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Enter CALIDORUS and CHARINUS.
The sweets and the bitters, all have I disclosed to you. You know my love, you know my difficulty, you know my poverty. CHARINUS
I well remember all; do you only let me know what you want me to do. CALIDORUS
Pseudolus has directed me thus, that I should bring to him some bold and zealous person. CHARINUS
You observe your directions well; for you bring him one both friendly and zealous. But this Pseudolus is a stranger to me. CALIDORUS
He is a very clever fellow--he is my contriver. He said that he would effect those things for me that I have told you of. PSEUDOLUS
apart . I'll address this person in a very lofty strain. CALIDORUS
Whose voice is it that's heard here? PSEUDOLUS
Oh! thee, sovereign lord, thee, oh! thee do I address who dost rule over Pseudolus: thee do I seek, to impart to thee delights thrice three, threefold, acquired by three contrivances, obtained over three persons through craftiness and through subtlety, which in this very little sealed packet I have brought unto you1. Holds up the letter. CALIDORUS
That's the fellow; how the hang-dog does bluster just like a tragedian. PSEUDOLUS
Advance a step on thy side towards me. Boldly stretch forth thine arm for greeting. CALIDORUS
taking his hand . Tell me, Pseudolus, whether, as Hope or as Safety, must I greet you? PSEUDOLUS
Why both. CALIDORUS
As both I greet you. But what has been done? Why are you silent? I have carried this person here. Pointing to CHARINUS. PSEUDOLUS
How? Carried him here? CALIDORUS
Brought, I meant to say. PSEUDOLUS
Who's this person? CALIDORUS
Well done; I return him thanks2 then. CHARINUS
Will you then boldly enjoin me what it is necessary to do? PSEUDOLUS
My thanks, so far. May it be well with you, Charinus; I don't like that we should be troublesome to you. CHARINUS
You, troublesome to me? Now, really, that's troublesome. PSEUDOLUS
Well, then, wait a moment. Takes the letter out from under his dress. CALIDORUS
What's that? PSEUDOLUS
This letter have I just now intercepted, and the token. CALIDORUS
Token? What token? PSEUDOLUS
The one that was brought just now from the Captain. His servant, who was bringing it, with five mineæ of silver, who came to fetch your mistress hence, him I have just now bamboozled. CALIDORUS
How so? PSEUDOLUS
For the sake of these Spectators the play is being performed; they know, who were present here; you I'll tell at another time. CALIDORUS
What are we to do then? PSEUDOLUS
You shall this day embrace your mistress at liberty. CALIDORUS
What, I? PSEUDOLUS
You yourself. CALIDORUS
Your own self, I say, if indeed this head shall exist so long; if you'll only quickly find me out a man. CHARINUS
Of what description? PSEUDOLUS
A cunning, crafty and clever one, who, when he has once taken hold of the beginning, may by his own ingenuity still hold fast upon what it behoves him to do; one, too, who has not often been seen here. CHARINUS
If he is a slave, does that matter at all? PSEUDOLUS
Why, I'd much rather have him than a free man. CHARINUS
I think that I'm able to procure for you a cunning and clever fellow, that has lately come to my father from Carystus3, and hasn't as yet gone anywhere out the house, and who never visited Athens before yesterday. PSEUDOLUS
You assist in right earnest. But I have need to borrow five minæ of silver, which I shall repay this day, for his father pointing to CALIDORUS owes it me. CHARINUS
I'll lend it; don't seek it anywhere else. PSEUDOLUS
O, how convenient a person for me. I have need of a scarf as well, a sword, and a broad-brimmed hat. CHARINUS
I can provide them from my house. PSEUDOLUS
Immortal Gods! surely this is not Charinus for me, but Abundance. But this servant, who is come here from Carystus, is there anything in him? CHARINUS
Plenty of the stinking goat4 in him. PSEUDOLUS
It befits the fellow, then, to have a tunic with long sleeves5 Has the chap anything sharp6 in his breast? CHARINUS
Aye, of the very sharpest. PSEUDOLUS
But if it is necessary for him to draw forth what is sweet from the same place, has he aught of that? CHARINUS
Do you ask that He has wine of myrrh, sweet raisin wine, spice wine7 honey wine, sweets of every sort. Why, he once began to set up a hot liquor-shop in his breast. PSEUDOLUS
