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Enter LYCUS, from his house.
speaking to ANTHEMONIDES, within . I'll return here this moment, Captain. I wish to find us some fitting guests, to join us. Meanwhile, they'll bring the entrails; and at the same time, the women, I suppose, will soon be making their appearance at home after the sacrifice. But why are such a number of people coming this way? I wonder what they are bringing? He, too, in the scarf, that's following at a distance, who is he, I wonder? He is not an Ætolian. ADVOCATI
We greet you, Lycus. Although against our will, we give you this salutation, and although in a very moderate degree do we entertain good wishes for procurers. LYCUS
May you all be fortunate--a thing that I know for certain you neither will be, nor will Fortune permit it so to be. ADVOCATI
That is a treasure hoarded in the tongues of fools, to deem it gainful to speak amiss to their superiors. LYCUS
He who knows not the road by which to arrive at the sea, him it befits to seek a river as his own companion. I know not the way of speaking abusively to you. Now you are the rivers to me; you I'm resolved to follow. If you speak blessings, along your banks I'll follow you; if you utter curses, along your track I'll go. ADVOCATI
To do good to the bad is a danger just as great as to do bad to the good. LYCUS
But why? ADVOCATI
You shall learn. If you do any good to the bad, the benefit is lost: if you do any bad to the good, it lasts for a length of time. LYCUS
Cleverly said! But what does that matter to me? ADVOCATI
Because for the sake of your own well-doing we came hither, although in a very moderate degree do we entertain good wishes for procurers. LYCUS
If you bring anything that's good, I give you thanks. ADVOCATI
Of our own, we neither bring nor give you anything that's good, nor do we promise you, nor, in fact, do we wish to give it. LYCUS
I' faith, I do believe yon; such is your kindly feeling. But what now do you wish? ADVOCATI
(pointing to COLLYBISCUS) This person in the scarf, whom you see, with him Mars is angered. COLLYBISCUS
aside, to himself . May he be so indeed with your own heads! ADVOCATI
We are now bringing him here, Lycus, to you, for tearing asunder1. COLLYBISCUS
aside, to himself . This huntsman, myself, will be going home to-day with some spoil; the dogs are cleverly driving Lycus into the toils. LYCUS
Who is this person? ADVOCATI
We really don't know who he is, except that some time since, after daybreak, when we went down to the harbour, at the same moment we saw him landing from a merchant-ship. Disembarking, he came up to us at once--he saluted us; we answered him. COLLYBISCUS
aside . The artful fellows! how cleverly they do enter upon the plot! LYC. What after that? ADVOCATI
Then he joined in discourse with us: he said that he was a foreigner, unacquainted with this city: that he wanted a convenient place to be found here, for him to indulge his appetite. We brought the man to you; if the Gods are favourable to you, it's an opportunity for you to ply your trade. LYCUS
Is he eager to that degree? ADVOCATI
He has got gold. LYCUS
aside . That booty is mine. ADVOCATI
He wishes to drink and wench. LYCUS
I'll find him a nice place. ADVOCATI
But still he wants to be quite private, in a quiet way, that no persons may know it, and that there may be no overlookers; for he has been a soldier in Sparta, as, indeed, he himself has told us, with King Attalus2; from there he fled hither, when the town was surrendered. COLLYBISCUS
aside . Very clever that, about the soldier! about Sparta, most capital! LYCUS
in a low voice . May the Gods and Goddesses bestow many blessings on you, for having given me kindly information, and finding me a choice prey. ADVOCATI
Aye, and, as he himself has told us, that you may receive him the better, he has brought three hundred Philippean pieces as a provision. LYCUS
I'm a king if I can to-day entice this man to my house. ADVOCATI
Nay but, he really is your own. LYCUS
By my troth, prithee, do persuade him to take up his abode at my house, as the best lodging. ADVOCATI
It befit us neither to persuade nor to dissuade a person who is a foreigner; you'll transact your own business, if you are prudent. We have brought the ringdove for you, even to the trapping-ground; now it's better for yourself to catch him, if you wish him to be caught. They move as if going. LYCUS
Are you going now? COLLYBISCUS
to the ASSISTANTS . What about the matters that I commissioned you upon, strangers? ADVOCATI
pointing to LYCUS . It's better for you, young sir, to speak to him about your own concerns; he's clever in those matters which you are enquiring about. COLLYBISCUS
aside . But, for my part, I could like you to see when I deliver him the gold. ADVOCATI
aside . At a distance there we shall be witnesses of that. COLLYBISCUS
to the ASSISTANTS . You've given me kind assistance. The ASSISTANTS go out of sight. LYCUS
aside, so as to be heard . The profit comes to me. COLLYBISCUS
aside, to himself . Age, just so, indeed, the way that the ass kicks3 with his heels. LYCUS
I'll speak the fellow fairly. To COLLYBISCUS. A stranger salutes a stranger; I'm glad that you have arrived in safety. COLLYBISCUS
May the Deities grant you many blessings, since you wish me well. LYCUS
They say that you are in search of a lodging. COLLYBISCUS
I am in search. LYCUS
So those persons told me, who left me just now, that you are in search of one that is free from flies. COLLYBISCUS
By no means in the world. LYCUS
Why so? COLLYBISCUS
Because if I had been looking for a retreat from the flies4, on arriving here I should have straightway gone to gaol. I'm in search of this kind of lodging, where I may be treated more delicately than the eyes of King Antiochus5 are in the habit of being treated. LYCUS
Upon my faith, for sure, I can provide you a charming one, if, indeed, you can put up with yourself being in a charming room, on a couch charmingly laid, a charming damsel cuddling you. COLLYBISCUS
You are in the right road, Procurer. LYCUS
Where, with Leucadian, Lesbian, Thasian, and Coan wine6, toothless with old age7, you may soak yourself. There I'll quite drench you with the effusion of unguents. Why many words? I'll cause, when you've bathed, the bathkeeper to set up unguent-shop there. But speaking confidentially all these things that I have mentioned let out their services for pay. COLLYBISCUS
Why so? LYCUS
Because they demand ready money. COLLYBISCUS
Why, upon my faith, you are not more ready to receive than I to give. LYCUS
Why then follow me in-doors. COLLYBISCUS
Lead me in-doors, then; you've got me devoted to your will. The ASSISTANTS come forward. LYCUS and COLLYBISCUS go apart. ADVOCATI
among themselves . What if we call Agorastocles hither out of doors, that he himself may be his own witness, past all exception? They go to the door of AGORASTOCLES and call out, in a loud whisper. Hallo! you that are to catch the thief, come out quickly, that you yourself may witness him giving the gold to the Procurer.
1 For tearing asunder: "Ad diripiendum." This expression is purposely used, as being susceptible of a double meaning. It may either mean "for you to plunder," or "to plunder you." In the use of the word "dirip o," "to tear to pieces," allusion is made to the wolfish name of Lycus.
2 With King Attalus: This is said merely for its absurdity; as Attalus was king, not of Sparta, but of Pergamus in Asia Minor
3 The way that the ass kicks: Taubmann says that this means that as the ass kicks away from himself, so the gain will go from Lycus, not to him.
4 A retreat from the flies: Under this name he refers to envious and mquisitive persons and Parasites.
5 The eyes of King Antiochus: This is probably not to be taken literally as, according to Suidas, the chief ministers of Antiochus were thus called. Apuleius says that the ministers of the King of Persia were called his "eyes" and "ears."
6 And Coan wine: The Chian held the first rank among the wines of Greece, while the Lesbian, Thasian, and Coan. ranked next to it.
7 Toothlees with old age: Having by age lost all its acidity.
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