This text is part of:
Enter AGORASTOCLES, from his house, followed by MILPHIO.
in a loud voice . Do you say, Milphio, that Syncerastus told you that both of these women were freeborn, and stolen away from Carthage? MILPHIO
I do say so; and if you were willing to act wisely, you'd at once assert their liberty by an action on their freedom. For it's a disgrace to you for you to allow your own country-people to be slaves before your eyes, who were free women at home. HANNO
overhearing, apart . O ye immortal Gods, I do entreat your aid! What speech is this that my ears devour! Surely the words of these persons are made of chalk; how have they cleansed away all the dark spots of woe from me! AGORASTOCLES
If you've got witnesses of this matter, I'll do as you bid me. MILPHIO
Why speak you to me about witnesses? Why don't you stoutly insist upon it? Some way or other, Fortune will be your assistant. AGORASTOCLES
It's much more easy to begin a thing than to bring it about. MILPHIO
catching sight of HANNO, attended by his SERVANTS . But what bird is this1, pray, that's coming hither with the tunic on? Is he from the baths2, I wonder, enveloped in his cloak? I' faith, the countenance is surely Carthaginian. The man's a Gugga3. I' faith, he certainly has got some ancient and antiquated servants. AGORASTOCLES
How do you know? MILPHIO
Don't you see the fellows following, loaded with luggage? And, as I fancy, they've got no fingers on their hands. AGORASTOCLES
Why so? MILPHIO
Why, because they go with their rings in their ears4. I'll approach them, and address them in the Punic language: if they answer, I'll continue to speak in the Punic tongue if not, then I'll adapt my language to their usage. How say you, do you still remember anything of the Punic language? AGORASTOCLES
Nothing at all, i' faith; for tell me, how could I know, who was but six years old when I was stolen away from Carthage? HANNO
apart . O ye immortal Gods! very many freeborn children have been lost from Carthage after this manner. MILPHIO
How say you? AGORASTOCLES
What do you want? MILPHIO
Should you like me to address this person in the Punic tongue? AGORASTOCLES
Do you understand it? MILPHIO
No Punic man this day is a better Punic than I. AGORASTOCLES
Go and address him, as to what he wants, why he's come, who he is, of what country, and whence he comes. Don't be sparing of your questions. MILPHIO
addressing HANNO and his SERVANTS. Avo! 5 Of what country are you, or from what city? HANNO
Hanno Muthumballe bachaëdreanech. AGORASTOCLES
What does he say? MILPHIO
He says that he is Hanno from Carthage, a Carthaginian, son of Muthumbal. HAN. Avo! MIL.
He salutes us. HANNO
He intends to present you with some " donation" out of this; what, I don't know. Don't you hear him promise? AGORASTOCLES
Salute him again in Punic, in my name. MILPHIO
to HANNO . "Avo donni" he tells me to say to you in his name. Pointing to AGORASTOCLES. HANNO
Mehar bocca7! MILPHIO
Be that for yourself rather than me! AGORASTOCLES
What does he say? MILPHIO
He declares that his "box" for his teeth is painful. Perhaps he takes us to be doctors. AGORASTOCLES
If it is so, tell him that we are not; I don't wish a stranger to be mistaken. MILPHIO
to HANNO . Hear you. Rufen nuco istam8. AGORASTOCLES
This is my wish, that in fact everything should be explained to him just as it is. Ask him whether he has need of anything. MILPHIO
to HANNO . You who have got no girdle9, why have you come to this city, or what is it you seek? HANNO
What is it he says? HANNO
Moin lechianna11. AGORASTOCLES
Why has he come? MILPHIO
Don't you hear? He declares that he is wishful to give African mice to the Ædiles as a show at the games. HANNO
Lalech lachananim liminichot12. AGORASTOCLES
What does he say now? MILPHIO
He says he has brought latchets, water- channels13, and nuts; he's now begging that you'll lend him your assistance in having them sold. AGORASTOCLES
He is a merchant, I suppose? HANNO
Is amar binam14. AGORASTOCLES
What is it he says? HANNO
Palum erga dectha15. AGORASTOCLES
Milphio, what is he saying now? MILPHIO
He says that he has got spades and forks16 given him for sale, for digging the garden and reaping the corn. AGORASTOCLES
What is that to me? MILPHIO
He wishes you to be informed of it, so that you mayn't suppose that he has taken anything secretly and by stealth. He has really, I do believe, been sent here to your harvesting. HANNO
Muphonium sucoraim17. MILPHIO
So there! do take care, please, how you do what he's begging of you. AGORASTOCLES
What is he saying, or what is he begging? Explain it. MILPHIO
For you to order him to be placed beneath a hurdle18, and for many stones to be heaped upon it, so as to put him to death. HANNO
Gunebel balsamen ierasan! AGORASTOCLES
Tell me what it is that he's saying. MILPHIO
