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to himself . One morning a short time since my father ordered me to go hence, to deal out the mast for food for the oxen. After I got there a person arrived at the farmhouse (so it pleased the Gods), who was owing money to my father, who had formerly purchased some Tarentine sheep of my father; he asked for my father; I said he was in the city; I enquired what he wanted with him. The fellow takes a purse from off his neck, and gives me twenty minæ; with pleasure I receive them, and stow them in my purse; these bad sheep1, the minæ, have I brought in my purse hither to the city. By my troth, Mars has proved very angry with my father; for his sheep are not very far away from the wolves2. Now, with this one stroke shall I send adrift those finical town gallants, and be bundling them all out of doors. My father, in the first place, I'm quite resolved to ruin, root and branch; then next in turn, my mother. Now to-day I'll carry this money to her whom I love more than my own mother. Goes towards the door of PHRONESIUM, and knocks. Hillo there--is any one here? There's not a woman. Is any one going to open this door? opens the door. ASTAPHIUM
Why so a stranger, pray, my dear Strabax? Why don't you come in at once? Ought you to have been doing so, you, indeed, who are so intimate? STRABAX
I'll go in then, that you mayn't think I'm loitering. Goes into the house. ASTAPHIUM
You act obligingly.
1 These bad sheep: "Perperas." Literally, "worthless," as having no fleece on them. He is alluding to the common pun upon "mina," the sum of money so denominated, and "mina," the sheep that had no fleece on the belly and he calls the former by the latter appellation. See the Pseudolus, l. 329, and the Bacchides, l. 1129, and the Notes.
2 Far away from the wolves: Still calling the money "oves," "sheep," he says that they are not far off from the wolves--alluding to Phronesium, for whom they were destined by him. The pun is improved by the fact that Courtesans were frequently termed "lupæ," "she-wolves." He not improbably mentions Mars, because he was the father of Romuius and Remus, and might be supposed to be indebted to the she-wolf for suckling his children, when exposed by the order of Amulius.
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