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I seem to be in opulence; I've struck my balance, how much money I have, and how much I owe. I'm rich, if I don't pay1 those to whom I'm in debt. If I do pay those to whom I'm in debt, my debts are the greatest. But really, upon my faith, when I carefully consider, if they press me hard, I'll resort to the Prætor2. Most bankers have this habit, for one to borrow of the other, and to pay nobody, and to discharge the debt with their fists, if any one duns in a loudish tone. The person that has3 in a short time acquired wealth, unless in good time he saves it, in good time comes to starvation. I'd like to buy a servant for myself, who now, however, must be sought by me on hire4: there's occasion for my ready money. within. CURCULIO
Don't you be reminding me now I'm full; I recollect and understand. I'll render up to you all this cleverly carried out; do hold your peace. I' faith, I've surely filled myself in-doors right well, and still in my stomach I've left room for one corner, in which to stow away the remnants of these remnants. Seeing LYCO. Who's this that with covered head is saluting Æsculapius? Heyday, the very man I wanted. To an ATTENDANT. Follow me. I'll make pretence as though I didn't know him. Aloud. Hark you; I want you. LYCO
turning round . One-eyed man5, save you. CURCULIO
Prithee, do you jeer me? LYCO
I suppose that you are of the family of the Coclites6; for they are one-eyed. CURCULIO
This was knocked out for me by a catapulta, at Sicyon. LYCO
What matters it to me, pray, if it had been knocked out by a broken pot with cinders in it? CURCULIO
aside. This fellow's a wizard, surely7; he tells the truth, for such catapultas are often directed at me. Aloud. Young man, as I bear this mark on my face8 in the service of the public, prithee don't be uncivil9 to me. LYCO
May I then inforize10 you, if I may not incomitiatize? CURCULIO
You shan't be inforizing me, indeed; and really I don't care at all about your Forum or your Comitia. But if you can point me out this person that I'm seeking, you will be doing me a real and a great service. I'm looking for Lyco the banker. LYCO
Tell me why you are now seeking for him, or, of what country are you? CURCULIO
I'll tell you: I'm come from Therapontigonus Platagidorus, the Captain. LYCO
I' faith, I know the name: aside for with that same name, when I wrote, I filled four whole sides11. To CURCULIO. But why are you seeking for Lyco? CURCULIO
showing the letter . I've been ordered to deliver this letter to him. LYC. What person are you? CURCULIO
His freed-man, whom all call Summanus12. LYCO
Summanus, my greetings. But why Summanus? Let me know. CURCULIO
Because, when in my drunken fit I've gone to sleep, I "summane13" the garments; for that reason do all people call me Summanus. LYCO
'Twere better for you to look out for entertainment for you somewhere else; really in my own house I have no room for a Summanus. But I am the person that you are looking for. CURCULIO
Prithee, are you he, Lyco the banker? LYCO
I am. CURCULIO
Therapontigonus requested me to give you a hearty greeting, and to deliver this letter. LYCO
What, to me? CURCULIO
Just so. Take it, recognize the seal. Do you know it? LYCO takes the letter. LYCO
Why should I not know it? On which, a man, holding a shield, is cleaving an elephant asunder with a sword. CURCULIO
What's written there he bade me request you to do immediately, if you wished for his esteem. LYCO
Step aside; I'll look what's written in it. CURCULIO
stepping aside . By all means, at your pleasure, so long as I receive of you that which I'm come for. LYCO
reads . "Therapontigonus Platagidorus, the Captain, his guest, sends to his host Lyco, at Epidaurus, right hearty greeting." CURCULIO
aside . This fellow's my own; he's swallowing the hook. LYCO
going on . "I beg and request of you that, the person who delivers this letter to you, to him be given up the girl whom I purchased there (which I did there in your presence, and you being the negotiator), and the golden trinkets and clothes as well. You know already how it was agreed upon. You give the money to the Procurer, and give the young woman to this person." To CURCULIO. Where is he himself? Why doesn't he come? CURCULIO
I'll tell you; because it is but four days since we arrived in Caria, from India; there he now intends to order a solid golden statue to be made of Philippean gold, which is to be seven feet high--a memorial of his exploits. LYCO
For what reason this? CURCULIO
I'll tell you; why, because within twenty days he singly has subdued the Persians, Paphlagonians, Sinopians, Arabians, Cretans, Syrians, Rhodia and Lycia, Peredia and Bibesia14, Centauromachia and Classia Unomammia15, and all Libya, and all Conterebromia; one half even of all nations has he conquered unaided in twenty days. LYCO
Dear me! CURCULIO
Why are you surprised? LYCO
Why, because if all these people were penned up in a cage as close as chickens, even so they couldn't be encompassed in a year. Upon my faith, 1 do believe that you are16 come from him; for you do jabber such nonsense. CURCULIO
Aye, and I can tell you still more, if you like. LYCO
No; I don't want it. Follow me this way. I'll pay you that, on account of which you came; and lo, 1 see * * * * * * * * * from his house. LYCO
Save you, Procurer. CAPPADOX
May the Gods prosper you. LYCO
Do you know what this is about which I'm come to you? CAPPADOX
Say on what you please. LYCO
You are to receive the money, and to send away the young woman with him. Pointing to CURCULIO. CAPPADOX
But what if I'm bound on oath to another? LYCO
What matters that to you, so long as you get the money? CAPPADOX
He who advises is as good as an accomplice. Do you follow. CURCULIO
Procurer, take care that you don't cause me any delay. They go into the house of CAPPADOX.
