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Enter CLEOSTRATA and CHALINUS, with the urn and lots.
Let me know, Chalinus, what my husband wants with me. CHALINUS
By my troth, he wants to see you burning outside of the Metian gate1. CLEOSTRATA
I' faith, I believe he does want that. CHALINUS
But, by my troth, I don't believe it, but I know it for certain. STALINO
aside to OLYMPIO . I've got more men of business than I imagined: I've got this fellow, a Diviner, in my house. What, if we move our standards nearer, and go to meet them? Follow me. Goes up to CLEOSTRATA and CHALINUS. What are you about? CHALINUS
All the things are here which you ordered; your wife, the lots, the urn, and myself. STALINO
By yourself only, there is more here than I want. CHALINUS
I' faith, so it seems to you indeed. I'm a stinger to you now; I'm pricking that dear little heart of yours; even now it's palpitating from alarm. STALINO
Hold your tongue, Chalinus, OLYMPIO
Do make that fellow be quiet. CHALINUS
No, that fellow rather pointing to OLYMPIO , who has learned to misbehave2. STALINO
to CHALINUS . Set the urn down here. CHALINUS puts it down. Give me the lots: lend your attention now. But I did think, my wife, that I could have prevailed upon you thus far, for Casina to be given me as my wife, and even now I think so. OLE.
She, given to you? STALINO
Why yes, to me----dear me, I didn't mean to say that. While I meant for myself3, I said him; aside why really, while I'm wanting her for myself, I've already, i' faith, been chattering at random. CLEOSTRATA
overhearing him . Upon my word, you really have; and you are still doing so. STALINO
For him--no, no; for myself, i' faith4. Plague take it, at last, with great difficulty, I've got into the right road! CLEOSTRATA
Very often, i' faith, you are making your mistakes. STALINO
Such is the case when you desire anything very much. But each of us, both he pointing to OLYMPIO and I, apply to you for our rights---- CLEOSTRATA
How's that? STALINO
Why, I'll tell you, my sweet. As to this Casina, you must make a present of her to this bailiff of ours. CLEOSTRATA
But, i' faith, I neither do make it, nor do I in tend it. STALINO
In that case, then, I'll divide the lots between them. CLEOSTRATA
Who forbids you? STALINO
I judge with reason that that is the best and fairest way. In fine, if that happens which we desire, we shall be glad; but if otherwise, we'll bear it with equanimity. Giving a lot to OLYMPIO. Take, this lot--take it; see what's written on it. OLYMPIO
looking at it . Number one. CHA. It isn't fair, be cause that fellow has got one before me. STALINO
giving one to CHALINUS .Take this, will you. CHALINUS
taking it . Give it me. Stop though; one thing has just now come into my mind. To CLEOSTRATA. Do you see that there's no other lot in there by chance at the bottom of the water. STALINO
Whip-rascal! do you take me to be your own self? To CLEOSTRATA. There is none; only set your feelings at rest. OLYMPIO
to CHALINUS . May it prove lucky and fortunate to me, a great mischance to you! CHALINUS
I' faith, it will certainly fall to you, I fancy; I know your pious ways. But stop a bit; is that lot of yours of poplar or of fir? OLYMPIO
Why do you trouble yourself about that? CHALINUS
Why, because I'm afraid that it may float on the surface of the water. They go up to the urn. STALINO
Capital!--take care! Now then, both of you, throw your lots in here. Pointing to the urn. Look now, wife, all's fair. They throw them in. OLYMPIO
Don't you trust your wife. STALINO
Be of good courage. OLYMPIO
Upon my faith, I do believe that she'll lay a spell upon the lots this very day, if she touches them. STALINO
Hold your tongue. OLYMPIO
I'll hold my tongue. I pray the Gods---- CHALINUS
Aye,that this day you may have to endure the chain5 and the bilboes6. OLYMPIO
That the lot may fall to me. CHALINUS
Aye, faith, that you may hang up by the feet. OLYMPIO
Aye, that you may blow your eyes out of your head through your nose. CHALINUS
to STALINO . What are you afraid of? It must be ready by this---- Turning to OLYMPIO. A halter for you, I mean. OLYMPIO
to CHALINUS . You're undone! STALINO
Give attention, both of you. OLYMPIO
I'll be mum. STALINO
Now you, Cleostrata, that you may not say that anything has been done cheatingly by me in this matter, or suspect it, I give you leave, do you yourself draw the lots. OLYMPIO
to STALINO . You are ruining me. CHALINUS
He's gaining an advantage rather. CLEOSTRATA
to STALINO . You do what's fair. CHALINUS
to OLYMPIO . I pray the Gods that your lot say run away out of the urn. OLYMPIO
Say you so? Because you are a runaway yourself, do you wish all to follow your example? I wish, indeed, that that lot of yours, as they say that of the descendants of Hercules7 once did, may melt away while the lots are drawing. CHALINUS
And you, that you may melt away yourself, and just now be made hot with twigs. STALINO
