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Enter CALIDORUS and PSEUDOLUS from SIMO'S house.
If, master, by your being silent, I could be in-formed what miseries are afflicting you so sadly, I would willingly have spared the trouble of two persons--of myself in asking you, and of yourself in answering me. Since, however, that cannot be, necessity compels me to enquire of you. Answer me: What's the reason that, out of spirits for these many days past, you've been carrying a letter about with you, washing it with your tears, and making no person the sharer of your purpose? Speak out, that what I am ignorant of, I may know together with yourself. CALIDORUS
I am wretchedly miserable, Pseudolus. PSEUDOLUS
May Jupiter forbid it! CALIDORUS
This belongs not at all to the arbitration of Jupiter; under the sway of Venus1 am I harassed, not under that of Jove. PSEUDOLUS
Is it allowable for me to know what it is? For hitherto you have had me as chief confidant in your plans. CALIDORUS
The same is now my intention. PSEUDOLUS
Let me know then what's the matter with you. I'll aid you either with resources, or with my efforts, or with good counsel. CALIDORUS
Do you take this letter: do you thence inform yourself what misery and what care are wasting me away. PSEUDOLUS
taking the letter . Compliance shall be given you. But, prithee, how's this? CALIDORUS
What's the matter? PSEUDOLUS
As I think, these letters are very loving; they are climbing on each other's backs. CALIDORUS
Are you making sport of me with your foolery? PSEUDOLUS
I' faith, I really do believe that unless the Sibyl2 can read them, nobody else can possibly interpret them. CALIDORUS
Why speak you unkindly of those sweet letters-- sweet tablets too, written upon by a hand as sweet. PSEUDOLUS
Troth now, have hens, prithee, such hands? For certainly a hen has written these letters. CALIDORUS
You are annoying me. Either read it or return the letter. PSEUDOLUS
Very well then, I'll read it through. Give me your attention. CALIDORUS
That's not here. PSEUDOLUS
Do you summon it then. CALIDORUS
Well, I'll be silent; do you summon it from that wax there3; for there my attention is at present, not in my breast. PSEUDOLUS
I see your mistress, Calidorus. CALIDORUS
Where is she, prithee? PSEUDOLUS
See, here she is at full length in the letter; she's lying upon the wax. CALIDORUS
Now, may the Gods and Goddesses, inasmuch----4 PSEUDOLUS
Preserve me from harm, to wit. CALIDORUS
For a short season have I been like a summer plant5; suddenly have I sprung up, suddenly have I withered. PSEUDOLUS
Be silent, while I read the letter through. CALIDORUS
Why don't you read it then? PSEUDOLUS
reading . " Phœnicium to her lover, Calidorus, by means of wax and string and letters, her exponents, sends health, and safety does she beg6 of you, weeping, and with palpitating feelings, heart, and breast." CALIDORUS
I'm undone; I nowhere find, Pseudolus, this safety for me to send her back. PSEUDOLUS
What safety? CALIDORUS
A silver one. PSEUDOLUS
And do you wish to send her back a silver safety for one on wood7? Consider what you're about. CALIDORUS
Read on now; I'll soon cause you to know from the letter how suddenly there's need for me for one of silver to be found. PSEUDOLUS
reading on . "The procurer has sold me, my love, for twenty minæ, to a Macedonian officer from abroad. Before he departed hence, the Captain paid him fifteen minœ; only five minæ now are remaining unpaid. On that account the Captain left here a token--his own likeness impressed on wax by his ring--that he who should bring hither a token like to that, together with him the procurer might send me. The next day hence, on the Festival of Bacchus8, is the one fixed for this matter." CALIDORUS
Well, that's to-morrow; my ruin is near at hand, unless I have some help in you. PSEUDOLUS
Let me read it through. CALIDORUS
I permit you; for I seem to myself to be talking to her. Read on; the sweet and the hitter are you now mingling together for me. PSEUDOLUS
reading on . "Now our loves, our tenderness, our intimacy, our mirth, our dalliance, our talking, our sweet kisses, the close embrace of us lovers equally fond, the soft, dear kisses impressed on our tender lips, the delicious pressing of the swelling bosom; of all these delights, I say, for me and for you as well, the severance, the destruction, and the downfal is at hand, unless there is some rescue for me in you or for you in me. I have taken care that you should know all these things that I have written; now shall I make trial how far you love me, and how far you pretend to do so." CALIDORUS
'Tis written, Pseudolus, in wretchedness. PSEUDOLUS
Alas! very wretchedly9. CALIDORUS
Why don't you weep, then? PSEUDOLUS
I've eyes of pumice stone10; I can't prevail upon them to squeeze out one tear even. CALIDORUS
Why so? PSEUDOLUS
My family was always a dryeyed one. CALIDORUS
Won't you attempt to assist me at all? PSEUDOLUS
What shall I do for you? CALIDORUS
Alas! do you say? Well, don't be sparing of them, i' faith; I'll give you plenty. CALIDORUS
I'm distracted. I nowhere can find any money to borrow. PSEUDOLUS
Nor is there a single coin in the house. PSEUDOLUS
He's going to carry the damsel away to-morrow. PSEUDOLUS
Is it in that fashion that you help me? PSEUDOLUS
I give you that which I have; for I've a perpetual supply of those treasures11 in my house. CALIDORUS
It's all over with me this very day. But can you now lend me one drachma, which I'll pay you back to-morrow PSEUDOLUS
I' faith, I hardly think I could, even though I should pawn myself for it. But what do you want to do with this drachma? CALIDORUS
I want to purchase a halter for myself. PSEUDOLUS
For what reason? CALIDORUS
With which to hang myself. I'm determined, ere 'tis dark, to take12 a leap in the dark. PSEUDOLUS
Who then shall pay me back my drachma * * * * ? Do you wish purposely to hang yourself for the very reason, that you may cheat mo out of my drachma if I lend it you? CALIDORUS
At all events, I can in nowise survive if she's removed and carried off from me. PSEUDOLUS
Why do you weep, you cuckoo13? You shall survive. CALIDORUS
Why should I not weep, who have neither a coin of silver in ready money, nor have the hope of a groat14 anywhere in the world? PSEUDOLUS
As I understand the tenor of this letter, unless you weep for her with tears of silver, the affection which you wish yourself by those tears to prove is of no more value than if you were to pour water into a sieve. But have no fear, I'll not forsake you in your love. In troth, I do trust that this day, from some quarter or other, by my good aid I shall find you help in the money line. But whence that is to come,--that whence I know not how to pronounce; except only that so it shall be; my eyebrow twitches15 to that effect. CALIDORUS
As to what you say, I trust that your deeds may be as good as your words. PSEUDOLUS
I' faith, you surely know, if I set my plans a-going16, after what fashion and how great is the bustle that I am in the habit of causing. CALIDORUS
In you are now centred all the hopes of my existence. PSEUDOLUS
Is it enough, if I this day make this damsel to be yours, or if I find you twenty minæ? CALIDORUS
'Tis enough, if so it is to be. PSEUDOLUS
Ask of me twenty minæ, that you may be assured that I'll procure for you that which I have promised. Ask them of me, by my troth, prithee do; I long to make the promise. CALIDORUS
Will you this day find me twenty minæ of silver? PSEUDOLUS
I will find them; be no more troublesome to me then. And this I tell you first, that you mayn't deny that it was told you; if I can no one else, I'll diddle your father out of the money. CALIDORUS
So far as filial affection is concerned, even my mother as well. May the Gods always preserve you for me. But what if you are not able? PSEUDOLUS
Upon that matter do you go to sleep with either eye. CALIDORUS
With the eye or with the ear17? PSEUDOLUS
The latter is too common an expression. Now, that no one may affirm that it wasn't told him, I tell you all to the AUDIENCE , in the presence of the youths in this audience, and of all the people, to all my friends and all my acquaintances I give notice, that for this day they must guard against me, and not trust me. CALIDORUS
Hist! be silent, prithee, by all the powers! PSEUDOLUS
What's the matter? CALIDORUS
There was a noise at the procurer's door. PSEUDOLUS
I could only wish it were his legs in preference. CALIDORUS
Yes, and he himself is coming out from in-doors, the perjured scoundrel. They stand at a distance.