I' faith, now I really don't at all know. HANNO
speaking in their own language . But that you may know, now from this moment henceforth will I speak Latin. To MILPHIO. Upon my faith, you must be a worthless and bad servant, to be laughing at a person, a foreigner and a stranger. MILPHIO
But, i' faith, at yourself a person that's both a swindler and a cheat, who have come here to take us in, you half-and-half Lybian, you double-tongue, just like a crawling reptile. AGORASTOCLES
to MILPHIO . Away hence with your abusiveness! do restrain your tongue. You'll keep it from uttering abuse, if you are prudent; I don't want you to be speaking harshly to my kinsmen. I was born at Carthage; do you remember that. HANNO
O my fellow-countryman, greetings to you! AGORASTOCLES
And you, troth, whoever you are; and if you have need of anything, pray mention it, and command me for the sake of our common country. HANNO
I return you thanks; but I've got a place of entertainment here; I'm in search of the son of Antidamas; do point me out Agorastocles, if you know him. Do you know any young man here named Agorastocles? AGORASTOCLES
If, indeed, you are in search of the adopted son of Antidamas, I am the very person whom you are in search of. HANNO
starting . Hah! what's that I hear? AGORASTOCLES
That I am the son of Antidamas. HANNO
If so it is, if you would like to compare the token of hospitality19, see here, I've brought it. Shows him the ticket. AGORASTOCLES
Come then, show it here. He takes it in his hand, and looks at it. It is exactly true; for I've got the counterpart at home. HANNO
O my host, hail to you right earnestly; for it was your father, then, Antidamas, that was my own and my father's guest; this was my token of hospitality with him. AGORASTOCLES
Then here at my house shall hospitality be shown you; for I don't reject either Hospitality or Carthage, from which I sprang. HANNO
May the Gods grant you all you may desire. How say you? How could it happen that you were born at Carthage, but had a father of Ætolia here? AGORASTOCLES
I was stolen away from there; this Antidamas, your guest, bought me, and adopted me as his son. HANNO
He himself, likewise, was adopted by Demarchus, But about him I say no more, and return to you. Tell me, de you at all remember the names of your parents? AGORASTOCLES
I remember my father and my mother's name. HANNO
Repeat them, then, to me, to see if I know them, perchance, or if they are relatives of mine. AGORASTOCLES
Ampsigura was my mother, and Iachon my father. HANNO
I could wish that your father and mother were alive. AGORASTOCLES
Are they dead? HANNO
So it is, a thing which I bore with much grief; for your mother Ampsigura was my cousin-german; your father--he was my uncle's son, and when he died he made me his heir; of whom being deprived by death, I am greatly affected. But if it is the fact that you really are the son of Sachon, there ought to be a mark upon your left hand, a bite which an ape gave you when a child, playing with it. Show it, that I may look at it; open your hand. AGORASTOCLES
opening his hand. Look, if you like; see, there it is. My kinsman, welcome to you! HANNO
And welcome to you, Agorastocles! I seem to myself to be born again, in having found you. MILPHIO
By my troth, I'm delighted that this matter has fallen out so happily foryou. To HANNO. And would you decline to take advice? HANNO
Really, I should wish to be advised. MILPHIO
His father's property ought to be restored to the son; it's fair that he should have the property which his father possessed. HANNO
I wish no otherwise; everything shall be restored. I'll give his own property to him all safe, when he comes there. MILPHIO
Take care and restore it, will you, even though he should live here still. HANNO
Nay but, he shall have my own as well, if anything should happen to me20. MILPHIO
A pleasant project has just now come into my mind, HANNO
What's that? MILPHIO
There's need of your assistance. HANNO
Tell me what you wish. Really, you shall have my services just as you please. What is the business? MILPHIO
Can you act the cheat? HANNO
Towards an enemy, I can; to a friend, it would be mere folly. MILPHIO
I' faith, it is an enemy of his. Pointing at AGORASTOCLES. HANNO
I could do him a mischief with pleasure. MILPHIO
He's in love with a person who belongs to a Procurer. HANNO
I deem that he acts discreetly. MILPHIO
This Procurer lives close at hand. HANNO
I could do him a mischief with pleasure. MILPHIO
He has two slave girls, courtesans, sisters; one of these he is desperately in love with, nor has he ever taker any liberties with her. HANNO
It's an unhappy kind of passion. MILPHIO
The Procurer plays upon him. HANNO
He's enhancing his own profits thereby. MILPHIO
He wishes to do him an evil turn. HANNO
