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Enter the OLD MAN, with SERVANTS.
to the SERVANTS . By Gods and men, I tell you prudently to pay regard to my commands, as to what I have commanded and do command. Take care that this person is carried at once upon your shoulders to the surgery, unless, indeed, you set no value upon your legs or your sides. Take care each of you to regard at a straw whatever threats he shall utter. What are you standing for? Why are you hesitating? By this you ought to have had him carried off on your shoulders. I'll go to the Doctor; I'll be there ready when you shall come. (Exit. The SERVANTS gather around MENAECHMUS.) MENAECHMUS of Epidamnus.
I'm undone. What business is this? Why are these men running towards me, pray? What do you want? What do you seek? Why do you stand around me? They seize and drag him. Whither are you dragging me? Whither are you carrying me? I'm undone. I entreat your assistance, citizens, men of Epidamnus, come and help me. To the men. Why don't you let me go? MESSENIO
running towards them . O ye immortal Gods, I beseech you, what do I behold with my eyes? Some fellows, I know not who, are most disgracefully carrying off my master upon their shoulders. MENAECHMUS of Epidamnus.
Who is it that ventures to bring me aid? MESSENIO
I, master, and right boldly. Aloud. O shameful and scandalous deed, citizens of Epidamnus, for my master, here in a town enjoying peace, to be carried off, in daylight, in the street, who came to you a free man. Let him go. MENAECHMUS of Epidamnus.
Prithee, whoever you are, do lend me your aid, and don't suffer so great an outrage to be signally committed against me. MESSENIO
Aye, I'll give you my aid, and I'll defend you, and zealously succour you. I'll never let you come to harm; 'tis fitter that I myself should come to harm. I'll now make a sowing on the faces of these fellows, and there I'll plant my fists. I' faith, you're carrying this person off this day at your own extreme hazard. Let him go. He lays about him. MENAECHMUS of Epidamnus.
fighting with them . I've got hold of this fellow's eye. MESSENIO
Make the socket of his eye be seen in his head. You rascals! you villains! you robbers! THE SERVANTS
severally . We are undone. Troth, now, prithee, do---- MESSENIO
Let him go then. MENAECHMUS of Epidamnus.
What business have you to touch me? Thump them with your fists. MESSENIO
Come, begone, fly hence to utter perdition with you. Three run away. Here's for you, too giving the fourth one a punch ; because you are the last to yield, you shall have this for a reward. They all disappear. Right well have I marked his face, and quite to my liking. Troth, now, master, I really did come to your help just now in the nick of time. MENAECHMUS of Epidamnus.
And may the Gods, young man, whoever you are, ever bless you. For, had it not been for you, I should never have survived this day until sunset. MESSENIO
By my troth, then, master, if you do right, you will give me my freedom. MENAECHMUS of Epidamnus.
I, give you your freedom? MESSENIO
Doubtless: since, master, I have saved you. MENAECHMUS of Epidamnus.
How's this? Young man, you are mistaken. MESSENIO
How, mistaken? MENAECHMUS of Epidamnus.
By father Jove, I solemnly swear that I am not your master. MESSENIO
Will you not hold your peace? MENAECHMUS of Epidamnus.
I'm telling no lie; nor did any servant of mine ever do such a thing as you have done for me. MESSENIO
In that case, then, let me go free, if you deny that I am your servant. MENAECHMUS of Epidamnus.
By my faith, so far, indeed, as I'm concerned, be free, and go where you like. MESSENIO
That is, you order me to do so? MENAECHMUS of Epidamnus.
I' faith, I do order you, if I have aught of authority over you. MESSENIO
Save you, my patron. Since you seriously give me my freedom, I rejoice. MENAECHMUS of Epidamnus.
I' faith, I really do believe you. MESSENIO
But, my patron, I do entreat you that you won't command me any the less now than when I was your servant. With you will I dwell, and when you go I'll go home together with you. Wait for me here; I'll now go to the inn, and bring back the luggage and the money for you. The purse, with the money for our journey, is fast sealed up in the wallet; I'll bring it just now here to you. MENAECHMUS of Epidamnus.
Bring it carefully. MESSENIO
I'll give it back safe to you just as you gave it to me. Do you wait for me here. (Exit MESSENIO.) MENAECHMUS of Epidamnus.
Very wonderful things have really happened this day to me in wonderful ways. Some deny that I am he who I am, and shut me out of doors; others say that I am he who I am not, and will have it that they are my servants. He for instance, who said that he was going for the money, to whom I gave his freedom just now. Since he says that he will bring me a purse with money, if he does bring it1, I'll say that he may go free from me where he pleases, lest at a time when he shall have come to his senses he should ask the money of me. My father-in-law and the Doctor were saying that I am mad. Whatever it is, it is a wonderful affair. These things appear to me not at all otherwise than dreams. Now I'll go in the house to this Courtesan, although she is angry with me; if I can prevail upon her to restore the mantle for me to take back home. He goes into EROTIUM'S house.
1 If he does bring it: He contemplates robbing even the man who has just rescued him. The disnonesty of his brother, in carrying off the mantle and bracelet, and wishing to rob the servant-maid of the gold for her earrings, has been previously remarked.
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