Attend, will you, to the business in hand, Olympio! OLYMPIO
Yes, if this thrice-dotted8 fellow 'll let me. STALINO
May this prove lucky and fortunate to me. OLYMPIO
Yes indeed; to me as well. CHALINUS
Not so. OLYMPIO
By my troth, yes, I say. CHALINUS
By my troth, yes, for myself, I say. STALINO
to OLYMPIO .He'll be the winner; you'll live in wretchedness. Do you give him a punch in the face this instant! Well, what are you about? CLEOSTRATA
to OLYMPIO . Don't you raise your hand. OLYMPIO
to STALINO . With clenched or open hand am I to strike him? STALINO
Do just as you please. OLYMPIO
striking CHALINUS . There's for you, take that! CLEOSTRATA
to OLYMPIO . What business have you to touch him? OLYMPIO
Because my Jupiter pointing to STALINO commanded me. CLEOSTRATA
to CHALINUS . Do you slap him in the face in return. CHALINUS strikes OLYMPIO in the face. OLYMPIO
calling out to STALINO . I'm being murdered, I'm being punched with his fists, Jupiter! STALINO
to CHALINUS . What business had you to touch him? CHALINUS
Because this Juno of mine pointing to CLEOSTRATA ordered me. STALINO
I must put up with it, since, as long as I live, my wife will have the mastery. CLEOSTRATA
to STALINO . He pointing to CHALINUS ought to be allowed to speak as much as that fellow. OLYMPIO
Why by his talk does he occasion me an unlucky omens STALINO
I think, Chalinus, you should be on your guard against a mishap. CHALINUS
Full time, after my face has been battered! STALINO
Come, wife, now then draw the lots. To the SERVANTS. Do you give your attention. To CLEOSTRATA. And give it, you, as well. OLYMPIO
Where I am I know not. I'm undone, I've got my heart full of maggots, I think; it's jumping about already; with its throbbing it beats against my breast. CLEOSTRATA
putting her hand into the urn . I've got hold of a lot. STALINO
Draw it out, then. CHALINUS
to OLYMPIO . Are you not dead now? OLYMPIO
Show it. She shows it. It's mine. CHALINUS
Really this is an unlucky mishap. CLEOSTRATA
You are beaten, Chalinus. STALINO
Then I'm glad that we are to survive after all, Olympio. OLYMPIO
Through my own piety and that of my forefathers has it happened. STALINO
Wife, go in-doors and make ready for the wedding. CLEOSTRATA
I'll do as you bid me. STALINO
Do you know that it's to a distance in the country, at the farm-house,that he is to take her? CLEOSTRATA
I know. STALINO
Go in-doors,and although this is disagreable to you, still take care and attend to it. CLEOSTRATA
Very well. Goes into the house. STALINO
to OLYMPIO . Let us, as well, go in-doors; let's entreat them to make all haste. OLYMPIO
Am I delaying at all? For in his presence pointing to CHALINUS I don't want there to be any further conversation. They go into the house.
1 The Metian gate: As he writes for a Roman audience, the author does not see any impropriety in speaking of the "Metian gate," although the scene is at Athens. The bodies of the dead were burned outside of the Metian or Esquiline gate.
2 Learned to misbehave: As an indecent allusion is covertly made here, the translation of the passage is somewhat modified.
3 While I meant for myself: Wishing to correct himself, in his confusion he only gets deeper. He means to say. "While I meant for him, I said myself."
4 For myself, i' faith: For the third time he commits the came mistake.
5 Endure the chain: "Canis." Literally, "the dog." This was the small chain, which was also called "catillus." It has been referred to in a previous Note.
6 The bilboes: "Furcam."
7 Descendants of Hercules: Pausanias says that the sons of Aristo demus and Cresphontes drew lots, on condition that the party whose lot came first< out of the urn should receive Messenia, and the other Lacedæmon. Temenus, favouring Cresphontes, placed the lots in the water, taking care that the one belonging to Cresphontes should be of baked clay, while the other was of clay only dried in the sun, which of course melted on coming in contact with the water; by which stratagem Cresphontes gained possession of Messenia. Apollodorus relates the same story in a different manner. He says that Temenus, Procles and Eurysthenes, the sons of Aristodemus, jointly, and Cresphontes, drew lots, on condition that the one whose lot should appear first should have Argos, the second have Lacedæmon, and the third Messenia. Cresphlontes having long set his mind upon gaining Messenia, had his lot made of unbaked clay, which melted; the others being taken out, there was no necessity to look for the remaining one, and thus the trick succeeded.
8 Thrice-dotted: "Literatus." Lambinus thinks that this alludes to his back being marked by stripes. There is, however, more reason to believe that it refers to the custom of branding slaves and criminals. The Greeks marked criminals on the forehead with Θ, the beginning of the word δανατος, to denote that they were dead in law.
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