Enter BALLIO, with several MALE18 and FEMALE SLAVES, from his house.
Get out, come, out with you, you rascals, kept at a loss and bought at a loss, in the minds of not one of whom aught ever comes to do aright, of whom I can't make a bit of use, unless I try it after this fashion. He flogs the men all round. At no time did I ever see human beings more like asses; so hardened are your ribs with stripes; when you flog them, you hurt yourself the most. Of such a disposition are these whipping-posts who follow this line of conduct; when the opportunity is given, pilfer, purloin19, prig, plunder, drink, eat, and run away's the word. This is their method, so that you would choose rather to leave wolves among sheep, than these fellows on guard in your house. Yet, when you look at their appearance, they don't seem amiss; by their doings they deceive you. Now, therefore, unless you all of you give your attention to this charge, unless you remove drowsiness and sloth from your breasts and eyes, I'll make your sides to be right thoroughly marked with thongs, so much so that not even Campanian coverlets are coloured as well, nor yet Alexandrian tapestry20 of purple embroidered with beasts all over. Even yesterday I already gave you all notice, and assigned to each his own respective employment; but so utterly worthless are you, so neglectful, of such stub-born dispositions, that you compel me to put you in mind of your duty with a basting. You are so minded I suppose, to get the better of this scourge and myself through the hardness of your hides. Never, i' faith, will your hides prove harder, than is this cow-hide of mine. He dangles it before them. Do look at that, please; they are minding other matters. Attend to this, and give heed to this. He flogs one of them. How now? Does it pain? Ah, that's the way it's laid on when any slave slights his master. Stand all of you before me, you race of mortals born to be thrashed; turn your ears this way; give attention all of you to what I say. You fellow who are holding the pitcher, do you fetch the water; do you take care that the cauldron's full this instant. You, with the axe, I appoint over the wood-cutting department. SLAVES of Ballio.
But this one is blunted on the edge. BALLIO
Let it be so, then. And so are you yourselves with stripes; yet am I for that reason any the less to enjoy your services? My orders I give to you, that the house be made clean. You have what you are to do; make haste, and go in-doors. Exit FIRST SLAVE. Be you the one that makes the couches smooth21. Do you wash the plate clean, and arrange it in order as well, Take care that when I return from the Forum, I find things done; that all be swept, sprinkled, scoured, made smooth, cleaned, and arranged in order. For this day is my birthday; it befits you all to celebrate it. Take care to lay the gammon of bacon, the brawn, the collared neck, and the udder, in water; do you hear me? I wish to entertain tip-top men in first-rate style, that they may fancy that I have property. Go you in-doors, and get these things ready quickly, that there may be no delay when the cook comes. I'm going to market, that I may make purchase of whatever fish is there. Boy, go you before me; I must have a care that no one cuts away my purse. Or wait there; there's something that I had almost forgotten to say at home. Do you hear me, you women? I have this charge for you--you, misses of distinction, who spend your time with illustrious men in refinements, luxury, and delights; now shall I know and make trial this day, which one has regard for her liberty22, which for her appetite which thinks on her business, which on sleeping only: this day I'll make trial which I must think of as a freed-woman, and which as one to be sold. Take you care that many a present from your lovers comes in for me this day; for if your year's board isn't picked up for me, to-morrow I'll turn you adrift on the public. You know that this is my birthday; where are those youths, the apples of whose eyes you are, whose very existence, whose delight you are? Where are your kisses, where your bosoms sweet as honey? Make the bearers of presents to come here then, for my sake, before this house, in whole regiments23. Why am I to find clothes for you, gold trinkets, and those things which you need? What have I, you jades, through your means, except vexation, you women, eager for nothing but the wine? You are a-soaking away yourselves and your paunches too, at the very time that I'm here a-dry. Now, therefore, this is the best thing to do; for me to call you each by her name, that no one of you may be declaring to me by-and-by that her business hasn't been told her. Give attention, all of you. In the first place, Hedylium, my business is with you--you, who are the favorite of the corn-merchants, men who have, all of them, immense mountains of wheat piled up at home; take you care that wheat is brought here for me, to suffice this year to come for myself and all my household, and that I may so abound in corn that the city may change my name for me, and instead of the procurer Ballio proclaim me King lasions24. CALIDORUS
apart . Do you hear what the gallows-bird is saying? * * * Doesn't he seem a regular boaster to you? PSEUDOLUS
apart . I' troth the fellow does, and a wicked one25 as well. But hush now, and give attention to this. BALLIO
Æschrodora, you who have for your patrons the butchers, those rivals of the procurers, who, just like ourselves, by false oaths seek their gains, do you listen; unless the three larders shall be crammed for me this day with carcases of ample weight, to-morrow, just as they say that formerly the two sons of Jupiter fastened Dirce26 to the bull, aye, this day as well, will I tie you up to the larder; that, in fact, shall be your bull. CALIDORUS
apart . I'm quite enraged by the talk of this fellow; that we should suffer the youth of Attica to encourage here27 this fellow! Where are they--where are they skulking, they of mature age, who have their amorous dealings with this procurer? Why don't they meet? Why don't they one and all deliver the public from this pestilence? But I am very simple, and very ignorant; they would venture, of course, to do that to those, to whom their passions compel them, to their misfortune, to be subservient, and, at the same time, prevent them from doing that against them which they would rather wish to do. PSEUDOLUS
apart . Hush! CAL. apart . What's the matter? PSEUDOLUS
apart . Pshaw! you are not very obliging. Why are you drowning his talk28 by your noise? CALIDORUS
apart . I'll be silent. PSEUD. apart . But I'd much rather you would be silent, than that you should say you will be silent. BALLIO
And you, Xystilis, take you care and give me your attention--you whose fanciers have large quantities of oil at home. If oil shall not be brought me here forthwith in leathern bags, I'll to-morrow cause yourself to be carried off in a leathern bag to the prostitutes' shambles29. There a bed shall be given you, I warrant, where you can have no rest, but where, even to downright fainting---- You understand what's the tendency of that which I'm saying? Will you tell me, you viper you, you who have so many of your fanciers so right well laden with their oil, is now the head of any one of your fellow-slaves a bit the better anointed by your means, or do I, myself, get my dainty morsels a bit the better seasoned with oil30 for it? But I understand-- you don't care much about oil; with wine you anoint yourself. Only wait a bit; by my troth I'll punish you for all at one spell, unless indeed this day you contrive to manage all these things that I've been speaking of. But as for you, Phœnicium, I tell you this, you pet of the mighty men--you who have been for so long a time always paying down to me your money for your liberty--you who only know how to promise, but don't know how to pay what you have promised; unless this day all your keep is brought me here out of the stores of your customers, to-morrow, Phœnicium, with a true Phœnician hide31, you'll pay a visit to the strumpets' shambles. The SLAVES go into the house of BALLIO.
