. What after that? ANTHEMONIDES
They placed pretty large pellets of birdlime in their slings: with which I ordered them to be taken aim at as they flew. Why many words? Each one did they hit with the birdlime-they fell to the ground as thick as pears. As each one dropped, I straightway pierced him through the brain with his own feathers, just like a turtle-dove. LYCUS
By my troth, if ever this did take place, then may Jupiter make me to be ever sacrificing, and never propitiating him. ANTHEMONIDES
And don't you.believe me in this? LYCUS
I do believe, in the same degree that it is proper that I should be believed. Come, let's go in-doors, until the entrails are brought home. ANTHEMONIDES
I wish to relate to you a single battle more. LYCUS
I don't care about it. ANTHEMONIDES
Do listen. LYCUS
Upon my faith, no. ANTHEMONIDES
Why then I'll break your head this distant, if you don't listen, or else be off to utter perdition! LYCUS
I'd sooner go to utter perdition! ANTHEMONIDES
Are you determined then? LYCUS
In that case, do you, then, upon this lucky day, the Aphrodisia, make over to me the younger one of your courtesans. LYCUS
The sacred ceremony has by its omens been to me today of such a nature--I put off all serious matters from today until another day. I am resolved to make it really a holiday. Now let's go hence in-doors. Follow me this way. ANTHEMONIDES
I follow. For this day, then, I'm out on hire to you. They go into the house of LYCUS.
1 My most wrathful Deities: These, probably, were Mercury, the God of Profit. and Venus, the Goddess of Lust.
2 Pentethronic battle: Much learning and discussion have been wasted on this word, which probably is only intended as coined by the Captain, as a high-sounding word without any meaning.
3 Leaves of coltsfoot: The hairy surface of the leaves of coltsfoot would serve to keep the pellets of birdlime together at the moment of being nurled from the sling.
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