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CALIDORUS and PSEUDOLUS come forward. BALLIO stands near his door.

CALIDORUS
Pseudolus, don't you hear what he says?

PSEUDOLUS
I hear it, master, and I give good heed.

CALIDORUS
What do you advise me to send him, that he mayn't devote my mistress to dishonor?

PSEUDOLUS
Don't you trouble yourself about that; be of cheerful mind. I'll manage for myself and for you. For some time past I've been on terms of goodwill with him, and he with me; and our friendship is of old standing. I'll send him this day, on his birthday, a mischief heavy and well-matured.

CALIDORUS
What's the plan?

PSEUDOLUS
Can't you attend to something else?

CALIDORUS
But----

PSEUDOLUS
Tut.

CALIDORUS
I'm distracted.

PSEUDOLUS
Harden your heart.

CALIDORUS
I cannot.

PSEUDOLUS
Make yourself to can.

CALIDORUS
By what means, pray, can I prevail upon my feelings?

PSEUDOLUS
Carry you out that which is to your advantage, rather than give heed with your feelings to the thing that's disadvantageous.

CALIDORUS
That's nonsense; there is no pleasure, unless a lover acts like a fool.

PSEUDOLUS
Do you persist?

CALIDORUS
O my dear Pseudolus, let me be undone--do let me, please.

PSEUDOLUS
I'll let you; only let me go. Going.

CALIDORUS
Stay, stay. As you shall, then, wish me to be, so will I be.

PSEUDOLUS
Now, at last, you are in your senses.

BALLIO
coming forward from the door of his house to the other side of the stage . The day is passing; I'm causing delay to myself. Boy, do you go before me. Moves as if going.

CALIDORUS
Hallo there! he's going; why don't you call him back?

PSEUDOLUS
Why in such a hurry? Gently.

CALIDORUS
But before he's gone.

BALLIO
Why the plague do you go so slowly, boy?

PSEUDOLUS
You born on this day, hallo! you born on this day; I'm calling to you; hallo! you born on this day, come you back and look at us. Although you are busy, we want you; stop--it's because some persons want to speak to you.

BALLIO
What's this? Who is it, when I'm busy, causes me unseasonable delay?

PSEUDOLUS
He that has been your supporter.

BALLIO
He's dead that has been; only he that is, is now alive.

PSEUDOLUS
You are too saucy.

BALLIO
You are too troublesome. Turns away to go on.

CALIDORUS
Seize the fellow: follow him up.

BALLIO
Go on, boy.

PSEUDOLUS
Let's go and meet him this way. They run and stand before him.

BALLIO
May Jupiter confound you, whoever you are.

PSEUDOLUS
That for yourself I wish.

BALLIO
And for both of you do I. Turn you this way, boy. Takes another direction.

PSEUDOLUS
May we not speak with you?

BALLIO
Why, it doesn't please me.

PSEUDOLUS
But if it's something to your advantage?

BALLIO
Am I allowed to go away, pray, or am I not?

PSEUDOLUS
Pshaw! Stop. Catches hold of him. BAL. Let me go.

CALIDORUS
Ballio, listen.

BALLIO
I'm deaf.

CALIDORUS
Really, you are uncivil.

BALLIO
You are a chatterer of nonsense.

CALIDORUS
I gave you money so long as I had it.

BALLIO
I'm not asking what you gave.

CALIDORUS
I'll give you some when I have it.

BALLIO
When you have it, bring it to me1.

CALIDORUS
Alas, alas! In what a foolish fashion have I lavished what I brought to you, and what I gave you.

BALLIO
Your wealth defunct, you now are talking about it; you are a simpleton, a cause that has been tried you are trying over again.

PSEUDOLUS
At least consider him, who he is.

BALLIO
I've known for a long time now who he was; who he now is, let him know himself. Do you walk on to the BOY .

PSEUDOLUS
And can't you, Ballio, only once give a look this way for your own profit?

