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Enter TRACHALIO, at a distance, in haste.
to himself . I've carefully given all attention that I mightn't pass my master anywhere; for when some time since he went out of the house, he said that he was going to the harbour, and he ordered me to come here to meet him at the Temple of Venus. But see, opportunely do I espy some people standing here of whom I may enquire; I'll accost them. Goes up to the FISHERMEN. Save you, thieves of the sea, shellfish-gatherers and hook-fishers1, hungry race of men, how fare ye? How perish apace2? FISHERMEN of Cyrene.
Just as befits a fisherman with hunger, thirst, and expectation. TRACHALIO
Have you seen to-day, while you've been standing here, any young man, of courageous aspect, ruddy, stout, of genteel appearance, come by this way, who was taking with him three men in scarfs, with swords? FISHERMEN of Cyrene.
We know of no one coming this way of that appearance which you mention. TRACHALIO
Have you seen any old fellow, bald on the forehead and snub-nosed, of big stature, pot-bellied, with eyebrows awry, a narrow forehead, a knave, the scorn of Gods and men, a scoundrel, one full of vile dishonesty and of iniquity, who had along with him two very pretty-looking young women? FISHERMEN of Cyrene.
One who has been born with qualities and endowments of that sort, 'twere really fitter for him to resort to the executioner than to the Temple of Venus. TRACHALIO
But tell me if you have seen him. FISHERMEN of Cyrene.
Really, no one has passed this way. Fare you well. TRACHALIO
Fare ye well. (Exeunt FISHERMEN.) TRACHALIO
to himself . I thought so; it has come to pass as I suspected; my master has been deceived; the cursed Procurer has taken himself off to distant lands. He has embarked on board ship, and carried the women away; I'm a wizard. He invited my master here to breakfast, as well, this very spawn of wickedness. Now what is better for me than to wait here in this spot until my master comes? At the same time, if this Priestess of Venus knows anything more, if I see her, I'll make enquiries; she'll give me the information.
1 Shellfish- gatherers and hook-fishers: "Conchitæ -- hamistæ." These words are supposed to have been coined by Plautus for the occasion.
2 How perish apace: Thornton has this Note here: "There is an humour in the original which could not be preserved in our language. Instead of asking the fishermen 'Ut valetis? which was the common phrase of salutation, Trachalio addresses them in the opposite term, 'Ut peritis?'--prooably un allusion to their perilous calling."
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