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Enter SCEPARNIO, from the cottage.
to himself . O ye immortal Gods, I never did imagine that there was so great delight in water; how heartily I did draw this. Thewell seemed much less deep than formerly. How entirely without exertion did I draw this up. With all deference1 to myself, am I not a very silly fellow,in having only to-day made a commencement of being in love2? Turning slowly round, he holds out the pitcher. Here's the water for you, my pretty one; here now, I would have you carry it with as much pleasure as I carry it, that you may please me. Stares around him. But where are you, my tit-bit? Do take this water, please; where are you? Again looks about. I' troth, she's in love with me, as I fancy; the roguish one's playing bo- peep3. Where are you? Are you going now to take this pitcher? Where are you, I say? You've carried the joke far enough. Really, do be serious at last. Once more, are you going to take this pitcher? Where in the world are you? Looks about. I' troth, I don't see her anywhere, for my part; she's making fun of me. I' faith, I shall now set down this pitcher in the middle of the road. But yet, suppose any person should carry away from here this sacred pitcher of Venus, he would be causing me some trouble. I' faith, I'm afraid that this woman's laying a trap for me, that I may be caught with the sacred pitcher of Venus. In such case, with very good reason, the magistrate will be letting me die in prison, if any one shall see me holding this. For it's marked with the name; itself tells its own tale, whose property it is. Troth now, I'll call that Priestess here out of doors, that she may take this pitcher. I'll go there to the door. He knocks. Hallo there! Ptolemocratia. Calling aloud. Take this pitcher of yours, please; some young woman, I don't know who, brought it here to me. A pause. It must then be carried in-doors by me. I've found myself a job, if, in fact, of my own accord, water is to be carried by me for these people as well. Goes into the Temple with the pitcher.
1 With all deference: "Præfiscine." This word was generally used as being supposed to avert the evil eye, when persons spake in high terms of themselves. There is some drollery in Sceparnio using it, when speaking in lisparagement of himself.
2 Of being in love: Not for the pleasure of loving, but for the comparative ease of drawing the water, which was probably one of his employments.
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