CALIDORUS and PSEUDOLUS come forward. BALLIO stands near his door.
Pseudolus, don't you hear what he says? PSEUDOLUS
I hear it, master, and I give good heed. CALIDORUS
What do you advise me to send him, that he mayn't devote my mistress to dishonor? PSEUDOLUS
Don't you trouble yourself about that; be of cheerful mind. I'll manage for myself and for you. For some time past I've been on terms of goodwill with him, and he with me; and our friendship is of old standing. I'll send him this day, on his birthday, a mischief heavy and well-matured. CALIDORUS
What's the plan? PSEUDOLUS
Can't you attend to something else? CALIDORUS
I'm distracted. PSEUDOLUS
Harden your heart. CALIDORUS
I cannot. PSEUDOLUS
Make yourself to can. CALIDORUS
By what means, pray, can I prevail upon my feelings? PSEUDOLUS
Carry you out that which is to your advantage, rather than give heed with your feelings to the thing that's disadvantageous. CALIDORUS
That's nonsense; there is no pleasure, unless a lover acts like a fool. PSEUDOLUS
Do you persist? CALIDORUS
O my dear Pseudolus, let me be undone--do let me, please. PSEUDOLUS
I'll let you; only let me go. Going. CALIDORUS
Stay, stay. As you shall, then, wish me to be, so will I be. PSEUDOLUS
Now, at last, you are in your senses. BALLIO
coming forward from the door of his house to the other side of the stage . The day is passing; I'm causing delay to myself. Boy, do you go before me. Moves as if going. CALIDORUS
Hallo there! he's going; why don't you call him back? PSEUDOLUS
Why in such a hurry? Gently. CALIDORUS
But before he's gone. BALLIO
Why the plague do you go so slowly, boy? PSEUDOLUS
You born on this day, hallo! you born on this day; I'm calling to you; hallo! you born on this day, come you back and look at us. Although you are busy, we want you; stop--it's because some persons want to speak to you. BALLIO
What's this? Who is it, when I'm busy, causes me unseasonable delay? PSEUDOLUS
He that has been your supporter. BALLIO
He's dead that has been; only he that is, is now alive. PSEUDOLUS
You are too saucy. BALLIO
You are too troublesome. Turns away to go on. CALIDORUS
Seize the fellow: follow him up. BALLIO
Go on, boy. PSEUDOLUS
Let's go and meet him this way. They run and stand before him. BALLIO
May Jupiter confound you, whoever you are. PSEUDOLUS
That for yourself I wish. BALLIO
And for both of you do I. Turn you this way, boy. Takes another direction. PSEUDOLUS
May we not speak with you? BALLIO
Why, it doesn't please me. PSEUDOLUS
But if it's something to your advantage? BALLIO
Am I allowed to go away, pray, or am I not? PSEUDOLUS
Pshaw! Stop. Catches hold of him. BAL. Let me go. CALIDORUS
Ballio, listen. BALLIO
I'm deaf. CALIDORUS
Really, you are uncivil. BALLIO
You are a chatterer of nonsense. CALIDORUS
I gave you money so long as I had it. BALLIO
I'm not asking what you gave. CALIDORUS
I'll give you some when I have it. BALLIO
When you have it, bring it to me32. CALIDORUS
Alas, alas! In what a foolish fashion have I lavished what I brought to you, and what I gave you. BALLIO
Your wealth defunct, you now are talking about it; you are a simpleton, a cause that has been tried you are trying over again. PSEUDOLUS
At least consider him, who he is. BALLIO
I've known for a long time now who he was; who he now is, let him know himself. Do you walk on to the BOY . PSEUDOLUS
And can't you, Ballio, only once give a look this way for your own profit? BALLIO
At that price I'll give a look; for if I were sacrificing to supreme Jupiter, and were presenting33 the entrails in my hands to lay them on the altar, if in the meanwhile anything in the way of profit were offered, I should in preference forsake the sacrifice. There's no being able to resist that sort of piety, however other things go. PSEUDOLUS
aside . The very Gods, whom it is especially our duty to reverence--them he esteems of little value. BALLIO
I'll speak to him. Hail to you, right heartily, the very vilest slave in Athens. PSEUDOLUS
May the Gods and Goddesses favour you, Ballio, both at his wish and at my own; or, if you are deserving of other terms, let them neither favour nor bless you. BALLIO
What's the matter, Calidorus? CALIDORUS
Love and pinching want34 are the matter. BALLIO
I would pity you, if, upon pity I could support my establishment. PSEUDOLUS
Aye, aye, we know you quite well, what sort of character you are; don't be proclaiming it. But do you know what we want? BALLIO
I' faith, I know it pretty nearly; that there may be something unfortunate for me. PSEUDOLUS
Both to that and this for which we called you back, prithee do give your attention. BALLIO
I am attending; but compress into a few words what you want, as I'm busy now. PSEUDOLUS
He pointing to CALIDORUS is quite ashamed about what he promised you, and the day for which he promised it, that he hasn't even yet paid you those twenty minæ for his mistress. BALLIO
That which we are ashamed at is much more easily endured than that which we are vexed at. At not having paid the money, he is ashamed; I, because I have not received it, am vexed. PSEUDOLUS
Still, he'll pay it, he'll procure it; do you only wait some days to come. But he has been afraid of this, that you'll sell her on account of his embarrassment. BALLIO
He had an opportunity, had he wished, of paying the money long ago. CALIDORUS
What if I had it not? BALLIO
If you had been in love, you would have found it on loan. You would have gone to the usurer35; you would have paid the interest; or else you would have pilfered it from your father. PSEUDOLUS
Ought he to have pilfered it from his father, you most shameless villain? There is no fear that you'll point out to him anything that's right. BALLIO
That's not like a procurer. CALIDORUS
And could I possibly pilfer anything from my father, an old man so much on his guard? And besides, if I could do so, filial affection forbids. BALLIO
I understand you; do you then at night embrace filial affection in place of Phœnicium. But since I see you prefer your filial affection to your love--are all men your fathers? Is there no one for you to ask to lend you some money? CALIDORUS
Why, the very name of lending's dead and gone by this. PSEUDOLUS
Look you now; since, i' faith36, those fellows arose from the banker's table, with a filled skin, who, when they called in their own, paid what they had borrowed to no born creature, since then, I say, all people have been more cautious not to trust another. CALIDORUS
Most wretched am I; nowhere am I able to find a coin of silver; so distractedly am I perishing both through love and want of money. BALLIO
Buy oil on credit37, and sell it for ready money; then, i' faith, even two hundred minæ ready money might be raised. CALIDORUS
There I'm done; the twenty-five year old law38 founders me. All are afraid to trust me. BALLIO
The same law39 have I. I'm afraid to trust you. PSEUDOLUS
To trust him, indeed! How now, do you repent of the great profit he has been to you? BALLIO
No lover is a profitable one, except him who keeps continually making presents. Either let him be always giving, or when he has nothing, let him at the same time cease to be in love. CALIDORUS
And don't you pity me at all? BALLIO
You come empty-handed; words don't chink. But I wish you life and health. PSEUDOLUS
Heyday! Is he dead already? BALLIO
However he is, to me indeed, at all events, with these speeches, he is dead. Then, does a lover really live, when he comes begging to a procurer? Do you always come to me with a complaint that brings40 its money. As for that, which you are now lamenting about, that you have got no money, complain of it to your stepmother41. PSEUDOLUS