He's right, if he does do it. MILPHIO
Now I adopt this plan, and prepare this contrivance, that we should. cite you; you are to affirm that they are your daughters, and that they were stolen when little from Carthage, and to maintain the cause of both in an action on their freedom, as though they were both your own daughters. Do you understand? HANNO
On my faith, I do understand; for I likewise did have two daughters who were stolen away when little children, together with their nurse. MILPHIO
Upon my word, you do feign it cleverly. At the very commencement this amuses me. HANNO
aside, weeping . Much more, i' troth, than I could wish. MILPHIO
aside to AGORASTOCLES . Dear me! a subtle person, upon my word, artful and knowing, both tricky and crafty! How he does whimper, in order that with his gestures he may effect this all the more easily. Even myself, now, the master-workman, does he excel in skill. HANNO
But their nurse21, of what appearance was she? Tell me. MILPHIO
Of stature not tall, of a dusky complexion22. HANNO
'Tis the very person. MILPHIO
Of agreable form, with a small mouth, and very dark eyes. HANNO
I' faith, you really have depicted her form exactly in your words. MILPHIO
Should you like to see her? HANNO
I'd rather see my daughters. Still, go and call her out of doors. If they are my daughters, if she is their nurse, she'll recognize me at once. MILPHIO
knocking at the door of the PROCURER'S house . Hallo there! is there any one here? Tell Giddeneme to come out of doors; there's a person wants to see her.
1 What bird is this: The "tunica," or "garment," which Hanno is wearing, has long sleeves, or "manicæ," which causes Milphio to ask if he is a bird, from their resemblance to wings.
2 From the baths: He alludes to the practice of thieves making off with the cloaks of persons while bathing at the public baths.
3 A Gugga: Probably a nickname for an African, in ommon use it Rome.
4 Rings in their ears: The Carthaginians, no doubt, borrowed this custom from the Syrians and Phœnicians, with whom, as also with the Jews, it was prevalent.
5 Avo: "Hail."Milphio's knowledge of the Punic dialect was probably but limited, though in the sequel it appears that he does know something of it. The translation of these Punic expressions is from Warner's Translation, where the Punic is given in a form somewhat different from that found in the modern editions of the text.
6 Donni: "My masters." Milphio says he is talking about "gifts," from the resemblance of the word to the Latin " doni," the genitive case of "donum " "a gift."
7 Mehar bocca: This passage has been rendered, "Oh! what a son of tears!" Milphio says he is talking about his "bucca," or "cheek," being in pain. An attempt has been made in the Translation to preserve in some slight degree the resemblance.
8 Rufen nuco istam: "We are no doctors."
9 Got no girdle: The Carthaginian tunic flowed loose, and was not fastened with a girdle. Milphio perhaps alludes to his being without a purse, which was generally supported by the girdle, and without which he might think that a stranger had no business in such a wealthy city as Calydon.
10 Muphursa: "Open."
11 Moin lechianna: I beg an entrance for Saturn. Milphio plays upon the very slight resemblance of "muphursa" to "mures," "mice." Under the name of "African mice," he probably alludes to "panthers" or "leopards," which had perhaps been recently shown by the Ædiles, for the first time.
12 Lalech lachananim liminichot: "The messenger who asks a safe abode and kind endurance here."
13 Latchets, water-channels: Milphio plays upon the resemblance of the words "lalech lachananim," to "ligulos canales," which (if the reading is correct) will mean shoestrings and water-pipes--perfect nousense.
14 Is amar binam: "Us unarmed."
15 Palum erga dectha: "Naked men."
16 Spades and forks: Milphio says he is speaking of "palas" and "mergas," "spades" and "pitchforks," by reason of the resemblance in the sound.
17 Muphonium sucoraim: "'Tis on account of your Deities before invoked.
18 Beneath a hurdle: Milphio says he is speaking of "crates," "a hurdle." This mode of stoning to death was practised among the Carthaginians.
19 Token of hospitality: As to the "tessera" of hospitality, see the Cistellaria l. 240, and the Note to the passage.
20 Anything should happen to me: An Euphemism to avert all omen.
21 But their nurse: It did not escape the accurate Schmieder that the fact has not been hitherto communicated to Hanno that the damsels had a nurse who was stolen. This, then, is either an oversight of Plautus, or he must mean that Hanno thinks he has asked the question, and has received an answer in the affirmative.
22 Of a dusky complexion: "Aquilo." "Of he hue of deep water."
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.