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Enter, from the house, TOXILUS and PÆGNIUM.

TOXILUS
Are these things quite clear and certain to you--do you quite remember and understand them?

PÆG.
Better than you who have instructed me.

TOXILUS
Say you so, you whip-rascal?

PÆG.
I really do say so.

TOXILUS
What did I say then P

PÆG.
I'll tell it to her all correctly.

TOXILUS
I' faith, you don't know it.

PÆG.
Troth now, lay me a wager that I don't remember and know it all.

TOXILUS
Why, for my part, I'll lay a wager with you on this, whether you know your own self, how many fingers you have this day upon your hand.

PÆG.
Without hesitation--if you are desirous to lose.

TOXILUS
A fair truce rather let there be.

PÆG.
For that reason, then, do you let me go.

TOXILUS
I both bid and permit you. But I wish you so to attend to it, that you are back home while I'm thinking that you are there.

PÆG.
I'll do so. Moves towards their own house.

TOXILUS
Whither are you now going?

PÆG.
Home; that I may be at home while you are thinking that I am there.

TOXILUS
You are a rascal of a boy, and----for this service I'll give you something to add1 to your savings.

PÆG.
I'm aware how want of shame is wont to be imputed to a master's word, and that masters cannot ever be compelled to appear before the judge on account of those promises.

TOXILUS
Be off now.

PÆG.
I'll give you reason to command me.

TOXILUS
But, Pægnium, take you care and give that letter to Lemniselene herself, and tell her what I bade you.

SOPHOCLIDISCA
apart . Do I delay to go whither I was sent?

PÆG.
I'm off.

TOXILUS
Then do be off; I'll off home. Take care and manage this business with attention. Fly post haste. Goes into the house.

PÆG.
That's what the ostrich2 is wont to do in the Circus He's off from here m-doors there. But who's this woman that's coming towards me?

SOPHOCLIDISCA
advancing . Surely this is Pægnimn.

PÆG.
This is Sophoclidisca, the private servant of her to whom I'm sent.

SOPHOCLIDISCA
aside . There's not a person this day that's reported to be more artful than this boy. I'll accost him.

PÆG.
At this bar3 I must come to a stop.

SOPHOCLIDISCA
Pægnium, my charmer of a boy, save you; how are you? How do you do?

PÆG.
Sophoclidisca, the Gods will favour me.

SOPHOCLIDISCA
Why "me?" Which of us?

PÆG.
I' faith, I don't know. But if they were to do as you deserve, by my troth they'd hold you in hate, and treat you but badly.

SOPHOCLIDISCA
Do leave off your abusive talking.

PÆG.
Since I'm saying just as you I'm talking to deserve, properly, not abusively.

SOPHOCLIDISCA
What are you about now?

PÆG.
Standing opposite to you, looking at a worthless woman.

SOPHOCLIDISCA
For my own part, assuredly, I do not know any more good-for-nothing boy than yourself.

PÆG.
What mischief do I do, or to what person do I speak abusively?

SOPHOCLIDISCA
I' faith, to every one that you have the opportunity.

PÆG.
Not an individual has ever thought so.

SOPHOCLIDISCA
But, i' faith, full many a one knows that so it is.

PÆG.
Heyday, indeed!

SOPHOCLIDISCA
Heyday, indeed!

PÆG.
According to your own disposition you judge of the ways of others.

SOPHOCLIDISCA
I certainly do confess that I'm just as befits one of a Procurer's household to be.

PÆG.
I've now had enough of your chattering.

SOPHOCLIDISCA
What say you? Do you plead guilty to what I take you to be?

PÆG.
If I were so, I should confess it.

SOPHOCLIDISCA
Be off then; you've got the victory.

PÆG.
Now then be off with you.

SOPHOCLIDISCA
Do you then tell me this--whither are you going?

PÆG.
Whither are you?

SOPHOCLIDISCA
Say you.

PÆG.
Say you.

SOPHOCLIDISCA
I was the first to ask.

PÆG.
Then you shall be the last to know.

SOPHOCLIDISCA
I'm going not far hence.

PÆG.
And I, indeed, not far.

SOPHOCLIDISCA
Whither then, you rascal?

PÆG.
Unless I know first of you, you shall never know this of me that you are enquiring.

SOPHOCLIDISCA
On my honor you shall never this day know before I've heard it of you.

PÆG.
Is such the fact?

SOPHOCLIDISCA
Is such the fact?

PÆG.
You are a worthless one.

SOPHOCLIDISCA
Rogue.

PÆG.
That befits me.

SOPHOCLIDISCA
Me then it does not befit.

PÆG.
What do you say? Are you quite determined, you hussy, to conceal whither you are going?

SOPHOCLIDISCA
And are you quite resolved to hide whither you are betaking yourself, you scoundrel?

PÆG.
You are giving answer to what I say like for like; be off with you then, since such is your determination. I don't care at all to know. Good-bye. Moving.

SOPHOCLIDISCA
Stop!