Why, have you ever been married to his father, pray? BALLIO
May the Gods grant better things. PSEUDOLUS
Do what we ask you, Ballio, on my credit, if you are afraid to trust him. Within the next three days, from some quarter, in some way, either by land or sea, I'll rout up this money for you. BALLIO
I, trust you? PSEUDOLUS
Why not? BALLIO
Because, i' faith, on the same principle that I trust you, on that principle I should tie a run-away dog to a lamb's fry. CALIDORUS
Is the obligation thus ungratefully returned by you to me, who have deserved so well of you? BALLIO
What do you want now? CALIDORUS
That you will only wait these six days of the Feast, and will not sell her or prove the death of the person who loves her. BALLIO
Be of good courage; I'll wait six months even. CALIDORUS
Capital--most delightful man! BALLIO
Aye; and do you wish, too, that from joyful I should make you even more joyous? CALIDORUS
How so? BALLIO
Why, because I've got no Phœnicium to sell. CALIDORUS
Not got her? BALLIO
I' faith, not I, indeed. CALIDORUS
Pseudolus, go fetch the sacrifice, the victims, the sacrificers42, that I may make offering to this supreme Jove. For this Jupiter is now much more mighty to me than is Jupiter himself. BALLIO
I want no victims; with the entrails of minæ43 I wish to be appeased. CALIDORUS
to PSEUDOLUS . Make haste. Why do you hesitate? Go fetch the lambs; do you hear what Jupiter says? PSEUDOLUS
I'll be here this moment; but first I must run as far as beyond the gate44. CALIDORUS
Why thither? PSEUDOLUS
I'll fetch two sacrificers thence, with their bells; at the same time I'll fetch thence two bundles of elm twigs, that this day a sufficiency may be provided for the sacrifice to this Jove. BALLIO
Away to utter perdition45. PSEUDOLUS
Thither shall the pimping Jupiter go. BALLIO
It isn't for your interest that I should die. PSEUDOLUS
How so? BALLIO
This way; because, if I'm dead, there will be no one worse than yourself in Athens. For your interest to CALIDORUS it is that I should die. CALIDORUS
How so? BALLIO
I'll tell you; because, i' faith, so long as I shall be alive, you'll never be a man well to do. CALIDORUS
Troth now, prithee, in serious truth, tell me this that I ask you--have you not got my mistress, Phœnicium, on sale? BALLIO
By my faith, I really have not; for I've now sold her already. CALIDORUS
In what way? BALLIO
Without her trappings, with all her inwards46. CALIDORUS
What? Have you sold my mistress? BALLIO
Decidedly; for twenty minæ. CALIDORUS
For twenty minæ? BALLIO
Or, in other words, for four times five minæ, whichever you please, to a Macedonian Captain; and I've already got fifteen of the minæ at home. CALIDORUS
What is it that I hear of you? BALLIO
That your mistress has been turned into money. CALIDORUS
Why did you dare to do so? BALLIO
'Twas my pleasure; she was my own. CALIDORUS
Hallo! Pseudolus. Run, fetch me a sword. PSEUDOLUS
What need is there of a sword? CALIDORUS
With which to kill this fellow this instant, and then myself. PSEUDOLUS
But why not kill yourself only rather? For famine will soon be killing him. CALIDORUS
What do you say, most perjured of men as many as are living upon the earth? Did you not take an oath that you would sell her to no person besides myself? BALLIO
I confess it. CALIDORUS
In solemn form47, to wit. BALLIO
Aye, and well considered too. CALIDORUS
You have proved perjured, you villain. BALLIO
I sacked the money at home, however. Villain as I am, I am now able to draw upon a stock of silver in my house; whereas you who are so dutiful, and born of that grand family, haven't a single coin. CALIDORUS
Pseudolus, stand by him on the other side and load this fellow with imprecations. PSEUDOLUS
Very well. Never would I run to the Prætor48 with equal speed that I might be made free. Stands on the other side of BALLIO. CALIDORUS
Heap on him a multitude of curses. PSEUDOLUS
Now will I publish you with my rebukes. Thou lackshame! BALLIO
'Tis the fact. PSEUDOLUS
You say the truth. PSEUDOLUS
Why not? PSEUDOLUS
Robber of tombs! BALLIO
No doubt. PSEUDOLUS
Very well done. PSEUDOLUS
Cheater of your friends! BALLIO
That's in my way. PSEUDOLUS
Proceed, you. CALIDORUS
Committer of sacrilege! BALLIO
I own it. CALIDORUS
You're telling nothing new49. CALIDORUS
Very much so. PSEUDOLUS
Pest of youth! BALLIO
Most severely said. CALIDORUS
Oh! wonderful! PSEUDOLUS
Pooh! pooh50! CALIDORUS
Defrauder of the public! BALLIO
Most decidedly so. PSEUDOLUS
Cheating scoundrel! CALIDORUS
Filthy pander! PSEUDOLUS
Lump of filth! BALLIO
A capital chorus. CALIDORUS
You beat your father and mother. BALLIO
Aye, and killed them, too, rather than find them food; did I do wrong at all? PSEUDOLUS
We are pouring our words into a pierced cask51: we are losing our pains. BALLIO
Would you like to call me anything else besides? CALIDORUS
Is there anything that shames you? BALLIO
Yes; that you have been found to be a lover as empty as a rotten nut. But although you have used towards me expressions many and harsh, unless the Captain shall bring me this day the five minæ that he owes me, as this was the last day appointed for the payment of that money, if he doesn't bring it, I think that I am able to do my duty. CALIDORUS
What is that duty? BALLIO
If you bring the money, I'll break faith with him; that's my duty. If it were more worth my while, I would talk further with you. But, without a coin of money, 'tis in vain that you request me to have pity upon you. Such is my determination; but do you, from this, consider what you have henceforth to do? Moves. CALIDORUS
Are you going then? BALLIO
At present I am full of business. (Exit.) PSEUDOLUS
Before long you'll be more so. That man is my own, unless all Gods and men forsake me. I'll bone him just in the same fashion that a cook does a lamprey52. Now, Calidorus, I wish you to give me your attention. CALIDORUS
What do you bid me do? PSEUDOLUS
I wish to lay siege to this town, that this day it may be taken. For that purpose, I have need of an artful, clever, knowing, and crafty fellow, who may despatch out of hand what he is ordered, not one to go to sleep upon his watch. CALIDORUS
Tell me, then, what you are going to do? PSEUDOLUS
In good time I'll let you know. I don't care for it to be repeated twice; stories are made too long that way. CALIDORUS
You plead what's very fair and very just. PSEUDOLUS
Make haste; bring the fellow hither quickly. CALIDORUS
Out of many, there are but few friends that are to be depended upon by a person. PSEUDOLUS
I know that; therefore, get for yourself now a choice of both, and seek out of these many one that can be depended upon. CALIDORUS
I'll have him here this instant. PSEUDOLUS
Can't you be off then? You create delay for yourself by your talking. (Exit CALIDORUS.)
Since he has gone hence, you are now standing alone, Pseudolus. What are you to do now, after you have so largely promised costly delights to your master's son by your speeches? You, for whom not even one drop of sure counsel is ready, nor yet of silver * * * * nor have you where first you must begin your undertaking, nor yet fixed limits for finishing off your web. But just as the poet, when he has taken up his tablets, seeks what nowhere in the world exists, and still finds it, and makes that like truth which really is a fiction; now I'll become a poet; twenty minæ, which no-where in the world are now existing, still will I find. And some time since had I said that I would find them for him, and I had attempted to throw a net over our old gentleman; however, by what means I know not, he perceived it beforehand. But my voice and my talking must be stopped; for, see! I perceive my master, Simo, coming this way, together with his neighbour, Callipho. Out of this old sepulchre will I dig twenty minæ this day, to give them to my master's son. Now I'll step aside here, that I may pick up their conversation. He stands apart.
Enter SIMO and CALLIPHO.
