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Enter ASTAPHIUM, from the house of PHRONESIUM.
speaking to her MISTRESS as she comes out . I'll cleverly do my duty, mistress; do you only take care that in-doors you do yours as well; love that which you ought, your own interest; clean that fellow thoroughly out. Now, while it pleases the fellow, while he has got something, adapt the opportunity to that purpose. Display all your charms to your lover that you may heighten his joys. I meantime will stay here behind and watch at this door so long as he is thus transporting his presents home to you; nor, in the meantime, will I admit any one from there to you who may cause you annoyance. Do you go on, just as you please. Are you not diddling these fellows? DINARCHUS
How now, Astaphium, tell me, who is this fellow that's on the road to ruin? ASTAPHIUM
Prithee, were you here? DINARCHUS
What--am I troublesome? ASTAPHIUM
More now than you were; for unless a person is of use to us, he is troublesome to us. But, prithee, do lend me your attention, that I may say what I want. DINARCHUS
Why, what is it? Does it concern myself? ASTAPHIUM
Not a rap. But what hauls he is making present of m-doors. DINARCHUS
How? Some new lover? ASTAPHIUM
A fresh one, and a brimming treasure she has hit upon. DINARCHUS
Who is he? ASTAPHIUM
I'll tell you, but you be mum. Don't you know this Strabax? Pointing to his FATHER'S house. DINARCHUS
Why shouldn't I? ASTAPHIUM
He alone rules the roast here at our house. He just now is a landed estate to us. With right good spirit is he wantonly wasting away his property. DINARCHUS
He's on the road to ruin; i' faith, I, too, have come to ruin. ASTAPHIUM
You are a simpleton, to expect with words to make undone what is done. DINARCHUS
Even Thetis, too, in weeping, made lamentation for her son. Can I not now be admitted in-doors to your house? ASTAPHIUM
Why so rather than the Captain? DINARCHUS
Why, because I've given more. ASTAPHIUM
But you were admitted more, when you were giving more; let those who give, in return for that which they give, enjoy our services. You've learnt your letters; since you know them yourself, let others learn them. DINARCHUS
Let them learn, so long as it is allowed me to con my lesson, that I may not forget what I have paid for. ASTAPHIUM
In the meantime, while you, who are a master, shall be conning your lesson, she, as well, is desirous to con hers. DINARCHUS
How so? ASTAPHIUM
In receiving money ever and anon. DINARCHUS
For my own part, this very day I gave five minæ of silver to be carried to her, besides one for provisions. ASTAPHIUM
I know that the same was brought; with it we are now enjoying ourselves upon your liberality. DINARCHUS
For these enemies of mine here to be devouring my property! By heavens, I'd rather that I were dead than submit to that! ASTAPHIUM
You are a simpleton. DINARCHUS
How's that? ASTAPHIUM
Why so? ASTAPHIUM
Because, I' troth, I'd rather that my enemies should envy me, than I my enemies; for to envy because it goes well with another, and goes badly with yourself, is wretchedness. Those who are envious, are in want; they who are envied, possess property. DINARCHUS
May I not be a partaker of the provisions bought with the mina? ASTAPHIUM
If you wanted to be a partaker, you should have taken half home. For here an account of the receipts is entered just as at Acheron; we take in-doors; when it's got by us, it can't be carried out of doors. Turning on her heel. Kindly farewell. DINARCHUS
catching hold of her . Do stay. ASTAPHIUM
struggling . Let me go! Leave off! DINARCHUS
Do let me go in. ASTAPHIUM
Yes, to your own house, DINARCHUS
Aye, but here into your house. ASTAPHIUM
You cannot go. DINARCHUS
I can, very well. Do let me try. ASTAPHIUM
No, wait here; it's sheer violence to try. I'd say that you are here, if she wasn't engaged. Runs to the door. DINARCHUS
Ha! Do stop! ASTAPHIUM
It's of no use, DINARCHUS
Are you going to return or not? ASTAPHIUM
I'd return, but a voice is calling me that has more influence with me than you have. DINARCHUS
In one word I'll say it. You'll receive me? ASTAPHIUM
You are telling a lie--be off. One word, you said; but now three words have you uttered, and those untrue. Goes into the house, and shuts the door. DINARCHUS
to himself . She's off, and she's gone hence in- doors That I should endure these things to be done to me. By heavens, enticer, with my cries I'll be exposing you to ridicule in the street, you who, contrary to law, have received money from many a one. Upon my faith, I'll forthwith cause your name to be before every magistrate1, and after that I'll sue you for fourfold2, you sorceress, you kidnapper of children. By the powers, I'll now disclose all your disgraceful deeds. Worthless creature that I am, who have lost everything I had! I'm become desperate, and now I haven't the slightest bit of concern what shoes I wear3. But why am I trying here? What, suppose she were to order me to be let in? I could swear in solemn form that I wouldn't do it if she wished. It's nonsense. If you thump a goad with your fists, your hands are hurt the most. It's no good to be angry at a thing of nothing; a creature that doesn't value you a straw. Starting. But what's this? O immortal Gods, I see old Callicles, him who was my connexion by marriage4, bringing two female slaves in bonds, the one the hair-dresser of this Phronesium, the other his own servant-maid. I'm greatly alarmed! inasmuch as one care has so recently taken possession of my heart, I'm afraid lest all my former misdeeds should be discovered. Stands aside.
1 Before every magistrate: He probably alludes to the Prætor and the Triumviri; which last magistrates had especial jurisdiction over the conduct of courtesans.
2 Sue you for fourfold: He will sue her for a fourfold return, which, in cases of fraud and extortion, a person was sometimes condemned to make.
3 What shoes I wear: The Romans were very particular as to their dress in the street, and they were especially careful not to wear the shoes which they used in-doors, nor such as were too big, or fitted loosely to the feet. Ovid says, in the Art of Love, B, 1. l. 516, "let not your foot wallop about, losing itself in the shoe, down at heel," enjoining the men to be careful on this point. The expression is used figuratively here, signifying that he will throw off all regard for appearances.
4 Was my connexion by marriage: He probably calls him "adfinis," or "connexion," from the fact of himself having been formerly betrothed to his daughter.
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