PÆG.
But I'm in a hurry.

SOPHOCLIDISCA
And, i' faith, I as well.

PÆG.
Have you got anything? Pointing to her hand.

SOPHOCLIDISCA
Have you anything? Pointing likewise.

PÆG.
Really nothing whatever.

SOPHOCLIDISCA
Show me your hand then.

PÆG.
showing his right hand . Is this the hand?

SOPHOCLIDISCA
Where is that other, the pilfering left hand?

PÆG.
hiding his left hand . Why, it is at home, d'ye see; I've not brought one hither.

SOPHOCLIDISCA
trying to seize his hand . You've got something, what it is I know not.

PÆG.
pushing her away . Don't be mauling me about you she-groper.

SOPHOCLIDISCA
But suppose I'm in love with you.

PÆG.
You employ your pains to no purpose.

SOPHOCLIDISCA
Why so?

PÆG.
Why, because you are in love with nothing at all, when you are in love with one who doesn't return it.

SOPHOCLIDISCA
It befits these youthful looks and age to be on the watch for pleasure il good time; so that, when your hair comes to change its hue, you may not be always in a grovelling servitude. Why, really, as yet you are not eighty pounds in weight.

PÆG.
Still, that warfare is waged much more successfully by spirit than by weight. But I'm losing my pains.

SOPHOCLIDISCA
Why so?

PÆG.
Because I'm teaching those who know it all. But I'm loitering here. Moves.

SOPHOCLIDISCA
taking hold of him . Do stop.

PÆG.
You are annoying to me.

SOPHOCLIDISCA
And so I shall be then, if I don't find out whither you are betaking yourself.

PÆG.
To your house.

SOPHOCLIDISCA
And I to your house, i' faith.

PÆG.
Why thither?

SOPHOCLIDISCA
What's that to you?

PÆG.
standing before her . Why, you shan't go now, unless, in return, I know.

SOPHOCLIDISCA
You are teazing.

PÆG.
I choose to.

SOPHOCLIDISCA
Never, upon my faith, shall you wring this out of me, so as to prove yourself more artful than I am.

PÆG.
It's a misery to contend with you in artfulness.

SOPHOCLIDISCA
You are a mischievous baggage.

PÆG.
What is there for you to fear?

SOPHOCLIDISCA
The very same that there is for you.

PÆG.
Say then, what is it?

SOPHOCLIDISCA
But I'm forbidden to tell this to any person, and am instructed that all the dumb people are to speak of it before myself.

PÆG.
And most especially was I cautioned not to trust this to any person, so that all the dumb people were to mention this before myself.

SOPHOCLIDISCA
Still, do you do so; on giving our words, let's trust each other.

PÆG.
I know this--all procuresses are light of faith, and the weight of a water-gnat4 is not more light than is the word of a procurer.

SOPHOCLIDISCA
Tell me, there's a dear.

PÆG.
Tell me, there's a dear.

SOPHOCLIDISCA
I don't want to be your dear.

PÆG.
You'll easily prevail upon me in that.

SOPHOCLIDISCA
Keep it yourself.

PÆG.
And you be mum about this. Showing her a letter.

SOPHOCLIDISCA
It shall be kept a secret.

PÆG.
It shall not be known. She shows him a letter.

SOPHOCLIDISCA
I'm carrying this letter to Toxilus, your master.

PÆG.
Be off; he's there at home. And I am carrying this pinewood tablet sealed, to Lemniselene, your mistress.

SOPHOCLIDISCA
What's written there.

PÆG.
If you don't know, pretty much like yourself, I don't know, except soft words, perhaps.

SOPHOCLIDISCA
I'm off.

PÆG.
And I'll be off.

SOPHOCLIDISCA
Move on then. They go into the respective houses.

1 Give you something to add: "Peculiabo." Some Commentators will have it that an indecent allusion is intended here. Possibly they are not mistaken; but it is a rather far-fetched one.

2 The ostrich: "Marinus passer." Literally, the "sea-sparrow," Pægnium alludes to the mode in which the ostrich runs, in answer to the order of Toxilus, who tells him to fly. The ostrich, as it runs, flaps it wings as though flying. Referring to Roman customs, Pægnium speaks as though he had seen ostriches in the Roman Circus. These, and wild beasts of every description, were hunted there at the "Venationes," for the amusement of the people. It is not improbable that ostriches had been recently introduced into Rome, as forming part of the spoil of the Carthaginians. The Emperor Probus, several centuries after this period, gave a "Venatio" of a thousand ostriches in the Circus.

3 At this bar: Seeing Sophoclidisca, he knows that she will stop him for a bit of gossip, and he consequently stvles her an "obex," a "bar" or "impediment."

4 Weight of a water-gnat: "Tipulæ," a "water-gnat," or "waterspider." This is a very pretty illustration. On a sunny day these little animals may be seen in hundreds skating over the surface of still water. Warner suggests that this simile may have been a proverbial one.

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