If now a Dictator53 were to be appointed at Athens of Attica out of the spendthrifts or out of the gallants, I do think that no one would surpass my son. For now the only talk of all throughout the city is to the effect that he is trying to set his mistress free, and is seeking after money for that purpose. Some people bring me word of this; and, in fact, I had long ago perceived it, and had suspected it, but I dissembled on it. PSEUDOLUS
apart . Already is his son suspected by him; this affair is nipt in the bud, this business is at a stand-still. The way is now entirely blocked up against me, by which I had intended to go a-foraging for the money. He has perceived it beforehand. There's no booty for the marauders. CALLIPHO
Those men who carry about and who listen to accusations, should all be hanged, if so it could be at my decision, the carriers by their tongues, the listeners by their ears. For these things that are told you, that your son in his amour is desirous to chouse you out of money, the chance is that these things so told you are all lies. But sappose they are true, as habits are, now-a-days especially, what has he done so surprising? What new thing, if a young man does love, and if he does liberate his mistress? PSEUDOLUS
apart . A delightful old gentleman. SIMO
I don't wish him to follow the old-fashioned habits54. CALLIPHO
But still, in vain do you object; or you yourself shouldn't have done the like in your youthful days. It befits the father to be immaculate, who wishes his son to be more immaculate than he has been himself. But the mischief and the profligacy you were guilty of might have been distributed throughout the whole population, a share for each man. Are you surprised at it, if the son does take after the father? PSEUDOLUS
apart . O Zeus, Zeus55! how few in number are you considerate men. See, that's being a father to a son, just as is proper. SIMO
Who is it that's speaking here? Looking round. Why, surely 'tis my servant Pseudolus. 'Tis he corrupts my son, the wicked scoundrel; he is his leader, he his tutor. I long for him to be put to extreme torture. CALLIPHO
This is folly now, thus to keep your anger in readiness. How much better were it to accost him with kind words and to make all enquiries, whether these things are true or not that they tell you of? SIMO
I'll take your advice. PSEUDOLUS
apart . They are making towards you, Pseudolus; prepare your speech to meet the old fellow. Good courage in a bad case is half the evil got over. Aloud, as he advances to meet them. First, I salute my master, as is proper; and alter that, if anything is left, that I bestow upon his neighbour. SIMO
Good day to you. What are you about? PSEUDOLUS
About standing here in this fashion assuming an attitude . SIMO
See the attitude of the fellow, Callipho; how like that of a man of rank. CALLIPHO
I consider that he is standing properly and with boldness. PSEUDOLUS
It befits a servant innocent and guileless, as he is, to be bold, most especially before his master. CALLIPHO
There are some things about which we wish to inquire of you, which we ourselves know and have heard of as though through a cloud of mist. SIMO
He'll manage you now with his speeches, so that you shall think it isn't Pseudolus but Socrates56 that's talking to you. What do you say? PSEUDOLUS
For a long time you have held me in contempt, I know. I see that you have but little confidence in me. You wish me to be a villain; still, I will be of strict honesty. SIMO
Take care, please, and make the recesses of your ears free, Pseudolus, that my words may be enabled to enter where I desire. PSEUDOLUS
Come, say anything you please, although I am angry at you. SIMO
What, you, a slave, angry at me your master? PSEUDOLUS
And does that seem wonderful to you? SIMO
Why, by my troth, according to what you say, I must be on my guard against you in your anger, and you are thinking of beating me in no other way than I am wont to beat yourself. What do you think? To CALLIPHO. CALLIPHO
I' faith, I think that he's angry with good reason, since you have so little confidence in him. SIMO
I'll leave him alone then. Let him be angry: I'll take care that he shall do me no harm. But what do you say? What as to that which I was asking you? PSEUDOLUS
If you want anything, ask me. What I know, do you consider given you as a response at Delphi. SIMO
Give your attention then, and take care and please mind your promise. What do you say? Do you know that my son is in love with a certain music-girl? PSEUDOLUS
Yea, verily57. SIMO
Whom he is trying to make free? PSEUDOLUS
Yea, verily and indeed. SIMO
And you are scheming by cajolery and by cunning tricks to get twenty minæ in ready money out of me? PSEUDOLUS
I, get them out of you? SIMO
Just so; to give them to my son, with which to liberate his mistress. Do you confess it? Speak out. PSEUDOLUS
Yea, verily; yea, verily. SIMO
He confesses it. Didn't I tell you so just now, Callipho? CALLIPHO
So I remember. SIMO
Why, directly you knew of these things, were they kept concealed from me? Why wasn't I made acquainted with them? PSEUDOLUS
I'll tell you: because I was unwilling that a bad custom should originate in me, for a servant to accuse his master before his master. SIMO
Wouldn't you order this fellow to be dragged head first to the treadmills58? CALLIPHO
