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Enter OLYMPIO, CHALINUS following him.1

Isn't it to be allowed me for myself to speak and think about my own affairs by myself, just as I choose, without you as an overlooker? Why the plague are you following me about?

Because I'm resolved, just like your shadow, wherever you go, to follow you about. Why troth, even if you are ready to go to the cross, I'm determined to follow you. Hence judge of the sequel, whether you can or not, by your artifices, slily deprive me of Casina for a wife, just as you are attempting.

What business have you with me?

What say you, impudence? Why are you creeping about in the city, you bailiff2, so very valuable in this place?

Because I choose.

But why ain't you in the country, at your post of command? Why don't you rather pay attention to the business that has been entrusted to you, and keep yourself from meddling in city matters? Have you come hither to deprive me of my betrothed? Be off to the country--be off to your place of command, and be hanged to you.

Chalinus, I have not forgotten my duty. I've given charge to one who will still take care that all's right in the country. When I've got that for which I came hither to the city, to take her as my wife whom you are dying for--the fair and charming Casina, your fellow-servant--when I've carried her off with myself into the country as my wife, I'll then stick fast in the country, at my post of command.

What, you marry her? By my faith, 'twere better I should die by a halter, than that you should be the winner of her.

She's my prize; do you put yourself in a halter at once.

Fellow, dug up from your own dunghill, is she to be your prize?

You'll find that such is the fact. Woe be unto you! in what a many ways, if I only live, I'll have you tormented at my wedding!

What will you do to me?

What will I do to you? In the first place of all, you shall hold the lighted torch for this new-made bride of nine; that always, in future, you may be worthless3, and not esteemed. Then next after that, when you get to the country-house, a single pitcher4 shall be found you, and a single path, a single spring, a single brass cauldron, and eight casks; and unless these shall be always kept filled, I'll load you with lashes. I'll make you so thoroughly bent with carrying water, that a horse's crupper might be manufactured out of you. And then, in future, unless in the country you either feed on pulse, or, like a worm, upon the soil, should you require to taste of any better food, never, upon my faith, is hunger as full of hungriness as I'll make you to be in the country. After that, when you're tired out, and starved with famine, care shall be taken that, at night, you go to bed as you deserve.

What will you do?

You shall be shut up fast in a nook with bars, where you can listen while I'm caressing her, while she is saying to me, "My soul, my own Olympio, my life, my sweet, my delight, do let me kiss your dear eyes, my love! do, there's a dear, let yourself be loved! my own day of happiness, my sparrow-chick, my own dove, my leveret!" When these expressions shall be being uttered to me, then will you, you villain, be wriggling about like a mouse in the middle of the wall. Now, that you mayn't be trying to give me an answer, I'll off in-doors; I'm tired of your talk. Goes into the house of STALINO.

I'll follow you. Here, indeed, on my word, assuredly you shall do nothing without me for an overlooker. Follows him into the house.

1 This Play is named after Casina, the female slave; and it is rather singular that neither she nor Euthynicus, two of the parties most interested, appear as characters in it.

2 You bailiff: The "villicus" was an upper slave, who had the management of the country farm, and all the business on it, except that relative to the cattle. His duty was to watch over the other slaves; never to leave the farm but for the purpose of going to market; to take care of the implements of husbandry, keep an account of the stock, distribute food and clothing to the labourers, perform the sacrifices, buy what was necessary for the household, and sell the produce of the farm. Cato says that it was especially a part of his duty to avoid Soothsayers. Of course he would be of more use in the country than in town.

3 May be worthless: It has been suggested by Muretus that this refers to some superstition among the ancients, that those who had carried a torch before the bride at a wedding were doomed to be unlucky in future life; perhaps, however, there is no ground for this supposition, beyond the present passage; as it is not likely that they would have found any free persons to undertake the duty of torchbearer, if they were to be afterwards considered as of such ominous character.

4 A single pitcher: To be "drawers of water," as well as "hewers of wood," was the lot of the unfortunate slave, from the earliest ages of the world.

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