Bravissi o! Why, Charinus, you beat me cleverly8 at my own game. But what am I to say is the name of this servant? CHARINUS
In a difficulty, does he understand how to twirl about? CHARINUS
A whirlwind9 is not so ready as he. PSEUDOLUS
Is he shrewd at all? CHARINUS
In mischievous tricks10 very often. PSEUDOLUS
How, when he's caught in the fact? CHARINUS
He's a very eel; he slips out. PSEUDOLUS
Is this fellow an experienced one? CHARINUS
A public ordinance11 is not more experienced. PSEUDOLUS
He is a suitable person, according to what I hear you say. CHARINUS
Aye, and from this you may know it. When he looks at you he'll tell, of his own accord, what it is you want with him. But what are you about to do? PSEUDOLUS
I'll tell you. When I've dressed up my man, I intend to make him become the pretended servant of the Captain; let him take this token to the procurer, with five minæ of silver. There's the whole plot for you. As for the rest, in what way he is to do each thing, I'll instruct himself. CALIDORUS
Why, therefore, do we stand here then? PSEUDOLUS
Bring the fellow to me just now, dressed out with all his accoutrements, to Æschinus, the banker's. But make all haste. CALIDORUS
We'll be there before you. PSEUDOLUS
Get you gone there quickly. CALIDORUS and CHARINUS go into SIMO'S house. Whatever before was uncertain or doubtful in my mind, is now clear-now fined to the dregs; my heart has now an open path. All my legions will I lead forth under their standards with happy omen12 with favorable auspices, and to my heart's content. I have a certainty that I can rout my enemies. Now will I go to the Forum, and load Simmia with my instructions what he is to do, that he may not be tripping at all, and that he may cleverly lay the train for this plot. Soon now shall I cause the town of this procurer to be carried by storm. (Exit.)
1 I have brought unto you: The note of interrogation at the end of this passage, as found in Ritschel's Edition, seems to be out of place.
3 From Carystus: This was a city of Eubœa, opposite the Isle of Andros.
4 The stinking goat: He cannot resist the temptation of a pun, though a somewhat unsavoury one. Pseudolus asks if this servant of Charinus is at all sharp. "Quid sapit?" The same words also admit of the meaning, "does he smell of anything?" On which Charinus gives him answer, as though the question had been put in the latter sense, "Yes, of the goat under the arm- pits." The Romans, who were fond of giving a name to everything, whether it was worth it or not, called the strong smell produced by the glands of the arm-pits by the name of "hircus," "the goat," by reason of the rank smell of that animal.
5 Tunic with long sleeves: On this dirty answer being given him, Pesudolus says, "Well, then, he must have an under-garment with long sleeves," "manuleata tunica," in order to suppress the offensive smell. The use of the long-sleeved tunic was considered to denote great effeminacy.
6 Anything sharp: "Ecquid aceti." Literally, "any vinegar." This word sometimes signifies "caustic wit" or "raillery" Here it denotes "natural shrewdness.
7 Raisin wine, spice wine: "Passum" was wine made from grapes dried in the sun. "Defrutum" was new wine boiled down to one-half with herbs and spices to make it keep.
8 You beat me cleverly: "Lamberas." The verb "lambero" generally signifies "to tear in pieces."
9 A whirlwind: "Turbo" may mean either a "spinning-" or "whipping-top," or a "whirlwind," here.
10 In mischievous tricks: "Argutus," as an adjective, signifies "clever," "shrewd." As the past participle of the verb "arguo," it means "accused." Pseudolus asks if he is "shrewd," "argutus" to which the other answers evasively, "O yes (he has been accused," "argutus"), "of mischievous tricks very often."
11 A public ordinance: The "plebiscita" among the Romans were the public ordinances, which were proposed by the Tribunes at the "Comitia Tributa" of the people. He puns upon the resemblance of the word "scitus," which means "knowing," and "scitum" signifying "an ordinance." Is he "scitus," "knowing?" "O yes, a public ordinance" "scitum," 'is not more knowing," "scitus," "than he is"
12 With happy omen: "Ave sinistrâ" Literally, "with a bird on the left hand." This was considered to be a fatvorable omen.
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