Has he done anything amiss, Simo? SIMO
Yes, very much so. PSEUDOLUS
to CALLIPHO . Be quiet, I quite well understand my own affairs, Callipho. Is this a fault? Now then, give your attention to the reason why I you kept ignorant of this amour. I knew that the treadmill was close at hand, if I told you. SIMO
And didn't you know, as well, that the treadmill would be close at hand when you kept silent on it? PSEUDOLUS
I did know it. SIMO
Why wasn't it told me? PSEUDOLUS
The one evil was close at hand, the other at a greater distance; the one was at the moment, the other was a few days off. SIMO
What will you be doing now? For assuredly the money cannot be got in this quarter out of me, who have especially detected it. I shall forthwith give notice to all that no one is to trust him the money. PSEUDOLUS
I' faith, I'll never go begging to any person, so long, at all events, as you shall be alive; troth, you shall find me the money; and as for me, I shall take it from you. SIMO
You, take it from me? PSEUDOLUS
Troth, now, knock out my eye, if I do find it. PSEUDOLUS
You shall provide it. I warn you then to be on your guard against me. SIMO
By my troth, I know this for sure; if you do take it away, you will have done a wonderful and a great exploit. PSEUDOLUS
I will do it, however. SIMO
But if you don't carry it off? PSEUDOLUS
Then flog me with rods. But what if I do carry it off? SIMO
I give you Jupiter as your witness, that you shall pass your life free from punishment. PSEUDOLUS
Take care and remember that. SIMO
Could I possibly be unable to be on my guard, who am forewarned? PSEUDOLUS
I forewarn you to be on your guard. I say you must be on your guard, I tell you. Keep watch. Look, now, with those same hands will you this day give me the money SIMO
By my troth, 'tis a clever mortal if he keeps his word. PSEUDOLUS
Carry me away to be your slave if I don't do it. SIMO
You speak kindly and obligingly; for at present you are not mine, I suppose. PSEUDOLUS
Would you like me to tell you, too, what you will still more wonder at? SIMO
Come, then; i' faith, I long to hear it; I listen to you with pleasure. PSEUDOLUS
Before I fight that battle, I shall first fight another battle, famous and memorable. SIMO
What battle? PSEUDOLUS
Why, with the procurer your neighbour; by means of stratagem and artful tricks, I'l cleverly bamboozle the procurer out of this music-girl, with whom your son is so desperately in love; and I surely will have both of these things effected this very day, before the evening. SIMO
Well, if you accomplish these tasks as you say, you will surpass in might King Agathocles59. But if you don't do it, is there any reason why I shouldn't forthwith put you in the treadmill? PSEUDOLUS
Not for one day, but, i' faith, for all, whatever the time. But if I effect it, will you not at once give me the money of your own free will for me to pay to the procurer? CALLIPHO
Pseudolus is making a fair claim; say "I'll give it." SIMO
But still, do you know what comes into my mind? Suppose they have made an arrangement, Callipho, among themselves, or are acting in concert, and on a preconcerted plan, to bamboozle me out of the money? PSEUDOLUS
Who would be more audacious than myself, if I dared to do such an action? Well, Simo, if we are thus in collusion, or have ever arranged any plan, do you mark me quite all over with elm-tree stripes60, just as when letters are written in a book with a reed. SIMO
Now then, proclaim the games as soon as you please. PSEUDOLUS
Give me your attention, Callipho, I beg you, for this day, so that you may not any way employ yourself upon other business. CALLIPHO
Why, now, I had made up my mind yesterday to go into the country. PSEUDOLUS
Still, do you now change the plan which you had resolved upon. CALLIPHO
I am now resolved not to go away on account of this; I have an inclination to be a spectator of your games, Pseudolus; and if I shall find that he doesn't give you the money which he has promised, rather than it shouldn't be done, I'll give it. SIMO
I shall not change my purpose. PSEUDOLUS
Because, by my faith, if you don't give it, you shall be dunned for it with clamour great and plenteous. Come, now, move yourselves off hence into the house this instant, and in turn give room for my tricks. SIMO
Be it so. CALLIPHO
You may have your way, PSEUDOLUS
But I want you to keep close at home. SIMO
Well, that assistance I promise you. CALLIPHO
But I shall be off to the Forum. I'll be back here presently. Exit CALLIPHO. SIMO goes into his house. PSEUDOLUS
Be back directly. To the AUDIENCE. I have a suspicion, now, that you are suspecting that I have been promising these so great exploits to these persons for the purpose of amusing you, while I am acting this play, and that I shall not do that which I said I will do. I will not change my design; so far as that then I know for certain; by what means I'm to carry it out not at all do I know as yet; only this, that so it shall be. For he that appears upon the stage in a new character, him it befits to bring something that is new. If he cannot do that, let him give place to him who can. I am inclined to go hence into the house for some little time, while I summon together61 all my stratagems in my mind. Meanwhile this piper shall entertain you. Goes into the house of SIMO, and the PIPER strikes up a tune.
