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Enter DÆMONES, from his cottage, with PALÆSTRA and AMPELISCA, and SERVANTS.
to the WOMEN . Seriously, upon my faith, young women, although I wish what you desire, I'm afraid that on your account my wife will be turning me out of doors, who'll be saying that I've brought harlots here before her very eyes. Do you take refuge at the altar rather than I1. THE WOMEN.
We, wretched creatures, are undone. They weep. DÆM.
I'll place you in safety; don't you fear. But why turning to the SERVANTS are you following me out of doors? Since I'm here, no one shall do them harm. Now then, be off, I say, in-doors, both of you, you guards from off guard. They go in. GRIPUS
O master, save you. DÆM.
Save you. How goes it? TRACHALIO
pointing to GRIPUS . Is he your servant? GRIPUS
I'm not ashamed to say yes. TRACHALIO
I've nothing to do with you. GRIPUS
Then get you gone hence, will you. TRACHALIO
Prithee, do answer me, aged sir; is he your servant? DÆM.
He is mine. TRACHALIO
Oh then, that is very good, since he is yours. Again I salute you. DÆM.
And I you. Are you he who, not long since, went away from here to fetch his master? TRACHALIO
I am he. DÆM.
What now is it that you want? TRACHALIO
pointing to GRIPUS . This is your servant, you say? DÆM.
He is mine. TRACHALIO
That is very good, since he is yours. DÆM.
What's the matter? TRACHALIO
pointing to GRIPUS . That's a rascally fellow there. DÆM.
What has the rascally fellow done to you? TRACHALIO
I wish the ancles of that fellow were smashed. DÆM.
What's the thing about which you are now disputing between yourselves? TRACHALIO
I'll tell you. GRIPUS
No, I'll tell you. TRACHALIO
I fancy I'm to move the matter first. GRIPUS
If indeed you were a decent person, you would be moving yourself off from here. DÆM.
Gripus, give attention, and hold your tongue GRIPUS
In order that that fellow may speak first? DÆM.
Attend, Itell you. To TRACHALIO. Do you say on. GRIPUS
Will you give the right of speaking to a stranger sooner than to your own servant? TRACHALIO
O dear! how impossible it is for him to be kept quiet. As I was beginning to say, that Procurer, whom some little time since you turned out of the Temple of Venus--see pointing at the wallet , he has got his wallet. GRIPUS
I haven't got it. TRACHALIO
Do you deny that which I see with my own eyes? GRIPUS
But I only wish you couldn't see. I have got it, and I haven't got it; why do you trouble yourself about me, what things I do? TRACHALIO
In what way you got it does matter, whether rightfully or wrongfully. GRIPUS
If I didn't take it in the sea, there's not a reason why you shouldn't deliver me up to the cross. If I took it in the sea with my net, how is it yours rather than my own? TRACHALIO
to DÆMONES . He is deceiving you; the matter happened in this way, as I am telling you. GRIPUS
What do you say? TRACE.
So long as the person that has the first right to speak is speaking, do to DÆMONES put a check on him, please, if he belongs to you. GRIPUS
What, do you wish the same thing to be done to myself, that your master has been accustomed to do to yourself? If he is in the habit of putting a check upon you, this master of ours isn't in the habit of doing so with us. DÆM.
to TRACUALIO . In that remark only has he got the better2 of you. What do you want now? Tell me. TRACHALIO
For my part, I neither ask for a share of that wallet there, nor have I ever said this day that it is my own; but in it there is a little casket that belongs to this female pointing to PALÆSTRA , whom a short time since I averred to be free born. DÆM.
You are speaking of her, I suppose, whom a short time since you said was my countrywoman? TRACHALIO
Just so; and those trinkets which formerly, when little, she used to wear, are there in that casket, which is in that wallet. This thing is of no service to him, and will be of utility to her, poor creature, if he gives it up, by means of which to seek for her parents. DÆM.
I'll make him give it up; hold your tongue. GRIPUS
I' faith, I'm going to give nothing to that fellow. TRACHALIO
I ask for nothing but the casket and the trinkets3. GRIPUS
What if they are made of gold? TRACHALIO
What's that to you? Gold shall be paid for gold, silver shall have its weight in silver in return. GRIPUS
Please let me see the gold; after that I'll let you see the casket. DÆM.
to GRIPUS . Do you beware of punishment, and hold your tongue. To TRACHALIO. As you commenced to speak do you go on. TRACK.
This one thing I entreat of you, that you will have compassion on this female, if, indeed, this wallet is that Procurer's, which I suspect it is. In this matter, I'm saying nothing of certainty to you, but only on conjecture. GRIPUS
Do you see how the rascal's wheedling him? TRACHALIO
Allow me to say on as I commenced. If this is the wallet that belongs to that villain whose I say it is, these women here will be able to recognize it; order him to show it to them. GRIPUS
Say you so? To show it to them? DÆM.
He doesn't say unreasonably, Gripus, that the wallet should be shown. GRIPUS
Yes, i' faith, confoundedly unreasonably. DÆM.