BALLIO
At that price I'll give a look; for if I were sacrificing to supreme Jupiter, and were presenting2 the entrails in my hands to lay them on the altar, if in the meanwhile anything in the way of profit were offered, I should in preference forsake the sacrifice. There's no being able to resist that sort of piety, however other things go.

PSEUDOLUS
aside . The very Gods, whom it is especially our duty to reverence--them he esteems of little value.

BALLIO
I'll speak to him. Hail to you, right heartily, the very vilest slave in Athens.

PSEUDOLUS
May the Gods and Goddesses favour you, Ballio, both at his wish and at my own; or, if you are deserving of other terms, let them neither favour nor bless you.

BALLIO
What's the matter, Calidorus?

CALIDORUS
Love and pinching want3 are the matter.

BALLIO
I would pity you, if, upon pity I could support my establishment.

PSEUDOLUS
Aye, aye, we know you quite well, what sort of character you are; don't be proclaiming it. But do you know what we want?

BALLIO
I' faith, I know it pretty nearly; that there may be something unfortunate for me.

PSEUDOLUS
Both to that and this for which we called you back, prithee do give your attention.

BALLIO
I am attending; but compress into a few words what you want, as I'm busy now.

PSEUDOLUS
He pointing to CALIDORUS is quite ashamed about what he promised you, and the day for which he promised it, that he hasn't even yet paid you those twenty minæ for his mistress.

BALLIO
That which we are ashamed at is much more easily endured than that which we are vexed at. At not having paid the money, he is ashamed; I, because I have not received it, am vexed.

PSEUDOLUS
Still, he'll pay it, he'll procure it; do you only wait some days to come. But he has been afraid of this, that you'll sell her on account of his embarrassment.

BALLIO
He had an opportunity, had he wished, of paying the money long ago.

CALIDORUS
What if I had it not?

BALLIO
If you had been in love, you would have found it on loan. You would have gone to the usurer4; you would have paid the interest; or else you would have pilfered it from your father.

PSEUDOLUS
Ought he to have pilfered it from his father, you most shameless villain? There is no fear that you'll point out to him anything that's right.

BALLIO
That's not like a procurer.

CALIDORUS
And could I possibly pilfer anything from my father, an old man so much on his guard? And besides, if I could do so, filial affection forbids.

BALLIO
I understand you; do you then at night embrace filial affection in place of Phœnicium. But since I see you prefer your filial affection to your love--are all men your fathers? Is there no one for you to ask to lend you some money?

CALIDORUS
Why, the very name of lending's dead and gone by this.

PSEUDOLUS
Look you now; since, i' faith5, those fellows arose from the banker's table, with a filled skin, who, when they called in their own, paid what they had borrowed to no born creature, since then, I say, all people have been more cautious not to trust another.

CALIDORUS
Most wretched am I; nowhere am I able to find a coin of silver; so distractedly am I perishing both through love and want of money.

BALLIO
Buy oil on credit6, and sell it for ready money; then, i' faith, even two hundred minæ ready money might be raised.

CALIDORUS
There I'm done; the twenty-five year old law7 founders me. All are afraid to trust me.

BALLIO
The same law8 have I. I'm afraid to trust you.

PSEUDOLUS
To trust him, indeed! How now, do you repent of the great profit he has been to you?

BALLIO
No lover is a profitable one, except him who keeps continually making presents. Either let him be always giving, or when he has nothing, let him at the same time cease to be in love.

CALIDORUS
And don't you pity me at all?

BALLIO
You come empty-handed; words don't chink. But I wish you life and health.

PSEUDOLUS
Heyday! Is he dead already?

BALLIO
However he is, to me indeed, at all events, with these speeches, he is dead. Then, does a lover really live, when he comes begging to a procurer? Do you always come to me with a complaint that brings9 its money. As for that, which you are now lamenting about, that you have got no money, complain of it to your stepmother10.

