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Enter PLESIDIPPUS and TRACHALIO, at a distance, on the other side of the stage.
And did the Procurer attempt by force and violence to drag my mistress away from the altar of Venus? TRACHALIO
Even so. PLESIDIPPUS
Why didn't you kill him on the instant? TRACHALIO
I hadn't a sword. PLESIDIPPUS
You should have taken either a stick or a stone. TRACHALIO
What! ought I to have pelted this most villanous fellow with stones like a dog? * * * * * * * * * LABRAX
aside, on seeing them . By my troth, but I'm undone now; see, here's Plesidippus; he'll be sweeping me away altogether this moment with the dust. PLESIDIPPUS
Were the damsels sitting on the altar even then when you set out to come to me? TRACHALIO
Yes, and now they are sitting in the same place. PLESIDIPPUS
Who is now protecting them there? TRACHALIO
Some old gentleman, I don't know who, a neighbour of the Temple of Venus--he gave very kind assistance; he is now protecting them with his servants--I committed them to his charge. PLESIDIPPUS
Lead me straight to the Procurer. Where is this fellow? They go towards LABRAX. LABRAX
Health to you. PLESIDIPPUS
I want none of your healths. Make your choice quickly, whether you lad rather be seized by your throat wrenched1, or be dragged along; choose whichever you please, while you may. LABRAX
I wish for neither. PLESIDIPPUS
Be off then, Trachalio, with all speed to the sea-shore; bid those persons that I brought with me to hand over this rascal to the executioner, to come from the harbour to the city to meet me; afterwards return hither and keep guard here. I'll now drag this scoundrelly outcast to justice. (Exit TRACHALIO. Pleusicles addresses LABRAX.) . Come, proceed to a court of justice. LABRAX
In what have I offended? PLESIDIPPUS
Do you ask? Didn't you receive an earnest of me for this woman pointing to PALÆSTRA , and carry her off from here? LABRAX
I didn't carry her off. PLESIDIPPUS
Why do you deny it? LABRAX
Troth now, because I put her on board ship; carry her off2 unfortunately, I couldn't. For my part, I told you that this day I would make my appearance at the Temple of Venus; have I swerved at all from that? Am I not there? PLESIDIPPUS
Plead your cause in the court of justice; here a word is enough. Follow me. They lay hold of him. LABRAX
calling aloud . I entreat you, my dear Charmides, do come to my rescue; I am being seized with my throat wrenched. Enter CHARMIDES, from the Temple. CHARMIDES
looking about . Who calls my name? LABRAX
Do you see me how I'm being seized? CHARMIDES
I see, and view it with pleasure. LABRAX
Don't you venture to assist me? CHARMIDES
What person is seizing you? LABRAX
Young Plesidippus. CHARMIDES
What you've got, put up with; 'twere better for you, with a cheerful spirit, to slink to gaol; that has befallen you which many greatly wish for for themselves. LABRAX
What's that? CHARMIDES
To find for themselves that which they are seeking. LABRAX
I entreat you, do follow me. CHARMIDES
You try to persuade me, just like what you are: you are being taken off to gaol, for that reason is it you entreat me to follow you? PLESIDIPPUS
to LABRAX . Do you still resist? LABRAX
I'm undone. PLESIDIPPUS
I trust that may prove the truth. You, my dear Palæstra and Ampelisca, do you remain here in the meanwhile, until I return hither. SERV.
I would advise them rather to go to our house, until you return. PLESIDIPPUS
I'm quite agreable; you act obligingly. The SERVANTS open the door of the cottage, and PALÆSTRA and AMPELISCA go in. LABRAX
You are thieves to me. SERV.
How, thieves? PLESIDIPPUS
Lead him along. The SERVANTS seize him. LABRAX
calling out . I pray and entreat you, Palæstra. PLESIDIPPUS
Follow, you hang-dog. LABRAX
Guest, Charmides! CHARMIDES
I am no guest of yours; I repudiate your hospitality. LABRAX
What, do you slight me in this fashion? CHARMIDES
I do so; I've been drinking with you once already3. LABRAX
May the Deities confound you. CHARMIDES
To that person of yours, say that. PLESIDIPPUS leads LABRAX off, followed by the SERVANTS. I do believe that men are transformed, each into a different beast. That Procurer, I guess, is transformed into a stock-dove4; for, before long, his neck will be in the stocks. He'll to-day be building his nest in the gaol. Still, however, I'll go, that I may be his advocate,--if by my aid he may possibly be sentenced any the sooner.
1 Seized by your throat wrenched: "Rapin te obtorto collo." Echard has the following Note: "When any person was brought before the Prætor, they always threw his gown or cloak about his neck, and led him that way; and this was called 'rapi obtorto collo."'
2 Carry her off: There is a play or quibble here upon the words "avehere" and "provehere," "to carry away," and "to put on board ship," for the purpose of being carried away.
3 Once already: He alludes to the drenching he has had in the sea, by reason of his acquaintance with Labrax, and means to say that one such reception is quite sufficient for his life.
4 A stock-dove: He puns upon the resemblance between the word "columbar," "a collar," into which the head was inserted by way of punishment, and "columbus," a "pigeon." The notion of preserving the pun, by using the word "stock-dove," is Echard's. The plural of the word "columbar" was also used to signify a dove-cot.
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