2 Resort to the Prætor: This was probably a method with bankers and traders, by which, for the purpose of defrauding their creditors, they surrendered their effects to the Prætor, and by doing so, contrived to make a purse, as is too often done by bankrupts and insolvents at the present day. In l. 684 (Act V., Sc. 3), we find Cappadox expressing himself as apprehensive that Lyco will be "taking the benefit of the Act."
3 The person that has: Gueudeville, in his translation, informs us that this maxim was much repeated by Louis XII. of France, who was a great admirer of Plautus.
4 Sought by me on hire: This passage has been much commented on, as containing some indelicate meaning. After all, it seems clearly to mean that he has occasion for all his ready cash; and, though he would like to buy a slave, he must content himself with hiring one.
5 One-eyed man: It appears from this that Curculio has but one eye. The occasion of his losing it is hinted at in l. 396.
6 Family of the Coclites: "Coclitum prosapia" no doubt here means a general term, "the family of one-eyed men." Horatius, who, single-handed, opposed the army of Porsenna, was called "Cocles," from having but one eye. Pliny the Elder speaks of the Cyclops and the Arimaspians, a nation of Sarmatia, as having but one eye.
7 A wizard, surely: He is surprised at Lyco having so exactly hit upon the truth. It has been already remarked that Parasites were the especial butts for practical jokes. On one of these occasions the unfortunate fellow probably lost his eye.
8 Bear this mark on my face: "Hoc intus mihi." This passage is most probably corrupt.
9 Don't be uncivil: "Incomitio" probably means, "to treat rudely," or "be uncivil to." Lyco puns upon it, as though meaning, "to bring before the comitia,'" or public assemblies of the people.
10 Inforize: In the word "inforare," which is coined for the occasion, and signifies "to summon to the Forum," it is not improbable that an indecent pun is intended. The liberty has been taken of adopting these two word for the occasion.
11 Four whole sides: "Ceras." Waxed sides of a tablet.
13 I summane: "Summano" Literally, "I keep my hands upon." For the purpose of keeping up the spirit of the passage, the liberty has been taken of coining a word. The Parasite seems to allude, somewhat obscurely, to the trick he has played the Captain Therapontigonus.
14 Peredia and Bibesia: Most of these names are real, while some are fictitious--as, for instance, "Peredia," "Hungry-land," and "Bibesia," "Thirsty-land." By Centauromachia he perhaps means Thessaly, the country of the Centaurs; though, possibly, this region may have been too near for him to hope to impose upon Lyco.
15 Classia Unomammia: "Classia" is supposed by Schmieder to be used for "classis," "an army." "Unomammia," "the land of the one-breasted people," may perhaps be an allusion to the Amazons, who were feigned to be in the habit of cutting off one breast, for the purpose of using the bow with greater adroitness. "Conterebromia" is a name coined for the occasion, signifying "the and of piercing."
16 That you are: "Esse," "to be" or "to eat," according to the context. Limiers suggests that a pun is here in ended. If so, it will admit of either these meanings, "that you are his servant" or "that you eat at his expense."
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