PSEUDOLUS
Why, have you ever been married to his father, pray?

BALLIO
May the Gods grant better things.

PSEUDOLUS
Do what we ask you, Ballio, on my credit, if you are afraid to trust him. Within the next three days, from some quarter, in some way, either by land or sea, I'll rout up this money for you.

BALLIO
I, trust you?

PSEUDOLUS
Why not?

BALLIO
Because, i' faith, on the same principle that I trust you, on that principle I should tie a run-away dog to a lamb's fry.

CALIDORUS
Is the obligation thus ungratefully returned by you to me, who have deserved so well of you?

BALLIO
What do you want now?

CALIDORUS
That you will only wait these six days of the Feast, and will not sell her or prove the death of the person who loves her.

BALLIO
Be of good courage; I'll wait six months even.

CALIDORUS
Capital--most delightful man!

BALLIO
Aye; and do you wish, too, that from joyful I should make you even more joyous?

CALIDORUS
How so?

BALLIO
Why, because I've got no Phœnicium to sell.

CALIDORUS
Not got her?

BALLIO
I' faith, not I, indeed.

CALIDORUS
Pseudolus, go fetch the sacrifice, the victims, the sacrificers11, that I may make offering to this supreme Jove. For this Jupiter is now much more mighty to me than is Jupiter himself.

BALLIO
I want no victims; with the entrails of minæ12 I wish to be appeased.

CALIDORUS
to PSEUDOLUS . Make haste. Why do you hesitate? Go fetch the lambs; do you hear what Jupiter says?

PSEUDOLUS
I'll be here this moment; but first I must run as far as beyond the gate13.

CALIDORUS
Why thither?

PSEUDOLUS
I'll fetch two sacrificers thence, with their bells; at the same time I'll fetch thence two bundles of elm twigs, that this day a sufficiency may be provided for the sacrifice to this Jove.

BALLIO
Away to utter perdition14.

PSEUDOLUS
Thither shall the pimping Jupiter go.

BALLIO
It isn't for your interest that I should die.

PSEUDOLUS
How so?

BALLIO
This way; because, if I'm dead, there will be no one worse than yourself in Athens. For your interest to CALIDORUS it is that I should die.

CALIDORUS
How so?

BALLIO
I'll tell you; because, i' faith, so long as I shall be alive, you'll never be a man well to do.

CALIDORUS
Troth now, prithee, in serious truth, tell me this that I ask you--have you not got my mistress, Phœnicium, on sale?

BALLIO
By my faith, I really have not; for I've now sold her already.

CALIDORUS
In what way?

BALLIO
Without her trappings, with all her inwards15.

CALIDORUS
What? Have you sold my mistress?

BALLIO
Decidedly; for twenty minæ.

CALIDORUS
For twenty minæ?

BALLIO
Or, in other words, for four times five minæ, whichever you please, to a Macedonian Captain; and I've already got fifteen of the minæ at home.

CALIDORUS
What is it that I hear of you?

BALLIO
That your mistress has been turned into money.

CALIDORUS
Why did you dare to do so?

BALLIO
'Twas my pleasure; she was my own.

CALIDORUS
Hallo! Pseudolus. Run, fetch me a sword.

PSEUDOLUS
What need is there of a sword?

CALIDORUS
With which to kill this fellow this instant, and then myself.

PSEUDOLUS
But why not kill yourself only rather? For famine will soon be killing him.

CALIDORUS
What do you say, most perjured of men as many as are living upon the earth? Did you not take an oath that you would sell her to no person besides myself?

BALLIO
I confess it.

CALIDORUS
In solemn form16, to wit.

BALLIO
Aye, and well considered too.

CALIDORUS
You have proved perjured, you villain.

BALLIO
I sacked the money at home, however. Villain as I am, I am now able to draw upon a stock of silver in my house; whereas you who are so dutiful, and born of that grand family, haven't a single coin.

