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Enter GRIPUS, followed by DÆMONES, with the wallet.
Follow this way. Where is this Procurer? Hark you to LABRAX , see now; this person pointing at DÆMONES has got your wallet. DÆM.
I have got it, and I confess that it is in my possession; and if it's yours, you may have it. Everything, just as each particular was in it, shall in like manner be given safe to you. Holding it out. Take it, if it's yours. LABRAX
Immortal Gods, it is mine. Takes it. Welcome, dear wallet. DÆM.
Is it yours? LABRAX
Do you ask the question? If indeed, i' faith, it were in Jove's possession, still it is my own. DÆM.
Everything in it is safe; there has only been one casket taken out of it, with some trinkets, by means of which this day I have found my daughter. LABRAX
What person? DÆM.
Palæstra, who was your property, she has been discovered to be my own daughter. LABRAX
By my troth, it has happily turned out so; since this matter has happened so fortunately for you according to your wishes, I'm rejoiced. DÆM.
In that I don't readily believe you. LABRAX
Aye, by my faith, that you may be sure that I'm rejoiced, you shan't give me three obols for her; I excuse you. DÆM.
I' faith, you are acting kindly. LABRAX
No, troth; it's really yourself, indeed, that's doing so. Going off with the wallet. GRIPUS
Hark you, you've got the wallet now. LABRAX
I have got it. GRIPUS
Make haste. LABRAX
Make haste about what? GRIPUS
To pay me the money. LABRAX
By my troth, I'll neither give you anything nor do I owe you anything. GRIPUS
What mode of proceeding is this? Don't you owe it me? LABRAX
Troth, not I indeed. GRIPUS
Didn't you promise it me upon your oath? LABRAX
I did take an oath, and now I'll take an oath, if it is in any way my own pleasure; oaths were invented for preserving property, not for losing it. GRIPUS
Give me, will you, a great talent of silver, you most perjured fellow. DÆM.
Gripus, what talent is it you are asking him for? GRIPUS
He promised it me on oath. LABRAX
I chose to swear; turning to DÆMONES are you the priest1 as to my perjury? DÆM.
to GRIPUS . For what reason did he promise you the money? GRIPUS
If I restored this wallet into his hands, he swore that he would give me a great talent of silver. LABRAX
Find me a person with whom I may go to the judge, to decide whether you did not make the bargain with wicked fraudulence, and whether I am yet five-and-twenty years old2. GRIPUS
pointing to DÆMONES . Go to the judge with him. LABRAX
No; I must have some other person. DÆM.
to LABRAX . Then I shan't allow you to take it away from him, unless I shall have found him guilty. Did you promise him the money? LABRAX
I confess it. DÆM.
What you promised my slave must needs be my own. Don't you be supposing, Procurer, that you are to be using your pimping honesty here. That can't be. GRIPUS
to LABRAX . Did you fancy now that you had got hold of a person whom you might cheat? It must be paid down here holding his hand , good silver coin; I shall, at once, pay it to him pointing to DÆMONES , so that he may give me my liberty. DÆM.
Inasmuch, therefore, as I have acted courteously towards you, and by my means these things pointing to the wallet have been saved for you---- GRIPUS
I' faith, by my means, rather; don't say by yours. DÆM.
to GRIPUS . If you are prudent you'll hold your tongue. To LABRAX. Then it befits you in a like courteous manner kindly to return the obligation to myself, who so well merit the same. LABRAX
You are pleading, of course, for my right? DÆM.
ironically . It would be a wonder if I didn't, at a loss to myself, ask you to forego your right. GRIPUS
aside . I'm all right; the Procurer's giving way; my freedom is at hand. DÆM.
pointing to GRIPUS . He found this wallet; he is my slave. I therefore have preserved this for you, together with a large sum of money. LABRAX
I return you thanks, and with regard to the talent that I promised on oath to him, there's no reason that you shouldn't receive it. GRIPUS
Hark you, give it me then, if you are wise. DÆM.
to GRIPUS . Will you hold your tongue, or not? GRIPUS
You pretend to be acting on my side: I tell you * * * * * * by my troth, you shan't do me out of that, if I did lose the other booty3. DÆM.
You shall have a beating if you add a single word. GRIPUS
Troth now, do you kill me even; I'll never be silent on any terms, unless my mouth is shut with the talent. LABRAX
For yourself, in fact, is he using his exertions; do hold your tongue. DÆM.
Step this way, Procurer. LABRAX
Very well. They walk on one side. GRIPUS
Proceed openly; I don't want any whisperings or mumblings to be going on. DÆM.
Tell me, at what price did you buy that other young woman, Ampelisca? LABRAX
I paid down a thousand didrachms. DÆM.
Should you like me to make you a handsome offer? LABRAX
I should like it much. DÆM.
I'll divide the talent. LABRAX
You act fairly. DÆM.
For that other woman Ampelisca, that she may be free, take you one half, and give the other half to him. LABRAX
By all means. DÆM.
For that half I'll give his freedom to Gripus, by means of whom you found your wallet, and I my daughter. LABRAX
You act fairly; I return you many thanks. They return to GRIPUS. GRIPUS
How soon then is the money to be returned to me? DÆM.
The money's paid, Gripus; I've got it. GRIPUS
You, faith; but I had rather it were myself. DÆM.
I' faith, there's nothing for you here, so don't you be expecting it. I wish you to release him from his oath. GRIPUS
aside. Troth, I'm undone; if I don't hang myself4, I'm utterly done for. Aloud. I' faith, after this day you certainly shall never be cheating me again. DÆM.
Dine here to-day, Procurer. LABRAX
Be it so; the proposal is to my taste. DÆM.
Do you both follow me in-doors. He comes forward and addresses the AUDIENCE. Spectators, I would invite you to dinner as well, were it not that I'm going to give nothing, and that there is no good cheer at all at home; and if, too, I didn't believe that you are invited to dinner elsewhere. But if you shall be willing to give hearty applause to this Play, do you all come to make merry at my house some sixteen years hence. Do you to LABRAX and GRIPUS both dine here with me to-day. GRIPUS
Be it so. An ACTOR
(To the AUDIENCE) Now give us your applause.5
1 Are you the priest: The meaning of this passage is doubtful, but he seems to ask Dæmones, "Are you the Priest of Venus, in whose presence I took the oath?" It was probably the duty of the priesthood to take cognizance of cases of perjury.
2 Five-and- twenty years old: By the Lætorian law (which is also referred to in the Notes to the Pseudolus), persons under the age of five-and- twenty were deemed minors, and free from all pecuniary obligations. As usual, in this allusion Plautus consults the usages of his Audience, and not of the place where the Scene is laid. Labrax is ready to say or swear anything; and Madame Dacier justly remarks, that it is amusing enough that he should call himself not five-and-twenty, when he is described, in the Second Scene of the First Act, as a person having grey hair. Gripus being a slave, could not try the question at law with Labrax.
3 The other booty: By this he means the wallet and its contents.
4 If I don't hang myself: Thorntor calls this "a sorry witticism;" but Madame Dacier and other Commentators discover great humour in it It certainly is amusing for its absurdity.
5 This Play, though pronounced to be one of the best of this author, does not conclude satisfactorily. We are not told what becomes of Ampelisca, or of Trachalio, who aspires to the honor of her hand. The sturdy Sceparnio we lose sight of too early; and Dæmones loses all claim to our estimation, by inviting such an infamous villain as Labrax to take a place at his table, who certainly, according to the usual rules of dramatic retribution, richly deserves to lose his wallet and its contents
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