1 Under the sway of Venus: The youth of both sexes, from the tenth to the eighteenth year, were supposed to be under the dominion of Venus, to whom they offered their clothes dolls, and toys, on arriving at puberty.
2 Unless the Sibyl: The Sibyl, being gifted with prophecy, might know the meaning of that which could not be read. The 23rd line has been somewhat modified in the translation.
3 From that wax there: Allusion is here made to the wax with which the surface of the tablet was covered, and on which the writing was traced with the iron "stylus."
4 Inasnmuch: He is going to say, "may the Divinities confound you;' which anathema Pseudolus adroitly turns aside, and refrains from further provoking his master.
5 Like a summer plant: Some Commentators think that Plautus refers to some imaginary plant, which was supposed to grow up and wither on the day of the summer Solstice. It seems, however, more probable that he only refers to the short existence of summer flowers in general.
6 Safety does she beg: The writer plays upon the different meanings of the word "sarus." She sends you "salus," "greeting" or "salutation," and requests you to find her "salus," "safety" or "rescue," in return.
7 For one on wood: Meaning, in return for her "salus," or "salutation," upon the wooden tablet, is it your wish to send her "salus," "safety," procured through the medium of money, by effecting her liberation.
9 Very wretchedly: Pseudolus probably intends to allude to the bad hand in which the letter seems to have been written, while his master refers to the sorrowful tone of the epistle.
10 Of pumice stone: That is, "as dry as purnice stone."
11 Supply of those treasures: Of "Ehen!" "Alas!" or "Oh dear me" This he repeats so frequently, because his master has reproached him for not weeping in sympathy with him for the calamities of Phœnicium,
12 Ere 'tis dark, to take: "Ante tenebras tenebras persequi." Literally rally, "before the shades to reach the shades." A wretched pun is attempted.
13 You cuckoo: "Cuculus." "Cuckoo" seems to have been in all ages a term of reproach. Horace mentions it as being applied by the common people to the vintagers in the autumn. Shakspeare, in the beautiful song in the Fifth Act of Love's Labour Lost, has these lines:
“The cuckoo then on every tree,
Mocks married men, for thus sings he,
Cuckoo! cuckoo! O word of fear,
Unpleasing to a married ear!
” Perhaps the reason of this epithet being deemed opprobrious was the simple fact that the cuckoo is the laziest of birds, inasmuch as it is too idle to build its own nest. The subject is further referred to in a future note.
14 Hope of a groat: " Libella" was the smallest silver coin among the Romans, the tenth part of a "denarius."
15 My eyebrow twitches: The itching of the eye, or the twitching of the eyebrows, has been supposed by superstitious persons in all ages to presage some impending event.
16 Set my plans a-going: "Mea si commovi sacra." Literally, "if I move my sacred things." Lambinus thinks that this may refer to the sacred things dedicated to Bacchus, which no one touched without being punished for it; and even if Bacchus himself attempted to do, confusion and disorder was the consequence.
17 Or with the ear: "To sleep on the ear" was a proverbial saying borrowed by the Romans from the Greeks, to denote a sense of complete security Pseudolus say, that the proverb is too vulgar for his refined taste.
18 Male: These male slaves in the text are called "lorarii." It was their province to lay the "lorum," or whip, about their fellow-slaves, at the bidding of their master.
20 Alexandrian tapestry: We learn from Pliny the Elder that the people of Alexandria excelled in weaving tapestry of many threads, which was cal ed "polymita." They excelled both the Babylonians and Phrygians in depicting birds, beasts, and human beings, upon their productions. Campania seems from the present passage to have been famous for its counterpanes.
21 Makes the couches smooth: It was to be his duty to prepare the couches required for the entertainment.
22 Regard for her liberty: By "caput" he means "liberty of the head" or "person." He will try to find out which of the women attends to gaining as much money as will one day procure her liberation, and who consequently, is studying the interests of her master.
23 In whole regiments: "Manipulatim." Literally, "in whole maniples." There were 120 men in each maniple of the "velites," "hastati," and "principes" of the Roman army, and 60 in each maniple of the "triarii." Four maniples made a cohort.
24 King Iasion: Iasius or Iasion, was a king of Arcadia, the father of Atalanta, who attended the hunt of the Calydonian boar, and was beloved by Meleager There was another person of the same name, who was the lover of Ceres, and was slain by the thunderbolts of Jove. As he was said to have been the father, by Ceres, of Plutus, the God of Riches, he is probably the person here referred to
25 And a wicked one: Pseudolus plays on the resemblance of the two words "magnificus," a boaster, and "maleficus," "wicked."
26 Fastened Dirce: Dirce was married to Lycus, the King of Thebes, after he had divorced Antiope. On this, Zethus and Amphion, the sons of the latter by Jupiter, caused the supplanter of their mother to be fastened to the tail of a wild bull, and put Lycus to death.
27 To encourage here: As being the minister of their pleasures.
28 Drowning his talk: Calidorus will keep whispering to him, while he is wishful to listen to what the procurer is saying.