How so? GRIPUS
Because, if I do show it, at once they'll say, of course, that they recognize it. TRACHALIO
Source of villany, do you suppose that all other people are just like yourself, you author of perjury? GRIPUS
All this I easily put up with, so long as he pointing to DÆMONES is of my way of thinking4. TEACH.
But now he is against you; from this pointing to the wallet will he obtain true testimony. DÆM.
Gripus, do you pay attention. To TRACHALIO. You explain in a few words what it is you want? TRACHALIO
For my part, I have stated it; but if you haven't understood me, I'll state it over again. Both of these women pointing to them , as I said a short time since, ought to be free; pointing to PALÆSTRA she was stolen at Athens when a little girl. GRIPUS
Tell me what that has got to do with the wallet, whether they are slaves or whether free women? TRACHALIO
You wish it all to be told over again, you rascal, so that the day may fail us. DÆM.
Leave off your abuse, and explain to me what I've been asking. TRACHALIO
There ought to be a casket of wicker-work5 in that wallet, in which are tokens by means of which she may be enabled to recognize her parents, by whom, when little, she was lost at Athens, as I said before. GRIPUS
May Jupiter and the Gods confound you. What do you say, you sorcerer of a fellow? What, are these women dumb, that they are not able to speak for themselves? TRACHALIO
They are silent for this reason, because a silent woman is always better than a talking one. GRIPUS
Then, i' faith, by your way of speaking, you are neither a man nor a woman to my notion. TRACHALIO
How so? GRIPUS
Why, because neither talking nor silent are you ever good for anything. Prithee to DÆMONES , shall I ever be allowed to-day to speak? DÆM.
If you utter a single word more this day, I'll break your head for you. TRACHALIO
As I had commenced to say it, old gentleman, I beg you to order him to give up that casket to these young women; if for it he asks any reward for himself, it shall be paid; whatever else is there besides, let him keep for himself. GRIPUS
Now at last you say that, because you are aware it is my right; just now you were asking to go halves. TRACHALIO
Aye, and even still I ask it. GRIPUS
I've seen a kite making a swoop, even when he got nothing at all however. DÆM.
to GRIPUS . Can't I shut your mouth without a drubbing? GRIPUS
pointing to TRACHALIO . If that fellow is silent, I'll be silent; if he talks, allow me to talk in my own behalf. DÆM.
Please now give me this wallet, Gripus. GRIPUS
I'll trust it to you; but for you to return it me, if there are none of those things in it. DÆM.
It shall be returned. GRIPUS
Take it. Gives him the wallet. DÆM.
Now then listen, Palæstra and Ampelisca, to this which I say: is this the wallet, in which this Procurer said that your casket was? PALAESTRA
It is the same. GRIPUS
aside . Troth, to my sorrow, I'm undone; how on the instant, before she well saw it, she said that it was it. PALAESTRA
I'll make this matter plain to you, instead of difficult. There ought to be a casket of wicker-work there in that wallet; whatever is in there I'll state by name; don't you show me anything. If I say wrong, I shall then have said this to no purpose; then you shall keep these things, whatever is in there for yourselves. But if the truth, then I entreat you that what is my own may be restored to me. DÆM.
I agree; you ask for bare justice only, in my way of thinking, at least. GRIPUS
But, i' faith, in mine, for extreme injustice; what if she is a witch or a sorceress, and shall mention exactly everything that's in it P Is a sorceress to have it? DÆM.
She shan't get it, unless she tells the truth; in vain will she6 be conjuring. Unloose the wallet, then giving it to GRIPUS , that as soon as possible I may know what is the truth. GRIPUS
first unfastens the straps of the wallet, and then hands it to his MASTER . Take it7, it's unfastened. DÆMONES takes out the casket. Alas, I'm undone; I see the casket. DÆM.
holding it up, and addressing PALÆSTRA . Is this it? PALAESTRA
That is it. O my parents, here do I keep you locked up; here have I enclosed both my wealth and my hopes of recognizing you. GRIPUS
aside . Then, by my faith, the Gods must be enraged with you, whoever you are, who fasten up your parents in so narrow a compass. DÆM.
Gripus, come hither, your cause is being tried. To PALÆSTRA. Do you, young woman, away at a distance there say what's in it, and of what appearance; mention them all. By my troth, if you make ever so slight a mistake, even if afterwards you wish, madam, to correct yourself, you'll be making a great mistake. GRIPUS
You demand what's real justice. TRACHALIO
By my troth, then, he doesn't demand yourself; for you are the opposite of justice. DÆM.
Now then, say on, young woman. Gripus, give attention and hold your tongue. PALAESTRA
There are some trinkets. DÆM.
looking in the casket . See, here they are, I espy them. GRIPUS
aside . In the first onset I an. worsted; takes hold of the arm of DÆMONES hold, don't be showing. DÆM.
Of what description are they? Answer in their order. PALAESTRA
In the first place, there's a little sword of gold, with an inscription. DÆM.
Just tell me, what the characters are upon that little sword. PALAESTRA
The name of my father. Next, on the other side, there's a little two-edged axe, of gold likewise, with an inscription: there on the axe is the name of my mother. DÆM.
