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Enter STALINO and OLYMPIO, from the house.
Only let him come into the country; I'll send the fellow back into the city to you with his porter's knot1, as black as a collier. STALINO
So it ought to be. OLYMPIO
I'll have that done and well taken care of. STALINO
I intended, if he had been at home, to send Chalinus to cater with you; that, even in his sadness, I might, in addition,inflict this misfortune upon our foe. CHALINUS
apart, retreating to the wall of the house . I'll betake me back again to the wall; I'll imitate the crab. Their conversation must be secretly picked up by me; for the one of them is tormenting me, the other wasting me with anguish. Why, this whip-rascal is marching along in his white garb2, a very receptacle for stripes. My own death I defer; I'm determined to send this fellow to Acheron before me. OLYMPIO
How obsequious have I been found to you! A thing that you especially desired, that same have I put in your power; this day the object that you love shall be with you, unknown to your wife. STALINO
Hush! So may the Deities kindly bless me, I can hardly withhold my lips from kissing you on account of this, my own delight! CHALINUS
apart . What? Kiss him? What's the meaning of this? What's this delight of yours? OLYMPIO
Do you love me at all now? STALINO
Aye, by my faith, myself even less than you. May I embrace you? OLYMPIO
You may. STALINO embraces him. STALINO
How, when I touch you, I do seem to myself to be tasting honey! CHALINUS
apart . I really do think he intends to choke the bailiff. OLYMPIO
pushing STALINO away . Away with you, you lover; get off, with your too close acquaintanceship! CHALINUS
apart . I' faith, I think that3 this very day they'll be making terms. Surely,this old fellow is an universal admirer. This is the reason, this is it why he made him his bailiff; some time ago, too, when I came in his way, he wanted to make me his chamberlain upon the like terms. OLYMPIO
How subservient have I proved to you to-day, how attentive to your pleasure! STALINO
How surely, so long as I live, will I prove more of a well-wisher to you than to my own self! How will I this day give full many a kiss to Casina! How will I, unknown to my wife, right pleasantly enjoy myself! CHALINUS
apart . Oho! Now, faith,at last I've got into the right track. It's himself that's dying for Casina. I've caught the fellows. STALINO
Even now, by my troth, am I longing to embrace her; even now to be kissing her. OLYMPIO
Do let her be brought out first from the house. Why the plague are you in such a hurry? STALINO
I'm in love. OLYMPIO
But I don't think that this can possibly be managed to-day. STALINO
It can, if, indeed, you think that you can possibly receive your freedom to-morrow. CHALINUS
apart . Why, really, I must make still better use here of my ears; now, in one thicket, I shall be cleverly catching two boars. STALINO
pointing to the house of ALCESIMUS . At the house of this friend and neighbour of mine there's a place provided; I have confided to him all my amorousness: he said that he would find me a room. OLYMPIO
What will his wife do? Where will she be? STALINO
I've cleverly contrived that: my wife will invite her here, to her own house, to the wedding; to be here with her, to help her, to sleep with her. I have requested it, and my wife has said that she will do so. She'll be sleeping here: I'll take care her husband is away from home. You shall take your wife home into the country; that country shall be this house, for a period, until I've had my marriage with Casina. Hence,before daylight, you shall afterwards take her home to-morrow.Isn't it very skilfully managed? OLYMPIO
apart . Only do proceed; contrive away. By my troth, to your own mischance are you so clever. STALINO
Do you know what you must do now? OLYMPIO
Tell me. STALINO
giving him a purse . Take this purse. Be off and buy some provisions: make haste. But I want it nicely done: delicate eatables, just as she herself is a delicate bit. OLYMPIO
Very well. STALINO
Buy some cuttle-fish, mussels, calamaries, barley-fish4. CHALINUS
apart . Aye, wheaten fish, if you know what you're about. STALINO
Some sole-fish5. CHALINUS
apart . Prithee, why those rather than soles of wood, with which your head may be banged, you most vile old fellow? OLYMPIO
Should you like some tongue-fish6? STALINO
What need is there, since my wife's at home? She is our tongue-fish, for she's never silent. OLYMPIO
While I'm about it, I must make choice out of the supply of fish what to purchase. STALINO
You say what's good: be off. I don't care to spare for cost; provide abundantly. But it's requisite also that I should see this neighbour of mine, that he may attend to what I've requested. OLYMPIO
Am I to go now? STALINO
I wish you. Exit OLYMPIO. STALINO goes into the house of ALCESIMUS. CHALINUS
coming forward . By three freedoms I could not be induced this day to do other than provide a heavy retribution for them, and at once disclose all this matter to my mistress. I've caught and fully detected my enemies in their guilt. But if my mistress is ready now to do her duty, the cause is all our own: I'll cleverly be beforehand with the fellows. With omens in our favour the day proceeds: just conquered, we are the conquerors. I'll go indoors, that that which another cook has seasoned, I now, in my turn, may season after another fashion; and that for him for whom it was prepared, it may really not be prepared; and that that may be prepared for him, which before was not prepared7. Goes into the house.
1 With his porter's knot: From a passage of Festus, it is conjectured that the word "furca" here means an implement by means of which burdens were slung over the shoulder, for much the same purpose as the knot of the porters of the present day.
2 In his white garb: Lipsius thinks that Olympio has assumed the white dress on becoming the freed-man of Stalino. There is more reason, however, for believing that he has assumed it as his wedding-garment, according to the usual custom among the Romans, with whom the bridegroom, bride, and guests invited to the wedding, were drest in white. So in the Scripture, St. Matthew xxii., 11--12: "When the King came in to see the guests, he saw there was a man which had not on a wedding-garment,and he said unto him, 'Friend, how camest thou in hither, not having a wedding-garment?'"
3 I think that: This and the next six lines have been modified in the Translation, as they are replete with gross indecency.
4 Barley-fish: "Hordeias." This was the name of some fish now unknown; for want of a better name, and to express the pun contained in the original, it has been called "barley-fish" in the translation, as Chalinus puns on its resemblance to "hordeum," "barley."
5 Some sole-fish: "Soleas." Chalinus puns on this word, which means either "sole-fish" or "thin shoes." He thinks "sculponeæ" better suited. with which to bang the old fellow's head. These were wooden shoes worn by the rustic slaves, and resembled either the clogs of the north of England, with wooden soles and upper leathers, or the sabots of the Continent, which are made entirely of wood.
6 Some tongue-fish: "Lingulaca" was, according to Festus, a kind of fish, or a talkative woman. To give some idea of the play on the word, it has been rendered "tongue-fish." Warner says, in a Note to his Translation, that small flat-fish, or young soles, are called "tongues" in the west of England
7 Was not prepared: He means that, spite of his preparations, Olympio shall not have Casina, and that he himself will; in which, however, he is disappointed in the end, as she is given to Euthynicus.
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