CALIDORUS
Pseudolus, stand by him on the other side and load this fellow with imprecations.

PSEUDOLUS
Very well. Never would I run to the Prætor17 with equal speed that I might be made free. Stands on the other side of BALLIO.

CALIDORUS
Heap on him a multitude of curses.

PSEUDOLUS
Now will I publish you with my rebukes. Thou lackshame!

BALLIO
'Tis the fact.

PSEUDOLUS
Villain!

BALLIO
You say the truth.

PSEUDOLUS
Whipping-post!

BALLIO
Why not?

PSEUDOLUS
Robber of tombs!

BALLIO
No doubt.

PSEUDOLUS
Gallows-bird!

BALLIO
Very well done.

PSEUDOLUS
Cheater of your friends!

BALLIO
That's in my way.

PSEUDOLUS
Parricide!

BALLIO
Proceed, you.

CALIDORUS
Committer of sacrilege!

BALLIO
I own it.

CALIDORUS
Perjurer!

BALLIO
You're telling nothing new18.

CALIDORUS
Lawbreaker!

BALLIO
Very much so.

PSEUDOLUS
Pest of youth!

BALLIO
Most severely said.

CALIDORUS
Thief!

BALLIO
Oh! wonderful!

PSEUDOLUS
Vagabond!

BALLIO
Pooh! pooh19!

CALIDORUS
Defrauder of the public!

BALLIO
Most decidedly so.

PSEUDOLUS
Cheating scoundrel!

CALIDORUS
Filthy pander!

PSEUDOLUS
Lump of filth!

BALLIO
A capital chorus.

CALIDORUS
You beat your father and mother.

BALLIO
Aye, and killed them, too, rather than find them food; did I do wrong at all?

PSEUDOLUS
We are pouring our words into a pierced cask20: we are losing our pains.

BALLIO
Would you like to call me anything else besides?

CALIDORUS
Is there anything that shames you?

BALLIO
Yes; that you have been found to be a lover as empty as a rotten nut. But although you have used towards me expressions many and harsh, unless the Captain shall bring me this day the five minæ that he owes me, as this was the last day appointed for the payment of that money, if he doesn't bring it, I think that I am able to do my duty.

CALIDORUS
What is that duty?

BALLIO
If you bring the money, I'll break faith with him; that's my duty. If it were more worth my while, I would talk further with you. But, without a coin of money, 'tis in vain that you request me to have pity upon you. Such is my determination; but do you, from this, consider what you have henceforth to do? Moves.

CALIDORUS
Are you going then?

BALLIO
At present I am full of business. (Exit.)

PSEUDOLUS
Before long you'll be more so. That man is my own, unless all Gods and men forsake me. I'll bone him just in the same fashion that a cook does a lamprey21. Now, Calidorus, I wish you to give me your attention.

CALIDORUS
What do you bid me do?

PSEUDOLUS
I wish to lay siege to this town, that this day it may be taken. For that purpose, I have need of an artful, clever, knowing, and crafty fellow, who may despatch out of hand what he is ordered, not one to go to sleep upon his watch.

CALIDORUS
Tell me, then, what you are going to do?

PSEUDOLUS
In good time I'll let you know. I don't care for it to be repeated twice; stories are made too long that way.

CALIDORUS
You plead what's very fair and very just.

PSEUDOLUS
Make haste; bring the fellow hither quickly.

CALIDORUS
Out of many, there are but few friends that are to be depended upon by a person.

PSEUDOLUS
I know that; therefore, get for yourself now a choice of both, and seek out of these many one that can be depended upon.

CALIDORUS
I'll have him here this instant.

PSEUDOLUS
Can't you be off then? You create delay for yourself by your talking. (Exit CALIDORUS.)

1 Bring it to me: "Ducito." This word may either mean "bring" the money when you have got it, or "take away" Phœnicium when you bring the money. The former seems the most probable meaning.