Stay; tell me, what's the name of your father upon the little sword? PALAESTRA
Immortal Gods! where in the world are my hopes? GRIPUS
Aye, by my troth, and where are mine? DÆM.
Do proceed forthwith, I entreat you. GRIPUS
Cautiously, or else aside away to utter perdition. DÆM.
Say, what's the name of your mother, here upon the little axe? PALAESTRA
The Gods will that I should be preserved. GRIPUS
But that I should be ruined. DÆM.
This must be my own daughter, Gripus. GRIPUS
She may be for me, indeed. To TRACHALIO. May all the Gods confound you who this day saw me with your eyes, and myself as well for a blockhead, who didn't look about a hundred times first to see that no one was watching me, before I drew the net out of the water. PALAESTRA
Next, there's a little knife of silver, and two little hands linked together, and then a little sow. GRIPUS
aside . Nay, then, go and be hanged, you with your little sow and with your little pigs. PALAESTRA
There's also a golden drop8, which my father presented to me upon my birthday. DÆM.
Undoubtedly there is; but I cannot restrain myself any longer from embracing you. My daughter, blessings on you; I am that father who begot you; I am Dæmones, and see, your mother Dædalis is in the house here pointing to his cottage . AMPELISCA
embracing him . Blessings on you, my unlooked-for father. DÆM.
Blessings on you; how joyously do I embrace you. TRACHALIO
'Tis a pleasure to me, inasmuch as this falls to your lot from your feelings of affection. DÆM.
Come then, Trachalio, if you can, bring that wallet into the house. TRACHALIO
taking the wallet . See the villany of Gripus; inasmuch, Gripus, as this matter has turned out unfortunately for you, I congratulate you. DÆM.
Come, then, let's go, my daughter, to your mother, who will be better able to enquire of you into this matter from proofs; who had you more in her hands, and is more thoroughly acquainted with your tokens. TRACHALIO
Let's all go hence in-doors, since we are giving our common aid. PALAESTRA
Follow me, Ampelisca. AMPELISCA
That the Gods favour you, it is a pleasure to me. They all go into the cottage of DÆMONES, exceptGRIPUS. GRIPUS
to himself . Am I not a blockhead of a fellow, to have this day fished up that wallet? Or, when I had fished it up, not to have hidden it somewhere in a secret spot? By my troth, I guessed that it would be a troublesome booty for me, because it fell to me in such troublous weather. I' faith, I guess that there's plenty of gold and silver there. What is there better for me than to be off hence in-doors and secretly hang myself--at least for a little time, until this vexation passes away from me? Goes into the cottage.
1 Rather than I: Dæmones here alludes to the disposition of his wife, and says that if the damsels do not quit his house, he shall be obliged to do so in self-defence.
2 Has he got the better: In the use of the word "comprimere," an indecent double entendre is intended; and agreeing with Gripus's remark, that the word in that sense could not be applied to him, Dæmones says that Gripus is right there, at all events.
3 The trinkets: These "crepundia," "trinkets" or "toys," seem to have been not unlike the amulets, or charms, in metal, of the present day. As kidnapping was in ancient times much more prevalent than now, these little articles, if carefully preserved by the child, might be the means of leading to the discovery of its parents; at the same time it may be Justly asked how it came to pass that the kidnapper should allow such damning evidence of his villany to remain in existence.
4 Of my way of thinking: “"Dum hic hinc à me sentiat."” This is clearly the meaning, though one translation renders this line thus: "I easily bear all those things until this fellow may feel that he must go away hence from me," and TRACHALIO moves farther off as he delivers the next line.
5 Casket of wicker-work: "Caudeam." Festus tells us that this kind of casket was made of wicker, and received its name from its resemblance to a horse's tail, "cauda;" others, however, perhaps with more probability, derive it from "caudex," "a piece of wood."
6 In vain will she: By this he clearly means to say that conjuring is all nonsense, and that she has no chance of telling what is in it merely by guessing.
7 Take it: " Hoc habe." This, though not adopted by Fleckeisen, seems to be the right reading, and we have followed the conjecture of the learned Rost in adopting it. Gripus undoes the strap, then holds the wallet to his master, saying, "Take it, it's unfastened." Dæmones takes it, and at once draws out the casket, on seeing which Girpus makes an exclamation of surprise and disappointment.
8 A golden drop: The "bulla" was a ball of metal, so called from its resemblance in shape to a drop or bubble of water. These were especially worn by the Roman children, suspended from the neck, and were generally made of thin plates of gold, of about the size of a walnut. The use of them was derived from the people of Etruria, and though originally used solely by the children of the Patricians, they were subsequently worn by all of free birth. The children of the "libertini," or "freed-men," wore "bullæ," but made of leather. The "bulla" was laid aside at the same time as the "toga prætexta," and was on that occasion consecrated to the Lares. It must be owned that the "little sow," mentioned in the line before, was rather a curious soit of trinket. Thornton thinks that the word "sucula" admitted of a double entendre, though of what nature is now unknown.
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