29 Prostitutes' shambles: It is not exactly known what the "pergula" was, but it is supposed that it was a "booth" or "shed" adjoining to a house, which was let out for persons who wished to expose their wares to the public view. It is not improbable that in these sheds the lower class of courtesans "prostabant venales," or courted the public favour. No doubt the "leno" had one of these in his establishment, and he threatens the refractory females with it as a punishment, as it was probably tenanted by the refractory ones, and those whose charms had ceased to attract more wealthy customers.
30 Seasoned with oil: "Unctiusculo." The Romans used a great deal of oil in the seasoning of their dishes.
32 Bring it to me: "Ducito." This word may either mean "bring" the money when you have got it, or "take away" Phœnicium when you bring the money. The former seems the most probable meaning.
33 And were presenting: "Porricio" was the word especially employed to signify the act of laying the entrails on the altar, for the purpose of burning them.
34 Love and pinching want: "Amatur atque egetur aeritor. Literally, "it is loved, and is wanted sharply."
36 Since, i' faith: He alludes probably to the recent fraudulent failure of some well-known bankers.
37 Buy oil on credit: "Emito die cæcâ--id vendito oculatâ die." By buying a commodity "on a blind day," and selling it "on one with eyes," is meant the system of credit for the purposes of business; where they who purchase on that principle have an eye only to the present time, but are blind as to the future consequences of their speculation. The intention of the procurer is to advise the young man to get oil on credit, and then sell it for anything it will fetch.
38 The twenty-five year old law: The Quinavicenarian, which was also called the Lætorian Law, forbade credit to be given to persons under the age of twenty-five years, and deprived the creditor of all right to recover his money or goods. As usual, Plautus does not scruple to refer to Roman customs, though the scene is at Athens.
39 The same law: By using the word "lex," he probably means that the law also applies to him, as it forbids him to give credit; or he may simply mean that it is his rule and custom not to give credit.
40 Complaim that brings: "Cum argentatâ querimomâ." Literally, "with a silvery complaint." He probably alludes to the chinking of silver.
41 To your stepmother: Stepmothers, in ancient times, were proverbially notorious for their unfeeling conduct to their step-children. Ballio ironically tells him to go and look for sympathy from his stepmother, on which Pseudolus retorts by implying that Ballio is as unfeeling as any stepmother can be.
42 The sacrificers: "Lanios." Literally, "butchers." These were the "popæ," or servants of the priests, who slaughtered the cattle which were offered in sacrifice.
43 Entrails of minœ: "Mininis extis." He intends a pun by the use of the word "mininis," "Mina," as has been already observed, meant a kind of sheep without wool on its belly, and also the sum of money composed of a hundred drachmæ. He does not want victims, he wants the entrails of the money for his propitiation.
44 Beyond the gate: The Metian Gate at Rome is supposed to be here referred to, where the butchers kept their slaughter-houses, and where the "lanii" were likely to be found. It is not improbable that the priests and sacrificers wore bells on their dress, to which reference is probably made in the next line. Perhaps they were employed for the purpose of drowning the cries of the victims. The ephod of the Jewish high priest was adorned with bells.
45 To utter perdition: "In malam crucem." Literally, "go to the dreadful cross," which answers to our expression, "go to perdition;" or, in unpolite parlance, "go to the devil." It alludes to the cross, as the instrument of punishment for slaves and malefactors of the lower order.
46 With all her inwards: "Cum intestinis omnibus." By this unfeeling expression, the fellow means, "stark naked," just as she stands. However, we will do him the justice to suppose that when, in the sequel, she is led away by Simmia, a "toga" is thrown over her for decency's sake.
47 In solemn form: To take an oath in solemn form, or, "concepts verbis," was when the oath was repeated by another person, and the party swearing him followed in his words. The Roman formula for swearing was "Ex animi mei sententiâ iuro."
48 Run to the Prœtor: The "Prætor" was the public officer at Rome who liberated slaves at the request of their owners. The ceremony was performed by his lictor laying a rod called "vindicta" on the head of the person manumitted.
49 Telling nothing new: He means that Calidorus has called him that already; which he has done in the 354th line.
50 Pooh! pooh!: "Bombax." This is a Greek word, an expression of contempt.
51 Into a pierced cask: This notion is probably taken from the punishment of the daughters of Danaüs, who, for the murder of their husbands, the sons of Ægyptus, were doomed by Jupiter to pass their time in the Inferns, regions in gathering up water in perforated vessels.
52 Cook does a lamprey: The "muræna," or "lamprey," was a dish highly valued by the Romans.
53 If now a Dictator: Though the scene is at Athens, Plautus here makes reference to Roman customs. The Dictator was the highest officer in the Roman Republic, and was only elected upon emergencies.
54 The old-fashioned habits: "Vetus nolo faciat." Literally, "I do not wish him to do what is old-fashioned." He alludes to the old-fashioned trick of falling into love, and running into extravagance.
55 O Zeus, Zeus!: Ὦ Ζεῦ, Ζεῦ. Zeus was the Greek name of Jupiter, whose Latin title was formed from "Zeus pater," "Father Zeus." The use of it in Latin colloquy exactly corresponds with the irreverent French phrase too mach in use with us, "O mon Dieu!"
56 But Socrates: The most learned and virtuous of all the philosophers of ancien times.
57 Yea, verily: Ναὶ γάρ. This and the two following remarks of Pseudolus are in Greek. The Romans affected curtness of repartee in Greek, in much the same manner as we do in French. A cant tone has been attempted in the translation to be given to the remarks so made by Pseudolus.
58 To the treadmill: "Pistrinum." The establishment of each wealthy person had its "pistrinum," or "handmill," where the mill for grinding corn was worked by the hand of slaves. The most worthless and refractory were employed at this labour, and as the task was deemed a degradation, the "pistrinum" was the usual place of punishment for the slaves of the household. Throughout this translation, the liberty has been in general taken of conveying the meaning of the term by the use of the word "treadmill."
59 King Agathocles: Agathocles was famous for having risen, by his valour and merit, from being the son of a potter to be the King of Sicily.
60 With elm-tree stripes: "Stylis ulmeis," "with elm-tree styli." He alludes to the weals produced by flogging with elm-tree rods, which, being long and fine, would resemble the iron "stylus" used for writing upon was tablets.
61 While I summon together: "Dum concenturio." This word literally means, "to collect together the centuries," or "companies of a hundred men," for the purpose of giving their votes.
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