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Enter ANTHEMONIDES, from the house of LYCUS.
to himself . If I don't take full revenge for that mina which I gave to the Procurer, then really may the townspeople make a butt of me! This most rascally fellow even brought me to his house to breakfast. He himself went away out of doors, and left me as his chamberlain1 in the house. When neither the Procurer nor these women came back, nor anything was given me to eat, for the best part of the breakfast I took a pledge2, and came out of doors. This way I'll pay him. I'll touch up the rascally Procurer in the military way of payment3. He did get hold of a person for him to bamboozle out of a mina of silver! But I wish that my mistress would now come in my way while thus enraged. Then, by my troth, with my fists I'd make her quite black all over; I'd cover her so with swarthiness, that she should be much more swarthy than the Egyptians, or than those who carry the buckets4 at the games in the Circus. ADELPHASIUM
running to AGORASTOCLES . Do hold me fast, please, my love; I sadly fear the kites; this is an evil animal--lest perchance he may carry me off, your chick. ANTERASTYLIS
embracing her FATHER . I cannot clasp you fast enough, my father! ANTHEMONIDES
to himself . I'm delaying. Looking in his hand. I can now pretty nearly cater a breakfast for myself with this. Raising his eyes. But what's this? How's this? What's this? What's this I see? How now? What means this strange conjunction? What's this coupling together? Who's this fellow with the long skirts, just like a tavern-boy? Do I quite see with my eyes? Isn't this my mistress, Anterastylis? Why, surely it is she. For some time past I've perceived that I'm set at nought. Isn't the girl ashamed to be hugging a tawny fellow in the middle of the street? I faith, I shall give him up forthwith to the executioner to be tortured all over. Surely this is a womanish race5, with their tunics hanging down to their heels. But I'm determined to accost this African female lover. To HANNO. Hallo! you woman, I say, are you not ashamed? What business have you with her, pray? Tell me. HANNO
Young man, greetings to you. ANTHEMONIDES
I don't want them; that's nothing to you. What business have you to touch her with a finger? HANNO
Because I choose. ANTHEMONIDES
You choose? HANNO
I say so. ANTHEMONIDES
Away to utter perdition, you shoe-latchet! What, do you dare to be acting the lover here, you great toe of a man6, or to be meddling with an object which masculine men are fond of, you skinnea pilchard, you deformed image of Serapis7, you half-apron, you sheepskin-jacket8, you pot of stinking sea-salt; more crammed, too, to boot, with leeks and garlick than the Roman rowers? AGORASTOCLES
Young man, do your jaws or your teeth itch, that you are annoying this person, or are you in search of a heavy mishap? ANTHEMONIDES
Why didn't you use a drum9 while you were saying that? For I take you to be more of an effeminate wretch than a real man. AGORASTOCLES
Do you understand what sort of effeminate wretch I am? Calling aloud. Servants, come out of doors, bring out some cudgels! ANTHEMONIDES
Hark you, if I have said anything in a joke, don't you be for taking it seriously. ANTERASTYLIS
Prithee, what pleasure have you, Anthemonides, in speaking rudely to our kinsman and father? For this is our father; he has just now recognized us, and him as the son of his cousin. ANTHEMONIDES
So may Jupiter kindly bless me, I heartily rejoice that it is so, and I am delighted, if, in fact, any great misfortune befalls this Procurer, and since a fortune awaits you equal to your merits. ANTERASTYLIS
I' faith, he says what's worthy of belief; do believe him, my father. HANNO
I do believe him. AGORASTOCLES
And I believe him. But look pointing , I espy the Procurer Lycus, the worthy fellow; look, there he is--he's betaking himself homeward. HANNO
Who is this? AGORASTOCLES
He's which you please, both the Procurer and Lycus. He has been keeping your daughters in servitude, and from myself he has stolen some gold. HANNO
A pretty fellow for you to be acquainted with! AGORASTOCLES
Let's bring him to justice. HANNO
By no means. AGORASTOCLES
For what reason? HANNO
Because 'twere better for an action of damages to be brought against him10.
1 As his chamberlain: "Atriensi." The duties of this domestic are fully referred to in the Notes to the Asinaria.
2 I took a pledge: It is not quite clear what he refers to, but he probably means to say that he has laid hold of something valuable in the Procurer's house, which will, at all events, procure a substitute in part for the prandium" out of which he has been cheated
3 Military way of payment: By the mention of "æs militare," some Commentators think that he alludes to his sword, and draws it. He seems to refer, however, to the stipend which the soldiers receive for their services, with full liberty to lay their hands on anything that belongs to the enemy.
4 Carry the buckets: He alludes to the slaves whose duty it was to hold the buckets to the horses in the Circus for them to drink from. Exposure to sun and dust would tend to render them swarthy.
5 A womanish race: "Muliersous" generally means "fond of women." It clearly however, in this passage means "womanish," or "womanlike."
6 You great toe of a man: From this expression it has been conjectured that Hanno was a man of diminutive stature, and that the Play took its name of Pœnulus, "the little Carthaginian," from that circumstance.
7 Of Serapis: It is not fully known what the meaning of "Sarapis" is, as it occurs nowhere else. It has been conjectured, that, owing to the African features of Hanno, the Captain compares him to the little ugly images of Serapis, which were carried about in harvest-time by the priests of that God, for the purpose of collecting money.
8 You sheepskin-jacket: This garment, being worn with the wool on, was remarkable for its offensive smell. "Halagoras hama" is supposed to mean the pots of common sea-salt exposed for sale in the market-place.
9 Use a drum: The priests of Cybele, who were either eunuchs, or persons of effeminate and worthless character, walked in their processions beating a "tympanum." a "drum" or "tambourine." The Captain, by his question, contemptuously implies that Agorastocles is such a character. See the Truer lentus, l. 608, and the Note.
10 Action of damages to be brought against him: "Multum dici" has been adopted as the reading, in preference to "multo induci," which seems capable of no translation consistently with sense. The passage may possbly mean that he prefers an action at law to summary proceedings.
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