2 And were presenting: "Porricio" was the word especially employed to signify the act of laying the entrails on the altar, for the purpose of burning them.

3 Love and pinching want: "Amatur atque egetur aeritor. Literally, "it is loved, and is wanted sharply."

4 To the usurer: "Danista from the Greek δανίστης, "an usurer."

5 Since, i' faith: He alludes probably to the recent fraudulent failure of some well-known bankers.

6 Buy oil on credit: "Emito die cæcâ--id vendito oculatâ die." By buying a commodity "on a blind day," and selling it "on one with eyes," is meant the system of credit for the purposes of business; where they who purchase on that principle have an eye only to the present time, but are blind as to the future consequences of their speculation. The intention of the procurer is to advise the young man to get oil on credit, and then sell it for anything it will fetch.

7 The twenty-five year old law: The Quinavicenarian, which was also called the Lætorian Law, forbade credit to be given to persons under the age of twenty-five years, and deprived the creditor of all right to recover his money or goods. As usual, Plautus does not scruple to refer to Roman customs, though the scene is at Athens.

8 The same law: By using the word "lex," he probably means that the law also applies to him, as it forbids him to give credit; or he may simply mean that it is his rule and custom not to give credit.

9 Complaim that brings: "Cum argentatâ querimomâ." Literally, "with a silvery complaint." He probably alludes to the chinking of silver.

10 To your stepmother: Stepmothers, in ancient times, were proverbially notorious for their unfeeling conduct to their step-children. Ballio ironically tells him to go and look for sympathy from his stepmother, on which Pseudolus retorts by implying that Ballio is as unfeeling as any stepmother can be.

11 The sacrificers: "Lanios." Literally, "butchers." These were the "popæ," or servants of the priests, who slaughtered the cattle which were offered in sacrifice.

12 Entrails of minœ: "Mininis extis." He intends a pun by the use of the word "mininis," "Mina," as has been already observed, meant a kind of sheep without wool on its belly, and also the sum of money composed of a hundred drachmæ. He does not want victims, he wants the entrails of the money for his propitiation.

13 Beyond the gate: The Metian Gate at Rome is supposed to be here referred to, where the butchers kept their slaughter-houses, and where the "lanii" were likely to be found. It is not improbable that the priests and sacrificers wore bells on their dress, to which reference is probably made in the next line. Perhaps they were employed for the purpose of drowning the cries of the victims. The ephod of the Jewish high priest was adorned with bells.

14 To utter perdition: "In malam crucem." Literally, "go to the dreadful cross," which answers to our expression, "go to perdition;" or, in unpolite parlance, "go to the devil." It alludes to the cross, as the instrument of punishment for slaves and malefactors of the lower order.

15 With all her inwards: "Cum intestinis omnibus." By this unfeeling expression, the fellow means, "stark naked," just as she stands. However, we will do him the justice to suppose that when, in the sequel, she is led away by Simmia, a "toga" is thrown over her for decency's sake.

16 In solemn form: To take an oath in solemn form, or, "concepts verbis," was when the oath was repeated by another person, and the party swearing him followed in his words. The Roman formula for swearing was "Ex animi mei sententiâ iuro."

17 Run to the Prœtor: The "Prætor" was the public officer at Rome who liberated slaves at the request of their owners. The ceremony was performed by his lictor laying a rod called "vindicta" on the head of the person manumitted.

18 Telling nothing new: He means that Calidorus has called him that already; which he has done in the 354th line.

19 Pooh! pooh!: "Bombax." This is a Greek word, an expression of contempt.

20 Into a pierced cask: This notion is probably taken from the punishment of the daughters of Danaüs, who, for the murder of their husbands, the sons of Ægyptus, were doomed by Jupiter to pass their time in the Inferns, regions in gathering up water in perforated vessels.

21 Cook does a lamprey: The "muræna," or "lamprey," was a dish highly valued by the Romans.

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