previous next

Enter SATURIO and his DAUGHTER1, in the habit of a PERSIAN.

SATURIO
May this same matter turn out well for me, and for yourself, and for my stomach, and for everlasting victuals for it as well for all time to come; that I may have more than enough, a superfluity, and that it may outlast me. Follow me this way, my daughter, with the Gods' good leave. The matter to which we are to give our attention, you know, you remember, you understand; to you I have communicated all my designs. For that reason have I dressed you out after this fashion; young woman, to-day you are to be sold.

DAU.
Prithee, my dear father, although you do eagerly long for victuals at another's cost, are you for the sake of your appetite going to sell your own daughter?

SATURIO
It is a wonder, indeed, if I don't sell you, who are my own, for the sake of King Philip or Attalus2, rather than my own.

DAU.
Whether do you regard me as your slave or as your daughter?

SATURIO
I' faith, that of the two which shall appear most for the interest of my stomach; it's my authority over you, I suppose, not yours over me.

DAU.
This power is yours, father; but still, although our circumstances are but very limited, it's better to pass our lives with frugality and moderation; for if disgrace is added to poverty, poverty will be more unendurable, our character more frail.

SATURIO
Why really you are impertinent.

DAU.
I am not, nor do I think that I am, when, though of youthful age, I give good advice to my father. For enemies carry about slander not in the form in which it took its rise.

SATURIO
Let them carry it about, and let them go to utter and extreme perdition. I don't value all their enmities any more than if an empty table were now set before me.

DAU.
Father, the scandal of men is everlasting; even then does it survive, when you would suppose it to be dead.

SATURIO
What? Are you afraid lest I should sell you?

DAU.
I am not afraid of that, father; but I wish you not to pretend to do so.

SATURIO
Then it's in vain you wish me not; this shall be done rather after my own fashion than yours.

DAU.
Shall be done!

SATURIO
What is the matter, now?

DAU.
Father, reflect upon these words: if a master has threatened punishment to a slave, although it is not intended to be, still, when the whip is taken up, while he is taking off his tunics, with what an amount of misery is he afflicted. Now, that which is not to be, I'm still in fear of.

SATURIO
Damsel or woman none will there ever be, but what she must be good for nothing, who is too wise to be giving satisfaction to her parents.

DAU.
Damsel and woman none can there be, but what she must be good for nothing, who holds her peace if she sees anything going on wrong.

SATURIO
'Twere better for you to beware of a mischief.

DAU.
But if I cannot beware, what am I to do? For it's as to yourself I wish to beware.

SATURIO
What, am I a mischief?

DAU.
You are not, nor is it becoming for me to say so; but for this purpose am I using my endeavours, that others may not say so who have that liberty.

SATURIO
Let each one say what he pleases; from this purpose I shall not be moved.

DAU.
But, could it be after my own way, you would be acting prudently, rather than foolishly.

SATURIO
It is my pleasure.

DAU.
I know that I must let it be your pleasure so far as I'm concerned; but it should not please you to be your pleasure, if I had my way.

SATURIO
Are you going to be obedient to your father's orders, or not?

DAU.
To be obedient.

SATURIO
Do you know then what I instructed you?

DAU.
Everything.

SATURIO
Both this, how you were stolen?

DAU.
I understand it perfectly well.

SATURIO
And who your parents were?

DAU.
I keep it in my memory. You cause me of necessity to be artful; but take you care, when you wish to give me in marriage, that this story doesn't cause the match to be given up.

SATURIO
Hold your tongue, simpleton. Do you not see the customs of people now-a-days, that marriage is easily effected here with a reputation of any kind? So long as there's a marriage-portion, no fault is reckoned as a fault.

DAU.
Then take you care, and let this occur to your thoughts, that I am without a fortune.

SATURIO
Take you care, please, how you say that. By my faith, through the merits of the Gods and of my ancestors I'll say it, you must not say that you are without a fortune, who have a marriage-portion at home. Why look, I've got a whole carriage-full3 of books at home. If you carefully give your attention to this matter in which we are exerting ourselves, six hundred bon-mots shall be given you out of them as a fortune, all Attic ones4, too; you shall not receive a single Sicilian one. With this for a fortune, you might safely marry a beggar even5.

DAU.
Why, then, don't you take me, father, if you are going to take me anywhere? Either do you sell me, or do with me what you please.

SATURIO
You ask what's fair and right. Follow me this way.

DAU.
I'm obedient to your command. They go into the house, to TOXILUS.

1 Daughter: Her name is not given in the Play though she pretends, when asked by Dordalus, that it is Lucris.

2 Philip or Attalus: Attalus was the name of three wealthy kings of Pergamus. Philip was the name of several of the Macedoman monarchs.

3 Whole carriage-full: "Soracum." This, which was also called "sarracum," was, according to Festus, a vehicle especially used for the purpose of carrying dresses, scenery, and theatrical properties.

4 All Attic ones: In this remark he refers to the pure language of Attica, in contrast with the patois, or mixture of Greek and Latin, spoken by the Sicilians. It is not improbable that the Parasite alludes to the example of Homer, who, Ælian informs us, was said to have given his "Cyprian poems" as a portion to his daughter.

5 Marry a beggar even: As being sure of always being above want

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

load focus Latin (F. Leo, 1895)
hide Places (automatically extracted)

View a map of the most frequently mentioned places in this document.

Visualize the most frequently mentioned Pleiades ancient places in this text.

Download Pleiades ancient places geospacial dataset for this text.

hide References (50 total)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: