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University of 
St. Michael's College, Toronto 




P L A U T U S 




VOL. 1. 











The following pages contain a literal translation of all the 
existing works of Marcus Accius Plautus (or, as lie is called 
by Eitschel and Fleckeisen, T. Maccius Plautus), the Eoman 
Comic writer. It is believed that this version will be found 
strictly faithful, and to convey to the English reader much of 
that spirit which rendered the Dramas of this rugged but 
interesting author such especial favourites with a Eoman 

The text of Eitschel has been adopted in the six plays to 
which his invaluable labours have as yet extended — the 
Trinummus, Miles G-loriosus, Bacchides, Stichus, Pseudolus, 
and Menaechmi. Hildyard's Edition has been used in the 
Aulularia, with the exception of the Supplement by Codrus 
Urceus, which has been translated from Eichter's Edition. 
The text of Lindemann has been adopted in the Captivi; 
in the Asinaria, that of Eichter ; and in the Curculio, that 
of "Fleckeisen. 

Some account of the Translations of Plautus which have 

previously appeared in the English language will be prefixed 

to the Second Volume. 

H. T. E. 



Trinummus ; the Three Pieces of Money .... 1 

Miles Gloriosus : the Braggart C>pt«n ■ . 67 

Bacchides ; ok, the Twin-Sisters 145 

Stichus ; or, the Parasite Rebuffed 211 

Pseudolus ; or, the Cheat 253 

Men.echmi ; or, the Twin-Brothers 317 







Bramatts persons'. 


Charmides, an Athenian merchant. 

Lesbonicus, the son of Charmides. 

Callicles, a friend of Charmides. 

Megaronides, a friend of Callicles. 

Stasimus, the servant of Charmides and Lesbonicus. 

Philto, a wealthy Athenian, 

Lysiteles, the son of Philto, and a friend of LesDonicofi. 

A Sharper. 

&*mc-— A Street in Athens : the house of Charmides on one side, and that y 
Philto on the otha-. 


Jharmides, a wealthy Athenian, his property having been much diminished 
by the reckless conduct of his son, goes abroad. His dissolute son, Lesbonicus. 
being left behind at Athens, consumes the little resources left him, and then 
puts up his father's house for sale. At his departure, Charmides has entrusted 
his interests and the care of his son and daughter to his friend Callicles, and 
has also informed him that in his house there is a treasure buried as a re- 
serve against future contingencies. In order that this may not be lost, 
Callicles buys the house of Lesbonicus for a small sum. Ignorant cf his 
reason for doing so, his fellow- citizens censure him for his conduct, and 
accuse him of a breach of good faith in ministering to the extravagance of 
Lesbonicus by supplying him with money. For this reason Megaronides ex- 
postulates with his friend Callicles, and greatly censures him; on which, 
Callicles, in self-defence, entrusts him with the secret of the treasure. Char- 
mides having left behind him a grown-up daughter in the care of Callicles, 
Lysiteles, a young man of rank and character, falls in love with her, and 
through his father, Pbilto, asks her in marriage. Her brother, Lesbonicus, is 
not averse to the match, but refuses to let her marry without giving her a 
portion ; and he offers her to Lysiteles, on condition that he will receive as 
her marriage-portion a piece of land near the city, the sole remnant of his for- 
tune. This, however, Lysiteles refuses to accept. In the mean time, Callicles, at 
the suggestion of Megaronides, determines to give the young woman a dowry 
out of the treasure buried in the house which he has bought ; but that Les- 
bonicus may not suspect whence the money really comes, a Sharper is hired, 
with instructions to pi-etend that he brings letters from Charmides with a 
thousand gold pieces as a portion for his daughter when she should marry. 
It happens, that while the Sharper is on his way with his pretended errand til 
the abode of Callicles, Charmides, having unexpectedly returned to Athens, 
is going towards his house. He meets the Sharper, who discloses his errand 
and attempts to impose upon Charmides, who thereupon discovers himself. 
Charmides then meets his servant Stasimus, who tells him cf the purchase 
of his house by Callicles. whereon he conceives himself to have been betrayed 
by his friend. Afterwards, on discovering the truth, he praises the fidelity 
of Callicles, and bestows his daughter on Lysiteles, with a portion of a 
thousand gold pieces, and, at the intercession of Lysiteles, he forgives his son 
Lesbonicus, and informs him that he is to be married to the daughter of Cal- 


[Supposed to have been written by Priscian the Grammarian.] 
Jharmides, going abroad, entrusts a treasure (Thesaurum) secretly hidden, 
and all his property (Bern), to his friend Callicles. He (Istoc) being absent, 
his son wantonly squanders his estate. For {Nam) he sells even the house : 
and Callicles makes purchase of it. His sister, a maiden ( Virgo) without a 
dowry, is asked in marriage. That in a less degree (Minus), with censure, 
Callicles may bestow on her a dowry, he commissions one (Mandat) to say 
that lie has brought the gold from her father. When (Ut) the Counterfeit has 
reached the house, the old man (Senex), Charmides, as he has just returned, 
disappoints him ; his children then are married. 

Enter Luxury and Poverty. 
Lux. Follow me this way, daughter, that you may per- 
form your office. 

Pov. I am following, but I know not what to say will 
be the end of our journey. 

Lux. 'Tis here. See, this is the house. Now go you in. 

{Exit Poverty, who enters the house of Charmides. 
Lux. (to the Audience). Now, that no one of you may 
he mistaken, in a few words I will conduct you into the right 
path, if, indeed, you promise to listen to me. Pirst, then, I 
will now tell you who I am, and who she is who has gone in 
here (pointing to the house), if you give your attention. In 

1 The Prologue) This Prologue is one of the few figurative ones to he found in 
the Comedies of Plautus. He appropriately represents Luxury as introducing 
her daughter Poverty to the abode of the dissipated Lesbonicus. Claudian has 
a somewhat similar passage in his poem to Rutinus : 

Et Luxus, populator opum, cui, semper adhserens, 

Infelix humili gressu comitatur Egestas. 
44 And Luxury, the waster of wealth, whom, ever attending, wretched Poverty ac- 
companies with humble step." It has been justly observed, that Plautus her* 
-voids a fault which he often falls into, of acquainting the audience with too 
much of the plot. 


4 TBItfUMHUS ; Act 1. 

the first place, Plautus has given me the name of Luxury, and 
then he has willed that this Poverty should be my daughter. 
"But why, at my suggestion, she has just entered here, listen 
and give attentive ear while I inform you. There is a certain 
young man who is living in this house ; by my assistance he 
has squandered away his paternal estate. Since I see that 
there is nothing left for him to support me, I have given him 
my daughter, together with whom to pass his life. But ex- 
pect nothing about the plot of this play : the old men who 
will come hither will disclose the matter to you. The name 
of this play in the Greek is " The Treasure" [Thesaurus] ; 
Philemon wrote it 1 : Plautus translated it into Latin 2 , and 
gave it the name of" The Three Pieces of Money" [Trinum- 
mus], Now, he begs this of you, that it may be allowed the 
play to keep that name. Thus much have I to say. Eare« 
well. Attend in silence. {Exit. 

Scene I. 
Enter Megaronedes. 
Meg. To reprove one's friend for a fault that de- 
serves it, is a thankless task; but sometimes 'tis useful and 
'tis profitable. Therefore, this day will I soundly reprove 
my friend for a fault that much deserves it. Unwilling am 
I, did not my friendship bid me do it. .For this faultiness 
lias encroached too much upon good morals, so drooping now 
are nearly all of them. But while they are in this distempered 
state, bad morals, in the mean time, have sprung up most 
plenteously, like well-watered plants ; nor is there now any- 
thing abundant here but these same bad. morals. Of them 
ycu may now reap a most plenteous harvest : and here a set 
of men are making the favour of a few of much more value 
than that in which they may benefit the many. Thus private 
interests outdo that which is to the public advantage — interests 
which in many points are a hindrance, and a nuisance, and 
cause an obstruction both to private and to public welfare. 

1 Philemon wrote it) — Ver.19. Not only Philemon, but Menander also, wrote 
a play, entitled the " Treasure." 

- In Lathi) — Ver. 19. " Barbare." We learn from Festus, and other authors, 
that the Greeks were in the habit of calling all nations, without exception, but 
themselves, " barbarians.*' Hence the present expression, which literally means 

into barbarous language." 


Scene II. 
Enter Callicles. 

Call, (as he enters) . I wish our household G-od 1 to be 
graced with a chaplet. Wife 2 (addressing her within), pay 
him due respect, that this dwelling may turn out for us 
prosperous, lucky, happy, and fortunate; and (in a lower 
voice) that, as soon as I possibly may, I may see you dead 
and gone. 

Meg. This is he who in his old age has become a chilu 8 
— who has been guilty of a fault that deserves correction. 
I will accost the man. 

Call, (looking around). Whose voice is it that sounds 
near me ? 

Meg. Of one who wishes you well, if you are as I desir ; 
you to be ; but, if you are otherwise, of one who is your 
enemy, and is angry with you. 

Call. Health to you, my friend and years'-mate ! How 
are you, Megaronides ? 

Meg. And, i' faith 4 , health to you, Callicles ! Are you 
well ? Have you been well ? 

1 Household God) — Ver. 39. Literally, " Lar." The Lares were the house- 
hold Gods, or tutelary Deities of each family. The figures of tb<jm were kept, 
among the Romans, near the hearth, in the "Lararium," whicli was a recess 
formed for that purpose, and in which prayers were offered up on rising in the 
morning. There were both public and private Lares. The latter were by some 
thought to have been identical with the " Manes," or " shades,'' of* the ancestors 
of the family occupying the house. The public Lares wore the " Urban i," pre- 
siding over the cities; "Rustici," over the country ; " Compitales," over cross- 
roads ; and " Marini," over the sea. Varro tells us that there were 265 stations 
for the statuss of the Lares at the corner of the streets of Rome. " Lar" was an 
Etrurian word, signifying " noble," or " lord." The Greeks adorned t heir house- 
hold Gods with the leaves of the plane-tree, the Romans with ears of corn. This 
was especially done on entering a new house, on which the wish was expressed 
that it might turn out prosperous, lucky, happy, and fortunate to the new occu- 
pants. " Quod bonum, faustum, felix, fortunatumque sit." Callicles here ex- 
presses this wish on taking possession of the house which he has just bought of 

2 Wife) — Ver. 40. Being at the door of his house, before shutting it, he calls 
to his wife within. His kind wish as to the duration of her life he expresses just 
as he shuts the door. 

3 Has become a child) — Ver. 43. He means to say that he has become a bry, 
from the fact of his being in need of correction. 

4 And p faith) — Ver. 49. " Hercle," " by Hercules ;" " Ecastor," " by Caster 

6 TMNT7MMUS ; Act 1 

Call. I am well, and I have been still better. 

Meg. And bow does your wife do ? How is sbe ? 

Call. Better than I wish. 

Meg. 'Tis well, i' faith, for you, that she is alive and 

Call. Troth, I believe that you are glad if I have any 

Meg. That which I have, I wish for all my friends as 

Call. Harkye, how does your wife do ? 

Meg. She is immortal ; she lives, and is likely to live. 

Call. I' faith, you tell me good news ; and I pray the 
Gods that, surviving you, she may last out your life. 

Meg. By my troth ! if indeed she were only married to 
yourself, I could wish it sincerely. 

Call. Do you wish that we should exchange ? — that I 
should take yours, and you mine ? I'd be making you not 
to get a bit the better of the bargain of me. 

Meg. Indeed, I fancy 1 you would not be surprising me 

Call. Aye, faith, I should cause you not to be knowing 3 
the thing you were about. 

Meg. Keep what you've got; the evil that we know is 
the best. But if I were now to take one that I know not, I 
should not know what to do. 

Call. In good sooth, just as one lives 3 a long life, one lives 
a happy life. 

Meg. But give your attention to this, and have done witli 
your joking, for I am come hither to you for a given purpose. 

" Edepol," " by Pollux," or « by the temple of Pollux," and " Pol," " by Pollux," 
were the every-day oaths in the mouths of the Romans, and were used for the 
purpose of adding weight to the asseverations of the speaker. A literal transla- 
tion of them throughout this work would hardly be in accordance with the 
euphony required by the English ear. They are therefore rendered throughout 
by such expressions as " i' faith," " troth," " by my troth," &c. 

1 Indeed I fancy)— Ver. 61. " Neque," which implies a negative, seems to be 
more in accordance with the sense of the passage than the affirmative " nempe," 
which is the reading of Ritschel ; it has therefore been adopted. 

2 Not to be knowing)— Ver. 62. That is, " the risk you would run in taking her 
far your wife." 

s Just as one lives) — Ver. 65. The meaning of this passage seems to be somewha 
obscure, and many of the Editions give this line to Megaronides. It is probable 

Sj. IL the three pieces or monet. i 

Call. Why have you come ? 

Meg. That I may rebuke you soundly witli many harsh 
words. Call. Me, do you say ? 

Meg. Is there any one else here besides you and me ? 

Call, {looking about). There is no one. 

Meg. Why, then, do you ask if 'tis you I mean to re- 
buke ? Unless, indeed, you think that I am about to reprove 
my own self. For if your former principles now flag in you, 
or if the manners of the age are working a change in your 
disposition, and if you preserve not those of the olden time, 
but are catching up these new ones, you will strike all your 
friends with a malady so direful, that they will turn sick at 
seeing and hearing you. 

Call. How comes it into your mind to utter these ex- 
pressions ? 

Meg. Because it becomes all good men and all good 
women to have a care to keep suspicion and guilt away from 

Call. Both cannot be done. Meg. Why so ? 

Call. Do you ask ? I am the keeper of my own heart, 
so as not to admit guilt there ; suspicion is centred in the 
heart of another. For if now I should suspect that you 
had stolen the crown from the head of Jupiter in the Capitol 1 , 
the statue which stands on the highest summit of the temple ; 
if you had not done so, and still it should please me to sus- 
pect you, how could you prevent me from suspecting you ? 
But I am anxious to know what this matter is. 

however, that Callicles intends, as a consolation for them both, to say that life 
itself is a blessing, and that they ought not by unnecessary anxieties to shorten 
it, but rather to submit with patience to their domestic grievances. 

1 In the Capitol) — Ver. 84. Plautus does not much care about anachronism or 
dramatic precision ; though the plot of the play is derived from the Greek, and 
the scene laid at Athens, he makes frequent reference to Roman localities and 
manners. It is probable that the expression here employed was proverbial at 
Rome, to signify a deed of daring and unscrupulous character. From ancient 
writers we learn that there was a statue of Jupiter seated in a chariot, placed or. 
the roof of the Capitoline Temple. Tarquinius Priscus employed Etrurian artists 
to make a statue of pottery for this purpose; and the original chariot, with ics 
four horses, was made of baked clay. In later and more opulent times, the crown 
placed on the statue was of great value, so much so as to act as a temptation 
to one Petilius, who attempted to steal It, and being caught in the fact, was after- 
wards nicknamed " Capitolinus." Mention is again made of this statue in the 
Mensechnii, act v , sc. 5, 1. 38. 

S TEINUMMXJ8 ; Act 1. 

Meg Have you any friend or intimate acquaintance 
whose judgment is correct ? 

Call. Troth, I'll tell you without reserve. There are 
some whom I know to be friends ; there are some whom I 
suspect to be so, but whose dispositions and feelings I am 
unable to discover, whether they incline to the side of a 
friend or an enemy ; but of my assured friends, you are the 
most assured. If you know that I have done anything un- 
wittingly or wrongfully, and if you do not accuse me of it, 
then you yourself will be to blame. 

Meg. I know it ; and if I had come hither to you for 
any other purpose, you request what is right. 

Call. If you have anything to say, I am waiting for it. 

Meg. Then, first of all, you are badly spoken of in general 
conversation by the public. Your fellow-citizens are call- 
ing you greedy of grovelling gain 1 ; and then, again, there 
are others who nickname you a vulture 3 , and say that you 
care but little whether you devour enemies or fellow-citizens. 
Since I have heard these things said against you, I have, to 
my misery, been sadly agitated. 

Call. It is, and it is not, in my power, Megaronides : as 
to their saying this, that is not in my power ; as to their 
saying this deservedly, that is in my power. 

Meg. Was this Charmides a friend of yours ? (He points 
to the house o/'Chaemides.) 

Call. He both is and he was. That you may believe it 
to be so, I will tell you a circumstance as a proof. For 
after this son of his had squandered aw r ay his fortune, and 
he saw himself being reduced to poverty, and that his daugh- 
ter was grown up a young woman, and that she who w r as 
both her mother and his own wife was dead ; as he himself 
was about to go hence to Seleucia 3 , he committed to my 

1 Greedy of grovelling gain) — Ver. 100. Plautus makes this into one word, 
" turpilucricupidum." Probably it was used as a nickname for avaricious per- 
sons. It is here attempted to be expressed by an alliteration. Thornton renders 
it " Gripeall." 

2 A vulture) — Ver. 101. Both on account of the sordid and greedy habits of that 
bird, and because, as is stated in the next line, it cares not which side supplies its 
maw when it follows the course of contending armies. 

3 Hence to Seleucia) — Ver. 112. There were several cities of this name. The one 
in Syria, a maritime city on the Orontes, near Antioch, is probably here re- 
ferred to. 


charge the maiden his daughter, and all his property, and 
that profligate son. These, I think, he would not have en- 
trusted to me if he had been unfriendly to me. 

Meg. What say you as to the young man, who you see to 
be thus profligate, and who has been entrusted to your care 
and confidence ? Why do you not reform him ? Why do 
you not train him to frugal habits ? It would have been 
somewhat more just for you to give attention to that matter, 
if you could have somehow made him a better man, and not 
for you yourself to be a party to the same disreputable con- 
duct, and share your dishonour with his disgrace ? 

Call. What have I done ? 

Meg. That which a bad man would do. 

Call. That is no name of mine. 

Meg. Have you not bought this house from that young 
man ? (A paused) Why are you silent ? This, where you 
yourself are now living. {He points to the house o/'Char- 

Call. I did buy it, and I gave the money for it, — forty 
minae 1 , to the young man himself, into his own hand. 

Meg. Tou gave the money, do you say ? 

Call. 'Twas done ; and I am not sorry 'twas done. 

Meg. I' faith — a young man committed to untrusty keep- 
ing. Have you not by these means given him a sword with 
which to slay himself ? For, prithee, what else is it, your 
giving ready money to a young man who loves women, and 
weak in intellect, with which to complete his edifice of folly 
which he had already commenced ? 

Call. Ought I not to have paid him the money ? 

Meg. Tou ought not to have paid him ; nor ought you 
either to have bought anything of or sold anything to him ; 
nor should you have provided him with the means of be- 
coming worse. Have you not taken in the person who was 
entrusted to you ? Have you not driven out of his house 
the man who entrusted him to you ? By my faith, a pretty 

' Forty mince) — Ver. 126. Unless ke adds the adjective "aurea," "golden," 
Plautus always means silver " minae." The " mina" was the sixtieth part of th« 
Attic talent, and contained one hindred " drachmas," of about ninepence three- 
farthings each. 

10 TE1NTJMHUS ; Act L 

trust, and a faithful guardianship ! Leave him to take care 
of himself ; he would manage his own affairs much hetter. 

Call. Tou overpower me, Megaronides, with your accu- 
sations, in a manner so strange, that what was privately en- 
trusted to my secrecy, fidelity, and constancy, for me to tell 
it to no one, nor make it public, the same I am now com 
pelled to entrust to you. 

Meg. Whatever you shall entrust to me, you shall take 
up the same where you have laid it down. 

Call. Look round you, then, that no overlooker may be 
near us (Megaeonides looks on every side) ; and look around 
every now and then, I beg of you. 

Meg. I am listening if you have aught to say. 

Call. If you will be silent, I will speak. At the time 
when Charmides set out hence for foreign parts, he showed 

me a treasure in this house, here in a certain closet {He 

starts as. if he hears a noise.') But do look around. 

Meg. There is no one. 

Call. Of Philippean pieces 1 to the number of three thou- 
sand. Alone with myself, in tears, he entreated me, by our 
friendship and by my honour, not to entrust this to his son, 
nor yet to any one, from whom that might come to his 
knowledge. Now, if he comes back hither safe, I will restore 
to him his own. But if anything should happen to him, at 
all events I have a stock from which to give a marriage- 
portion to his daughter, who has been entrusted to me, that 
I may settle her in a condition of life that befits her. 

Meg. ye immortal gods ! how soon, in a few words, 
you have made another man of me; I came to you quite 
a different person. But, as you have begun, proceed further 
to inform me. 

Call. What shall I tell you ? How that this worthless 
fellow had almost utterly ruined his caution and my own 
trustiness and all the secret. 

Meg. How so ? 

Call. Because, while I was in the country for only six 
days, in my absence and without my knowledge, without 

1 Of Philippean pieces) — Ver. 152. These were gold coins much in circulation 
•throughout Greece, struck bj Philip, King of Macedor. 


consulting me, he advertised with bills 1 this house for 

Meg. The wolf hungered the more, and cpened his moutli 
the wider; he watched till 2 the dog went to sleep; and 
intended to carry off the whole entire flock. 

Call. I' faith, he would have done it, if the dogs had not 
perceived this in time. But now, in my turn, I wish to ask 
you this : let me know what it was my duty for me to do. 
Whether was it right for me to discover the treasure to him, 
against which very thing his father had cautioned me, or 
should I have permitted another person to become the owner 
of this house ? Ought that money to have belonged to him 
who bought the house ? In preference, I myself bought the 
house ; I gave the money for the sake of the treasure, that I 
might deliver it safe to my friend. I have not, then, bought 
this house either for myself or for my own use ; for Char- 
mides have I bought it back again ; from my own store have 
I paid the money. This, whether it has been done right- 
fully or wrongfully, I own, Megaronides, that I have done. 
Here, then, are my misdeeds ; here, then, is my avarice. Is 
it for these things that they spread false reports against me ? 

Meg. Stay — you have overcome your corrector. Tou have 
tied my tongue ; there is nothing for me to say in answer. 

Call. Now I entreat you to aid me with your assistance 
and counsel, and to share this duty of mine in common with 

Meg. I promise you my assistance. 

Call. Where, then, will you be a short time hence ? 

Meg. At home. 

Call. Do you wish anything else ? 

Meg. Attend to the trust reposed in you. 

Call. That is being carefully done. 

Meg. But how say you ? 

1 AdveHised with bills) — Ver. 168. The method among the Romans of letting, 
or selling houses, was similar to ours. A bill was fixed upon the house, or 
some conspicuous place near it, inscribed with " BAzs locandae," u This house 
to be let," or " iEdes vendundse," " This house for sale." 

2 He watched till) — Ver. 170. He alludes to the conduct of Lesbonicus, who 
watched for the absence of his guardian, Callicles, that he might sell the house. 
This he would attempt to do, probably, on the plea that his father, not having been 
heard of for a long time, must be presumed to be dead, and the house has coa- 
sequently descended to him, as his heir. 

12 TRINUAiAiUS ; Act I. 

Call. "What do you want ? 

Meg. Where is the young man living now? 

Call. This back part 1 of the building he retained when 
he sold the house. 

Meg. That I wanted *to know. Now, then, go at once. 
But what say you, where is the damsel now? She is at 
your house, I suppose ? 

Gall. She is so ; I take care of her almost as much as of 
my own daughter. 

Meg. Yoti act properly. 

Call. Before I go away, are you going to ask me any- 
thing else ? 

Meg. Farewell. {Exit Callicles.) Eealiy, there ie 
nothing more foolish or more stupid, nothing more lying or 
indeed more tattling, more self-conceited or more forsworn, 
than those men of this city everlastingly gossiping about, whom 
they call Busybodies 2 . And thus have I enlisted myself in 
their ranks together with them ; who have been the swallower 
of the false tales of those who pretend that they know every- 
thing, and yet know nothing. They know, forsooth, what each 
person either has in his mind, or is likely to have ; they know 
what the king whispered in the ear of the queen ; they know 
what Juno talked about in conversation with Jupiter ; that 
which neither is nor is likely to be, do these fellows know. 
Whether they praise or dispraise any one they please, falsely 
or truly, they care not a straw, so they know that which they 

1 The back part) — Ver. 194. " Posticulum" probably means detached buildings 
at the back of the house, and within the garden walls, which adjoin the " posti- 
cum" or " posticula," the "back door" or " garden-gate." 

2 Call Busybodies) — Ver. 202. The word " Scurra," which is here rendered 
" busybody," originally meant " a fellow-townsman," well to do in life, and a 
nleasant companion. In time, however, the word came to have a bad signification 
attached to it, and to mean an idle fellow, who did nothing but go about cracking 
his jokes at the expense of others, gossiping, and mischief-making, and at last to 
signify " a clown," " buffoon," or " mimic " on the stage. These men are most 
probably termed here " assidui," " everlasting gossipers,"-from a habit which many 
people have of making frequent calls on their neighbours, sitting down, and never 
thinking of taking their departure till they have exhausted all their stock of evil- 
speaking, lying, and slandering. Gossiping was notoriously the propensity of the 
Athenians. Numbers did nothing but saunter about the city, and go from spot 
to spot, with the question ti Kaivov, " Any news ?" Few will fail to remem- 
ber the censure of them in the Seventeenth chapter of the Acts of the Apostles, 
v. 21 : w For all the Athenians and strangers which were there spent their time 
Hi nothing else, but either to tell, or to heax some new thing." 


choose to know. All people were in the habit of saying that 
this Callicles was unworthy of this state, and, himself, to 
exist, who had despoiled this young man of his property. 
From the reports of these tale-bearers, in my ignorance I 
rushed forward to rebuke my guiltless friend. But if the 
authority was always required from the foundation, upon 
which they speak of anything they have heard, unless that 
clearly appeared, the matter ought to be to the peril and 
loss of the tale-bearer. If this were so, it would be for the 
public benefit. I would cause those to be but few, who 
know that which they do not know 1 , and I would make them 
have their silly chattering more restricted. (Exit. 


Scene I. 

Enter Ltsiteles. 
Lts. I am revolving many things in my mind at once, 
and much uneasiness do I find in thinking upon them. I 
tease, and fret, and wear myself out ; a mind that enjoins a 
hard task 2 is now my master. But this thing is not clear to 
me, nor has it been enough studied by me, which pursuit of 
these two I should rather follow for myself; which of the 
two I should think of the greater stability for passing my life 
therein : whether it were preferable for me to devote myself 
to love or to aggrandisement ; in which alternative there is 
more enjoyment of life in passing one's days. On this point 
I am not fully satisfied. But this I think I'll do, that I may 
weigh both the points together, I must be both judge and 
culprit in this trial : I'll do so — I like it much. Eirst of all, 
I will enlarge upon the pursuits of love, how they conduce 
to one's welfare. Love never expects any but the willing man 
to throw himself in his toils ; these he seeks for, these he 
follows up, and craftily counsels against their interests. He 
is a fawning flatterer, a rapacious grappler s , a deceiver, a 

1 They do not know) — Ver. 221. That is, " who only pretend to know." 

2 That enjoins a hard task) — Ver. 226. " Exercitor " means the " instructor " 
or " training master " in the Gymnastic exercises. Of course, to beginners, the 

'• exercitores " would be hard task-masters. 

3 A rapacious grappler) — Ver. 239. " Harpago" means either a "grappling- 
\r jn" or a " flesh-hook." It was often made in the form of a hand, with the 

14 TBINUMMUS ; Act H. 

sweet-tooth, a spoiler, a corrupter of men who court retire- 
ment, a pryer into secrets. For he that is in love, soon as 
ever he has been smitten with the kisses of the object that 
he loves, forthwith his substance vanishes out of doors and 
melts away. " Give me this thing 1 , my honey, if you love me, 
if yon possibly can." And then this gudgeon says : " O apple 
of my eye, be it so : both that shall be given you, and still 
more, if you wish it to be given." Then does she strike while 
he is wavering 2 ; and now she begs for more. Not enough 
is this evil, unless there is still something more — what to 
eat, what to drink. A thing that creates 3 a further expense, 
the favour of a night is granted ; a whole family is then 
introduced for her — a wardrobe-woman 4 , a perfume-keeper 5 , 
a cofferer, fan-bearers 6 , sandal-bearers 7 , singing-girls, casket- 
fingers bent inwards. The grappling-iron was used to throw at the enemy's ship, 
where it seized the rigging and dragged the vessel within reach, so that it might be 
easily boarde.l and destroyed. Cupid is so called here, figuratively, from his in- 
sidious approaches, and the difficulty which his victims have in shaking him off 

1 Give me this thing) — Ver. 244. This is supposed to be pronounced in a 
mincing or affected way, to imitate the wheedling manners of the frail tempter. 

2 While he is wavering) — Ver. 247. Literally, " she strikes him as he hangs." 
Lindemann seems to think that there is a play upon the word "pendentem," 
which would apply either to the slave, who, according to the barbarous custom oi 
the Romans, was lashed as he hung from the hook to which he was fastened by 
the hands, or to the lover who is hesitating between assent and refusal; on 
which she, by her artfulness — " ferit" — " strikes the decisive blow." Terence has 
the expression " ferior munere," " to strike with a present." 

3 A thing that creates) — Ver. 250. This passage is here read with a period after 
" comest," and not after " sumpti," as Eitschel's edition lias it. This seems more 
agreeable to the sense of the passage, which is, however, probably in a corrupt 

4 Wardrobe-woman) — Ver. 252. The duty of the " vcstiplica" would be to fold 
up and try the clothes of her mistress. These slaves were also called " vestispkae," 
and servants " a veste." 

* A perfume-keeper) — Ver. 252. The " unctor " was probably a male slave, 
whose duty it was to procure and keep the perfumes and unguents for his 

6 Fan-bearers) — Ver. 252. Both male and female slaves, and eunuchs, were 
employed to fan their mistresses. The fans were of elegant form and beautiful 
colours, and were frequently made of peacocks' feathers, being of a stiff shape, 
and not pliable, like ours. They were used both for the purpose of cooling the air 
and driving away flies and gnats. 

7 Sandal-bearers) — Ver. 252. The sandal was often one of the most costly 
articles of the female dress, being much adorned with embroidery and gold. 
Originally it was worn by both sexes, and consisted of a wooden sole, fastened with 


keepers 1 , messengers, news-carriers, so many wasters of his 
bread and substance. The lover himself, while to them he 
is complaisant, becomes a beggar. When I revolve these 
things in my mind, and when I reflect how little one is valued 
when he is in need ; away with you, Love — I like you not 
— no converse do I hold with you. Although 'tis sweet to 
feast and to carouse, Love still gives bitters enough to be 
distasteful. He avoids the Courts 2 of justice, he drives 
away your relations, and drives yourself away from your own 
contemplation. Nor do men wish that he should be called 
their friend. In a thousand ways is Love to be held a stranger, 
to be kepi at a distance, and to be wholly abstained from. 
For he who plunges into love, perishes more dreadfully than 
if he leapt from a rock. Away with you, Love, if you please ; 
keep your own 3 property to yourself. Love, never be you 
a friend of mine ; some there are, however, whom, in their 
misery, you may keep miserable and wretched — those whom 
you have easily rendered submissive to yourself. My fixed 
determination is to apply my mind to my advancement in life, 
although, in that, great labour is undergone by the mind. 
Good men wish these things for themselves, gain, credit, and 
honour, glory, and esteem; these are the rewards of the up- 
right. It delights me, then, the more, to live together with the 
upright rather than with the deceitful promulgators of lies. 

thongs to the foot. In latter times, its use was confined to females, and a piece 
of leather covered the toes, while thongs, elegantly decorated, were attached to it. 
From the present passage it appears that it was the duty of a particular slave to 
take charge of sandals. 

1 CasketJceepers) — Ver. 253. The " cistellatrix " probably had charge of the 
jewel casket of her mistress. The present passage shows in what affluence and 
splendour some of the courtesans lived in those days. 

2 Avoids the Courts)— ■ V er. 261. Shakspeare has a somewhat similar passage 
in Ilomeo and Juliet: 

" But all so soon as the all-cheering sun 
Should in the furthest East begin to draw 
The shady curtains from Aurora's bed, 
Away from light steals home my heavy son, 
And private in his chamber pens himself, 
Shuts up his windows, locks fair daylight out, 
And maKes himself an artificial night." 

3 Keep your own)— Yer. 266. This is as much as to say, " I divorce myself 
from you, and utterly repudiate you." The words " tuas res tibi habeto" were 
tht formula solemnly pronounced among the Romans by the husband in caseo 
o< divorce, when he delivered back to the wife her own separate property. 


Scene II. 
Enter Philto. 

Phil, {looking abouf). Where has this man betaken 
himself out of doors from the house ? 

Lts. (coming up to him). I am here, father; command 
me what you will, and I shall cause no delay to you, nor 
wi]l I hide myself in any skulking-place out of your sight. 

Phil. You will be doing what is consonant to the rest of 
your conduct if you reverence your father. By your duty to 
me, my son, I wish you, for my sake, not to hold any con- 
verse with profligate men, either in the street or in the 
Forum. I know this age — what its manners are. The bad 
man wishes the good man to be bad, that he may be like 
himself. The wicked, the . rapacious, the covetous, and the 
envious, disorder and confound the morals of the age: a crew 
gsupingfor gain, they hold the sacred thing as profane — the 
public advantage as the private emolument. At these things 
do I grieve, these are the matters that torment me. These 
things am I constantly repeating both day and night, that 
you may use due precaution against them. They only deem 
it right to keep their hands off that which they cannot touch 
with their hands ; as to the rest, seize it, carry it off, keep 
it, be off and go hide, that is the word with them. These 
things, when I behold them, draw tears from me, because I 
have survived to see such a race of men. "Why have I not 
rather descended to the dead 1 ere this ? For these men praise 
v.he manners of our ancestors, and defile those same persons 
whom they commend. With regard, then, to these pursuits, 
I enjoin you not to taint your disposition with them. Live 
after my fashion, and according to the ancient manners ; 
what I am prescribing to you, the same do you remember 
and practise. I have no patience with these fashionable man- 
ners, upsetting preconceived notions, with which good men 
are now disgracing themselves. If you follow these my in- 
junctions to you, many a good maxim will take root in your 

1 To the dead) — Ver. 291. " Ad plures," " to the many," signifies " the dead, 
inasmuch hs they are more in number than the living. It was probably used as 
a euphemism, as to make mention of death, was considered ominous of ill. H jtnes 
in the Odyssey, uses tovs 7rXeiova.s in a similar sense. 


Lys. From my earliest youth, even up to this present 
age, I have always, father, paid all submission to the injunc- 
tions you have given. So far as my nature was concerned, I 
considered that I was free ; so far as your injunctions were 
concerned, I deemed it proper that my mind should pay all 
submission to you. 

Phil. The man who is struggling with his inclination from 
his earliest age, whether he ought to prefer to be so, as his 
inclination thinks it proper that he should be, or whether, 
rather so as his parents and his relations wish him to be — if 
his inclination conquers that man, it is all over with him ; he 
is the slave of his inclination and not of himself. But if he 
conquers his inclination, he truly lives and shall be famed as 
a conqueror of conquerors. If you have conquered your in- 
clination rather than your inclination you, you have reason to 
rejoice. 'Tis better by far that you should be such as you 
ought to be, than such as pleases your inclination. Those 
who conquer the inclination will ever be esteemed better men 
than those whom the inclination subdues. 

Lys. I have ever esteemed these maxims as the shield of 
my youthful age ; never to betake myself to any place where 
vice was the order of the day 1 , never to go to stroll about 
at night, nor to take from another that which is his. I 
have taken all precautions, my father, that I might not cause 
you uneasiness ; I have ever kept your precepts in due pre- 
servation 2 by my own rule of conduct. 

Phil. And do you reproach me, because you have acted 
aright ? For yourself have you done so, not for me : my life, 
indeed, is nearly past 3 ; this matter principally concerns your 
own. Keep on overlaying 4 good deeds with other good 

1 Where vice was the order of the day) — Ver. 314. " Damni conciliabulum." 
Literally, " the place of counsel for wickedness." 

2 In due preservation) — Ver. 317. Buildings were said to be " sarta tecta," " in 
good repair," when the roof was proof against rain. The expression is here used 
figuratively, to signify, " I have punctually observed your injunctions." 

3 Is nearly past) — Ver. 319. It is worthy of remark that this line is quoted by 
Cicero in his second Epistle to Brutus : " Sed de hoc tu videris. De me possum 
dicere idem quod Plautinus pater in Trinummo, ' mihi quidem setas acta ferme 
est.' " "As for that matter, it is your concern. For my own part, I may say with 
the father in the Trinummus of Plautus, ' my life is nearly past ' " 

4 Keep on overlaying) — Ver. 320. Philto is most probably alluding to the meta- 
phorical expression, "sarta tecta," used just before by his son; and he tells him 


18 TRItfTJMMUB ; Act IL 

deeds, that the rain may not come through. He is the up- 
right man who is not content with it, however upright and 
however honest he may chance to be. He who readily gives 
satisfaction to himself, is not the upright man, nor is he 
really honest : he who thinks but meanly of himself, in him 
is there a tendency to well-doing. 

Lts. For this reason, father, I have thought that since 
there is a certain thing that I wish for, I would request it of 

Phil. "What is it ? I am already longing to give assent. 

Lts. A young man here, of noble family, my friend and 
years' mate, who has managed his own affairs but heedlessly 
and unthinkingly — I wish, father, to do him a service, if you 
are not unwilling. 

Phil. From your own means, I suppose ? 

Lts. From my own means — for what is yours is mine, 
and all mine is yours. 

Phil. What is he doing ? Is he in want ? 

Lts. He is in want. 

Phil. Had he property ? Lts. He had. 

Phil. How did he lose it ? "Was he connected with pub- 
lic business 1 , or with commercial matters ? Had he merchan- 
dise or wares to sell, when he lost his property ? 

Lts. None of these. Phil. What then ? 

Lts. I' faith, my father, by his good-nature. Besides, to 
indulge his tastes, he wasted some part of it in luxury. 

Phil. By my troth now ! a fellow spoken of boldly, and as l 
on familiar terms ; — one, indeed, who has never dissipated 
his fortune by any good means, and is now in want. 1 
cannot brook that, with qualities of that description, he 
should be your friend. 

Lts. "lis because he is without any bad disposition that 
I wish to relieve his wants. 

Phil. He deserves ill of a beggar who gives him what 
Co eat or to drink ; for he both loses that which he gives 

.hat the only way to keep rain from coming in at the roof (that is, to keep eviJ 
thoughts out of the mind) is to overlay one good deed with another, just as tile is 
laid upon tile. 

1 With public business) — Ver. 331. He means by this expression, " has he been 
farming the taxes or the public lands ?" which of course would be a pursuit at- 
tended with considerable risk. 


and prolongs for the other a life of misery. I do not say 
this because I am unwilling and would not readily do what 
you desire ; but when I apply these expressions to that 
same person, I am warning you beforehand, so to have com- 
passion on others, that others may not have to pity you. 

Lxs. I am ashamed to desert him, and to deny him aid 
in his adversity. 

Phil. I' troth, shame is preferable to repentance by just 
as many letters 1 as it consists of 

Lts. In good sooth, father, by the care of the Grods, 
and of my forefathers, and your ow r n, I may say that we 
possess much property, honestly obtained. If you do a 
service to a friend, it ought not to make you repent that you 
have done so ; it ought rather to cause you shame if you do 
not do it. 

Phil. If from great wealth you subtract something, does 
it become more or less ? 

Lts. Less, father. But do you know what is wont to be 
repeated to the niggardly citizen 3 ? " That which thou hast 
mayst thou not have, and mayst thou have that misfortune 
which thou hast not ; since thou canst neither endure it to 
be enjoyed by thyself nor by another." 

Phil. I know, indeed, that so it usually is : but, my son, 
he is the truly niggardly man 3 that has nought with which 
to pay his dues. 

Lts. By the care of the Gods, we have, father, both 
enough for us to enjoy ourselves, and with which to do kind 
offices to kind-hearted men. 

1 By just as many letters) — Ver. 345. Commentators differ as to the meaning of 
this passage, which is somewhat obscure. Philto seems to s&y that shame before 
doing an unwise action is every way preferable to repentance after having done it ; 
preferable, indeed, by each individual letter it is composed of, or, as we should 
say in common parlance, ft every inch of it." 

2 Niggardly citizen) — Ver. 350. " Immunis" means one that does not bear his 
share in the taxes and tribute of the state, or, in other words, pay his scot and lot. 
Hence, with an extended signification, it means one that will not out of his abun- 
dance assist the distress of others, and who is, consequently, a niggardly and 
covetous person. 

3 Truly niggardly man) — Ver. 354. Philto here alludes to the primary meaning 
of the word " immunis ;" and hints that it may be more properly applied to Lesbo- 
nicus, who has reduced himself to poverty by his extravagance, than to himself; 
inasmuch as he is now perforce • immunis," not having wherewithal to pay tha 
public dues and taxes. 


20 teinummtjs ; Act II. 

Phil. Troth, I am not able to refuse you anything that 
you ask of me. "Whose poverty do you wish to relieve ? 
Speak out boldly to your father. 

Lys. That of this young man Lesbonicus, the son of 
Charmides, who lives there. {He points to the home of 

Phil. "Why, hasn't he devoured both what he had, and 
what he had not 1 ? 

Lys. Censure him not, my father : many things happen 
to a man which he likes, many, too, which he does not like. 

Phil. Troth, you say falsely, son ; and you are doing so 
now not according to your usual wont. For the prudent 
man, i' faith, really frames his own fortunes for himself: many 
things, therefore, do not happen which he does not like, unless 
he is a bungling workman. 

Lys. Much labour is requisite for this workmanship in him 
who seeks to be a clever workman in fashioning his life — 
but he is still very young. 

Phil. Not by years but by disposition is wisdom acquired. 
Age is the relish of wisdom — wisdom is the nutriment of 
old age. However, come, say what you wish now to give 

Lys. Nothing at all, father. Do you only not hinder me 
from accepting it if he should give anything to me. 

Phil. And will you be relieving his poverty by that, if you 
shall accept anything of him P 

Lys. By that very means, my father. 

Phil. '.Faith, I wish that you would instruct me in that 

Lys. Certainly. Do you know of what family he is 
born ? 

Phil. I know — of an extremely honourable one. 

Lys. He has a sister — a fine young woman now grown up: 
I wish, father, to take her without a portion for my wife. 

Phil. A wife without a portion ? 

Lys. Just so — your riches saved as well. By these means 
you will be conferring an extreme favour on him, and in no 
way could you help him to greater advantage. 

Phil. Am I to suffer you to take a wife without a portion \ 

1 What he had not) — Ver. 360, That is, by the dishonest expedient of running 
into debt for it. 


Lts. You must suffer it, father; and by these' means you 
will be giving an estimable character to our family. 

Phil. I could give utterance to many a learned saying, 
and very fluently too : this old age of mine retains stories 
of old and ancient times. But, since I see that you are 
courting friendship and esteem for our family, although I 
have been opposed to you, I thus give my decision— I will 
permit you ; ask for the girl, and marry her. 

Lts. May the G-ods preserve you to me. But, to this 
favour add one thing. 

Phil. But what is this one thing ? 

Lys. I will tell you. Do you go to him, do you solicit 
him, and do you ask for her yourself.. 

Phil. Think of that now. 

Lts. Tou will transact it much more speedily : all will be 
made sure of that you do. One word of yours in this matter 
will be of more consequence than a hundred of mine. 

Phil. See, now, how, in my kindness, I have undertaken 
this matter. My assistance shall be given. 

Lts. You realty are a kind father. This is the house ; 
here he dwells. {He points to the house of Chaemides.) 
Lesbonicus is his name. Mind and attend to the business ; 
I will await you at home. (Exit. 

Scene III. 
Philto, alone. 

Phil. These things are not for the best, nor as I think 
they ought to be ; but still, they are better than that which is 
downright bad. But this one circumstance consoles myself 
and my thoughts — namely, that he who counsels in respect 
to a son nothing else but that which pleases himself alone, 
only plays the fool ; he becomes wretched in mind, and yet he 
is no nearer bringing it about. He is preparing a very incle- 
ment winter for his own old age when he arouses that unsea- 
sonable storm. {The door of the house of Chaemides opens.) 
But the house is opened to which I was going ; most conve- 
niently, Lesbonicus himself is coming out of doors with his 
servant. (Philto retires to a distance.) 

22 TBINTJMMlTg ; Act II, 

Scene IY. 
JEnter Lesbonicus and Stasimus. 

Lesb. 'Tis less than fifteen days since yon received from 
Callicles forty minse for this house ; is it not as I say, Sta- 
simus ? 

Stas. When I consider, I think I remember that it 
was so. 

Lesb. What has been done with it ? 

Stas. It has been eaten and drunk up — spent away in 
unguents, washed away in baths 1 . The fishmonger and the 
baker have carried it off": butchers, too, and cooks, green- 
grocers, perfumers, and poulterers ; 'twas quickly consumed. 
I' faith ! that money was made away with not less speedily 
than if you were to throw a poppy among the ants. 

Lesb. By my troth, less has been spent on those items 
than six minse ? 

Stas. Besides, what have you given to your mistresses ? 

Lesb. That I am including as well in it. 

Stas. Besides, what have I pilfered of it ? 

Lesb. Aye, that item is a very heavy one. 

Stas. That cannot so appear to you, if you make all due 
deductions 2 , unless you think that your money is everlasting. 
{Aside.) Too late and unwisely, — a caution that should have 
been used before, — after he has devoured his substance, he 
reckons up the account too late. 

Lesb. The account, however, of this money is by no means 

Stas. I' faith, the account is very clear: the money's 
gone 3 . Did you not receive forty minse from Callicles, and 
did he not receive from you the house in possession P 

1 Washed away in baths)— Ver. 409. This will probably refer, not to the money 
paid for mere bathing at the public baths, which was a " quadrans," the smallest 
Roman coin, but to the expense of erecting private baths, which generally formed 
a portion of the luxuries of a Roman house. The public baths, however, may have 
possibly been the scene of much profligacy, and have afforded to the reckless and 
dissipated ample opportunities for squandering their money. That this may have 
been the fact, is rendered the more likely when we consider the equivocal sig- 
nification of the word "bagnio." 

2 Make all due deductions)— Ver .414. "Sisumas." Literally, "if you subtract.'' 
s The money's gone) — Ver. 419. Instead of a Latin word, the Greek oi^era! 


Lesb. "Very good. 

Philto (aside). Troth, I think our neighbour has sold 
his house 1 . When his father shall come from abroad, his 
place is in the beggar's gate 2 , unless, perchance, he should 
creep into his son's stomach 3 . 

Stas. There wsre a thousand Olympic drachmae 4 paid to 
the banker 5 , which you were owing upon account. 

is introduced, which means " is gone," or " has vanished." Greek terms were 
current at Rome, just as French words and sentences are imported into our lan- 
guage; indeed, the fashions of Rome were very generally set by the Greeks. 

1 Has sold his house) — Ver. 422. He feels satisfied now that Lysiteles has been 
correctly informed, and that Lesbonicus really is in difficulties. 

2 The beggar's gate) — Ver. 423. He probably alludes to the " Porta Trigemina" 
at Rome, which was upon the road to Ostk. It received its name from the three 
twin-born brothers, the Horatii, who passed beneath it when going to fight the 
Curiatii. This, being one of the largest and most frequented roads in Rome, was 
especially the resort of mendicants ; among whom, in the opinion of Philto, the 
father of Lesbonicus will have to take his place. Some Commentators would read 
"ponte" instead of " porta," and they think that the allusion is to the Sublician 
bridge at Rome, where we learn from Seneca and Juvenal that the beggars used to 
sit and ask alms. 

3 His son's stomach) — Ver. 424. He satirically alludes to the reckless conduct 
of Lesbonicus, who has spent everything to satisfy his love for eating, drinking, 
and debauchery. 

4 Olympic drachma*)— Ver. 425. As already mentioned, the " drachma" was 
about ninepence three-farthings in value. As one hundred made a " mina," one- 
fourth of the price received for the house would go to satisfy the banker's claim. 

5 To the banker) — Ver. 426. The " Trapezitte" were the same as the " Argen- 
tarii" at Rome, who were bankers and money-changers on their own account, while 
the " Mensarii" transacted business on behalf of the state. Their shops, or offices, 
were situate around the Forum, and were public property. Their principal business 
was the exchange of Roman for foreign coin, and the keeping of sums of money for 
other persons, which were deposited with or without interest, according to agree- 
ment. They acted as agents for the sale of estates, and a part of their duty was 
to test the genuineness of coin, and, in later times, to circulate it from the mint 
among the people. Lending money at a profit was also part of their business. It 
is supposed that among the Romans there was a higher and a lower class of " ar- 
gentarii." The more respectable of them probably held the position of the banker 
of modern times ; while those who did business on a paltry scale, or degraded 
themselves by usury, were not held in any esteem. Their shops, being public pro- 
perty, were built under the inspection of the Censors, and by them were let to the 
" argentarii." " Trapezitse," as they are here called, was properly the Greek 
name for these persons, who were so styled from the rpane^a, or " table," at 
which they sat. All will remember the " tables of the money-changers" men- 
tioned in the New Testament. The " mensarii" were employed to lend out th 
public money to borrowers at i terest. 

24 TEINTJHMUS; Act il. 

Lesb. Those, I suppose, that I was security for 1 P 

Stas. Say, rather 2 , " Those that I paid down" — for that 
young man whom you used to say 3 was so rich. 

Lesb. It was so done. 

Stas. Yes, just to be squandered away. 

Lesb. That was done as well. But I saw him in a pitiable 
state, and I did have pity on him. 

Stas. You have pity on others, and you have neither pity 
nor shame for yourself. 

Phil, (aside). 'Tis time to accost him. 

Lesb. Is this Philto that is coming here ? Troth, 'tis he 

Stas. I' faith, I could wish he was my slave, together 
with his savings 4 . 

Phil. Philto right heartily wishes health to both master 
and servant, Lesbonicus and Stasimus. 

Lesb. May the Gods give you, Philto, whatever you may 
wish for. How is your son ? 

Phil. He wishes well to you. 

Lesb. In good sooth, he does for me what I do for him in 
return ! 

Stas. (aside). That phrase, "He wishes well," is worth- 
less, unless a person does well too. I, too, " wish" to be a 
free man ; I wish in vain. He, perhaps, might wish to become 
frugal ; he would wish to no purpose. 

Phil. My son has sent me to you to propose an alliance 
and bond of friendship between himself and your family. He 

1 7" wag security for) — Ver. 427. " Spondeo," " I promise," was a term used 
on many occasions among the Komans, derived from the Greek <x7rei>8d/xai, " to 
pour out a libation ;" the usual mode of ratifying a treaty. Among others, it was 
pronounced by a person when he became security that another should repay 
money, as Lesbonicus, to his misfortune, had done in the present instance. 

2 Say, rather) — Ver. 427. Stasimus will not allow his master to mince the 
matter in the slightest degree. " Don't say ' I was security for it,' but ' I 
paid it down.' " 

3 You used to say) — Ver. 428. He probably alludes to some former occasion, on 
which his master, having been duped into the belief, was telling him of the extra- 
ordinary wealth of his new acquaintance. 

* With his savings) — Ver. 434. " Peculium " was the property amassed by a 
slave out of his savings, which he was permitted to keep as his own. According 
to the strictness of the law, the " peculium" was the property of the master 
Sometimes it was agreed that the slave should purchase his freedom with hia 
u peculium " whera it amounted to a certain sum. 


wished to take your sister for his wife ; and I have the same 
feelings, and I desire it. • 

Lesb. 1 really don't understand your ways ; amid your 
prosperity you are laughing at my adversity. 

Phil. I am a man 1 : you are a man. So may Jupiter love 
me, I have neither come to laugh at you, nor do I think 
you deserving of it ! But as to what I said, my son begged 
me to ask for your sister as his wife. 

Lesb. It is right that I should know the state of my own 
circumstances. My position is not on an equal footing with 
yours ; seek some other alliance for yourselves. 

Stas. (to Lesbonicus). Are you really sound in mind or 
intellect to refuse this proposal ? For I perceive that he has 
been found for you a very friend in need 2 . 

Lesb. G-et away hence, and go hang yourself 3 . 

Stas. Faith, if I should commence to go, you would be 
forbidding me 4 . 

Lesb. Unless you want me, Philto, for anything else, I 
have given you my answer. 

Phil. I trust, Lesbonicus, that you will one day be more 
obliging to me than I now find you to be. For both to act 6 
unwisely and to talk unwisely, Lesbonicus, are sometimes 
neither of them profitable. 

1 lama man) — Ver. 447. This is somewhat like the celebrated line in Terence : 

" Homo sum, humani nihil alienum a me puto," 
"I am a man, nothing that is human do I think unbecoming to me." 

2 Friend in need) — Ver. 456. " Ferentarius." The " ferentarii " were the light- 
armed troops, who, being unencumbered with heavy armour, were ready to come 
immediately and opportunely to the assistance of those who were in danger of 
being overpowered by the army. The word is here used figuratively, to signify 
" a friend in need." 

3 And go hang yourself) — Ver. 457. The word ' dierecte" is supposed to com? 
from an obsolete verb, " dierigo," " to extend out on both sides," and to allude to a 
punishment inflicted upon slaves, when they were fastened to a stake in the 
ground, with the arms and legs extended. Applied to a slave, it would be an 
opprobrious expression, equivalent to " go and be hanged." 

4 Be forbidding me) — Ver. 457. He means, that if he should take his master at 
his word and go away, he would be the first to stop him. 

s Both to act) — Ver. 461-2. The exact meaning of these lines is some?. hat ob- 
jure. Thornton's translation is : 

Or in word 

Or deed to play the trifler would ill 8iv.t 
One of my years. 


Stas. Troth, he says what's true. 

Lesb. I will tear out your eye if you add one word. 

Stas. Troth, but I will talk ; for if I may not be allowed 
to do so as I am, then I will submit to be called the one-eyed 
man 1 . 

Phil. Do you now say this, that your position and means 
are not on an equal footing with ours ? 

Lesb. I do say so. 

Phil. Well, suppose, now, you were to come to a building 
to a public banquet, and a wealthy man by chance were to 
come there as your neighbour 2 . The banquet is set on table, 
one that they style a public one 3 . Suppose that dainties were 
heaped up before him by his dependents, and suppose any- 
thing pleased you that was so heaped up before him, would 
you eat, or would you keep your place next to this wealthy 
man, going without your dinner ? 

Lesb. I should eat, unless he were to forbid me doing so. 

Stas. But I, by my faith, even if he were to forbid me, 
would eat and cram with both cheeks stuffed out ; and what 
pleased him, that, in especial, would I lay hold of beforehand ; 
nor would I yield to him one jot of my very existence. At 
table it befits no one to be bashful ; for there the decision 4 
is about things both divine and human. 

1 The one-eyed man) — Ver. 465. He means that he is determined to speak out at 
all risks, even if his master should be as good as his word, and tear his eye out. 

2 As your neighbour) — Ver. 469. " Par" here means a close neighbour, as re- 
clining next to him on the same " triclinium," or " couch," at the entertainment. 

3 Style a public one) — Ver. 470. It is not certain what kind of public banquets 
are here referred to. Public entertainments were given to the people on the oc- 
casion of any public rejoicing: such, for instance, as a triumph, as we learn from 
Suetonius in his life of Julius Caesar. They were also given when the tenths were 
paid to Hercules. The clients, also, of the Patricians were in the habit of giving 
entertainments to their patrons on festival days, when each client contributed his 
share in kind ; and numerous invitations were given, abundance and hospitality 
being the order of the day. Sometimes these feasts were held in a temple, and 
perhaps they are here referred to. There were also frequent entertainments 
in the " Curiae," or " Court-houses" of Rome, at which the " curiales," or men of 
the " curia," or " ward," met together. 

4 There the decision) — Ver. 479. Scaliger supposes that Stasimus is making a 
parody on the transaction of business by the Senate, who were said " to give their 
decisions on matters sacred and human ;" and that he means to say that the feast 
is his Senate-house, and the food are the things sacred and human which h* s 
btf and to discuss, without respect for anybody. 


Phil. You say what is the fact. 

JStas. I will tell you without any subterfuge: I would 
make place for him on the highway, on the footpath, in the 
canvass for public honors; but as to what concerns the 
stomach — by my troth, not this much (shows the breadth of 
his finger-nail) , unless he should first have thrashed me with 
his fists. "With provisions at the present prices, a feast is 
a fortune without incumbrances 1 . 

Phil. Always, Lesbonicus, do you take care and think 
this, that that is the best, according as you yourself are the 
most deserving : if that you cannot attain to, at least be as 
near as possible to the most deserving. And now, Lesboni- 
cus, I wish you to grant and accept these terms which I 
propose, and which I ask of you. The G-ods are rich ; wealth 
and station befit the Grods : but we poor mortal beings are, 
as it were, the salt-cellar 2 for the salt of life. The moment 
that we have breathed forth this, the beggar is held of 
equal value at Acheron 3 with the most wealthy man when 

Stas. (aside). It will be a wonder if you don't carry your 
riches there with you. When you are dead, you may, perhaps, 
be as good as your name imports 4 . 

Phil. Now, that you may understand that position and 

1 Without incumbrances) — Ver. 484. Every Roman family of consequence was 
bound to perform particular sacrifices, which were not only ordained by the pon- 
tifical laws, but the obligation was also rendered hereditary by the civil law, and 
ordered to be observed by the law of the Twelve Tables : " Sacra privata perpetua 
manento," " Let private sacrifices remain perpetual." This law is quoted and 
commented upon by Cicero in his Second Book on the Laws. He there tells us 
that " heirs are obliged to continue their sacrifices, be they ever so expensive ; and 
for this reason, as by the above law these sacrifices were to be maintained, no one 
was presumed to be better able to supply the place of the deceased person than 
his heir." A property exempt from this necessity, might be truly said to be one 
without incumbrances. 

2 The salt-cellar) — Ver. 492. By this expression, Plautus seems to mean that life 
is to the body as salt is to flesh ; it preserves it from corruption. 

3 At Acheron) — Ver. 494. Acheron was a river of the Brutii in Campania. There 
was another river of this name in Epirus. The word usually denotes one of the 
rivers of Hell ; here it means the Infernal regions themselves. 

4 As your name imports) — Ver. 496. The meaning of Stasimus is — " Perhaps 
when you are dead, in leaving your property to another, you may really prove 
yourself the amiable man your name would bespeak you to be ;" Philto being 
derived from the Greek ^iXeco, "to love." 


means have no place here, and that we do not undervalue 
your alliance ; I ask for your sister without a marriage- 
portion. May the matter turn out happily. Do I under- 
stand her to be promised ? Why are you silent ? 
Stas. O immortal Gods, what a proposal ! 
Phil. Why don't you say, "May the Gods prosper it. 
I agree 1 ?" 

Stas. (aside). Alas! when there was no advantage in the 
expression, he used to say, " I agree ;" now, when there is ad- 
vantage in it, he is not able to say so. 

Lesb. Since you think me, Philto, worthy of an alliance 
with "you, I return you many thanks. But though this 
fortune of mine has sadly diminished through my folly, I have, 
Philto, a piece of land near the city here ; that I will give as 
a portion to my sister: for, after all my follies, that alone, 
besides my existence, is left me. 

Phil. Really I care nothing at all about a portion. 

Lesb. I am determined to give her one. 

Stas. {whispers to Lesbonicus). And are you ready, 
master, to sever that nurse from us which is supporting us ? 
Take care how you do it. What are we ourselves to eat in 
future ? 

Lesb. (to Stasimtjs). Once more, will you hold your 
tongue ? Am I to be rendered accountable to you ? 

Stas. (aside). We are evidently done for, unless I devise 
something or other. Philto, I want you. (He removes to a 
distance, and beckons to Philto.) 

Phil. If you wish aught, Stasimus. 

Stas. Step a little this way. 

Phil. By all means. 

Stas. I tell you this in secrecy, that neither he nor any 
one else may learn it of you. 

Phil. Trust me boldly with anything you please. 

1 7" agree) — Ver. 502. " Spondeo" was a word in general use to denote that the 
person entered into a promise or engagement. Being the nearest male relation of 
the damsel, Philto wishes Lesbonicus to close the matter by saying " spondeo,'- 
"I agree to betroth her," which he hesitates to do; on which, Stasimus, alluding 
to his having been the security for the thousand drachmae, tells him that he had 
been ready enough to say " spondeo" when it was not to his advantage; namely, 
at the time when he said " spondeo," " I promise," and became the security to 
the banker for his friend. See Note 1 in page 24. 


Stas. By G-ods and men I warn you, not to allow that piece 
of land ever to become yours or your son's. I'll tell you my 
reasons 'for this matter. 

Phil. Troth, I should like to hear them. 

Stas. First of all then, when at any time the ground is 
being ploughed, in every fifth furrow the oxen die. 

Phil. Preserve me from it. 

Stas. The gate of Acheron is in that land of ours. Then 
the grapes, before they are ripe, hang in a putrid state. 

Lesb. (in a low voice). He is persuading the man to some- 
thing, I think. Although he is a rogue, still he is not un- 
faithful to me. 

Stas. Hear the rest. Besides that, when elsewhere the 
harvest of wheat is most abundant, there it comes up less by 
one-fourth than what you have sowed. 

Phil. Ah ! bad habits ought to be sown on that spot, if in 
the sowing they can be killed. 

Stas. And never is there any person to whom that piece 
of land belongs, but that his affairs turn out most unfor- 
tunate. Of those to whom it has belonged, some have gone 
away in banishment ; some are dead outright ; some, again, 
have hanged themselves. See this man, now, to whom it 
belongs, how he has been brought to a regular backgammoned 
state 1 . 

Phil. Preserve me from this piece of land. 
Stas. " Preserve me from it," you would say still more, if 
you were to hear everything from me. Por there every other 
tree has been blasted with lightning; the hogs die 3 there 
most shockingly of inflammation in the throat ; the sheep 
are scabby, as bare of all wool, see, as is this hand of mine. 
And then, besides, there is not one of the Syrian natives 3 , 

1 Backgammoned state) — Ver. 837. " Ad incitas redactus, " brought to a stand- 
Jtill," was a term borrowed from the game of " Duodecim Scripta," or " twelve 
points," and was applied when one of the parties got all his men on the twelfth 
point, and, being able to move no further, lost the game in consequence. Probably 
the game partook of the nature of both backgammon and chess. 

2 The hogs die) — Ver. 540. From Pliny the Elder we learn that " angina, 1 ' or 
swelling of the throat, was a common distemper among hogs. 

3 The Syrian natives') — Ver. 542. He makes mention of the Syrians, because, 
living in a hot climate, they would be most likely to be able to endure extreme heat 

30 TfllNUHMUS ; Act II 

a race which is the most hardy of men, who could exist there 
for six months ; so surely do all die there of the solstitial 
fever 1 . 

Phil. I believe, Stasimus 2 , that it is so ; but the Campa- 
nian 3 race much outdoes that of the Syrians in hardiness. 
But, really, that piece of land, as I have heard you describe 
it, is one to which it were proper for all wicked men to be 
sent for the public good. Just as they tell of the Islands of 
the Blest, where all meet together who have passed their lives 
uprightly : on the other hand, it seems proper that all evil- 
doers should be packed off there, since it is a 'place of such a 

Stas. ? Tis a very receptacle of calamity. "What need is 
there of many words ? Look for any bad thing whatsoever, 
there you may find it. 

Phil. But, i' faith, you may find it there and elsewhere 

Stas. Please, take care not to say that I told you of this. 

Phil. You have told it me in perfect secrecy. 

Stas. Por he, indeed {pointing at Lesbonicus), wishes it 
to be got rid of from himself, if lie can find any one to im- 
pose upon 4 about it. 

Phil. I' faith, this land shall never become my property. 

Stas. Aye, if you keep in your senses. (Aside.) I' faith, 
I have cleverly frightened 5 the old fellow away from this 
land ; for, if my master had parted with it, there is nothing 
for us to live upon. 

1 The solstitial fever) — Ver. 544. He seems to mean, that if a person went to 
live there at the beginning of the year, he could not possibly live there beyond 
six months, being sure to die of fever at the time of the Solstice, or Midsummer. 

2 / believe, Stasimus) — Ver. 545. Pbilto only says so for peace sake, as no man 
in his sense* was likely to believe a word of it. As he does not want the piece 
of land for his son, he wishes to make no words about it. 

3 But the Campanian) — Ver. 545. Pie just makes this remark casually, probably 
to show Stasimus that he knows about things in general as well as he does. Some 
think, however, that he intends to correct Stasimus, and to tell him that even the 
Campanians, who were considered an effeminate race, could boast of more hardi- 
hood than the Syrians. 

4 To impose upon) — Ver. 558. " Os quoi sublinat" — literally, " can besmear his 
face." This expression alludes to the practical joke of making a fool of a person 
by painting his face while he is asleep. 

5 / have cleverly frightened) — Ver. 560. As before remarked, he is probably 
ranch mis ;aken in thinking so. 


Phil. Lesbonicus, I now return to you. 

Lesb. Tell me, if you please, what has he been saying to 

Phil. What do you suppose ? He is a man 1 ; he wishes 
to become a free man, but he has not the money to give. 

Lesb. And I wish to be rich, but all in vain. 

Stas. (aside). You might have been, if you had chosen ; 
now, since you have nothing, you cannot be. 

Lesb. "What are you talking about to yourself, Stasimus ? 

Stas. About that which you were saying just now : if you 
had chosen formerly, you might have been rich; now you 
are wishing too late. 

Phil. No terms can be come to with me about the mar- 
riage-portion ; whatever pleases you, do you transact it your- 
self with my son. Now, I ask for your sister for my son; 
and may the matter turn out well. "What now ? are you still 
considering ? 

Lesb. What — about that matter ? Since you will have it 
so — may the Gods prosper it — I promise her. 

Phil. Never, by my troth, was a son born so ardently 
longed for by any one, as was that expression " I promise 
her," when born for me. 

Stas. The G-ods will prosper all your plans. 

Phil. So I wish. Come this way with me, Lesbonicus, 
that a day may be agreed on for the nuptials, in the presence 
of Lysiteles : this agreement we will ratify on that same day. 

{Exit Philto. 

Lesb. Now, Stasimus, go you there {points to the house 
which he has sold to Callicles) to the house of Callicles, 
to my sister ; tell her how this matter has been arranged. 

Stas. I will go. Lesb. And congratulate my sister. 

Stas. Yery well. Lesb. Tell Callicles to meet me 

Stas. But rather do you go now 

Lesb. That he may see what is necessary to be done about 
the portion. 

Stas. Do go now. Lesb. For I have determined not to 
give her without a portion. 

Stas. But rather do you go now. Lesb. And I will never 
allow it to be a detriment to her by reason of 

Stas. Do be off now. Lesb. My recklessness 

1 He is a man) — Ver. 5G3. His meaning teems to be, " he is a man, with fee', 
wigs like ourselves, and naturally wishes for his freedom." 

32 trintjmmus ; Act IIL 

Stas. Do go now 1 . Lesb. It seems by no means just, 
but that, since I have done wrong 

Stas. Do go now. Lesb. It should be chiefly a detriment 
to myself. 

Stas. Do go now. Lesb. my father ! and shall I ever 
see you again ? 

Stas. Do go now. G-o — go now. 

Lesb. I am going. Do you take care of that which I 
have asked you. I shall be here directly. 

{Exit Lesbonictjs. 

Scene V. 
Stas. At length I have prevailed on him to go. In the 
name of the immortal Gods, i' faith, 'tis a matter well ma- 
naged by wrongful means of performance, inasmuch as our 
piece of land is safe ; although even now 'tis still a very 
doubtful matter what may be the result of this affair. But, 
if the land is parted with, 'tis all over 2 with my neck ; I must 
carry a buckler in foreign lands, a helmet too, and my bag- 
gage. He will be running away from the city when the 
nuptials have been celebrated; he will be going hence to 
extreme and utter ruin, somewhere or other, to serve as a 
soldier, either to Asia or to Cilicia 3 . I will go there {looking 
at the door of the house bought by Callicles), where he has 
ordered me to go, although I detest this house ever since he 
has driven us out of our abode. 

(Exit into the house of Char hides. 


Scene I. 
Enter Callicles and Stasimus. 
Call. To what effect were you speaking about this, Sta- 
simus ? 

1 Do go now") — Ver. 586. Stasimus is continually urging him to follow Philto, 
and bring the matter to a conclusion, as he fears that so good an opportunity may 
be lost through his master's habitual carelessness, especially as Philto has agreed 
Dot to receive the land as a marriage-portion. 

2 ' Tis all over) — Ver. 595. He means that he will no longer have any support 
from his master, and that he will have to turn soldier, and so earn his livelihood. 

% Aria or to Cilicia) — Ver. 599. Alluding, probably to the wars which were con. 


Stas. That Lesbonicus, the son of my master, has betrothed 
his sister ; in those terms. 

Call. To what person has he betrothed her ? 

Stas. To Lysiteles, the son of Philto ; without a portion, 

Call. "Without a portion, will he marry her into a family 
so rich 1 ? You are telling me a thing not to be credited. 

Stas. "Why, faith, you would be for never believing. If 
you don't believe this, at all events I shall be believing 

Call. "What ? Stas. That I don't care a fig for your 

Call. How long since, or where, was this matter agreed 

Stas. On this very spnt — here, before his door {pointing 
to Philto' s house). This moment-like 2 , as the man of Prae- 
neste says. 

Call. And has Lesbonicus, amid his ruined fortunes, be- 
come so much more frugal than in his prosperous circum- 
stances ? 

Stas. Why, in fact, Philto himself came of his own accord 
to make the offer for his son. 

Call, {aside) By my troth, it really will be a disgrace, if 
a portion is not given to the maiden. In fine, I think, i' 
faith, that that matter concerns myself. I will go to my 
corrector, and will ask advice of him. (Exit. 

Stas. I pretty nearly guess, and I have a strong suspicion, 
why he makes such speed on this : namely, that he may turn 
Lesbonicus out of his bit Of land, after he has turned him 
out of his house. O Charmides, my master! since your pro- 
perty here is being torn to pieces in your absence, I wish I 

tinually occurring between the Greeks and the Persian monarchs, or else to the 
custom of hiring themselves out as mercenary soldiers, as Xenophon and the ten 
thousand did to the younger Cyrus. 

1 Into a family so rich) — Ver. 605. " In tantas divitias," literally, " into so 
great wealth." 

2 This moment-like) — Ver. 609. " Tammodo." He is joking upon the patois 
of the people of Praeneste, who said "tammodo," instead of "modo,", "this 
instant," or "just now." Festus also alludes to this expression, as used by the 
Praenestines. In tne Truculentus, act iii., sc. 2, 1. 23, he again takes them off for 
cutting: " Ciconia " down to " Conia." Prameste was a town of Lathm, not far 
from Rome. Its present name is Palestrina. 


34 teinummus ; Act 11 1 . 

could see you return safe, that you might both take vengeance 
on your enemies, and give the reward to me according as I 
have behaved, and do behave towards you. 'Tis an ex- 
tremely difficult thing for a friend to be found really such as 
the name imports, to whom, when you have entrusted your 
interests, you may sleep without any care. But lo ! I per- 
ceive our son-in-law 1 coming, together with his neighbour. 
Something — what, I know not — is wrong between them. 
They are walking, each with a hasty step ; the one is catch- 
ing the other that is before him by the cloak. They have 
come to a stop in no very courteous fashion. I'll step aside 
here a little distance. I have a wish to hear the conversation 
of these two that are to be connected by marriage. (He 
retires to a distance.} 

Scene II. 
Enter Lysiteles and Lesbonictjs. 

Lts. Stay, this moment ; don't turn away, and don't hide 
yourself from me. (He catches hold of his cloak.} 

Lesb. {shaking him off}. Can't you allow me to go 
whither I was proceeding ? 

Lts. If, Lesbonicus, it seems to be to your interest, either 
for your glory or for your honour, I will let you go. 

Lesb. You are doing a thing that it is very easy to do. 

Lts. "What is that ? Lesb. An injury to a friend. 

Lrs. It is no way of mine, and I have not learned so to 

Lesb. Untaught as you are, how cleverly you do it. What 
would you have done, if any one had taught you to be thus 
annoying to me ? You, who, when you pretend to be acting 
kindly to me, use me ill, and are intending evil. 

Lts. "What! — I? Lesb. Yes — you. 

Lts. How do I use you ill"? 

Lesb. Inasmuch as you do that which I do not wish. 

Lts. I wish to consult your advantage. 

LrfsB. Are you kinder to me than I am to myself? I 

1 Our son-in-law) — Ver. 622. He means Lysiteles, the contemplated son-in- 
law of his master Charmides, whom he has just been apostrophising. 


have sense enough ; I see sufficiently well those things that 
are for my own advantage. 

Lts. And is it having sense enough to refuse a kindness 
from a well-wisher ? 

Lesb. I reckon it to be no kindness, when it does not 
please him on whom you are conferring it. I know, and I 
understand myself what I am doing, and my mind forsakes 
not its duty ; nor will I be driven by your speeches from 
paying due regard to my own character. 

Lts. What do you say ? Tor note I cannot be restrained 
from saying to you the things which you deserve. Have 
your forefathers, I pray, so handed down this reputation to 
you, that you, by your excesses, might lose what before was 
gained by their merit, and that you might become a. bar to 
the honour of- your own posterity ? Your father and your 
grandfather made an easy and a level path for you to attain to 
honour ; whereas you have made it to become a difficult one, 
by your extreme recklessness and sloth, and your besotted 
ways. You have made your election, to prefer your passions 
to virtue. Now, do you suppose that you can cover over 
your faults by these means ? Alas ! 'tis impossible. "Wel- 
come virtue to your mind, if you please, and expel slothful- 
ness from your heart. Give your attention to your he- 
friends in the Courts of justice 1 , and not to the couch of 
your she-friend, as you are wont to do. And earnestly do I 
now wish this piece of land to be left to you for this reason, 
that you may have wherewithal to reform yourself; so that 
those citizens, whom you have for enemies, may not be able 
altogether to throw your poverty in your teeth. 

Lesb. All- these things which you have been saying, I 
know — could even set my seal 2 to them : how I have spoiled 
my patrimonial estate and the fair fame of my forefathers. I 
knew how it became me to live ; to my misfortune I was not 
able to act accordingly. Thus, overpowered by the force of 
passion, inclined to ease, I fell into the snare ; and now to 
you, quite as you deserve, I do return most hearty thanks. 

1 In the Courts of justice)— Y ex. 651. It was the custom of the joung men uf 
the Patrician class among the Romans to plead gratuitously for their friends and 
clients, in the Forum or Court of justice. 

2 Set my seal) — Ver. 655. Affixing the seal to an instrument was then, as now 
the most solemn way of ratifying it. 

D 2 

3(5 . TKINTJMMUS : Act I* 

Lys. Still, I cannot suffer my labour to be thus lost, anc 
yourself to despise these words ; at the same time, it grieves 
me that you have so little shame. And, in fine, unless you 
listen to me, and do this that I mention, you yourself will 
easily lie concealed behind your own self, so that honour 
cannot find you ; when you will wish yourself to be especially 
distinguished, you will be lying in obscurity. I know right 
well, for my part, Lesbonicus, your highly ingenuous dispo- 
sition ; I know that of your own accord, you have not done 
wrong, but that it is Love that has blinded your heart ; and I 
myself comprehend all the ways of Love. As the charge of 
the balista 1 is hurled, so is Love ; nothing is there so swift, or 
that so swiftly flies ; he, too, makes the manners of men 
both foolish and froward 2 . That which is the most com- 
mended pleases him the least 8 ; that from which he is dissuaded 
pleases him. When there is a scarcity, then you long for'a 
thing ; when there is an abundance of it, then you don't care 
for it. The person that warns him off from a thing, the 
same invites him ; he that persuades him to it interdicts him. 
'Tis a misfortune of insanity for you to fly to Cupid for 
refuge. But I advise you again and again to think of this, 
how you should seek to act. If you attempt to do ac- 
cording as you are now showing signs 4 , you will cause the 

1 Charge of the balista) — Ver. 668. The word "balista" here signifies the 
charge of the military engine known as the " balista." It was used by the an- 
cients for the purpose of discharging stones against the higher part of the walls 
of besieged places, while the " catapult a " was directed against the lower. The 
charge of the " balista" varied from two pounds to three hundred-weight. 

2 Foolish and froward) — Ver. 66*9. "Moros." This word is derived from the 
Greek fia>p6s, " foolish." It seems to be used in juxtaposition with " morosos," 
for the sake of the alliteration. 

3 Pleases him the least) — Ver. 670. So Shakspeare alludes to the contradictory 
nature of love in Romeo and Juliet : 

" Love — heavy lightness ! serious vanity ! 
Misshapen chaos of well-seeming forms." 
* Are now showing signs)— Ver. 675. The meaning of this passage is extremely 
obscure. Perhaps, however, it is this, " If you persist in your extravagance, and 
are resolved to part with this land, the very last of your possessions, you wiL 
prove the conflagration and ruin of your family. Then you will be seeking a 
remedy — water with which to quench it. When you have got this remedy, as 
you cleverly suppose, in going abroad to fight and earn glory, you will ply it with 
such zeal, that you will overdo it, and, in getting killed yourself, will thereby 
quench the last spark on which the very existence of your house depended." On 


conflagration of your family ; and then, in consequence, you 
will have a desire for water with which to quench this con- 
flagration of your family. And if you should obtain it, just 
as lovers are subtle in their devices, you will not leave even 
one spark with which your family may brighten up. 

Lesb. 'Tis easy to be found: fire is granted, even though 
you should ask it of a foe. But you, by your reproof, are 
urging me from my faults to a viier course. You are per- 
suading me to give you my sister without a portion. But it 
does not become me, who have misused so great a patrimony, 
to be still in affluent circumstances, and to be possessing 
land, but her to be in want, so as with good reason to detest 
me. Never will he be respected by others who makes him- 
self despised by his own relatives. As I said, I will do ; I do 
not wish you to be in doubt any longer. 

Lys. And is it so much preferable that for your sister's 
sake you should incur poverty, and that I should possess that 
piece of land rather than yourself, who ought to be upholding 
your own walls ? 

Less. I do not wish you so much to have regard to myself, 
in order that you may relieve my poverty, as that in my 
neediness I may not become disgraced : that people may not 
spread about this report of me, that I gave my own sister 
without a portion to you, rather in concubinage 1 than ill 
marriage. Who would be said to be more dishonorable than 
I ? The spreading of this report might do credit to you, but 
it would defile me, if you were to marry her without a por- 
tion. For you it would be a gain of reputation, for me it 
would be something for people to throw in my teeth. 

Lys. Why so ? Do you suppose 2 that you will become 
Dictator if I accept the iand of you ? 

this Lesbonicus says, though not carrying on the metaphor in the same sense, " I 
will find means, even amid the enemy, to render my name illustrious, for there 
the fire may be found which is to keep my family from becoming extinguished." 

1 Rather in concubinage) — Ver. 690. His pride is hurt at the idea of his sister 
being married without a portion, and thereby losing one of the distinctive marks 
between a wife and a mistress. It was considered a disgraceful thing for a female 
to be given in marriage without a portion, however small. 

2 Do you suppose) — Ver. G95. Lysiteles says, satirically, and rather unkindly, it 
would seem, " What, do yau suppose that, if I accept this piece of land of you, 
you will attain the Dictatorship as the reward of ycur high spirit?" The Bio. 
tatorship was the highest honour in the Eoman Republic. 


Lesb. I neither wish, nor require, nor do I think so ; but 
still, to be mindful of his duty;, is true honour to an upright 

Lxs. For my part, I know you, how you are disposed in 
mind; I see it, I discover it, I apprehend. You are doing 
this, that when you have formed an alliance between us, and 
when you have given up this piece of land, and have nothing 
here with which to support life, in beggary you may fly from 
the city, in exile you may desert your country, your kin- 
dred, your connexions, your friends, — the nuptials once over. 
People would suppose that you were frightened hence by my 
means, and through my cupidity. Do not fancy in your mind 
that I will act so as to allow that to happen. 

Stas. (advancing). "Well, I cannot but exclaim, " "Well 
done, well done, Lysiteles, encore 1 ." Easily do you win the 
victory ; the other is conquered : your performance is supe- 
rior. This one {pointing to Lysiteles) acts better in charac- 
ter, and composes better lines 2 . By reason of your folly do 
you still dispute it ? Stand in awe of the fine. 

Lesb. "What means this interruption of yours, or your in- 
trusion here upon our conversation ? 

Stas. The same way that I came here I'll get me gone. 

Lesb. Step this way home with me, Lysiteles ; there we 
will talk at length about these matters. 

Lys. I am not in the habit of doing anything in secret. 
Just as my feelings are I will speak out. If your sister, as I 
think it right, is thus given to me in marriage without a por- 
tion, and if you are not about to go away hence, that which 
shall be mine, the same shall be yours. But if you are minded 
otherwise, may that which you do turn out for you for the 
best. I will never be your friend on any other terms ; such 
is my determination. 

(Exit Lesbonictjs, followed hy Lysiteles. 

1 Encwe) — Ver. 705. IIaXtj>. This Greek word was no doubt used by the 
Romans just as we employ the French word " encore." In a similar manner it was 
probably used in the theatres, the usage of which is here figuratively referred to. 

2 Composes better lines) — Ver. 707. In the line before, he alludes to the contest 
of the Comic poets for the prize of Comedy, to be decided according to the merits 
of their respective piays. As the poets were often the actors of their plays, he 
addresses them in this line in the latter capacity. Then, in the next line, he 
refers to the custom of the Romans in early times of training slaves as actors, 
where, if they did not please the spectators, they were taken off the stage and 
fined or beaten for their carelessnea* 


Scene III. 

Stas. Faith, he's off. D'ye hear — Lysiteles ? I want you. 
He's off as well. Stasimus, you remain alone. What am I 
now to do, but to buckle up my baggage and sling my buckler 
on my back 1 , and order soles to be fastened 2 beneath my 
shoes'? There is no staying now. I see that no long time 
hence I shall be a soldier's drudge. And when my master 
has thrown himself into the pay 3 of some potentate, I guess 
that among the greatest warriors he will prove a brave 4 — 
hand at running away, and that there he will capture the 
spoil, who — shall come to attack my master. I myself, the 
moment that I shall have assumed my bow and quiver and 
arrows, and the helmet on my head, shall — go to sleep very 
quietly in my tent. I'll be off to the Forum; I'll ask 
that talent 5 back of the person to whom I lent it six days 
since, that I may have some provision for the journey to carry 
with me. {Exit. 

Scene IV. 
Enter Megakonides and Calliopes. 
Meg. According as you relate the matter to me, Callicles, 

1 On my back) — Ver. 719. When marching, the " clypeus," or " shield," was 
slung on the back of the soldier. The " sarcina," or " baggage," probably re- 
sembled our knapsack. 

2 Soles to be fastened) — Ver. 720. The " soccas" was a slipper or low shoe, which 
did not fit closely, and was not fastened by a tie. These were worn both by 
men and women, and especially by Comic actors. His meaning probably is, that 
he will be obliged to have high heels and thick soles put to his shoes, so as to turn 
them into " caligse," the heavy kind of shoes worn by the Roman soldiers. 

3 Into the pay) — Ver. 722. " In saginam," means "for his food;" as what we 
technically call " the mess" was provided for the soldier by those who hired him 
The term " sagina" is found especially applied to the victuals of the gladiators, who 
were trained up and dieted on all kinds of nourishing food for the purpose of adding 
to their strength, and thereby heightening interest attendant on their combats. 

4 Prove a brave) — Ver. 723. In this line and the next he is witty upon the 
sorry figure which he fancies Lesbonicus will make in the field of battle. 

5 Ask that talent) — Ver. 727. Many a trutli is said in jest, and perhaps part of 
this talent is the fruit of the theft which he seems in joke only to admit in '*. 414 ; 
as some Commentators have remarked, where was Stasimus, a slave, to get so 
much money as a talent, more than 200Z. ? As, however, in other respects, he 
ecems to have been a faithful servant, let us in charity suppose that he came 
Honestly by his talent, and that it was his fairly acquired " peculium." 

40 • TitixmiMrs; Act III. 

it really can by no means be but that a portion must be 
given to the girl. 

Call. Why, troth, it would hardly be honestly done 
pn my part, if I were to allow her to contract a marriage 
without a portion, when I have her property in my pos- 
session at home. * * * * . • 

Meg. * * * * A portion is ready at 

your house ; unless you like to wait until her brother has dis- 
posed of her in marriage without a portion. After that, you 
might go to Philto yourself, and might say that you present 
her with a portion,, and that you do it on account of your 
intimacy with her father. But I dread this, lest that offer 
might bring you into crimination and disgrace with the public. 
They would say that you were so kind to the girl not with- 
out some good reason ; that the dowry which you presented 
her was given you by her father ; they would think that you 
were portioning her out of that, and that you had not kept 
it safe for her just as it was given, and that you had with- 
held some part. Now, if you wish to await the return of 
Charmides, the time is very long ; meanwhile, the inclination 
to marry her may leave this Lysiteles ; this proposal, too, is 
quite a first-rate one for her. 

Call. All these very same things suggest themselves to 
my mind. 

Meg. Consider if you think this more feasible and more 
to the purpose : go to the young mian himself, and tell him 
how the matter really stands. 

Call. Should I now discover the treasure to a young man, 
ill-regulated, and brimful of passion and of wantonness ? No, 
faith, most assuredly, by no means. For I know, beyond a 
doubt, that he would devour even all that spot where it is 
buried. I fear to dig for it, lest he should hear the noise ; 
iest, too, he might trace out the matter itself, if I should say 
I will give her a portion. 

Meg. By what method, then, can the portion be secretly 
taken out ? 

Call. Until an opportunity can be found for that business, 
T would, in the meanwhile, ask for a loan of the money from 
some friend or other. 

Meg. Can it be obtained from some friend or other ? 

Call. It can. Meg. Nonsense ; you'll certainly meet 


with this answer at once : " 0, upon my faith, I really have 
not anything that I can lend you." 

Call. Troth, I would rather they would tell me the truth 
than lend me the money with a bad grace. 

Meo. But consider this plan, if it pleases you. 

Call. What is the plan ? Meg. I have found out a clever 
plan, as I think. 

Call. What is it ? Meg. Let some person, now, be hired, 
of an appearance as much unknown as possible, such as has 
not been often seen. Let this person be dressed up to 
the life after a .foreign fashion, just as though he were a 

Call. What is he to understand that he must do after 
that ? 

Meg. It is necessary for him to be some lying, de- 
ceiving, impudent fellow — a lounger from the Forum. 

Call. And what then, after that ? 

Meg. Let him come to the young man as though from 
Seleucia, from his father ; let him pronounce his salutation 
to him in the words of his father, say that he is prospering 
in business, and is alive and well, and that he will be shortly 
coming back again. Let him bring two letters ; let us seal 
these, as though they are from his father. Let him give 
the one to him, and let him say that he wishes to give the 
other to yourself. 

Call. Go on, and tell me still further. 

Meg. Let him say that he is bringing some gold as a 
marriage-portion from her father for the girl, and that his 
father has requested him to deliver it to you. Do you un- 
derstand me now ? 

Call. Pretty nearly ; and I listen with great satisfaction. 

Meg. Then, in consequence, you will finally give the gold 
to the young man when the girl shall be given in marriage. 

Call. Troth, 'tis very cleverly contrived. 

Meg. By this means, when you have dug up the trea- 
sure, you will have removed all cause for suspicion from the 
young man. He will think that the gold has been brought 
. to you from his father ; whereas, you will be taking it from 
the treasure. 

Call. Very cleverly and fairly contrived ; although I am 
ashamed, at this time of life, for me to be playing a double 


peart. But when he shall bring the letters sealed, don't you 
suppose that the young man will then recollect the impres- 
sion of his father's signet 1 ? 

Meg. Will you be silent now ? Reasons innumerable 
may be found for that circumstance. That which he used 
to have he has lost, and he has since had another new one 
made. Then, if he should bring them not sealed at all, this 
might be said, — that they had been unsealed for him by 
the custom-house officers 2 , and had been examined. On 
matters of this kind, however, 'tis mere idleness to spend 
the day in talk ; although a long discussion might be spun 
out. Go now, at once, privately to the treasure ; send to a 
distance the men-servants and the maids ; and — do you 
hear ? 

Call. "What is it? Meg. Take care that you conceal 
this matter from that same wife of yours as well; for, i' 
faith, there is never any subject which they can be silent 
upon. "Why are you standing now ? "Why don't you take 
yourself off hence, and bestir yourself ? Open the treasure, 
take thence as much gold as is requisite for this purpose ; at 
once close it up again, but secretly, as I have enjoined you ; 
turn all out of the house. 

Call. I will do so. Meg. But, really, we are continu- 

1 His father's signet) — Ver. 789. The custom of wearing rings among the Ro- 
mans was said to have been derived from the Sabines. The stones set in them 
were generally engraved with some design, and they were universally used by bqth 
Greeks and Romans for the purpose of a seal. So common was the practice among 
the Greeks, that Solon made a very wholesome law which forbade engravers to 
keep the form of a seal which they had sold. In some rings the seal was cut in 
t lie metal itself. The designs engraved on rings were various; sometimes portraits 
of ancestors or friends, and sometimes subjects connected with the mythology or 
the worship of the Gods. The onyx was the stone most frequently used in rings. 
The genuineness of a letter was tested, not by the signature, but by the seal ap- 
pended to it ; hence the anxiety of Callicles on the present occasion. 

2 The custom-house officers) — Ver. 794. The " portitores" were the officers who 
collected the " portorium," or " import duty," on goods brought from foreign 
countries. These " portitores," to whom it was frequently farmed, greatly 
annoyed the merchants by their unfair conduct and arbitrary proceedings. At 
Rome, all commodities, including slaves, which were imported for the pur 
pose of selling again, were subject to the " portorium." The present instance 
is an illustration of the license of their proceedings, for we can hardly suppose 
that they were entitled as of right to break open the seals of letters from foreign 


ing too long a discourse ; we are wasting the day,* whereas 
there is need now of all expedition. There is nothing for 
you to fear about the seal ; trust me for that. This is a 
clever excuse to give, as I mentioned, that they have been 
looked at by the officers. In fine, don't you see the time 
of day ? What do you think of him being of such a nature 
and disposition ? He is drunk already ; anything you like 
may be proved for him. Besides, what is the greatest point 
of all, this person will say that he brings, and not that he 
applies for, money. 

Call. Now, that's enough. 

Meg. I am now going to hire a sharper 1 from the Forum, 
and then I will seal the two letters ; and I'll send him 
thither {pointing to the house o/'Charmides), well tutored 
in his part, to this young man. 

Call. I am going in-doors then to my duty in consequence. 
Do you see about this matter. 

Meg. I'll take care it's done in the very cleverest style. 



Scene I. 

Enter Charmides. 

Charm. To Neptune, potent o'er the deep and most 

powerful, the brother of sethereal Jove, joyously and sin- 

1 A sharper) — Ver. 815. " Sycophanta." At an early period there was a law 
at Athens against the exportation of figs. In spite, however, of prohibitions and 
penalties, the fig-growers persisted in exporting the fruit. To inform the autho- 
rities against the practice was deemed mean and vexatious, so the statute came 
in time to be looked upon as obsolete. Hence, the term a-VKOCpavTelv, " to in- 
form relative to the exportation of figs," came to be applied to all mean and dis- 
honest accusations.' In time, the word " sycophant" came to be applied to a man 
who was a cunning and villanous character, and who, as it has been justly ob- 
served, in Dr. Smith's Dictionary, was " a happy compound of the common bar- 
retor, informer, pettifogger, busybody, rogue, liar, and slanderer." In fact, he was 
such a person as we mean by the epithet "swindler" or "sharper." Information 
being encouraged by the policy of Athens, and the informer gaining half the reward, 
it was upon this honourable calling that the " sycophanta? " in general thrived 
They were ready, however, for any other job, however dishonorable, and perjury 
would not be declined by them if they could obtain their price. They would, conse- 
quently, be much in the neighbourhood of the Courts of justice ; and the " Forum," 
as in the present instance, would not be an unlikely place to meet with them. 

4i TBI2JUMMUS ; Act IV. 

cerely do I proffer praise, and return my grateful thanks ; 
to the salt waves, too, with whom lay supreme power over 
myself, — one, too, that existed over my property and my life, 
— inasmuch as from their realms they have returned me safe 
and sound even to my own native city. And, Neptune, be- 
fore the other Deities, do I both give and return to you ex- 
treme thanks. For all people talk of you as being cruel 
and severe, of voracious habits, filthy, unsightly, unendurable, 
and outrageous ; on the other hand, I have experienced your 
kindly aid. For, in good sooth, I have found you mild and 
merciful upon the deep, even to that degree that I wished. 
This commendation, too, I had already heard with these ears 
before of you among men, — that you were accustomed to 
spare the poor, and to depress and overawe the rich. Adieu ! 
I commend you ; you know how to treat men properly, 
according as is just. This is worthy of the Gods; they 
should ever prove benignant to the needy ; to men of high 
station, quite otherwise. Trusty have you proved, though they 
are in the habit of saying that you cannot be trusted. For, 
without you, it would have happened, I am very sure, that 
on the deep your attendants would have shockingly torn in 
pieces and rent asunder wretched me, and, together with 
me, my property as well, in every direction throughout the 
azure surface of ocean. But just now, like raging dogs, and 
no otherwise, did the winds in hurricane beset the ship ; 
storms and waves, and raging squalls were about to roar, to 
break the mast, to bear down the yards, to split the sails ; had 
not your favouring kindness been nigh at hand. Have done 
with me, if you please; henceforth have I now determined 
to give myself up to ease ; enough have I got. With what 
pains have I struggled, while I was acquiring riches for my 
son. But who is this 1 that is coming up the street with 
his new-fangled garb and appearance ? I' faith, though I 
wish to be at home, I'll wait awhile ; at the same time, I 
will give my attention to see what business this fellow is 
about. {lie retires aside.} 

1 But who is this) — Ver. 840. It seems at first sight rather absurd that Char- 
mides, who has just returned from a voyage, should wait in the street to gossip 
with a stranger win is coming towards him; but we must remember that he sees 
that the fellow is making straight for his house, and his curiosity is excited by that 
fact, combined with the very extraordinary dress which Megaronides has hired fo» 
him from the playhouse, and has thereby probably much overdone the character 
which he is intended to vepresent. 


Scene II. 
Enter the Shaepee. 

Shaep. To this day I give the name of " The Festival of 
the Three Pieces " (Trinummus) ; for, on this day, have I let 
out my services in a cheating scheme for three pieces of 
money. I am just arrived from Seleucia, Macedonia, Asia, 
and Arabia, — -places which I never visited either with my eye 
or with my foot. See now, what business poverty brings 
upon the man that is wretchedly destitute ; inasmuch as I 
am now obliged, for the sake of three pieces of money, to say 
that I received these letters from a certain person, about whom 
I don't know, nor have I ever known, who the man is, nor do 
I know this for certain, whether he was ever born or not. 

Chaem. {behind). Faith, this fellow's surely of the mush- 
room genus ; he covers himself entirely with his top 1 . The 
countenance of the fellow appears to be Illyrian ; he comes, 
too, in that garb. 

Shaep. He who hired me, when he had hired me, took me 
to his house ; he told me what he wanted to be done ; he 
taught and showed me beforehand how I was to do every- 
thing. If, then, I should add anything more, my employer 
wiD on that account the better forward his plan through me. 
As he dressed me out, so am I now equipped ; his money 
did that. He himself borrowed my costume, at his own risk, 
from the theatrical wardrobe 2 ; if I shall be able, now, to 
impose on this man through my garb, I will give him occasion 
clearly to find that I am a very trickster. 
. Chae. (behind). The more I look at him, the less does the 
appearance of the fellow please me. 'Tis a wonder if that 

1 With his top) — Ver. 851. The Sharper, as personating a foreigner, has on a 
" petasus," or hat with very wide brims, extending straight out on each side. For 
this reason Charmides wittily compares him to a mushroom — all head. The 
" causia" was a similar hat worn by the Macedonians, with the brims turned up 
at the sides. 

2 The theatrical wardrobe) — Ver. 858. "Chorego" — literally, "from the 
Choregus." It was the duty of this person at Athens to provide the Choruses for 
tragedies and comedies, the Lyric Choruses of men and toys, the dancers for the 
Pyrrhic dance, the Cyclic Choruses, and the Choruses of flute-players for the re- 
ligious festivals of Athens. He also had to provide the Chorus with the requisite 
dresses, wreaths, and masks — whence the application to him on the present occasion 


fellow there is not either a night-robber * or a cutpurse. He 
is viewing the locality ; he is looking around him and sur- 
veying the houses^ troth, I think he is reconnoitring 'the spot 
for him to come and rob bye and bye. I have a still greater 
desire to watch what he is about : I'll give attention to this 

Sharp. This employer of mine pointed out these localities 
to me ; at this house are my devices to be put in practice. 
I'll knock at the door. 

Charm, (behind). Surely this fellow is making in a 
straight line for my house ; i' faith, I think I shall have to 
keep watch this night of my arrival. 

Sharp, (knocks at the door of the house of Charmides). 
Open this door ! — open it ! Hallo, there ! who now has the 
care of this door 3 ? 

Charm. . (coming up to him). Toung man, what do you 
want ? "What is it you wish ? Why are you knocking at 
this door ? 

Sharp. Eh ! old gentleman ; I am inquiring here for a 
young man named Lesbonicus, where in this quarter he lives 
— and likewise for another person, with such white hairs on 
his head as yours ; he that gave me these letters said his 
name was Callicles. 

Charm, (aside). In fact, this fellow is looking for my own 
son Lesbonicus and my friend Callicles, to whom I entrusted 
both my children and my property. 

Sharp. Let me know, respected sir 3 , if you are acquainted 
with it, where these persons live. 

r A night-robber) — Ver. 862. " Dormitator" seems to mean a thief, who slept 
during the day and pursued his avocations hy night. " Sector zonarius" is a 
" cutter of girdles," similar to our " cutpurse." It was the custom of persons of 
the middle and lower classes to wear their purses suspended from the " zona," or 
" girdle," round the waist ; and sometimes they used the folds of the girdle itself 
for the purpose of depositing, their money therein. 

2 Care of this door) — Ver. 870. It was not the usage to enter a house without 
giving notice to those within. This was done among the Spartans by shouting, while 
the Athenians, and other nations, either used the knocker of the door or rapped 
with the knuckles or a stick. In the houses of the rich a porter was always in 
attendance to open the door. He was commonly a slave or eunuch, and was, 
among the Romans, chained to his post. A dog was also in general chained neai 
the entrance, and the warning, " Cave canem," " Beware of the dog," was some- 
times written near the door. 

3 Eespectedsir)—Vev 877. "Pater," literally, "father." 


Chasm. Why are you inquiring for them ? Or who are 
von ? — Or whence are you ? — Or whence do you come ? 

Sharp. I gave the return correctly to the Censor 1 , when 
I was questioned by him — 

Charm. * * * * 

Sharp. Tou ask a" number of things in the same breath ; 
I know not which in especial to inform you upon. If you 
will ask each thing singly, and in a quiet manner, I'll both 
let you know my name, and my business, and my travels. 

Charm. I'll do as you desire. Come then ; in the first 
place, tell me your name. 

Sharp. You begin by demanding an arduous task. 

Charm. How so ? 

Sharp. Because, respected sir, if you were to begin before 
daylight, i' faith, to commence at the first part of my 
name 2 , 'twould be the dead of the night before you could 
get to the end of it. 

Charm. According to your story, a person should have a 
long journey's provision crammed tightly in for your name. 

Sharp. I have another name somewhat less, — about the 
size of a wine-cask 3 . 

Charm. What is this name of yours, young man ? 

Sharp. "Hush," that's my name 4 ; that's my every-day 

Charm. I' faith, 'tis a scampish name ; just as though 5 

1 To the Censor) — Ver. 879. " Juratori." It was the duty of the Censor, among 
the Romans, to make these inquiries of every person when taking the Census. 
As the Censors were bound by an oath to the faithful discharge of their duties, 
they were, in common with all persons so bound, called "juratores," "oaths- 
men." The Sharper gives Charmides an impudent answer, saying that he has 
answered the Censor on these points, and that is enough. 

2 Beginning of my name) — Ver. 855. He probably alludes to his varied calling, 
commensurate with everything in the line of roguery. See the Note to line 815. 

3 Size of a wine cask) — Ver. 888. He alludes, probably, to the " amphora," or 
large earthen jar, in which wine was kept. This was, perhaps, a cant saying, just 
as if we should say, "As little as a hogshead." 

4 " Hush," that is my name) — Ver. 889. " Pax." This word was used to enjoin 
silence, like our word " Hush," or " Whist." He seems to allude to his own thieving 
avocation, which often required him to be as mute as a mouse. Some of the editions 
have " tax," as though from " tango," " to prig," or " steal." This, Thornton 
renders " Touchit." 

l Just as though) — Ver. 891. This passage is ot obscure signification. A note o\ 
exelamation ought to be inserted after " J»ax," and then the meaning of the old 


you were to Bay, " Hush," if I were confiding anything to 
you, and then it is at an end forthwith. {Aside.) This fellow 
is evidently a sharper. "What say you, young man ? 

Sharp. What is it now ? Charm. Speak out ; what do 
these persons owe you whom you are seeking ? 

Sharp. The father of this young man, Lesbonicus, de- 
livered to me these two letters ; he is a friend of mine. 

Charm, {aside). I have now caught him in the fact; he 
says that I gave him the letters. I will have some fine 
sport with the fellow. 

Sharp. As I have begun, if you will give attention, I will 
say on. 

Charm. I'll give you my attention. 

Sharp. He bade me give this letter to his son, Lesbonicus, 
and this other one, as well, he bade me give to his friend 

Charm, {aside). Troth, but since he is acting the impostor, 
I, on the other hand, have an inclination to act the cheat as 
well. Where was he himself? 

Sharp. He was carrying on his business prosperously. 

Charm. But where ? Sharp. At Seleucia. 

Charm. ***** And did you receive these from 
himself ? 

Sharp. With his own hands he himself delivered them 
into my hands. 

Charm. Of what appearance is this person P 

Sharp. He is a person somewhere about half a foot 
taller than you. 

Charm, {aside). This is an odd matter, if in fact I am 
taller when absent than when present. Do you know this 
person ? 

man seems to be, that, as in conversation a stop is instantly put to the discourse 
on saying " hush !" so, if anything is entrusted to him, it is as easily done for 
(periisse), and that it vanishes the instant you call him by his name. This is 
the explanation given by Lindemann. Ritschel reads " pax," but most of the old 
Commentators have "tax," which seems the more probable reading. Tin 
passage is thus rendered in Thornton's translation: 

Sharp. 'Tis Touchit ; — that, sir, is my name. 
A common one. 

Charm. A very knavish name : 
As though you meant to say if anything 
Was trusted to you, touch it, and 'tis gone • 


Sharp. Tou are asking me a ridiculous question ; together 
with him I was in the habit of taking my meals. 

Charm. "What is his name ? 

Sharp. One, i' faith, that belongs to an honorable man. 

Charm. I would like to hear it. 

Sharp. Troth, his name {hesitating) — his — his — {Aside.) 
Woe to unfortunate me. 

Charm. What's the matter ? Sharp. Unguardedly, I this 
moment swallowed the name. 

Charm. I like not the man that has his friends shut up 
within his teeth. 

Sharp. And yet this moment 'twas dwelling on the very 
edge of my lips. 

Charm, {aside). I've come to-day in good time before this 

Sharp, {aside). To my sorrow I'm caught in the fact. 

Charm. Have you now recollected the name ? 

Sharp. 'Fore G-ods and men, i' faith, I'm ashamed of myself 

Charm. See, now, how well you know this man. 

Sharp. As well as my own self. This is in the habit of hap- 
pening : the thing you are holding in your hand, and seeing 
with your eyes, that same you are looking for as lost. I'll 
recollect it letter by letter. C is the beginning of the name. 

Charm. Is it Callias ? Sharp. No : it isn't that. 

Charm. Callippus ? Sharp. It isn't that. 

Charm. Callidemides ? Sharp. It isn't that. 

Charm. Callinicus ? Sharp. No : it isn't that. 

Charm. Or is it Callimachus ? 

Sharp. 'Tis in vain you suggest ; and, i' faith, I really don't 
care one fillip about it, since I recollect enough myself for 
my own purpose. 

Charm. But there are many people here of the name of 
Lesbonicus ; unless you tell me the name of his father, I cannot 
show you these persons whom you are looking for. What 
is it like ? Perhaps we can find it out by guessing. 

Sharp. It is something like this : Char 

Charm. Chares ? Or Charicles ? Or is it Charmides ? 

Sharp. Ah ! that's he ; may the Deities confound him. 

Charm. I have said to you once before already * * * * 
that it is proper for you rather to speak well of a man that 
is your friend, than to curse him. 


Shaep. Isn't it the fact 1 that this most worthless fellow 
has lain perdu between my lips and my teeth ? 

Chaem. Don't you be cursing an absent friend. 

Shaep. Why, then, did this most rascally fellow hide 
himself away from me ? 

Chaem. If you had only called him, he would have an- 
swered to his name. But where is he himself now ? 

Shaep. Troth, I left him at Ehadama 2 , in the isle of 

Chaem. *=*### (aside). What person is there 
a greater simpleton than I, who myself am making inquiries 
where I am ? But it is by no means unimportant to this 
present purpose. What do you say as ? 

Shaep. What now ? 

Chaem. I ask you this. What places have you visited ? 

Shaep. Places exceedingly wonderful in astonishing 

Chaem. I should like to hear about them, unless it is in- 

Shaep. Really I quite long to tell you. First of all we 
were conveyed to Pontus, to the land of Arabia 3 . 

1 Isn't it the fact) — Ver. 925. He alludes to his having forgotten the confounded 
name, which was on the very tip of his tongue. 

2 At Rhadama) — Ver. 928. Rhadama is a fictitious name — pure gibberish. 
Cercopia" is a preferable reading to " Cecropia," which was an epithet of Athens, 

itself supposed to be the scene of the Comedy. The other word would imply some 
unknown region, called " Apeland," as the Sharper's only aim is to impose upon 
the credulity of Charmides, and to hinder him from asking unseasonable questions. 
He coins the word upon the spur of the moment, though there really were the 
" Ape Islands," or the isles of Pithecusse, off the coast of Campania. They are 
mentioned by Ovid, in the 14th book of the Metamorphoses, 1. 291 : " For the father 
of the Gods, once abhorring the frauds and perjuries of the Cercropians, and the 
crimes of the fraudulent race, changed these men into ugly animals ; that thesa 
same beings might be able to appear unlike men and yet like them. He both 
contracted their limbs and flattened their noses, bent back from their foreheads ; 
and he furrowed their faces with the wrinkles of old age ; and he sent them into 
this spot with the whole of their bodies covered with long yellow hair. Moreover, 
he first took away from them the use of language and of their tongues, made for 
dreadful perjury ; he only allowed them to be able to complain with a harsh jab- 

3 Land of Arabia) — Ver. 933. He gets out of depth directly he leaves imaginary 
places and touches on real countries. He makes Arabia to be in Poatus, while 
they were really *bou~ two thousand miles asunder 


Charm. How now ; is Arabia then in Pontus ? 

Sharp. It is. Not that Arabia where frankincense is pro- 
duced, but where the wormwood grows 1 , and the wild mar- 
joram which the poultry love. 

Charm, (aside). An extremely ingenious knave this. But 
the greater simpleton I, to be asking of this fellow from what 
place I have come back, a thing which I know, and he does 
not know ; except that I have a mind to try how he will get 
out of it at last. But what say you further ? Whither did 
you go next from thence ? 

Sharp. If you give me your attention, I will tell you. To 
the source of the river which arises out of the heavens, from 
beneath the throne of Jupiter. 

Charm. Beneath the throne of Jupiter ? 

Sharp. Yes : I say so. 

Charm. Out of the heavens ? 

Sharp. Aye, out of the very middle. 

Charm. How now ; and did you ascend even to the hea- 
vens ? 

Sharp. Tes : we were carried in a little skiff 2 right on, up 
the river, against the tide. 

Charm. And did you see Jupiter as well ? 

Sharp. The other G-ods said that he had gone to his 
country-house, to dole out the victuals for his slaves. Then, 
after that 

Charm. Then after that — I don't want you to relate any- 
thing more. 

Sharp. Troth, I'm silent, if it's troublesome. 

Charm. "Why, no decent person 3 ought to tell it, who has 
gone from the earth to heaven. 

Sharp. I'll leave you, as I see you wish it. But point me 
out these persons whom I am looking for, and to whom I 
must deliver these letters. 

1 Wormwood grows) — Ver. 935. If he really refers here to Pontus, he acci- 
dentally hits upon the truth. Ovid, when in banishment there, says, m the 
Tristia, El. 13, 1. 21, " Let the white wormwood first be wanting in the freezing 
Pontus." The Sharper tries to correct himself by saying he means another 
Arabia, and not the one generally known, where the frankincense grows. 

2 Ina Utile skiff J — Ver. 942. " Horiola," or " horia," was a smail skiff or smack 
used by fishernen. 

3 No decent person) — Ver 947. He is supposed covertly to allude to the dis- 
graceful story of Ganymede being carried off by the eagle to minister to the lust 
of Jupiter. 

E 2 

52 tkinummtjs; Act IV. 

Charm. "What say you ? If now perchance you were to 
see Charmides himself, him, I mean, who you say gave you 
these letters, would you know the man ? 

Sharp. By my troth now, do you take me to be a brute 
beast, who really am not able to recognise the person with 
whom I have been spending my life ? And would he have 
been such a fool as to entrust to me a thousand Philippean 
pieces, which gold he bade me carry to his son, and to his 
friend Callicles, to whom he said that he had entrusted hia 
affairs ? Would he have entrusted them to me if he had 
not known me, and I him, very intimately ? 

Charm, {aside). I really have a longing now to swindle 
this swindler, if I can cozen him out of these thousand 
Philippean pieces which lie has said that I have given to him. 
A person, that I know not who he is, and have never beheld 
him with my eyes before this day, should I be entrusting gold 
to him ? A man, to whom, if his life were at stake, I would 
not entrust a dump of lead. This fellow must be adroitly 
dealt with by me. Hallo ! Mister Hush, I want three words 
with you. 

Sharp. Even three hundred, if you like. 

Charm. Have you that gold which you received from 
Charmides ? 

Sharp. Yes, and Philippeans, too, counted out on the 
table with his own hand, a thousand pieces. 

Charm. You received it, you mean, ' from Charmides 

Sharp. 'Twere a wonder if I had received it of his father, 
or of his grandfather, who are dead. 

Charm. Then, young man, hand me over this gold. 

Sharp, {staring at him). What gold am I to give you ? 

Charm. That which you have owned you received from me. 

Sharp. Received from you ? 

Charm. Yes, I say so. 

Sharp. Who are you ? Charm. I am Charmides, who 
gave you the thousand pieces of money. 

Sharp. I' faith, you are not he ; and this day, you never 
shall be he, for this gold, at any rate. Away with you, if you 
please, you impostor ! {Aside.) You are trying to cheat the 

Charm. I am Charmides. Sharp. I' faith, you are so to 


no purpose, for I carry 1 no gold. Eight cleverly were you 
down upon me, at the very nick of time. After I said that 
I was bringing the gold, that instant you became Charmides. 
Before I made mention of the gold, you were not he. It 
won't do. Just, therefore, in such manner as you Char 
midised yourself, do you again un-Charmidise yourself. 

Charm. Who am I, then, if in fact I am not he who I 
really am ? 

Sharp. What matters that to me ? So long as you are 
not he whom I do not choose you to be, you may be who you 
like, for what I care. Just now, you were not he who you 
were, now you are become he who then you were not. 

Charm. Come, despatch, if you are going to do it. 

Sharp. What am I to do ? 

Charm. Grive me back the gold. 

Sharp. You are dreaming, old gentleman. 

Charm. Did you own that Charmides delivered the gold 
to you ? 

Sharp. Yes — in writing 3 . Charm. Are you making haste 
or not, you night-robber, to be off with ali speed this very 
instant from this neighbourhood, before I order you to be 
soundly cudgelled on the spot ? 

Sharp. For what reason ? Charm. Because I am that 
self-same Charmides about whom you have been thus lying, 
and who you said gave the letters to you. 

Sharp. How now ; prithee, are you really he ? 

Charm. I really am he. Sharp. Say you so, pray ? Are 
you really he himself? 

Charm. I do say so. Sharp. Are you his own self ? 

Charm. His own self, I say. I am Charmides. 

Sharp. And are you then his own self ? 

Charm. His own very self. Begone hence out of my sight. 

1 For I carry) — Ver. 973. He takes the other to be as great a rogue as himself 
and means, that his being Charmides only depended on whether he himself ad- 
mitted that he was in possession of the gold of Charmides. 

2 Yes, in writing) — Ver. 982. This, of course, was the fact, as Megaronides and 
Callicles would know better than entrust the fellow with any money. It pro- 
oably means that he was entrusted with a letter to Callicles, enclosing a coun- 
terfeit bill at sight, or order on the Athenian bankers for payment of a thousand 
Philippeans to Callicles. This, Callicles was to show to Lesbonicus, to pnt him 
off the scent as to the treasure whence the money really was taken. The Sharper 
has told Chamrdes that he has the money with him, merely by way of bcasting d 
his trustworthy character. 


Sharp. Since you really have made your appearance here 
thus late, you shall be beaten both at my own award 1 and 
that of the new iEdiles. 

Charm. And are you abusing me as well ? 

Sharp. Yes; seeing that you have arrived in safety 2 , 
may the G-ods confound me, if I care a straw for you, had you 
perished first. I have received the money for this job ; you, 
I devote to bad luck. But who you are, or who you are not, 
I care not one jot. I'll go and carry word 3 to him who 
gave me the three pieces, that he may know that he has 
thrown them away. I'm off. Live with a curse, and fare 
you ill; may all the G-ods confound you, Charmides, for 
coming from abroad 4 . {Exit. 

Scene III. 


Char. Since this fellow has gone, at last a time and 
opportunity seem to have arrived for speaking out with- 
out restraint. Already does this sting pierce my breast — 
what business he could have before my house ? For these 
letters summon apprehensions into my heart ; those thou- 

1 At my own award) — Ver. 990. He means to tell Charmides, that by delaying 
his return thus late, he has spoilt his prospect of a lucrative job ; and he then adds, 
that he deserves a thrashing, equally with the actor who came on the stage too 
late. The actors in early times, being often slaves, were liable to punishment if 
they offended the audience. The iEdiles were the officers under whose super- 
intendence the plays were performed ; and probably with them lay the decision 
whether the actor should be punished for coming late on the stage, after he had 
been pronounced deserving of it in the opinion (arbi f ratu) of the spectators. See 
the Note to 1. 707. 

2 Have arrived in safety) — Ver. 991. " Advenis." After this word, Callicles 
might suppose that the Sharper is going to congratulate in the usual terms on his 
safe arrival ; but, instead of that, the fellow pauses, and then finishes with a 

3 Go and carry word)— Ver. 995. To tell him that he has given the three pieces 
to no purpose, for the real Charmides has made his appearance, and has completely 
spoiled the plot. 

4 From abroad) — Ver. 997. This scene is replete with true comic spirit It has 
been supposed by some that the disgrace of the pedant in Shakspeare's Taming of 
the Shrew, and his assuming the name and character of Vincentio, were suggested 
by this scene. A similar incident is met with in the old play of Albuinazar 
act iv., sc. 3, and most probably it was borrowed from the present passage. 


sand pieces, too — what purpose they were to serve. I' faith, 
a bell 1 is never rung for no purpose ; unless some one 
handles it or moves it, 'tis mute, 'tis dumb. But who ia 
this, that is beginning to run this way along the street ? I 
should like to observe what he is about. I'll step aside this 
way. (He retires aside.) 

Scene IY. 

Enter Stasimus. 

St as. (to himself). Stasimus, make you haste with all 
speed; away with you to your master's house, lest on a sud- 
den, through your folly, fears should arise for your shoulder- 
blades 2 . Quicken your pace, make haste ; 'tis now a long 
while since you left the house. If you shall be absent when 
inquired after by your master, take you care, please, that the 
smacks of the bull's-hide 3 don't clatter thick upon you. Don't 
you cease running. See now, Stasimus, what a worthless 
fellow you are ; and isn't it the fact that you have forgotten 
your ring 4 at the liquor-shop 5 , after you have been washing 

1 r faith, a bell) — Ver. 1004. He aptly compares the worthless fellow to a bell, 
and then shrewdly judges that a bell cannot ring unless it is put in motion fay 

2 For your shoulder-blades) — Ver. 1009. The slaves among the Romans were 
whipped most unmercifully with the " flagellum," a whip, to the handle of which 
a lash was fastened, made of cords or thongs of leather, especially from the ox's 
hide. It was often knotted with bones, or pieces of bronze, or terminated by 
hooks, and was then not inaptly termed " a scorpion." The infliction of 
punishment with this on the naked back was sometimes fatal, and was carried 
.nto execution by a class of slaves who were called " lorarii." 

3 Smacks of the bulTs-hide) — Ver. 1011. " Cottabus" was a game played by the 
Sicilians and Greeks, in which the players had in turn to throw wine out of a 
goblet into a metal basin at a certain distance, in such a way as not to spill any of 
the wine. The methods in which the game was played are stated with precision 
in an able article in Dr. Smith's Dictionary. As one of the merits of the game was 
that the wine thrown should in its fall produce the strongest and most pat sound, 
Stasimus here calls the smacks of the whip on his back so many " bubuli cottabi,'* 
" ox-hide smacks." 

4 Forgotten your ring) — Ver. 1014. We learn from Caelius Rhodiginus that 
" condalium" was a peculiar kind of ring worn by slaves. 

4 At the liquor-shop) — Ver. 1013. The " thermopoha" are supposed to have beflf 
tne same as the "popinae," shops where drinks and ready-dressed provisions weu 

56 TlilNUMMUS; Act IV. 

your throat with warm drink ? Tarn about, and run back 
now, to seek it, while the thing has but just happened. 

Charmides (behind). Whoever he is, his throat is his 
taskmaster 1 ; that teaches this fellow the art of running. 

Stas. "What, good-for-nothing fellow, are you not ashamed 
of yourself? having lost your memory after only three 
cups ? And really, because you were there drinking toge- 
ther with such honest fellows, who could keep their hands 
off 3 the property of another without difficulty ; — is it among 
such men that you expect you may recover your ring ? 
Chiruchus was there, Cerconicus, Crimnus, Cricolabus, Col- 
labus 3 , whipped-necks 4 , whipped-legs, iron-rubbers, whipped- 
knaves. By my faith, any one of these could steal the sole 
of his shoe from a running footman 5 . 

sold. They were very numerous throughout Italy. The keepers of them were 
called " popse." In the present instance we learn what kind of people visited 
them, and Cicero tells us that they were frequented by the slaves and the lower 
orders. They sat on stools or benches, while they drank " calda," or " calida," 
" mulled wine," which was always kept hot. It was probably mixed with spices, 
and was the favourite drink of the lower classes. It was measured out in " po- 
teria," "draughts," which are here mentioned; and which formed, probably, 
about a moderate cupful. Claudius commanded the " thermopolia" to be closed 
at one period of his reign. 

1 His throat is his taskmaster)— Ver. 1016. He has overheard what Stasimus 
has said about warming his throat in 1. 1014; and, talking to himself, he remarks 
that his throat will be the cause of his learning how to run, as he warms his 
throat, gets drunk, loses his ring, runs homeward, and then runs back to find it. 

2 Would keep their hands off) — Ver. 1019. There is no doubt that this is> in- 
tended to be said satirically. 

3 Cricolabus, Collabus) — Ver. 1021. These are either nicknames, or, possibly, 
names really given to slaves, as in all ages and countries masters have especially 
tried to show their wit in naming their slaves. 

4 Whipped-necks) — Ver. 1022. " Collicrepidae" and " Cruricrepidae" were pro- 
bably cant terms for slaves, who carried the marks of punishment on their necka 
and legs. " Crepidae" is from the verb "crepo," to "crack," and alludes to the 
sound of the lashes. " Ferriterius" was a' slave who bore the marks of the chain 
with which he had been fastened for refractory conduct, while " mastigia" was a 
name given to a slave who had passed the ordeal of flogging. A liquor-shop was 
a likely place for the resort of worthless and refractory slaves. 

5 From a running footman) — Ver. 1023. " Cursores" were slaves who ran before 
the carriage of their masters for the same purpose as our outriders. Perhaps, 
however, this is not the meaning of the word here, as the name was given to all 
slaves whom their masters employed in carrying letters and messages. Stasimus 
hints by tJis that his boon companions were not only very expert at thieving, but 
that they would prey just as readily on a fellow-slave as any other person. 


Charm, (behind). So may the Gods love me, a finished 

Stas. Why should I go seek what is gone for ever? 
Unless I would bestow rny pains, too, by way of addition 
over and above to my loss. Why, then, don't you consider 
that what is gone is gone ? Tack about, then 1 . Betake 
yourself back to your master. 

Charm, (behind). This fellow is no runaway; he remem- 
bers his home. 

Stas. I wish that the old-fashioned ways of old-fashioned 
clays, and the old-fashioned thriftiness, were in greater 
esteem here, rather than these bad ways. 

Charm, (behind). Immortal Grods ! this man really is be- 
ginning to talk of noble doings ! He longs for the old- 
fashioned ways ; know that he loves the old-fashioned ways, 
after the fashion of our forefathers. 

Stas. For, now-a-days, men's manners reckon of no value 
what is proper, except what is agreable. Ambition now is 
sanctioned by usage, and is free from the laws. By usage, 
people have the license to throw away their shields, and to 
run away from the enemy. To seek honor thereby in place of 
disgrace is the usage. 

Charm, (behind). A shameless usage. 

Stas. Now-a-days, 'tis the usage to neglect the brave. 

Charm, (behind). Aye, 'tis really shocking. 

Stas. The public manners have now got the laws in their 
power ; to them they are more submissive than are parents 
to their children 2 . In their misery, these laws are even hung 
up 3 against the wall with iron nails, where it had been much 
more becoming for bad ways to be fixed up. 

Charm, (behind). I'd like to go up and accost this person ; 
but I listen to him with much pleasure, and I'm afraid, if I 
address him, that he may begin to talk on some other subject. 

1 Tack about, then) — Ver. 1026. " Cape vorsoriam" was a sea-phrase, meaning 
" turn," or "tack about;" as " vorsoria" was the name of the rope by which the 
sail was turned from one direction to another 

2 Parents to their children') — Ver. 1038. This is said satirically in reference to 
the corruptness of the age, in which all the relations and duties of life were turned 
upside down. 

3 Are even hung up) — Ver. 1039. He alludes to the custom among the Romans 
of writing or engraving the laws and ordinances on wood or brass, and hanging 
them up for public inspection upon pegs or rails in the Capitol, Forum, and Curiae, 

r Court-houses. 


Stas. And, for these ways, there is nothing rendered 
sacred by the law. The laws are subservient to usage ; but 
these habits are hastening to sweep away both what is sacred 
and what is public property. 

Charm, (behind). By my troth, 'twere right for some great 
calamity to befal these bad customs. 

Stas. Ought not this state of things to be publicly cen- 
sured ? For this kind of men are the enemies of all per- 
sons, and do an injury to the entire people. By a non-ob- 
servance of their own honour, they likewise destroy all trust 
even in those who merit it not ; inasmuch as people form an 
estimate of the disposition of these from the disposition of 
those fellows. If you lend 1 a person any money, it becomes lost 
for any purpose as one's own. When you ask for it back 
again, you may find a friend made an enemy by your kindness. 
If you begin to press still further, the option of two things 
ensues — either you must part with that which you have en- 
trusted, or else you must lose that friend. As to how this 
suggests itself to me, I have by actual experience been lately 
put in mind of it. 

Charm, (behind). Surely this is my servant Stasimus ? 

Stas. For as to him to whom I lent the talent, I bought 
myself an enemy with my talent, and sold my friend. But I 
am too great a simpleton to be attending to public matters 
rather than (what's my immediate interest) obtain safety 
for my back. I'll go home. (Moves as if going.) 

Charm. Hallo, you ! Stop, this instant ! Harkye ; hallo, 

Stas. I'll not stop. Charm. I want you. 

Stas. What if I myself don't want you to want me. 

Charm. Why, Stasimus, you are behaving very rudely. 

Stas. 'Twere better for you to buy some one to give your 
commands to. 

Charm. I' faith, I have bought one, and paid the money, 
too. But if he is not obedient to my orders, what am I to 

1 If you lend) — Ver. 1050. Stasimus has experienced this, and has applied for 
the talent which he lent, but in vain ; unless, indeed, his meaning is that he got 
back the talent, but iost his friend. Shakspeare has a somewhat similar passag* 
in Hamlet : 

Neither a borrower nor a lender be ; 

For loan oft loseth both itself and friend 


Stas. Give him a severe punishment. 

Charm. You give good advice ; I am resolved to do so. 

Stas. Unless, iudeed, you are under obligations to him. 

Charm. If he is a deserving person, I am under obligations 
to him ; but if he is otherwise, I'll do as you advise me. 

Stas. What matters it to me whether you have good or 
bad slaves ? 

Charm. Because you have a share in this matter both of 
the good and of the bad. 

Stas. The one share I leave to yourself; the other share, 
that in the good, do you set down 1 to my account. 

Charm. If you shall prove deserving, it shall be so. Look 
back at me — I am Charmides. 

Stas. Ha! what person is it that has made mention of 
that most worthy man ? 

Charm. 'Tis that most worthy man himself. 

Stas. O seas, earth, heavens, by my trust in you — do 
I see quite clearly with my eyes ? Is this he, or is it not ? 
; Tis he ! 'Tis certainly he ; 'tis he beyond a doubt ! O my 
most earnestly wished-for master, health to you ! 

Charm. Health to you, too, Stasimus ! 

Stas. That you are safe and sound, I 

Charm, (interrupting Mm). I know it, and I believe you. 
But wave the rest ; answer me this ; how are my children, 
my son and daughter, whom I left here ? 

Stas. They are alive, and well. 

Charm. Both of them, say your Stas. Both of them. 

Charm. The G-ods willed me to be safe and preserved from 
dangers. The rest that I want to know I will inquire about 
in-doors at my leisure. Let us go in-doors ; follow me. 

Stas. Where are you going now ? Charm. Where else 
but to my house ? 

Stas. Do you suppose that we are living here ? 

1 Do you set dow?i)—Ver. 1067. " Appone." This word is used figuratively, it 
being employed to mean, in mercantile matters, " to set down to one's account." 
So Horace says : 

Quem sors dierum cumque dab it, lucro 


" Whatever »oi each day shall bring, set that down as clear gain." This, we may 
here observe, is a similar sentiment to that conveyed in the remark of Callicr* 


Charm. Why, where else should I sup pose ? 

Stas. Now Charm. What about "now?" 

Stas. This house is not our own. 

Charm. What is it I hear from you ? 

Stas. Your son has sold this house. 

Charm. I'm ruined. Stas. For silver minse ; ready money 
counted out. 

Charm. How many ? Stas. Forty. 

Charm. I'm undone. Who has purchased it ? 

Stas. Callicles, to whom you entrusted your affairs ; he 
has removed here to live, and has turned us out of doors. 

Charm. Where is my son now liviug ? 

Stas. Here, in these back buildings. (Points to the side 
of the house.) 

Charm. I'm utterly undone. 

Stas. I thought that this would be distressing to you 
when you heard of it. 

Charm. To my sorrow, amid extreme dangers I have been 
borne over vast oceans, with the peril of my life I have pre- 
served myself among robbers full many in number, and I 
have returned safe. JN"ow, to my misery, I am here undone 
by reason of those same persons for whose sake I have been 
struggling at this time of life Grief is depriving me of my 
senses. Support me, Stasimus. 

Stas. Do you wish me to fetch you some water ? 

Charm. When my fortunes were in their mortal struggle, 
then was it befitting that water should be sprinkled 1 upon 

Scene V. 

Enter Callicles. 

Call. What noise is this that I hear before my house ? 
Charm. O Callicles! Callicles! Callicles! to what 
sort of friend have I entrusted my property ? 

Call. To one good, and faithful, and trusty, and of strict 

1 Should be sprinkled) — Ver. 1092. His meaning is, " you should have been as 
ready to give j-our assistance at the time when my fortunes were in their death- 
etruggle through the conduct of my son Lesbonicus." 


integrity. Health to you, and I rejoice that you have ar- 
rived safe and sound 1 . 

[Charm. How, health to me ? Troth, I have no patience 
with such health. This I wish to know ;• how have you kept 
your trust, who, without my knowledge, have utterly de- 
stroyed my property and my children that I entrusted to you 
and committed to your charge when going hence abroad ? 

Call. I don't think that it is fair, when you don't under- 
stand the matter, to censure your old friend with harsh 
words. For you are both mistaken and you are doing me a 
very great injustice. 

Charm. Have you not bought this house which you came 
out of just now, and driven thence my son Lesbonicus ? Is 
this so as I say, or is it not ? Answer me. 

Call. I myself did buy the house; I bought it that I 
might keep it for you. And without that it would have hap- 
pened that your son would have sold it to another person ; 
and then you would have lost both it and that treasure 
together, which, concealed there, you had entrusted to my 
charge. See, I restore it safe to you ; for you did I buy it, 
not for myself. 

Charm. Prithee, what do you say ? By my trust in Gods 
and men, you make me suddenly to be quite ashamed of my 
error in speaking unkindly to my friend in return for his 

Call. How, then ; do you now think that I am trusty 
and faithful ?] 

Charm. I do think so, if all these matters are so as you 
relate them. But what means 2 this garb of yours ? 

Call. I'll tell you. I was digging up the treasure in- 
doors, as a marriage-portion to be given to your daughter. 

1 Safe and sound) — Ver. 1097. The lines after this, enclosed in brackets, are 
supplied by Ritschel in Latin verse, to supply the " lacuna" here, where it is clear 
that some part of the play has been lost. They are cleverly composed, and do 
great credit to his ingenuity. 

2 But what means) — Ver. 1099. As he has been interrupted while digging up 
the treasure, it is probable that he has run out with his sleeves tucked up, and 
perhaps with the spade in his hand, which causes Charmides to make the present 

62 tkinummus ; Act V. 

But I will relate to you both this and the rest in the house. 
Follow me. 

Chaem. Stasimus. Stas. "Well! 

Charm. Eun with all haste to the Piraeus 1 , and make but 
one run of it. There you will at once see the ship, on board 
of which I was carried hither. Bid Sagario take care that 
the things are brought which I enjoined him, and do you go 
together with them. The duty has been already paid 2 to the 
custom-house officer. 

Stas. I make no delay. Chaem. Get you gone with all 
speed ; and be back directly. 

Stas. I am both there and here in an instant. 

Call, (to Chaemldes.) Do you follow me this way in- 
doors. Chaem. I follow. 

(Exeunt Callicles and Chaemldes into the house. 

Stas. This man alone has remained a firm friend to my 
master ; nor has he allowed his mind to swerve from unshaken 
fidelity, although I believe that he has undergone many 
troubles, by reason of the property and the children of my 
master. Still, this person, as I suspect, alone has main- 
tained his fidelity. (Exit. 

Scene I. 
Enter Ltsiteles. 
Lts. This individual 3 is the very first of all men ; ex- 
celling aU in pleasures and delights. So truly do the bless- 
ings which I desire befal me, that whatever I undertake is 
brought about, and constantly succeeds : so does one delight 
succeed other delights. Just now, Stasimus, the servant 
of Lesbonicus, came to me at home. He told me that his 

1 ThePircms) — Ver. 1103. The Piraeus was the main harbour of Athens, with 
which it was Connected by long walls. 

2 Been already paid) — Ver. 1107. Among the Romans, merchandise which a 
person brought with him from abroad for his own use was in general exempt from 
"portorium," or import duty; but this was not the case if it belonged rather to 
the luxuries than the necessaries of life. 

3 This individual) — Ver. 1115. He is speaking of himself in the third person, 
and is congratulating himself on his being about to obtain the hand of the daughter 
of Charmides. 


master, Charmides, had arrived here from abroad. [Now 
lie must be forthwith waited upon by me, that the father may 
prove a more sure foundation in that matter on which I have 
treated with his son. I'll go. But this door, with its creak- 
ing, inopportunely causes me delay. (He retires to a dis- 

Scene II. 
Enter Charmides and Callicles. 

Charm. There never was, nor will there be, nor yet do 1 
think that there is a person upon the earth, whose fidelity 
and constancy towards his friend equals yours. Tor without 
you, it would have been that he would have ousted me out 
of this house. 

Call. If I have in any way acted well towards my friend, 
or have faithfully consulted his advantage, I seem not to be 
deserving of praise, but I think I am free from fault. For 
a benefit which is conferred on a man for his own, at once is 
lost to the giver ; what is given only as a loan, the same thero 
is a right to ask back, whenever you please. 

Charm. 'Tis so as you say. But I cannot sufficiently 
wonder at this, that he has betrothed his sister into a family 
so influential. 

Call. Aye ; to Lysiteles, the son of Philto. 

Lts. (behind). Why, he is mentioning my name. 

Charm. He has got into a most worthy family. 

Lts. (behind). "Why do I hesitate to address these per- 
sons ? But still, I think, I may wait awhile ; for something 
is going to be said to the purpose about this matter. 

Charm. Call. What's the matter? 

Charm. I forgot just now to tell you of it in-doors. As 
I was coming hither, a while ago, a certain swindling fellow 
met me — a very finished sharper. He told me that he was 
carrying a thousand gold pieces, of my giving, to you and my 
son Lesbonicus ; a fellow, that I know not who he was, nor 
have I ever seen him anywhere before. But why do you 

Call. He came by my directions, as though he was one 
bringing the gold from you to me, to give as a portion to your 

64 raiNUMMirs ; Act v 

daughter ; that your son, when I should give it to her from 
my own hands, might suppose that it had been brought from 
you, and that he might not anyhow be enabled to discover the 
fact itself — that your treasure was in my possession, and de- 
mand it of me 1 , as having belonged to his father, by the public 

Charm. Cleverly contrived, i' troth. Call. Megaronides, 
a common well-wisher of yours and mine, planned this. 

Charm. "Well, I applaud his device, and approve of it. 

Lts. (behind). Why, in my foolishness, while I fear to 
interrupt their discourse, am I standing here alone, and am 
not forwarding the business that I was intending to trans- 
act ? I will accost these persons. (He advances.) 

Chaem. Who is this person that is coming this way to- 
wards us ? 

Lts. (going up to Charmides). Lysiteles salutes his 
father-in-law Charmides. 

Charm. May the Gods grant you, Lysiteles, whatever 
you may desire. 

Call. Am I not worthy of a salutation ? 

Lts. Yes ; health to you, Callicles. It is right that I 
should give him the preference : the tunic is nearer 2 the shin 
than the cloak. 

Call. I trust that the Gods may direct your plans 

Charm. I hear that my daughter has been betrothed to 

Lts. Unless you are unwilling. Charm. Nay, I am not 

Lts. Do you, then, promise your daughter for my wife ? 

Charm. I promise a thousand gold Philippean pieces, as 
well, for a portion. 

Lts. I care nothing about a portion. 

Charm. If she pleases you, the portion which she presents 
to you must be pleased as well. In fine, the object which 

1 And demand it of me)—Ver. 1146. On the supposition of Lis father's death, 
the laws would probably have decreed it to him as his father's heir. 

2 The tunic is nearer)— Ver. 1154. This was, perhaps, a proverbial saying, used 
when a preference was expressed. Of course he would pay more respect to his 
anticipated father-in-law than to an ordinary frienl The " tunica" supplied th* 
place of the shirt of modern times. 


you desire you shall not have, unless you shall take that 
which you do not desire. 

Call, (to Ltsiteles). He asks but justice. 

Lts. He shall obtain it, you the advocate and the judge. 
On these conditions, do you engage that your daughter shall 
be given to me as my wife ? 

Charm. I do promise her. Call. And I promise her 

Lys. save you, my connexions by marriage. (He embrace* 

Charm. But, in good sooth, there are some matters on 
account of which I stili am angry with you. 

Lys. "What have I done? Charm. Because you have 
allowed my son to become dissolute. 

Lys. Had that been done by my consent, there would have 
been cause for you to blame me. * * * * * 
But allow me to obtain of you this one thing which I entreat P 

Charm. What is it ? Lys. You shall know. If he has 
done anything imprudently, that you will dismiss it all /row 
l/our mind. Why do you shake your head ? 

Charm. My heart is tortured, and I fear 

Lys. What is it now ? Charm. Because he is such as I 
would that he was not, — by that am I tortured. I fear that 
if I refuse you what you ask of me, you may suppose that I 
am indifferent towards you. I won't make difficulties, noic- 
ever; I will do as you wish. 

Lys. You are a worthy man. I am going to call him out. 
(He goes to the door of the house of Charmides.) 

Charm. 'Tis a shocking thing if one is not a] '.owed to 
punish bad deserts just as they merit. 

Lys. (knocking at the door). Open the door, open quickly, 
and call Lesbonicus out of doors, if he is at home. The 
occasion is very sudden, therefore I wish him to come to me 
with all haste. 

Scene III. 

Enter LESBONicus/rom the house. 

Lesb. What person has been calling me out of doors with 
so loud a knocking ? 

Lys. 'Tis your well-wisher and friend. 
Lesb. Is all quite right? — tell me. 


Lts. All's well. I am glad to say that your father has 
returned from abroad. 

Lesb. "Who says so ? Lts. I. 

Lesb. Have you seen him ? Lys. Aye, and you yourself 
may see him too. (He points to Chabmides.) 

Lesb. O my father, my father, blessings on you. 

Chaem. Many blessings on you, my son. 

Lesb. If, father, any trouble 1 Charm. Have no 

fear, nothing has happened. My affairs prosperously managed, 
I have returned safe. If you are only wishful to be steady, 
that daughter of Callicles has been promised you. 

Lesb. I will marry both her, father, and any one else 
besides that you shall bid me. 

Charm. Although I have been angry with you, one 
misery 2 , in fact, is more than enough for one man. 

Call. Nay, rather, 'twere too little for him ; for if he- 
were to marry a hundred wives for his sins, it were too 

Lesb. But henceforth, in future, I will be steady. 

Charm. So you say ; if you will only do it. 

Lesb. Is there any reason why I should not bring my wife 
home to-morrow ? 

Charm. 'Tis very good. And you, Lysiteles, be ready to 
be married the day after to-morrow. 

A Comedian. 
Give your applause 3 . 

1 If, father, any trouble) — Ver. 1181. Lesbonicus seems to be about to apolo- 
gise to Cbarmides for any trouble he may have given him, but, as the old man has 
already agreed to forgive him at the intercession of Lysiteles, he will not allow a 
word more to be said about it. 

- One misery) — Ver. 1 185. The old gentleman tells his son that he will be quite 
sufficiently punished for his faults by having one wife. It is either said as a joke 
in a bantering way, or else it means, that, what will be a great punishment to 
him, he must now reform his mode of life, for common decency sake and out of 
respect to his wife. 

3 Give your applause) — Ver. 1189. " Plaudite." Literally, " clap your hands." 
Eitschel, on a full examination of'theMSS., comes to the conclusion that this was 
said, not, as is generally thought by one of the characters in the piay, but by one 
of the actors or singers, probably, of the Chorus, who commenced their song the 
moment the play was finished. All the applause bestowed on the writer and the 
*otors seems to have been usually reserved for the end of the play. 


Dramatis persona?. 

Ptrgopolinices, the Braggart Captain. 

Artotrogus, a Parasite. 

Periplecomenus, an old gentleman, the friend of Pleusicieg. 

Pleusicles, a young Athenian. 

PaLuESTrio, servant of Pyrgopolinices. 

Sceledrus, another servant of Pyrgopolinices. 

Lucrio, a lad, an under-servant of Pyrgopolinices. 

Cario, cook to Periplecomenus. 

A Boy. 

Philocomasium, the mistress of Pyrgopolhices. ' 

Acroteleutium, a Courtesan. 

Milphidippa, her maid. 


Seen* —Ephesus : a Street before the houses of Peripleocwejj us and pY£^t> 
i-olinicks, which adjoin each otiiu. 



IJEUSICLES, a young Athenian, is in love with Philocouiasium, a Courtesan u\ 
Athens, who returns his affection. Being sent on public business to Naupactus, 
a certain Captain of Ephesus, Pyrgopolinices by name, comes to Athens, and in- 
sinuates himself into the good graces of her mother, in order that he may get 
Philocomasium into his power. Having deceived the mother, he places the 
daughter on board ship and carries her off to Ephesus. On this, Palsestrio, a 
faithful servant of Pleusicles, hastens to embark for Naupactus, with the view of 
telling his master what has happened. The ship being taken by pirates, he is 
made captive, and by chance is presented as a gift to Pyrgopolinices. He re- 
cognises the mistress of Pleusicles in the Captain's house; but he carefully 
conceals from the Captain who he himself is. He then privately writes to 
Pleusicles, requesting him to come to Ephesus. On arriving, Pleusicles is 
hospitably entertained by Periplecomenus, a friend of his father, an old gentle- 
man who lives next door to the Captain. As Philocomasium has a private 
room of her own in the Captain's house, a hole is made through the partition 
wall, and by this contrivance she meets Pleusicles in the house of his enter- 
tainer, who gives his sanction to the plan. 
At this juncture, the play begins. A servant of the Captain, named Sceledrus, 
has been appointed to be the keeper of Philocomasium. Pursuing a monkey 
along the roof of the house, he looks down the skylight of the house next door, 
and there sees Pleusicles and Philocomasium conversing and toying with each 
other. When this has been discovered to be the case, a plan is arranged, 
by which Sceledrus shall not only not divulge to the Captain what he 
lias seen, but shall even be made to believe that he has not actually seen 
it himself. Palsestrio, therefore, persuades him that the twin-sister of Philoco- 
masium has arrived at Ephesus, and with her lover is staying at their neigh- 
bour's house. To forward their designs, Palsestrio then invents another plan. 
He persuades the Captain to believe that the wife of his neighbour, Peripleco- 
menus, is in love with him. Through his agency, a Courtesan, named Acrote- 
ltutium, pretends that she is the wife so desperately in love with the Captain. 
He believes this story, and, that he may the more conveniently receive her in 
his house, by the advice of Palsestrio, he sends Philocomasium away, and gives 
her into the charge of Pleusicles, who is disguised in the dress of a master of a 
.ship. They go to the harbour and set sail, accompanied by Palsestrio, whcm 
the Captain has given to Philocomasium at her request. The Captain, then, at 
the invitation of the maid of Acroteleutium, goes to the house next door, to visit 
her mistress. On this, Periplecomenus, with his servants, sallies forth upon 
him, and, having first threatened to cut him in pieces, and then having beaten 
and stripped him, they let him go, after they have exacted from him a confession 
that he has been rightly served, and a promise that he will molest no one in re- 
turn for the treatment he has received. 



[Supposed to have been written by Priscian, the Grammarian.] 

A Captain carries off to Ephesus a Courtesan (Meretricem) from Athens. While 
his servant is intending to tell this (Id) to his master, her lover, who is an Am- 
bassador (Legato) abroad, he himself is captured at sea, and (Ei) is given as a 
present to the same Captain. The servant sends for his (Suum, master from 
Athens, and cleverly makes a hole in the party wall, common to the two (G'e- 
minis) houses, that it may be possible (Liceret) for the two lovers secretly to 
meet. Wandering about (Oberrans), her keeper sees them from the tiles, but 
he is played a trick (Ridiculis) upon, as though it were another person. 
Palajstrio, too, as well (Item) persuades the Captain to have his mistress dis- 
missed (Omissavi), since the wife of the old man (Senis), his neighbour, wishet 
to marry him. He begs that she will go away of her own accord (Ultro), and 
gives her many things. He, himself, caught in the house of the old man 
{Senis), receives punishment as an adulterer. 


Scene I. 
Enter Pyrgopoeenices 1 , Artotrogus, and Soldiers. 
Pyrg. Take ye care that the lustre of my shield is more 

1 Pyrgopolinices) The literal meaning of the name of the swaggering Captaii. 
is " the much-conquering tower," or something similar. " Artotrogus" means 
" bread-eater." The word " Parasite" properly denotes " one person who dines 
with another." The name was originally given to persons who were assistants to 
the priests and high magistrates, and, consequently, had a respectable signifi- 
cation. The hangers-on, who are called u Parasites" by the Comic writers of 
Greece and Rome, first received that name from Alexis, the Greek Comedian. It 
nas been well remarked, that their chief characteristics were " importunity, love 
of sensual pleasures," and " the desire of getting a good dinner without paying for 
it." They may be subdivided into the jesting, the officious, and the flattering Pa- 
rasite (assentator), of which latter kind Artotrogus is an admirable specimen 
From ancient writers we find that it was their method to frequent the Courts of 
justice, market-places, baths, places for exercise, and other objects of public re- 
sort, with the view of obtaining a dinner, at the price of being the butt of their 
entertainer. and cheerfully submitting to the greatest humiliations. 

70 MILES 01 ORIOSUS ; Act I 

bright than the rajs of the sun are wont to be at the time 
when the sky is clear ; that when occasion comes, the battle 
being joined, 'mid the fierce ranks right opposite it may 
dazzle the eyesight of the enemy. But, I wish to console 
this sabre of mine, that it may not lament nor be downcast 
in spirits, because I have thus long been wearing it keeping 
holiday, which so longs right dreadfully to make havoc of 
the enemy. But where is Artotrogus ? 

Arto. Here he is ; he stands close by the hero, valiant 
and successful, and of princely form. Mars could not dare 
to style himself a warrior so great, nor compare his prowess 
with yours. 

Pyrg. Him you mean whom I spared on the G-orgonido- 
nian 1 plains, where Bumbomachides Clytomestoridysarchides, 
the grandson of Neptune, was the chief commander ? 

Arto. I remember him ; him, I suppose, you mean with 
the golden armour, whose legions you puffed away with your 
breath just as the wind blows away leaves or the reed-thatched 

Ptrg. That, on my troth, was really nothing at all. 

Arto. Faith, that really was nothing at all in cqmpari- 
son with other things I could mention — (aside) which you 
never did. If any person ever beheld a more perjured fellow 
than this, or one more full of vain boasting, faith let him have 
me for himself, I'll resign myself for his slave ; if 'tis not 
the fact that 2 my one mess of olive pottage 3 is eaten up by 
me right ravenousiy. 

Ptrg. "Where are you ? Arto. Lo ! here am I. I' troth 

1 Gorgonidoman) — Vo r. 13. These three crackjaw names are coined by Plautus 
much in the style of the names of the characters in Bombastes Furioso. They 
are mere gibberish, though the two latter are derived from Greek or Latin words ; 
the first of which signifies " a son of a tighter at the sound of the trumpet. - ' 

2 'Tis not the fact that)—Ver. 24. This line is read m many different ways, and 
is evidently in a most corrupt state. Eitschel suggests, " Unum epityrum aput 
ilium estur insane bene," which we follow as nearly as is consistent with the 
English idiom. 

3 Mess of olive pottage) — Ver 24. " Epityrum" was the name of a dish much 
used by the people of Sicily, who ate it together with cheese. We learn from 
Cato (on Rural Matters), that it was made of various kinds of olives mincod up, ami 
mixed with oil, vinegar, coriander, cummin, fennel, rue, and mint, and then pre- 
served in jars. 


in what a fashion it was you broke the fore-leg 1 of even an 
elephant, in India, with your fist. 

Pyrg. How ? — the fore-leg ? Arto. I meant to say this 
— the thigh. 

Pyrg. I struck the blow without an effort. 

Arto. Troth, if, indeed, you had put forth your strength^ 
your arm would have passed right through the hide, the 
entrails, and the frontispiece of the elephant. 

Pyrg. I don't care for these things just now. 

Arto. I' faith, 'tis really not worth the while for you 
to tell me of it, who know right well your prowess. (Aside.) 
'Tis my appetite creates 3 all these plagues. 1 must hear him 
right out with my ears, that my teeth mayn't have time 3 to 
grow, and whatever lie he shall tell, to it I must agree. 

Pyrg. What was it I was saying ? 

Arto. 0, I know what you were going to say just now. 
I' faith 'twas bravely done ; I remember its being done. 

Pyrg. What was that ? Arto. Whatever it was you were 
going to say. 

Pyrg. Have you got your tablets 4 ? Arto. Are you in- 
tending to enlist 5 ? I have them, and a pen as well. 

1 Thefore-leg) — Ver. 26. " Brachium" is supposed by some to mean " the trunk" 
of the elephant ; but it seems more probable that it here means " the fore-leg." 

2 My appetite creates) — Ver. 33. He now addresses the Spectators, and honestly 
confesses why he is a Parasite. 

3 Mayn't have time) — Ver. 34. " Dentes dentire" is that which we call " teething. ' 
He says that he acts the flatterer that his teeth may not have time to grow 
through want of employment. 

4 Got your tablets) — Ver. 38. The " tabula?," or " tabella?," used by the ancienti 
for the purpose of writing, were pieces of wood, mostly of an oblong shape, covered 
with wax, on which an impression was made with the " stylus," or iron pen. They 
were sometimes made of ivory, but more frequently of citron-wood, beech, or fir 
The inside only of the tablet was covered with wax, the outer consisting of wood. 
The leaves were fastened at the back with wires, and opened and shut like the 
books of the present day. There was a raised margin to each leaf of the tablet, 
for the purpose of preventing the wax of the one from rubbing against the other. 
From two to five, six, or even more of these leaves were joined together, which 
were accordingly called " diptycha," " triptycha," and so on. Those tablets which 
contained legal documents were pierced through the outer edges with holes, 
through which a triple thread or string was passed, on which a seal was placed, 
in order to prevent forgery and to show that the deed was duly executed. 

s Intending to enlist) — Ver. 36. " Rogare." Soldiers, when enlisted, were asked 
(rogabantur) whether they would take the oath. Hence the word " rogare" means 


Pyrg. How cleverly you do suit your mind to my own mind. 

Arto. 'Tis fit that I should know your inclinations stu- 
diously, so that whatever you wish should first occur 1 to me. 

Pyrg. What do you remember ? Arto. I do remember 
this. In Cilicia there were a hundred and fifty men, a hundred 
in Cryphiolathronia 2 , thirty at Sardis, sixty men of Macedon, 
whom you slaughtered altogether in one day. 

Pyrg. What is the sum total of those men ? 

A.rto. Seven thousand. Pyrg. It must be as much : you 
keep the reckoning well. 

Arto. Yet I have none of them written down ; still, so I re- 
member it was. 

Pyrg. By my troth, you have a right good memory. 

Arto. {aside). 'Tis the flesh-pots 3 give it a fillip. 

Pyrg. So long as you shall do such as yon have done 
hitherto, you shall always have something to eat : I will 
always make you a partaker at my table. 

Arto. Besides, in Cappadocia, you would have killed five 
hundred men altogether at one blow, had not your sabre 
been blunt. 

Pyrg. I let them live, because I was quite sick of fighting. 

Arto. Why should I tell you what all mortals know, that 
you, Pyrgopolinices, live alone upon the earth, with valour, 
beauty, and achievements most unsurpassed ? All the women 
are in love with you, and that not without reason, since you 
are so handsome. Witness those girls that pulled me by my 
mantle yesterday. 

Pyrg. What was it they said to you? 

Arto. They questioned me about you. " Is Achilles here ?" 
says one to me. " No," says I, " his brother is." Then 
says the other to me : " By my troth, but he is a handsome 

something tantamount to our word " enlist," or " recruit." The Parasite asks him 
if he is going to enlist, as the tablets would be wanted in the " Forum," or " Court 
of justice," for tbe purpose of taking down the oaths, and entering the names as 
the parties were sworn. 

1 Should first occur) — Ver. 41. "Prsevolat mihi." Literally, "should fly to 
me beforehand." 

2 Cryphiolathronia) — Ver. 43. This word is mere gibberish : it is compounded 
of Greek words, which would make it to mean " the place of hidden secrecy." The 
part of the flatterer seems to be a little overdone here. 

3 'Tis the Jlesh-pots) — Ver. 49. " Offae monent." " Offa" properly means "a 
lump of flesh," from which it came to signify " victuals" in general. 


and a noble man. See how his long hair becomes him. 
Certainly the women are lucky who share his favours." 

Ptrg. And pray, did they really say so ? 

Arto. They both entreated me to bring you past to-day 
by way of a sight 1 to them. 

Ptrg. 'Tis really a very great plague to be too handsome 
a man. 

Arto. They are quite a nuisance to me ; they are praying, 
entreating, beseeching me, to let them see you ; bidding me 
be fetched to them ; so that I can't give my attention to your 

Pyrg. It seems that it is time for us to go to the Forum, 
that I may count out their pay to those soldiers whom I have 
enlisted of late. For King Seleucus^ entreated me with 
most earnest suit that I would raise and enlist recruits for 
him. To that business have I resolved to devote my attention 
this day. 

Arto. Come, let's be going then. Pyrg. Guards, follow 
me. {Exeunt. 

Scene I. 

Enter Pal^strio 3 . 
Pal. To tell the subject of this our play, I have all 
willingness, if you will but have the kindness to listen to it. 
But he who does not- wish to listen, let him arise and go 
out, that there may be room where he may sit who does wish 
to listen. Now I will disclose to you both the subject and the 
name of the play which we are just now about to act, and for 

1 By way of a sight) — Ver. 67. " Psmpam." Strictly speaking, this word means 
M the escort of a procession," whence it came to signify the "procession" itself. 

2 Seleucus) — Ver. 75. The King of that part of Asia Minor where Ephesus was 

3 Palcestrio) As the Prologue of the play commences with the Second Act, 
it may appear to be misplaced ; but it really is properly placed here, as the pre- 
ceding act is introductory, and has nothing to do with the plot, being void of inci- 
dent. Its purpose is to acquaint us with the character of the Captain, who is U 
be duped and punished in the piece according to his desert* 


the sake of which you are now seated in this mirthful place 1 . 
" Alazon" is the name 5 , in Greek, of this Comedy ; the same 
we call in Latin, "the Braggart" (G-loriosus). This city is 
Ephesus ; then, the Captain, my master, who has gone oft 
hence to the Forum, a bragging, impudent, stinking fellow, 
brimful of lying and lasciviousness, says that all the women 
are following him of their own accord. Wherever he goes, he 
is the laughing-stock of all; and so, the Courtesans here — since 
they make wry mouths at him, you may see the greater part 
of them with lips all awry. I wish you now to know this, 
how I came to be his slave, from him to whom I was servant 
before ; for 'tis not long that I have been in slavery to him. 
Give your attention, for now I will begin the argument. A 
very worthy young man at Athens was my master. He was 
in love with a Courtesan, brought up at Athens, in Attica, 
and she on the other hand loved him ; such affection is most 
worthy to be cherished. In the public service, he was sent 
to Naupactus 3 as Ambassador on behalf of that mighty 
republic. In the mean time, by chance, this Captain 
came to Athens. He introduced himself to this lady of my 
master, began to cajole her mother with presents of wine, 
trinkets, and costly treats ; and so the Captain made himself 
on intimate terms with the procuress. As soon as ever an 
opportunity was presented for this Captain, he tricked this 
procuress, the mother of the damsel, whom my master loved. 
For, unknown to her mother, he put the daughter on board 
ship, and carried this woman, against her will, hither ' to 
Ephesus. Soon as I knew that the lady of my master was 
carried off from Athens, as quickly as ever 1 was able, I 
procured for myself a ship : I embarked, that I might carry 
tidings of this matter to my master at Naupactum. "When 
we had got out to sea, some pirates, as they had hoped to do, 
took that ship on board of which I was ; thus I was undone 
before I reached my master, for whom I had commenced to 
proceed on my voyage. He that took me, gave me as a pre- 

1 This mirthful place) — Ver. 83. He alludes to the theatres, where scenic re- 
presentations took place on public festivals. 

2 Alazon is the name) — Ver. 86. 'AXa^W, " the boaster," he says, was the 
Greek name of the play. It is not known who was the Greek author from whors 
Plautus took this play, which is one of his best. 

3 Naupactus)—Yer. 102. This was a city situate on the sea-coast of ^Etclb. 


sent to this same Captain. After he had taken me home to 
his own house, I saw there that favorite of my master who 
lived at Athens. When, on the other hand, she perceived me, 
she gave me a sign with her eyes not to address her by name. 
Afterwards, when there was an opportunity, the damsel com- 
plained to me of her hard fate. She said that she wished to 
escape to Athens from this house, that she was attached to him, 
that master of mine who lived at Athens, and that she had 
never hated any one more thoroughly than this same Captain. 
As I discovered the feelings of the damsel, I took tablets, 
sealed them in private, and gave them to a certain merchant 
to carry to him (my master, I mean, who was at Athens, and 
who had so loved her), in order that he might come hither. 
He did not slight the message, for he both is come, and is 
lodging here next door, with his host, a friend of his father's, 
a nice old man. He, too, gives every assistance to his guest 
in his amour, and encourages and seconds us with his help and 
his advice. Therefore, here (pointing to the Captain's house), 
in-doors, I have found a grand contrivance, by which to cause 
these lovers, each, to meet the other. For one room, which the 
Captain gave to his mistress for no one but herself to set foot 
in, in that same room I have dug a hole through the party- 
wall, in order that there may secretly be an ingress for the 
damsel from the one house to the other. And this I have 
done with the knowledge of the old gentleman ; 'twas he that 
gave the advice. But my fellow-servant, whom the Captain has 
given as a keeper to his mistress, is a person of no great worth. 
By clever contrivances and ingenious devices, we will throw 
dust 1 in his eyes, and we will make him so as not to see what 
he really does see. And that you may not hereafter make 
mistakes, this damsel to-day, in this house and in that, will 
perform in turn a double part, and will be the same, but will 
pretend to be another, person. Thus will the keeper of the 
damsel be gulled. But there is a noise 2 at the door here of 

. l We will throw dust) — Ver. 148. " Glaucomam objiciemus ;" literally, " we 
will throw a malady in his eyes." M Glaucoma" was a disease of the crys- 
talline humours of the eye. 

2 There is a noise) — Ver. 154. The street doors of the ancients consisted of 
olding-doors, whence the plural form, " fores." These opened outward into the 
street, and not, like those of modern times, within. For this reason, when any 
person was coming out, it was customary for him to give warning by making a 
noise with his knuckles or a stick on the inside } 


the old gentleman, our neighbour. 'Tis himself coming out ; 
'tis he, the nice old man that I was speaking of. (He retires 
to a distance.) 

Sce^e II. 
Enter Periplecomenus from his house. 

Perip. (speaking to his servants within). Faith, if you 
don't in future smash his ankle-bones for any stranger that 
you see on ma tiles, I will cut you so with lashes as to 
make thongs of your sides. My neighbours, i' faith, are over- 
lookers of what is going on in my own house ; so often are 
they peeping down through the skylight 1 . And now, there- 
fore, I give you all notice, whatever person of this Captain's 
household you shall see upon our tiles, except Palaestrio only, 
push him headlong here into the street. Suppose he says that 
he is following some hen, or pigeon, or monkey ; woe be to you. 
if you don't badly maul the fellow even to death. And so, that 
they may commit no infringement against the laws of dice 2 . 

1 Through the skylight) — Ver. 159. The " atrium," or middle hall, of the houses 
of the Romans was a large apartment, roofed over, with the exception of an 
opening in the centre, which was called " impluvium," or " compluvium," towards 
which the roof sloped, so as to throw the rain-water down through pipes into a 
cistern below. Vitruvius says that the " impluvium" was from a fourth to a 
third of the size of the " atrium," or hall below. It was probably glazed, and 
thus would form a sort of sloping skylight. In the present instance, it would 
seem to have overlooked the upper chamber, into which Philocomasium passed 
through the wall of the next house, to meet Pleusicles. 

2 The laws of dice) — Ver. 164. Commentators are much divided as to what is 
the meaning here of " lex alearia," or, as some editions have it " lex talaria.'" 
Some suppose that it simply means " the rules of the game with the ' tali,' or 
1 dice ;' " while others think that Plautus alludes to some recent enactment at 
Rome against games of chance. Such laws were repeatedly promulgated, but im- 
mediately became a mere dead letter. " Talus" means either a person's "ankle- 
bone," or the " knuckle-bone" of an animal, which latter was marked with numbers 
on four sides, and used by the Greeks and Romans in sets of four for the purpose 
of dice. The old man puns on the two meanings, and says, " I'll take care that 
your ' tali ' (or ankle-bones) are broken, so that" (if we adopt the first meaning) 
" you shall not cheat at dice in future," or (if we take the second interpretation) 

'you shall not have an opportunity of infringing the public laws." " Simia," 
which is translated ' ; monkey," is, strictly speaking, " a ahe-ape;" probably a pre- 
sent from the Captain to Philocomasium. 


do you take good care that they keep holiday at home with- 
out any ankle-bones at all. 

Pal. (aside). Something amiss, — what, I know not, has been 
done him by our family so far as I can hear, inasmuch as the 
old man has ordered the ankles of my fellow-servants to be 
broken. But he has excepted me ; nothing care I what he 
does to the rest of them. I'll accost the old man. (Advances.) 

Perip. The person that is coming this way, is he coming 
towards me ? He comes as if he was coming to me. 

Pal. How do you do, Periplecomenus ? 

Perip. There are not many men, if I were to wish, whom 
a would rather now see and meet with than yourself. 

Pal. What's the matter? "What disturbance have you 
with our family? 

Perip. We are done for. Pal. What's the matter? 

Perip. The thing's discovered. Pal. What thing's dis- 

Perip. Some one just now of your household was looking 
in from the tiles through our skylight at Philocomasium and 
my guest as they were toying together. 

Pal. What person saw it ? 

Perip. Your fellow-servant. Pal. Which person was it ? 

Perip. I don't know ; he took himself off so suddenly — in 
an instant. 

Pal. I suspect I'm ruined. Perip. When he went away, 
I cried: "Hallo! you sir!" said I, "what are you doing 
upon the tiles ?" As he went away he replied to me in these 
terms, that he was following a strayed monkey. 

Pal. Woe to wretched me ! that I must be ruined for a worth- 
less beast. But is Philocomasium there with you even still ? 

Perip. When I came out, she was there. 

Pal. If she is, then bid her return to our house as soon as 
ever she can, that the servants may see that she is at home ; 
unless, indeed, she wishes that we, who are slaves, her fellow- 
slaves 1 , should all be given up together to tortures by the 
cross on account of her courting. 

1 Her fellow-slaves) — Ver. 184. He seems to use the word " contubemales," 
" comrades," or " fellow-slaves," as applying to the relation between Philocoma- 
sium and the other slaves in the house ; since, falling into the hands of the Captain, 
she had become reduced to the condition of a slave. The cross was the instrumenl 


Perip. I bade her do so ; unless you would aught else. 

Pal. I would. Tell her this : that, by my troth, she must 
not hesitate at all to bring in play her skill and cleverness. 

Perip. In what way ? Pal. That by her words she may 
persuade him who saw her here at your house, that he did not 
see her. Should he accuse her, on the other hand let her 
convince him with her oath. Even though she were seen a 
hundred times over, still let her deny it. {Aside.) For, if 
she is at all inclined to ill, a woman never goes begging 1 to 
the gardener for material, she has a garden at home and a 
stock of her oton for all mischievous contrivances ; at home 
she has impudence 2 , a lying tongue, perfidiousness, malice, 
and boldness, self-conceit, assurance, and deceitfulness, — at 
home she has wiles, — at home captivating contrivances, — 
stratagems at home. 

Pebip. I'll tell her this, if she shall be in-doors here {point- 
ing to his Jz9use). But what is it, Palaestrio, that you are 
considering with yourself in your mind? 

Pal. Be silent a moment, while I am calling a council in my 
mind, and while I am considering what I am to do, what plan 
I must contrive, on the other hand, as a match for my crafty 
fellow- servant, who has seen her billing here in your house ; 
so that what was seen may not have been seen. 

Perip. Do contrive one ; in the meantime, I'll retire hence 
to a distance from you, to this spot. {He retires to a distance.) 
Look at him, please {to the Audience), revolving his cares 
with brow severe, how he stands. He strikes his breast with his 

of a punishment among the Romans, which was especially inflicted upon slaves. It 
was usually in shape like the let er T or X, but there were various other forms of it. 
The condemned carried his own cross, and, being first stripped, was either nailed 
or bound to it, and in the latter ase was generally left to die of hunger. It must 
be remembered that in the time of the Roman Republic the laws did not protect 
the person or life of the slaves, who were sometimes very barbarously treated. 

1 Never goes begging) — Ver. 1 0. He uses a rather out-of-the-way simile here ; 
he means, to say, " a woman npver needs to go to a gardener's, who has a 
garden of her own, with a most plentiful stock of artfulness," &c. Some Com- 
mentators fancy that he means literally to say that women have always at hand 
plenty of poisonous plants for the purposes of mischief, and that they need not the 
assistance of the gardener or nurseryman when they wish to carry out their 
designs. Such an interpretafcji jesmj, however, to be very far-fetched. 

8 Impudence) — Ver. 192. '• Os;'' literally," " face; similar to a common express 
kou in use with us. 


fingers ; I fancy he's about to call his heart outride. See } he 
shifts his posture ; again he places his left hand upon his left 
thigh. His right hand is reckoning clown his plans upon his 
fingers; in despair he strikes his thigh. His right hand is 
moving rapidly 1 ; with difficulty does it suggest what he is to do. 
He snapshis fingers now; he's striving hard; full oft he changes 
his position. But see how he shakes his head; it pleases 
him not what he has hit upon. Whatever it is, nothing 
crude will he bring forth, something well-digested will he pro- 
duce. But see, he is building ; he has placed his hand as a 
pillar 3 beneath his chin. Have done with it ! in truth, this 
mode of building pleases me not ; for I have heard say that the 
head of a foreign Poet 3 is wont to be supported thus, over 
whom two guards are ever at all hours keeping w r atch. Bravo ! 
how becomingly he stands, — i' faith, how like a very slave 4 , 
and how faithful to his part. Never, this day,w r ill he rest, before 
he has completed that which he is in search of. He has it, I 
suspect. Come — to the business you're about : keep wide 
awake, think not of sleep ; unless, indeed, you wish to be 
keeping your watch here all checquered o'er with stripes. 
"lis I, that am talking to you ; schemer, don't you know that 
I am speaking to you? Palaestrio ! awake, I say; arouse 
yourself, I say ; 'tis daylight now, I say. 

Pal. I hear you. Perip. Don't you see that the enemy 

1 Is moving rapidly) — Ver. 201 " Mico" strictly means, " to have a tremulous 
motion imparted." " Micare digitis" properly meant " to play at a game called 
' mora,' " in which two persons suddenly raised or compressed the fingers, and at 
the same moment each guessed the number of the other. The expression also 
means, " to determine anything by suddenly raising the fingers," as who is to do 
or to have anything. 

2 As a pillar) — Ver. 209. He means that Palaestrio looks up in thought, while 
his clenched hand is placed, as though it were a pillar, beneath his chin. 

3 Qf a foreign Poet) — Ver. 211. " Barbaro." The speaker being supposed to be 
a Greek, and a native' of Ionia, he would speak of a Roman as being " barbarus." 
It is generally supposed that Plautus here refers to the Roman poet Naevius, who 
had a habit of using this posture, and was, as is thought, at that moment in 
prison for having offended, in one of his Comedies, the family of the Metelli. He 
was afterwards liberated on having apologised in his plays called itariolus (the 
Wizard) and Leo (the Lion). Periplecomenus thinks that this posture bodes no 
good, and is ominous of an evil result. 

4 Like a very slave)— Ver. 213. He says that the actor is well representing Uu 
character of the slave. The actors themselves, as already remarked, were gene- 
rally slaves in the earlier times of the Republic. 


is upon you, and that siege is being laid to yourjjack ? Take 
counsel, then ; obtain aid and assistance in this matter ; the 
hastily, not the leisurely, is befitting here. Get the start of 
them in some way, and in some direction this moment lead 
around your troops. Close round the enemy in siege ; pre- 
pare the convoy for our side. Cut off the enemy's provision, 
secure yourself a passage, by which supplies and provision 
may be enabled in safety to reach yourself and your forces. 
Look to this business ; the emergency is sudden. Invent — 
contrive — this instant give us some clever plan ; so that that 
which has been seen here within, may not have been seen ; 
that which has been done, may not have been done. There, 
my man, you undertake a great enterprise ; lofty the defences . 
which you erect. If you yourself alone but say you under- 
take this, I have a certainty that we are able to rout our 

Pal. I do say so, and I do undertake it. 
Perip. And I do pronounce that you shall obtain that 
which you desire. 

Pal. May Jupiter kindly bless you then ! 
Perip. But, friend, do you impart to me the 'plan which 
you have devised. 

Pal. Be silent, then, while I am inducting you in the 
direction of my devices ; that you may know as well as my 
own self my plans. 

Perip. The same you shall receive safe from the same 
spot where you have deposited them. 

Pal. My master is surrounded with the hide of an elephant, 
not his own, and has no more wisdom than a stone. 
Perip. I myself know the same thing. 
Pal. Now, thus I would begin upon my plan ; this con- 
trivance I shall act upon. I shall say that her other own 
twin-sister has come here from Athens, with a certain per- 
son, her lover, to Philocomasium, as like to her as milk is to 
milk. I shall say that they are lodged and entertained here 
in your house. 

Perip. Bravo ! bravo ! cleverly thought of. I approve of 
your device. 

Pal. So that, if my fellow-servant should accuse her be- 
fore the Captain, and say that ho has seen her here at your 
house, toying with another man, I shall assert, on the other 


hand, that my fellow-servant has seen the other one, the 
sister, at your house, fondling and toying with her own lover. 

Peeip. Aye, most excellent. I'll say the same, if the 
Captain shall inquire of me. 

Pal. But do you say that they are extremely alike ; and 
this must be imparted in time to Philocomasium, in order 
that she may know ; that she mayn't be tripping if the 
Captain should question her. 

Peeip. A very clever contrivance. But if the Captain 
should wish to see them both in company together, what 
shall we do then ? 

Pal. That's easy enough. Three hundred excuses may 
be picked up — she is not at home ; she has gone out walk- 
ing ; she is asleep ; she is dressing ; she is bathing ; she is 
at breakfast 1 ; she is taking dessert 2 ; she is engaged ; she is 
enjoying her rest 8 ; in fact, she can't come. There are as 
many of these put-offs as you like, if I can only persuade him 
at the very outset to believe that true which shall be 

Peeip. I like what you say. Pal. Go in-doors then ; and 
if the damsel's there, bid her return home directly, and instruct 
and tutor her thoroughly in this plan, that she may under- 
stand our scheme, as we have begun it, about the twin-sister. 
Peeip. I'll have her right cleverly tutor'd for you. Is 
there anything else ? 

Pal. Only, be off in-doors. Peeip. I'm off. . {Exit. 

1 Is at breakfast) — Ver. 252. Among the Romans some began the day with the 
" jentaculum," which, however, was in general confined to sick persons, the very 
luxurious, or the labouring classes. From Martial we learn that it was taken 
about four in the morning, and it can, therefore, hardly have corresponded witli 
our breakfast. Bread, with cheese or dried fruit, was used at this meal. The 
" prandium," which is here translated " breakfast," is supposed to have been a 
hasty meal, and to have been taken from twelve to one o'clock in the day. 
Sometimes it was of simple character, while occasionally fish, fruit, and wine formed 
part of the repast, in which latter case it would almost correspond with the lun- 
cheon of modern times. 

- She is taking dessert) — Ver. 252. It was the custom of the Romans, after the 
second course of the " ccena" or " dinner" was taken away, to have wine on the 
table, and to prolong the evening with conversation ; perhaps this period is here 
referred to as furnishing one of the excuses to be made. 

3 Is enjoying her rest)— Ver. 252. " Operse non est" usually signifies "she is not 
at leisure," i.e., " she is busy ;" but here it is thought to mean the reverse, " she is 
not at work," " she is taking her ease," and consequently cannot be disturbed. 



Scene III. 

Pal-estrio alone. 

Pal. And I'll go home, too ; and I'll conceal the fact 
that I am giving her my aid in seeking out the man, which 
fellow-servant of mine it was, that to-day was following the 
monkey. For it cannot be but in his conversation he must 
have made some one of the household acquainted about the 
lady of his master, how that he himself has seen her next 
door here toying with some stranger spark. I know the 
habit myself; " I can't hold my tongue on that which I know 
alone." If I find out the person who saw it, I'll plant 
against him all my mantelets 1 and covered works. The 
material is prepared ; 'tis a sure matter that I must take 
this person by force, and by thus besieging him. If so I 
don't find the man, just like a 'hound I'll go smelling about, 
even until I shall have traced out the fox by his track. 
But our door makes a noise : I'll lower my voice ; for here 
is the keeper of Philocomasium, my fellow-servant, coming 
out of doors. {Stands aside.) 

Scene IV. 
Enter ScELEDBUsyrow the Captain's house. 

Scel. Unless, in fact, I have been walking this day in 
my sleep upon the tiles, i' faith, I know for sure that I 
have seen here, at our neighbour's next door, Philocoma- 
sium, the lady of my master, on the high road 2 to mischief 
to herself. 

Pal. {aside). 'Twas he that saw her billing, so far as I 
have heard him say. 

Scel. "Who's that? Pal. Tour fellow-servant. How 
are you, Sceledrus ? 

1 My mantelets) — Ver. 266. " Vinea" was a contrivance used in warfare, made of 
timber covered with raw hides to prevent its being burnt, under which the assail- 
ants were sheltered in their attempts to scale the walls of a fortification. It 
probably answered very nearly to what is called a u mantelet," in the language of 
fortification. " Pluteus" was a similar engine, in the form of a turret, and 
moving on wheels. 

- On the high road) — Ver. 274. " Sibi tnalam rem quwrjit. 1 Literally, " a 
seeking a bad job for herself." 


Scel. I am glad that I have met you, Palaestrio. 

Pal. What now ? Or what's the matter ? Let me know. 

Scel. I'm afraid. Pal. What are you afraid of ? 

Scel. By my troth, lest, this day, as many domestics a? 
there are of us here, we shall jump into a most woful punish- 
ment by way of torture. 

Pal. Jump you alone, please ; for I don't at all like this 
jumping in 1 and jumping out. 

Scel. Perhaps you don't know what new mischance has 
happened at home ? 

Pal. What mischance is this ? Scel. A disgraceful one. 

Pal. Do you then keep it to yourself alone : don't tell it 
me ; I don't want to know it. 

Scel. But I won't let you not know it. To-day I was fol- 
lowing our monkey upon the tiles, next door there. {Points 
to the house.) 

Pal. By my troth, Sceledrus, a worthless fellow, you were 
following a worthless beast. 

Scel. The Gods confound you ! Pal. That befits your- 
self, since you began the conversation. 

Scel. By chance, as it happened, I looked down there 
through the skylight, into the next house ; and there I saw 
Philocomasium toying with some strange young man, I know 
not whom. 

Pal. What scandalous thing is this I hear of you, Sce- 
ledrus ? 

Scel. I' faith, I did see her, beyond a doubt. 

Pal. What, yourself? Scel. Yes, I myself, with these 
eyes of mine. 

Pal. Get away, it isn't likely what you say, nor did you 
see her. 

Scel. Do I, then, appear to you as if I were purblind ? 

Pal. 'Twere better for you to ask the doctor about that. 
But, indeed, if the Gods only love you, don't you rashly 
father this 2 idle story. Nov? are you breeding thence a fatal 
dilemma for your legs and head ; for, in two ways, the cause 

This jumping in) — Ver. 280. Some critics think that there is snme hidden 

meaning or allusion in the words " insulturam" and " desulturam." That hardly 

seems to be the case, for Palasstrio might naturally say in return to the warning 

tf the other, " I like neither your jumping in nor your jumping out." 

» Rashly father this)— Ver. 293. " Tollas fabulam." This metaphor is borrowed 


84 miles gloeiosus ; Act. II. 

is contrived for you to be ruined, unless you put a check 
upon your foolish chattering. 

Scel. But how, two ways? Pal. I'll tell you. First 
then, if you falsely accuse Philocomasium, by that you are 
undone ; in the next place, if it is true, having been ap- 
pointed her keeper, there you are undone. 

Scel. What may happen to me, I know not ; I know for 
certain that I did see this. 

Pal. Do you persist in it, unfortunate wretcli ? 

Scel. What would you have me say to you, but that I 
did see her ? Moreover, she is in there, next door, at this 
very moment. 

Pal. What ! Isn't she at home ? 

Scel. Go and see. Go in-doors yourself; for I don't ask 
now for any confidence to be put in me. 

Pal. I'm determined to do so. Scel. I'll wait here for 
you. (Pal^steio goes into the Captain's house.) 

Scene V. 

Sceledrus, alone. 

Scel. In this direction will I be on the watch for her, how 
soon the heifer may betake herself from the pasture this war 
towards her stall. What now shall I do ? The Captain 
gave me to her as her keeper. Now, if I make a discovery] 
I'm undone ; if I am silent, still I am undone, if this should 
be discovered. What is there more abandoned or more 
daring than a woman ? While I was upon the tiles, this 
woman betook herself out of doors from her dwelling. By 
my troth, 'twas a brazen act she did. If, now, the Captain 
were to know of this, i' faith, I believe he would pull down the 
whole entire house next door, and me he would send to the 
gibbet 1 . Whatever comes of it, i' faith, I'll hold my tongue 
rather than come to a bad end. I cannot keep effectual 
quard on a woman that puts herself up for sale. 

rr^, ine custom among the Romans of laying the new-born child upon the ground 
uuon which it was taken up (tollebatur) by the father, or other person who ia« 
funded to stand in the place of parent to it. 

« To the gibbet)— Ver. 310. "Crucem." Literally, "cross." 


Scene VI. 

llnter Pal^stbio from the Captain's house. 

Pal. Sceledrus, Sceledrus, what one man is there on 
earth more impudent than yourself? Who more fhan your- 
self has been born with the Deities hostile and enraged ? 

Scel. What's the matter? Pal. Do you want those 
eyes of yours gouged out, with which you see what never 
existed ? 

Scel. How, what never existed ? Pal. I would not buy 
your life at the price of a rotten nut. 

Scel. Why, what's the matter? Pal. What's the mat- 
ter, do you ask ? 

Scel. And why shouldn't I ask ? Pal. Why don't you 
beg for that tongue of yours to be cut out, that prates so at 
random ? 

Scel. Why should I beg for that ? 

Pal. Why, Philocomasium is there at home, she whom 
you were saying that you had seen next door kissing and 
toying with another man. 

Scel. 'Tis a wonder that you are in the habit of feeding 
on darnel 1 , with wheat at so low a price. 

Pal. Why so ? Scel. Because you are so dim of sight. 

Pal. You gallows-bird, 'tis you, indeed, that are blind, 
with a vengeance, and not dim of sight ; for, sure enough, 
there she is at home. 

Scel. How ? At home ? Pal. At home, i' faith, un- 

Scel. Be off with you ; you are playing with me, Pakestrio 

Pal. My hands are dirty, then. Scel. How so ? 

Pal. Because I am playing with dirt. 

Scel. A mischief on your head. Pal. Nay rather, Sce- 
ledrus, it shall be on yours, I promise you, unless you 

1 Feeding on darnel)— Ver. 321. Hemeans to say that his sight must have failed 
Dim, and, by way of accounting for it, that he must have lived on tread made of 
darnel. This grain was supposed not only to cause the person eating to appear as 
it intoxicated, but very seriously to affect the eyesight. Ovid says in the Fasti, 
B. 1., I. 691, " Let the fields, also, be clear of darnel that weakens the eye3." 


change for fresh your eyes and your talk. But our door 
made a noise. 

Scel. Well, I shall watch here out of doors ; for there is 
no way by which she can pass hence in-doors, except through 
the front door. 

Pal. Eut there she is, at home. I don't know, Sceledrus, 
what mischief is possessing you ? 

Scel. I see for my own self, I judge for my own self, I 
have especial faith in my own self: no man shall frighten me 
out of it, but that she is in that house. (Points to the house of 
Periplecomenus.) Here I'll take my stand, that she may 
not steal out home without my knowledge. 

Pal. {aside). This fellow is in my hands ; now will I drive 
him from his strong hold. (To Sceledrus.) Do you wish 
me now to make you own that you don't see correctly ? 

Scel. Come, do it then. Pal. And that you neither 
think aright in your mind, nor yet make use of your eyes ? 

Scel. I'd have you do it. Pal. Do you say, then, that 
the lady of your master is there in that house ? 

Scel. I assert, as well, that I saw her here in this house 
(points to the house of Periplecomenus), toying with a 
strange man. 

Pal. Don't you know that there is no communication 
between our house here and that one ? 

Scel. I know it. Pal. Neither by the terrace 1 , nor by 
the garden, only through the skylight ? 

Scel. I know it. Pal. What then, if she is now at home ? 
If I shall make her, so as you may see her, come out hence 
from our house, are you not deserving of many a lashing ? 

Scel. I am so deserving. Pal. Watch that door, then, 
that she may not privily betake herself out thence without 
vour knowledge and pass here into our house. 

Scel. 'Tis my intention to do so. Pal. Upon her feet 2 
will I place her this moment here before you in the street. 

Scel. Come, then, and do so. (Pal^strio goes into the 
Captain's house.) 

1 By the terrace) — Ver. 340. " Solarium" was either a balcony or terrace before 
a house, or on the top of it, which was exposed to the sun. People walked there in 
the cool of the evening. It was from a " solarium" that David first saw Batb- 

2 Upon her feet)— -Ver. 344. Lindemann thinks that " pede" here means "upon 


Scene VII. 


Scel. I wish to know, whether I did see that which I did 
see, or whether he can do that which he says he can do — 
make her to be at home. For, really, I have eyes of mv 
own, and I don't ask to borrow them out of doors. But 
this fellow is for ever fawning about her ; he is always near 
her; he is called first to meat, his mess is given 1 to him 
first. For this fellow has been, perhaps, about three years 
with us ; nor fares it better with any other servant in our 
family than with him. But it is necessary for me to mind 
what I am about ; to keep my eye upon this door. If I take 
my station here, this way, i' faith, I warrant they will never 
impose on me. 

Scene VIII. 

Enter Pal^strio and Philocomasitjm from the Captain's 

Pal. (speaking to her in a low voice as he enters) . Be 
sure to remember my instructions. 

Phil, (aside). It's strange you should so often remind me. 

Pal. (aside). But I fear you may not prove cunning enough. 

Phil, (aside). Give me even ten scholars, though far from 
artful, I could instruct them so as to prove artful ; in me alone 
is there a superabundance of artfulness : come, then, now put 
your plans in force ; I'll step aside here. (Steps aside.) 

Pal. What have you to say, Sceledrus ? 

Scel. (not lifting up his eyes). I'm about this business of 
mine : I have got ears, say what you please. 

her feet ;" as much as to say, " I'll bring her to you on her feet and not standing 
on her head." The true meaning of the passage seems to be, " I'll bring her to 
you standing upon ' terra firma,' and not flying with wings, as you seem to expect." 
1 His mess is given) — Ver. 349. The " pulmentum," or food of the slaves, usually 
consisted of salt, fish, oil, vinegar, and the olives that were windfalls. This food 
received its name from being eaten with a kind of porridge made from meal m 
pulse, which was generally eaten before bread was used, and prcbably continue 
oe the food of the slaves. 


Pal. I think that in that self-same position 1 you will have 
to die outside the gates, when, with hands outstretched, you 
will be carrying your cross. 

Scel. For what reason so ? Pal. Just look on your left 
hand ; who is that lady ? 

Scel. {looking). O ye immortal Gods, it really is the lady 
of my master ! 

Pal. I' faith, so she seems to me as well. Do then, now, 
since so you would have it 

Scel. Do what ? Pal. Die this very instant. 

Phil, (advancing). Where is this faithful servant, who 
has falsely accused me in my innocence of this most heinous 
crime ? 

Pal. See, here he is ; 'tis he that told it me, — assuredly 
'twas he. 

Phil. Villain, did you say that you had seen roe next 
door here kissing ? 

Pal. Besides, he said it was with some strange young 

Scel. I' faith, I did say so, undoubtedly. 

Phil. You, saw me ? Scel. Tes, with these self-same eyes. 

Phil. I fancy you will lose those eyes, which see more 
than what they really do see. 

Scel. By my faith, I shall never be intimidated from 
having seen what I really did see. 

Phil. In my foolishness I am delaying too long in parley- 
ing with this madman, whom, by the powers, I'll punish with 

Scel. Forbear to threaten me : I know that the cross will 
prove my tomb ; there are laid my forefathers, my father, 
grandfather, great-grandfather, great-great-grandfather. 'Tis 
not in possibility, however, for these eyes of mine to be dug 
out 3 by your threats. But I want a few words with you ; 
prithee, Palsestrio, whence came she hither ? 

1 In that selfsame position) — Ver. 359. Sceledrus is standing before the door with 
both arms stretched out that Philoeomasium may not come out without his know- 
ing. Palasstrio tells him, that when he comes to be fastened en the cross for his 
negligence, he will have to assume that attitude. The gate here alluded to is sup- 
posed to have been the Esquiline, or Metian gate at Rome, a place near which 
was devoted to the punishment of slaves. Athens and other Greek cities had 

' the gate of Charon," through, which malefactors passed to punishment. 

2 To be dug out) — Ver. 374. That is, M you cannot make me not to have seen 
what I really did see." 


Pal. Whence but from our house ? Scel. From our 
house ? 

Pal. Do you credit me 1 ? Scel. I do credit you: but 
'tis a thing to be wondered at, how she has been able to re- 
turn from that house to ours. For, beyond a doubt, we have 
neither a terrace to our house, nor any garden, nor any 
window but what is latticed 2 . (To Philocomasium.) But, 
undoubtedly, I did see you in the house next door. 

Pal. Do you persist, you rascal, in pretending to accuse 

Phil. In good sooth, then, the dream has not turned out 
untrue, that I dreamed last night. 

Pal. What did you dream ? Phil. I'll tell you ; but, I 
pray you, give attention. Last night, in my sleep, my twin- 
sister seemed to have come from Athens to Ephesus with a 
certain person, her lover. Both of them seemed to me to be 
having their lodgings here next door. 

Pal. (to the Audience). The dream that's being related 
is Palgestrio's — pray, go on. 

Phil. I seemed to be delighted because my sister had come, 
and on her account I seemed to be incurring a most grievous 
suspicion. For, in my sleep, my own servant seemed to 
accuse me, as you are now doing, of being caressed by a 
strange young man, whereas it was that own twin-sister of 
mine, who had been toying with her own friend. Thus did 
I dream that I was wrongfully accused of a crime. 

Pal. And isn't just the same thing befalling you when 
awake, that you speak of as seen in your sleep ? Capital ; 
i' faith, the dream is verified: go in-doors, and pray 3 . I 
should recommend that this be told to the Captain. 

1 Do you credit me) — Ver. 364. "Viden?" Literally, "do you look at me?" 
The Romans, when they wished to impress any one with the belief that they 
were speaking seriously and in good faith, used this phrase, or " vide me," " look 
at me now." Our expression, "do you look me in the face and say so?" is 
somewhat similar. 

2 But what is latticed) — Ver. 379. The " clathri" were a kind of lattice or treLjs- 
work, which, as well as network, was sometimes placed before windows to prevent 
nerpents and other noxious reptiles from getting in. 

3 A.-, dp-ray)— Ver. 394. After any ill-omened dream, it was the custom to offer 
corn and frankincense to Jupiter Prodigialis, " the disposer of prodigies," and othei 
of the Deities, in order that evil might be averted. 


Phil. I am resolved to do so ; nor, in fact, will I allow 
myself, with impunity, to be accused of disgraceful conduct, 
(Goes into the Captain's house.) 

Scene IX. 


Scel. I fear for the thing I have done ; my back does so 
tingle all over. 

Pal. Are you not aware that you are done for ? 

Scel. Now, indeed, I'm sure she is at home ; I am now 
resolved to watch our door, wheresoever she may be. {Places 
himself at the door.) 

Pal. But, prithee, Sceledrus, how very like the dream she 
dreamt to what has happened ; and how you really did believe 
that you had seen her kissing. * * * * # 

Scel. And do you suppose that I didn't see her ? 

Pal. I' faith, I verily believe you'll come to your senses 
when 'tis too late. If this matter should only reach our 
master, you certainly are undone. 

Scel. Now, at length, I find out that there was a mist 
placed before my eyes. 

Pal. I' faith, that really has been plain for some time now ; 
as she was here in-doors all the while. 

Scel. Not a word of certainty have I to utter ; I did not 
see her, although I did see her. 

Pal. By my troth, through this folly of yours you certainly 
have nearly ruined us ; while you have wished to prove yourself 
faithful to your master, you have been almost undone. But 
the door of our next neighbour makes a noise ; I'll be silent. 

Scene X. 

Enter Phllocomasium 1 , dressed in another habit, from the 
house o/Periplecomenus. 

Phil, (to a servant Servant). Put fire on the altar, that 

1 Phllocomasium) Sceledrus having been duly prepared, Philocomasium ap- 
pears as her twin-sister, who is supposed to have come the day before from Athen* 
to Ephesus, and gives directions about returning thanks for having landed in 
safety. As the circumstance of the communication between the houses is known 
to the Audience, and is not suspected by Sceledrus, his embarrassment is highty 
diverting, and very cleverly depicted. 


in my joy I may return praises and thanks to Diana oi 
Ephesus, and that I may send up for her a grateful smoke 
with odours of Arabia: she who has preserved me in tho 
realms of Neptune and amid the boisterous temples 1 , where 
with raging billows I have been so recently dismayed. 

Scel. (discovering her). Palsestrio ! O Palaestrio ! 

Pal. Sceledrus ! Sceledrus ! What is it you want ? 

Scel. This lady that has come out of that house just now 
■ — is she Philocomasium, our master's lady, or is she not ? 

Pal. I' faith, I think, it seems to be she. But 'tis a 
wondrous thing how she could pass from our house to next 
door ; if, indeed, it is she. 

Scel. And have you any doubt that this is she ? 

Pal. It seems to be she. Scel. Let us approach her, and 
accost her. Hallo ! how's this, Philocomasium ? What is 
there owing to you in that house ? What is your business 
there ? Why are you silent now ? I am speaking to you. 

Pal. No, faith, you are talking to yourself; for nothing at 
all does she answer. 

Scel. I am addressing you, woman, brimful of viciousness 
and disgrace, who are roaming about among your neighbours. 

Phil. To whom are you talking ? Scel. To whom but to 

Phil. What person are you ? Or what business have you 
with me ? 

Scel. O, you ask me who I am, do you ? 

Phil. Why shouldn't I ask that which I don't know ? 

Pal. Who am I, then, if you don't know him ? 

Phil. Tou are an annoyance to me, whoever you are, both 
you and he. 

Scel. What? don't you know us ? Phil. No, neither of you. 

Scel. I very much fear Pal. What do you fear ? 

Scel. Why, that we have lost ourselves somewhere or 
other ; for she says that she knows neither you nor me. 

Pal. I wish, Sceledrus, to examine into this, whether we 
are ourselves, or else some other persons ; lest secretly some- 
how some one of our neighbours may have transformed us 
without our knowing it. 

1 Boisterous temples) — Ver. 413. In the language of the Poets, Neptune and th« 
inferior Sea Divinities are supposed to have their temples and abodes in the so* 
*nd rivers. 


Scel. For my part, beyond a doubt, I am my own self. 

Pal. I' faith, and so am I. Scel. My lady, you are 
seeking your destruction. To you I am speaking ; hark you, 
Philocomasium ! 

Phil. What craziness possesses you, to be calling me 
wrongly by a crackjaw name 1 ? 

Scel. How now ! What are you called, then ? 

Phil. My name is Glycera. Scel. For a bad purpose, 
Philocomasium, you wish to have a wrong name. Away with 
you, shocking woman ; for most notably are you doing a 
wrong to my master. 

Phil. I ? Scel. Yes, you. 

Phil. I, who arrived from Athens yesterday evening at 
Ephesus, with my lover, a young man of Athens ? 

Scel. Tell me, what business have you here in Ephesus ? 

Phil. I had heard that my own twin-sister is here in 
Ephesus ; I came here to look for her. 

Scel. You're a good-for-nothing woman. 

Phil. Yes, i' faith, I am a very foolish one to be parleying 
with you fellows. I am going. 

Scel. I won't let you go. (Catches hold of her.) 

Phil. Let me go. Scel. You are discovered in the fact. 
I won't let you go. 

Phil. But my hands shall just now sound again against 
your cheek, if you don't let me go. 

Scel. (to Pal^strio). Why the plague are you standing 
idle ? Why don't you hold her on the other side ? 

Pal. I don't choose to bring the business down upon my 
back. How do I know but that this is not Philocomasium, 
but is some other female that resembles her ? 

Phil. Will you let me go, or will you not let me go ? 

Scel. No ; by force and against your will, in spite of you, 
I'll drag you home, unless you'll go of your own accord. 

Phil, ('pointing to the Aow^o/'Periplecomenus). This is 
my lodging here abroad 2 , at Athens is my home. 

1 Crackjaw name) — Ver. 434. " Perplexo nomine." The Commentators seem 
to think that this means no more than " by my wrong name." The word " per- 
plexo" seems, however, to refer to the extreme length of the name, as well as the 
fact that it does not belong to her. 

2 Lodging here abroad) — Ver. 450. " Hosticum domicilium," " my lodging when 
abroad." " Hostis" originally meant merely " a foreigner;" whereas its later sig- 
nification was " an enemy." 


Scel. But jour master lives here (pointing to the Cap- 
tain's house). 

Phil. I have nothing to do with that house, nor do I 
know or understand yourselves what persons you are. 

Scel. Proceed against me 1 at law. I'll never let you go, 
until you give me your solemn word that you will go in- 
doors here (pointing to the Captain's house) if I let go ol 

Phil. You are compelling me by force, whoever you are. 
I gi re you my word, that if you let go of me, I will go into 
that house where you bid me. 

Scel. Then, now I let go of you. Phil. And, as I'm let 
go, I'll go in here. (Buns into the house of Peeipleco 

Scene XI. 


Scel. She has acted with a woman's honour. 

Pal. Sceledrus, you've lost the prey through your 
hands ; as sure as possible she is the lady of our master. 
Do you intend to act in this matter with spirit ? 

Scel. How am I to act ? Pal. Bring me a sword out hero 
from in-doors. 

Scel. "What will you do with it ? 

Pal. I'll break right into the house 2 ; and whatever man 
I see in-doors there caressing Philocomasium, I'll behead 
him on the spot. 

Scel. And do you think that it was she ? 

Pal. I' faith, it was she, sure enough. Scel. But how 
she did dissemble. 

Pal. Go, bring me a sword out here. 

Scel. I'll have it here thismoment. (Goes into the Cap- 
tain's house.) 

Scene XII. 
Paljesteio alone. 
Pal. Beyond a doubt, neither any horse nor foot has so 

1 Proceed against me) — Ver. 453. " Lege agito." " Lege agere" was a technical 
expression, meaning " to bring an action," or " to sue a person at law." It is said 
to have been the formal expression in commencing an action or suit. 

2 Into the home)— Vet. 460. The mock rage of Palaestrio herd is admirablj 

94 MILES gloeiostjs ; Act IL 

great a degree of boldness in carrying out anything with 
as much confidence as some women. How cleverly and how 
skilfully she performed her part in both her characters! 
— how her wary keeper, my fellow-servant, is being gulled ! 
'Tis most fortunate that the passage communicates through 
the party-wall. 

Scene XIII. 
Enter ScELEDBUs/hm the Captain's house. 

Scel. Hallo ! Palaestrio, there's no occasion for the sword. 

Pal. How so ? — or what's the matter now? 

Scel. Our master's lady is there, at home. 

Pal. "What ? At home ? Scel. She's lying on the sofa. 

Pal. Faith, but you've certainly brought on yourself a 
disagreable affair, according to what you report. 

Scel. How so? Pal. Inasmuch as you have dared ta 
touch that lady next door here. 

Scel. I' faith, I fear it much. But no one shall ever make 
her to be any other than her own twin-sister. 

Pal. 'Twas she, in troth, that you saw toying : and, in 
fact, 'tis plain that it is she, as you remark. 

Scel. What was there more likely than that I should have 
been undone, if I had spoken of it to my master. 

Pal. Then, if you're wise, you'll hold your tongue. It 
befits a servant to know of more than he speaks. I'm going 
to leave you, that I may not at all participate in your de- 
signs. And I shall go to our neighbour here ; these turmoil? 
of yours don't please me. My master, if he comes, should he 
inquire for me, I shall be there ; send forme next door. {Goes 
into the house o/Periplecohenus.) 

Scene XIV. 

Sceledrus, alone. 

Scel. Well, he's off; nor cares he any more for his master's 
business than if he were not in his service. For sure she 
really is now here in-doors in the house, for I myself found 
her just now lying down in our house. I am resolved now 
to employ myself in watching. (Places himself against the 
Captain's door.) 


Scene XV. 
Enter Peeiplecomenus from his house. 

Peeip. Faith, but these men here, these servants of my 
neighbour the Captain, take me not to be a man, but a woman, 
so much do they trifle with me. My lady guest, who came 
here yesterday from Athens with the gentleman, my guest, ia 
she to be mauled about and made fun of here in the street — 
a lady, free-born and free ? 

Scel. (aside). By my troth, I'm undone. He's coming 
in a straight line up towards me. I fear that this matter 
may cause me great trouble, so far as I have heard this old 
gentleman speak. 

Peeip. I'll up to this fellow. Was it you, Sceledrus, 
source of mischief, that were just now making fun of my lady 
guest before the house ? 

Scel. Good neighbour, listen, I beg. Peeip. I, listen 
to you ? 

Scel. I wish to clear myself. Peeip. You, clear yourself 
to me, who have done an action so gross and so unbecoming? 
And because you are soldiers 1 , do you suppose, you gallows- 
bird, that you may do what you like with us ? 

Scel. May I ? Peeip. But so may all the Gods and 

Goddesses prosper me, if a punishment with the rod 2 is not 
given to you at my request, a long and lasting one, from 
norning to evening ; because you have been breaking my 
gutters and my tiles, while you were following there a 
monkey like your own self 3 ; because, too, you have been 
peeping down from there at my guest in my house, when 
he was caressing and fondling his mistress ; besides, you have 

1 Because you are soldiers) — Ver. 499. He alludes to the lawless character of 
the mercenary soldier, whose name, " latro," came afterwards to be applied to rob- 
bers and cut-throats of all descriptions. It may be here remarked, that the word 
" miles," which is applied throughout the play to their master, the Captain, is a 
general term for one following the profession of arms, whether officer or private. 
The word is translated " Captain," without reference to his rank, any further than 
that he was a commanding officer. 

2 With the rod) — Ver. 502. The slaves were more frequently beaten with 
flagra," or whips;" but they were sometimes scourged with "virgae," or 

4 rods." This was done by the " lorarius," a slave who was kept for the purpose. 
' Like your own self) — Ver. 505. " Condignam te ;" literally, " worthy," or de- 
serving of yourself. 


dared to accuse the chaste lady of your master of criminality, 
and myself of a heinous offence ; and further, because you 
have dared to maul about my lady guest before my house. 
If the punishment of the whip is not given to you, I will cause 
your master to be more laden with disgrace than the sea is full 
of waves in a heavy storm. 

Scel. I am driven to such straits, Periplecomenus, that I 
don't know whether it is fitter for me rather to dispute this. 
matter with you, or whether, if she is not our lady, and if our 
lady was not seen by me, it seems more proper for me to 
excuse myself to you ; as even now I don't know which I saw, 
so like is that guest of yours to our lady — if, indeed, she is 
not the same person. 

Peeip. Go into my house and look : you'll soon see. 

Scel. May I go ? Perip. Why, I command you ; go and 
examine at your leisure. 

Scel. I am determined to do so. {Goes into the house of 

Scene XVI, 


Perip. {probably looking up to a window in the Captain's 
house). Ho! Philocomasium 1 ! pass instantly, with all speed, 
into my house ; 'tis absolutely necessary. Afterwards, when 
Sceledrus shall have come out from my house, pass quickly, 

1 Philocomasium)— Ver. 522. Directly Sceledrus turns his back, the old man calls 
out for Philocomasium, who is supposed at that moment to be in the Captain's 
house. How he does so is somewhat of a mystery to the Commentators. Thornton, 
in his translation, suggests that he calls through the window, where it is natural to 
imagine that Philocomasium might be stationed within hearing to observe all that 
passed. He could hardly, however, call " through" the window of the ground- 
floor, as these were generally more than six feet from the ground ; and, indeed, 
there were rarely any windows at all on the basement. It is most likelv that 
Philocomasium is hidden behind the " clatri" or " lattice" of the window in her 
room on the first-floor, whence she observes all that passes. In a future line we 
find Acroteleutium and Milphidippa owning that they had been watching from 
the window what was going on outside. Schmieder thinks that the whole plan 
having been prearranged between Periplecomenus and Philocomasium, he merely 
on this occasion makes a sign to her, the meaning of which is here expressed i& 
words, and he supposes, what it does not deem necessary to suppose, that his ser- 
vants have been ordered to delay Sceledrus, so as to give time to the damsol t* 
pass through into his house. 


with all haste, back again to your own house. By my troth, 
now, I'm afraid she'll be making some blunder. Should he 
not see the woman * * * * My door opens. 

Scene XYIL 

Enter ScELEDitusyrom the house of Periplecomenus. 

Scel. O ye immortal Gods ! A woman more like, and more 
the same, who is not the same, I do not think the Gods coidd 

Perip. What now ? Scel. I certainly merit chastisement. 

Perip. "What then ? Is it she ? Scel. Although 'tis she, 
'tis not she. 

Perip. Have you seen this lady ? Scel. I have seen both 
her and the gentleman, your guest, caressing and kissing. 

Perip. Is it she ? Scel. I know not. 

Perip. "Would you know for certain ? Scel. I should 
like to. 

Perip. Go you this instant into your own house: see 
whether your lady is within. 

Scel. Very well : you've advised me rightly. I'll be out 
again to you this instant. (Goes into the Captain's house.} 

Perip. I' faith, I never saw any man more cleverly fooled, 
and by more singular devices. But here he is coming. 

Scene XVIII. 
Enter Scelee-rus/tow the Captain's house. 

Scel. Periplecomenus, by Gods and men, and by my own 
folly, and by your knees ! I do beseech you 

Perip. What now ? Scel. Pardon my ignorance and 
my folly ; now, at length, I know that I am half-witted, 
blind, and thoughtless; for, behold! Philocomasium is at 

Perip. How, then, hang-dog 1 . Have you seen them both ? 

Scel. I have seen them. Perip. I wish you to bring 
your master to me. 

1 Hang-dog) — Ver. 545. " Furcifer." Literally, " bearer of the 'furca.' " Slaves 
are repeatedly thus called in these plays, as, by way of punishment for their mis- 
deeds, they were compelled to carry a " furca," or two pieces of wood shaped like th« 
etter V, round their necks, with then- hands tied to the ends of the instrument. 

9S MILES qloriosus, Act II. 

Scel. Indeed, I confess that I deserve a very great 
punishment ; and I own that I have done a wrong to your 
lady guest. But I thought that she was the lady of my 
master, to whom the Captain, my master, gave me as a 
keeper ; for it is not possible for water ever to be drawn more 
like to water from the same well, than is she to this lady 
guest of yours. And I will confess, as well, that I did look 
through the skylight into your house. 

Peeip. Why shouldn't you confess what I saw myself ? 

Scel. And there saw in your house this lady guest of 
yours, kissing. 

Perip. You saw her ? Scel. I saw her. Why should I 
deny what I did see ? But I fancied that I had seen Philoco- 

Perip. And did you suppose me to be the very vilest 
of all men, in allowing 1 , with my own knowledge, such an 
injury so glaringly to be done to my neighbour ? 

Scel. Now, at length, I am of opinion that it was done 
foolishly by me, when I come to understand the matter ; but 
still I did not do it with any ill intent. 

Perip. Yes, but 'twas improperly done ; for it befits a 
person that is a servant to keep his eyes, and hands, and 
talk, asleep. 

Scel. Now, if after this day I mutter anything, even what 
I know for certain, give me over to torture ; I'll give myself 
up to you. This time, prithee, do pardon me for this. 

Perip. I shall subdue my feelings, so as to think that it 
was not done by you with malicious intent. I will pardon 
you in this matter. 

Scel. May the Gods bless you, then ! 

Perip. Troth now, as the Gods may prosper you, really 
do restrain your tongue henceforth ; even that which you 
do know, don't know, and don't you see what you do see. 

Scel. You counsel me aright ; so I'm resolved to do. Are 
you quite appeased ? 

Perip. Away with you. Scel. Is there aught else you 
now require of me ? 

Perip. That you would know me not. {Makes as if ho 
is departing.} 

1 In allowing) — Ver. 559. The old gentleman must surely have changed coloar 
when he said this. 


Soel. {aside). He has been cajoling me. He w kindly he 
vouchsafed his favour not to be angry. I know what plan 
he is upon : that directly the Captain returns home from 
the Forum, I may be caught at home. He and Palaestrio to- 
gether have me in their power : I have perceived that, and 
for some time I've known it. I' faith, never will I be seek- 
ing a bait this day from out of that wicker-net 1 . For now 
somewhither will I betake myself, and for some days will I 
lie concealed until this turmoil is hushed and their resent- 
ment is softened. Enough punishment for my unlucky pra- 
ting have I already merited. But still, whatever befals me, 
I'll be oif hence home. {Goes into the Captain's house?) 

Scene XIX. 
Periplecomenijs, alone. 
Perip. So he has departed hence. I' faith, I know right 
well, that a dead pig full oft has more relish 2 by far than a 
living one : so bamboozled has he been, that he did not see 
what he really did see. For his eyes, and ears, and thoughts 
have come over to us. So far, 'tis right cleverly managed ; 
the lady has played her part most excellently. I'll go back 
again to my Senate 3 ; forPalsestrio is now at home in my 
house, and now Sceledrus is gone from the door. A fuK 
Senate can now be held. I'll go in ; lest while I am absent, 
there should be a distribution 4 of their parts among them. 
( Goes into his house.) 

1 That wicker-net) — Ver. 581. The "na&sa" was a contrivance, by means of joining 
willow rods, for catching fish. It was probably somewhat in the :>hape of a large 
bottle with a narrow mouth, which was placed with a bait in it, facing the current 
of the stream. See the Halieuticon of Ovid, 1. 11. 

2 Has more relish) — Ver. 587. He " puns" on the word " sapis ;" and probably 
this was a common saying of the day. " Sapio" means either " to be wise," or "to 
have a relishing flavour." Now, inasmuch as the flesh of the pig is of a relishing 
nature, it may be very truly said, that it has more of the " sapit" in it when dead 
than alive. In reference to Sceledrus, he seems to mean that he will prove cf 
much more use to their plan now he is bewildered and half deprived of his senses, 
than when in full possession of his faculties ; and that, in fact, so far as their object 
is concerned, there will be more of the " sapit" in him now than there was befors. 

3 To my Senate) — Ver. 592. He calls his fellow-plotters in the mischief, namely, 
Palsestrio, Philocomasium, and Pleusicles, his Senate, which is now meeting in 
consultation. When sitting in deliberation, the Senate was said to be " frecaets " 
which may be rendered " sitting," or " full." 

* Re a distribution)— Yer. 595. " Sortitus," or " sortitio, ' was the distribution bj 



Scene L 

Enter Pal^strio from the house of Periplecomenus. 

Pal. (on entering he calls to Pleusicles and Periple- 
comenus, who are in the house of the latter). Keep yourselves 
within 1 doors, yet a moment, Pleusicles. Let me first 
look out, that there may be no ambush anywhere, against 
that council which we intend to hold. For now we have 
need of a safe place from which no enemy can win the spoils 
of our counsels. For a well-devised plan is very often filched 
away, if the place for deliberating has not been chosen with 
care or with caution ; and what is well-advised is ill-advised 
if it proves of use to the enemy ; and if it proves of use to 
the enemy, it cannot otherwise than prove a detriment to 
yourself. For if the enemy learn your plans, by your own 
self-same plans they tie your tongue and bind your hands ; 
and they do the very same to you that you intended to do to 
them. But I'll spy about, lest any one, either in this direc- 
tion on the left or on the right, should come like a huntsman 
on our counsels with his ears like toils 1 . (Looks about.) 
Quite vacant is the prospect hence right to the bottom of the 
street. I'll call them out. Hallo ! Periplecomenus and 
Pleusicles, come out ! 

Scene II. 

Enter Periplecomenus and Pleusicles from the house of 

the former. 

Perip. Behold us here obedient to your call. 

the Senate of the Roman provinces among the Proconsuls. He keeps up the Me- 
taphor of the Senate, and says, that he must make haste, or all the provinces will 
be distributed ; or, hi other words, that each party will have agreed on the part 
he has to play, and will leave him nothing to do. 

1 Keep yourselves within) — Ver. 596. There was but one Scene throughout the 
representation of each Eoman Comedy. In the present instance, the Scene 
is in front of the houses of Periplecomenus and the Captain. Nothing can more 
strikingly show the absurdity of such a plan than the present instance: where 
Palsestrio comes out of the house of Periplecomenus, for the very purpose, right in 
front of the house of his own master, of holding a conversation and completing hi» 
plot with Pleusicles and Periplecomenus, for the purpose of deceiving his master 
and carrying off his mistress. With machinery so defective, it is only surprising 
that the writer completed his task so well as he has done. 

2 Ears lite tails^—Ver 608. " Auritis pla« is •." literally " toils with ears." 


Pal. The sway is easy over the good. Bui I wish to know, 
if we are to carry out the matter on the same plan that we 
formed within ? 

Peeip. Why, in fact there's nothing can be more condu- 
cive to our purpose. "Well, what say you, Pleusicles ? 

Pleus. Can that displease me which pleases yourselves? 
What person is there more my friend than your own self? 

Peeip. You speak kindly and obligingly. Pal. Faith, 
and so he ought to do. 

Pleus. But this affair shockingly distresses me, and tor- 
ments my very heart and body. 

Peeip. What is it that torments you ? Tell me. 

Pleus. That I should cause childish actions in a person of 
your years, and that I should require of you deeds that neither 
become yourself nor your virtues; and that, with all your might, 
for my sake you are striving to aid me in my passion, and 
are doing actions of such a kind, as, when done, these years of 
yours are wont rather to avoid than follow. I am ashamed 
that I cause you this trouble in your old age. 

Peeip. You are a person in love after a new fashion. If, 
in fact, you are ashamed of anything you do, you are nothing 
of a lover. You are rather the shadow of those who are in love, 
than a true lover, Pleusicles. 

Pleus. Ought I to employ these years of yours in second- 
ing my love ? 

Peeip. How say you ? Do I seem to you so very much a 
subject for Acheron 1 ? So much a bier's-man 2 ? Do I seem 
to you to have had so very long a life ? Why, really, I am 
not more than four-and-fifty years old ; I see clearly with my 
eyes, I'm ready with my hands, I'm active with my feet. 

Pal. If he is seen by you to have white hair, he is by no 
means an old man in mind ; in him the natural strength of 
his mind is unimpaired. 

1 Subject for Acheron) — Ver. 627. " Acherunticus," " an inhabitant of Ache- 
ron," meaning " one on the very verge of the grave." 

2 A bier's-man) — Ver. 628. The bodies of the more respectable people were ear- 
ned to the grave on a kind of couch, which was called " feretrum," or " capulus ; ,J 
whence the present term " capularis," " a subject for the ' capulus.' " The bodies 
of poor citizens and slaves were carried on a kind of bier, called " sandapila." 
Oudendorf and Becker think, however, that the word " capulus" means " a 
coffin" of wood or of stone, and not the same as " feretrum," " a couch, or bier." 
The old gentleman is very naturally somewhat offended at the remark of Pleu- 


Pleus. By my troth, for my part, I have found it to be sc 
as you say, PalaBstrio ; for, in fact, his kindness is quite that 
of a young man. 

Perip. Yes, my guest, the more you make trial of it, the 
more you will know my courtesy towards you in your love. 

Pleus. What need to know what's known already? 

Perip. I'll show you more amiability on my part than I'L 
make mention of * * * • '• * * 

that you may have instances for proving it at home, and not 
have to seek it out of doors. For unless one has loved him- 
self, with difficulty he sees into the feelings of one in love. 
But I have some little love and moisture in my body still, 
and not yet am I dried up for the pursuits of merriment and 
pleasure. Either the merry banterer likewise, or the agreable 
boon-companion will I be ; no interrupter of another am I at 
a feast. I bear in mind how properly to keep myself from 
proving disagreable to my fellow-guests ; and how to take a 
due share with my conversation, and to be silent as well in my 
turn, when the discourse belongs to another. Par from being 
a spitter or hawker am I, far from being a dirty-nosed old 
fellow, too. And never do I take liberties with any person's 
mistress when out in company ; I don't snatch up the dainty 
bits before another, nor take the cup before my turn ; nor, 
through wine, do dissensions ever arise on my account at the 
convivial board. If there is any one there that is disagreable, I 
go off home ; I cut the parley short. Stretched at my ease, I 
devote myself to pleasure, love, and mirth. In fine, at Ephesus 
was I born, not among the Apulians, not at Animula 1 . 

Pleus. O what a most delightful old man, if he possesses 
the qualities he mentions ! Why, troth, surely now, he was 
brought up in the very rearing of Yenus. 

Pal. Why, in fact, you will not find another person who 
is of his years, more accomplished in every respect, or who is 
more a friend to his friend. 

Pleus. By my troth, your whole manners really do show 

1 At Animula) — Ver. 654. The people of Apulia, in the south of Italy, were noted 
for their clownish manners. Animula, as we learn from Festus, was a little 
town in that country; probably its inhabitants were the most remarkable of all 
for their rusticity. Absurdities and anachronisms not unfrequently occur in ocr 
author. There is something absurd in a merry old gentleman of Ephesus going aul 
the way to Animula for a simile. 


marks of first-rate breeding. Find me three men of such 
manners against a like weight in double-distilled gold 1 . 

Perip. I'll make you confess that I really am a youngster 
in my manners ; so abounding in kindnesses will I prove 
myself to you in every respect. Should you have need of an 
advocate, severe or fierce ? I am he. Have you need of one that 
is gentle ? Tou shall say that I am more gentle than the sea 
is when hush'd, and something more balmy will I prove than 
is the Zephyr breeze 2 . In this same person will I display to 
you either the most jovial boon-companion, or the first-rate 
"trencher-man 3 , and the best of caterers. Then, as for dancing, 
there is no ballet-master that is so supple as I. 

Pal. (to Pletjsicles). What could you wish added to these 
accomplishments, if the option were given you ? 

Pletjs. That thanks could be returned by me to him in 
degree equal to his deserts, and to yourself, to both of whom 
I feel that I am now the cause of extreme anxiety. But it is 
grievous to me to be the cause of so great expense to you. 

Perip. Tou are a simpleton. For, if you lay anything 
out on a bad wife and upon an enemy, that is an expense ; 
that which is laid out on a deserving guest and a friend is 
gain ; as that, which is expended upon sacred rites, is a 
profit to the wise man. By the blessing of the Grods, I have 
enough, with which to receive you with hospitality in my 
house. Eat, drink, indulge your tastes with me, and surfeit 
yourself with enjoyments ; my house is at your service, myself 

1 Double distilled gold) — Ver. 660. " Aurichalco" probably signifies here, as in 
some other passages, a fabulous metal of more value than even gold. " Orichalcum,'' 
however, properly means either one of the ores of copper, or a metallic compound 
much used by the ancients, which was probably brass, formed by the combination of 
zinc ore and copper. Supposing gold to be one of its constituents, they corrupted its 
original name, " orichalcum," into " aurichalcum." The former word is supposed 
by the author of the article " orichalcum," in Dr. Smith's Dictionary, to have been a 
compound of opos and ^uXkos, " mountain bronze," so called from fusing 
copper with an ore as found in the mountains. " Contra," in this sentence, has 
the meaning of " to " or " against," in staking for a bet: "three men against 
their weight in gold;" " a horse to a hen," as the betting men sometimes say. 

2 The Zephyr breeze) — Ver. 665. Literally, " Favonius," one of the names of 
tha West wind. 

3 First-rate trencher-man) — Ver. 667. " Parasitus " cannot be here intended to 
be used in a bad sense, as he is speaking of his own merits. It must mean " a boon- 
companion," or "jolly fellow." 


likewise do I wish to be at your service. For, through the 
blessing of the Gods, I may say that, by reason of my wealth, 
I could have married a dowered wife of the best family ; but 
I don't choose to introduce an everlasting female barker at 
me into my house. 

Pleus. Why don't you choose ? For 'tis a delightful thing 
to be the father of children [liberos]. 

Perip. Troth, 'tis very much sweeter by far to be free 1 
[liberum] yourself. For a good wife, if it is possible for her 
to be married anywhere on earth, where can I find her ? 
But am I to take one home who is never to say this to me, 
" Buy me some wool, my dear, with which a soft and warm 
cloak may be made, and good winter under-clothes 2 , that you 
mayn't catch cold this winter- weather ;" such an expression 
as this you can never hear from a wife, but, before the 
cocks crow, she awakes me from my sleep, and says, " Give 
me some money, my dear, with which to make my mother a 
present on the Calends 3 , give me some money to make pre- 
serves ; give me something to give on the Quinquatrus 4 to 
the sorceress 5 , to the woman who interprets the dreams, to 

1 To be free) — Ver. 683. There is a play on the word " liber," here, which 
means' either " a child," or " a free person." He says that it is much more plea- 
sant to be " liberum" (a free person), than to be the father of a " liberum" 
(a child). The word " liber," meaning " a child," is very rarely used in the sin- 
gular number. The remark of Pleusicles is rather modified in the translation. 

2 Under-clothes) — Ver. 687. The " tunica" was that part of the clothing which 
was next to the skin. 

3 On the Calends) — Ver. 690. He alludes to the Calends of March, which, as 
the commencement of the old Roman year, was particularly celebrated by the 
Reman matrons, who then gave presents to each other, and received them from 
their husbands. The festival was called " Matronalia," and sacrifices were offered 
to Juno Lucina, the guardian of pregnant women. See the Fasti of Ovid, B. 3, 
1. 257. 

* On the Quinquatrus) — Ver. 691. The first day of the " Quinquatrus," or 
" five-day feast," was on the 1 9th of March. Festus says, that it had its name 
from its beginning on the fifth day after the Ides. See the Fasti of Ovid, B. 3, 
1. 810. This festival was sacred to Minerva. 

5 To the sorceress) — Ver. 692. The " prascantrix" was a woman who, by her 
incantations, was powerful to avert evil. " Conjectrix" was a female who inter- 
preted dreams. " Ariola" was supposed to be an inspired prophetess. " Arus- 
pica" was a female who divined by means of the entrails, lightning, and other phe- 
nomena. " Piatrix" was the woman who purified the company, and perf jrmed 
tne expiations, on the day on which the child received its name. 


the prophetess, and to the female diviner ; besides, 'tis im- 
possible for me, in civility, not to fee the expiating woman ; for 
long has 1 the mattress-maker 2 been grumbling, because she 
has received nothing ; besides, the midwife found fault with 
me, that too little had been sent for her. What ! arn't you 
going to send something to the nurse that brings up the young 
slaves 3 ? It's a shame if nothing's sent her ; with what a 
brow 4 she does look at me." These and many other expenses 
of the women like to these frighten me from a wife, to be 
uttering speeches to me like to this. 

Pal. In good sooth, the Gods are propitious to you ; for 
so soon as you lose this liberty, you will not easily reinstate 
yourself in. the same condition. 

Pleus. You are a person who are able to counsel wisely 
both for another and for yourself. But 'tis some merit for a 
man of noble family and of ample wealth to rear children — a 
memorial of his race and of himself. 

Perip. Since I have many relations, what need have I of 
children ? Now I live well and happily, and as I like, and 
as contents my feelings. Tor I shall bequeath my property 
to my relations, and divide it among them. These, like chil- 
dren, pay attentions to me ; they come to see how I do, or what 
I want ; before it is daybreak they are with me ; they make 
inquiry how I have enjoyed my sleep in the night. Them will 
I have for children who are ever sending presents to me. Are 
they sacrificing — they give a greater part of it to me than to 

1 For long has) — Ver. 694. A critic in the St. James's Magazine for January, 
1763, says, on this point, that these various importunities, since they relate to a 
state of things now entirely passed away, lose all their effect on the reader ; " but 
when such insinuating addresses tend to procure a footboy, or a new year's gift, or 
something handsome to give to servants, or to the wet-nurse, or the Methodist 
preacher, there is no married man whatever but would enter directly into the 
spirit of such requests." This sweeping remark may possibly be somewhat less 
remote from truth than it is from gallantry to the fair sex. 

- The mattress-maker') — Ver. 694. " Toraria" seems to be " the bed, or mat- 
tress-maker." Other editions have " ceraria," " the woman who supplies wax 
candles for sacrifice." Others, again, have " gerula," " the nursemaid that carries 
the children." 

3 The young slaves) — Ver. 696. The " vernae" were the slaves that were born 
under the master's roof. They were more indulged than the other slaves, and 
were noted for their extreme impudence and presumption. 

4 With what a brow) — Ver. 697. The reference here ir »y probably be to the 
evil eye, which, of injurious effect at all times, would be supposed to be parti- 
cularly so in the case of a nurse. 


themselves ; they take mehome with them to share the entrails 1 ; 
they invite me to their houses to breakfast and to dinner. He 
thinks him self most unfortunate, who has sent hut very little 
to me. They vie with one another with their presents ; I say 
in a low voice to myself: " They are gaping after my pro- 
perty ; while, in their emulation, they are nourishing nie and 
loading me with presents." 

Pal. Upon right good grounds and right well do you fully 
understand yourself and your own interests, and if you are 
happy, sons twofold and threefold have you. 

Peeip. Troth, if I had had them, enough anxiety should I 
have had from my children. ****** 
T should have been everlastingly tormented in mind ; but if 
perchance one had had a fever, I think I should have died. 
Or if one, in liquor, had tumbled anywhere from his horse, I 
should have been afraid that he had broken his legs or neck 
on that occasion. 

Pal. 'Tis right that riches should come, and that long life 
should be granted to this man, who both husbands his pro- 
perty and yet enjoys himself and has kind wishes for his 

Pletts. vjhat a delightful person ! So may the Gods and 
G-oddesses prosper me, 'twere right the Deities should so 
ordain that all should not live after one rule as to the duration 
of life. Just as he who is a trusty markeb-officer 2 sets their 
prices on the wares ; as that which is good or valuable is 
sold according to its excellence, and that which is worthless, 
according to the faultiness of the commodity, deprives its 
owner of its price ; so were it right that the Gods should 
portion out the life of man, so as to give to him who is 
kindly disposed a long life, and speedily to deprive of exist- 
ence those who are reprobate and wicked. If they had pro- 
vided this, bad men would both have been fewer, and with 

1 To share the entrails) — Ver. 712. It was the custom, after their portions had 
been sacrificed to the Gods, to reserve a part of the entrails for the persons who sa- 
crificed. These invited their dearest and most intimate friends to partake of them, 
or, if they could not attend, were in the habit of sending their share to them. 
The old man here flatters himself that he is a general favorite, although, bye 
and bye, he hints a suspicion that, being a rich old bachelor, the love of his friends 
is not quite disinterested. 

2 Market-officer) — Ver. 727. " Agoranomus" was the name of a public officer 
among the Greeks, who, like the " ^Edilis plebis" at Rome, had the inspection or 
the wares offered for sale in the public markets. 


less hardihood would they do their wicked deeds ; and then, 
those who were good men, of them there would have been a 
more plenteous harvest. 

Peeip. He who would blame the ordinances of the Gods 
must be foolish and ignorant. * * * At present we must at 
once have an end of these matters ; for now I want to go to 
market, that, my guest, according to your own deserts and 
mine, I may entertain you hospitably at my house, heartily 
and with right hearty cheer. 

Pletts. I am content with 1 the expense that I have been to 
von already. For no guest can be thus hospitably entertained 
by a friend, but that when he has been there three days 
running, he must now become a bore ; but when lie is pro- 
longing his stay for ten successive days, he is a nuisance to 
the household. Although the master willingly allows it, the 
servants grumble. 

Peeip. I have trained up the servants that are in my ser- 
vice, my guest, not to rule over me, or for me to be obedient 
to them. If that is disagreable to them which is agreable to 
me, I steer my own course 2 ; that which they don't like must 
still be done at their peril, and whether they like it or no. 
Now, as I intended, I shall go to market. 

Pleus. If you are resolved, do cater somewhat within 
bounds, at no great expense ; anything is enough for me 3 . 

Peeip. Won't you now 4 have done with that old-fashioned 
and antiquated talk ? Now surely, guest, you are using the 
cant of the vulgar 5 . For they are in the habit of saying, 

1 / am content ivtth) — Ver. 740. " Nil me poenitet ;" " I am not dissatisfied with." 

2 Steer my own course) — Ver. 747. " Meo rem remigio gero ;" literally, " I carry- 
on my own business with my own staff of rowers." The rowers were frequently 
slaves, and of course were kept in strict subordination. He alludes to the re- 
gularity of his household, where everything is done in its proper time and place, 
and the promptness with which he is in the habit of being obeyed. We need 
hardly remark that most of the " servi," or " servants," were slaves. 

3 Is enough for me) — Ver. 750. " Mihi quidvis sat est" seem to have been an 
antiquated and hackneyed expression, used by philosophers and old-fashioned 
people, to imply their habits of self-denial and frugality. 

4 Won't you now) — Ver. 751. He tells him to have done with such stale cant- 
Jig expressions, which are now worn threadbare, and have descended to the tables 
of the mob. Indeed, he says right, for nothing can be more annoying than pre- 
tended refusals, and bowings and scrapings, where they are merely an affectation 
oi a modesty, humility, or self-denial that is not really felt. 

5 Cant of the vulgar) — Ver. 752. The " proletarii " were the poorest class oi 


when they have taken their places, when dinner is put on 
table : " What necessity was there for you to go to this great 
expense on our account ? Surely you were mad, for this same 
dinner was enough for ten persons." "What has been pro- 
vided on their account they find fault with ; they eat it up, 

Pal. Troth, in that self-same fashion 'tis generally done. 
How clever and shrewd is his discernment. 

Perip. But these same persons never say, although such 
an abundance has been provided, " Do order that to be taken 
off ; do take away this dish ; remove this gammon of bacon, 
I'll have none of it ; put aside that piece of pork ; this 
conger's good 1 when cold; remove it, take and put it aside." 
Tou hear none of them saying this in earnest, but they 
stretch themselves out, while with half their bodies 2 on the 
table, they are indulging their appetite. 

Pal. How cleverly the good soul has described their bad 

Perip. I have not said a hundredth part of what I could 
have enlarged upon had there been leisure for the matter. 

Pal. The business, then, that we are about — to that we 
ought first to turn our thoughts. Do you both, now, give 
me your attention. I have need, Periplecomenus, of your 
assistance ; for I have hit upon a pleasant trick, how this 
Captain with his long locks may be fleeced quite close 3 , and 
how we may effect a means for Philocomasium, and this 
her lover, that he may carry her off hence, and have her as 
his own. 

Perip. I wish this plan to be imparted to me. 

Pal. And I, wish that ring of yours to be imparted to me. 

Perip. For what purpose is it to be used ? 

the free citizens, who, according to Livy, were possessed of less than eleven thou- 
sand " asses," and could, serve the state, not with money, but with their children 

1 This conger's good) — Ver. 760. Lampreys and conger eels were very much 
esteemed by the Romans. Probably the conger was considered best when eaten 

2 Half their bodies) — Ver. 762. This would be the more easily done when we 
remember that the guests were reclining on the " triclinium," or couch, which 
was above the level of the table on which the viands were placed. 

3 Be fleeced quite close) — Ver. 768. By his mention of the Captain's long locks, 
be seems to intend a pun on the word " admutilo," " to bamboozle" or " cajole, 
* hich, literally, signifies to " clip," or " shave close." 


Pal. "When I have got it, I will impart the plan of my 

Perip. Take and use it. (Gives him the ring.) 

Pal. Take from me in return the plan of my contrivance 
that I have hit upon. 

Perip. "We are listening to you with most attentive ear. 

Pal. My master is such a shocking rake among the women, 
that 1 think no one ever was his equal, nor ever will be. 

Perip. I believe the same as well. Pal. He boasts, too, 
that his beauty exceeds that of Alexander 1 ; and, therefore, 
he says that all the women 2 in Ephesus of their own accord 
are courting him. 

Perip. Aye, faith, many there are who could wish 3 that you 
were now telling an untruth about him. But I am convinced 
full well that it is as you say. For that reason, Paleestrio, 
do compress your words in as short a compass as ever you 
possibly can. 

Pal. Can you, then, find any woman of agreable person, 
whose mind and body are full of merriment and subtlety ? 

Perip. Free by birth, or bondwoman made free ? 

Pal. I consider that a matter of indifference, so that you 
find one who is greedy for gain, who supports her body by 
her charms, who has, too, her senses all awake ; as for her 
heart, that cannot be so, as none of them have one. 

Perip. Do you want one that has 4 taken her degrees, or 
one as yet a novice in the art ? 

Pal. One sober but plump 5 , a juicy bit ; as taking a one as 
ever you can find, and one very young. 

1 Of Alexander) — Ver. 777. " Alexander," from two Greek words, signifying 
" the brave man," was one of the names of Paris, the son of Priam, who was re- 
markable for his beauty, which captivated Helen. 

2 All the women) — Ver. 778. The Parasite quizzes him upon this weak point in 
the First Act. 

8 Who could wish) — Ver. 779. The meaning of Periplecomenus seems to be 
that the Captain has been but too successful in his intrigues, and that many a 
husband could wish that what Palaestrio says were false. 

* One that has)—Yer. 787. Some Commentators think that " lautam" here 
means " one who has borne children," and who has bathed (lautus fuerit), as was 
the custom immediately after delivery. As, however, Palaestrio has said before that 
the female required must be a Courtesan, it surely could not matter whether she 
had had children or not. It probably means either one of elegant manners, and who 
has made good use of her experience, in contradistinction to a novice, who is a mere 
raw country wench, or else one in easy circumstances, and not a mere pauper. 

* Sober but plump) — Ver. 787. His answer is, he wants to find a woman wh« 


Perip. "Why, I have one, a dependant of mine, a courtesan, 
a very young woman. But what is the occasion for her ? 

Pal. For you to bring her home at once to your house as 
your wife, and, for that reason, to bring her there dressed out, 
so that she may wear her locks with her hair arranged, and 
fillets after the fashion of matrons 1 , and may pretend that 
she is your wife ; so you must instruct her. 

Perip. I am at a loss what road you are taking. 

Pal. Well, you shall know. But what sort of a maid lias 
she ? 

Perip. She is a rare clever one. Pal. We have need of 
her as well ; so give your instructions to the damsel and her 
maid, to pretend that she is your wife and is doting upon this 
Captain; and as though she had given this ring to her maid, 
then she to me, that I might deliver it to the Captain ; and I 
must be as though it were a go-between in this matter. 

Perip. I hear you ; don't stun my ears as if I were deaf. 

Pal. I myself will go straightway to him ; I'll say that 
it has been brought and delivered to me from your wife, in 
order that I might introduce her to him. He'll be distractedly 
longing for her at home, a scoundrel that cares for nothing 
else whatever but intriguing. 

Perip. If you had commissioned the Sun himself to search 
them out, he couldn't have found, better than myself, two 
more cleverly suited for this business. Be of good courage 
about it. 

Pal. Take you every care then. There is need of despatch. 

{Exit Periplecomenus. 

is " sicca," probably in the sense of " sober ;" but, as the same word means "dry,' 
he adds, antithetically, " at succidam,'' " but juicy," full of the plumpness and 
briskness of youth. Scaliger absolutely thinks that " sicca" means " one n:t 
given to the habit of spitting." ! ! 

1 Thefushion of matrons) — Ver. 792. The " vitta" was a band which encir- 
cled the head, and served to confine the tresses of the hair. It was worn by 
maidens, and by married women also, among the Romans ; but that assumed on the 
day of marriage was of a different form from that used by the virgins. It was not 
worn by women of light character, or even by the " libertina:," or liberated female 
slaves ; so that it was not only deemed an emblem of chastity, but of freedom also, 
Wiiits and purple are among the colours of the " vitta" which we find mentioned 


Scene III. 
Pal^istrio, Pleusicles. 

Pal. Now, do you listen, Pleusicles. Pleus. I am all at- 
tention to you. 

Pal. Take care of this. When the Captain comes home, 
do you remember not to call Philocomasium by her name. 

Pleus. What am I to call her ? 

Pal. G-lycera. Pleus. The same, you mean, that was 
agreed upon a little time since. 

Pal. Hush ! — Be off. Pleus. I'll remember ; but still I 
don't know what use it is to keep it in my mind. 

Pal. But- 1 will tell you. at the time, when occasion shall 
require. Meanwhile, be quiet ; so that, bye and bye, when he 
too shall be acting his part 1 , you may, on the instant, be 
minding your cue. 

Pleus. I'll go in then. Pal. Go, and do take care steadily 
to follow my instructions. (Pleusicles goes into the house 
of Periplecomenus.) 

Pal. What mighty turmoils I create ! What mighty en- 
gines 1 do set to work! This very day I shall take his 
mistress away from the Captain, if my soldiers are only well 
drilled 3 . But I'll call him out. {Goes to the door and calls.') 
Hallo ! Sceledrus, if you are not busy, come out to the front 
of the house ; I, Palsestrio, call you. 

Scene IV. 

Enter LucRio/mm the Captain's house. 

Lucr. Sceledrus is not at leisure. Pal. Why so ? 
Lucr. He's fast asleep, gulping 3 . Pal. How, gulping ? 

1 Acting his part) — Ver. 811. He alludes to Periplecomenus, who has just left 

2 Are only well drilled) — Ver. 815. " Manipularis" was a term applied to the 
common soldiers of the legion, inasmuch as they were formed into small compa- 
nies, marshalled in open order, called " manipuli." Each maniple had two cen- 
turions, whose duty it was to drill their men, inspect their arms, clothing, and 
food, visit the sentinels, and regulate the conduct of the privates both in the camp 
and in the field. They sat as judges in minor offences, and had the power of 
ordering corporal punishment, whence their badge of office was a vine sapling 
'' Bene centuriati" consequently means here " well drilled." 

3 Asleep, gulping) — Ver. 818. " Sorbeo" means not only " to drink up," but to 
maKe that gulping noise in snoring which is produced by inhaling the breath with 


Lucr. He's snoring, 'twas that I meant to say : but, be- 
cause 'tis very like gulping when you are snoring * * 

# # # # # 

Pal. What ! Is Sceledrus asleep in-doors ? 

Lucr. Not with his nose, in fact ; for with that he is call- 
ing out loud enough. 

Pal. He has taken a cup by stealth ; the butler has lately 
tapped a cask of nardine 1 . Oho ! you rascal, you are his 
deputy-butler 2 . Oho ! 

Lucr. "What do you mean ? Pal. How has he thought fit 
to go to sleep ? 

Lucr. With his eyes, I suppose. Pal. I don't ask you 
that, you vagabond. Step this way : you're undone now, 
unless I know the truth. Did you draw the wine for him ? 

Lucr. I did not draw it. Pal. Do you deny it ? 

Lucr. I' faith, I do deny it undoubtedly ; for he charged 
me not to tell. I really didn't just 3 draw for him eight half 
pints into a pitcher, and, when drawn, he didn't just drink it 
hot 4 , at his breakfast. 

Pal. And you didn't just drink as well? Lucr. The 
Gods confound me if I did drink — if I could drink. 

Pal. Why so ? Lucr. Because, in fact, I only sipped ; 
for it was too hot ; it burnt my throat. 

the mouth open, and the head thrown back. Palsestrio purposely misunderstands 
him, for the purpose of getting a confession out of him. 

1 A cask of nardine) — Ver. 824. According to the reading here adopted, he 
guesses that Sceledrus has got drunk upon some nardine wine, that had been lately 
tapped. The Romans used many articles for flavouring their wines. Spikenard, 
an Eastern aromatic, is here referred to. Horehound, squills, wormwood, ^nd 
myrtle-berries were used for making medical wines. Cornels, figs, medlars, roses, 
asparagus, parsley, radishes, laurels, junipers, cassia, cinnamon, and saffron, 
with many other particulars, were also used for flavouring wines. 

2 His deputy-butler) — Ver. 825. Some Commentators take this passage to mean, 
that Sceledrus really was the "promus," or "butler;" but it seems more pro- 
bable that Palaestrio says, by way of accusation, " Sceledrus has not only been 
acting the butler on this occasion, but you have been acting as his deputy, in 
secretly helping him to draw it." Lucrio was the " subcustos" of Sceledrus, the 
" deputy -keeper" of Philocomasium, and the under-butler as well. 

3 Didn't just) — Ver. 831. He adheres to his promise by denying it in words, 
but in such a way as to make a full confession of what has happened. " Hemina * 
was a measure among the Greeks and Romans of nearly half a pint. 

f Drink it hot) — Ver. 832. It has been already remarked, that the Romans 
were much in the habit of drinking wine, made warm and mixed with spices. The 
taking it at " prandium," about twelve in the day, shows how Sceledrus presumed 
on the office of trust which h;ui b^e*^ conformd upon him. 


Pal. Some are gloriously drunk, while others are drmking 
vinegar- water 1 . The cellar's trusted to an honest butler, as 
well as under-butler. 

Luce. I' faith, you'd be doing the same, if it was en- 
trusted to you. Since you can't follow our example, you are 
envious now. 

Pal. Come, now, did he ever draw any wine before this ? 
Answer me, you rascal. And, that you may understand it, I 
give you this notice : if you purposely tell me an untruth, 
you shall be put to the torture. 

Luce. Indeed so ? That you may inform, forsooth, that 1 
told you ; and then I shall be turned out of my fattening 
post in the cellar, that you may find another under-butler 
to draw for your own self. 

Pal. On my honour, I will not ; come, speak out boldly 

Luce. By my troth, I never saw him draw any. But thus 
was it ; he requested me, and then I drew it. 

Pal. Think of that now ! very frequently, I guess, the 
casks were standing on their heads 2 there. 

Luce. No, faith, the casks would, not 3 have stood so very 
badly there. But there happened to be in the cellar a bit 
of a slippery spot ; a two-pint pot was placed there, near the 
casks, in this fashion {shows the way). Frequently, that was 

1 Vinegar -water) — Ver. 836. " Posca" was the name of the mixture of vinegar 
and water which constituted the drink of the Roman soldiers, the lower classes, 
and the slaves. Palsestrio grumbles on finding that while he is drinking vinegar 
and water his fellow-slave is enjoying himself on mulled wine. 

2 Standing on their heads) — Ver. 851. He means to say that the " amphorae,'' 
no doubt, were often turned bottom upwards for the purpose of pouring out their 

3 The casks would not)— Ver. 852. The whole of this passage is of somewhat 
obscure signification. The two lines probably mean, " The casks (cadi) wouAl 
not have fallen down there so very much, had it not been that one part of the 
cellar was very slippery indeed." He then shows how (sic) the pot was put 
close by the casks, so that, they slipping down, it was filled as often as ten times in 
one day ; and he concludes by saying, that when the pot acted the Bacchanal 
(debacchabatur), the casks slipped down again. Probably by acting the Bac- 
chanal he moans to say that the pot got filled and was then emptied, just like the 
Bacchanals, who, doubtless, were not particular at vomiting a part of the enor- 
mous quantities of wine which they imbibed ; and he naively tells the truth, by say- 
ing that the cask slipping was the result of the pot being emptied, and so laying 
the fault more upon the pot than the drinker. 

114 MILES GL0R10SU3 ; Act III. 

filled ten times in a day. "When the pot acted the reveller, 
the casks were all tottering. 

Pal. Q-et yon gone in-doors. Both of you, I find, are 
acting the revellers in the wine-cellar. I' faith, I shall fetch 
my master home just now from the Forum. 

Ltjcr. {aside). I'm ruined. My master, when he cornea 
home, will have me tortured, when he knows of these doings. 
I' faith, I'll fly somewhither, and put off this punishment to 
another day. {To the Audience.) Don't you tell him 1 , I do 
entreat you most earnestly. {He is going.) 

Pal. Whither are you betaking yourself? Lucr. I am 
sent elsewhere : I'll come back here just now. 

Pal. Who has sent you ? Lucr. Philocomasium. 

Pal. Gro; be back directly. Lucr. If it is divided, 

?rithee do you only take my share of the punishment while 
'm away. {Exit Lucrio. 

Scene V. 
Pal^strio, alone. 
Pal. So — I understand what scheme the lady is upon. 
Because Sceledrus is asleep, she has sent her under-keeper 
away out of doors, whilst she may pass from our house to 
next door. That's all right. {Looks down the street.) But 
Peripleco menus is bringing here a woman of very comely 
appearance, her, for whom I commissioned him. By my faith, 
the Gods are helping us in this matter. How becomingly 
drest she struts along 2 , not like a Courtesan. This business 
is prospering charmingly in our hands. {Stands aside.) 

Scene VI. 
Enter Periplecomenus, with Acroteleutium and 


Perip. {as he advances). I have explained the whole 
affair, Acroteleutium, to you, and, Milphidippa, to you as well. 
If you don't well understand this device and plan, I wish you 
to hear it all over again. If you comprehend it aright, there 
is something else that we may speak of in preference. 

1 Don't you tell him)— Ver. 862. These occasional addresses to the Spectators, 
in the middle of the dialogue, were made in the same spirit and for the same 
purpose for which the clown on our stage addresses his jokes to the audience, 
namely, to provoke a hearty laugh. 

1 She struts along)— Ver. 872. By the use ot the word " incf dit," ! e pro 
bably refers to the assumed stateliness of her gait. 


Aceot. I' faith, it would be folly, and ignorance, and fool- 
ishness, for me to engage in the service of another, or to 
promise you my assistance, if, in its fabrication, I did not 
know how to be either mischievous or clever at deceiving. 

Peeip. But, 'tis better for you to be instructed. 

Aceot. Really I don't understand of what great use it 
is for a Courtesan to be instructed. How now ! have I told 
you all in vain, after my ears had drunk in the draughts 1 of 
your discourse, in what fashion it was possible for the Cap- 
tain to be cajoled ? 

Peeip. But no one, unaided, is sufficiently perfect; for 
full oft have I seen many a person lose the road to good ad- 
vice before they had found it. 

Aceot. If a woman has anything to do mischievously and 
maliciously, in that case her memory is immortal at remem- 
bering it for everlasting ; but if anything is to be done for a 
good purpose, or honestly, it will fall out that those same 
women will become oblivious that instant, and be unable to 

Peeip. Therefore do I fear that same, because both those 
things happen to be about to be done by us ; for that will be a 
benefit to me in which you both will be acting mischievously 
towards the Captain. 

Aceot. So long as we do anything that's good, not know- 
ing it, don't you fear. No woman is awkward * * 
* * * Have no apprehensions, they are 

ready for the worst. 

Peeip. So it befits you. Do you follow me. 

Pal. {advancing). Why do I hesitate to go and accost 
them ? 

Peeip. Well met, and opportunely, Palsestrio. See, here 
they are whom you commissioned me to bring, and in the 
very dress. 

Pal. Well done : accept my thanks. I am glad that you 
have come safe. I' faith, you bring them nicely dressed. Pa- 
lsestrio salutes Acroteleutium. 

Aceot. Prithee, who's this, that calls me so familiarly by 
name ? 

Peeip. This is our master-plotter. Aceot. Health to you, 

1 Drunk in the draughts)— Ver. 883. " Loream." The true meaning of this 
word seems to be " a leather bottle." If it is the correct reading, it is here used 
oy Metonymy for the draught which it contains. 



Pal. And health to you. But, tell me, has he any way 
given you full instructions ? 

Perip. I bring them both thoroughly prepared. 

Pal. I'd like to hear how. I'm afraid lest you should be 
making some mistake. 

Perip. I have added to your instructions nothing new of 
my own. 

Acrot. I suppose you wish the Captain, your master, to 
be gulled. 

Pal. You've said what's true. 

Acrot. Cleverly and skilfully, adroitly and pleasantly, the 
whole thing is planned. 

Pal. In fact, I wish you to pretend to be his wife. {Points 
to Periplecomentts.) 

Acrot. That shall be done. Pal. To pretend as though 
you had set your affection on the Captain. 

Acrot. And so it shall be. 

Pal. And as though this affair is managed through me, as 
the go-between, and your servant-maid. 

Acrot. You might have made a good prophet ; for you 
tell what is to be. 

Pal. As though this maid of yours had conveyed from 
you this ring to me, which I was then to deliver to the Cap- 
tain, in your name. 

Acrot. You say what's true. Perip. What need is there 
to mention these things now, which they remember so well ? 

Acrot. Still, it is better. For think of this, my patrbn ; 
when the shipwright is skilful, if he has once laid down the 
keel exact to its lines, 'tis easy to build the ship, when * 
* * * Now this keel of ours has been skil- 

fully laid and firmly placed ; the workmen and the master- 
builders are not unskilled in this business. If he who fur- 
nishes the timber 1 does not retard us in giving what is needed, 
I know the adroitness of our ingenuity — soon will the ship 
be got ready. 

Pal. You know the Captain, my master, then ? 

Acrot, 'Tis strange you should ask me. How could I 

1 Who furnishes the timber) — Ver. 920. Lambinus has thus explained tnia 
Metaphorical expression. The ship is the contrivance for deceiving the Captain; 
the keel is the main-plot and foundation of it ; Periplecomenus, Acroteleutium, 
*nd her servant, are the workmen ; Palsestrio is the master-shipwright ; whil« 
the Captain himself is the " materiarius," or "person that supplies the timber." 


not know that scorn of the public, that swaggering, frizzle- 
headed, perfumed debauchee ? 

Pal. But does he know you ? Acrot. He never saw ine : 
how, then, should he know who I am ? 

Pal. "lis most excellent what you say. For that reason, 
i' faith, the thing will be able to be managed all the more 

Aceot. Can you only find me the man, and then be easy 
as to the rest ? If I don't make a fool of the fellow, do you 
lay all the blame on me. 

Pal. "Well, go you in then; apply yourselves to this 
business with all your skill. 

Aceot. Trust me for that 1 . Pal. Come, Periplecomenus, 
do you conduct them at once in-doors. I'm off to the Eorum ; 
I'll meet him, and give him this ring, and will tell him that 
it has been delivered to me from your wife, and that she is 
dying for him. As soon as we shall have come from the 
Porum, do you send her (points to Milphidippa) to our house 
as though she were privately sent to him. 

Peeip. We'll do so ; trust us for that. 

Pal. Do you only attend to the lusiness ; I'll now polish 
him off with a pretty burden on his back. {Exit. 

Peeip. G-o, with good luck to you, manage the matter 
cleverly. {To Aceoteleutium.) But now, if I shall manage 
this adroitly, that my guest can this day gain the mistress of 
the Captain, and carry her off hence to Athens ; if, I say, 
this day we shall succeed in this plan, what shall I give 
you for a present ? 

Aceot. * * * * * if now the lady seconds 
our efforts on her part, I think it will be right cleverly and 
adroitly managed. When a comparison shall be made of our 
artifices, I have no fear that I shall not prove superior in 
the cleverness of my contrivances. 

Peeip. Let's go in-doors, then, that we may deeply weigh 
these plans, that carefully and cautiously we may carry out 
what is to be done, so that, when the Captain comes, there 
may be no tripping. 

Aceot. You are delaying us with your talk. {Tliey go into 
the house of Peeiplecomenus.) 

1 Trust me for that) — Ver. 929. " Alia cura ;" literally, " take care of some- 
thing else ; meaning, '• trust us in the present instance," or, as Thornton ex» 
presses it, " never fear us." 



Scene I. 

Enter Pyegopolinices and Pal^strio. 

Pyeg. 'Tis a pleasure what you do, if it succeeds agreably 
and to your mind. For I this day have sent my Parasite to 
King Seleucus, to lead those soldiers, that I have levied, hence 
to Seleucus ; in order that they may defend his kingdom till 
I have leisure to attend in person. 

Pal. Why don't you attend to your own concerns rather 
than those of Seleucus. What a charming new proposal is 
being offered to you through me as the negotiator. 

Pyeg. Well then, I lay all other things aside, and I give 
my attention to you. Speak out : my ears, in fact, I surren- 
der at your disposal. 

Pal. Look around, then, that no one here may be an eaves- 
dropper for our discourse ; for this business was entrusted me 
to transact with you in private. 

Pyeg. (looks around). There's no one near. Pal. In the 
first place, receive from me this pledge of affection. (Gives 
him the ring?) 

Pyeg. What's this ? Whence comes it ? 

Pal. Prom a charming and a handsome lady, one who loves 
you, and dotes upon your extreme beauty. Her maid just 
now gave me the ring that I might then give it to you. 

Pyeg. What ? Is she free born or a freed woman, made 
free from a slave by the Praetor's rod 1 ? 

Pal. Pshaw ! Should I presume to be the bearer of a mes- 
sage to you from a person once a slave, who cannot sufficiently 
answer the demands of the free women who are longing for 

Pyeg. Is she wife, or is she widow ? 

Pal. She is both wife and widow. 

Pyeg. In what way is it possible for the same woman to 
be a wife and a widow ? 

Pal. Because she is a young woman married to an old 

1 By tU Prcetor's rod)— Ver. 961. "Festuca" is the same with " vindicta,* 
the rod, or wand, which the Pra;tor used to lay on the head of the slave when h« 
was made free. 


Ptrg. That's good. Pal. She is of genteel and charming 

Ptrg. Beware of misrepresenting. Pal. It is alone worthy 
to be compared with your own charms. 

Ptrg. By my faith, you make her out to be a beauty. But 
who is she ? 

Pal. The wife of that old gentleman, Periplecomenus, next 
door. She is dying for you, and wishes to leave him ; she 
hates the old fellow. Now she has begged me to entreat and 
beseech you that you will give her your support and assistance. 

Ptrg. I' faith, I'm ready for my part if she desires it. 

Pal. Doesn't she long for it ? 

Ptrg. What shall we do with that mistress of mine, who is 
at my house ? 

Pal. "Why, do you bid her to be gone about her business, 
wherever she chooses ; as her twin-sister has come here to 
Ephesus, and her mother, and they are come to fetch her. 

Ptrg. Ha ! what's that you say ? Has her mother come 
to Ephesus ? 

Pal. Those say so who know it. 

Ptrg. I' faith, a charming opportunity for me to turn the 
wench out of doors. 

Pal. Aye, but do you wish to do the thing handsomely ? 

Ptrg. Speak out, and give me your advice. 

Pal. Do you wish to pack her off forthwith, that she may 
quit you with a good grace ? 

Ptrg. I do so wish. Pal. Then this is the thing you 
must do. You have a superabundance of wealth ; bid the 
woman to keep as a present for herself the gold and trinkets 
which you have supplied her with, and to take herself off from 
your house wherever she likes. 

Ptrg. It pleases me what you say ; but yet, only think, if 
I should lose her, and the other change her mind ? 

Pal. Pshaw ! you're over nice ; a lady, that loves you as 
her own eyes. 

Ptrg. Ve us befriends me. Pal. Hist ! hush ! the door 
is opening ; come this way a little out of sight. (Milphi- 
dippa comes out of the house of Periplecomenus.) This is 
ber fly-boat — her go-between, that's coming out there. 

Ptrg. How so— fly-boat ? Pal. This is her maid that 
is coming ut of the house, she that brought that ring which 
I delivered to you. 


Pyrg. I' faith, she too is a prettyish wench. 

Pal. This one is a little monkey and an owl 1 in comparison 
with the other. Do you see how she hunts around with her 
eyes, and goes fowling about with her ears. (They stand aside.) 

Scene II. 
Enter Milphidippa. 

Mil. (as she enters). My Circus, then 2 , is before the house, 
where my sports are to take place. I'll make pretence, as 
though I didn't see them, or knew as yet that they are here. 

Pyrg. Hush ! let's quietly listen, whether any mention is 
made of me. 

Mil. (aloud). Is there no one near at hand here, to attend to 
another's business rather than his own? — to prowl after 3 me to 
nee what I'm about ? No one who is feeding this evening 4 at 
his own expense ? I dread such men as these, lest they should 
now come in the way, or prove an hindrance somehow, should 
my mistress privately pass from her house this way, who is so 
enamoured of his person, who so dotes upon this very charming 
man with his exceeding beauty — the Captain Pyrgopolinices. 

Pyrg. And doesn't she dote upon me, too ? She is praising 
my beauty. 

Pal. I' faith, her language stands in need of no ashes 5 . 

Pyrg. For what reason ? Pal. Why, because her lan- 
guage is clean spoken and far from slovenly. "Whatever .she 
says about yourself, she handles it in no slovenly way. A nd, 
then, besides, she herself is a very pretty and a very dainty 

1 And an owl) — Ver. 989. " Spinturnicium" was the name of some ugly, ill- 
omened bird ; of* what kind it is not now known. 

2 My Circus, then) — Ver. 991 . This is an allusion to the Circus at Rome, where 
the public games were exhibited. 

3 To prowl after) — Ver. 995. " Aucupo" is properly applied to a birdcatcher, 
or fowler, who watches his nets. 

4 Feeding this evening) — Ver. 995. " Qui de vesperi vivat suo." She is sup- 
posed to mean those who are not out on the hunt for a supper, but have got 
one of their own at home. These latter persons, she thinks, living at their ease, 
and not having to satisfy a hungry stomach, are likely to have more leisure for 
prying into the concerns of other people, than those who are put to their shifts 
for a meal. 

5 In need of no ashes) — Ver. 1000. He says that she is so very clean spokes 
Haute et minime sordide) that she needs no ashes with which to scour her words ; the 
i(jure being derived from the custom of scouring brass vessels with pounded ashea. 


Ptrg. Troth, indeed, she has made an impression already, 
Palaestrio, at first sight. 

Pal. What ! before you have seen the other with your 

Ptrg. 'What I see, in that I have faith for myself; for 
this mackerel 1 , in the absence of the mullet, compels me to bo 
in love with her. 

Pal. I' faith, you really mustn't be falling in love with 
ner, she's engaged to me. If the other weds you to-day, 
forthwith I shall take this one for my wife. 

Ptrg. Why, then, do you delay to accost her ? 

Pal. Follow me this way, then. 

Ptrg. I am your lackey at your heels 3 . 

Mil. (aloud) . I wish that I had an opportunity of meeting 
him on account of whom I came here out of doors. 

Pal. (accosting her). It shall be so, and you shall have 
what you so greatly wish ; be of good courage, don't fear ; 
there is a certain person who knows where that is which you 
are seeking. 

Mil. Who's that I hear at hand? Pal. The sharer of 
your plans and the partaker of your secrets. 

Mil. I' faith, then, what I do conceal I don't conceal. 

Pal. Aye, but still you don't conceal it this way. 

Mil. How so ? Pal. From the uninitiated you conceal 
them. I am sure and trustworthy to you. 

Mil. Give me the sign, if you are one of these votaries 3 . 

Pal. A certain lady loves a certain gentleman. 

1 This mackerel)— Ver. 1006. The " lacerta" was probably a delicate fish, 
whose name is now unknown, but not so much so as the " mullus," the M grey 
mullet," which was very highly esteemed by the Roman epicures. 

2 Lackey at your heels) — Ver. 1009. " Pedisequus." The " pedisequi" were a 
class of slaves at Rome whose duty it was to walk behind their master when he 
went out of doors. The name does not seem to have been given to every slave 
who followed his master, but they belonged to a class which was almost the lowest 
in the slave family. 

3 Of these votaries) — Ver. 1016. " Baccharum." Literally, "one of the 
" Bacchae," or " votaries of Bacchus." Only those were admitted to the rites who 
had been duly initiated. These had a sign or password called " symbolum," or 
" aiemoraculum," by which they recognised each other, and thus Milphidippa asks 
Palaestrio to give her some proof that he is the right person for her to address. 
This pretended caution is only assumed in the Captain's presence, in order tha 
better to impose upon him, by affecting the utmost care and secrecy in th« 


Mil. Faith, many ladies do that indeed. Pal. But not 
many ladies send a present from off their fingers. 

Mil. Aye, I know now. You've now made the matter 
level for me instead of steep. But is there a certain person 
here ? 

Pal. Either he is or he is not. 

Mil. Come aside with me alone, in private. 

Pal. For a short or for a lengthy conversation ? 

Mil. For three words only. 

Pal. (to Pyegopolinices). I'll return to you this in- 

Pyeg. What ? Shall I be standing here in the meanwhile, 
with such charms and valorous deeds, thus to no purpose ? 

Pal. Submit to it and wait; for you am I doing this 

Pyeg. Make haste ; I am tortured with waiting. 

Pal. Tou know that commodities of this kind are only 
wont to be reached step by step. 

Pyeg. Well, well; as is most agreable to yourself. 

Pal. (aside). There is no stone more stupid than this 
fellow. I now return to you. (To Mil hidippa.) What 
would you with me ? (Betires with her to distance.) 

Mil. In the way in which I received it of you a short 
time since, I bring you back your clever lot ; my story is as 
though she were dying with love for him. 

Pal. That 1 understand. Do you commend his beauty 
and his appearance, and make mention of his prowess. 

Mil. For that purpose I am armed at all points 1 , as I have 
shown you before already. On the other hand, do you give 
all attention, and be on the watch, and take your cue 2 from 
my words. 

Pyeg. Prithee do now, in fine, give n e some share in the 
business ; step this way this instant, I beg. 

Pal. {goes up to him). Here I am. If you wish for aught, 
give me your commands. 

Pyeg. What is she saying to you ? 

Pal. She is saying that her mistress is lamenting, and, in 

1 Armed at all points)— Ver. 1028. " Habeo omnem aciem." Literally, " I hav« 
all my troops in battle array." 

2 Take your cue)— Ver. 1029. " Venator." Literally, " hunt out," or " act tbj 
uunter's part," probably with reference to starting the game. 


tears, is tormenting and afflicting herself because she wishes 
for you, and because she possesses you not ; for that reason 
has she been sent here to you. 

Pyrg. Bid her approach. Pal. But do you know how 
you are to act ? Pretend that you are full of disdain, as 
though it pleased you not ; exclaim against me, because I 
make you so common to the mob. 

Pyrg. I remember, and I'll follow your instructions. 

Pal. I'll call her, then, who is inquiring after you. 

Pyrg. If she wants anything, let her come. 

Pal. Wench, if you want anything, step this way. 

Mil. {approaching). Save you, charmer 1 . Pyrg. She makes 
mention of my surname. May the Gods grant you whatever 
you may desire. 

Mil. To pass life with you is the wish of 

Pyrg. You are wishing too much. Mil. I am not speak- 
ing of myself, but of my mistress, who is dying for you. 

Pyrg. Many others are wishing for the same thing, who 
have not the opportunity. 

Mil. By my troth, 'tis not to be wondered at ; you set a 
high value on yourself — a person so handsome, and so illus- 
trious for his prowess, and so valorous in his deeds ! O ! was 
there ever any one more worthy to be a man ? 

Pal. {aside). V faith, the filthy fellow is not a human being ; 
indeed, I think there is something more human in a vulture 2 . 

Pyrg. {aside). Now I shall make myself of importance, since 
she so praises me up. {Struts about.) 

Pal. {aside). Do you see the blockhead, how he struts ? 
{To Pyrgopolinices.) But will you not answer her ; she is 
the woman that's come from the lady whom I was mentioning 
just now. 

Pyrg. But from which one of them ? For there are so 
many courting me, I cannot remember them all. 

Mil. Prom her who strips her own fingers and adorns 
your fingers ; for I delivered to him {pointing to Pal^istrio) 
that ring from her who is sighing for you, and then he to you. 

Pyrg. Tell me, wench, what is it you want then ? 

1 Cliarmer) — Ver. 1 038. " Pulcher." " Handsome man." This, as a surname, 
would not sound so very absurd in Roman ears, as " Pulcher" was a surname (cog- 
nomen) of a branch of the Claudian family. 

2 In a vulture)— Ver. 1043. He probably alludes to the fact of the vulture 
sometimes carrying human flesh in its maw 

124 MILES GL0EI0ST7S ; Act IV. 

Mil. That you will not despise her who ia sighing for you ; 
who lives now but in your life : whether she is to exist or not, 
her hope is in you alone. 

Pyeg. What does she want then ? Mil. To talk with 
you, to embrace you, and to be intimate w r ith you. For un- 
less you bring her succour, she will soon be quite desponding 
in her mind. Come, my Achilles, let that be done which I 
entreat ; save her, charmer, by your charming ways. Call 
forth your kind disposition, stormer of cities, slayer of kings. 

Pyeg. O ! by my troth, 'tis a vexatious thing ! (To 
Paljesteio.) How often, whip-scoundrel, have I forbidden 
you to make promises of my attention thus common. 

Pal. Do you hear that, hussy ? I have told you already, 
and I now tell you again, unless a fee is given to this boar- 
pig 1 , he cannot possibly throw away his attentions in any 

Mil. A fee shall be given, as large as he shall demand. 

Pal. He requires a talent of gold, in Philippean pieces. 
Less he will take from no one. 

Mil. 0, by my troth, but that's too little, surely. 

Pyeg. By nature there's no avarice in me ; I have riches 
enough. I' faith ! I've more than a thousand measures 2 full 
of Philippean gold coins. 

Pal. Besides your treasures. Then, of silver, he has 
mountains, not ingots ; JEtna is not so high. 

Mil. (aside). By the stars ! 0, what a lie! 

Pal. (to Milphidippa, aside). How rarely I am playing 
him off! 

Mil. (to Pal^steio, aside). And I; how do I do it? 
Ain't I gulling him ? 

Pal. (aside). Rarely. Mil. But, prithee, do let me go now. 

Pal. (to the Captain). But do you give her some answer, 
either that you will do it, or that you won't do it. "Why cause 
this poor lady so much anguish of mind, who has never de- 
served any ill of you ? 

Pyeg. Bid her come to me herself. Tell her that I will do 
everything that she requires. 

Mil. You now act as it is proper for you to act. since you 
wish the same yourself that she is wishing. 

1 Boar-pig) This passage is somewhat modified in the translation. 
* A thousand measures) — Ver. 1063. The " modius" was a Roman measora, 
Mie-third of the " amphora." It contained nearly two English gallons. 


Pal. (to himself, aside). No poor faculty of invention has she. 

Mil. Since too you have not scouted your petitioner, and 
have suffered me to prevail upon you. (Aside to Pal^es- 
trio.) How now ? Haven't I played him off? 

Pal. (aside to Milphidippa). Faith, I couldn't refrain 
from laughing. 

Mil. (aside to Pal^steio). Yes ; and for the same reason 
I turned in this direction away from you. 

Pyeg. By my troth, wench, you don't understand ho* 
great an honor I am now paying her. 

Mil. I know, and I shall tell her so. 

Pal. To another he could have sold his favours for his 
weight in gold. 

Mil. I' faith, I believe you in that. 

Pal. Of those that are parents by him true warriors are 
born, and his sons live eight hundred years. 

Mil. (aside to Pal^steio). Fie on you for a fibber ! 

Pyeg. Why, straight on, from age to age, they live for a 
thousand years. 

Pal. I spoke within limits, for the reason that she mightn't 
suppose I was telling lies to her. 

Mil. (aside). I burst, I die! (Aloud.) How many years 
will he live himself whose sons live so long ? 

Pteg. Wench, I was born the day after Jupiter was borr 
of Ops. 

Pal. If he had only been born the day before the othei 
was, he would have had the realms of heaven. 

Mil. (aside to Pal^steio). Now, now, prithee, no more 
do let me get away from you, if I can, alive. 

Pal. Why don't you go then, as you have your answer? 

Mil. I'll go, and I'll bring her here, on whose behalf I 
am employed. Is there aught else you wish ? 

Pyeg. May I never be more handsome than I am at pre- 
sent ; so much trouble do my good looks cause me. 

Pal. Why do you stay now ? Why don't you go ? 

Mil. I'm going. Pal. (aside to Milphidippa). And tell 
her, too, do you hear, cleverly and correctly, what has 'passed. 

Mil. (to Pal^steio). So that her very heart may leap 

Pal. (aside to Milphidippa) If Philocomasium is theTfi ; 


tell her to pass through into our house ; that the Captain 

Mil. {to Pal^strio). She is there with my mistress 
for, on the sly, they have been overhearing* this con 

Pal. {aside to Milphidippa). 'Twas cleverly done; here- 
after they will take their cne the more readily from this 

Mil. {to Pal^strio). Tou are delaying me. I'm off. 

Pal. {to Milphidippa). I'm not delaying you, nor 
touching you, nor 2 I'm mum. 

Pyrg. Bid her make haste to come out here ; we'll give 
our first attention to this matter especially. (Milphidippa 
goes into the house of Periplecomenus.) 

Scene III. 
Pyrgopolinices, Pal^estrio. 

Pyrg. What do you advise me now to do, Palaestrio, 
-about my mistress ? For this lady can by no means be re- 
ceived into my house before I have sent the other away. 

Pal. Why consult me what you are to do ? So far as 
I am concerned, I have told you by what method that can 
be effected in the gentlest manner. The gold trinkets and 
female clothing with which you have furnished her, let her 
keep it all for herself: let her take it, be off, and carry it 
away : tell her that it is high time for her to go home ; say 
that her twin-sister and her mother are come, in company 
with whom she may go straight home. 

Pyrg. How do you know that they are here P 

Pal. Because, with my own eyes, I've seen her sister 

Pyrg. Have you met her ? Pal. I have met her. 

Pyrg. And did she seem a brisk wench ? 

Pal. Tou are wishing to have everything. 

Pyrg. Where did the sister say her mother was ? 

Pal. The captain that brought them told me that she was 

1 Overhearing) — Ver. 1090. Probably at the upper window, next door. 

2 Nor touching you, nor) — Ver. 1092. This is an instance of Aposicpesia, H. 
is about to say something rude, but checks himself. 


in bed, on board the ship, with sore and inflamed eyes. 
This captain of the ship is lodging with them next door. 

Pteg. And he, too, is he a very fine fellow ? 

Pal. Away with you, if you please. What have you 1 to 
do with him ? You have your hands quite full enough with 
the women. Attend to this for the present. 

Pteg. As to that advice you were giving me, I wish you 
to have a few words with her upon that subject. For, really, 
a conversation on that subject with her is more becoming' 
for you. 

Pal. What is more advisable than for you to go yourself, 
and transact your own concerns ? You must say that it is 
absolutely necessary for you to marry : that your relations 
are persuading, your friends are urging, you. 

Pyeg. And do you think so? Pal. Why shouldn't I 
think so ? 

Pteg. I'll go in, then. Do you, in the mean time, keep 
watch here before the house, that when the other woman 
comes out you may call me out. 

Pal. Do you only mind the business that you are upon. 

Pteg. That, indeed, is resolved upon. For if she will not 
go out of her own accord, I'll turn her out by force. 

Pal. Do you take care how you do that ; but rather let her 
go from your house with a good grace 3 , and give her those 
things that I mentioned. The gold trinkets and apparel, with 
which you furnished her, let her take away. 

Pteg. By my troth, I wish she would. 

Pal. I think you'll easily prevail upon her. But go in- 
doors ; don't linger here. 

Pteg. I obey you. {Goes into his house). Pal. {to the 
Audience). Now, does he really appear to be anything dif- 
ferent from what, awhile ago, I told you he was, this wench- 
ing Captain ? Now it is requisite that Acroteleutium should 
come to me, her maid too, and Pleusicles. O Jupiter ! and 
does not opportunity favour me in every respect ? For those 
whom I especially wished to see, I perceive at this moment 
coming out here from our neighbour's. 

1 What have you) — Ver. 1112. This passage is somewhat modified above. 

* Tsmore becoming)— Ver. 1116. He thinks it not suitable to bis dignity to 
6peak on the subject himself, and therefore wishes to put the task upon Palsestrio. 

» With a good grace)— Ver. 1125. "Pergratiam bonam." " Bona gratia" was 
« legal term used in the case of amicable divorces with the consent of both partus 


Scene IV. 

Enter Aceoteleutium, Milphidippa, and Pleusicles 
from the house o/'Peeiplecomencjs. 

Aceot. Follow me ; at the same time look around, that 
there may be no overlooker. 

Mil. Faith, I see no one, only him whom we want to 

Pal. Just as I want you. 

Mil. How do you do, our master-plotter ? 

Pal. I, the master-plotter ? Nonsense. 

Mil. How so ? Pal. Because, in comparison with your- 
self, I am not worthy to fix a beam in a wall. 

Aceot. Aye, indeed so. Pal. She's a very fluent and a 
very clever hand at mischief. How charmingly she did 
polish off the Captain. 

Mil. But still, not enough. Pal. Be of good courage 
all the business is now prospering under our hands. Only 
do you, as you have begun, still give a helping hand ; for 
the Captain himself has gone in-doors, to entreat his mis- 
tress to leave his house, with her mother and sister, foi 

Pleus. Very good — well done. Pal. Besides, all the 
gold trinkets and apparel which he himself has provided foi 
the damsel, he gives her to keep as a present for herself — 
so have I recommended him. 

Pleus. Eeally, it's easily done, if both she wishes it, and 
ho desires it as well. 

Pal. Don't you know that when, from a deep well, you 
have ascended up to the top, there is the greatest danger 
lest you should thence fall back again from the top. This 
affair is now being carried on at the top of the well. If the 
Captain should have a suspicion of it, nothing whatever of his 
will be able to be carried off. Now, most especially, we 
have need of clever contrivances. 

Pleus. I see that there is material enough at home for 
that purpose — three women, yourself the fourth, I am the 
fifth, the old gentleman the sixth. 

Pal. What an edifice of stratagems has been erected by 
ua ! I know for certain, that any town seems as thougL 


it could be taken by these plans : only do you lend your 

Acrot. For that purpose are we come to you, to see if you 
wish for anything. 

Pal. You do what's a propos. Now to you do I assign 
this department 1 . 

Acrot. General, you shall assign me whatever you please, 
so far as I am capable. 

Pal. I wish this Captain to be played off .cleverly and 

Acrot. I' faith, you're assigning me what's a pleasure to 

Pal. But do you understand how ? Acrot. You mean 
that I must pretend that I am distracted with love for him. 

Pal. Eight — you have it. Acrot. And as though by 
reason of that love I had foregone 2 my present marriage^ 
longing for a match with him. 

Pal. Everything exactly in its due order; except only 
this one point ; you must say that this house {pointing to 
the house of Periplecomentjs) was your marriage-portion : 
that the old man had departed hence from you after you had 
carried out the divorce, lest he should be afraid just now to 
come here into the house of another man. 

Acrot. You advise me well. Pal. But when he comes 
out from in-doors, I wish you — standing at a distance there 
— so to make pretence, as though in comparison with his 
beauty you despised your own, and as though you were 

1 This department) — Ver. 1159. " Impero provinciam." This term was pro- 
perly applied to the Senate when bestowing a province upon a Proconsul or Pro- 

2 1 had foregone)— Ver. 1164. To account for the facility with which the pre- 
tended divorce appears to take place, we must remember that among the Romans 
either party was at liberty to dissolve the tie of marriage. Where a husband 
divorced his wife, the wife's " dos," or marriage-portion, was in general restored 
to her ; and the same was the case where the divorce took place by mutual consent. 
This will account for Acroteleutium asserting that she had been divorced from 
Periplecomenus, and that she had retained possession of the house as having formed 
her marriage-portion. As a loss of affection on either side was thought to consti- 
tute a good ground for divorce, is is not to be wondered at if the Captain should 
believe the story that his neighbour's wife had obtained a divorce on account of hei 
passion for himself. 



struck with awe at his opulent circumstances ; at the same 
time, too, praise the comeliness of his person, the beauty of 
his face. Are you tutored enough ? 

Aceot. I understand it all. Is it enough that I give you my 
work so nicely finished off that you cannot find a fault with it. 

Pal. I'm content. JSTow {addressing Pleusicles), in 
your turn, learn what charge I shall give to you. So soon as 
this shall be done, when she shall have gone in, then do \ ou 
immediately take care to come here dressed in the garb of a 
master of a ship. Have on a broad-brimmed hat 1 of iron- 
grey, a woollen shade 2 before your eyes ; have on an iron-grey 
cloak 3 (for that is the seaman's colour) ; have it fastened over 
the left shoulder, your right arm projecting out 4 , • • * * 
* * * your clothes some way well girded up, pretend as 
though you are some master of a ship. And all these re- 
quisites are at the house of this old gentleman, for he keeps 

Pleus. Well, when I'm dressed out, why don't you tell 
me what I'm to do then ? 

Pal. Come here, and, in the name of her mother, bring 
word to Philocomasium, that, if she would return to Athens, 
she must go with you to the harbour directly, and that she 

1 A broad-brimmed hat) — Ver. 1178. " Causia." See the note to 1. 851 of the 
" Trinummus." 

2 A woollen shade) — Ver. 1178. " Culcitam laneam." The "culcita" here 
alluded to was a little cushion padded with wool, which was placed before weak or 
diseased eyes to absorb the moisture. It is supposed to have been either bound 
against the part affected, or else to have been held in the hand and applied every 
now and then. Commentators seem to think that here Pleusicles holds it up to 
his eye with his hand when addressing the Captain. They are at a loss to know 
why Palaestrio recommends this, as the Captain has never seen Pleusicles, who 
was at Naupactus when Philocomasium was carried off. Still, though it is not 
mentioned, it may be, because the Captain had seen Pleusicles before he went to 
Naupactus ; or, what is more probable, that, affecting to have weak eyes, Pleusicles 
may not appear so comely as he really is, and not thereby excite any suspicion in 
the Captain's mind as to his intentions. 

3 An iron-grey cloak) — Ver. 1179. Some think that the " ferrugineus," or iron 
colour, here called "colos thalassinus," or "the sea -colour," was dark blue, but 
dark grey seems more probable, as the shades of blue were too expensive for 
common wear. 

4 Right arm projecting out) — Ver. 1180. This no doubt was the way in winch 
the " pallium" was usually worn by seafaring men, for the sake of expedition, and 
in crdcr to give free play to the right arm when aboard ship. 


must order it to be carried down to the ship if she wishes 
anything to be put on, board ; that if she doesn't go, you 
must weigh anchor, for the wind is favourable. 

Pleus. I like your plan much : do proceed. 

Pal.. The Captain will at once advise her to go speedily, 
that she may not delay her mother. 

Pleus. Every way you are clever. Pal. I shall tell him 
that she asks for me as a helper to carry her baggage down to 
the harbour. I shall go, and, understand you, I shall im- 
mediately be off with you straight to Athens. 

Pleus. And when you have reached there, I'll never let 
you be ashore three days before you're free. 

Pal. Be off speedily and equip yourself. 

Pleus. Is there anything besides ? Pal. Only to remem- 
ber all this. 

Pleus. I'm off. {Exit.) Pal. And do you {to Aceote- 
leutium and Milphidippa) be off hence in-doors this in- 
stant, for I'm quite sure that he'll just now be coming out 
hence from in-doors. 

Aceot. With us your command is as good as law. 

Pal. Come, then, begone. But see, the door opens oppor- 
tunely. {The women go into the house of Peeiplecomenus.) 

Scene V. 
Enter Pyegopollnices^ottc his house. 

Pyeg-. "What I wished I have obtained just as I wished, on 
kind and friendly terms, that she would leave me. 

Pal. For what reason am I to say that you have been bo 
long in-doors ? 

Pyeg. I never was so sensible that I was beloved by that 
woman as now. 

Pal. Why so ? Pyeg. How many words she did utter \ 
Sow the matter, was protracted ! But in the end I obtained 
what I wanted, and I granted her what she wanted and what 
she asked of me. I made a present of you also to her. 

Pal. What — me, too ? In what way shall I exist with- 
out you ? 

Pyeg. Come, be of good heart ; I'll make you free from 
her, too. But I used all endeavours, if I could by any 
method persuade her to go away, and not take you with her/ 
she forced me, however. 



Pal. In the Gods and yourself I'll place my trust. Yet, 
at the last, although it is bitter to me that I must be deprived 
of an excellent master, yourself, at least it is a pleasure to 
me that, through my means, by reason of the excellence 
of your beauty, this has happened to you with regard to 
this lady neighbour, whom I am now introducing to you. 

Pybg. What need of words ? I'll give you liberty and 
wealth if you obtain her for me. 

Pal. I'll win her. Pyeg. But I'm impatient. 

Pal. But moderation is requisite ; curb your desires ; 
don't be over anxious. But see, here she is herself; she is 
coming out of doors. 

Scene VI. 

Enter Aceoteleutium and MiLPHiDiPPA/rom the house oj 


Mil. (in a low voice). Mistress, see! the Captain's near. 

Aceot. (in a low voice). Where is he ? Mil. Only look 
to the left. Eye him askance, that he mayn't perceive that 
we are looking at him. 

Aceot. I see him. Troth, now's the time, in our mis- 
chief, for us to become supremely mischievous. 

Mil. "lis for you to begin. Aceot. (aloud). Prithee, did 
you see him yourself ? (Aside.) Don't spare your voice, so 
that he may hear. 

Mil. (aloud). By my troth, I talked with his own self, at 
my ease, as long as I pleased, at my leisure, at my own dis- 
cretion, just as I wished. 

Pyeg. (to Pal^steio). Do you hear what she says? 

Pal. (to Pyegopolinices). I hear. How delighted she is 
because she had access to you. 

Aceot. (aloud). O happy woman that you are ! 

Pyeg. How I do seem to be loved ! 

Pal. You are deserving of it. Mil. (aloud). By my troth, 
'tis passing strange what you say, that you had access to him 
and prevailed. They say that he is usually addressed, like a 
king, through letters or messengers. 

Mil. (aloud). But, i' faith, 'twas with difficulty I had an 
opportunity of approaching and beseeching him. 

Pal. (to Pyegopolinices). How renowned you are among 
the fair 


Pyrg. (to Paljestrio). I shall submit, since Venus wills 
it so. 

Acrot. (aloud) . By heavens ! I return to Venus grateful 
thanks, and her I do beseech and entreat, that I may win. 
him whom I love and whom I seek to win, and that to me he 
may prove gentle, and not make a difficulty about what I 

Mil. (aloud). I hope it may be so ; although many ladies 
are seeking to win him for themselves, he disdains them and 
estranges himself from all but you alone. 

Acrot. (aloud). Therefore this fear torments me, since he 
is so disdainful, lest his eyes, when he beholds me, should 
change his sentiments, and his own gracefulness should at 
once disdain my form. 

Mil. (aloud). He will not do so ; be of good heart. 

Ptrg. (to Pal^strio). How she does slight herself! 

Acrot. (aloud). I fear lest your account may have sur- 
passed my looks. 

Mil. (aloud.) I've taken care of this, that you shall be 
fairer than his expectations. 

Acrot. (aloud). Troth, if he shall refuse to take me as his 
wife, by heavens I'll embrace his knees and entreat him ! 
If I shall be unable to prevail on him, in some way or other, 
I'll put myself to death. I'm quite sure that without him I 
cannot live. 

Ptrg. (to Pal^strio). I see that I must prevent this 
woman's death. Shall I accost her ? 

Pal. By no means ; for you will be making yourself cheap 
if you lavish yourself away of your own accord. Let her come 
spontaneously, seek you, court you, strive to win you. Un- 
less you wish to lose that glory which you have^ please 
have a care what you do. For I know that this was never 
the lot of any mortal, except two persons, yourself and Phaon 
of Lesbos 1 , to be loved so desperately. 

Acrot. (aloud). I'll go in-doors^ — or, my dear Milphi- 
dippa, do you call him out of doors. 

1 Phaon of Lesbos) — Ver. 1247. Sappho, the poetess, was enamoured of Phaon 
the Lesbian. When he deserted her, she threw herself from the Leucadian pro- 
montory or Lover's Leap, which was supposed to provide a cure for unrequited 
love. Her death was the consequence. See her Epistle to Phaon, the twenty-first 
of the Heroides of Ovid. 

2 rilgo in-doors)—VeT. 1248. It must be remembered, that all this time thei 

134 MILES GL0RI0SUS ; Act IV, 

Mil. (aloud). Aye; let's wait until some one comes out. 

Acrot. {aloud). I can't restrain myself from going in to 

Mil. (aloud). The door's fastened. Acrot. (aloud). I'll 
break it in then. 

Mil. (aloud). You are not in your senses. 

Acrot. (aloud). If he has ever loved, or if he has wisdom 
equal to his beauty, whatever I may do through love, he will 
pardon me by reason of his compassionate feelings. 

Pal. (to Pyrgopolinices). Prithee, do see, how distracted 
the poor thing is with love. 

Pyrg. (to Pal^strio). 'Tis mutual in us. Pal. Hush ! 
Don't you let her hear. 

Mil. (aloud). Why do you stand stupefied? Why don't 
you knock ? 

Acrot. (aloud). Because he is not within whom I want. 

Mil. (aloud). How do you know 1 ? Acrot. (aloud). By 
my troth, I do know it easily ; for my nose would scent him 
if he were within. 

Pyrg. (to Pal^strio). She is a diviner. Because she is 
: n love with me, Venus has made her prophesy. 

Acrot. (aloud). He is somewhere or other close at hand 
whom I do so long. to behold. I'm sure I smell him. 

Pyrg. (to Pal^strio). Troth, now, she really sees better 
vi-ith her nose than with her eyes. 

Pal. (to Pyrgopolinices). She is blind from love. Acrot. 
(aloud). Prithee, do support me. 

Mil. (aloud). Why? Acrot. (aloud). Lest I should 

Mil. (aloud). Why? Acrot. (aloud). Because I cannot 
stand ; my senses — my senses are sinking so by reason of my 

Mil. (aloud). Heavens! you've seen the Captain. 

Acrot. (aloud). I have. Mil. (aloud). I don't see him. 
Where is he ? 

liave pretended not to see Palaestrio or his master. Milphidippa cautioned her 
mistress only to take a side-glance at him (limis), after which they have, probably 
turned their backs. 

1 How do you know) — Ver. 1255. In Ritschel's edition, these words are attri- 
onted to Palaestno. This is clearly a mistake, for Palaestrio has not yet joined ia 
their conversation. He and his master are listening to what they say. 


Acrot.. (aloud). Troth, you would see him if you were iu 

Mil. (aloud). T faith, you dou't love him more than I do 
myself, with your good leave. 

Pal. (to Pyrgopolinices). No doubt all of the women, as 
soon as each has seen you, are in love with you. 

Pyrg. (to Pal^strio). I don't know whether you have 
heard it from me or not ; I'm the grandson of Venus. 

Acrot. (aloud). My dear Milphidippa, prithee do ap- 
proach and accost him. 

Pyrg. (to Paljestrio). How she does stand in awe of me ! 

Pal. (to Pyrgopolinices). She is coming towards us. 

Mil. (advancing). I wish to speak with you. 

Pyrg. And we with you. Mil. I have brought my mis- 
tress out of the house, as you requested me. • 

Pyrg. So I see. Mil. Request her, then, to approach. 

Pyrg. Since you have entreated it, I have prevailed upon 
my mind not to detest her just like other women. 

Mil. I' faith she wouldn't be able to utter a word if she 
were to come near you ; while she was looking at you, her 
eyes have in the meantime tied her tongue. 

Pyrg. I see that this woman's disorder must be cured. 
• Mil. See how terrified she is since she beheld you. 

Pyrg. Even armed men are the same ; don't wonder at a 
woman being so. But what does she wish me to do ? 

Mil. You to come to her house ; she wishes to live and 
to pass her life with you. 

Pyrg. What ! — I come home to her, when she is a mar- 
ried woman ? Her husband is to be stood in fear of. 

Mil. Why, — for your sake, she has turned her husband 
out of her house. 

Pyrg. How ? How could she do so ? 

Mil. The house was her marriage- portion. 

Pyrg. Was it so ? Mil. It was so, on my word. 

Pyrg. Bid her go home ; I'll be there just now. 

Mil. Take care, and don't keep her in expectation ; don't 
torment her feelings. 

Pyrg. Not I, indeed. Do you go then. Mil. We are 
going. (Acroteletjtium an d Milphidippa go into the house 
of Periplecomentjs.) 

Pyrg. But what do J see ? Pal. What do you see ? 


Pyrg. See there, some one is coming, I know not who, 
but in a sailor's dress. 

Pal. He is surely wanting us, now ; really, it is the ship- 

Pyrg. He's come, I suppose, to fetch her. 

Pal. I fancy so. 

Scene VII. 
Enter Pleusicles, at a distance, in a Sailor's dress. 

Pleus. (to himself). Did I not know that another man in 
other ways has done many a thing unbecoming^ on account 
of love, I should be more ashamed by reason of love for me to 
be going in this garb. But since I have learned that many per- 
sons by reason of love have committed many actions, dis- 
graceful and estranged from what is good, ***** for 

I pass by how Achilles suffered 1 his comrades to be slain 

But there's Palaestrio, he's standing with the Captain. 
My talk must now be changed for another kind. Woman 
is surely born of tardiness itself. For every other delay, 
which is a delay just as much, seems a less delay than that 
which is on account of a woman. I really think that this is 
done merely from habit. But I shall call for this Philoco- 
masium. I'll knock at the door then. Hallo ! is there any* 
one here ? (Knocks at the Captain's door.) 

Pal. Young man — what is it ? "What do you want ? 
"Why are you knocking ? 

Pleus. I'm come to inquire for Philocomasium ; I'm come 
from her mother. If she's for going, let her set off. She is 
delaying us all ; we wish to weigh anchor. 

Pyrg. Her things have been some time in readiness. 
Hearkye, Palasstrio, take some assistants with you to carry 
to the ship her golden trinkets, her furniture, apparel, ail 
her precious things. All the articles are already packed up 
which I gave her. 

Pal. I'll go. (Goes into the house) Pleus. Troth now, 
prithee, do make haste. 

Pyrg. There shall be no delay. Pray, what is it that has 
been done 2 with your eye ? 

1 Achilles suffered) — Ver. 1289. This was when he withdrew from the warfare 
on being deprived of Briseis by Agamemnon, on which occasion Hector made 
great havoc among the Grecian forces. 

« That has been done)— Ver 1306. He asks " what has been done with " or " be- 


Pletts. Troth, but I have my eye. (Points to the right one.) 
Pyrg. But the left oue I mean. • 

Pleus. I'll tell you. On account of the sea, I use this 
eye less ; but if I kept away from the sea 1 , I should use 
the one like the other. But they are detaining me too long. 
Ptrg. See, here they are coming out. 

Scene VIII. 

Enter Pal^strio and Philocomasium /row the Captain's 

Pal. (to Philocomasium). Prithee, when will you this 
day make an end of your weeping ? 

Phil. What can I do but weep ? I am going away 
hence where I have spent my days most happily. 

Pal. See, there's the man that has come from your 
mother and sister (pointing to Pleusicles). 

Phil. I see him. Ptrg. Palaestrio, do you hear ? 

Pal. "What is your pleasure ? Ptrg. Aren't you order- 
ing those presents to be brought out which I gave her ? 

Pleus. Health to you, Philocomasium. Phil. And health 
to you. 

Pleus. Tour mother and sister bade me give their love 
to you. 

Phil. Heaven prosper them. Pleus. They beg you to 
set out, so that, while the wind is fair, they may set sail. 
But if your mother's eyes had been well, she would have 
come 3 together with me. 

Phil. I'll go ; although I do it with regret — duty compels 

Pleus. Tou act wisely. Ptrg. If she had not been passing 
her life with myself, this day she would have been a blockhead. 

come of," his eye ? On which Pleusicles tells him, by way of a quibble, that he has 
got his eye, alluding to the right one, while the Captain refers to the left, against 
which the " lectica" is placed. 

1 From the sea) — Ver. 1309. There is a pun here, which cannot be preserved 
in the translation. " Si abstinuissem a mare," " If I kept away from the sea," 
may also be read, " Si abstinuissem amare," " If I refrained from loving." The 
Captain understands him in the former sense, thinking that he means that he 
has got a disease in his eye, which may be increased by leading a seafaring life. 

*She would have come) — Ver. 1318. Thornton justly observes that this excuse 
for the pretended mother not making her appearance is fair enough, but there is 
no reason alleged why the sister should not come, except that we may suppose 
that she stays to nurse and comfort her sick parent. 


Phil. I am distracted at this, that I am estranged from 
such a man. For you are able to make any woman what- 
ever abound in wit; and because I was living with you, 
for that reason I was of a very lofty spirit. I see that 1 
must lose that loftiness of mind. (Pretends to erg.) 

Pteg. Don't weep. Phil. I can't help it when I look 
upon you. 

Pteg. Be of good courage. Phil. I know what pain it 
is to me. 

Pal. I really don't wonder now, Philocomasium, if you 
were here with happiness to yourself, when I, a servant — 
as I look at him, weep because we are parting (pretends 
to cry), so much have his beauty, his manners, his valour, 
captivated your feelings. 

Phil. Prithee, do let me embrace you before I depart ? 

Pteg. By all means. Phil, {embracing him). my 
eyes ! O my life ! 

Pal. Do hold up the woman, I entreat you, lest she should 
fall. (He takes hold of her, and she pretends to faint.) 

Pveg. "What means this? Pal. Because, after she l.Tid 
quitted you, she suddenly became faint, poor thing. 

Pteg. Run in and fetch some water. 

Pal. I want no water ; but I had rather you would keep 
at a distance. Prithee, don't you interfere till she comes to. 

Pteg. (observing Pleusicles, who is holding Philocoma- 
sium in his arm). They have their heads too closely in con- 
tact between them ; I don't like it ; he is soldering his lips 1 
to hers. What the plague are you about ? 

Pleus. I was trying whether she was breathing or not. 

Pteg. You ought to have applied your ear then. 

Pleus. If you had rather, I'll let her go. 

Pteg. No, I don't care ; do you support her. 

Pal. To my misery, I'm quite distracted. 

Pteg. G-o and bring here from in-doors all the things 
that I have given her. 

Pal. And even now, household G-od, do I salute thee 
before I depart ; my fellow-servants, both male and female, 
all farewell, and happy may you live ; prithee, though absent, 
among yourselves bestow your blessings upon me as well. 

1 He is soldering his lips)—Ver. 1335. "Ferrnmmat" is a strong expressioJ 
bere ; it literally means to weld iron with iron, hammering :t in a red-hot state. 


Pyrg. Come, Palaestrio, be of good courage. 

Pal. Alas ! alas! I cannot but weep since from you I must 

Ptrg. Bear it with patience. Phil, (feigning to recover) . 
Ha ! how's this ? What means it ? Hail, O light ! 

Pleits. Are you recovered now? Phil. Prithee, what 
person am I embracing ? I'm undone. Am I myself? 

Pleus. (in a low voice) . Fear not, my delight. 

Pyrg. "What means all this ? Pal. Just now she swooned 
away here. #####* 

I fear and dread that this at last may take place 1 too openly. 

Pyrg. What is that you say ? Pal. I fear that some one 
may turn it to your discredit, while all these things are being 
carried after us through the city. 

Ptrg. I have given away my own property, and not theirs. 
I care but little for other people. Be off then, go with the 
blessing of the Grods. 

Pal. "lis for your sake I say it. 

Pyrg. I believe you. Pal. And now farewell ! 

Pyrg. And heartily farewell to you ! Pal. (to Pleusicles 
and Philocomasium as they leave). Go you quickly on ; I'll 
overtake you directly ; I wish to speak a few words with my 
master. (To Pyrgopolinices.) Although you have ever 
deemed others more faithful to yourself than me, still do I 
owe you many thanks for all things ; and if such were your 
feelings, I would rather be a slave to you by far than be the 
freedman of another. 

Pyrg. Be of good courage. Pal. Ah me! When it 
comes in my mind, how my manners must be changed, how 
womanish manners must be learnt, and the military ones 
forgotten ! 

Pyrg. Take care and be honest. 

Pal. I can be so no longer ; I have lost all inclination 2 . 

1 May take place) — Ver. 1347. Palaestrio cannot help exclaiming against the 
I indiscreet conduct of the lovers. The Captain overhears him, and asks him what 

|is the matter. He adroitly turns it off, by saying, " that if thus openly the 

3 oods and furniture are carried through the city, he very much fears that his 
Imaster will be censured for his extreme prodigality." 

" Lost all inclination) — Ver. 1360. A pun is thought to be intended here on the 
jword " lubidinem," but of so wretched a nature that it is not worth any furthet 
Uusion to it. 


Pyrg. Go, follow them ; don't linger. 

Pal. Fare you right well. Pyrg. And heartily fare you 

Pal. Prithee, do remember me ; if perchance I should 
happen to be made free, I'll send the news to you ; don't 
you forsake me 1 . 

Pyrg. That is not my habit. 

Pal. Consider every now and then how faithful I have 
been to you. If you do that, then at last you'll know who 
is honest towards you and who dishonest. 

Pyrg. I know it ; I have often found that true, as well 
before as to-day in especial. 

Pal. Do you know it ? Aye, and this day I'll make you 
hereafter say still more how true it is. 

Pyrg. I can hardly refrain from bidding you to stay. 

Pal. Take you care how 2 you do that. They may say that 
you are a liar and not truthful, that you have no honor ; they 
may say that no one of your slaves is trustworthy except my- 
self. If, indeed, I thought you could do it with honor, I 
should advise you. But it cannot be ; take care how you 
do so. 

Pyrg. Be off; I'll be content then, whatever happens. 

Pal. Then, fare you well. Pyrg. 'Twere better you should 
go with a good heart. 

Pal. Still, once more, farewell. (JEccitl) Pyrg. Before this 
affair, I had always thought that he was a most rascally ser- 
vant ; still, I find that he is faithful to me. "When I con- 
sider with myself, I have done unwisely in parting with him. 
I'll go hence at once now to my love here : the door, too, I 
perceive, makes a noise there. 

Scene IX. 
JEnter a ~Qoy from the'house o/'Periplecomentjs. 
Boy. (to some one within) . Don't you be advising me ; I 
remember my duty ; this moment I'll find him. Wherever 

1 Don't you forsake me) — Ver. 1363. He hypocritically entreats his master 
not to desert him in need, should he be made free, and be thereby thrown entirely 
upon his own resources. 

2 Take you care how)— Ver. 1368. There is considerable drollery in his anxiety 
lest his master should suddenly change his mind and refuse to let him go. His situ 
ation would, indeed, under such circumstances have proved an unfortunate one. 


on earth he may chance to be, I'll search him out ; I'll not 
be sparing of my pains. 

Pyeg. "lis I he is looking for ; I'll go and meet this 

Boy. 0, I'm looking for you ; save you, dearest sir, one 
loaded by opportunity with her gifts, and whom before all 
others two Divinities do favour. 

Pyeg. "What two ? Boy. Mars and Venus. 

Pyeg. A sprightly boy. Boy. She entreats that you will 
go in ; she wishes — she longs for you, and while expecting 
you, she's dying for you. Do succour one in love. "Why 
do you stay ? "Why don't you go in ? 

Pyeg. Well, I'll go. (Enters the house of Peetpleco- 

Boy. There has he entangled himself at once in the toils. 
The snare is prepared : the old gentleman is standing at his 
post 1 to attack the letcher, who is so boastful of his good 
looks ; who thinks that, whatever woman sees him, all are in 
love with him ; whom all, both men and women, detest. Now 
I will on to the uproar ; I hear a tumult within. 


Scene I 3 . 

Enter PEEiPLECOMENUsyrow his house, with Caeio and 
other Seevants, dragging Pyegopolentces. 

Peeip. Bring that fellow along. If he doesn't follow, drag 
him, lifted on high 3 , out of doors. Make him to be between 
heaven and earth ; cut him in pieces. (They beat him.) 

1 Athispost) — Ver. 1389. He alludes to the attitude in which the old gentle- 
man, Periplecomenus, is standing in-doors, ready to sally forth on the Captain the 
moment he is entrapped. 

2 Scene I.) Thornton here remarks, that " there cannot be a stronger proof 
of the absurdities into which the ancients were forced by a preservation of the 
unity of place than the present passage. The Captain is surprised in Periple- 
comenus's own house, carrying on an intrigue v«ith the old gentleman's pretended 
wife, in consequence of which they proceed to frighten him with the cook's 
threatening to go to work upon him with his knife. Can anything be more un- 
natural or improbable than that for this purpose they should drag him out cj 
\the house and into the public street ? 

I 3 Lifted on high) — Ver. 1394. He means, " take him in your arms," or " hoict 
bim on your shoulders." 


Pyeg. By my troth, I do entreat you, Periplocomenus. 

Peeip. By my troth, you do entreat in vain. Take care, 
Cario, that that knife of yours is very sharp. 

Caeio. Why, it's already longing to rip up the stomach 
of this letcher. I'll make his entrails hang just as a bauble 
hangs from a baby's neck. 

Pyeg. I'm a dead man. Peeip. Not yet ; you say so too 

Caeio. Shall I have at this fellow now ? 

Peeip. Aye, — but first let him be thrashed with cudgels. 

Caeio. True, right lustily. Peeip. Why have you dared, 
you disgraceful fellow, to seduce another man's wife ? 

Pyeg. So may the Gods bless me, she came to me of her 
own accord. 

Peeip. It's a lie. Lay on. {They are about to strike.) 

Pyeg. Stay, while I tell Peeip. Why are you hesi- 
tating ? 

Pyeg. Will you not let me speak ? 

Peeip. Speak, then. Pyeg. I was entreated to come here.. 

Peeip. How did you dare ? There's for you, take that. 
{Strikes him.) 

Pyeg. O ! ! I've had enough. Prithee, now. 

Caeio. Am I to begin cutting him up at once ? 

Peeip. As soon as you like. Stretch the fellow out, and 
spread out his pinions 1 in opposite ways. 
' Pyeg. By heavens, prithee, do hear my words before he 
cuts me. 

Peeip. Speak before you're made of no sex. 

Pyeg. I supposed that she was a widow ; and so her maid, 
who was her go-between, informed me. 

Peeip. Now take an oath that you won't injure any 
person for this affair, because you have been beaten here to- 
day, or shall be beaten hereafter, if we let you go safe hence, 
you dear little grandson of Venus 2 . 

Pyeg. I swear by Dione 3 and Mars that I will hurt no one 

1 Spread out his pinions) — Ver. 1407. " Dispennite." He means, " stretch him 
out as you would spread out to their utmost length the wings of a bird." 

2 Grandson of Venus) — Ver. 141 3. This is an allusion to the Captain's own 
boast in Act IV. s. 4, that he was the grandson of Venus. 

3 By Dione) — Ver. 1414. Dione, according to Homer, was the name of the 
mother of Venus ; but the name is much more frequently used, as in the present 
.nstance, to signify Venus herself. He appropriately swears by these guardiar 
Deities of intrigue. The translation of 1 141C is somewhat modified. 


because I have been beaten here this day ; and I think that it 
was rightfully done ; and if I don't go hence further injured, 
I am rightly punished for the offence. 

Perip. But what if you don't do so ? 

Pyrg. Then, may I always have my word not to be trusted 1 . 

Cario. Let him be beaten once more ; after that I think 
he may be dismissed. 

Pyrg. May the Gods ever bless you, since you so kindly 
come as my advocate. 

Cario. Grive us a golden mina 2 , then. 

Pyrg. For what reason ? Cario. That we may now let yon 
go hence unmaimed, you little grandson of Venus ; otherwise 
you shall not escape from here ; don't you deceive yourself. 

Pyrg. It shall be given you. Cario. You're very wise 
As for your tunic, and your scarf 3 , and sword, don't at all 
hopeybr them; you shan't have them. 

A Servant. Shall I beat him again, or do you let him go ? 

Pyrg. I'm tamed by your cudgels. I do entreat you. 

Perip. Loose him. Pyrg. I return you thanks. 

Perip: If I ever catch you here again, I'll insert a dis- 
qualify ing clause. 

Pyrg. Well : I make no objection. 

Pertp. Let's go in, Cario. (Periplecomenus, Cario, and 
Servants, go into his house.) 

Scene II. 
Enter Sceledrus and other Seryants of the Captain. 
Pyrg. Here are some of my servants, I see. Tell me, is 
Philocomasium oft' yet. 

Scel. Aye, some time since. Pyrg. Ah me ! 

Scel. You would say that 4 still more if you were to know 

1 Not to be trusted) — Ver. 1417. " Intestabilis." A gross pun is here in- 
tended, and in 1. 1420 as well. The word here signifies "forsworn," or "per- 
jured," so infamous, that his testimony will never be received in a Court of justice. 

: A golden mina) — Ver. 1420. The golden " mina" was worth ten silver ones, • 
or one thousand " drachma?," of about ninepence three-farthings each. 

3 And your scarf) — Ver. 1423. The " chlamys" was an outer garment worn 
among the Greeks and Oriental nations, somewhat resembling our scarfs. That 
worn by the Captain would probably be of great value, which of course would tempt 
the cupidity of his persecutors. The translation of 1. 1426 is somewhat modified. 

* You would say that) — Ver. 1428. Sceledrus, probably, only enters at this mo- 
ment with the other servants of the Captain ; the editions, in general, somewhat 
bsurdly represent him as present from the beginning of the Fifth Act. 


what I know, for that; fellow who had the wool before his 
eye was no sailor. 

Pyrg. Who was he, then? Scel. A lover of Philo- 

Pyrg. How do you know ? Scel. I do know : for after 
they had got out of the city gate, they didn't wait a moment 
before falling to kissing and embracing each other at once. 

Pyrg. wretched fool that I am ! I see that I have 
been gulled. That scoundrel of a fellow, Palaestrio, it was he 
that contrived this plot against me. 

Scel. I think it was properly done. If it were so done to 
other letchers, there would be fewer letchers here ; they 
would stand more in awe, and give their attention less to these 

Pyrg. Let's go into my house. 

An Actor (to the Audience). Give us your applauuc: 


Bramatts persona. 

Sii.knus, the Divinity, who speaks the Prologue. 

Nicobulus, an aged citizen of Athens- 

Mxesieochus, his son. 

Philoxenus, another aged citizen of Athens. 

Pistoclkrus, his son. 

LYDUS, servant of Philoxenus, and tutor of Pistodenwj 

Chrysalus, servant of Nicobirlus. 

Clf.omachus, a Captain of Samos. 

A Parasite of Cleomachus. 

Boy, servant of Cleomachus. 

Servant of Pistoclerus (in the introductory fragment}. 

Artamo, servant of Nicobulus. 

SECo r N o A BA C c H CHis } Twin-susters, Courtesans. 

&<ru:. — Athens: before the houses or the First rJACcmsand of Phiiaxsij..* i% 
-which are in the same street 


Ksksilochus, when absent at Ephesus, writes and requests his friend, Pisto- 
clerus, to search for his mistress, Bacchis, who has left Athens with a military 
Captain. Having discovered her on her return to Athens, Pistoclerus falls in 
love with her twin-sister, whose name is also Bacchis, and is severely reproved 
by his tutor, Lydus, for so doing. Mnesilochus returns to Athens, and discovers 
irom Lydus that his friend Pistoclerus is in love with a female of the name of 
Bacchis. He thereupon imagines that he has supplanted him with his own 
mistress, and in his anger resolves to restore to his father some money of his 
which he had gone to Ephesus to recover, and a part of which he had contrived, 
through a scheme of the servant Chrysalus, to retain, in order that he might 
redeem his mistress from the Captain. Having afterwards discovered the truth, 
he greatly repents that he has done so. as the officer threatens to cany Bacchis 
3tf instantly, if the money is not paid. On this, Chrysalus contrives another 
stratagem against Nicobulus, his aged master, and makes him, through fear cf 
the Captain's threats, pay the required sum. Having gained not only this but a 
still further sum of money, the young men regale themselves at the house of 
Bacchis. Nicobulus afterwards discovers from the Captain the trick that has 
been played upon him, and he and Mnesilochus repair to the house of Bacchis to 
demand their sons. The damsels, hereupon, apply tbemsetos to coaxing the 
old men, who are at last persuaded to forgive their sees &zid Chrysalu* 
oni tc go into the house and join the enterUhment. 



[Supposed to have been written by Priscian the Grammarian.] 
Mnesilochus is inflamed with love for Bacchis (Bacchidis). But, first of all, 
he goes to Epliesus, to bring back some gold (Aurum). Bacchis sails for 
Crete (CVetam), and meets with (Convenit) the other Bacchis ; thence she re- 
turns to Athens ; upon this (Hinc), Mnesilochus sends a letter to Pistoelerus, 
that he may seek for her (Illam). He returns ; he makes a quarrel while 
(Dum) he suppose* that his own mistress is beloved by Pistoelerus; when they 
have discovered the mistake as to the twin-sisters, Mnesilochus pays the gold 
to that (Ei) Captain ; equally are the two in love. The old men {Senes), while 
they are looking after their sons, join the women, and carouse. 


Spoken oy Silenus, mounted, on his Ass. 
'Tis a wonder if the spectators on the benches this 
day don't hiss, and cough, and make a snorting noise at 
this ridiculous sight, furrow their brows, and, with cries 
with one consent 2 , shout all aloud, and mutter impreca- 
tions. Hardly in their youth can beardless actors, or mimics 
with their beards plucked out, find room upon the stage. 
"Why comes forth this aged and lethargic go-between, who 
is borne upon the ass's back ? Listen, I pray, and giye me 
your attention, while I tell you the name of this quiet 
Comedy 3 . 'Tis proper for you to make silence for a Divinity. 

1 Prologue) There is little doubt that this Prologue is spurious, but as it is pre- 
fixed to many of the editions, and to Thornton's and the French translations, it is 
here inserted. Lascaris, the Greek grammarian, says, in a letter to Bembo, that it 
was discovered by him in Sicily. Some writers have supposed it to have beer, 
written by the Poet Petrarch. 

2 With cries with one consent) — Ver. 3. " Concrepario" is a barbarous word, 
'ormed from " crepo," to make a noise. 

s Qiiet Comedy) — Ver. 10. " Statarise." There were two kinds of Comedy repie- 


1-18 EACC11IDES ; 

It befits not those to use the resources of the voice, who come 
here not to exclaim, but to be spectators. Give me attentive 
ears ; but not into my hands I mean ; I wish my voice 1 , as it 
flies, to strike these vacant ears. What do you fear ? Are 
those blows more hurtful which open what is shut 2 , or which 
close what is open ? You're very kind ; the inhabitants of 
heaven do love you deservedly. There is profound silence 
— even the children are still — and now, attend to a new-come 
messenger, on a new errand. Who I am — why I am come 
to you — I'll tell you in a few words ; at the same time, I'll 
disclose to you the name of this Comedy. Now, behold, I 
shall tell you "what you wish to know ; do you then give me 
your attention. I am a God of Nature 3 , the foster-father of 
most mighty Bromius 4 , him who, with a female army 5 , gained 
a kingdom. Whatever about him renowned nations relate, 
some part, at least, has been accomplished by my advice. 
That which pleases me is never displeasing to him. 'Tis 
right if one father 6 another father does obey. Ass-borne do 
the Ionian multitudes 7 style me, because I am borne on an 

sented on the ancient stage, one of which was called " stataria," while the ether 
was " motoria." In the first, the actors stood still, or moved about quietly, and 
with little gesture ; while in the other, dancing, gesture, and grimace were exten- 
sively employed. 

1 I wish my voice) — Ver. 15. There is a poor attempt at alliteration here, in the 
words " volo volans vox vacuas." 

2 What is shut) — Ver. 17. This passage is obscure, but the meaning seems to 
be, " Is it anything more disagreable to open your ears and listen, than to keep 
them shut and be stunned by my noise? for talk I will. 

3 A God of Nature)— Ver. 25. The ancients considered Pan, Silenus, Sylvanus, 
the Fauns, the Dryades, the Hyades, and the Oreades, as Gods of Nature, pre- 
siding over it in its various aspects. 

4 Bromius) — Ver. 25. Bromius was one of the names of Bacchus, probably de- 
rived from fipefico, " to make a noise ;" the Bacchanalian orgies being attended with 
riot and drunkenness. 

5 With a female army)— Ver. 26. He alludes to the Indian expedition of Bac- 
chus, who was fabled to have marched thither at the head of an arny of Bacchantes 
or " Bacchas," females who were his votaries. 

6 If one father)— Ver. 30. The ancients gave the Gods the title of "pater,' 
" father," by way of honorable distinction. Bacchus would especially be so ho- 
nored, as wine was looked upon as one of the chief supports of life. 

7 Ionian multitudes) — Ver. 31. The Lydians were adjacent to the people of 
Ionia. Etruria, which supplied the earliest actors to Home, was supposed to hare 
been colonised by the Lydians. 


ass 1 for my conveyance. Who I am, you understand : if you 
understand, allow me now to tell the name of this quiet play; 
at the same time, you may learn why I have come to you. 
Philemon 2 formerly produced a play in Greek ; this, those 
who speak the Greek language call " Evantides 3 ;" Plautus, 
who speaks the Latiu, calls it " Bacchides." 'Tis not to be 
wondered, then, if hither I have come. Bacchus sends to you 
the Bacchides — the Bacchanalian Bacchanals. I am bringing 
them unto you. What ! Have I told a lie ? It don't become 
a God to tell a lie ; but the truth I tell — I bring not them ; 
but the salacious ass, wearied with its journey, is bringing 
to you three, if I remember right. One you behold ; see 
now, what on my lips I bring — to wit, two Samian sisters 4 , 
Bacchanalians, merry Courtesans, born of the same parents, 
at one time, at a twin-birth ; not less alike than milk to milk, 
if you compare it, or water to water ; were you to see them 
you would think them halved 5 ; so much would you confuse 
your sight, that you would not be able to distinguish which 
was which. What remains you long to hear. Now give at- 
tention : the story of this Play I will disclose. What country 
Samos is, is known to all; for seas, lands, mountains, and 
islands, have your legions 6 made easy of access. There, Sostrata 
bore to her husband, Pyrgoteles Pyrocles 7 , twin-daughters at 
one birth ; and it pleased them, being initiated at the tri- 

1 Borne on an ass) — Ver. 31. " Asibidam." This is a spurious word, probably 
invented by the author. 

2 Philemon) — Ver. 36. Philemon was a Greek Comic poet, of considerable merit, 
though inferior to Menander, of whom he was a contemporary. This play is more 
generally supposed to have been borrowed from a Comedy of Menander, which was 
called Air E^awarwi/, " the Twice Deceived." 

3 Evantides) — Ver. 37. " Evantides" corresponds with the Latin word " Bac- 
chantes," " followers," or " namesakes" of Bacchus," as " Evan" was one of the 
names by which that God was addressed during the celebration of the orgies. 

4 Samian sisters) — Ver. 46. Samos was an island off the coast of Ionia, near 
Ephesus. It was the birthplace of the philosopher Pythagoras. 

5 Think them halved) — Ver. 50. " Dimidiatas" — " one split into two." 

8 Have your legions) — Ver. 57. He is supposed to be flattering the Romans in 
their love for foreign conquest. 

7 Pyrgoteles Pyrocles) — Ver. 58. It was quite unusual for the Greeks to have 
two names. They have here been introduced either for the sake of the metre, or, 
as the Delphin editor suggests, as meaning " her husband Pyrocles, who was a 
regular Pyrgoteles," that is, a most skilful engraver ; a celebrated artist of that 
name having flourished in the time of Alexander the Great. 


cnnial festival 1 of Bacchus, to call after his name the damsels 
of which they were the parents. The parents, as often hap- 
pens, gave a turn to 2 their future fortunes. A Captain car- 
ried one of them with him to Crete. The other of the twins 
sailed for Athens 3 . As soon as Mnesilochus, the son of ~Ni- 
cobulus, beheld her, he began to love her, and frequently 
paid her visits. Meantime, his father sent the youth to 
Ephesus, to bring back thence some gold, which he himself, 
some time before, had deposited with Archidemides, an an- 
cient friend of his, an aged Phoenician. When, for two years 
he had stayed at Ephesus, he received the sad news that 
Bacchis was gone from Athens, for some sailors of his ac- 
quaintance sent him word that she had set sail. On this, he 
writes a letter to Pistoclerus, his only friend, the son of Phi- 
loxenus, entreating him to seek the fugitive with care and ear- 
nestness. While Pistoclerus is devoting his services to his 
friend, the twin-sisters, who have just returned to Athens, 
arouse a passion in the seeker. The one wins Pistoclerus for 
herself ; the other longs for the coming of Mnesilochus. What 
wonder if two bewitching, merry, pretty Bacchantes, should 
attract to themselves two unfledged Bacchanalians, and if 
they should ensnare their decrepit, most aged fathers, fit 
subjects for the undertaker 4 , bowed down by the weight of 

1 Triennial festival) — Ver. 60. Among the festivals of Bacchus, there was one 
which occurred every three years, and was called the * Trieterica." On that occa- 
sion the Bacchantes carried the figure of the God on a chariot, drawn by two tigers 
or panthers, and crowned with vine leaves ; holding thyrsi in their hands, they 
ran in a frantic manner around the chariot, filling the air with the sound of tam- 
bourines and brazen instruments, shouting " Evoe Bacche," and calling the God 
hy his several names of Bromius, Lyseus, Evan, Lenaeus, and Sabazius. To this 
ceremonial, which was derived from the Egyptians, the Greeks added other 
rites, replete with licentiousness and repulsive to decency. The author says 
that the parents of the Bacchides were initiated at this festival, and that in com- 
pliment to the God they named each of the newly-born twins " Bacchis.'" 

2 Gave a turn to) — Ver. 62. " Fata occupant." " Consider the fact of their 
being born at that period as ominous of their future destiny, and devote them U 
the service of the Deity." 

3 Sailed for Athens) — Ver. 64. Literally, "Cecropiae." Cecrops was the founder 
of Athens. 

* Subjects for the undertaker) — Ver. 84. " Libitinarios." This word properly 
•orresponds to our word " undertakers." They were so called because their biers 
aid other i*equisites were kept in the temple of the Goddess " Libitina." The word 
here has the forced meaning of " persons with one foot in the grave." 


their years ? But, see, here's Pistoclerus, who is returning 
to the Bacchides so lately found, and in his simplicity 1 is 
blowing in himself the sparks of passion so lately kindled. 
Now I'm off — do you attend. {Exit. 

Scene I 2 . 
Enter Pistoclerus. 
Pistoc. ****** 

those who are 3 of a thrifty turn of mind, modest, and with- 
out servility. * * * * * 

* ****** 

Chains, rods, and mills ; their shocking brutality becomes 



* ******* 

She who keeps my friend and me engaged. 

* * * * * (Exit. 

1 In his simplicity) — Ver. 87. " Insolens." Mnesilochus is already in love with 
the Second Bacchis before the play commences; but Pistoclerus is entrapped 
dnring the First Act. 

2 Scene I.) The portion from the commencement of this scene down to the begin- 
ning of the thirty-fifth line, is translated from the fragments of the beginning of the 
play which have been lately discovered by the research of Eitschel. It was gene- 
rally supposed by Commentators that the beginning of the play had been lost, and 
that the author of the Prologue, or some other writer, had supplied the hiatus by 
adding a first scene of his own composition; in which he represents, somewhat in- 
consistently, Pistoclerus as having been in love with the First Bacchis before the 
play began, whereas it is obviously the intention of Plautus to represent him as 
drawn into the amour by her allurements during the First Act. It is worthy of 
remark, that the learned and ingenious Rost was of opinion that the beginning of 
this play had not been lost, and that it properly commenced at line 35, " Quod si 
hoc potis est." This opinion, however, is thoroughly controverted by the result of 
the researches of Ritschel. Although, for the sake of brevity, these fragments are 
here grouped into one Scene, to supply the place of the spurious Scene which for- 
merly occupied their place, it is clear that they are really the remnants of several 
Scenes, introductory to the attempt of the First Bacchis to entrap Pistoc'.ferns. 

3 Those who are) — Ver. 1. It is not unlikely that this and the next three «ines 
are fragments of a Prologue, spoken by Pistoclerus, in which he is complimenting 
the ingenuity shown by the slave Chrysalus throughout the piece, as he is making 
reference to the punishment of slaves when speaking of " chains, rods, an I the 
full ;" to which latter place refractory slaves were sent for hard labour. 

152 BACOHIDES ; A.ct 1 

Enter Eiest Bacchis. 

1st Bacch. I have heard 1 that Ulysses underwent toils 
innumerable, who, in wanderings, was twenty years away 
from his native land. But this young man by far outdoes 
Ulysses ; who here in this spot is wandering within the walls 
of the city. 

1st Bacch. * She was of the same name with myself. 

1st Bacch. Sweep out the house 1 * with brooms, work briskly. 
***** Will some one 
call that most dirty fellow with the water-pail 3 and the 

Cleomachus, Second Bacchis. 

Cleom. * * * * But if a life 4 of 

wantonness is perchance preferred by you, consider the price 
that I agreed to give you that at that age you might not be 
following me for nought * * * that 

from no one else you might be receiving a yearly pay, except 
from oneself, nor be toying with any man * * 

* * * # # * # * 

* * * * like slugs upon a man. 
Pistoclekus, Second Bacchis, Servant. 

1 / have heard) — Ver. 5. This is probably the commencement of a Scene. The 
First Bacchis is revolving her plans against Pistoclerus, who is wandering through 
the city in search of the mistress of his friend Mnesilochus. 

2 Sweep out the house) — Ver. 10. She is evidently ordering the servants to put 
the house in readiness against the arrival of her sister from abroad. 

3 The water-pail) — Ver. 12. " Nassiterna" was a pail, or water-pot, having 
three spouts or mouths. 

4 But if a life) — Ver. 13. Here is another Scene. It would appear probable that 
the Second Bacchis, having heard, on her arrival, that Mnesilochus, by his friend, is 
m search of her, signifies to the Captain her intention to remain at Athens, and 
not to accompany him to Elatia in Phocis, on which he reminds her of the sum of 
aioney he has given her, and the original terms of the agreement. It would 
appear that he proceeds to threaten with his wrath any more fortunate rival ; and 
♦hen concludes by inveighing against harlots in general, as "limaces," " snails," 
or " slugs," in the same way as a Comic writer of our day might style then 
" leeches," or " bloodsuckers." It may be remarked, that with the ancients, the 
snail was the emblem of salacity. 

5C. il. OR, THE TWIN-SISTERS. 153 

Pistoc As like as milk 1 is to milk ; whatever is her name 

Serv. The soldier who sells his life for gold * * 

* * * * I know that his breath is 

much stronger than when the bellows of bull's hide are 
blowing, when the rocks melt where the iron is made. 

Pistoc. Of what country did he seem to you ? 

Serv. I think he is of Prseneste 2 ; he was such a boaster. 

Pistoc. * * The city * * * 

and I don't think it is in spurious boastfulness. 

Scene II. 

Enter First and Second Bacchis. 

1st Bacch. * * * My heart, my 

hope 3 , my honey, my sweetness, my nutriment, my delight. 

* * Let me bestow on you my love 

* * the Arabian • * * 

* Has Cupid or has love overpowered 
y OU p# •••*.. #•<? 

Perhaps to suspect that you are in love. * 

* * * * Get money from that 

quarter • . • • • for I really do 

believe that with ease you can enchant the heart of any man 4 . 

As like as milk)— Ver. 1 9. Here again is another Scene. Pistoclerus has 
caught sight of the Second Bacchis, but being unaware that she really is the 
person whom he is in search of, he remarks upon her strong resemblance to the 
First Bacchis, with whom, by this time, he has probably had an interview on the 
subject. His servant then comes and informs him that she is the person whom 
he is looking for, but that she is under the protection of a mighty Captain, whose 
breast heaves like a pair of blacksmith's bellows. 

2 Is ofPrceneste) — Ver. 24. He has a hit here at the people of Praeneste, whom 
ie has in a former play censured for their bad grammar, and whom he here repre- 
ents as occupying the same place in Roman estimation, as the Gascons do, whe- 
her deservedly or not, in ours. 

3 My heart, my hope)— Ver. 27. The First Bacchis seems here to be repeating 
ler first lessons in the attack which she is about to make on the heart of the 
lovice Pistoclerus ; she is evidently conning over the flattering things that she 
ntends to say to him. 

4 The heart of any man) — Ver. 34. With this line conclude the fragments 
vhich have been brought to light by Ritschel ; in the previous editions the next lhiH 
Jommences the second Scene, the spurious Scene preceding it. 

154 bacchides ; Act I. 

2nd Baccii. * * * * * 

1st Bacch. And suppose it is much better that you should 
hold your peace, and I should speak ? 

2nd Bacch. With pleasure ; you m^j proceed. 

1st Bacch. When my memory shall fail me, then do you 
take care to aid me, sister. 

2nd Bacch. I' faith, I'm more afraid that I shan't have 
the choice of prompting you. 

1st Bacch. Troth, I'm afraid the little nightingale may 
lose her powers 1 of song. Follow this way. {They move.) 

Enter Pistoclertjs. 

Pistoc. What are these two Courtesans, the namesake- 
sisters, about ? 

1st Bacch. Nothing is there more wretched than a woman. 

Pistoc. What, say you, is there more worthy of it ? What 
have you been planning in your consultation ? 

1st Bacch. What's proper ? Pistoc. I' faith, that doesn't 
belong to the Courtesan. 

1st Bacch. This sister of mine entreats me so to find some 
person to protect her against this Captain ; that when she 
has served her time 2 he may bring her back home. Do you, 
I entreat you, be her protector. 

Pistoc. Why should I protect her? 1st Bacch, That 
she may be brought home again, when she has fulfilled her 
engagement to him, so that he may not take her as a servant 3 
for himself. But, if she had the gold to pay him back again, 
gladly would she do so. 

Pistoc Where now is this person ? 1st Bacch. I expect 

1 May lose her powers) — Ver. 38. The nightingale was supposed to sing con- 
tinually; so that " luscinise deest cantio," " the nightingale has lost her song,' 
became a proverb which expressed the happening of anything extraordinary. 

2 Has served her time) — Ver. 43. " Emeritus" was the term applied to soldiers 
who had " served out their time," or "got their discharge" Plautus probably 
uses the term satirically, as applied to the engagement which the Second Bacchis 
had made with the Captain. 

3 As a servant) — Ver. 45. She pretends that her sister is afraid, that when her 
time has expired, the Captain — having carried her to a foreign country — may make 
a slave of her, and that she s, consequently, desirous to be left at Athens, and to 
repay him the money which he had given her upon the making of the engagement. 
She feigns that it is necessary for him to protect her sister on behalf of his absenl 
friend Mnesilochus, that she herself may obtain an opportunity of ensnaring him 


that he ; ll be here just now. But this you'll be able to ar- 
range better among ourselves ; and sitting there, you shall 
wait until he comes. So you will drink some wine, and so, 
I'll give you a kiss when you have drunk it. 

Pistoc. Your coaxing is mere birdlime. 1st Bacch. How 
so ? 

Pistoc. Because, in fact, I understand how you two are 
aiming at one poor pigeon, myself; (aside) very nearly is the 
limed reed 1 breaking my feathers. Madam, I judge that such 
deeds befit me not. 

1st Bacch. Why so, I pray ? 

Pistoc. Bacchis, it is, because I dread you Bacchantes, and 
jyour Bacchanalian den 2 . 

1st Bacch. "What is it that you dread ? Surely, not that 
Ithe couch in my house may lead you into mischief? 

Pistoc. Your allurements 3 , more than your couch, do I 
dread. You're a mischievous serpent 4 . But, madam, a 
|lurking-place does not befit this youthful age. 

1st Bacch. Should you wish at my house to do anything 
(that's unwise, I myself should hinder it. But, when the 
,Captain comes, I wish you, to be at my house for this reason ; 
[because, when you are present, no one will do her and me 
any injury. You will prevent that, and by the same means 
you will be aiding your friend ; this Captain, too, on arriving, 
will suspect that I am your mistress. "Why are you silent, 
bray ? 

Pistoc. Because these things are pleasant in the talking 
bf; but in the practice, and when you make trial, the same 
ire armed with stings. They pierce the feelings, goad one's 
fortune, and wound one's merits and character, 
i 2nd Bacch. What do you dread from her ? 

Pistoc. What do I dread, do you ask ? Am I a person in 

1 The limed reed) — Ver. 51. A reed dipped in birdlime was employed for the 
purpose of catching birds. Pistoclerus says to himself that he feels how nearly 
pe is entrapped. 

2 Your Bacchanalian den) — Ver. 53. "Bacchanal" was properly the place 
where the Bacchanalia, or orgies, were celebrated. He styles them " Bacchantes," 
Mid their house a " Bacchanal," in allusion both to their names and their habits. 

I I ' Your allurements) — Ver. 55. There is a play here upon the resemblance of 
he words " illectus," " allurement," and "lectus," a " bed." 

4 Mischievous serpent) — Ver. 55. " Mala tu's bestia." Literally, " you are an 
vil beast ;" which sounds harsh to an English ear, even when applied to such aa 
.nimal as Bacchis. 

156 BAUCHLDES ; Act I 

my youth to enter a place of exercise 1 of such a nature, where 
people sweat to their undoing ? — where for the quoit I re- 
reive a loss, disgrace, too, for my running ? 

2nd Bacch. How charmingly you do talk. Pistoc. "Where 
I'm to take a turtle-dove 3 instead of a sword, and where 
another puts into my hand the goblet 3 instead of the cestus ; 
the drinking-cup 4 is in place of the helmet, the wreathed gar- 
land instead of the crest 5 , the dice in place of the lance. For 
the coat of mail I should have to assume a soft cloak ; where, 
too, in place of a horse a couch must be given me, — for shield, 
a strumpet 7 may be lying by me. Avaunt from me — avaunt ! 

2nd Bacch. O, you're too fierce. Pistoc. I am attend- 
ing to my own interests. 

2nd Bacch. Tou must be softened down ; and, in fact, I 
offer you my aid in this. 

Pistoc. But you are too expensive an assistant. 

1st Bacch. Do pretend that you are in love with me. 

Pistoc Whether should I be pretending that in jest, or 
seriously ? 

1st Bacch. Well said ! better to do the last. When the 
Captain comes here, I want you 8 to embrace me. 

1 A place of exercise) — Ver. 66. He draws a parallel between the life of a per- 
son who for health and rational recreation frequents the " palasstra," or schooi 
for exercise, and of those who frequent the haunts of Courtesans. He alludes in 
the following lines to the exercises of throwing the quoit, running, boxing, 
fencing, hu?ling the lance, and riding. 

2 A turtle-dove') — Ver. 68. The turtle-dove, as being sacred to VenusJ would 
be an appropriate inmate of a Courtesan's house. 

8 The goblet) — Ver. 69. " Cantharus " was a kind of drinking-cup, with two 
handles. It was considered as peculiarly sacred to Bacchus, the tutelary Divinity 
of Bacchis, whom Pistoclerus is addressing. 

4 The drinking-cup) — Ver. 70. " Scaphium " here probably means a " drinking- 
vessel with a swelling belly." Some Commentators, however, think that it has here 
the same meaning as " matula." 

5 Instead of the crest) — Ver. 70. The " insigne " was the crest, or waving 
plume of the helmet. 

6 A soft cloak) — Ver. 71. It was the custom at entertainments far the re- 
vellers to exchange their ordinary clothes for fine vestments, elaborately embroi- 

7 For shield, a strumpet) — Ver. 72. " Scortum pro scuta" There is a plaj 
nere upon the resemblance of the words. 

8 / want jww)— Ver. 76. He is only to pretend to be her admirer when the Cap 
tain comes, by way of accounting for his presence and interference on behalf 0| 
her sister. This is afterwards rendered unnecessary by his own pliancy , and tfr 
arrival of Mnesilochus himself. 


Pistoc. What need is there of my doing that ? 

1st Bacch. I want him to see you. I know what I'm 
about ? 

Pistoc. And I, i' faith, I know not what I'm in fear of. 
But what say you ? 

1st Bacch. What's the matter now? 

Pistoc. Well, suppose perchance on a sudden a breakfast 
or a drinking bout, or else a dinner, should take place at your 
house, just as is the wont in such places of resort ; where, 
then, should I take my place ? 

1st Bacch. Near myself, my life, that with a she wit a he 
wit may be reclining at the repast. A place here, at our house, 
should you come late, is always at your service. When you 

h right merrily to disport yourself, my rosebud, you say 
to me, "Do let me enjoy myself to-day" I'll provide you a 
delightful place where it may be so. 

Pistoc. Here is a rapid stream ; not without hazard can 
this way be passed. 

1st Bacch. (aside). And, by my troth, something must you 
lose amid this stream. (Aloud.) Give me your hand and 
follow me. 

Pistoc. 0, by no means. 1st Bacch. Why so ? 

Pistoc. Because to a man in his youth nothing can be 
nore alluring than these — night, women, wine. 

1st Bacch, Away, then, with you ; for my part, I don't at 
ill care for it, but for your own sake. The Captain, then, shall 
;ake her off; don't you be present at all if you don't choose. 

Pistoc. (to himself). And am I a thing of nothing, who 
annot moderate my own passions ? 

1st Bacch. What's there for you to fear? 

Pistoc. There's nothing ; all nonsense. Madam, I resign 
nyself to you. I'm yours ; to you do I devote my services. 

1st Bacch. You are a dear man. Now I wish you to do 
his. To-day I want to give a welcome entertainment 1 to my 
ister. For that purpose I shall at once order the money 2 to 
>e brought you from in-doors. Do you take care and cater 
or us a splendid entertainment. 

I ' A welcome entertainment) — Ver. 94. " Caena viatica " was an entertainment 
Bered to a person by his friends immediately on his arrival from a voyage or 
; I * Order the money) — Ver. 95. This she says artfully, well knowing that he will 
t once offer to bear the expense of the entertainment 

158 BACCHIDES; Act I. 

Pistoc. No, I'll stand treat ; for it would be a shame, that 
on my account you both should take trouble for me, and by 
reason of that trouble should pay the expense from your own 

1st Bacch. But I can't allow you to give anything. 

Pistoc. Do let me. 1st Bacch-. "Well, I'll let you, if you 
choose. Prithee, do make haste. 

Pistoc. I shall be here again, before I cease to love you. 


2nd Bacch. You entertain me pleasantly upon my return, 
my sister. 

1st Bacch. How so, prithee ? 

2nd Bacch, Because, in my way of thinking, this day a 
lucky haul has fallen to your lot. 

1st Bacch, He's mine, assuredly. ]S"ow, sister, with 
respect to Mnesilochus, I'll give you my aid 1 , that here at 
home you may be receiving gold, rather than be going hence 
together with the Captain. 

2nd Bacch. That's my desire. 1st Bacch. My aid shall 
be given you. The water's warm ; let's go in, that you may 
bathe. For, as you have travelled on board ship, you are 
faint, I think. 

2nd Bacch. A little so, sister. (Pistoclertts is seen at 
a distance.) Besides, he's beginning to cause I don't know 
what bustle. Let's begone hence. 

1st Bacch. Follow me this way in-doors to bathe, that 
you may relieve your weariness. 

Scene III. 

Enter Pistoclertjs, accompanied by People with Provisions 

for the Entertainment, followed by Lydus. 

Ltd. For some time, Pistoclerus, I've been following 

you in silence 2 , watching what you were doing in this 

1 Give you my aid)— Ver. 103. They will try to get Mnesilochus to advance 
the money to redeem her from the Captain. 

2 Following you in silence)— Ver. 109. We mnst not be surprised to find 
" Lydus " a Lydian slave, as his name imports, acting as the " psedagogus," or 
" tutor," of Pistoclerus. Among the wealthy, the sons of the family were com- 
mitted to the " psedagogi " at their sixth or seventh year, and of course that 
officer was selected from the most trustworthy and most learned among the slaves. 
The youths remained under the tutor till they reached the years of puberty. His 
duty was rather to watch and protect them, and accompany them to their school 

8C. TIT. 01?, THE TWIN-SISTErS. 153 

dress 1 . For, so may the Gods favour me, even Lyeurgus him- 
self 2 seems to me as if he could be led into debauchery here. 
"Whither now are you betaking yourself hence in an opposite 
direction with such a train? 

Pistoc. To this place (pointing to the house). Ltd. Why 
to this place ? Who lives there ? 

Pistoc. Love, Pleasure, Venus, Beauty, Joy, Jesting, 
Dalliance, Converse, and Sweet-kissing. 

Ltd. What intercourse have vou with these most destruc- 
tive Deities ? 

Pistoc. Bad are those men who speak evil of the good. 
You speak not well of even the Gods themselves ; you do 
what is not right. 

Ltd. Is Sweet-kissing, then, some God ? 

Pistoc. And do you not think she is ? Lydus, why, 
what a barbarian 3 you are, you, whom I had deemed to be far 
more wise than Thales himself 4 '. Go to, you are more foolish 
than Potitius, the foreigner 5 , who, at an age so advanced, 
knew not the names of the Divinities. 

Ltd. This dress of yours pleases me not. 

and the " gymnasium " or " palaestra," the place of exercise, than to instruct them 

himself; indeed, the " prseceptores," or " teachers," are expressly distinguished 

by Quinctilian from t'ne " pasdagogi," or " conductors " of the youths. Eunuchs 

were sometimes appointed to this office. Among the Romans, a tutor attended on 

I both boys and girls very frequently, as they were not confined at home according 

I to the Grecian custom. During the Empire, much care was taken in the training 

| of the " pffidagogi." 

1 In this dress) — Ver. 110. He has put on the "malacum pallium," "the soft 
garment," mentioned in 1. 71, as being about to join the entertainment which he is 

2 Lyeurgus himself) — Ver. 111. He says that such company is enough to cor- 
rupt Lyeurgus himself, a man of the most moral and strict habits. He was the 
lawgiver of Sparta. 

3 What a barbarian) — Ver. 121. He alludes to Lydia, the country of Lydus, 
which was " barbara." 

4 Than Thales himself) — Ver. 122. Thales of Miletus was one of the seven 
wise men of Greece. He was the founder of the Ionic sect of philosophers. 

I 5 Potitius, the foreigner) — Ver. 123. " Barbaro" signifies " Roman," the scene 
being in Attica. We learn from St. Augustine that the Potitii received the 
epithet of " stulti," " unwise," from the following circumstance. They were the 
hereditary priests of Hercules, at Rome. Wishing to lighten their duties, they 
jinstructed some slaves in their office, for which, by the wrath of the Divinity 
twelve families of them were destroyed in one night. 

100 BACCHIDES ; Act 1 

Pistoc. But no one prepared it for you ; it was prepared 
for myself, whom it pleases well. 

Lyd. And do you commence upon your repartees against 
myself even ? You, who, if you had even ten tongues, ought 
*\p be silent. 

Pistoc. Not every age, Lydus, is suited for school 1 . One 
thing especially is just now on my mind, how the cook may 
with due care attend to these things as befits the elegance of 
the entertainment. 

Ltd. Now have you undone yourself and me and all my 
labours, me who so oft have shown you what is right, all to 
no purpose. 

Pistoc. In the same place have I lost my labour where 
vou've lost yours : your instructions profit neither me nor 

Ltd. O obdurate heart ! Pistoc. You are troublesome 
to me. Hold your tongue, Lydus, and follow me. 

Ltd. Now, see that, please ; he no longer calls 2 me " tutor," 
but mere " Lydus." 

Pistoc. It seems not proper, nor can it be fit, that, when a 
person is in a house, and is reclining at tlie feast together 
with his mistress, and is kissing her, and the other guests are 
reclining too, the tutor should be there too in their presence 

Ltd. Are these provisions purchased for such a purpose, 

Pistoc. My intentions, indeed, expect so ; how it falls put, 
is in the hands of the Grods. 

Ltd. "Will you be having a mistress ? 

Pistoc. When you see, then you'll know. 

Ltd. Aye, but you shall not have one, and I won't allow 
it. Go back again home. 

Pistoc. Do leave me alone, Lydus, and beware of mischief 3 . 

Ltd. What? Beware of mischief ? yawning gulf, where 
irt thou now ? How gladly would I avail myself of 
thee ! Already have I lived far longer than I could have 

1 Suited for school) — Ver. 129. There is here a " Paronomasia," or jingle upor. 
the resemblance of the words " Lyde," " Lydus," and " ludo," " a school." 

2 He no longer calls) — Ver. 138. He is shocked at the want of respect shown b 
him by his pupil. 

3 Beware of mischief) — Ver. 147. This is a threat of vengeance \ e Lydns ~-« 
Bumes to interfere any further 


wished. 'Twere much better now to have once existed than to 
be living still. That any pupil should thus threaten his 
tutor ! 

PrsTOC. My years are now advanced beyond your tutor- 

Ltd. I want no pupils for me with heated blood 1 . An up- 
grown one may harass me thus devoid of strength. 

Pistoc. As I guess, I shall become a Hercules, and you 
a Linus 2 . 

Lyd. I' faith, I fear more that through your goings-on I 
shall become a Phomix 3 , and have to tell the news to your 
father that you are dead. 

Pistoc. Enough of these stories. Lyd. This youth is lost 
to shame 4 ; the man's ruined. And does it then recur to you 
that you have a father ? 

Pistoc. Am I your servant, or you mine ? 

Ltd. By my troth, you made an exchange not desirable 
for that age of yours, when you gained these impudent ways. 
Some bad master has been teaching you all this, not I. You 
are a scholar far more apt at these pursuits than at those 
lessons which I taught you when I was losing my labour. 
Troth, 'twas a bad piece of deceit you were guilty of at your 
age, when you concealed these vicious tendencies from myself 
and from your father. 

Pistoc. Lydus, you have thus far had liberty of speech 
that is enough. So now do you follow this way, and holo. 
your tongue 5 . {They go into the house o/'Bacchis.) 

1 With heated blood)— Ver. 153. " Plenus sanguinis." Literally, "full of 

x You a Linus) — Ver. 155. Linus instructed Hercules in music, and was slain 
by his scholar with his musical instrument. 

3 Become a Phoenix) — Ver. 156. Phcenix was the preceptor who attended 
Achilles to the Siege of Troy, and brought the account of his death to his father 

4 Is lost to shame) — Ver. 158. " Hie vereri perdidit." Literally, " He has lost 
how to be ashamed." 

5 Hold your tongue) — Ver. 169. The interval between this Act and the next is 
filled up with the time necessary for preparing the entertajiment which Pisto- 
clerus is giving to Bacchis and her sister. 

162 BACCHIHES ; Act 11 


Scene I. 

Enter Chrysaltts. 

Chrvs. All hail, land of my master! which 1 joyfully be- 
hold after the two years that I have been absent hence at 
Ephesus. I salute thee, neighbour Apollo 1 , who dost have 
thy shrine close by our house, and to thee do I make my 
prayer, that thou wilt not let me meet our old gentleman, 
Nicobulus, before I have seen Pistoclerus, the friend of 
Mnesilochus, him to whom Mnesilochus has sent the letter 
about his mistress, Bacchis. 

Scene II. 
Enter Pistoclerus yrow the house ofBACCHis. 

Pistoc. {to the First Bacchis within). 'Tis strange that 
you are so earnestly begging me to return, who am able by no 
possible means to depart hence, if I were willing, so bound 
down 2 , and so enchained with love do you hold me. 

Chrys. O, ye immortal Gods, I espy Pistoclerus! O, 
Pistoclerus, hail \ 

Pistoc. Hail, Chrysalus, to you ! Ohets. I will at present 
compress many speeches for you in a small space. You are 
glad that I am come ; I give you credit for it. You promise me 
lodging and an entertainment coming from my journey, as it 
is befitting, and I agree to come. I bring you the sincere 
greetings of your friend. Would you ask me where he is ? 
He's come. 

Pistoc. Is he alive and well ? Chrys. That I was wish- 
ful to enquire of yourself. 

Pistoc. How can I know ? Chrys. No one better. 

Pistoc. Why, in what way ? Chrys. Because if she has 
been found whom he so loves, he is alive and well. If she is 
not found, he is not well, and is like to die. His mistress is 

1 Neighbour Apollo) — Ver. 172. He is supposed to refer to Apollo "Prosti- 
terus," whose statue was placed in the vestibule of the houses, and to whom the 
Athenians paid veneration as the tutelar God of their habitations. 

1 So bound ' dovm) — Ver. 180. "Vadatus" was a term properly applied to * 
person bound under a penalty as surety for another. 


the very life of a lover. If she is away, he is non-existent ; 
if she is with him, his property is non-existent, and himself 
worthless and wretched. But what have you done in respect 
of his commission ? 

Pistoc. And ought I not to have his request complied with 
against his arrival, which his messenger brought to me from 
him ? I'd sooner be dwelling in the realms of Acheron than 

Chrys. How now, have you found out this Bacchis ? 

Pistoc. Yes, and a Samian one too. Chrys. Prithee, do 
take care that no one handles her carelessly : you know how 
soon a Samian vessel 1 is wont to break. 

Pistoc. What now, your old habit ? Cheys. Prithee, do 
tell me where she now is. 

Pistoc. Here, where you just now saw me coming out. 

Chrys. How capital that is ! She's living almost next 
door. Does she at all remember Mnesilochus ? 

Pistoc. Do you ask me that ? Aye, him alone does she 
esteem at the very highest value. 

Curys. Indeed ! Pistoc. Yes, and were you to believe 
her, distractedly in love — she quite longs for him. 

Chrys. That's good. Pistoc. Yes, Chrysalus ; see, now ; 
not even so small a space of time ever passes by as this 2 , 
out that she is uttering his name. 

Chrys. I' faith, so much the better. {Moving, as if about 
to go.) 

Pistoc. Yes; but {Holds him.) Chrys. Yes, faith 3 , 

I'd rather be off. 

Pistoc. And do you so unwillingly hear how your mas- 
ter's interests have prospered ? 

Chrys. No, not the subject 4 , but the actor offends my 
feelings with his tediousness. Even " Epidicus," a play 

1 A Samian vessel} — Ver. 202. He plays upon the word " Samian," as the isle 
of Samos was celebrated for the quality of its earthenware, which, as he here says, 
was very brittle. 

2 Passes by as this') — Ver. 209. This is doing what the Greeks call 8eiKTiKu>s. 
Suiting the action to the word, he points at the time of speaking to something 
very small, perhaps the breadth of his finger-nail. 

3 Yes, faith) — Ver. 211. It has been suggested that Chrysalus is put out 
of patience here by the frequent repetition by Pistoclerus of the word " immo," 
"aye," or "yes;" on which he rejoins, "immo, &c," "yes, and 1*11 be off." 

* No, not the subject) — Ver. 213. He seems to mean that he is not displeased 
with the subject, but at the tedious way in which Pistoclerus relates it to him. 

M 2 

164 BACCHIDES ; Act II. 

that I love quite as much as my own self, were Pollio to act 
it 1 , no play would I see so reluctantly. But, does Bacchis 
seem handsome, as well, to you ? 

Pistoc. Do you ask the question? Had I not got a 
Venus, I should pronounce her a Juno. 

Chrts. I' faith, Mnesilochus, as I find these matters pro- 
ceeding, there's something ready for you to love ; 'tis needful 
that you find something to give her. But, perhaps you 
have need of gold for that other one ? 

Pistoc. Yes, some Philippeans. Chrts. And you have 
need of it directly, perhaps ? 

Pistoc. Aye, and even sooner than directly. For there's 
a Captain coming here just now 

Chrts. A Captain, indeed ! Pistoc. Who is demanding 
some gold here for relinquishing Bacchis. 

Chrys. Let him come when he pleases, and so there be 
no delay. The money's at home ; I fear not for myself, nor do 
I go begging to any man ; so long, at least, as this heart 
of mine shall be armed with its inventiveness. Go in ; I'll 
manage here. Do you tell them in-doors, that Mnesilochus is 
coming to Bacchis. 

Pistoc. I'll do as you request. (Goes into the house of 

Chrts. The money business belongs to me. From 
Ephesus we have brought twelve hundred golden Philippeans, 
which our entertainer owed to our old gentleman. Hence, 
some contrivance 3 will I this day contrive, to procure gold 
for this son of my master thus in love. But there's a 
noise at our door — who's coming out of doors, I wonder? 
{Stands aside.) 

1 Pollio to act it) — Ver. 216. It is clear from this that the Epidicus of Plautus 
was written before the Bacchides. With a rather unusual degree of license he seems 
to refer to an event that has recently happened, and it is not improbable that the 
" Epidicus," good play as it was, had suffered from the demerits of some contempti- 
ble actor of the day, known as Pollio. Plautus thus excuses his play, and excites a 
laugh by the quaintness of the remark. There is a passage in the Nigrinus of 
Lucian that throws light on this : " Friend, have you never seen a bad Tragic 
or Comic actor ? some of those I mean who are hissed because they spoil a good 
play with their acting, and are at last driven off the stage ; though the play itself 
be at other times applauded, and bear away the prize." 

2 Some contrivance) — Ver. 239. "Machinabor machinam" is an Atticism bor- 
rowed by Plautus, probably from the original With us it would be, literally " I 
will machinate a machine " 


Scene III. 
Enter NicoBULUs/row his house. 

Nico. (£0 himself). To the Piraeus will I go; I'll go see 
whether any merchant- ship has come into harbour from 
Ephesus. For my mind misgives me ; my son lingers there 
so long, and does not return. 

ChBys. (aside). "Now, I'll finely unravel him, if the Gods 
are propitious. There must be no sleeping ; gold is requi- 
site 1 for Chrysalus. I'll accost him, whom for sure this day 
I'll make a ram of Phryxus 2 of; so, even to the quick 3 , will I 
shear him of his gold. {Accosting him.) His servant Chry- 
salus salutes Nicobulus. 

Nico. O, immortal G-ods ! where is my son ? 

Chrts. Why don't you return the salutation first, which 
I gave you ? 

Nico. Well, save you. But where on earth is Mnesilochus ? 

Chrys. He is alive and well. Nico. Is he not come ? 

Chrts. He is come. Nico. Hurra ! you've brought me 
to 4 my senses. And has he all along been well ? 

Chrts. Aye, well as a boxer 5 and an athlete. 

Nico. But what as to this — the business on account of 
which I sent him hence to Ephesus ? Has he not received 
the gold from his entertainer, Archidemides ? 

Chrts. Alas ! my heart and my brain are cleft, Nicobulus, 

1 Gold is requisite)— Ver. 240. " Opus est chryso Chrysalo." He borrows the 
Greek word " xpvcros" "gold," and plays on his own name, which has that word 
for its origin. 

2 Ram of Phryxus)— Ver. 241. The Ram with the golden fleece carried Phryxus 
in safety over the Hellespont ; but his sister Helle fell off its back on the passage, 
from which that arm of the sea derived its name. Jason recovered the golden 
fleece by the aid of Medea. The story of Helle and Phryxus is related at length 
in the Fasti and the Metamorphoses of Ovid. 

3 Even to the quick)— Ver. 242. " Ad vivam cutem" — literally, "to the living 

4 You've brought me to) — Vei 247. " Aspersisti aquan" — literally, " you have 
sprinkled water on me" in allusion to the refreshing effects of water in cases of 

5 Well as a boxer) — Ver. 248. " Pancratice atque athletice"— literally, "boxing 
oke and wrestler-like." 


whenever mention is made of that fellow. Why don't you 
call that entertainer of his your enemy ? 

Nico. Troth now, prithee, why so ? 

Chets. Because, i' faith, I know for sure, that Yulcan, the 
Moon, the Sun, the Day, those four Divinities, never shone 
upon another more wicked. 

Nico. "What, than Archidemides ? Dear me ! 

Chets. Than Archidemides, I say. Nico. What has he 

Chets. What has he not done ? Why don't you ask me 
that ? In the first place, then, he began to make denials 
to your son, and to assert that he didn't owe three obols 1 to 
you. Forthwith, Mnesilochus summoned to himself there 
our ancient host, the old gentleman, Pelago ; in his presence, 
he at once showed the fellow the token 2 , which you yourself 
had given to your son to deliver to him. 

Nico. Well — when he showed him the token ? 

Chets. He began to say that it was counterfeit, and that 
it was not a true token ; and how many reproaches he did utter 
against him so undeserving of them ! and he said that in other 
matters he had committed forgery. 

Nico. Have you not the gold ? In the first place, I want 
that to be told me. 

Chets. Yes, after the Praetor had appointed delegates 3 ; 
being cast, at length compelled by force he paid down twelve 
hundred Philippeans. 

Nico. He owed that much. Chets. Besides, listen to 
another struggle of his, as well, which he was desirous to 
enter on. 

Nico. What, besides, as well ? Oho ! this will turn out now 

1 Three obols) — Ver. 260. The " obolus" was a very small Greek silver coin. 
Its value was something more than three-halfpence of our money. 

2 The token) — Ver. 263. " Symbolum" was some object which a person delivered 
to another, in order to serve as a mark, sign, or token to a third person, that he 
was to do something which had been previously agreed upon. 

3 Appointed delegates) — Ver. 270. " Recuperatores" were certain commissioners 
or judges-delegate, who were usually named by the Praetor, at Rome and in the pro- 
vinces, to decide matters in dispute, such as disagreements about money and pro- 
perty; also to assess the damages where a wrong had been don?; to enquire 
whether a man was freeborn or not ; or, to which of two claimants civic honoun 
properly belonged. 


a regular hawk's nest 1 . I've been deceived : I've entrusted 
my gold to an Autolycus 2 for my host ! 

Chets. Nay, but do you listen Nico. "Well, I wasn't 

aware of the disposition of my avaricious entertainer. 

Chets. Afterwards, at last we had got the gold, and em- 
barked on board ship, desirous for home. By chance, as I 
was sitting on the deck, while I was looking about me, at that 
moment I beheld a long bark being fitted out by this cheating 

Nico. Troth, I'm undone ; that bark breaks my heart 3 . 

Chets. This was held in partnership by your host and 
some pirates. 

Nico. And that I should be such a blockhead as to trust 
him, when his very name of Archidemides 4 cried aloud to me 
that he would deprive me of it, if I should entrust anything 
to him. 

Chets. This bark was lying in wait for our ship. I 
began to watch them, to see what business they were about. 
Meanwhile, from harbour our ship set sail. When we had 
fully left the harbour, these fellows began to follow with 
their oars ; nor birds, nor winds more swiftly. As I dis- 
covered what scheme was being carried out, at once we 
dropped anchor. As they beheld us stopping, they began to 
keep their vessel back in harbour. 

Nico. Wicked wretches, by my troth. What did you do 
at last ? 

Chets. We returned again into harbour. Nico. 'Twas 
cleverly done by you. What after that ? 

1 Regular hawk's nest) — Ver. 274 " Accipitrina." This word is given by 
Ritschel, in place of the old reading " accipe trina," which made nonsense. The 
word does not seem to occur elsewhere. 

2 An Autolycvs) — Ver. 275. Autolycus was the son of Mercury and the grand- 
father of Ulysses. He was noted for his thievish propensities, and was in the habit 
of painting the cattle which he had stolen of another colour, in order that they 
might not be recognized. 

3 Breaks my heart) — Ver. 281. " Laedit latus" — literally, " hurts my sides," or 
in other words, " gives me a twitch." 

* Name of Archidemides) — Ver. 284. He puns upon the name of Archidemides, 
which was really derived from the Greek " apxofiai" " to govern,'" and " 8rjfios." 
" the people." To adapt his pun, however, to the taste of a Roman audience, he 
would make out that it was in part a compound of the Latin word " demo," l * tc 
filch" or " lake away." 

1G8 , bacchides ; Act II. 

Chrts. At nightfall they returned ashore. 

Nico. Troth now, they intended to carry off the gold ; 
they were attempting that p«lan, no doubt. 

Chrts. It didn't escape me ; I discovered it : I was almost 
terrified to death by it. As I saw that a scheme was being 
laid against the gold, forthwith on this we came to this de- 
termination ; the next day we carried away all the gold thence 
in their presence, openly' and publicly, that they might know 
it was done. 

Nico. Skilfully managed, i' faith. Tell me, what did they ? 

Chrts. Chopiallen at once, — soon as ever they saw us 
leaving the harbour with the gold, shaking their heads, they 
hauled their bark ashore. "We deposited all the gold with 
Theotimus, who is a priest there 1 of Ephesian Diana. 

Nico. Who is this Theotimus ? Chrts. The son of Me- 
galobyzus 2 , who is now living at Ephesus, a man most dear to 
the Ephesians. 

JN"ico. By my troth, he'll surely turn out very much more 
dear to me^ if he shall chouse me out of all that gold. 

Chrts. But it is stowed away in the very temple itself of 
the Goddess Diana ; there they keep guard at the public 
expense 4 . 

Nico. You kill me outright ; much more safely would it 
have been kept in private hands. But haven't you brought 
any of the gold home here ? 

Chrts. O yes ; but how much he has brought, I don't know. 

Nico. How's that? — not know? Chrts. Because Mnesi- 
lochus went privately by night to Theotimus; and didn't 

1 A priest there) — Ver. 307. St. Paul, when he visited Ephesus, found Diana 
still enthroned there in the full blaze of her glory. Her temple was esteemed one 
of the wonders of the world. 

2 Son o/Megalobyzus)—Ver. 308. The priests of Diana at Ephesus are supposed 
to have been eunuchs, and the priestesses virgins. Taubmann thinks that 
" Megabyzus," which ought to be read here, was a general name of the priests of 
Diana; and that the words " Megabyzi Alius," " a son of Megabyzus," have the 
same import as the word " Megabyzus" itself. It may, however, rrujan that Theo- 
timus was a priest, and not of necessity that his father was so. 

8 More dear to me) — Ver. 309. The pun here perpetrated answers equally well 
in English. 

* At the public expense) — Ver. 313. The ancients used to place a guard, at the 
public expense, at the gates of their temples, as great quantities of property <* 
value were there deposited as in places of safety. 


wish to entrust it to me, nor to any one in the ship. For 
that reason I don't know how much he has brought, but he 
hasn't brought very much. 

Nico. Do you think it was even a half ? 

Cheys. By my troth, I know not ; but I don't think it. 

Nico. Does he bring a* third part ? 

Cheys. Troth, I think not ; but I do not know the truth. 
Indeed, I know nothing at all about the gold, except that I 
do know nothing about it. Now, you yourself must take a 
voyage there on board ship, to carry home this gold from 
Theotimus ; and, hearkye (Takes him by tlie arm.) 

Nico. What do you want ? Cheys. Take care and re- 
member to carry your son's ring. 

Nico. "What need is there of the ring ? 

Cheys. Because that is the token agreed on with Theotimus, 
that the person who brings it to him, to him he is to give up 
the gold. 

Nico. I'll remember it, and you advise me well. But is 
this Theotimus rich ? 

Cheys. What, do you ask that? Why, hasn't he the 
soles fastened to his shoes with gold ? 

Nico. Why does he thus despise it ? 

Cheys. He has such immense riches; he doesn't know 
what to do with his gold. 

Nico. I wish he'd give it me. But in whose presence was 
this gold delivered to Theotimus ? 

Cheys. In presence of the people ; there's not a person in 
Ephesus but what knows it. 

Nico. My son at least did wisely there, in entrusting that 
gold to a rich man to keep. From him it may be recovered 
even at a moment's notice. 

Cheys. Aye, and look here, he'll never keep you waiting 
even thus much (shows his Jlnger-nail) from receiving it on 
the very day you arrive there. 

Nico. I thought that I had escaped a seafaring life, and 
that, at length, an old man of my years, I shouldn't be 
sailing about. But now I find that I'm not allowed to have 
the choice whether I would or no ; 'tis my fine host Archi- 
demides has done me this. Where, then, is my son, Mnesi- 
lochus, at present ? 

Cheys. He has gone to the market-place to pay his respect* 
to the Deities and his friends. 


JS"ico. Then I'll go hence to meet him as soon as I can. 

{Exit Nicobtjltjs. 

Chrts. He's right well loaded, and carries more than his 
proper burden. Not so very badly has this web been com- 
menced by me, that I may find means for the son of my 
master in his amour. I've managed it so, that he may take 
as much of the gold as he chooses, and give up to his father 
as much as he may like to give up. The old gentleman Mill 
be going hence to Ephesus to fetch his gold ; here our life 
will be spent in a delicious manner, since the old man will 
leave me and Mnesilochus here, and not be taking us along 
with him. O I what a kick-up I shall be making here. 
But what's to be done, when the old gentleman shall have 
discovered this ? When he shall have found out that he has 
made his journey thither to no purpose, and that we have mis- 
spent his gold, what will become of me after that ? I' faith, 
I think upon his arrival he'll be changing my name, and at 
once be making me Crucisalus 1 instead of Chrysalus. Troth, 
I'll run away, if there shall be a greater necessity for it. If 
I'm caught, I'll plague him for a punishment 3 ; if his rods are 
in the fields, still my back's at home. Now I'll be off, and 
tell my master's son this contrivance about the gold, and about 
his mistress Bacchis who has been found. {Exit. 


Scene I. 
Enter Ltdus from the home of Bacchis. 
Ltd. Open and throw back straightway this gate of 
hell 3 , I do entreat. For, really, I do deem it nothing else ; in- 

1 Crucisalus) — Ver. 362. Anticipating the punishment of the cross, which was 
often inflicted on slaves, he coins an epithet, " crucisahas," " cross-struggler," 
for himself, and then compares it with his own name. 

2 For a punishment)— Ver. 364. He means to say, that his master will not ba 
able to chastise him without punishing himself, in some measure, by the loss of 
the rods that will be wasted on his back. 

3 This gate of hell)— Ver. 368. The words of Lydus strongly resemble those of 
Solomon, in the Eighth Chapter of Proverbs, verse 27 : " Her house is the waj to 
hell, going down to the chambers of death." 


asmuch as no one comes here but he whom all hopes have 
deserted, that he may yet be a decent person. Bacchis — no, 
not Bacchis is their name, but they are most determined 
Bacchanals. Avaunt from me, you sisters, who suck the 
blood of men. Richly and elegantly furnished is this house 
— for destruction. Soon as I beheld all this, at once I straight- 
way betook myself to my heels. And ought I to carry these 
things concealed in secrecy ? Ought I, Pistoclerus, to con- 
ceal from your father your excesses, or your misdeeds, or your 
places of resort ? by which you are aiming to drive your 
father and myself, and you? own self and all your friends, to 
I disgrace, and shame, and ruin altogether, and to destroy us 
'■ all. Within yourself you entertain no awe of either me or 
i your own self on account of the deeds which you are doing ; 
by which you have made your own father and myself as well, 
your friends and your connexions, to be abettors 1 in the 
disgrace of your excesses. Now, before you add this mischief 
to the rest, I am resolved at once to tell your parent. This 
instant from myself will I remove this blame, and shall dis- 
close the matter to the old gentleman, that he may forthwith 
draw forth his son out from this loathsome pollution. 



Enter Mnesilochus. 
Mkes. In many ways have I thought it over with myself, 
and thus I think it is ; a man your friend, who is a friend 
such as the name imports — except the Gods — nothing does 
excel him. By fact have I experienced it so to be. For 
when I departed hence to Ephesus ('tis now almost two years 
ago it happened), from Ephesus I sent letters hither to my 
friend Pistoclerus, requesting that he would find out my 
mistress Bacchis for me. I hear that he has found her, as 
my servant Chrysalus has brought me word. How aptly, too, 
aas he framed a device against my father about the gold, that 

To be abettors) — Ver. 381. " Gerulifigulos" — literally, " carriers" or " bawk- 
:rs about of pottery." He probably alludes to the low esteem in which these 
ligglers were held ; and it is not impossible, that by his reference to the earthen- 
ware, alludes to the frail companions of Pistoclerus (whom he has just found 
» have come from Samos, where earthenware was made), in carrying out ™hos« 
chemes the young man was, in a degree, making both Lydus himself, and his 
ather, Philoxenus, his abettors. 

172 bacchides ; Act III. 

I may have abundance in my amour. I see 'tis right 1 that 
I should make a due return. 'Tis better for you to be 
styled extravagant than ungrateful ; but, i' faith, in my way 
of thinking at least, there's nothing more extravagant than 
the ungrateful man. The former the good will praise, the 
latter even the bad will censure. 'Twere better for an ill-doer 
to escape than for a benefactor to be deserted. For this reason, 
then, it behoves me to take the greater care ; I needs must be 
on the watch. Now, Mnesilochus, the sample is on view, now 
the contest is being decided, whether you are or are not 
such as you ought to be ; good or bad, of whichever kind ; 
just or unjust, penurious or liberal, fretful or complying. 
Take you care, if you please, lest you let your servant excel 
you in doing well. "Whatever you shall prove, I warn you, 
you shall not be concealed. But see, I perceive my friend's 
father and his tutor coming this way. I'll listen what matter 
'tis they are upon. (He retires aside.) 

Scene III 2 . 
Enter Ltdtjs and Philoxenus. 

Ltd. I'll now make trial, whether your heart is sharpened 
by wisdom in your breast. Follow me. 

Philo. Whither shall I follow? "Whither are you now 
leading me ? 

Ltd. To her who has undone, utterly destroyed your 
single, only son. 

Philo. How now, Lydus ; those are the wiser who mode- 
rate their passion. 'Tis less to be 3 wondered at if this age 
does some of these things than if it does not do so ; I, as 
well, did the same in my youth. 

1 / see His right) — Ver. 393. The whole of the passage, from the word 
" aequom," in this line, to " celabis," in 1. 403, is supposed by Ritschel not to have 
been the composition of Plautus, but of some other ancient poet. The passage is 
in a most confused state, and the reading suggested by Rost has been here adopted, 
the lines being read in the following order: 393, 396, 394, 397, 395, 398. 

- Scene HI.) Thornton suggests that Moliere had in his eye this Scene when 
he wrote " Les Fourberies de Scapin," which Otway translated under the title 
of " The Cheats of Scapin." 

3 'Tis less to be) — Ver. 409. After reading this, we shall be the less surprised at 
the conduct of Philoxenus a the last Scene. 


Ltd. Ah me! ah me! this over-indulgence has proved 
his ruin. For had he been without you, I should have had 
him trained up to moral rectitude ; now, by reason of you and 
your trusting disposition, Pistoclerus has become abandoned. 

Mnes. (aside). Immortal Gods! he names my friend. 
What means this, that Lydus is thus exciting his master, Pis- 
toclerus ? 

Philo. 'Tis but a little time, Lydus, that a man has a 
desire to indulge his inclinations ; the time will soon come, 
when he will hate himself even. Humour him ; so that care 
is taken that he offends not beyond the line of honor, e'en 
suffer him. 

Ltd. I'll suffer him not, nor, for my part, while I'm alive, 
will I allow him to be corrupted. But you, who are plead- 
ing his cause for a son so profligate, was this same your own 
training, when you were a young man ? I declare that for 
your first twenty years you had not even this much liberty, to 
move your foot out of the house even a finger's length away 
from your tutor. "When it did happen so, this evil, too, was 
added to the evil ; both pupil and preceptor were esteemed 
disgraced. Before the rising of the sun had you not come 
to the school for exercise 1 , no slight punishment would you 
have had at the hands of the master of the school. There 
did they exercise themselves rather with running, wrestling, 
the quoit, the javelin, boxing, the ball, and leaping, rather 
than with harlots or with kissing; there did they prolong 
their lives 2 , and not in secret-lurking holes. Then, when 
from the hippodrome 3 and school of exercise you had returned 
home, clad in your belted frock 4 , upon a stool by your master 5 
would you sit ; and there, when you were reading your book, 

1 The school for exercise) — Ver. 426. " Palaestram." This was the school for 
athletic exercise, probably for both youths and men ; though it has been contended 
that the " palasstra " was devoted to the youths, and the " gymnasium " to 
the men. 

2 Prolong their lives) — Ver. 430. " Extendere setatem " probably means here, 
not only •* to nve, but "to prolong life " by healthy exercise. 

3 The hippodrome) — Ver. 431. The u hippodromus " answered the same pur- 
pose as our riding-schools. 

* Your belted frock) — Ver. 432. " Cincticulum " was a frock worn by children, 
with a girdle or belt round the waist. 

5 By your master) — Ver. 432. This "magister" would be what the Greeks 
called the 8i8do~Kakos y or " preceptor," whose duty it waa to instruct the chil- 
dren in grammar, music, and other accomplishments. 


if you made a mistake in a single syllable, your skin would 
be made as spotted as your nurse's gown 1 . 

Mnes. (aside). I'm sorely vexed, to my sorrow, that on my 
account these things should be said about my friend. In hia 
innocence he incurs this suspicion for my sake. 

Philo. The maimers, Lydus, now are altered. 

Ltd, That, for my part, I know full well. For formerly, a 
man used to receive public honors by the votes of the people, 
before he ceased to be obedient to one appointed' his tutor. 
But now-a-days, before he is seven years old, if you touch a 
boy with your hand, at once the child breaks his tutor's head 
with his tablet. "When you go to complain to the father, 
thus says the father to the child : " Be you my own dear boy, 
since you can defend yourself from an injury." The tutor then 
is called for ; " Hallo ! you old good-for-nothing 2 , don't you 
be touching the child for this reason, that he has behaved 
so boldly;" and thus the despised tutor becomes just like a 
lantern ^ with his oiled linen rags. Judgment pronounced, 
they go away thence. Can this preceptor then, on these terms, 
keep up his authority, if he himself is to be beaten the first ? 

Mnes. {aside). This is a severe accusation. So far as I 
understand his words, 'tis strange if Pistoclerus has never 
thumped Lydus with his fists. 

Ltd. {seeing Mnesilochtts). But who is it that I see stand- 
ing here before the door ? Philoxenus, I would not prefer 
for myself to behold even the propitious Gods rather than him. 

Philo. "Who's this ? Ltd. "Why, he's Mnesilochus, the 
friend of your son. He is not of a like turn of mind with 
him who reclines and takes his meals in brothels. Fortu- 
nate Nicobulus ! who begot him for himself. 

1 Your nurse's gown) — Ver. 434. It is not known whether the words " macu- 
losum pallium " refer here to a kind of spotted gown, perhaps of dark pattern, 
peculiar to nurses, or to the dirty, soiled appearance which, not improbably, their 
gowns usually presented. Some Commentators take a wider range, and think 
that the passage refers to the robe of Cybele, the Mother of the Gods, which was 
made of the skin of a panther. 

2 You old good-for-nothing') — Ver. 444. That is, in his capacity as a slave, a 
purchaseahle commodity. 

3 Just like a lantern) — Ver. 446. This passage has been much discussed by 
various Commentators. It is, however, most probable that the Romans used 
lanterns made of oiled linen cloth ; and that he is comparing his head, when it 
lias been broken by the tablets, and plaistered over with oiled linen, to one of 
these lanterns. In his Epistles to Atticus, B. 4, Ep. 3, Cicero makes mention o. 
''linen lanterns.'' 


Philo. (advancing) . My greetings to you, Mnosiloehus ; 
I'm glad that you have arrived safe. 

Mnes. May the Gods favour you, Philoxenus. 

Ltd. He, now, was born at a lucky moment foi his father ; 
he goes to sea, attends to the interests of his family, takes 
care of the house, is obedient and attentive to the wish and 
commands of his father. He, when but a boy, was the com- 
panion of Pistoclerus in his boyhood ; 'tis not by three days 
that he is the older in age, but his disposition is more im- 
proved by thirty years than that of the other. 

Philo. Beware of a mischief 1 , and forbear to speak of him 

Ltd. Hold your peace. You're a foolish man, who cannot 
bear to have him badly spoken of who does badly. But I 
would rather have him draw upon my mishaps than upon 
my savings 2 . 

Philo. Why so ? Ltd. Because, if he were to draw upon 
my mishaps, he would each day be making them less. 

Mnes. Why, Lydus, are you censuring your pupil, my 
friend ? 

Ltd. Tour friend is ruined. Mnes. May the Gods for- 
bid it. 

Ltd. "lis so as I say. And farther, I myself saw it when 
he was undone ; I am not censuring him from hearsay. 

Mnes. What has been done by him ? 

Ltd. He is disgracefully doting upon a harlot. 

Mnes. Won't you be silent now ? Ltd. She, too, like a 
tide, most voraciously swallows all up, whenever she has 
touched any one. 

Mnes. Where does this woman live ? Ltd. Here. (Points 
to the house.) 

Mnes. Whence do they say she comes ? 

Ltd. From Samoa. Mnes. What's her name ? 

Ltd. Bacchis. Mnes. Tou are wrong, Lydus ; I know 
the whole affair, just as it is. Tou are blaming Pistoclerus 
without reason, and in his innocence. For he is carefully 

1 Of a mischief) — Ver. 463. " Malo " seems here to be a preferable reading tc 
" malum." He alludes to the punishment, to which Lydus, as a slave, is liable. 

- Upon my savings) — Ver. 465. He seems to mean, that he had rather put up 
with insult, or violence even, from his pupil, than be responsible for his misdeeds 
in which lattei case, probably, some part of his " peculium," or " stvings,' 
would be taken iway from him, in the shape of fines. 

176 BACCHIDES ; Act 111. 

performing the business enjoined on him by his friend ana 
companion, his sincere well-wisher. Neither is he himself 
in love, nor do you suppose him so. 

Ltd. Is it necessary for him carefully to perform the busi- 
ness enjoined upon him by his friend in this fashion — for him- 
self, sitting down, to hold a damsel in his lap who is kissing 
him ? Can the business thus entrusted be in no way trans- 
acted unless ever and anon he is placing his hand upon the 
bosom of Bacchis, or never withdraws his lips from hers ? 
But I'm ashamed to make mention of other things which 1 
have seen him do ; when, in my presence, I saw him take 
most unbecoming liberties with the person of Bacchis, and- 
yet not be at all ashamed. "What need of words is there ? 
My pupil, your friend, his son {pointing to Philoxenus), is 
ruined. For I say that he is ruined, whose modesty in fact 
is lost. What need of words is there ? Had I been willing 
to wait only a little time, that I might have had a better oppor- 
tunity of viewing him, I then should, I think, have seen more 
than would have been proper for me to see, and for him to do. 

Mnes. (aside) . Friend, you have undone me. And ought I 
not to punish this woman with death ? I should prefer that 
I should perish after some dreadful fashion. Isn't it the 
fact, you know not whom to deem faithful to yourself, or in 
whom to put your trust ? 

Lts. Don't you see how much he grieves that your son, 
his friend, has been corrupted? and how he is afflicting 
himself with sorrow ? 

Philo. Mnesilochus, I beg this of you, that you will in- 
fluence his feelings and his disposition. Preserve for yourself a 
friend as well as a son for me. 

Mnes. I fain would do so. Ltd. (to Philoxenus). Much 
better, too, would you leave me here together with him. 

Philo. Mnesilochus has cares, more than enough. 

Ltd. Eate the man soundly, who disgraces me, yourself 
his friend, and others, by his excesses. 

Philo. (to Mnesilochus). Upon you do I impose all 
this responsibility. Lydus, follow me this way. Ltd. I 
follow you. (Exeunt Philoxenus arid Ltdus. 

Scene IV. 
Mnesilochus, alone. 
Mnes. Which of the two now I should think to be my 


greater enemy, my companion or Bacchis, is extremely 
doubtful. Has she chosen him in preference ? Let her keep 
him, that's the best. Surely, by my troth, she has done this 
to her own loss. For never let 1 any one entrust to me aught 
that is sacred, if I don't by an abundant example 3 , and as- 
suredly love her. I'll make her not to say that she has got hold 
of a person to make a fool of. But I'll go home now and pilfer 
something from my father. Even to such straits will I force 

her, that beggary shall be the lot of 3 my father. But do I 

really now possess my wits with a mind unimpaired, who am 
in this fashion prating here of these things that are to come 
to pass ? I' faith, I'm of opinion that I'm in love, inasmuch as 
I know for sure I am. But still, than that she, from my 
abundance, should, by the scraping of a single feather, grow 
the richer, I'd rather outvie a beggar in begging. Never, 
by Heaven, while I live, shall she make a laughing-stock of 
me. For I have made up my mind to pay down all the gold 
at once to my father. Upon me, therefore, needy and pen- 
niless, shall she fawn, at the time, when it shall be for her ad- 
vantage not a whit the more than if she were saying her pretty 
things to a dead man at his tomb. Beyond a doubt, 'tis my 
fixed determination to give the gold up to my father. Like- 
wise, I'll entreat that, for my sake, my father won't hurt 
Chrysalus, nor censure him at all on my account with respect 
to the gold which he has deceived him about. For 'tis right 
that I should have a care for him, who, for my sake, has told 
this falsehood. (To some Attendants) . Do you follow me. 
{Goes into his father' 's house.) 

Enter PisTOCLERUs/nwrc the house of Bacchis. 

Pistoc. {speaking to Bacchis as he comes out). Before 

other matters, Bacchis, will I give place to what you enjoin 

me, that I find out Mnesilochus, and bring him, together 

with myself, to you. But at this my mind is surprised, if my 

1 For never lei) — Ver. 504. This passage is a circumlocution for " May I be 
prepared to commit a sacrilege, if, &c." 

2 Example) — Ver. 505. This is an instance of Aposiopesis. He stops short in his 
indignation, and owns that, despite of her supposed inconstancy, he loves her still 

3 Shall be the lot of) — Ver. 508. This is another instance of Aposiopesis. He 
thr<"itens his vengeance on her, even to making his father a beggar for Lr.» 



messenger has reached him, what it is that delays him. I'll 
go into his house here, and see if perchance he's at home. 

Scene VI. 
Enter Mne silo chus from his father's house. 

Mites, (as he enters). I've given up to my father all the 
gold. Now could I wish that she should meet me, after I am 
penniless, this fair one so scornful of me. Yet with what 
great difficulty did he grant me a pardon for Chrysalus. But 
I prevailed on him at last that he wouldn't be at all angry 
with him. 

Pistoc. (apart). Isn't this my friend? 

Mnes. (apart). Isn't this my foe that I see ? 

Pistoc. For sure 'tis he. Mites. 'Tis he. 

Pistoc. (apart). I'll go to meet him, and I'll mend my pace. 
(Aloud.) Health to you, Mnesilochus ! 

Mnes. Hail ! Pistoc. As you are arrived safe from 
abroad, a dinner must be given. 

Mnes. A dinner pleases me not, which excites my choler. 

Pistoc. Has any vexation befallen you on your arrival ? 

Mnes. Aye, and a very grievous one. 

Pistoc. From what quarter ? Mites. From a person 
whom heretofore I had supposed to be my friend. 

Pistoc. Many live after that manner and method, who, 
when you think them to be friends, are found false with their 
deceitfulness, strong in their talking, slothful in their doing, 
of faith infirm. Not one is there whom they don't envy on their 
enjoying prosperity ; through their own indolence do they 
themselves take right good care that no envy is directed 
against them. 

Mnes. By my troth, you surely understand their ways most 
thoroughly. But still this one misfortune do they find from 
their bad disposition ; they are the friends of no one, ichile 
they themselves are all at enmity against themselves ; and 
these, while they are deceiving themselves, in their foolishness 
imagine that others are deceived. Just so is he whom I sup- 
posed to be as much a friend to me as I am to my own self. He, 
so far as in him lay, has taken all care to do whatever injury 
he could towards me, to turn all my own resources against me. 

Pistoc. This same must me a bad man. 

Mnes. I judge that so he is. 


Pistoc. Troth now, prithee, do tell me who it is. 

Mnes. He lives on good terms wiin yourself. But were 
he not so, I would entreat you to do hiin whatever harm you 
could do. 

Pistoc. Only tell me the person, who he is ; if I don't do 
him an injury, some way or other, do you say that I'm the 
greatest of cowards. 

Mnes. The person's a bad one, but he's your friend, i' faith. 

Pistoc. So much the rather, then, tell me who he is. In 
good sooth, I set no value on the esteem of a worthless per- 

Mnes. I appear, then, not to be able to avoid disclosing to 
you his name. Pistoclerus, you have utterly undone me, 
your friend. 

Pistoc. How's that? Mnes. How's that? Did I not 
send you a letter from Ephesus about my mistress, that you 
should find her out for me ? 

Pistoc. I own you did ; and I have discovered her. 

Mnes. How now ? "Was there not a choice for you of other 
Courtesans in Athens, for you to form engagements with, 
instead of with her whom I had recommended to your care ? 
Could you yourself begin to love, and to contrive an inj ury 
against myself? 

Pistoc. Are you in your senses ? Mnes. I have found 
out the whole affair from your tutor ; don't deny it. You've 
ruined me. 

Pistoc. What, still upbraiding me without reason with 
these rebukes of yours ? 

Mnes. Why ? You're in love with Bacchis. 

Pistoc. But look you, two persons of the name of Bacchis 
are living here in this house. 

Mnes. How, two ? Pistoc. Aye, and the two are sisters. 

Mnes. You are now designedly telling idle stories. 

Pistoc. In fine, if you persist in thinking there's but little 
confidence in me, I'll take you upon my shoulders, and carry 
you hence into their house. 

Mnes. Well, I'll go ; but stay a moment. 

Pistoc. I will not stay, and you shall not be holding me 
under a false suspicion. 

Mnes. I follow you then. (They go into the house of 




Scene I. 

Enter a Parasite and a Boy. 

Par. Of a debauched and unscrupulous fellow am I the 
Parasite — a Captain, who has brought his mistress with him 
from Samos. Now he has ordered me to go to her, and 
make enquiry whether she will pay back the gold, or whether 
she will depart together with him. Tou, boy, who have for 
some time been with her, whichever of these is the house, 
do you knock. Go to the door forthwith. {The Boy goes to 
knock.) Are you coming back from there, you hangdog 1 ? 
How the graceless scoundrel does knock ! Yo can gobble up 
a loaf three feet wide, and yet you don't know how to knock 
at a door. {He calls out and knocks violently.') Is there 
any one in-doors ? Hallo ! is there any one here ? Does 
any one open this door ? Who's coming out ? 

Scene II. 
Enter Pistoclerus from the house. 

Pistoc. "What's the matter? What's this knocking? 
Why, what the confounded torment possesses you, to be 
exerting your strength in this fashion on another person's 
door ? You've almost broken the door down. What do you 
want now ? 

Par. Young gentleman, my respects. Pistoc. And my 
respects. But whom are you looking for ? 

Par. For Bacchis. Pistoc. But which of them? 

Par. Of that I know nothing, only it's Bacchis. In a few 
words, the Captain, Cleomachus, has sent me to her, either 
for her to pay back the two hundred golden Philippeans, or 
to go hence this day, together with him, to Elatia 2 . 

Pistoc. She doesn't go : she says she shan't go. Begone, 
and take back this message — she loves another person, and 
not him. Take yourself off from the house. 

1 Ton hangdog) — Ver. 579. " Dierecte." The meaning of this word has been 
explained in the Notes to the Trinummus. 

2 To Elatia)— Ver. 591. Elatia was a city of Phocis, a district in the Norther* 
Dart of Greece. 


Pab. You're too hasty. Pistoc. And would you know 
how hasty I am ? By my faith, your phiz isn't far off from 
a mishap ; so much are these teeth-crackers (looking at hi* 
fists) longing in my fists. 

Par. (aside) . So far as I understand his words, 'tis a warn- 
ing to me, lest he should knock my nut-crackers out of my 
jaws. {To Pistocleetjs.) At your own peril, I'll tell him 

Pistoc. What do you say ? Par. I'll tell him that which 
you bade me. 

Pistoc. Who are you ? Tell me. 

Pae. I'm the skin of his body 1 . Pistoc. He needs must 
be a scampish fellow, who has got so worthless a skin. 

Pae. He'll be coming here, swollen up with wrath. 

Pistoc. I wish he may burst. Pae. (about to go). Is 
there anything you want ? 

Pistoc. Be off ; you must do so this instant. 

Pae. Grood-bye, teeth-cracker. {Exit.) Pistoc. And you, 
skin of his body, good-bye ! This matter has come to such a 
point, that what advice to give my friend about his mistress, 
I know not ; who, in his pet, has given up all the gold to his 
father, and not a coin is there that may be paid to the 
Captain. But I'll step aside, for the door makes a noise. 
0, here's Mnesilochus coming out, and pensive, too. (He 
stands apart.) 

Scene III. 
Enter Mnesilochus from the house o/Bacchis. 
Mites. Insolent, of a froward, passionate, ungovernable, 
inconsiderate disposition, without reason and moderation, 
am I ; without fine principles of rectitude and honor, hard 
of belief, powerless to control my passions, born of a temper 
ill-disposed, unamiable and ungracious is my life 3 . In fine, 
I am that which I could wish others to be. There's not a 
person more worthless, or more unworthy for the Grods to 
bless, or for men to love or to associate with. 'Tis more 
iust that I should have enemies than friends — 'tis more 

1 Shin of his body) — Ver. 601. " Integumentum corporis." LiteraJy, " the 
skin," or " covering of the body." This was probably a nickname for a body- 
guard, or hanger-on. 

2 Is my life)— Yet. 614. " Vivo," Literally " I live," " I exist." 


reasonable that the bad should give me their assistance than 
the good. There's not a person more deserving of all the re- 
proaches that are befitting worthless men, than J, who have 
given up to my father the money that was in my power. 
Could this be believed by any one whatever ? Am I not a 
madman, who have miserably undone myself and the device 
of Chrysalus ? 

Pistoc. (aside). He must now be consoled by me; I'll 
accost him. (Aloud.) Hallo, Mnesilochus ! what's the matter ? 

Mnes. I'm ruined. Pistoc. May the Grods grant better 
things ! 

Mnes. I'm ruined. Pistoc. Won't you hold your tongue, 
simpleton ? 

Mnes. Hold my tongue? Pistoc. Tou are not now 
quite right in your senses. 

Mnes. I'm undone. Many sharp and poignant woes are 
now arising in my breast. Did I not put faith in that accu- 
sation ? "Without any cause was I angry with you. 

Pistoc. Come, come, do have a good heart. 

Mnes. Whence have it ? A dead man is of more value 
than I am. 

Pistoc. The Captain's Parasite came here, just now, to 
fetch the gold hence. I drove the fellow away from this door 
and from this fair one, and packed him off through my harsh 

Mnes. But of what service is that to me ? Wretch that 
I am, what shall I do ? I have nothing ; and he certainly will 
carry her off. 

Pistoc. By my faith, if I had the means, I'd engage not. 

Mnes. I know you'd give it me ; I know your ways ; and 
were you not in love, I should now have the very greatest pos- 
sible confidence in your assistance. At present, you yourself 
have more than enough of your own business, for me to 
suppose that you, who are in want yourself, are able to 
give me any assistance. 

Pistoc. Do but hold your tongue: some Divinity will 
favour us. 

Mnes. Nonsense. (Moves as if going.) Pistoc. Do stay. 
(Takes hold of him.) 

Mnes. What's the matter ? Pistoc. Why, I see Chry- 
salus here, vour main resource. 

Se. IT. OR, THE twie-sistebs. 188 

Scene TV. 

Enter Ciirysaltjs, at a distance. 

Chets. (to himself). It's right this man (pointing to him- 
self) should be worth his weight 1 in gold : it's fair that a 
statue of gold should be erected for him. For, this day, two 
exploits have I achieved ; with twofold spoils have I been 
graced. So cleverly have I gulled my elder master this day, 
that he has been made a fool of. The crafty old blade, by my 
crafty tricks, have I compelled and constrained to believe me 
in everything. Then, for the son of the old gentleman, my 
master here in love, together with whom I drink, with whom I 
eat and go a-courting, I have procured regal and golden trea- 
sures, that he may take from thence at home, and not go 
seeking abroad. Those Parmenos 2 , and those Syruses, please 
me not, who filch some two or three minse from their masters. 
There's nothing more worthless than a servant without skill — 
worthless, if he has not a breast mightily well-stocked, so that, 
whenever there is necessity, he may draw his supply from his 
own breast. No one can be a person well to do * * * 
unless he understands both how to do good and how to do evil. 
With rogues he must be a rogue ; with thieves let him filch 
whatever he can. It befits him who is truly wise, to be a person 
that can shift his very skin 3 . Good with the good let him be, 
bad with the bad : just as things are, so let him ever frame 
his humour. But I should like to know how much gold my 
master has taken for himself, and what he has given up to his 
father. If he is a prudent person, he has made a Hercules 4 of 
his parent : he has given him the tenth part, and has kept back 
nine for himself. But, see ! the person whom I was looking 
for; he meets me most opportunely. (To Meesilochus.) 

; Be worth his weight) — Ver. 640. " Auro expendi." Literally, " to be weighed 
against gold." 

2 Those Parmenos) — Ver. 649. Syrus and Parmeno were the names of certain 
crafty intriguing slaves introduced in Comedy. The first occurs as the name of 
a slave in the Adelphi of Terence ; the second in his Eunuchus. 

8 Shift his very skin) — Ver. 658. " Vorsipellis." Literally, " a turner of his 
skin ;" similar in meaning to our expression, a " turncoat." 

4 Has made a Hercules) — Ver. 665. A tenth part of the spoil taken in warfare 
was devoted to Hercules ; and it was believed to ennure prosperity, if persons de- 
voted a tenth of their possessions to the same Divinity. 

134 BACCHIDES ; Act IV. 

Has any of your money fallen down, my master, that thus, 
in silence, you are looking down upon the ground ? Why do 
I see you two sad and sorrowful ? I like it not ; and 'tis not 
without some reason. Are you going now to give me any 
answer ? 

Mnes. I'm undone, Chrysalus. Chets. Perhaps you took 
too little of the gold. 

Mnes. How, a plague, too little ? Why, yes, indeed, a very 
great deal less than too little. 

Chets. Why the mischief then, simpleton, since by my skill 
an opportunity was procured for that very purpose, that you 
might take as much as you pleased, did you thus take it up 
with the tips of two fingers 1 ? Or, didn't you know how 
varely an opportunity of that kind presents itself to a person ? 

Mnes. You are mistaken. Chets. Why, surely, 'tis you 
yourself that were mistaken, when you dip't your fingers in 
not deep enough. 

Mnes. I' faith, you'd upbraid me more than now you do, if 
you knew the matter better. I'm undone. 

Chets. My mind is now foreboding further mischief from 
those words. 

Mnes. I'm ruined. Chets. How so ? 

Mnes. Because I've given all up to my father, with every 
particle 2 of it. 

Chets, Given it up ? Mnes. Given it up. 

Chets. What, all? Mnes. Every jot. 

Chets. We are done for. How came it into your mind to 
do this deed so foul ? 

Mnes. I had a suspicion, Chrysalus, by reason of a charge, 
that Bacchis and he (pointing to Pistocleetjs) had been 
playing me false ; for that reason, in my anger, I gave up all 
the gold to my father. 

Chets. What did you say to your father when you gave 
up the gold ? 

! Two fingers) — Ver. 675. He says that when he had the opportunity of 
gathering up the money by handfuls, he contented himself with taking it only 
with the tips of his fingers, that is, piece by piece; some would take " digiti duo 
primores" to mean "the two first fingers of the hand;" that is, the forefingei 
and thumb. The meaning, either way, will be just the same. 

2 With every particle)— Ver. 680. " Ramentum" properly means the filings oi 
scrapings — " dust and all," " every particle." 


Mnes. That I had at once received this gold from his host, 

Chrys. Eh ! by that speech you have this day consigned 
Chrysalus to the torture ; for, when he shall set eyes on 
me, the old gentleman will carry me off that instant to the 

Mnes. I've besought my father. Chrys. I suppose, to 
do, in fact, the thing that I was speaking of ? 

Mites. Nay, not to punish you, or to blame you at all on 
account of this business. And with some difficulty I've pre- 
vailed. Now, Chrysalus, this must be your care. 

Chrys. What do you wish should be my care ? 

Mnes. That once again you should make a second inroad 
upon the old gentleman. Contrive, devise, invent whatever 
you please ; frame your plans 1 , so that this day you may 
cleverly deceive the old man unawares, and carry off the 

Chry's. It scarcely seems possible to be done. 

Mnes. Set about it, and you'll easily effect it. 

Chrys. How the plague " easily," for me, whom he has 
this moment caught out in a lie? Should I entreat him not 
to believe me at all, he would not venture even to believe 
me in that. 

Mnes. Aye, and if you were to hear what things he said 
about you in my presence. 

Chrys. What did he say ? 

Mnes. That if you were to say that this sun was the sun, 
he would believe it was the moon, and that that is the night 
which is now the day. 

Chrys. By my troth, I'll bamboozle the old chap right well 
this very day, so that he shan't have said that for nothing. 

Pistoc. Now, what would you have us do ? 

Chrys. Why, nothing, except that I beg you'll still love 
on. As for the rest, ask of me as much gold as you please ; 
I'll find it you. Of what use is it for me to have the name 
of Chrysalus 1 , unless I give proofs by fact? But now, tell 
me, Mnesilochus, how much gold is requisite for you. 

1 Frame your plans)— Ver. 693. " Conglutina." Literally, " glue the pieces 

2 Name of Chrysalus) — Ver. 704. He alludes to hu name as derived from the 
Greek xpvcrbs, " gold." 

186 bacchides ; Act YI 

Mnes. There's occasion for two hundred pieces at once, 
to pay the Captain for Bacchis. 

Chrts. I'll find it you. Mnes. Then we have need of 
some for current expenses. 

Chrts. Aye, aye, I wish us to do each thing deliberately ; 
when I've accomplished the one, then I'll set about the 
other. First, for the two hundred pieces, I shall direct rny 
engine of war against the old gentleman. U with that en- 
gine I batter down the tower and the outworks, straight 
at the gate that instant I'll attack the old town and the new 
one ; if I take it, then carry to your friends the gold in 
baskets, just as your heart wishes. 

Pistoc. Our hearts are with you, Chrysalus. 

Chrts. Now, do you go in-doors to Bacchis, Pistoclerus, 
and quickly bring out 

Pistoc. What ? Chrts. A pen, some wax 1 , tablets, and 
some cord. 

Pistoc. I'll have them here this instant. (Goes into the 

Mnes. "What now are you about to do ? Do tell me that. 

Chrts. Let a breakfast be prepared ; there will be you 
two, and your mistress will make a third with you. 

Mnes. Just as you say. Chrts. Pistoclerus has no 
mistress ? 

Mnes. yes, she's here ; he's in love with the one sister, I 
with the other, both of the name of Bacchis. 

Chrts. What were you going to say ? Mnes. This ; how 
we are to manage 2 . 

Chrts. Where are your couches 3 laid out ? Mnes. Why 
o you ask that ? 

Chrts. So the matter stands ; I wish to be informed. Tou 

1 Some wax) — Ver. 715. This wax was to be used — not to be placed on the sur- 
of the tablets, but in the manner of our sealing-wax, upon the strings with 

iich the tablets were fastened. 

2 Are to manage) — Ver. 720. Mnesilochus is probably going to ask how the} 
are about to arrange, when he is interrupted by Chrysalus, who then asks him 
what he was going to say, on which he answers that he was going to observe how 
many there would be at the entertainment. 

3 Your couches) — Ver. 720. " Biclinium " is supposed to mean either a snng 
room fitted up with only two " lecti," or couches for reclining at meals, or else, 
perhaps with more probability, a couch formed for holding two guests, instead of 
three, as the common " triclinium " did. It is not unlikely that the use of theM 
was especially adopted in houses of the character of that kept by Bacchis. 


know not what I am about to do, nor what a great exploit 1 
shall attempt. 

Mnes. Give me your hand, and follow me close, to the 
door. Peep in. (Chrtsalus looks in at the door of the house 

Chrts. Hurra ! 'Tis a very pretty place, this, and exactly 
as I could wish it to be. 

He-enter Pistocleru s, with pen and tablets. 

Pistoc. The things that you ordered — what's ordered for 
a good purpose is forthwith done by the obedient. 

Chrts. What have you brought ? Pistoc. Everything 
that you bade me bring. 

Chrts. (to Mnesilochus). Do you take the pen at once, 
and these tablets. 

Mites, (taking them). What then? Chrts. Write there 
what I shall bid you ; for I wish you to write for this reason, 
that your father may know the hand when he reads it. Write 

Mites. What shall I write? Chrts. Health to your 
father, in your own language. (Mnesilochus writes.) 

Pistoc. Suppose he were to write " disease and death," in 
preference, that would be much better. 

Chrts. Don't you interrupt us. Mkes. What you have 
ordered is now written on the wax. 

Chrts. Tell me in what terms. 

Mnes. " Mnesiloclms sends health to his father." 

Chrts. Write this, too, quickly : " My father, Chrysalus 
is always and everywhere talking at me, and in no measured 
terms, because I gave you up the gold, and because I did 
not cheat you of it." (Mnesilochus writes.) 

Pistoc. Stop till he has written it. Chrts. It befits the 
hand of a lover to be active. 

Pistoc. I' faith, that hand is more active by far at lavishing 
than at writing. 

Mnes. Say on ; that's written down. 

Chrts. " Now, my dear father, do you henceforth be on 
your guard against him, for he is forming knavish plans to 
deprive you of the gold, and has declared that he will have it 
beyond a doubt." Write legibly. 

Mnes. You only dictate. (Writes?) Chrts. "And he 
promises that he will give this gold to me, for me to give 

188 BACCHIDES ; Act IV, 

away to naughty women, and to consume it and live like a 
Greek 1 in dens of infamy. But, father, do you take care that 
he does not impose on you this day ; I entreat you, do beware." 

Mnes. Do say on. Chrys. Just write on, then. 

Mnes. Only say what I am to write 

Chrys. (Mnesilochus writing). "But, father, what you 
promised me I beg that you will remember, that you will not 
beat him, but keep him in chains at your house at home." 
Do you give me the wax and cord forthwith. Come, fasten it, 
and seal it in an instant. 

Mnes. (sealing the tablets). Prithee, what use is there in 
this writing after such a fashion, that he is to give no cre- 
dence to you, and to keep you in chains at home ? 

Chrys. Because it pleases me so. Can't you possibly take 
care of your own self, and have no thought about me ? In 
confidence in myself I undertook the task, and at my own 
peril do I carry on the matter. 

Mnes. You say what's true. Chrys. G-ive me the tablets. 

Mnes. (giving them). Take them. Chrys. Give atten- 
tion now ; Mnesilochus, and you, Pistoclerus, do you take 
care that each of you goes at once and reclines on his couch 
with his mistress ; so 'tis requisite; and on that same spot 
where the couches are now laid, do you forthwith commence 
to carouse. 

Pistoc. Anything else ? Chrys. This, and this especially : 
when you shall have once taken your places together, don't 
you arise anyhow, until the signal shall be given by me. 

Pistoc. O skilful commander ! Chrys. You ought by this 
time to have taken your second draught. 

Mnes. Capital; let's go. Chrys. Do you take care of 
your duty, and I'll do mine. (Mnesilochus and Pistoclerus 
go into the house.) 

Scene V. 

Chrysalus, alone. 

Chrys. A tremendously great business am I undertaking, 

and I have my fears how in this one day I may accomplish it. 

But now I have occasion for the old blade to be fierce and 

savage at me. For it suits not this plan of mine that the old 

' Live like a Greek)— Ver. 743. It has been before remarked, that the Greek 
mode of free living had passed into a proverb with the Romans, among whom a 
person of a licentious mode of life was said " congrsecare," " to live like a Greek.'' 
Plautus forgets that the scene is at Athens. 


fellow should be calm when he has beheld me iu his pre- 
sence. I'll turn him about 1 this day, finely, if I live. I'll 
have him parched as well as ever pea was parched 2 . I'll walk 
before the door, that when he comes out, at once as he comes 
up, I may put the letter 3 in his hand. {Stands near the door 

Scene VI. 
Enter Nicobulus, at a distance. 

Nico. This is a matter of great vexation to me, that 
Chrysalus has thus escaped me this day. 

Chrts. (aside). I'm all right: the old fellow is in a pas- 
sion. Now's my time for me to accost my man. 

Nico. Who speaks hard by? {Looking round.) "Why 
surely this is Chrysalus, I think. 

Chrts. (aside). I'll accost him. Nico. My honest ser- 
vant, hail to you. What's doing now ? How soon do I set sail 
for Ephesus, to bring back the gold home from Theotimus ? 
What — silent ? I swear by all the Gods, if I didn't love my 
son so much as to wish everything done for him that he 
desires ****** that your sides should be 
wealed now right well with rods, and that in irons at the 
mill you should be lingering out your life. I've learnt of 
Mnesilochus all your wicked pranks. 

Chrts. Has he accused me ? Tis very good ; lama bad 
one, I am a cursed one — a wicked one. Only reflect upon the 
matter. I'll utter not one word. 

Nico. What? Hangdog, do you even threaten me 4 ? 

Chrts. You'll find out before long what sort of man he is. 
He ordered me just now to carry this letter to you. He re- 
quested that that which is there written may be done. 

1 Turn him about) — Ver. 766. It is not improbable that this figure is borrowed 
from frying fish in the kitchen — " When he is done on one side, I'll turn him on 
the other." 

2 Pea was parched) — Ver. 767. " Frictum cicer," " parched vetches." Horace 
mentions these dainties. They were mostly purchased by the lower orders, and 
by slaves. 

3 rut the letter) — Ver. 769. His object is to entrap old Nicobulus in such « 
way that he must of necessity see his son in the company of the damsels, on which 
he will be inclined the more readily to believe the story that he has formed an in- 
trigue with the wife of the Captain. 

4 Even threaten me) — Ver. 785. Nicobulus takes it for a threat, when he tells 
him " specta rem mode," " only reflect upon the matter." 

190 bacchides ; Act IV. 

Nico. Give it me. Cheys. Take notice of the seal ( Give* 
him the tablets.) 

Nico. I know it. Where is he himself? 

Cheys. I don't know. I ought to know nothing now; 
I've forgotten everything. I know that I'm a slave ; I 
know not even that which I do know. (Aside.) Now from the 
springe this thrush is catching at the worm ; he'll be finely 
noosed this day, so well I've set the snare. 

Nico. Stay here but a moment; I'll return to you 
directly, Chrysalus. (Goes into his house.) 

Cheys. How he does dissemble with me ; how ignorant I 
am of the business he's about. He has gone to fetch slaves 
from in-doors to bind me. The ship speeds prosperously on ; 
finely, too, is this craft boarding it 1 . But I'll hold my tongue, 
for I hear the door opening. 

Scene VII. 
He-enter Nicobulus, with Slaves carrying fetters. 

Nico. Artamo, do you fasten the hands of that fellow, 
this very instant. (The Slaves bind him.) 

Cheys. "What have I done ? Nico. Pitch your fist into 
him if he mutters a word. (To Cheysalus, pointing at the 
tablets?) What does this letter say ? 

Cheys. Why do you ask me ? As I received it from him, 
so I've brought it sealed to you. 

Nico. Come now, you rascal, have you not shamefully 
abused my son in your talk, because he gave me up that gold, 
and said that you would still take that gold away from me by 
Borne knavish trick ? 

Cheys. Have I said so? Nico. You have. 

Cheys. What person is there, who says that I've said so ? 

Nico. Hold your tongue. No person says so ; this letter 
which you have brought me accuses you. See, 'tis this that 
requests you to be chained. (Points to the open tablets.) 

Cheys. Ah ! your son has been making a Bellerophon 2 of 

1 Craft boarding it) — Ver. 797. " Pulcre hsec confertur ratis." This is a 
figure taken from naval affairs. Ships were said " con ferri" when they closed 
together on commencing the engagement. 

2 A Bellerophon)— Ver. 810. He alludes to the hero Bellerophon, who, heing 
accused by Sthenoboea of having made an attempt on her chastity, was sent by 
Prcetus, King of Argos, with a letter to Iobates, in which he was desired to put 
the hearer to death. 


me ; I myself brought this letter, for the purpose that I 
might be bound. Be it so. 

Nico. This I am doing for this reason, because you per- 
suade my son to live like a Greek with you, you thrice-dotted 

Chrts. (aside). fool, fool, you know not that you are 
at this moment on sale ; and that you are standing on the 
very stone 1 as the auctioneer puts you up. 

Nico. (overhearing him). Answer me ; who is selling me? 

Cheys. He whom the Grods favour 2 dies in youth, while 
he is in his health, has his senses and judgment sound. This 
person (pointing to Nicobulus), if any God had favoured 
him, ought to have been dead more than ten years — aye, 
more than twenty years ago. 'Tis for long, he has walked, a 
nuisance, on the earth ; so devoid is he of either judgment or 
sense. He is of as much value as a rotten mushroom is. 

Nico. Do you think that 1 am a nuisance to the earth ? 
Away with him in-doors, and tie him tightly to the post. 
You shall never take away any gold from here. 

Chrts. No, but you'll soon be giving it me. 

Nico. I, give it you ? Chrts. You'll be entreating me, 
too, of your own accord to receive it, when you shall come to 
know this accuser of mine, in how great danger and in what 
a dreadful situation he is. Then will you be offering his liberty 
to Chrysalus; but I certainly shan't accept it. 

Nico. Tell me, source of mischief, tell me, in what danger 
is my son Mnesilochus. 

Chrts. Follow me this way ; I'll soon let you know. 

Nico. Where on earth shall I follow you ? 

Chrts. Only three steps. Nico. Aye, ten even. 

Chrts. Come, then, Artamo, do you open you this door 
but a very little way ; softly, don't make it creak. (The door, 
of the house of Bacchis is opened.) That's enough. Now, 
step you hither. (To Nicobulus, who looks in.) Do you see 
the entertainment ? 

1 On the very stone)— Ver. 815. He alludes to the stone upon which the 
" praeco," or " auctioneer," stood witn the slaves, when he sold them by auction. 
Only the cheapest and the least desirable of them were sold in this way. 

2 Whom the Gods favour) — Ver. 817. Menander has a sentence to the effect— 
4( He whom the Gods love, dies young." Chrysalus tells Nicobulus that h« is 
ck'arly no favorite of the Gods, or he would have died long since. 

192 BACCHIDES ; Act IV. 

Nico. {still looking in). I see Pistoclerus and Bacchis 
right opposite. 

Chrts. Who are upon that other couch ? 

Nico. (looking on the other side). "Wretch that I am, I'm 
undone. Chrts. Do you recognize that person ? 

Nico. I do recognize him. Chrts. Now tell me, if you 
please, does that woman seem of handsome appearance ? 

Nico. Very much so. Chrts. Well, do you take her to 
be a courtesan ? 

Nico. Why not ? Chrts. You are mistaken, 

Nico. Who is she then, prithee ? Chrts. You'll find out ; 
from me, indeed, you'll get no more information to-day. 

Scene VIII. 
Enter Cleomachus, at a distance. 

Cleom. (aloud). Is this Mnesilochus, the son of Nicobu- 
lus, by force to detain my own mistress ? What proceeding 
is this ? 

Nico. Who's this ? Chrts. (aside). This Captain's oppor- 
tunely come for me. 

Cleom. He doesn't consider that I am a soldier, but a 
woman, who cannot defend myself and mine. But may 
neither Bellona nor Mars ever put confidence in me, if I don't 
put him out of life, if I meet him, or if I don't make him 
lose possession of his existence. 

Nico. Chrysalus, who's this that's threatening my son? 

Chrts. This is the husband of that woman with whom he 
is now reclining. 

Nico. What! The husband? 

Chrts. The husband, I say. Nico. Prithee, is she mar- 
Tied then ? 

Chrts. You'll know before very long. 

Nico. Wretch that I am; I'm utterly undone. 

Chrts. How now ? Does Chrysalus seem such a villain to 
you ? Come, chain me now 1 , and do listen to your son. Didn't 
I tell you that you would discover what sort of person he is ? 

Nico. What shall I do now ? Chrts. Order me at once 
to be released, if you please ; for, if I'm not released, he'll 
just now be overpowering the young man in our presence. 

' Ciain me now) — Ver. 855. He says this satirically, pointing to h«s fettera 

5c. V1I1. Oil, THE TWIN-SISTERS. 198 

Cleom. There's no gam that I should this day take so 
much delight in making, as I should in falling upon him as 
he reclines with her, so that I might kill them both. 

Chrts. (to Nicobultjs). Don't you hear what he says r 
Why don't you order me to be released ? 

Nico. (to the Slaves). Unbind him. I'm ruined; wretch 
that I am ! I'm in a dreadful fright. 

Cleom. Then I'd make her, who publicly puts up her 
person for sale, not to say that she has got a person for her 
to laugh at. 

Chrts. (to Nicobulus). You may make terms with him 
for a little money. 

JSTico. Make terms, then, I beg, for what you like ; so 
that he mayn't, in our presence, fall upon the young man, or 
kill him outright. 

Cleom. Unless the two hundred Philippeans are repaid 
to me at once, I'll this instant swallow the lives of them 
both outright. 

Nico. (to Chrtsaltjs). Make terms with him, if you can ; 
prithee, do make haste ; agree for any sum you like. 

Chrts. I'll go, and do it carefully. ( Goes up to Cleo- 
machus.) "Why are you exclaiming so ? 

Cleom. Where's your master? Chrts. Nowhere; I 
don't know. Do you wish the two hundred pieces to be 
promised you at once, so as to make no riot or disturbance 
here ? 

Cleom. There's nothing that I would desire more. 

Chrts. And that I may heap many a curse upon you ? 

Cleom. Just as you please. Chrts. (aside). How the 
villain does cringe. (To Cleomachtjs.) This is the father of 
Mnesilochus : follow me ; he shall promise it you. Do you 
ask for the gold. As to the rest, a word's enough 1 . (They 
go up to Nicobultjs.) 

Nico. What has been done? Chrts. I've struck the 

II bargain for two hundred Philippeans. 
Nico. Well done! Goddess Salvation 2 , thou hast saved 
me. Well, how soon am I to say I'll pay it ? . 

1 A word's enough) — Vex. 878. He says this, as he is afraid that if the con- 
versation proceeds to any length, the old man will discover that she is not the 
; Captain's wife. 

Salvation) — Ver. 879. It was a proverbial expression with the Romans to day 
'hat the Goddess " fealus," "health." or "salvation," "had saved," or "could 
lot save " a person, as the case might bv. 

194 BACCH1DE8 : Act IV. 

Chrys. (to Cleomachus). Do you ask it of him; and (to 
Nicobulus) do you promise it him. 

Nico. I promise it. (To Cleomachus.) Come, ask me. 

Cleom. Will you give me two hundred golden Philip- 
pean pieces, lawful money ? 

Chrys. " They shall be given," say : do answer him. 
' Nico. I'll give them. Chrys. Well, now, filthy fellow 
is there anything owing to you ? Why are you plaguing 
him ? Why are you frightening him about death ? Both 1 
and he wish you every ill luck. If you have a sword, still 
we have a spit at home ; with which, in fact, if you provoke 
me, I'll make you more full of holes than a rat's skin} when 
caught in a trap. V faith, for my part, some time since I 
found out what suspicion it was that tormented you ; namely, 
that he was with that wife of yours. 

Cleom. Yes; and so he is. Chrys. So may Jupiter, 
Juno, Ceres, Minerva, Hope ; Latona, Ops, Virtue, Venus, 
Castor, Pollux, Mars, Mercury, Hercules, Summanus 2 , the 
Sun, Saturn, and all the Deities, prosper me, he neither re- 
clines with her, nor walks, nor kisses, nor does that which is 
wont to be reported. 

Nico. (aside). How he does swear! He's saving me, 
however, by his perjury. 

Cleom. Where then, at this moment, is Mnesilochus ?• 

Chrys. His father has sent him into the country. And 
she has gone hence to the citadel, to see the temple of 
Minerva. The Poor's open now ; go in, and see if he's there. 

Cleom. I'll be off to the Forum next. 

Chrys. Or rather, by my troth, to very perdition. 

Cleom. Am I to demand this gold to-day ? 

Chrys. Demand it, and go hang yourself ; don't you sup- 
pose, you worthless fellow, that we shall be entreating of you. 
(Exit Cleomachus.) He's taken himself off. Permit me, 

1 A rat's skm)—Ver. 889. "Soricina nasnia," "than a rat's ditty," literally. 
This was, no doubt, a proverbial saying, and speaking elliptically, was, perhaps, 
intended to apply to the squeaking of a rat when his body was pierced with holes 
while held fast in the trap. There is, however, great obscurity in the passage, and 
Commentators are very much divided as to its meaning. 

2 Summanus) — Ver. 895. It is not accurately known who the Deity Summanus 
was. Ovid, in his Fasti, B. 6, 1. 731, speaks in uncertainty of him. He is, how- 
ever, generally thought to have been the same with Pluto, who was so called as 
being " Summus Manium," " the Chief of the Spirits." Varro says that his wor 
Ship was introduced by Tatius the Sabine. 


master, I entreat you by the immortal Gods, to go m-doors 
here to your son. {Pointing to the house of Bacchis.) 

Nico. But why go in there ? Chrys. That with many 
words I may rebuke him, since after this fashion he has 
been going on this way. 

Nico. Well, I beg you will do so, Chrysalus; and I entreat 
you not to spare him in your talking to him. 

Chrys. And do you instruct even myself ? Isn't it suffi- 
cient, if this day he shall hear from me more harsh things 
than ever Clinias heard 1 from Demetrius ? {Goes into the 
house of Bacchis.) 

Nico. This servant of mine is very like a running eye; if 
you have it not, you don't wish for it or desire it ; if you have 
it, you can't keep off from rubbing it. But if he hadn't, by 
lucky chance, been here to-day, the Captain would have 
surprised Mnesilochus with his wife, and have killed him 
as an adulterer detected in the fact. Now, in a manner have 
I ransomed my son with the two hundred Philippeans which 
I have promised to give to the Captain ; which, however, I 
shall not rashly pay him down, before I have met with my son. 
By my troth, I'll never rashly give credence in anything to 
Chrysalus. But I have a mind even once again to read over 
this letter ; 'tis right that when a letter is sealed we should 
give credence to it. {Goes into his house.} 

Scene IX. 

Enter Chrysalus from the house of Bacchis. 

Chrys. The two brothers, the sons of Atreus, are said to 
have done a most famous deed, when, with arms, and horses, 
and an army, and with chosen warriors, and with ships a 
thousand in number, after the tenth year, they subdued 
Pergamus, the native land of Priam, founded by hands 
divine. Not more decidedly did it fall by the engine of war, 
than I shall storm my master here, without a fleet, and with- 
out an army and so great array of soldiers. I have won, I 
have taken by storm this gold from his father for my.master's 
son, in his amour. Now, before the old man comes here, 
I wish to lament until he does come out. Troy ! O my 

1 Clinias heard) — Ver. 912. He is alluding to a scene in some play, then well 
known, which is now lost. In it, Demetrius was probably severe upon Caiius, 
Hie Delphin editor thinks that this must have been a proverb. 


196 BACCHIDES ; Act t V 

country! Pergamus! Priam! old man, you are un- 
done, you, who'll be wretchedly and shockingly choused out of 
four hundred golden Philippeans. For those tablets, sealed 
on the one side and on the other, they are not tablets, but 
the horse which the Greeks sent, of wood. Pistoclerus is 
the Epeus 1 ; from him were these received. Mnesilochus is 
the Simon left behind. Behold him ! not in Achilles' tomb, 
but on a couch he reclines : he has Bacchis with him ; just 
as the other formerly had the fire with which to give the 
signal ; so now does she inflame himself. I am Ulysses, by 
whose advice they do these things. Then, the characters 
which there are written, are the soldiers in this horse, armed 
and of high courage. So even thus far has the matter pros- 
pered with me. This horse, too, will be making his attack, 
not on a citadel, but on a coffer 2 . A ruin, a destruction, a 
cleaner-out of the old man's gold, will this horse prove this 
day. To this silly old man of ours, in fact, I give the name of 
Ilium ; the Captain is Menelaiis ; I, Agamemnon ; I, too, am 
Ulysses, the son of Laertes ; Mnesilochus is Alexander 3 , who 
will be the destruction of his father's fortunes ; he has borne 
off the Helen, on whose account I am now carrying on the 
siege of Ilium. For there I have heard say that Ulysses 
was both bold and full of mischief, just as I am. I have 
been detected in my tricks — he, discovered in a beggar's 
guise, had almost perished, while he was spying out there 
the doings of the Trojans. Similarly has it happened to my- 
self to-day. I have been bound, but by my devices I have 
redeemed myself ; he, too, preserved himself by artifice. I 
have heard that there were three destinies 4 attending Troy, 
which were fatal to it ; if the statue should be lost from the 

1 7a the Epeus)— Ver. 937. Epeus was the builder of the wooden horse. When 
the treacherous Sinon was left behind, he lurked in the tomb of Achilles, or, ac- 
cording to some, in that of Palamedes. 

* Not on a citadel, but on a coffer) — Ver. 943. He puns on the resemblance of 
the words " arcem," a " citadel," and " arcam," a " chest" or " coffer." 

s A lexander) — Ver. 947. Alexander was one of the names of Paris, the son of 

4 There were three destinies) — Ver. 953. He has omitted three of the circum- 
stances by which the downfall of Troy was to be precipitated — namely: if the 
norses of Rhesus should be captured before they had tasted of the pastures of Troy 
and the waters of Xanthus ; if the bow and arrow of Hercules should be employed 
in the siege; and if one of the posterity of Achilles should be present, in all whicb 
circumstances the Greeks were eventually favoured 


citadel ; whereas the second was the death of Troilus ; the 
third was when the upper lintel of the Phrygian gate 1 should 
be demolished. Just so are there three fatalities for this 
Troy of ours, corresponding with those three ; for, first oi 
all, when, a short time since, as I told our old gentleman 
the lying story about his host, and the gold, and the bark, 
then, that instant, did I steal the statue 2 from the citadel. 
And even then two fatalities were remaining, and no further 
had I taken this city. Afterwards, when I carried the letter 
to the old man, then I killed my Troilus. When he sup- 
posed, just now, that Mnesilochus was with the Captain's 
wife, from that, with difficulty, did I disengage myself. And 
that danger do I compare to what they say, how that Ulysses, 
recognized by Helen 3 , was betrayed to Hecuba. But as, in 
olden time, by his coaxing arts, he liberated himself from 
her, and persuaded her to let him go, so I, by my devices, 
have rescued myself from the danger, and have deceived the 
old man. Afterwards, I engaged with the blustering Cap- 
tain, who, unarmed, takes cities with his words, and there I 
repulsed tny man. Then I engaged in fight with the old gen- 
tleman ; straightway by one lying device did I vanquish him ; 
by one blow, in a moment, did I take the spoils away from 
him. He now will give the two hundred Philippean piece? 
to the Captain, which he has promised that he will give. 
# # # # ISTow, I have occasion for another two 
hundred, to be distributed when Ilium is taken, that there may 
be the usual draught of honeyed wine 4 with which the soldiers 
may celebrate their triumph. But this Priam is far superior 
to him of old. Not fifty sons only has he, out four hundred, 
and all choice ones, without a blemish; all these this day 
will I cut off at two single blows. Now, if there were any 
purchaser for this Priam of ours, I would sell the old fellow 

1 The Phrygian gate) — Ver. 955. This was the Scaean gate, near the tomb of 
King Laomedon 

2 Steal the statue) — Ver. 958. The Palladium was stealthily canned off from Troy 
by Ulysses and Diomedes. 

3 Recognized by Helen)— Ver. 963. He alludes here, and in 1. 951, to the occa- 
sion when Ulysses entered Troy as a spy, in the disguise of a beggar, on which 
occasion he was recognized by Helen. 

* Draught of honeyed wine) — Ver. 972. " Mulsum." This was a mixture of wine 
and honey, flavoured with myrrh, cassia, nard, costum, or pepper. On the occasiea 
of a triumph, the soldiers were treated to copious dra aghts of this mixture. 

19S bacchides ; Act IV 

in the lump 1 , whom I have on sale the moment that I shall 
have taken the city. But, lo! I see our Priam standing 
before the door ; I'll go and speak to him. 

Scene X. 
Enter Nicobtjlus /rom his house. 

Nico. Pray, whose voice is it that sounds near me ? 

Chrys. ONicobulus! Nico. What's the matter? 

Chrts. O, capital ! Nico. "Well, have you done aught of 
what I sent you upon ? 

Chrys. What — ask you that ? Step closer this way. 

Nico. (coming nearer). Well, I do come closer. Chrts. I 
am an excellent pleader. By rebuking him, and by whatever 
hard language I really was able to think of, I forced the 
fellow to tears. 

Nico. What did he say ? Chrts. He uttered not a word : 
crying, he listened in silence to what I was saying ; in silence 
he wrote down on his tablets ; these sealed he gave to me ; 
he bade me deliver them to you. (Gives him the tablets.') 
But I am afraid that they sing to the same tune that the 
former ones did. Observe the seal, is it his ? 

Nico. I recognize it. I'd like to read them over. (Goes 
to a distance?) 

Chrts. Kead them through. (Aside) Now is the upper 
lintel 2 being cut down, now is the destruction of Troy near 
at hand. The wooden horse is shaking it right cleverly. 

Nico. Chrysalus, just step here while I am reading these 

Chrts. Prithee, what need is there for me to be near you ? 

Nico. That you may know what's written here. 

Chrts. I don't care, and I don't wish to know. 

Nico. Still, do come here. Chrts. What need is there ? 

Nico. Hold your tongue. Chrts. I won't, I say. 

Nico. But I will, I say. Chrts. What need is there ? 

1 In the lump) — Ver. 976. " Coemptionalem senem." Those slaves were called 
M coemptionales " who, by reason of age or bad character, were so utterly worth- 
ess that they would fetch no price, and were consequently thrown into a lot with 

other slaves or property of real value. 

2 TJie upper lintel)— Ver. 988. He alludes to the Phrygian gate, which hi 
has before mentioned in 1. 955. 


Nico. Still do you only do that which I bid you. 

Chrts. I'll come. 'Tis right to do so; your own ser- 
vant ought to be obedient at yoar command. ( Goes up to Mm.) 

Nico. {looking at the tablets). Heyday! he hasn't been 
sparing 1 of his wax or pen. But whatever it is, I'm re- 
solved to read it through. Attend to me, please, this very 

Chrts. When you choose, read on ; I devote to you the 
attention of my ears. 

Nico. (looking close). Bless me ! the letters are small. 

Chrts. To one, indeed, who cannot see well with his eyes 
but they are quite large enough for one who can see well. 

Nico. Give your attention then. (He reads?) " Father, 
I beseech you, do give two hundred Philippeans to Chrysalus, 
if you wish me to be safe or alive for you " 

Chrts. By my troth, really a very great mistake, I tell 

Nico. "What's the matter ? Chrts. He hasn't first 
written the salutation to you. 

Nico. (looking). I don't see it anywhere. 

Chrts. Even from its very commencement the letter is an 
impertinent one. If you are wise, you'll not give it ; but at 
the best, if you give it him, why, let him find out some other 
porter for himself, if he is wise ; for I won't carry it if you 
order me ever so much. I've been quite enough suspected 
as it is, when I was guiltless of a fault. 

Nico. Listen on now, while I read through what's written. 
(Beading.) " I am ashamed, father, to appear before you in 
your presence ; such disgraceful conduct of mine have I 
heard that you are aware of, that I have formed an inter- 
course with the wife of a strange Captain." By my troth, 
you are not joking there ; for I have saved your life from 
the consequences of this foul deed with two hundred golden 

Chrts. There's not a particle of these things but what 
I've told him. 

Nico. (reading). " I confess that I have acted foolishly. 
But I beseech you, father, do not forsake me, if, in my folly, I 
have transgressed. Of fierce desires, and eyes uncontrolled, 

1 Ilasn't been spnring) — Ver. 993. By this expression he means that his sea 
has written a very long letter, as he has been neither sparing of the wax for the 
tuole's, nor of the use of the " stylus" or pen- 

200 BACCHIDES : Act IV. 

have I been ; I have been urged on to do a deed of which I 
am now ashamed." It were proper, then, that yon should 
have taken heed before you were ashamed. 

Chets. All these very same words did I say to him only 
just now. 

Nico. (reading). " I beseech you, father, to consider that 
it is enough that Chrysalus has reproached me with many 
cutting words, and by his advice has made me a better man, 
so that 'tis right that you should return him sincere thanks." 

Chets. Is that written there ? Nico. Look and see, 
then you'll know. (Shows him the letter.) 

Chets. He that has so offended, how humble to all he is, 
and of his own accord. 

Nico. (reading). " Now, father, if even yet I may be 
allowed to ask anything of you, do give me two hundred Phi- 
lippean pieces, I do entreat you." 

Chets. By my troth, now, not one even, if you are 

Nico. Let me read on. (Beading?) " In set form 1 I have 
taken an oath that I would give this to the woman this day 
before nightfall, ere she leaves me. Now, father, have a care 
that I be not forsworn, and take me hence away from her as 
soon as you can, on whose account I have incurred so much 
loss and guilt. Take care and let not the two hundred pieces 
be a cause of annoyance to you ; I will repay you innu- 
merable times as much, if I live. Farewell, and do attend 
to these matters." Now, Chrysalus, what do you think ? 

Chets. I won't give you one bit of advice this day, and I 
won't run the risk, that if any mistake is made, you should 
say that you had done it by my counsel. But, as I conceive, 
if I were in your place, I would rather give the gold than 
suffer him to be corrupted. There is a twofold choice ; con- 
sider which you would adopt ; either to lose the gold, or 
for a lover to be forsworn. I neither order you, nor forbid 
you, nor do I persuade you. 

Nico. I'm sorry for him. Chets. Tou don't do anything 
surprising — he is your son. If still more must be lost, 'tis 
better for it to go, than for this disgrace to bo everywhere 

Nico. By my troth, I certainly had much rather he had 

1 In set form)— Ver. 1028. Of course the oath would be the more solemn in 
such case. 


been at Ephesus, so long as he was well, than that he had 
returned home. But why don't I hasten to get rid of that 
which is doomed to he squandered away ? I'll bring you just 
now from m-doors twice two hundred Philippeans, both those 
which, a little time since, to my sorrow, I promised to the 
Captain, and these others. Wait there ; I'll be out to you, 
Chrysalus, this instant. {Goes into his house.} 

Chrts Troy is laid waste, the chiefs have razed Pergamus. 
I knew some time ago that I should be the ruin of Pergamus. 
I' faith I wouldn't dare make a bet with him who should say 
that I was deserving of severe torture ; so great confusion 
am I making. But the door makes a noise ; the plunder's 
being brought forth from Troy. For the present I'll hold my 

He-enter Nicobtjltjs with the money in two hags. 

Nico. Take you this gold, Chrysalus ; go, carry it to my 
son. But I'll go hence to the market-place to pay this to 
the Captain. 

Chrts. For my part, I'll not receive it ; do you seek 
somebody at once to take it. I won't have it entrusted 
to me. 

Nico. But do take it ; you're worrying me now. {Holds it 
to him.) 

Chrts. For my part, I'll not take it. 

Nico. But, prithee do. Chrts. I am telling you what 
is the fact. 

Nico. You are delaying me. Chrts. I don't want, I 
say, the gold t© be entrusted to me. At all events, find some 
person to keep a watch upon me. 

Nico. You're plaguing me. Chrts. Well, give it me, if it 
must be so. (Holds out his hand.) 

Nico. (gives him the money) . Take care of it. I'll be back 
here just now. (JExit. 

Chrts. I've taken care that you shall be a most 

wretched old fellow ; this is bringing an undertaking to a fair 
ending ; even as it has proved my lot to go rejoicing, laden 
with the spoil. With safety to myself, and the city taken 
by stratagem, I now bring home my w r hole army unhurt. But, 
Spectators, don't you now be surprised that I don't go in tri- 
umph ; 'tis such a common thing, I don't care for it. Still 

202 bacchides ; Act V 

however, the soldiers shall be received with the usual honeyed 
wine. Now I'll carry off all this booty at once to the 
Quaestor 1 . {Goes into the house o/"Bacchis.) 

Scene XI. 

Enter Philoxenus. 

Phil. The more I revolve it in my breast, what disturb- 
ances my son has raised, into what a course of life, and into 
what habits he unwittingly has headlong plunged himself, the 
greater is my concern, and the more do I dread lest he may be 
ruined or corrupted. I know it ; I once was of the same age, 
and I did all these things ; but in a quiet way. I was gay, I 
had my mistress, I drank, I feasted, I made presents, but still 
it was seldom I did so. The methods, too, please me not which 
I see parents in general employ towards their sons. I have de- 
termined to give some latitude to my son, that he may have 
some scope for his inclinations. I think that's right ; but 
still, I don't wish him to give way too much to sloth and 
wantonness. Now I'm going to Mnesilochus, to see whether, 
as I requested, by his endeavours he has turned him for 
me to virtue and to sobriety ; as, indeed, I am sure he has 
done if he has met him, of such a disposition is he by nature. 



Scene I. 

Enter Nicobtjltjs, wringing his hands. 

Nico. "Whoever there are in any place whatsoever, who- 
ever have been, and whoever shall be, in time to come, fools, 
blockheads, idiots, dolts, sots, oafs, lubbers 2 , I singly by far 
exceed them all in folly and absurd ways. I'm undone. 
I'm ashamed of myself; that I at this time of life should 

1 To the Qucestor) — Ver. 1075. It was the custom of the Romans to deliver to 
the City Quaestor the plunder taken in war, to be employed in the public service. 
Here he means his young master, Mnesilochus. 

2 Oafs, lubbers) — Ver. 1088. " Blennus" means, properly, " dirty-nosed," and 
thence " a driveller," " an idiot." " Bucco" was " one who had large puffed-out 
cheeks," which was considered to be the mark ot a blockhead or fool. 


disgracefully Lave been twice made a fool of! The more T 
think of this confusion which my son has made, the more am 
I incensed. I'm ruined, and I'm utterly destroyed ; I'm dis- 
tracted in every possible way. All plagues harass me, by all 
modes of death do I perish. This day has Chrysalus rent me in 
pieces ; Chrysalus has plundered wretched me ; he, the villain, 
by his clever tricks, has shaved, to the very quick, simple me, 
just as he has pleased. For the Captain says tkat she is a 
Courtezan, whom that fellow said was his wife ; and he has in- 
formed me of everything, as each particular happened ; how 
that she had been hired by him for this year; how that that 
much gold was left to be repaid 1 , which I, most simple man, had 
promised him. 'Tis this, this, I say, through which my breast 
boils with indignation 2 ; 'tis this, in fine, by which I am dis- 
tracted ; that I, at my time of life, should be made a fool of, 
aye, by Heaven, so made a very sport of, and with my hoary 
head and white beard, that wretched I should be bamboozled 
out of my gold. Undone am I, inasmuch as this slave of 
mine has dared in this way to set not the value of a nutshell 
upon me. And I — if any other way I had lost a greater sum 
— I should have taken it less amiss, and have deemed it less 
of a loss to me. 

Enter Philoxenits. 

Philo. (as he enters). For sure, some person, I know not 
who, seems to be talking near to me. But who's this I see ? 
Keally, 'tis the father of Mnesilochus. 

Nico. Hah ! I see a partner in affliction. Save you, Phi- 
loxenus ! 

Philo. And you; whence are you betaking yourself? 

Nico. From a place whence comes a wretched and a luck- 
less mortal. 

Philo. Why, troth, I'm surely on the earth, the spot where 
it befits a wretched and a luckless mortal to be. 

Left to be repaid) — Ver. 1098. This passage is rather ohscure; hut it seerru 
to mean that Bacchis had been engaged for a yea-r by the Captain, and that having 
received the whole sum when the original agreement was made, she had ar- 
ranged to repay the Captain a sum proportionate to the time that was want« 
Kg io complete the year engaged for. 
* Boils with indijjnatieuZ—Ver. 1099. " Peracescit." Literally, " turns sour." 

204 eacchides; Act"V, 

Nico. We now, as we are of like age, are meeting with 
similar fortunes. 

Philo. So it is. But as to yourself, what's the matter 
with you ? 

Nico. I' faith, mine's the same mishap as your own. 

Philo. Does this misfortune in any way relate to your son ? 

Nico. Such is the fact. Philo.' The same disease exists 
in my own breast. 

Nico. Aye, and that very worthy fellow, Chrysalus, has 
been ruining my son, myself, and all my fortunes. 

Philo. Pray now, what is this mishap of yours about your 

]N~ico. Tou shall know : together with your own son he's 
undone; both of them are keeping mistresses alike. 

Philo. How do you know ? Nico. I have seen them. 

Philo. Ah ! wretch that I am ! I'm ruined outright. . 

Nico. Why do we hesitate a moment to knock and to call 
them both hither out of doors. 

Philo. I don't object. Nico. {knocks at the door of the 
house of Bacchis). Hallo there ! Bacchis ! Bid the door to 
be opened this instant, if you please, unless you had rather 
the door and the posts be knocked to bits with hatchets. 

Scene II. 
Enter Piest Bacchis and Second Bacchis from the house. 

1st Bacch. "Who is it that calls out my name with such a 
noise and tumult, and is knocking so hard at the door ? 

Nico. I and this person here. {Pointing to Philoxentjs.) 

1st Bacch. Pray, what's the matter now ? Who has been 
driving these sheep 1 to us ? 

Nico. These most shocking hussies call us sheep. 

2nd Bacch. Their shepherd's asleep, as they come stray- 
ing thus from the flock. 

i Driving these sheep)— Ver. 1121 She calls them sheep, probably, because 
of their venerable appearance ; though she afterwards remarks that they are 
but dirty sheep. Perhaps, too, it was the custom among ladies of this class, hi 
cant phrase to call those " sheep" who could stand fleecing; a point on which it 
will be found in the dialogue that they exchange remarks. " Goats " would havs 
boon a more appropriate name, under tbe circumstances for the old sinners. 


1st Bacch. But, i' faith, they are not white ; they both 
look dirty. 

2nd Bacch. Because they have both been shorn just now. 

Philo. How they seem to be laughing at us. 

Nico. Let them, just as long as they please. 

1st Bacch. Don't you think that these sheep are shorn 
three times a year ? 

2nd Bacch. I' faith, to-day one of them has been already 
shorn twice, that's sure. 

1st Bacch. They are old and fleeceless 1 , both of them. 

2nd Bacch. But I think they have been in good plight once. 

1st Bacch. Prithee, do you see how they are looking with 
a sheep's eye at us ? 

2nd Bacch. By my troth, I really do believe they are with- 
out any ill design. 

Philo. This happens to us deservedly, for having come 

1st Bacch. "Well, let them be driven in-doors to fold 2 . 

2nd Bacch. I don't know what occasion there is for that, 
as they have neither milk nor wool. Let them stand as they 
are. Of whatever value they have been, they are now out of 
date ; all their fruit has fallen off them by this. Don't you see, 
how, straying unattended, they are ranging about at liberty ? 
"Why, I fancy that they must be dumb with age ; they don't 
bleat even, though they are absent from the rest of the 
flock. They seem both silly and worthless. 

1st Bacch. Let's return in-doors, sister. 

Nico. Stay where you are, both of you ; these sheep want 

2nd Bacch. Why, surely this is a prodigy ; sheep are ad- 
dressing us with a human voice. 

Philo. These sheep will return you the heavy and great 
injury which they owe to you. 

1st Bacch. If you owe me aught, I forgive it you ; keep it 

1 Old and fleeceless) — Ver. 1129. "Mina ovis"was a sheep that had no wool 
on its belly. It is hard to say why this name was given to it. If the word 
" mina " had signified a certain coin, and not a sum of money merely, we might 
have supposed it alluded to the smoothness of the coin. 

2 Be driven in-doors to fold)— Ver. 1134. " Cogantur." Literally, " let them 
be drivm within." " Cogor " was the term applied to pen ling or folding sheep ox 

206 BACCHLDE8 ; Act V. 

to yourself; I'll never demand it of you. But what is the 
reason that you are threatening mischief to us ? 

Philo. Because they say that our two lambs are shut 
up here. {Pointing to the house?) 

Nico. And besides those lambs, my dog is there concealed 
that bites 1 . If they are not now produced to us and sent out 
of the house, we shall be furious rams; we shall attack 
you forthwith. 

1st Bacch. Sister, I have something to say to you in 

2nd Bacch. How now, prithee ? {They go apart.) 

Nico. "Whither are they going? 1st Bacch. Sister, I 
give to you that old fellow that's farthest oif, that you may 
have him cleverly smoothed down; I'll now attack this 
other one that's angry ; if we can only entice them here in- 

2nd Bacch. I'll manage my task with cleverness, although 
'tis to caress an old skeleton.- 

1st Bacch. Take care and do your lest. 

2nd Bacch. Be quiet ; do you do yours ; I'll manage what 
I have said. 

Nico. Why are these two women holding a council here 
in private ? 

Philo. What say you, my good fellow ? 

Nico. What would you with me ? Philo. I really am 
ashamed to tell you a certain thing. 

Nico. What is it that you're ashamed about ? 

Philo. Still, as you are a person, a friend of mine, I'm de- 
termined to entrust you with what I could wish. {Whispers.) 
I'm good for nought. 

Nico. I've known that this long time ; but tell me why 
you're good for nought ? 

Philo. I've been terribly touched with birdlime: troth, 
my heart is pierced by the goad. 

Nico. I' faith, 'twere much better if your flanks were 
goaded, you worthless fellow. But what is it ? Although I 
suspect that I myself pretty well know already what it is ; 
still, I should even like to hear it from yourself. 

Philo. Do you see that woman ? {Pointing to the Second 
Bacchis.) Nico. I see her. 

1 That bites) — Ver. 1146. He alludes to his having been bitten by Chrysalus. 


Philo. She's not an uncomely person. 

Nico. Troth, but she is decidedly uncomely ; and you are 
ft good-for-nothing fellow. 

Philo. "Why more ? I'm in love. JNico. You, in love ? 

Philo. 'Pon honor 1 . Nico. And do you, you rotten 
creature, presume to become a lover at your time of life ? 

Philo. Why not? Nico. Because it's a disgrace. 

Philo. What need of words ? I am not vexed with my 
son, nor yet is it right you should be vexed with yours : if 
they are in love, they do wisely. 

1st Bacch. * * * Follow me this way. (They 
approach the old men.) 

JNTico. See, they are moving at last, these allurers and 
enticers to disgrace. (To the women.) How now ? Do you 
this instant restore us our sons and my servant, or am I 
to try rougher means with you ? 

Philo. Won't you away with you ? Tou surely are 
not a man, to address a pretty woman so rudely in that 

1st Bacch. Most worthy old gentleman, by whatsoever is 
upon the earth, let me entreat this of you, that you will cease 
to attack this error with such great vehemence. 

Nico. If you don't away with you, although you are so 
handsome, I'll be doing you some great mischief just now. 

1st Bacch. I shall endure it ; I don't apprehend that any 
blow that you can give, will cause 'me any pain. 

Nico. How smooth of speech she is. O me ! I am in 

1st Bacch. (aside). He's more calm already. (Aloud.) Step 
this way with me in-doors ; and there, if you choose, correct 
your son. (Takes his arm?) 

Nico. Avaunt from me, abomination ! (Shakes her off.) 

1st Bacch. Do, my love, let me prevail upon you. 

INico. Tou, prevail upon me ? 2nd Bacch. For sure, I 
1 shall prevail, at all events, upon this gentleman. (Pointing 
to Philoxenus.) 

Philo. Yes, I beg of you to show me in-doors. 

'■ Ton honor) — Ver. 1162. Nat yap. This Greek phrase was, no dor bt, 
used as a cant or off-hand mode of expression, jus as on similar occasions w« 
adopt the French " oui" or " vraiement," "yes," " decidedly." 

208 bacchides; Act V. 

2nd Bacch. What a dear man you are. 

Philo. But do you know on what condition you are 
to show me in-doors ? 

2nd Bacch. That you are to be with me. Philo Tou 
mention all that I desire. 

2nd Bacch. ***** 

Nico. I have seen wicked men ; but not one worse than 

Philo. I am as I am. 1st Bacch. (to Nicoettlus). Step 
this way in-doors with me, where you may be elegantly re- 
ceived with viands, wine, and unguents. 

Nico. Enough, enough now of your banquets ; it matters 
not to me how I'm received. My son and Chrysalus have 
choused me out of four hundred Philippeans. If I don't 
surely this day put him to the torture, may I never receive 
as large a sum again. 

1st Bacch. What, pray, if half the gold is paid you back ? 
Will you go in-doors here with me, and so control your 
feelings as to forgive them their faults ? 

Philo. He'll do it. (Takes his arm.) Nico. Certainly not 
— I won't — I don't care — let me alone, now. (Shakes him off.) 
I had rather punish them both. 

Philo. Take you care, you good-for-nothing man, that 
through your own fault you don't lose even that which the 
favouring G-ods offer you. One half of the gold is offered ; 
take it, and carouse, and enjoy yourself with your partner'. 

Nico. What, am I to carouse in that very place where my 
son is being corrupted ? 

Philo. You must carouse there. Nico. Am I to be the 
witness of it when she is reclining with him at table ? 

1st Bacch. Nay, so far as I'm concerned, i' faith, I'll re- 
cline at table with your own self. 

Nico. My head does itch so 1 . (Aside.) I'm a ruined man — 
I can scarce deny her. 

Philo. And has it not before this come into your mind, 
that if, while you live, you enjoy yourself, that, i' faith, is for 
no very long time ; and that, if you lose the present day, it 
can never return to you after you are dead ? 

Does itch so) — Ver. 1192. Being in doubt what to do, he scratches his head, 
and then tries to turn it off by saying, *' Bless me, how my head does itch." 

8C. II. OR, THE TWIN- SISTER*, ■ 200 

Nico. What am I to do ? Philo. What are you to do ? 
D<> you even ask it ? 

Nico. I should like, and yet I'm afraid. 

1st Bacch. What are you afraid of? 

Nico. Lest I should be exposed before my son and my 

1st Bacch. Pray now, ray honey ; such things do happen. 
He's your own son; whence do you suppose that he is to 
have money, except that only which you give him yourself? 
Let me obtain pardon of you for them both. 

Nico. (aside). How she does work her way. She's now pre- 
vailing on me against that which I was quite resolved upon. 

1st Bacch. I will love you, and embrace you. 

Nico. Through your doing, and for your sake am I cor- 

1st Bacch. I certainly had rather 'twere for your own than 
for mine. 

Nico. Come then, however that may be, although it is 
to my disgrace, I'll submit ; I'll induce my feelings to do so. 

1st Bacch. Have I that solemnly promised? * * 

Nico. What I have once said, I will not alter. 

1st Bacch. The day wears apace. Come into the house, 
to take your places at table : your sons are expecting 

Nico. How soon, in fact, we may be dead, d'ye mean ? 

1st Bacch. 'Tis evening, already ; come, follow us. 

Philo. Lead us in like bondsmen 1 . (They go into the house.} 

1st Bacch. (to the Spectators). Bight cleverly are these 
persons entrapped 2 themselves, who for their sons had laid a 
snare. (Goes in.) 

The Company 3 of Comedians. 
Had not these old men been worthless from their youth 

1 Like bondsmen) — Ver. 1205. " Addicti " were those who were made the slaves 
of their creditors ; being thus by law deprived of their liberty until they had paid 
their debts. 

2 Thesepersons entrapped) — Ver. 1206. The two old men, at this moment, would 
Form a good companion picture to the Elders, who solicited the chastity of 

3 The company) The whole company of actors (Caterva) now comes forward, 
and chant or repeat the moral of the Play which has just been acted. 





upwards, they would not. with their hoary heads, have this 
day done an action so disgraceful ; nor, indeed, should we have 
represented this, if we had not, before this, seen it happen that 
fathers became the rivals of their sons in the houses of pro- 
curers. Spectators, we wish you Farewell! and that you 
will grant us loud applause. 


> Two Brothers. 

3Bramatis persona:. 

Antipho, an old gentleman of Athens. 


Pamphilus 1 

Gelasimus, a Parasite. 

Stichus, the servant of Epignomus. 

Sagarin us, the servant of Pamphilus. 

Pinacium 2 , a boy. 

A Piper. 

Philumena 3 , the wife of Epignomus. 
Pamphila 4 , the wife of Pamphilus, and sister of Philumena. 
Crocotium, a female servant of Philumena. 
Stephanium, a female kitchen servant of Pamphila. 

Scene. — Athens : a Street before the house of Antipho and those of Epignomuk 
and Pamphilus ; the two latter being next door to each other. 

1 In the former Editions he is called Pamphilippus. Ritschel clearly shows 
that this is incorrect. 
8 In the former Editions he is called Dinacium. 

* In the former Editions she is called Panegyris. 

* In the former Editions she is called Pinacium. 



The plot of this Play (which is supposed by some Commentators not to have been 
written by Plautus) is extremely meagre. Antipho, a wealthy and jovial old 
gentleman of Athens, has two daughters, Philumena and Pamphila. They are 
married to two brothers, Epignomus and Pamphilus, who, having run through 
their property in the company of idlers and Parasites, have, with the view of 
retrieving their fortunes, taken to merchandize. Having been absent three years 
from home, and no tidings being heard of them whether they are alive or^not 
Antipho assumes the prerogative of a father, and requests his daughters to 
marry again ; who resolve, however, to maintain their fidelity to their absent 
husbands. Philumena sends the Parasite, Gelasimus, to the harbour to see if 
any ships have arrived. In the meantime, the boy, Pinacium, brings her word 
that her husband has returned to Athens. He and his brother meet the 
Parasite, and resist all his attempts to fasten himself upon them ; they then go 
home, and become reconciled to Antipho, from whom, in their poverty, they had 
become estranged ; and who now requests them to make him a present of a 
female slave. Stichus, the servant, obtains a day's holiday, together with a 
present from his master of a cask of wine. He makes an entertainment for 
himself, his friend Sagarinus, and their mistress Stephanium. The Play con- 
cludes with a dance, to the music of the Piper. 


[Supposed to have been written by Priscian the Grammarian.] 
An old man (Senex) rebukes his daughters because they are so ( Tarn) persevering 
in thus {ltd) adhering to their husbands, brothers, poor and abroad, and in 
not deserting them. And, on the other hand (Contra), he is softened down by 
prudent words to allow them to retain (Habere) those whom they have already 
got. Enriched with wealth, their husbands ( Viri) come back from beyond the 
sea ; each one retains his own (Suam) wife, and to Stichus a holiday is given. 


Scene I. 
Enter Philumena and Pamphila. 

Phil. Sister, I think that Penelope was wretched from 
her very soul, who was so long deprived of her husband ; for 
from our own fortunes, whose husbands are absent from us, we 
judge of her feelings ; for whose affairs, still, in their absence, 
both night and day, sister, as is becoming, we are ever anxious. 

Pam. 'Tis right that we should do our duty ; and we do 
not that any further than affection bids us. 

Phil. But, sister, step this way a moment ; I want to speak 
about the affairs of my husband. 

Pam. Ain't they prospering, pray ? 

Phil. I hope and wish so, indeed. But, sister, at this am 
I vexed, that your and my father, one who is esteemed as espe- 

1 Stichus) Plautus has named this Play " Stichus," from the servant, who is o 
of the characters in it, though not the principal one, as Gelasimus, the P 
certainly occupies that place. 

214 STICHTJS ; Act. I. 

cially honorable among all his fellow-citizens, should be 
now acting the part of a dishonorable man; who is unde- 
servedly doing so great an injustice to our absent husbands, 
and is wishing to separate us from them. These things, 
sister, render me tired of existence ; these things are a care 
and a vexation to me. (She sheds tears.) 

Pam. "Weep not, sister, nor do that to your feelings which 
your father is threatening to do. "lis to be hoped 1 that he will 
act more righteously. I know him well ; he says these things 
in jest ; and he would not earn for himself the mountains of the 
Persians, which are said to be of gold 2 , to do that of which 
you are in dread. Still, if he does do it, it befits you by no 
means to be angry ; nor will it happen without some reason. 
For this is the third year since our husbands have been away 
from home. 

Phil. 'Tis as you say; while, in the meantime, they 
may be living, and may be well 3 , they do not make us ac- 
quainted where they are, what they are doing, whether they 
are doing well, neither do they return. 

Pam. And do you, sister, regret this, that they do not 
observe their duty, whereas you do yours ? 

Phil. Troth, I do. Pam. Hold your peace, if you please ; 
take care, please, that I hear not that same thing from you in 

Phil. And why, pray? Pam. Because, i' faith, in my 
opinion, 'tis proper for all prudent people to observe and to 
do their duty. For that reason, sister, although you are the 
older, I advise you to remember your duty ; and if they are 
unjust and act otherwise to us than is right, then, i' faith, in 
exactly the same degree, that there may be no further mis-' 
chief, it befits us studiously to remember our duty by all 
means in our power. 

Phil. 'Tis good; I'm silenced. Pam. But do take care 
and remember it. 

Phil. I do not wish, sister, to be thought to be unmindful 
of my husband ; nor has he thrown away the distinction that 

1 'Tis to be hoped) — Ver. 22. " Spes est." Literally, " there is a hope." 

2 Said to be of gold) — Ver. 25. No doubt, as the Persians were from an early 
period noted for their wealth and grandeur, it was a common notion with the 
people of Europe that they had " mountains of gold." 

3 May be well) — Ver. 31. After "valeant" in this line, a comma, and not a 
colon, seems more reconcileable to the meaning of the passage. 


he conferred, upon me. For, by my troth, his kindness is 
pleasing and delightful to me ; and, really, this choice of mine 
is not now irksome to me, nor is there any reason why I should 
wish to abandon this match. But, in fine, 'tis placed in our 
father's power 1 ; that must be done by us which our rela- 
tives enjoin. 

Pam. I know it, and in thinking of it I am overwhelmed with 
grief; for already has he almost disclosed his sentiments. 

Phil. Let us consider, then, what is necessary for us 
to do. 

Scene II. 

Enter Antipho from his house, speaking at the door to his 

Ant. The man in condition of a servant who always waits 
to be told his duty, and doesn't remember to do it of his 
own accord, that servant, I say, is not of a deserving character. 
You remember well on each returning Calends to ask for 
your allotment of provisions 2 ; why, then, do you less remem- 
ber to do what is necessary to do about the house ? Now, 
therefore, if, when I return, the furniture shall not be set for 
me, each piece in its proper place, I'll be putting you in mind 
with a bull's hide remembrancer 3 . Not human beings seem 
to be living with me, but pigs. Take care, if you please, that 
my house is clean, when I return home. I shall soon be back 
home ; I'm going to her house, to see my eldest daughter. 
If any one should enquire for me, call me thence, some of 
you ; or 1 shall be here soon myself. 

Phil, (aside) . What are we to do, sister, if our father shall 
resolve against us ? 

1 In our father's. power) — Ver. 53. By the law of the Twelve Tables at Rome, 
females were never " sui juris," but under a perpetual guardianship ; and even 
marriage did not entirely exempt them from parental authority, unless they had 
been emancipated from it before. Among the Greeks also, parents exercised grea* 
authority in disposing of their daughters in marriage. 

2 Allotment of provisions) — Ver. 60. The Greeks, it must be borne in mind, 
had no Calends (whence the proverb " ad Graecas Calendas," " to-morrow come 
never"); the Poet is here alluding to the Roman custom of distributing to the 
slaves their allowance of food on the Calends, or first day of every month. 

3 Butts hide remembrancer) — Ver. 63. " Monumentis bubulis." Literally, 
" with memorials of oxen." The thongs of the ■'< scutica" and of the " flagellum' 
were generally made of bull's hide. 

£16 STICHUS; Act I 

Pa.m. It befits us to submit to what he does whose power 
is the stronger. By entreating, not by opposing, I think we 
must use our endeavours. If with mildness we ask for 
favour, I trust to obtain it of him. Oppose him we cannot, 
without disgrace and extreme criminality ; I will neither do 
that myself, nor will I give you the advice to do it, but rather 
that we should entreat him. I know our family 1 ; he will 
yield to entreaty. 

Ant. {speaking to himself). In the first place, in what 
manner I should make a beginning with them, about that I 
am in doubt ; whether I should accost them in language 
couched in ambiguous terms, after this fashion, as though I 
had never pretended 2 anything at all against them, or whether 
as though I had heard that they were deserving of some cen- 
sure against them ; whether I should rather try them gently 
or with threats. I know that there will be opposition ; I know 
my daughters right well. If they should prefer to remain 
here rather than to marry afresh, why, let them do so. What 
need is there for me, the term of my life run out, to be waging 
war with my children, when I think that they don't at all de- 
serve that I should do so ? By no means ; I'll have no dis- 
turbances. But I think that this is the best thing to be 
done by me ; I'll do thus ; I'll pretend as though they had 
themselves been guilty of some fault ; I'll terribly terrify 
their minds this day by some ambiguous expressions ; and 
then, after that, as I shall feel disposed, I'll disclose my- 
self. I know that many words will be spoken ; I'll go in. 
{Goes to the door of Philumena's house.) But the door's 

Phil. "Why, surely the sound of my father's voice reached 
my ears. 

Pam. 1' troth, 'tis he ; let's hasten to meet him with a 
kiss. {They both run to kiss him.) 

Phil. My father, my respects. Ant. And to you the same. 
Away this instant, and be off from me. {Removes her.) 

Phil. One kiss. Ant. I've had enough of your kissing. 

Phil. Prithee, father, why so ? 

1 7" Jcnow our family) — Ver. 74. " Nostros." Literally, " ours," meaning " oui 
people," " our family." 

2 As though I liad never pretended) — Ver. 77. Despite the ingenuity of Fitschel, 
this line seems to be in a corrupt state. 


Ant. Because, as it is, the seasoning of your affection has 
reached my soul 1 . 

Pam. Sit down here, father. {Points to a chair.) Ant. I'll 
not sit there ; do you sit down ; I'll sit on the bench 2 . (Sits 
on a bench.) 

Pam. Wait till I fetch a cushion. 

Ant. Tou take kind care of me ; I'm nicely seated now 
as I am 3 . 

Pam. Do let me, father. ( Goes into the house.) Ant. "What 
need is there ? 

Pam. There is need. (Coming out, and bringing a cushion.) 

Ant. I'll submit to you. (Arranging the cushion.) Yes, 
this does very well. 

Pam. Why, daughters can never take too much care of 
their parent. Whom is it proper that we should esteem more 
dear than yourself ? And then, in the next place, father, our 
husbands, for whom you have chosen that we should be the 
mothers of families. 

Ant. Tou do as it is proper for good wives to do, in esteem- 
ing your husbands, though absent, j ast as though they were 

Pam. 'Tis propriety, father, for us to highly honor those 
who have chosen us as companions for themselves. 

Ant. Is there any other person here to listen with his 
ears 4 to our conversation? 

1 Has reached my soul) — Ver. 92. " Mese animae salsura evenit." Literally, 
' the salting has come forth to my soul." This phrase is rendered in Leverett's 

Lexicon, " I am dejected" or " I am in an ill humour." That, however, does 
not appear to be the meaning. The father has had kissing enough from his 
daughters, but he intends, as it would seem, to compliment them by comparing 
their kisses to salt, with its refreshing and vivifying powers ; and when Philumena 
asks for one kiss more, he says, " No, as it is (ita) their refreshing power has 
reached my soul." Kost seems to be of this opinion, but he suggests that " animae 
mese" are vocatives plural ; in that case the passage would mean, " as it is, my 
loves," or " my delights, the refreshing salt of your affection has reached me." 

2 On the bench) — Ver. 93. " Subsellium" generally means " a footstool," used 
by persons when sitting on a high seat. Here, however, it probably signifies " a 
bench," perhaps placed against the wall in the front of Philumena's house, where 
he was about to make a call. 

3 Nicely seated now as I am) — Ver. 94. " Sat sic fultum est." Literally, 
"enough is it thus supported." She has brought out the cushion, and has 
placed it upon or at the back of the hard bench, which was pei-haps something 
like our garden chair. 

* To listen with his ears) — Ver. 102. " Nostris dictis auceps auribus " LiteraJy 

213 stichus'; Act I 

Phil. There's no one except us and yourself. 

Ant. I wish your attention to be given ; for, unacquainted 
with female matters and ways, I come now as a pupil to 
you, my instructresses ; in order that each of you may tell 
me what endowments matrons ought to have, who are the best 

Pam. What's the reason that you come hither to enquire 
about the ways of females ? 

Ant. Troth, I'm looking for a wife, as your mother's 
dead and gone. 

Pam. You'll easily find, father, one both worse and of 
worse morals than she was ; one better you'll neither find 
nor does the sun behold. 

Ant. But I'm making the enquiry of you, and of this 
sister of yours. 

Pam. I' faith, father, I know how they should be, if they 
are to be such as I think right. 

Ant. I wish, then, to know what you do think right. 

Pam. That when they walk through the city, they should 
shut the mouths of all, so that none can speak ill of them 
with good reason. 

Ant. (to Philumena). And now speak you in your 

Phil. What do you wish that I should speak to you 
about, father? 

Ant. How is the woman most easily distinguished, who is 
of a good disposition ? 

Phil. When she, who has the power of doing ill, refrains 
from doing so. 

Ant. Not bad that. (To Pamphila.) Come, say you, 
which choice is the preferable, to marry a maiden or a 
widow ? 

Pam. So far as my skill extends, of many evils 1 , that which 
is the least evil, the same is the least an evil. He that can 
avoid the women, let him avoid them, so that each day he 

" a fowler for our words ;" in allusion to the stealthy manner in which the fowler 
lies in wait for his prey. 

1 Of many evils') — Ver. 120. Pamphila is embarrassed here ; and as she probably 
does not wish her father to marry either widow or maiden, but still does not like tc 
tell him so, she takes refuge in a truism, rather than give a direct answer to his 
question. Aristotle tells us that Epicharmus was much in the habit of gu ing ut- 
terance to remarks of this nature. 


takes care, the day before, not to do that which, the day after, 
he may regret. 

Ant. What sort of woman, pray, seems to you by far the 
wisest ? 

Phil. She who, when affairs are prosperous, shall still be 
able to know herself, and who with equanimity can en- 
dure it to be worse with her than it has been. 

Ant. By my troth, in merry mood have I been trying the 
bent of your dispositions. But 'tis this for which I am come 
to you, and for which I wished to meet you both. My 
friends are advising me to the effect that I should remove you 
hence to my own house. 

Pam. But still, we, whose interests are concerned, are ad- 
vising you quite otherwise. For either, father, we ought not 
formerly to have been bestowed in marriage, unless our hus- 
bands pleased you, or, it is not right for us now to be taken 
away when they are absent. 

Ant. And shall I suffer you while I am alive to remain 
married to men who are beggars ? 

Pam. This beggar of mine is agreable to me; her own 
king is agreable 1 to the queen. In poverty have I the same 
feelings that once I had in riches. 

Ant. And do you set such high value on thieves and 
beggars ? 

Phil. You did not, as I think, give me in marriage to the 
money, but to the man. 

Ant. Why are you still in expectation of those who have 
been absent for now three years ? Why don't you accept an 
eligible match 3 in place of a very bad one ? 

Pam. Tis folly, father, to lead unwilling dogs to hunt. 
That wife is an enemy, who is given to a man in marriage 
against her will. 

Ant. Are you then determined that neither of you will 
obey the command of your father ? 

Phil. We do obey ; for where you gave us in marriage, 
thence are we unwilling to depart. 

1 Her own king is agreable) — Ver. 133. She speaks here of the husband in the 
character of the " rex," or " king," in his own establishment, which to him is his 
kingdom. Of course, then, the wife would be the " regina," or " queen." 

2 Eligible match) — Ver. 138. "Conditio," in the sense of "offer" or "pro- 
posal," especially applies to one of marriage. As their husbands had spent almost 
all their substance, the ladies are probably living on the fortune which he has 
given them, and he anticipates that it may be soon exhausted. 

220 STioHUS ; Act II. 

Ant. Kindly good b'ye ; I'll go and tell my friends youi 

Pam. They will, I doubt not, think us the more honor- 
able, if you tell them to honorable men. 

Ant. Take you care, then, of their domestic concerns, the 
best way that you can. (Exit. 

Phil. Now you gratify us, when you direct us aright: 
now we will hearken to you. Now, sister, let's go in- 

Pam. "Well, first I'll take a look at home. If, perchance, 
any news should come to you from your husband, take you 
care that I know it. 

Phil. Neither will I conceal it from you, nor do you con- 
ceal from me what you may know. (Calls at the door of her 
house.) Ho there, Crocotium 1 , go, fetch hither Grelasimus, 
the Parasite ; bring him here with you. For, i' faith, I wish 
to send him to the harbour, to see if, perchance, any ship from 
Asia 2 has arrived there yesterday or to-day. But, one servant 
has been sitting at the harbour whole days in waiting ; still, 
however, I wish it to be visited every now and then. Make 
haste, and return immediately. (Each goes into her own 


Scene I. 

Enter Gelasimtjs. 

Gel. I do suspect that Famine was my mother ; for since 
I was born I have never been filled with victuals. And no 
man could better return the favour to his mother, than do 
I right unwillingly return it to my mother, Famine. For 
in her womb, for ten months she bore me, whereas I have 
been carrying her for more than ten years in my stomach. 
She, too, carried me but a little child, wherefore I judge that 
she endured the less labour ; in my stomach no little Famine 

1 Crocotium) — Ver. 150. This name is derived from " Crocus," which means 
the plant of that name, or saffron. 

2 Ship from Asia) — Ver. 152. Asia Minor was the place of resort, in those daya 
for persons who wish to make money sceediLy. 


do I bear, but of full growth, i' faith, and extremely heavy. 
The labour-pains arise with me each day, but I'm unable to 
bring forth my mother, nor know I what to do. I've 
often heard it so said that the elephant is wont 1 to be 
pregnant ten whole years ; for sure this hunger of mine is ol 
its breed. Tor now for many a year has it been clinging to 
my inside. Now, if any person wants a droll fellow, I am on 
sale, with all my equipage : of a filling-up for these chasms 
am I in search. When little, my father gave me the name ot 
G-elasimus 2 , because, even from a tiny child, I was a droll chap. 
By reason of poverty, in fact, did I acquire this name, because 
it was poverty that made me to be a droll ; for whenever she 
reaches a person, she instructs him thoroughly in every art. 
My father used to say that I was born when provisions were 
dear ; for that reason, I do believe, I am now the more sharply 
set. But on our family such complacence has been bestowed 
— I am in the habit of refusing no person, if any one asks me 
out to eat. One form of expression has most unfortunately 
died away with people, and one, i' faith, most beseeming and 
most elegant to my thinking, which formerly they employed : 
"Come here to dinner — do so — really, do promise — don't make 
any difficulties — is it convenient ? — I wish it to be so, I say ; 
I'll not part with you unless you come." But now, in the 
present day, they have found a substitute for these expres- 
sions — a saying, by my faith, truly right worthless and 
most vile : " I'd invite you to dinner, were I not dining 
out myself." I' faith, I wish the very loins of that 
phrase broken, that it mayn't repeat its perjury if he 
does dine at his own house. These phrases reduce me 
to learn foreign habits 3 , and to spare the necessity for an 
auctioneer, and so proclaim the auction, and put myself up 
for sale. 

1 The elephant is wont) — Ver. 168. Pliny the Elder informs us that this was 
the vulgar notion with regard to the elephant. He also says that Aristotle tells 
us that two years is the duration of its pregnancy. 

2 Name of Gelasimus) — Ver. 174. " Gelasimus" signifies "comical," "laugh- 
able," " funny," from the Greek verb ye\da>, " to laugh." 

3 Foreign habits) — Ver. 193. By " barbaros mores," he probably alludes to 
the Eoman custom of selling by auction, which was one of the duties of the 
I prasco," or " herald," here rendered " auctioneer." Plautus frequently- speaks 
at one moment as though addressing a Greek, and at the next, a Roman, au. 

222 stichus ; Act II, 

Untet Ceocotium from the house of Philumena, unseen by 


Ceoc. {aside). This is the Parasite, whom I've been sent 
to fetch. I'll listen to what he's saying, before I accost 

Gtel. Now there are a good many curious mischief-makers 
here, who, with extreme zeal, busythemselveswith the affairs of 
other people, and who have themselves no affairs of their own to 
busy themselves with. They, when they know that any one is 
about to have an auction, go forthwith and sift out what's 
the reason; whether a debt compels it, or whether he has 
purchased a farm ; or whether, on a divorce, her marriage- 
portion is to be repaid to his wife 1 . All these, although, 
i' faith, I don't judge them undeserving, in their most 
wretched state, to go toiling on, I don't care about. I'll 
proclaim the reason of my auction, that they may rejoice in 
my mishaps, for there's no person a busybody but what 
he's ill-natured too. Very great mishaps, alas ! have befallen 
wretched me. So dreadfully afflicted has my property 2 ren- 
dered me: my many drinking-bouts are dead and gone; 
how many dinners, too, that I've bewailed, are dead! how 
many a draught of honeyed wine ; how many breakfasts, too, 
that I have lost within these last three years ! In my 
wretchedness, for very grief and vexation have I quite grown 
old. I'm almost dead with hunger. 

Ceoc. {aside). There's no one such a droll, as he is when 
he is hungry. 

GrEL. Now am I resolved that I'll make a sale : out of 
doors 8 am I obliged to sell whatever I possess. Attend, if 
you please ; the bargains will be for those who are present. 

1 To be repaid to his ioife)—Ver. 204. If the divorce took place by mutual 
consent, then the " dos," or " marriage-portion," of the wife was returned. Such 
a circumstance occurring on a sudden, might very easily cause a necessity for « 
recourse to the services of the auctioneer. 

2 Has my property) — Ver. 210. "Mancupium," or " mancipium," was any 
species of property possessed by right of purchase. He here considers the din- 
ners and the drinking-bouts, which he so misses, in the light of property to him- 
self; the more especially as they had been purchased at the price of his " logi," 
his ' puns," or " bon mots." 

3 Out of doors)— Ver. 219. " Foras :" " abroad," " out of doors." The sales by 
lection took place in the open street. 


I've funny bon mots 1 to sell. Come, bid your price. "Who 
bids a dinner ? Does any one bid a breakfast ? They'll cost 
vou an Herculean breakfast 2 or dinner. Ho, there ! (to one 
of the Spectators) did you nod to me ? No one will offer 
you better — I won't allow that any Parasite has better 
quibbles, cajoleries, and parasitical white lies 3 . I'm selling a 
rusty flesh-scraper 4 , too ; a rusty-coloured brown bottle 5 for the 

1 Funny bon mots) — Ver. 221. " Logos." This word is the Greek \oyos } 
signifying " a word," or " a witty saying," in a Latin clothing. It exactly cor- 
responds with the expression " bon mots," which we have similarly borrowed from 
the French. 

8 An Herculean breakfast) — Ver. 223. It is hard to say what he means by 
f Herculeum prandium :" but, as Hercules was supposed to send good luck to thosn 
who gave him the tenths of their property, whether that property consisted of a 
house or a meal, his meaning probably is, " Whoever invites me to a meal, that 
meal shall be as lucky to him as though he had sent the tenth part of it as an 
offering to Hercules." 

3 Parasitical white lies) — Ver. 227. " Perjeratiunculas parasiticas." Literally, 
" parasitical little perjuries." This is probably meant in reference to the adjura- 
tions so common among the ancients on the most trivial occasions, and of which 
the Parasite promises to be lavish in speaking in praise of his entertainer. The 
diminutive " uncula" suits the measure, and also shows the air of self-satisfaction 
with which he mentions that which he takes to be of the same harmless nature 
which some easy casuists among ourselves attribute to what they choose to call white 
lies. Indeed, the ancients esteemed perjury very much according to the subject on 
which it was employed. Ovid mentions Mercury as laughing at the perjuries of 
cheating tradesmen, and Jupiter as smiling at those of lovers ; surely, then, " a little 
bit of a perjury" (the true meaning of " perjeratiuncula") could not be amiss on 
an occasion so trivial, and yet, to the Parasite, so all-important, as the acquisition 
of a good dinner. 

4 A rusty Jlesh-scraper) — Ver. 228. The "strigil" was an instrument used by 
the Greeks and Romans in the place of the flesh-brush of modern times. It was 
made of borie, iron, copper, and sometimes of silver. It was used after taking 
the " sudatorium," or sweating-bath, for the purpose of scraping the perspiration 
from the body. These'instruments were of curved form, and in shape somewhat re- 
sembled our tongue-scrapers on a large scale. Rich persons took slaves with them 
to the baths for the purpose of scraping them. From Hesychius, Athenasus, and 
Theophrastus, we learn that Parasites were much in the habit of spunging for 
entertainers at the public baths ; and, no doubt, they generally had ready, for an 
emergency, both a " strigil" and a bottle of perfumed ointment, as a handy 
medium of introduction to strangers. 

5 A rusty -coloured brown bottle)— Ver. 228. The " ampulla," or " bottle, ' was 
probably a " lorea," or leather one, and had turned of a rusty-brown colour trca 

22-t stichus ; Act II. 

Greek unguents 1 at the sweating-baths 2 ; delicate after-dinner 
powders 3 ; an empty Parasite as well {pointing to himself), 
in whom to lay by your scraps. 'Tis needful that these 
should be sold at once for as much as they can ; that, if I oft'ei 
the tenth part to Hercules 4 , on that account it may he greater 

Ceoc. (aside). An auction of no great value, by my troth. 
Hunger has taken hold of the very deepest recess of the fel- 
low's stomach. I'll accost the man. (Moves towards him.) 

Gel. Who's this that's coming towards me ? Why, surely 
this is Crocotium, the maid-servant of Epignomus. 

Ceoc. My respects, Gelasimus. Gel. That's not my name. 

Ceoc. I' faith, for sure that used to be your name. 

Gel. Distinctly it was so, but I've lost it by use. Now 
I'm called Miccotrogus 5 from what is fact. 

1 Greek unguents) — Ver. 229. By mentioning "Greek unguents," Plautus 
here recollects that he is addressing a Latin audience. The Greek cosmetics and 
perfumes were much esteemed at Rome. Ovid, in the Art of Love, mentions the 
Athenian "oesypum," which was much used by the Roman ladies for making the 
complexion clear. It was made from the sweat and grease of the fleeces of the 
sheep of Attica. 

2 The sweating-baths) — Ver. 229. The "sudatorium," or "vapour" or "sweating 
bath," was also called by the Romans " Laconicum ;" because it was the habit of the 
Lacedaemonians to strip and anoint themselves, without using warm water, after 
the perspiration caused by athletic exercises. Cicero styles it " assa," because 
it produced perspiration by means of a dry hot atmosphere. After it had been 
used, and the ". strigil" applied to the skin, the bather was dried with towels, and 
then anointed, when the " unctiones Grsecae" of the Parasite would be in demand. 
These were used either to close the pores of the skin and to prevent the person 
lrom catching cold, or to keep the skin from being rough when dried with 'the 
towel. Probably the Parasites were ready to give a hand on an emergency in 
assisting to rub down and anoint the bather, especially if he was known to keep 
a good " cuisine." 

3 After-dinner powders) — Ver. 230. " Crapularios." These were probably soft 
and tasteless (malacos) powders, used, like our dinner-pills, in order to prevent the 
bad effects of heating the stomach with rich food and excess of wine. A clever 
Parasite would, of course, always have these in readiness on an emergency. 

4 Tenth part to Hercules) — Ver. 233. He seems to be about to give a fic- 
titious reason for his anxiety to get a dinner — that, forsooth, like a pious man, he 
mav have the greater amount of tithes to present to Hercules. The hiatus precludes 
ns from forming any very determinate opinion on the meaning of the passage. 

3 Miccotrogus) — Ver. 242. This is a Greek compound word, which signifies 
" rromb-eater,-" in it he alludes to his short commons. 


Croc. O dear ! I've laughed a good deal at you to-day. 

Gel. "When ? or in what place ? Cboc. Here, when you 
were carrying on a most worthless auction. 

Gel. How now ; did you really hear it ? 

Cboc. Aye, and one really right worthy of yourself. 

Gel. Where are you bound for now ? Cboc. For yourself. 

Gel. Why have you come ? Croc. Philumena bade me 
ask you by all means to come to visit her at her house this 
instant, together with me. 

Gel. I' faith, but I'll surely come there as fast as I can. 
Are the entrails cooked 1 by this ? With how many lambs has 
she been sacrificing ? 

Croc. Indeed, she hasn't been sacrificing at all. 

Gel. How ? What does she want with me, then ? 

Croc. I think that she's going to ask you for ten mea- 
sures of wheat. 

Gel. Or me rather ask it of her ? 

Croc. No ; that yen yourself should lend them to us. 

Gel. Tell her that I've nothing to give myself, or that she 
could wish to borrow, nor anything whatever, except this 
cloak that I have on. Even my very tongue that so freely 
used to offer itself 2 I've sold as well. 

Croc. How ? Have you got no tongue ? 

Gel. Why, the former one, that used to say " here, take 
me 3 ," I've lost : see, here's one now that says " give me." 
(Puts out Ms tongue.) 

Croc. A curse may the Gods give *you * * * * 

1 Are the entrails cooked) — Ver. 851. It has been already remarked, that after 
the sacrifice, the Gods having received their portion, the devotee took home the 
remainder, and invited his friends to come to his house and partake of it. The 
Parasite was not, perhaps, much in the wrong when he deemed a lamb's fry no 
bad dish. St. Paul alludes to this custom when he tells the converts to keep 
themselves from "things offered to idols." — Acts, ch. xv., v. 20; and ch. xsi. 
v. 25. 

2 That so freely used to offer itself) — Ver. 258. It is very difficult to say 
exactly what the Parasite means by " lingua dataria." Perhaps he means to 
tell the girl that he is in a bad humour — that he now " gives" nothing at all, not 
even his tongue, which has been hitherto " dataria," or " at the service" of every- 
body. Now, however, he will put it up to sale by auction, and in future, before 
he says " dabo," " I'll give you my tongue" or, in other words, " my company," 
he will say, " cedo,*' " give me," or " tell me what is your offer" or " bidding. 

3 Here take me) — Ver. 260. " Dabo." Literally, " I will give." 


226 d-iTCHUS ; Act II. 

Gel. Aye, if a curse you want, this same tongue will 
give you that. 

Ceoc. Well now, are you coming or not ? 

GrEL. Well, be off home ; tell her I'll be there this mo- 
ment ; make haste and be off. (Crocotium goes into the 
house.) I wonder why she has requested me to be fetched to 
her, who has never, before this day, requested that I should 
be fetched to her, ever since her husband left. I wonder what 
it can be ; except it is for some experiment to be made upon 
me; I'll go see what she wants. But see, here's her boy, Pina- 
cium. Look at that now; how very facetiously and just like 
a picture 1 does he stand ? Full many a time, for sure, in good 
troth, has he poured out for me the wine, almost unmixed, 
right cleverly into a very tiny cup 2 indeed. (Stands aside.) 

Scene II. 

Enter Pinacium at a distance, with a fishing-rod, hooks, and 
a basket in his hand. 
Pin. (to himself) . Mercury, who is said to be the messenger 
of Jove, never bore such pleasing tidings to his father, as I shall 
e'en now be telling to my mistress. So loaded do I bear my 
breast with joy and with delight ; and really I don't care to 
speak a syllable but in a highflown style. The charms of all 
the loves and graces do I bring ; my heart, too, is overleaping 
its banks, and overflowing with joyousness. Now have you the 
means of acquiring glor^, fame, and honor ; make haste, Pina- 
cium, exhort your feet to swiftness, grace your message by 
your deeds, and come to the rescue of your mistress in her need 
###### w h j s s0 W retched in awaiting the ar- 
rival of her husband, Epignomus ; just as becomes her does 
she dote upon her husband, and anxiously long for him. Now, 
Pinacium, do as pleases you, run on, just as you like ; take 
care and regard no person at the value of a straw; thrust 

1 Just Wee a picture) — Ver. 271. " Ex pictura." Literally, "out of a picture." 
He means, that he has assumed some attitude at that moment like that of a 
person in a picture or like a model in statuary, to which the word " pictura" also 

■ In a very tiny cup) — Ver. 272. " Pauxillulo." Most probably this is said in 
an ironical way. He perhaps refers to some injunction which, in his former and 
more palmy days, be had given to the boy when waiting at table, to be sure and 
provide him with a large cup, and not to mix too much water with the wine 


them from the path with your elbows ; make right smooth 
your way. If a king shall come in your way, upset the king 
himself forthwith. 

G-el. (apart). Why, I wonder 1 , is Pinacium running so 
overladen with baggage 2 ? He's carrying a rod, and a basket, 
and a fish-hook. 

Pin. (to, himself). But yet, I think 'tis proper that my 
mistress should come with entreaty to me, and that she should 
send envoys to me, and gifts of gold, and chariots in which for 
me to be borne, for I can't go on foot. Therefore I shall now 
go back. (Turns back.) I think it is only proper that I should 
be approached and addressed with entreaties. And do you 
really think that it's mere nonsense or nothing at all that I 
am now acquainted with ? Blessings so great am I carrying 
from the harbour, joys so extensive am I bringing, that hardly 
could my mistress herself presume to wish this of the Gods, 
if she were to know it. And am I to carry it, then, of my own 
accord ? It pleases me not, nor do I think that the duty of 
a man. This way does it seem to be better suited to this 
news of mine ; let her come to meet me, let her entreat me 
to communicate to her this news. Haughtiness and pride 
befit prosperous fortunes. But, at last, when I reconsider it. 
how could she know that I know this ? (Turning round.) 
Well, I can't do otherwise than return, than speak, than 
relate it at length, and relieve my mistress of her grief, 
and both mightily increase the good deeds of my ancestors, 
and present her with a comfort unhoped for and oppor- 
tune. I'll outdo the deeds of Talthybius 5 , and I'll set 
all messengers at nought, and at the same time I'll think 
about the running at the Olympic games. But this distance 4 

1 Why I wonder) — Ver. 288. " Quidnam dicam." Literally, " what shall 1*' 
or " must I say ;" exactly corresponding to our phrase " I wonder why." 

2 Overladen loith baggage) — Ver. 288. " Lixabundum." The " lixae" were 
the free suttlers or dealers, who followed the Roman armies. Their name is saul 
to have been derived from the old Latin word " lixa," " water," probably because 
they originally supplied the army with water. " Lixabundus" here means 
" laden with baggage," in allusion to the fishing-tackle which the lad is carrying. 

3 Talthybius) — Ver. 305. Talthybius was the Grecian herald, who, with Eury- 
bates, was sent by Agamemnon to Achilles, to fetch away Hippodamia or 

* But this distance) — Ver. 307. He here alludes to the comparative narrowness 
of the stage, which would not allow him room to practise for the " cursnra," or 
" running" at the Olympic games. The " stadium," or place for running at these 
games, was about a furlong in length. 


228 STiciius ; Act II. 

is tar too short for the course ; how sorry for it I am. How's 
this ? I see the door's closed. I'll go and knock at the door. 
(Knocks at the door of Philijmena's house.) Open, and 
make haste, cause the door to be thrown open ; away with all 
delay. This matter is attended to too carelessly ; see how 
long I've been standing here and knocking. Are you in- 
dulging yourselves with a nap ? I'll try whether the door or 
my arms and feet are the stronger. (Knocks and kicks.) I 
*vish much that this door would run away from its master, 
that for that reason it might meet with a heavy punishment 1 . 
I'm tired of knocking. Well, be this the last for you. {Knocks 

Gel. (apart). I'll go and accost him. (Accosts Pinacium.) 
Good day to you. 

Pin. And good day to you. Gel. Are you turned fisher- 
man, then ? 

Pin. How long is it since you ate ? 

Gel. "Whence come you ? "What are you carrying ? "Why 
arc you in a hurry ? 

Pin. About that which is no business of yours, don't you 
trouble yourself. 

Gel. What's there in that ? (Taking up the lid of the 
basket.) Pin. Snakes, for you to eat. 

Gel. "Why are you so pettish? Pin. If you had any 
shame, you wouldn't address me. 

Gel. May I learn the truth from you ? 

Pin. Tou may ; this day you'll get no dinner. 

Scene III. 
Enter Philumena from her house. 
Phil. "Who now, pray, is breaking this door down ? {To 
Gelasimus.) Are you doing this ? Do you come to me like 
an enemy ? * 

Gel. My respects to you ; I come at your bidding. 
Phil. And is it for that reason you are breaking down 
my door ? 

Gel. Scold your own people ; the offenders are your own. 
I came to see what you wanted me for. "Why, for my own 
part, I pitied this door. 

1 A heavy punishment) — Ver. 312. He wishes that the door was in the condi- 
tion of a slave, and that it had run away from its master, and then it would 
receive a severe punishment for its obduracy — " malum magnum." 


Pin. For that reason your assistance was given so very 

Phil. Pray, who's that, talking here so near to us ? 

Gel. Pinacium. Phil. Where is he ? {Looks on cacti 

Pin. {coming forward) . Attend to me, and leave alone that 
needy Parasite, Philumena. 

Phil. Pinacium. Pin. That name my elders gave me. 

Phil. What's your business ? Pin. What's my business, 
do you ask ? 

Phil. Why shouldn't I ask it ? Pin. What's yours with 

Phil. Do you insult me, impudent fellow ? Answer me, 
this very instant, Pinacium. 

Pin. Bid those, then, to let me alone, who are detaining me. 

Phil. Who are detaining you? Pin. Do you ask me 
that ? A lassitude is in possession of all my limbs. 

Phil. Well, I know right well that it's not in posses- 
sion of your tongue. 

Pin. With such rapid speed have I been hastening from 
the harbour, for the sake of your own well-doing. 

Phil. Why, do you bring any good news ? 

Pin. I bring- more, by very much, than you expect. 

Phil. I'm saved, then. Pin. And I'm done for; lassi- 
tude is drinking up my marrow apace. 

GrEL. What, then, am I, the marrow of whose stomach, 
to my sorrow, famine has seized upon ? 

Phil. Did you meet any one ? Pin. Many. 

Phil. But any man ? Pin. Very many ; but, of the many, 
not one a greater rascal than he is. {Points at Gelasimus.) 

Phil. How so ? Gel. I have been aifronted already at 
his saying uncivil things to me. If you irritate me any 
further {Holds up hisjlst to Pinacium.) 

Pin. I' faith, you'll be plaguy hungry to eat me. 

Gel. I'll cause you to know that assuredly you've said 
that with reason. 

Pin. I wish everything to be made clean. {Calls to the 
Servants from the door.) Bring out here your brooms, and a 
reed as well, 1 that I may destroy all the labours of the spiders 

1 A reed as well) — Ver. 347. M Arundinem," a long reed, probably like a 
fishiog-rod, which would be able to sweep away the spider-webs otherwise out of 

230 stichus; Act II. 

and their plaguy webs, and rout out all their looms. {The 
bERVANTS bring some brooms.} 

Gel. The poor things will be cold in future*. 

Pin. What ? Do you think that they are j ust like yourself, 
with only one coat ? Take this broom. {Gives him a broom.) 

Gel. I'll take it. Pin. This I'll take myself. Do you 
sweep away there. 

Gel. I'll do so. {Sweeps away) Pin. {calling aloud). 
Will some one bring here a pail and water 1 ? 

Gel. Beally, this fellow's playing the iEdile 3 without the 
vote of the public even. {The water is brought) 

Pin. Come, do you quickly sweep the ground, and sprinkle 
before the house. 

Gel. I'll do so. Pin. It needs be done. I'll knock down 
the spider-webs there from the door and from the wall. 

Gel. I' faith, a troublesome business, this. 

Phil. Still, I don't at all understand what it means ; un- 
less, perchance, some guests are about to come ? 

Pin. {ordering the Servants). Do you spread the couches. 
Gel. {aside). The beginning pleases me, about the couches. 

Pin. Others, you chop the billets ; others, you clean tine 
fish which the fisherman has brought; take you down the 
gammon of bacon and the collar of brawn 3 . . 

Gel. {aside). V faith, this is a very sensible fellow. 

Phil. By my troth, as I imagine, you haven't quite 
minded the directions of your mistress. 

Pin. Why, I've left all matters unattended to by reason 
of what you wished. 

Phil. Then do you inform me upon that, on account of 
which you were sent to the harbour ? 

Pin.' I'll tell you. After, with the daybreak, you had sent 
me to the harbour, the sun with its beams opportunely 
arose from out of the sea. While I was enquiring of the 

1 A pail and water)— Ver. 352. " Nassiternam." A water-vessel with three 
spouts, which received its name from " nasum," " a spout," compounded with 
' tres," "three." 

2 Playing the JEdile) — Ver. 353. The writer here again refers, in a play 
the scene of which is at Athens, to Roman customs. The JEdile was a public 
officer at Rome, whose business it was to see that the streets, houses, and 
temples, were kept clean. They were chosen by the votes (suffragium) of the 
common people, to which fact Gelasimus alludes in the next line. 

3 Collar of brawn)— Ver. 360. " Glandium." This really was the neck of 
the hog, which received its name from the kernels (glandes} which it contained. 

Sc. 111. OR, THE PARASITE REBUFF El). 231 

revenue officers whether any ship had arrived from Asia, and 
they were saying none had come, I beheld, in the meantime, 
a bark, than which I think I never saw a greater one. With 
a favouring breeze, and in full sail, it came into harbour. We 
were enquiring one of another whose ship it was, awe? what it 
carried ? In the meantime I espied your husband and his 
servant Stichus. 

Phil. Ha ! what ? Did you mention Epignomus ? 

Gel. Tour husband and my own life. 

Pns r . He has arrived, I say. Phil. Did you see him 
yourself ? 

Pin. Yes, and with pleasure too. Gel. I' faith, I'll surely 
take the broom, and sweep this place with pleasure. 

Pin. He has brought a great amount of silver and gold. 

Gel. 'Tis right cleverly done. Pin. Wool and purple 
in plenty. 

Gel. Aye, for me to clothe my carcase with. 

Pin. Couches, adorned with ivory and gold. 

Gel. I'll recline at table right regally. 

Pin. Besides — Babylonian coverings for couches 1 , and 
carpets dyed in purple, has he brought. 

Gel. Abundance of fine things. I' faith, his business has 
been successful. 

Pin. Then, as I began to say, female players on the harp, 
on the pipe, sackbuts too 2 , has he brought with him, of sur- 
prising beauty. 

Gel. Capital ! Whon I'm at my wine, I'll be quite 
sportive ; then am I in merriest pin. 

Pin. Besides many unguents of numerous kinds. 

1 Coverings for couches) — Ver. 378. " Peristromatia," "blankets" or "counter- 
panes" were used among the Romans to cover couches ; they were sometimes of the 
most costly description, and were mostly of purple colour, and frequently richly 
embroidered with gold. Pliny speaks of Babylonian cloths of divers colours, 
and in the seventh chapter of Joshua, ver. 24, we read, " When I saw among 
the spoils a goodly Babylonish garment." 

2 Sackbuts too) — Ver. 381. " Sambucas." " Sambuca" is supposed to be the 
same instrument which is mentioned in the third chapter of the Prophet David, and 
is rendered in our version of the Old Testament by the word " sackbut." This in- 
strument was probably introduced into Greece and Rome from Syria or Phoenicia. 
It is supposed to have been a kind of triangular harp. The word " sambucas' 
is substituted in Ritschel's edition for " sambucinas," in the former editions 
It is probably intended here to have the same meaning — " female players on the 

sambuca,' " who were also called " sambucistriae," and whose performances 
were highly prized by the Romans as Asiatic luxuries. 

232 stichus ; Act II., Sc. Ill, 

Gel. I'll not sell my bon mots ; I'll not have an auction 
now ; I've got an estate in fee 1 . Let the mischievous hunters 
of auctions go to perdition. Hercules, I congratulate thee 
that the tenths which I vowed to thee are increased. 'Tis 
my hope that at length, by some means or other, I may expel 
this plaguy famine from my stomach. 

Pin. And then, besides, he has brought some Parasites 2 
with him. 

Gel. Alas ! to my confusion, I'm undone. 

Pin. Eight funny fellows. G-el. I' faith, I'll sweep this 
dust back, which I just now swept together. (Sweeps it 
back). Those bon mots are now on sale, which I was saying 
I wouldn't sell. I'm done for: now there is occasion for 
spiteful persons to rejoice at my misfortune. Hercules, 
thou who art a God, thou really hast departed not oppoi- 

Phil. Did you see Pamphilus, the husband of my sister ? 

Pin. No. Phil. Isn't he there ? 

Pin. Yes, they said that he had come as well. I ran 
hither before them, with all speed, that I might bring the 
welcome tidings. 

Phil. Go in-doors, Pinacium ; bid the servants prepare 
the sacred things 3 for me. (To Gelasimus.) Pare you well! 

Gel. Do you want me to assist ? 

Phil. I have servants enough in the house. (Philumena. 
and Pinacittm go into the house.) 

Gel. (to himself). In good sooth, Gelasimus, I doubt you 
have come to but little purpose, if neither he that is here 
gives you any aid, nor yet he that's coming. I'll off in- 
doors to my books 4 , and take my instructions from the 
cleverest sayings ; for if I don't drive away those fellows, the 
Parasites that are coming, most surely I'm undone. (Exit. 

1 An estate in fee)— Ver. 384. " Haereditas." " A fortune," or " an heirdom," 
: ust as we say, " I have come in to a fortune." He alludes to the pleasant life he 
anticipates, by spunging on the wealthy Epignomus and his brother. 

2 Brought some Parasites)— Ver. 388. The arch boy only adds this to put 
Gelasimus in a fright, in which he fully succeeds. There was no necessity to 
import Parasites from Asia to Athens. 

3 The sacred things)— Ver. 396. To perform a sacrifice on the safe return of her 

* To my boohs) — Ver. 400. These were probably pamphlets, filled with jokes 
and funny stories, which Parasites would study for the entertainment of the patrons 
whom they were to amuse bv way of return for their dinner. These books perhaps 



Scene I. 

JZnter Epignomtts and Stichu s, followed by some Slaves. 

Epig. Inasmuch as, my business prosperously carried on, 
I am returned safe home, thanks do I return to Neptune 
and to his tempests ; to Mercury as well 1 , who in my traffic 
has aided me, and by my profits has rendered my property 
fourfold. Those whom formerly I affected with sorrow at 
my departure, the same shall I now make joyous at my ar- 
rival. But already have I met my connexion Antipho, and 
from bad terms have I returned to friendship with him. See, 
prithee, what money can effect. Since, my affairs pros- 
pering, he sees that I've returned, and brought home 
great wealth, without any mediators, there on' board the 
ship, upon the deck, we have returned to friendship and good 
feeling. Both he and my brother dine with me this day ; 
for yesterday we were both in the same harbour 2 together; 
but to-day my ship weighed anchor a little the soonest. 
Take these people in-doors, Stichus, whom 3 I've brought 
with me. 

Stich. Master, whether I'm silent or speak, I'm sure 

occupied the same position as the " Joe Millers" did in this country during the last 
century, and the " Academies of Compliments" in the century before. Indeed, 
the latter, in all their amplitude, would have been invaluable to a Parasite, as they 
contain directions how to court a lady, ask a riddle, sing a funny song, put a pctsy 
on a ring, direct a letter, and a hundred other things. 

1 To Mercury as well) — Ver. 404. Mercury was the God of traffic and gain, 
and the guardian of tradesmen. He was said to receive his name from " mens," 
r traffic" or " merchandise." See the comical prayer of the cheating tradesman to 
his tutelar Divinity, in the Fasti of Ovid, B. 5, 1. 675 et seq. 

2 In the same harbour) — Ver. 416. He here alludes to the custom in those 
times of lying at anchor during the night, and sailing in the day-time only, 
as it is clear that reference cannot here be made to the harbour from which they 
originally set out, as that was in Asia, and they could not have reached Athens 
from Asia within twenty-four hours. Epignomus and his brother appear to have 
freighted two ships with the valuable property which they had acquired in part- 

3 These people whom) — Ver. 418. He alludes to the female slaves which hav* 
been already mentioned, consisting of harpers and music-girls, one of whom 
we shall shortly find to have attracted the admiration of Antipho. 

234: stichus ; Act III. 

you know how many hardships I've endured in your ser- 
vice ; now, on my arrival home, I wish to spend in freedom 1 
this one day after these many hardships. 

Epig. You ask what's just and right. Stichus, you may 
take this day for yourself; I don't object to it. Gro where 
you like. A cask, too, of old wine, I give you to drink. 

Stich. O, grand ! I'll have my mistress this day. 

Epig. Even ten, so long as it is at vour own expense. 

Stich. What '****? 

Epig. What * * * * P 

Stich. I'll go and dine * * 'Tis thus it 

pleases me * * * * * 

Epig. Where do you dine to-day ? 

Stich. This plan have I thus resolved upon. I have a 
mistress here in the neighbourhood, Stephanium, the servant- 
maid of your brother. I'm going to invite her ; I'll take her 
to a pic-nic entertainment 2 at her fellow-servant's, Sagarinus. 
We both have the same mistress ; we are rivals. 

Epig. Come then, conduct them in. I grant you this 

Stich. Hold me to blame if I don't make the most of it 3 . 
Troth now, I'll pass through the garden to my mistress, to 
engage her beforehand for me this evening ; at the same time 
I'll give my contribution, and bid the dinner to be cooked at 
Sagarinus' s, or else I'll go myself and make my marketing 
as caterer. Sagarinus, * * * * 

* * a servant * * * for my 

* # # # # ^rith gripes * 

* # to take him home well thrashed, I'll make all 
things to be in readiness here ; but I'm delaying myself. 

1 To spend in freedom) — Ver. 422. " Eleutheria." This is, originally, a Greek 
word. It was also the name of the Goddess of Liberty. 

2 A pic-nic entertainment!) — Ver. 433. " Symbola" was the name given to an 
entertainment to which each of the guests contributed in money or kind ; similar, 
in principle, to what we call a " pic-nic" entertainment. 

» Make the most of it) — Ver. 436. " Excruciavero." Literally, " torment it.' 
He seems to allude to the word " dedo," used by his master in the preceding line, 
" I surrender to you this day ;" that word being especially applied to the sur- 
render or giving-up of prisoners ; on which Stichus rejoins, " As the day is 
{surrendered to me, I'll torment it like a real prisoner" — meaning " I won't let it 
pass in quietness." He fully keass his word. 


And don't you be surprised 1 (to the Audience) that men, who 
are slaves, drink, court, and give invitations to dinner ? This 
is allowed us at Athens. But when I think of it, rather 
than meet with censure, there's here, too, another door to the 
back buildings of our house. I'll go that way to market ; by 
that way I'll bring back the provisions — through the garden 
there's a passage that communicates with both houses. (To 
the Slaves.) Do you follow me this way. I surely will pull 
this day to bits 2 . {Goes into the house of Epignomtts.) 

Scene II. 
Enter Gelasimus. 

G-el. (to himself). I've consulted my books; I'm as sure 
as possible, that by my funny bon mots I shall recover my 
patron 3 . Now I'm going to see whether he has arrived by 
this from the harbour, that when he comes I may smooth 
him down with my speeches. 

Epig. Surely, this is Gelasimus, the Parasite, that's 

Gel. (to himself). "With lucky auspices, by my troth, this 
day did I come out of doors ; since an omen auspiciously befel 
me*. This was beheld by me ; how a weasel carried off a mouse 
close at my feet. For as she found sustenance for herself 

1 Don't you be surprised) — Ver. 446. He apologises for introducing slaves carous- 
ing on the Roman stage, by reminding the Spectators that the scene is at Athens, 
where greater freedom and indulgence was allowed to slaves than at Rome. 

2 Pull this day to bits) — Ver. 453. * Hunc lacero diem." He seems here to 
continue the metaphor used in ver. 436 : " I'll torture this day finely" — I'll get 
all I can out of it. 

3 Recover my patron) — Ver 455. " Regem." In common parlance, rich men 
were often styled by their dependents and flatterers, " rex," " my king." 

* Auspiciously befel me) — Ver. 460. " Quum strena mi obscaevavit." This 
passage is very obscure, and has puzzled the Commentators, who have generally 
taken refuge in a various reading, " Eum strenue obcaenavit," which seems to 
make but very poor sense. The research, however, of the indefatigable Ritschel 
has set that mode of escape entirely at rest. " Strena" was the name of a New 
Year's gift, which was giv^n and received on the Caleiws of January, that the 
year might be commenced unaer good auspices. Probably from that circum- 
stance, it became synonymous with a good or " auspicious omen." " Otscsevo" 
is rendered in the Dictionaries, " to give a bad omen" Such, however, is not 
necessarily its meaning, in all instances. " Scseva" is an " omen" or " augury," 
whether fortunate or not. Consequently, " obscaevo" may very reasonably mean, 
' to fall in one's way as an omen ;" if so, the expression, as here used, will mean, 
" a lucky omen fell in my way." 

23G stichus ; Act III. 

this day, so do I hope that I shall do, as the augury predicts. 
(Sees Epignomus.) Surely this is Epignomus that's standing 
here ; I'll go and address him. My dear Epignomus, how 
pleased I am to see you now ; how my tears are starting forth 
lor very joy. Have you all along enjoyed your health ? 

Epig. With care it has been preserved. 

G-el. Eight heartily I wish you health 1 . 

Epig. You speak kindly, and like a friend. May the Gods 
grant what you wish. 

G-el. * * * Epig. I, sup there with you ? 

Gel. Since you are returned safe. 

Epig. Really, an engagament has been made already ; but 
I give you thanks. 

G-el. Do promise me. Epig. It's settled. 

G-el. But do, I say. Epig. The thing's agreed on. 

GrEL. By my troth, you'd do it with much pleasure to me. 

Epig. I know that well. When an opportunity shall come, 
it shall be so. 

Gel. Now, then, is the opportunity. 

Epig. V faith, I cannot. G-el. Why make difficulties ? 
Do consider ; I have I know not what luxuries at hand 2 . 

Epig. Do be off, now ; seek for yourself another guest for 

Gtel. Tou promise, then ? Epig. I would make no diffi- 
culty if I could. 

Gel. Really, on my word, one thing, for sure, I promise 
you, I'd entertain you with pleasure, beyond a doubt, i/ 
you would promise. 

Epig. Adieu ! (3Ioving.) Gel. Have you resolved ? 

Epig. I have resolved. I shall dine at home. 

Gtel. (aside) . Since nothing has been effected this way, I'll 
therefore approach him by a more open path, and I'll speak 
plainly out. (To Epignomus.) Since you, yourself, are not 
willing to promise to come to me, should you like that I 
should come to dine with you ? 

Epig. If it were possible, I should like it ; but here are 
nine other people 3 coming to dine at my house. 

1 / wish you health) — Ver. 468. " Propino tibi salutem plenis faucibus." Lite- 
rally, " I drink your health with my jaws crammed full," a very apt mode of ex- 
pression for a Parasite. 

2 Luxuries at hand)— Yet. 478. " In mundo." Literally, " in the world.'' 

• Nine other people) — Ver. 487. Aulus Gellius and Macrobius tell us that the 


GrEL. For my part, I don't ask that I should recline oil 
the couch ; you know that I'm a man for the lower seats. 

Epig. But these are deputies of a people, tip-top men; 
they come here as public ambassadors from Ambracia 1 . 

GrEL. Let then the deputies of a people, your tip-top men, 
recline at the tip-top place; I, the lowest, in the lowest 

Epig. It isn't proper for you to be entertained among 

G-el. I 'faith, and I — I'm a deputy, too 2 , but little it does 
avail me. 

Epig. I intend that to-morrow we shall dine upon the 
scraps. Sincerely, farewell. {Goes into his house.) 

Gel. By my troth, 'tis clear that I'm undone, and by no 
fault of my own 3 . The number is less than it was before by 
one Gelasimus. I'm resolved, hereafter, never to believe in 
a weasel, for I know of no beast more uncertain than her. 
She who herself is ten times a day shifting her place, from 
her have I taken my omens in matters of life and death to me ! 
I'm determined to call my friends together, to take counsel 
how by rule I must starve henceforth. (Exit. 

ancients never admitted to a feast more than nine, the number of the Muses, or 
less than three, the number of the Graces. The true reason, however, was that 
the three " triclinia," or couches, made three parts of the square around the table ; 
and each containing but three, nine was as great a number as could be accommo- 
dated. Epignomus mentions that number here, by way of assuring Gelasimus that 
there is really no room for him. On this, the Parasite says that he is " imi 
subseliii vir," " a man for the lowest stool" or "bench," which he can very well 
manage with. '• Subsellia" was the name of the seats of the Tribunes, Triumvirs, 
and Quaestors, who were not honoured with Curule chairs. 

1 From Ambracia) — Ver. 491. Ambracia was a city of Epirus, on the Western 
coast of Greece. 

2 Fm a deputy, too) — Ver. 495. He puns on the word " orator," which signi- 
fies u a pleader" or " orator," as well as an " ambassador" or " dej nty." He says 
that he is a pleader too (for the cause of his own stomach), but all to no purpose. 

3 By no fault of my own) — Ver. 497. " Nihil obnoxie," " by reason of no fault 
or offence of my own ;" thus consoling himself for his rebuff. It has been ob- 
served by various Critics, that this passage is very obscure ; but the above trans- 
lation, which is sanctioned by the learned Rost, is most probably the correct one 
Warner renders it " ocfc of doubt," which, out of doubt, is not the meaning. 

238 BTicHUs ; Act IY 


Scene I. 
Enter Antipho and Pamphiltts. 

Ant. So may the Gods favour me, and preserve for me my 
daughters, it is a pleasure to me, Pamphihis, that I see you 
both return home to your native land, your business prosper- 
ously managed, yourself and your brother. 

Pam. I should have heard enough from you, Antipho, did 
I not see that you are friendly to me ; now, since I've found 
that you are my friend, I'll give you credence. 

Ant. I would invite you to my house to dinner, had not 
your brother told me that you were going to dine at his 
house to-day, when he invited myself to his house to dinner. 
And it would have been more proper for me to give you an 
entertainment on your arrival, than to engage myself to him, 
were it not that I didn't wish to disoblige him. Now I don't 
wish with words alone to insinuate myself into your favour ; 
to-morrow you shall be at my house, both you and he, with 
your wives. 

Pam. Then, the day after, at my house ; for it was yester- 
day he invited me for to-day. But am I quite reconciled to 
you, Antipho ? 

Ant. Since you have thus thrived in your affairs, as it 
behoves yourselves and persons friendly disposed to wish, lot 
there be good-will and intercourse between us. Take you care 
to think of this ; according as wealth is obtained by each man, 
so does he experience his friends. If his fortunes are flourish- 
ing, so are his friends tiue ; if his prospects decline, so, too, 
do his friends decline. Fortune finds friends. 

Enter EpiGNOMUs/rom Ms house. 
Epig. {to himself). I'm now returned. 'Tis a great delight, 
if you have been long from home, when you return home 
again, if no anxieties come in contact with your feelings. 
But, in my absence, so well has my wife taken care of my 
private affairs, that she has made me free and unembarrassed 
by anxieties. But, see, here's my brother Pamphilus, walk' 
ing with his father-in-law. 


Pam. How fares it, Epignomus ? Epig. How with you ? 
How long since you came into harbour ? 

Pam. Not very long ago. Epig. (aside). And is it since 
then that he has become on smooth terms with you ? 

Ant. (overhearing). More smooth than the sea, on which 
you have both been borne. 

Epig. You do as you are wont to do other things. Do we 
unlade the ship to-day, brother ? 

Pam. I would rather go quietly to work. Let's rather 
lade ourselves with delights in their turn. How soon will 
the dinner be cooked ? I haven't breakfasted to-day. 

Epig. Go in-doors to my house and bathe. 

Pam. I'll only step home to my own house, to salute the 
Gods 1 and my wife. If I do that as I wish, I'll forthwith 
return to your house. 

Epig. But your wife is hastening to come here with her 

Pam. 'Tis very good ; there will then be the less delay on 
that account. I shall be at your house 2 this instant. 

Ant. (to Pamphilus). Before you go away, in your pre- 
sence I wish to relate a single story to him. 

Epig. By all means. Ant. There was once an old gentle- 
man, just as I now am ; he had two daughters, such as mine 
now are ; they were married to two brothers, just as mine now 
are to yourselves. 

Pam. I wonder how the story'is to turn out ? 

Ant. One of these young men had, as you (to Pamphilus) 
now have, a damsel, a music-girl ; he had brought her from 
abroad, as you have now done. Now, this old gentleman was 
a widower, just as I now am. 

Pam. Do proceed ; this story is really a propos. 

Ant. Then said this old gentleman to him to whom the 
music-girl belonged, just as I now say to you 

Pam. I'm listening 3 , and carefully giving heed. 

1 To salute, the Gods) — Ver. 534. To thank his household Gods for his escape 
from the perils of the sea, and his success in his speculations. 

- 1 shall be at your house) — Ver. 537. These words are given, in Ritschel's edition, 
to Epignomus, but clearly erroneously, as it is Pamphilus who is promising that, 
after he has run home, he will be at the house of his brother immediately. 

3 Fm listening)— Ver. 546. Pamphilus says this, as the eld man has probably 
touched him, to bespeak his attention. 

240 STICHTJS ; Act IV. 

Ant. " I gave you my daughter, to be a comfortable bed- 
fellow for you ; now, I think it fair that one should be given 
me in return by you, to be my bed-fellow." 

Pam. Who says that ? Does he say it 1 just as though you 
were to say it ? 

Ant. Just $s I now say it to you. " Aye, I'll give you 
two of them," says this young man, " if one's too little ; and 
if you are not satisfied with two," says he, " two more shall 
be added." 

Pam. Prithee, who says that ? Does he say it j ust as 
though I were to say it ? 

Ant. He says it just as though you were to say it. Then 
says this old gentleman, just as though I were to say it, 
'* "Well, give me four, if you like, so long only as, i' faith, 
you find them something to eat as well, that they mayn't 
consume my victuals." • 

Pam. Why surely it must have been a stingy old chap to 
say that, in asking food as well of him who promised them 
to him. 

Ant. Why surely, this young man must have been a 
good-for-nothing fellow, who forthwith, when the other 
asked him, refused to give him a grain of wheat. But, i' 
troth, the old gentleman asked what was fair, inasmuch as 
the dowry which he had given to his daughter, he wished 
him to have as an equivalent for the music-girl. 

Pam. I' faith, for sure I really do think that the young 
man was well advised, who wouldn't give a mistress to that 
old fellow in return for the dower. . 

Ant. The old gentleman wished, indeed, if he could, to 
bargain for their maintenance ; because he couldn't, he said 
he wished it to be done on what terms it might. " Done," 
said this young man. " You do me a kindness," said the old 
gentleman. " Have I the thing agreed upon ?" said he. 
" I'll do even as you wish it to be done," said the other. But 
I'll be off in-doors, and congratulate my daughters on your 
arrival. Then I'll go wash me at the bath 2 ; there will I 

1 Does he say it) — Ver. 549. He imitates the old man's manner of adapting Ins 
Btory to the present company, and here jokes him upon it. 

2 At the bath) — Ver. 568. "Pyelum." " Pyelus" is a Greek word Latinised; 
it signifies a vessel used in bathing, which was suffic <ently large to hold the bathe 
m a sitting posture. 


take all care of my old age ; after that, when I've bathed, 
lying down, I'll await you at my leisure. (Exit. 

Pam. A funny mortal, Antipho ; how cleverly he did make 
up his story. Even yet the rogue considers himself a young 
man. A mistress shall be given to the fellow, to sing to the 
old chap at night in bed; for, 'i' faith, indeed, I know not 
of what other use a mistress can be to him. But how 
fares our Parasite, Gelasimus ? Is he well, too ? 

Epig. I' faith, I saw the fellow not so very long ago. 

Pam. How fares he ? Epig. Like one half-starved. 

Pam. "Why didn't you invite the fellow to your house t * 
dinner ? 

Epig. That on my arrival I mightn't be wasting anything 
But see, here's the wolf in the Eable 1 ; here he is in person 
with his ravenous fit. 

Pam. "We'll have some sport with the fellow. 

Epig. You put me in mind of a plan I had already re- 
solved on. 

Scene II. 
Enter Gelasimus. 

Gel. (to tie Audience). But as I had begun to tell you ; 
while I have been absent hence, I've now been consulting 
with my friends and with my relatives. They have been my 
advisers to the effect that I should this very day kill myself 
with starvation. But don't I see Pamphilus with his brother 
Epignomus? Yes, 'tis he. I'll accost the man. (Goes up 
to Pamphilus.) longed-for Pamphilus ! O my salvation ! 
my life ! O my delight ! right welcome. I rejoice that you've 
returned safe from abroad to your native land. "Welcome. 

Pam. "Welcome, Gelasimus. Gel. Have you been quite 

Pam. I have taken good care of my health. 

Wolf in the Fable) — Ver. 577. " Lupus in Fabula" was a common expres- 
sion among the Romans, answering exactly to our very elegar t Proverb, M Talk of 
the devil, he is sure to appear." It either alludes to the table where the 
threatens that the wolf shall take the naughty child, on which he makes his ap- 
[pearance, but is disappointed in his expectations; or else to the well-knswn oa« 
ot the Shepherd-boy and the Wolf. 


242 stichtjs ; Act IV 

Gel. I' troth, I'm glad of it. I' laitli, I confoundedly 
wish I had now a thousand measures of silver. 

Epig. "What need have you of it ? 

Gel. I' faith, that I might invite him to dinner, and not 
invite you. 

Epig. Tou are talking against your own interest. 

G-el. This, then, that I might invite you both * * 

* # # # f or m j p ar £ # # * # 

* I should not avoid 1 ###### 
there is nothing so * as this * * * * 

Epig. Troth, now, I'd ask you with pleasure, if there 
were room left. 

Gel. Well, standing, then, I'll gobble down a bit in the 

Epig. No, only this one thing can be done. 

Gel. "What? Epig. When the guests have gone, that 
then you may come 

Gel. Hurra ! capital ! Epig. To wash the pots, I mean ; 
not to dinner. 

Gel. The Gods confound you ! "What say you, Pamphilus ? 

Pam. I' troth, this day I'm engaged to dine elsewhere 

Gel. How, abroad ? Pam. Eeally abroad, on my word. 

Gel. How the plague do you like, thus wearied, to be 
supping abroad ? 

Pam. Which do you advise me? Gel. Order a dinner to be 
cooked at home, and word to be sent to him who invited you. 

Pam. Shall I dine at home, alone ? 

Gel. Wny, not alone ; invite me. Pam. But Tm afraid lest 
he should scold me, who has been to this expense for my sake. 

Gel. It may easily be excused — only listen to me ; do 
order a dinner to be cooked at home. 

Epig. Not by my advice, indeed, will he act so as to dis- 
appoint that person this day. 

Gel. Will you not be off from here ? Perhaps you sup- 
pose that I don't see what you're about. Do you look to 
yourself, please. {To Pamphilus.) How that fellow is 
gaping after your property just like a hungry wolf. Don't 
you know how men are set upon here in the street at night ? 

1 / should not avoid) — Ver. 590. The meaning of this fragment seems to be, 
" I really would invite you both, if it were in my power ; but as I have nothing t« 
offer you, you might as well give me an invitation." 


Pam. So many the more servants will I bid to come and 
fetch me, that they may protect me. 

Epig. He won't stir — he won't stir ; because you persuade 
him so earnestly not to go out. 

Gel. Do order a dinner to be cooked at home with all 
speed for me and for yourself and your wife. Troth, if you 
do so, I don't think you'll say that you are deceived. 

Pam. So far as that dinner is concerned, Gelasimus, you 
may be dinnerless to-day. 

Gel. Are you going abroad to dine ? 

Pam. I'm going to dine at my brother's, hard by. 

Gel. Is that fixed ? Pam. Fixed. 

Gel. By my troth, I hope you may be struck with a stone 
this day. 

Pam. I'm not afraid ; I shall go through the garden ; I'll 
not go abroad. 

Epig. What say you to that, Gelasimus ? 

Gel. You're entertaining your deputies ; keep them to 

Epig. Why, faith, 'tis your own business. 

Gel. If, indeed, 'tis my own business, avail yourself of 
my assistance ; invite me. 

Epig. By my faith, I see, as I fancy, one place still for 
yourself only, where you may recline. 

Pam. Really, I do think it may be managed. 

Gel. light of the city ! Epig. If you can manage to re- 
cline in a small compass. 

Gel. Aye, even between two wedges 1 of iron. As little 
space as a puppy can lie in, the same will be enough for me. 

Epig. I'll beg for it some way or other; come along. 
(Pulls him along.') 

Gel. What? This way? Epig. Tes, to prison. For 
here, indeed, you'll not find any further entertainment 2 . 
Let's be off, you JPamphilus. 

1 Between two wedges) — Ver. 619. He will take so little space, that he will be 
a'ule to sit in the compass that lies between two wedges, when driven into a tree 
for the purpose of forcing out a portion of the wood. 

2 Further entertainment) — Ver. 622. " Genium." The Genii were tutelary Di- 
vinities, each supposed to have charge of an individual from his birth to his 
death. They were propitiated with wine and sacrifice, and hence the notion 
arose that they took pleasure in revelry and feasting. From this circum- 
stance, the word "genius" came to signify a person's "capacity for" or "bra 
of enjoyment." 


244 STimiirs ; Act V 

Pam. I'll but salute the Gods : then I'll pass through to 
your house forthwith. 

G-el. What then? Epig. Why, I said that you might 
go to prison. 

Gel. Well, if you order it, I'll go there even. 

Epig. Immortal Gods ! really, by my troth, this fellow 
might be induced by a dinner or a breakfast to bear extreme 

Gel. Such is my nature ; with anything can I struggle 
much more easily than with hunger. 

Epig. I know it : at my house full long enough has this 
facility of yours been experienced by me * * * 

* * while you were the Parasite of myself 

and my brother, we ruined our fortunes. Now I don't wish 
you to be made by me from a Gelasimus into a Catagelasi- 
mus 1 . (Epignomus and Pamphiltis go into their homes.) 

Gel. And are you gone now ? Surely he is gone. Now 
have I need of a wise resolution. Both are gone ; consider, 
Gelasimus, what plan you must adopt. * * * * 
What, I ? Yes, you. What, for myself ? Yes, for yourself. 
Don't you see how dear provisions are ? Don't you see how 
the kindness and the heartiness of men have vanished? 
Don't you see how drolls are set at nought, and how they 
themselves are sponged upon ? By my troth, not a person 
shall ever behold me alive on the morrow ; for, this instant, 
in-doors will I load my throat with a bulrush dose 2 . And by 
this I shall not give cause for men to say that I died of 
hunger. {Exit. 

Scene I. 

Enter Stichus, and places provisions, a table, and couches 

on the stage. 
Stich. Foolishly and unwisely is it done in my opinion, 

1 Catagelasimus) — Ver. 631. He makes a poor joke on the name of Gelasimus, 
by way of an excuse for not inviting him. " When helping me to spend my for- 
tune, you were ' Gelasimus,' one that amused us by your wit and drollery. I'll 
not now be instrumental in making you henceforth a butt and a subject of ridi- 
cule to others :" the word being the name of Gelasimus, compounded with the 
Greek preposition Kara. 

2 A bulrush dose)— Ver. 639. He means that he will go and hang himself with 
fa rope made of bulrushes, which he calls a " bulrush dose" or M draught." 


if people are in the habit, if they are expecting a person, 
of looking out for him ; faith, he doesn't on that account 
come a bit the faster. I'm now doing that same thing, in 
looking out for Sagarinus ; who, still, for that reason won't 
come a jot the faster. Troth, I shall just now be talcing my 
place alone, if he doesn't come here. I'll now fetch that 
cask of wine hither from home, and then I'll take my place. 
The day, like snow, is melting away apace. (Goes into the 
house o^Epignomus.) 

Scene Ii. 
Enter Sagarinus. 
Sag. Hail! Athens, thou nurse of Greece ; country of my 
master, hail ! How joyously do I behold thee. But I have 
a wish to see how my mistress and fellow-servant, Stephanium, 
is faring. For I bade Stichus to give her my regards, and 
to tell her that I. should come to-day, so that she might cook 
a dinner in good time. But, surely, here's Stichus. 

He-enter Stichus, with a cash of wine. 

Stich. (to himself). A clever thing you did, master, when 
you presented your servant, Stichus, with this gift. O ye 
immortal Gods ! how many delights do I carry, how many 
smiles, how many jokes, how many a kiss, dancing, dalliance, 
and good-fellowship. 

Sag. .Stichus, how fare you ? Stich. Eight well, Saga- 
rinus, most delightfully; I'm bringing Dionysus 1 , as my 
guest; and yours. For, i' faith, the dinner's cooked ; free 
range has been given me and you at your house. For at 
our house there's an entertainment ; your master's dining 
there with his wife, and Antipho as well ; there, too, is my 
master. This was given me as a present. (Points to the 

Sag. How ? Are you dreaming ? Stich. I' faith, I'm 
telling you the truth. 

Sag. "Who then gave you this ? Stich. "What matters 
that to you? I wish us this day to wash away everything 
of foreign climes. Leave them alone ; let's now attend to 
Athens ; follow me. Do you at once make haste, and bathe. 

1 Bringing Dionysus) — Ver. 661. Dionysus was the Greek name of Bacchus, 
the God of wine. He alludes to the " cadus," or earthenware cask of wine which 
fee is carrying. 

246 stichus ; Act IV. 

Sag. I have bathed. Stich. Very good; follow me, then, 
this way in-doors, Sagarinus. 

Sag. Of course, I follow. By my troth, this beginning pleases 
me as I return home; a happy omen and augury 1 has met 
me in my path. {They go into the house o/'Pamphilus.) 

Scene III. 

Enter STEPHANiUM/rora the house o/*Epignomus. 

Stepii. {to the Audience). I wish that it may ap- 
pear wondrous to no one of you, Spectators, why I who 
live there {pointing to the house of Pamphilus) am come 
out hither from this other house : I'll inform you thereon. 
Just now was I sent for to this house by the back way. 
For as soon as news was brought that the husbands of these 
ladies were about to come, we all hurried thither. We 
attended to laying the couches, and setting all in order. 
Still, amid these duties, I had a care for my friends, Stichus 
and my fellow-servant Sagarinus, that their dinner should be 
cooked. Stichus has been caterer ; but for cooking it, I've 
appointed one my deputy. Now, I'll be off hence, and 
attend to my friends, who, I see, are coming here. {Goes 
into the house of Pamphiltjs.) 

Scene IV. 

Enter Stichus and Sagaeinus from the house of Pamphi- 
lus with provisions, a FiYimfottoioing. 

Sag. Come, out of doors with you ; lead on the proces- 
sion 2 . Stichus, I appoint you commander of the cask. I'm 
resolved to prove our banquet in every fashion this day. 
So may the Gods love me, we are well entertained in being 
feasted in this place. I will that each person that passes 
by shall be invited to join the banquet. 

Stich. Agreed, so long only as, i' faith, each man comes 
with his own wine 3 ; for of this, a mouthful shall be given to 

1 A happy omen a?id augury)— Ver. 673. " Bona scaeva strenaque." See the 
Note to 1. 460. 

2 Lead on the procession) — Ver. 683. They are about to have their carousal in 
front of the house. Sagarinus puts on an air of importance, as if mustering all of 

large company : whereas the only guests, besides himself, are Stichus and the 
Piper. Stephaniu.n has gone to dress herself for the occasion. 

3 With his own wine) — Ver. 687. It has been before remarked, that the 
* Bymbola," or " ic-nic " was made on these terms. 


no person but ourselves, this day. Eating alone 1 , let's wait 
upon ourselves. 

Sag. This banquet, for our means, is quite sufficient, with 
its nuts, beans, figs 3 , a dish of olives, pounded lupines, and a 

Stich. It better becomes a man who is a slave to bring 
his expenses within moderation than beyond. Each one to 
his own station ; they, who have wealth at home, drink from 
cups, goblets, and bowls ; we, if we are now drinking from 
our Samian jug 3 , still build our walls according to our 

Sag. But while she who is your mistress and mine is 
arranging her hair, and bedecking herself, I wish us to have 
some diversion among ourselves. I appoint you the com- 
mander 4 of this feast. 

Stich. Very aptly does it suggest itself to your mind. 

Sag. "Wouldn't we be more suitably entertained like 
Cynics 5 on benches here, than upon couches ? 

Stich. Aye, but this is far the most pleasant. 

Sag. On which side is each of us to recline by our mis • 
tress ? 

Stich. Of course you go to the upper place. And, so 
that you may understand it, I make a division with you on 
these terms : consider, and take which province you would 
even like now to take. {They take their places.) 

1 Eating alone) — Ver. 689. Monotrophi. From the Greek word fiovorpotyol, 
" eaters alone." 

2 Ntits, beans, Jigs) — Ver. 690. These articles formed the usual food of the Ro- 
man slaves. 

3 Samian jug) — Ver. 694. A plain earthenware goblet, or cup. Reference has 
been already made to the Samian pottery. The Proverb in this line is similar to 
ours, of each " cutting his cloth according to his measure." 

* The commander)— Ver. 697. " Strategum." This is a Greek word, signi- 
fying the commander of an army. It was usual with the Greeks, Romans, 
and Jews, to appoint a master of the feast, who probably gave the toasts, looked to 
the comforts of the guests, and took care that the quality of the wine was satis- 
factory. See the second Chapter of St. John, v. 8. 

s Entertained like Cynics)— Ver. 699. The absurdities consequent on the unity 
of place in the Roman Comedy could not possibly be better illustrated than in the 
present instance. The servants not only carouse in front of their master's house, 
but absolutely bring out couches to recline upon. Persons of rigid manners, 
and especially the Cynic philosophers, persisted in retaining the old posture of 
sitting at meals ; to that circumstance reference is here made. 

248 stichus ; Act Y. 

Sag But what's your meaning about this " province P" 

Stich. Whether you would choose to hold the command 
over the water or over Bacchus. 

Sag. Over Bacchus, most distinctly. But, in the mean- 
time, general of ours, why stands this goblet here? See 
how many cups 1 we have drunk. 

Stich. As many as there are fingers on your hand. The 
Greek song is, " Drink either your five cups a or your three, 
but not your four." 

Sag. {about to drink). I pledge you. Do you take for 
yourself the tenth part from the fountain 3 , if you are wise. 
Here's luck to you, luck to us ; here's luck to thee, luck 
to me ; luck to our Stephanium as well. 

Stich. 'Tis bravely done. I pledge you in a goblet. {Brinks.) 

Sag. Keep your wine ; I'd very much like something by 
way of a relish 4 . 

Stich. If you are not satisfied with what's here, there's 
nothing else. Take some water 5 . 

1 How many cups) — Ver. 706. " Cyathos." The " cyathus" was a cup which 
contained a fixed and definite measure. It contained but a small quantity, one- 
twelfth part of a " sextarius," which was not quite an English pint. It seems 
most probable that the " cyathus" was used for the purpose of ladling the wine 
out of the bowl, or " cratera," in which it was mixed with water, into the 
goblets or cups. The question of Sagarinus here seems to apply to the number 
of " cyathi " of the pure wine which they had been drinking at each goblet-full 
that they took, as otherwise they would be making but slow inroads on the 
"cadus,"five "cyathi" holding, perhaps, about as much as three of our ordi- 
nary wine-glasses. It is not improbable that a portion of the Play is lost here. 

2 Either your five cups, tfc.) — Ver. 707. These words are in Greek. Eustathius 
and Athenaeus say that this Greek song bears reference to the proportions of 
water that should be mixed witli the wine. It seems, however, here to mean 
that there's " luck in odd numbers" when you are drinking. 

3 From the fountain) — Ver. 708. The " fons" in this case was probably a 
pitcher of water which they had on the table. Sagarinus seems to recommend 
him, in mixing, only to take one-tenth part of water. Sober people generally 
mixed in the proportion of three-fifths water and two-fifths wine. 

* By way of a relish) — Ver. 711. By " pulpamentum" Sagarinus seems to 
mean some dainty, by way of a relish ; at least, Stichus so understands him, as 
he points to the nuts, beans, figs, lupines, and olives on the table, and tells him 
that he will get nothing t-ise. 

5 Take some water) — Ver. 712. He probably tells him to take some water if 
he feels queer, or, in our vernacular, "seedy," from taking too much wine ; which 
he has some reason to suppose, from the other calling for a " pulpamentum." 
Anchovy toast is an item of our favorite " pulpamenta." 


Sag- You say right ; I care for no dainties. Drink away, 
Piper 1 ; drink, if you do drink. I' faith, this must ba 
drunk — don't shirk it. (Holds the goblet to the Piper.) 
Why flinch at what you see must be done by you ? Why 
don't you drink ? Do it, if you are to do it. Take it, I 
tell you, for the public pays for this. That's not your way 
to shirk your drink. Take your pipes 2 out of your mouth. 
(The Piper drinks.) 

Stich. When he has drunk, either do you mind my 
rules 3 , or else I'll give up. I don't wish us to drink 
this straight out ; we shall soon be about nothing 4 ; for, 
by my faith, almost all in a moment, the cask might be 
turned head downwards 5 . 

Sag. (to the Piper). How now? Although you did make 
a fuss about it, still it didn't hurt you. Come, Piper, when 
you've done drinking, put back your pipes to your lips ; 
quickly puff out your cheeks, just like a reptile serpent 6 . 
Come now, Stichus, whichever of the two breaks order, shall 
be fined a cup. 

Stich. Tou propose a good regulation. Tou ought to 
have your way, who only ask what's fair. 

1 Drink away, Piper) — Ver. 713. He thinks that the Piper is inclined to shirk 
his goblet, and to show that he himself is not flagging in spirit, tries to keep him 
up to the mark. 

2 Take your pipes) — Ver. 716. The " Tibicines," "Pipers" or "flute-players," 
among the Greeks and Romans, were in the habit of playing upon two pipes at the 
same time. These were perfectly distinct, and were not even, as has been supposed 
by some, connected by a common mouth-piece. The Romans were particularly fonr 1 
of this music, and it was introduced both at sacrifices, funerals, and entertair.- 
ments. See a comical story about the Roman " Tibicines" in the Fasti of Ovid, 
B. 6, 1. 670 et seq. From the present specimen they appear to have been merry 
souls, occupying much the same place as the country fiddlers of modern times. 

3 Mind my rules)-^-Ver. 717. It is pretty clear, that in his zeal, and to show 
that there is no flagging in him, Sagarinus has been overdoing it, perhaps helping 
himself out of his turn ; on this, the other threatens to resign his office of master 
of the ceremonies. 

4 Soon be about nothing') — Ver. 718. " Nulli rei erimus postea." This is the 
proper reading, which has been restored by the research of Ritschel. It is diffi- 
cult to say precisely what he alludes to, but most probably he means, "at this 
rate our supply will soon be exhausted." 

5 Turned head downwards) — Ver. 719. He says that the "cadus," or earthen- 
ware cask, will soon at this rate be capable of being turned upside down without 
any risk of spilling the wine 

6 A reptile serpent)— Ver. 722. The head of the serpent is said to swell, or pufl 
cut, when it is infuriated. 

250 sticiius ; Act V 

Sag. Mind it then ; if you offend, I'll forthwith take the 
forfeit on the spot. 

Stich. You ask what's quite right and just. 

Sag. {pledging Stichtts). Here's to you first of all. 

Stich. 'Tis a droll thing this, for two persons, rivals of 
each other, to be courting, to be drinking from one goblet, 
and to be kissing one wench. 'Tis worthy of remark this : 
I am you, you are I ; of one accord are we. "With one 
mistress are we both in love ; when she's with me, still she's 
with you ; and when she's with you, she's with me as well ; 
neither of us envies the other. 

Sag. Come, come, there's enough of it ; I don't want it 
overdone to weariness. I'd now like some other sport. 

Stich. Drink on, if you are drinking. 

Sag. There shall be no skulking in me. But, troth, I've 
had enough of the feast ; would but our mistress come 
here. If she were here, nothing else would be away. 

Stich. Should you like us to invite our mistress out ? 
She shall give us a dance. 

Sag. I agree. Stich. {calling aloud). My sweet one, my 
lovely one, my pleasing one, Stephanium, do come out of 
doors to your sweethearts ; to me you are quite charming. 

Sag. But to me, indeed, most charming. 

Stich. Make us jovial fellows more jovial by your assist- 
ance and your company. Eeturning from abroad, we want 
you, dear little Stephanium, my honey, that is, if our loting- 
ness is pleasing to you, if we are acceptable to you. 

Scene Y. 
Enter Stephanium, from the house o/*Pamphilus. 

Steph. I'll indulge you, my dears; but, so may pretty 
Yenus favour me, I should have already come out of doors 
here together with you, had I not been sprucing myself up 
for you. For such is the way of woman, when she is well 
washed, made clean, dressed and tricked out, still is she 
incomplete ; and a female who is a courtesan much more 
quickly acquires dislike for herself by sluttishness than 
always keeps in favour through neatness. 

Stich. That's very cleverly said. Sag. 'Tis the genuine 
language of Yenus. 

Stich. Sagarinus. Sag. "What's the matter ? 


Stich. I'm in pain all over. Sag. All over? So much 
the more unfortunate you. 

Steph. Where do I take my place ? 

Sag. Wherever you please. Steph. I'd like with both of 
you, for I love you both. 

Stich. Whack go my savings 1 . I'm done for ; freedom has 
abandoned this person of mine. 

Steph. Prithee, do give me room, where I may take my 
place, if, indeed, I am agreable. (She takes her place.) Now 
I do long to be cozy with you both. 

Stich. I'm ruined utterly. What were you saying ? 

Sag. Heyday ! What's the matter ? Stich. So may the 
Gods favour me, it never shall be otherwise this day but that 
this girl shall have a dance somehow. Come, my love, my 
sweet, do dance ; I'll dance too. (They rise and dance.) 

Sag. I' faith, you shan't that way get the better of me, 
I but what I'll have a bit of enjoyment, too, that way. 

Steph. Well, if I must dance, do you then give the Piper 
I something to drink. 

Stich. Aye, and to me. Sag. (holds the goblet to the 

I Piper). Piper, you take first: and after that, if you tipple 
ji this off, just as has been your wont before to-day, straight- 

II way strike up some merry and amorous tune to dance to, 
\ by which we may tingle all over from our very finger nails. 
V Pour some water here. Take this, you ; toss it off. The drink 
! didn't please him just now ; now at last he takes it with less 
J difficulty. Take it, you. (To Stephanittm.) In the mean- 

Itime, apple of my eye, give me a kiss while he's drinking. 

Steph. Why, it's the way of a common strumpet, for a 
I damsel to give a kiss standing to her sweetheart as he 
j stands. (She turns away, while he tries to kiss her.) 

Stich. Bravo ! bravo ! that's the way it's given to a thief 2 . 

Sag. Come, blow out your cheeks now ; something in the 

1 Whack go my savings) — Ver. 751. It would appear at first sight, that he has 
some compunctions, and intends to say, " this feast will prove so expensive that all 
my savings (peculium) will be wasted, and I shall never be able to buy my free- 
dom." There can be little doubt, however, that an indelicate pun is intended to 
be concealed under the expression, " vapulat peculium."' 

2 Given to a thief) — Ver. 766. She turns away with affected modesty from Saga- 
rinus, who only manages " to steal" a kis3. His rival is pleased at this, and criei 
out that she only gives it to him as if he was stealing it t . 

252 stichus. Act \\, Sc. V. 

amorous way 1 at once. Give us a new tune in return for the 
old wine. "What person in the Ionian 2 or the ballet line is 
there that can do anything like that ? (He capers about.) 

Stich. If you get the better of me this turn. 5 , just challenge 
me to another. 

Sag. Just you do it in this fashion. (Capers.) 

Stich. And you in this fashion. (Capers too.) Sag. 
grand 4 ! 

Stich. O fine ! Sag. O wonderful ! 

Stich. Quiet 5 ! Sag. Now, then, both in the same step. 
(They dance quietly, in the same measured) I challenge all 
the dancing-masters to dance against me. 'Tis no more pos- 
sible for there to be enough of this for us than for there to 
be too much rain for a mushroom. 

Stich. (ceasing to dance). Let's away hence in-doors at 
once now ; we've danced long enough for the wine 6 . You, 
Spectators, give us your applause, and then go home to enjoy 

1 In the amorous way) — Ver. 767. It is difficult to say what was the exact dif- 
ference between the " lepida" and the " suavis cantio." The first was, perhaps, a 
" merry," and the other an " amorous " tune. 

2 In the Ionian) — Ver. 769. The Ionian mode of dancing was graceful and volup 
tuous. The Sicilians had a dance of this nature in honor of Diana, which thef 
called " the Ionic dance." 

3 This turn) — Ver. 770. It is difficult to say what is the exact meaning of 
" vorsus"or "versus" here. Possibly, it was the name of some particular dance, 
or it may have merely meant a " turn" or " round," or as we say, " a set," in 
dancing. Again, it may possibly mean some curious posture, in which Sagarinus 
was skilled, and in assuming which Stichus could not cope with him. Gesture 
and grimace formed the main features of the dance with the Romans. 

4 grand!) — Ver. 770. " Babas," " Tata?," and " Papae," are Jnerely exclama- 
tions of the dancers, while inspired with the spirit of the dance ; not unlike the 
shrieks and noises which are frequently made by the dancers of our times, at fairf 
and other places of public resort, where uproarious enjoyment takes the place of 
sobriety, and, not unfrequently, of common decency. 

5 Quiet /) — Ver. 771. " Pax." This was the ordinary expression used to sig- 
nify a pause — " Stop.'' 

• Long enough for the wine)— Ver. 774. Ther have fairly danced the wine 


Bramatis persona?. 

Simo, an old gentleman of Athens. 

Calidorus, his son, in love with Phoenicium. 

Charixus, the friend of Calidorus. 

Callipho, the friend of Simo. 

Pseu dolus, the servant of Simo. 

Ballio, a procurer, the owner of Pboenicium. 

Harpax, the servant of Polymachrcroplagides. 

Simmia, the Cheat, a servant of Charinus. 

A Cook. 

A Boy, servant of Ballio. 

Phosnicium [mute], beloved by Calidorur. 

Slaves of Ballio. 

Scene.— Athens. The house of Ballio is on one side of the Street twl 
Simo on the otner. 


Calidorus, a young Athenian, the son of Simo, is in love with Phceniehim, a 
young woman who belongs to Ballio, a procurer. A bargain has been made by 
the procurer, to sell her to a military officer for twenty minaa ; fifteen of these have 
been paid down, and it has been agreed that when the remaining five and a 
certain token, with a letter, shall have been sent by the Captain, the damsel shall 
be sent to him in return. Pseudolus, the servant of Simo, promises his master's 
son, that, if possible, he will prevent this. They first address Ballio on the 
subject; but their attempts to influence him are all in vain. Pseudolus then 
devises a plan to get some money out of Simo, by whom, however, it is dis- 
covered ; but, after having acknowledged his fault, he prevails upon the old 
gentleman to promise him twenty minae if he shall contrive to get the girl 
out of the procurer's hands. Harpax, the messenger from the Captain, in 
the meantime makes his appearance. Being a stranger to the place, he un- 
wittingly delivers the Captain's letter and the token to Pseudolus, who pretends 
that he is the head-servant of the procurer. Charinus, the friend of Calidorus, 
lends him five minae ; and, provided with this, Pseudolus equips Simmia, a servant 
of Charinus, so as to represent the messenger from the Captain. He finds the 
procurer, delivers the letter, pays the five minas, and carries off the damsel. 
Ba'Aio then makes a bet of twenty minae with Simo, that Pseudolus shall not 
outwit him that day. The real Harpax now applies to Ballio for the girl, and 
the trick being discovered, the procurer has to pay back the fifteen minae to the 
Captain, and the twenty for the bet which he has made with Simo. Simo then 
pays the twenty minae, which he has promised to Pseudolus if he should suc- 
ceed in outwitting the procurer. Pseudolus is handsomely entertained by 
Calidorus, and engages to return to Simo one-half of the money, if he wil 
join the entertainment. 


[Supposed to have been written by Priscian the Grammarian.] 

An officer pays down fifteen minas, ready money (ZVeeserates) ; as a token he 
also (Sinra?) gives an impression of his seal, that the procurer may deliver 
Phoenicium to him (Ei), who brings it with the rest of the money. Pseudolus 
intercepts his camp-servant coming (Venientem) with the token, saying 
(Dicens), that he is Syrus, the servant of Ballio, and thus he gives his aid 
(Opem) to his master; for the procurer (Leno) delivers up the damsel to 
Simmia, whom he has substituted. The real Harpax comes (Fern/); the 
matter is all discovered, and the old man (JSenex) pays the money which he 
has agreed to give. 


Attend to me this day ; good things I bring upon the 
stage ; for I think 'tis very just that to the good good things 
should be brought ; as likewise bad things to the bad ; that 
those who are bad may have what's bad, those who are good 
what's good ; bad men are bad because they hate the good ; 
because the good contemn the bad, needs must be that they 
are good ; and therefore, you are good since you have ever 
abhorred the bad ; and both by your laws, Quirites, and by 
your legions, have you routed them with good success. In 
like manner now do jou give your goodly attention to this 
goodly company, which is a good one, and to good people 

1 The Prologue) It is generally supposed that this Prologue, with the excep- 
tion of the last two lines, was not written by Plautus it is, however, of gres t an- 
nuity, and is found in most of the MSS. 

256 rsi<:u dolus; Act T. 

brings this day good things. Ears, eyes, and understanding, 
shall be amply filled. He that comes hungry or thirsty to 
the theatre, the same shall carefully give his attention both 
through laughter and a sharpened stomach ; while those who 
are full will laugh, the hungry will be carping. Now, if you 
are wise, you hungry ones, give place, and go away ; you who 
are full, stand — aye, sit you down, and give attention. I 
shall not now divulge the plot, nor yet the name of this 
play — Pseudolus will fully do that. I imagine then and I 
think that this is enough which I have said to you. Where 
mirth, jokes, laughter, wine, and jollity, are the order of the 
day, the Graces, too, and propriety, joyousness, and delight ; 
ne who seeks for other things, that person appears to seek 
for evil. Away, then, with evil cares, as being men at your 
ease this day. 'Tis better for your loins to be stretched 1 , 
and for you to arise. A long play of Plautus is coming upon 
the stage. 

Act I. — Scene I. 

Enter Calidokus and Pseudolus from Simo's house. 

Pseud. If, master, by your being silent, I could be in- 
formed what miseries are afflicting you so sadly, I would 
willingly have spared the trouble of two persons — of myself in 
asking you, and of yourself in answering me. Since, however, 
that cannot be, necessity compels me to enquire of you. 
Answer me : "What's the reason that, out of spirits for these 
many days past, you've been carrying a letter about with 
you, washing it with you$» tears, and making no person 
the sharer of your purpose ? Speak out, that what I am 
ignorant of, I may know together with yourself. 

Cal. I am wretchedly miserable, Pseudolus. 

Pseud. May Jupiter forbid it ! Cal. This belongs not 
at all to the arbitration of Jupiter ; under the sway of Venus 2 
am I harassed, not under that of Jove. 

1 Loins to be stretched) — Ver. 14. In the sitting position, the muscles of the 
loins are contracted ; hence the present expression. 

2 Under the sway of Venus) — Ver. 15. The youth of both sexes, from the tenth 
to the eighteenth year, were supposed to be under the dominion of Venus, to whom 
they offered their clothes dolls, and toys, on arriving at puberty. 

So. I. OR, THE CHEAT. 257 

Pseud. Is it allowable for me to know what it is ? For 
hitherto you have had me as chief confidant in your plans. 

Cal. The same is now my intention. 

Pseud. Let me know then what's the matter with you. 
I'll aid you either with resources, or with my efforts, or 
with good counsel. 

Cal. Do you take this letter: do you thence inform 
yourself what misery and what care are wasting me away. 

Pseud, {taking the letter). Compliance shall be given you. 
But, prithee, how's this ? 

Cal. What's the matter? Pseud. As I think, these letters 
are very loving ; they are climbing on each other's backs. 

Cal. Are you making sport of me with your foolery ? 

Pseud. I' faith, I really do believe that unless the Sibyl 1 
can read them, nobody else can possibly interpret them. 

Cal. Why speak you unkindly of those sweet letters — 
sweet tablets too, written upon by a hand as sweet. 

Pseud. Troth now, have hens, prithee, such hands ? For 
certainly a hen has written these letters. 

Cal. You are annoying me. Either read it or return 
the letter. 

Pseud. Very well then, I'll read it through. Give me 
your attention. 

Cal. That's not here. Pseud. Do you summon it then. 

Cal. Well, I'll be silent; do you summon it from that 
wax there 2 ; for there my attention is at present, not in my 

Pseud. I see your mistress, Calidorus. Cal. Where is 
she, prithee ? 

Pseud. See, here she is at full length in the letter; she's 
lying upon the wax. 

Cal. Now, may the Gods and Goddesses, inasmuch s 

Pseud. Preserve me from harm, to wit. 

1 Unless the Sibyl)— Ver. 25. The Sib^l, being gifted with prophecy, might 
know the meaning of that which could not be read. The 23rd line has been 
somewhat modified in the translation. 

- From that wax there) — Ver. 33. Allusion is here made to the wax with which 
the surface of the tablet was covered, and on which the writing was traced with 
the iron " stylus." 

3 Inasmuch) — Ver. 37. He is going to say, " may the Divinities confound you ;" 
which anathema Pseudolus adroitly turns aside, and refrains from further provok- 
ing his master. 


258 PSEUDOLUS ; Act I, 

Cal. For a short season have I been like a summer plant 1 ; 
suddenly have I sprung up, suddenly have I withered. 

Pseud. Be silent, while I read the letter through. 

Cal. Why don't you read it then ? 

Pseud, (reading). " Phoenicium to her lover, Calidoru^, by 
means of wax and string and letters, her exponents, sends 
health, and safety does she beg 2 of you, weeping, and with 
palpitating feelings, heart, and breast." 

Cal. I'm undone ; I nowhere find, Pseudolus, this safety 
for me to send her back. 

Pseud. "What safety ? Cal. A silver one. 

Pseud. And do you wish to send her back a silver safety 
for one on wood 3 ? Consider what you're about. 

Cal. Read on now ; I'll soon cause you to know from 
the letter how suddenly there's need for me for one of silver 
to be found. 

Pseud, (reading on). " The procurer has sold me, my love, 
for twenty minae, to a Macedonian officer from abroad., Be- 
fore he departed hence, the Captain paid him fifteen minae : 
only five minae now are remaining unpaid. On that account 
the Captain left here a token — his own likeness impressed 
on wax by his ring — that he who should bring hither a token 
like to that, together with him the procurer might send me. 
The next day hence, on the Festival of Bacchus 4 , is the one 
fixed for this matter." 

Cal. Well, that's to-morrow ; my ruin is near at hand, 
unless I have some help in you. 

Pseud. Let me read it through. Cal. I permit you ; for 
I seem to myself to be talking to her. Eead on; the 

1 Like a summer plant) — Ver. 38. Some Commentators think that Plautus 
refers to some imaginary plant, which was supposed to grow up and wither on 
the day of the summer Solstice. It seems, however, more probable that he only 
refers to the short existence of summer flowers in general. 

- Safety does she beg)— Ver. 43. The writer plays upon the different meanings 
of the word " salus." She sends you " salus," " greeting" or " salutation," and 
requests you to find her " salus," " safety" or " rescue," in return. 

3 For one on wood) — Ver. 47. Meaning, in return for her " salus," or " saluta- 
tion," upon the wooden tablet, is it your wish to send her " salus," " safety," 
procured through the medium of money, by effecting her liberation. 

* Festival of Bacchus) — Ver. 59. " Dionysia." There were several festivals of 
Bacchus at Athens. They were called "Dionysia" from Dionysus, the Greek 
name of that God. 

Sc. I. OB, THE CHEAT. 259 

sweet and the bitter are you now mingling together for 

Pseud, {reading on). " Now our loves, our tenderness, our 
intimacy, our mirth, our dalliance, our talking, our sweet 
kisses, the close embrace of us lovers equally fond, the soft, 
dear kisses impressed on our tender lips, the delicious pressing 
of the swelling bosom ; of all these delights, I say, for me and 
for you as well, the severance, the destruction, and the downfal 
is at hand, unless there is some rescue for me in you or for you 
in me. I have taken care that you should know all these 
things that I have written ; now shall I make trial how far 
you love me, and how far you pretend to do so." 

Cal. 'Tis written, Pseudolus, in wretchedness. 

Pseud. Alas ! very wretchedly 1 . Cal. Why don't you 
weep, then ? 

Pseud. I've eyes of pumice stone 2 ; I can't prevail upon 
them to squeeze out one tear even. 

Cal. Why so? Pseud. My family was always a dry- 
eyed one. 

Cal. Won't you attempt to assist me at all ? 

Pseud. What shall I do for you ? 

Cal. Alas ! Pseud. Alas ! do you say ? Well, don't be 
sparing of them, i' faith ; I'll give you plenty. 

Cal. I'm distracted. I nowhere can find any money to 

Pseud. Alas! Cal. Nor is there a single coin in the 

Pseud. Alas ! Cal. He's going to carry the damsel away 

Pseud. Alas ! Cal. Is it in that fashion that you help 

Pseud. I give you that which I have ; for I've a per- 
petual supply of those treasures 3 in my house. 

Cal. It's all over with me this very day. But can you now 

1 Very wretchedly') — Ver. 74. Pseudolus probably intends to allude to the bad. 
hand in which the letter seems tc have been written, while his master refers to the 
sorrowful tone of the epistle. 

2 Of pumice stone) — Ver. 75. That is, " as dry as pu-pice stone." 

3 Supply of those treasures) — Ver. 84. Of " Eheu !" " Alas !" or " Oh dear 
me !" This he repeats so frequently, because his master has reproached him i« 
not weeping in sympathy with him for the calamities of Phoenicium, 


2G0 pseudolus ; Act 1. 

lend me one drachma, which I'll pay you back to-mor- 
row ? 

Pseud. I' faith, I hardly think I could, even though 1 
should pawn myself for it. But what do you want to do 
■with this drachma ? 

Cal. I want to purchase a halter for myself. 

Pseud. For what reason ? Cal. With which to hang my- 
self. I'm determined, ere 'tis dark, to take 1 a leap in the 

Pseud. "Who then shall pay me back my drachma * * 
* * ? Do you wish purposely to hang yourself for 
the very reason, that you may cheat me out of my drachma 
if I lend it you ? 

Cal. At all events, I can in nowise survive if she's re- 
moved and carried off from me. 

Pseud. Why do you weep,yow cuckoo 2 ? You shall survive. 

Cal. Why should I not weep, who have neither a coin of 
silver in ready money, nor have the hope of a groat 3 any- 
where in the world ? 

Pseud. As I understand the tenor of this letter, unless 
you weep for her with tears of silver, the affection which you 
wish yourself by those tears to prove is of no more value than 
if you were to pour water into a sieve. But have no fear, 
I'll not forsake you in your love. In troth, I do trust that 
this day, from some quarter or other, by my good aid I 
shall find you help in the money line. But whence that is 

1 EreHis dark, to take) — Ver. 90. "Ante tenebras tenebras persequi." Lite- 
rally, " before the shades to reach the shades." A wretched pun is attempted. 

2 You cuckoo) — Ver. 96. " Cuculus." " Cuckoo" seems to have been in all 
ages a term of reproach. Horace mentions it as being applied by the common 
people to the vintagers in the autumn. Shakspeare, in the beautiful song in the 
Fifth Act of Love's Labour Lost, has these lines : 

The cuckoo then on every tree, 

Mocks married men, for thus sings he. 
Cuckoo ! 

Cuckoo ! cuckoo ! word of fear, 

Unpleasing to a married ear ! 
Perhaps the reason of this epithet being deemed opprobrious, was the simple fact 
that the cuckoo is the laziest of birds, inasmuch as it is too idle to build its own 
nest. The subject is further referred to in a future note 

* Hope of a groat) — Ver. 98. " Libella" was the smallest silver coin among tin 
Romans, the teath part of a " denarius." 

Sc. I. OR, THE CHEAT. 2bl 

to come, — that whence I know not how to pronounce ; ex- 
cept only that so it shall be ; my eyebrow twitches 1 to that 

Cal. As to what you say, I trust that your deeds may be 
as good as your words. 

Pseud. I' faith, you surely know, if I set my plans 
a-going 2 , after what fashion and how great is the bustle that 
I am in the habit of causing. 

Cal. In you are now centred all the hopes of my ex- 

Pseud. Is it enough, if I this day make this damsel to be 
yours, or if I find you twenty minae ? 

Cal. 'Tis enough, if so it is to be. 

Pseud. Ask of me twenty minse, that you may be assured 
that I'll procure for you that which I have promised. Ask 
them of me, by my troth, prithee do ; I long to make the 

Cal. Will you this day find me twenty minse of silver ? 

Pseud. I will find them ; be no more troublesome to me 
then. And this I tell you first, that you mayn't deny that 
it was told you; if I can no one else, I'll diddle your 
father out of the money. 

Cal. So far asjilial affection is concerned, even my mother 
as well. May the Gods always preserve you for me. But 
what if you are not able ? 

Pseud. Upon that matter do you go to sleep with either 

Cal. "With the eye or with the ear 3 ? 

Pseud. The latter is too common an expression. Now, 
that no one may affirm that it wasn't told him, I tell you 
all (to the Audience), in the presence of the youths in this 
a udience, and of all the people, to all my friends and all my 

1 My eyebrow twitches) — Ver. 107. The itching of the eye, or the twitching oi 
the eyebrows, has been supposed by superstitious persons in all ages to pre- 
sage some impending event. 

2 Set my plans a-going) — Ver. 109. " Mea si commovi sacra." Literally, " if I 
move my sacred things." Lambinus thinks that this may refer to the sacred tilings 
dedicated to Bacchus, which no one touched without being punished for it ; and 
even if Bacchus himself attempted to do, confusion and disorder was the conse- 

3 Or with the ear) — Ver. 124. " To sleep on the ear" was a proverbial saying 
borrowed by the P.omms from the Greeks, to denote a sense of complete security 
Pseudolus Bay s that tie proverb is too vulgar for his refined taste. 


acquaintances I give notice, that for this day they must 
guard against me, and not trust me. 

Cal. Hist ! be silent, prithee, by all the powers ! 

Pseud. "What's the matter ? Cal. There was a noise at 
the procurer's door. 

Psetjd. I could only wish it were his legs in preference. 

Cal. Yes, and he himself is coming out from in-doors, the 
perjured scoundrel. {They stand at a distance.) 

Scene II. — Enter Ballio, with several Male 1 and Female 
Slaves, from his house. 

Bal. G-et out, come, out with you, you rascals, kept at 
a loss and bought at a loss, in the minds of not one of 
whom aught ever comes to do aright, of whom I can't make 
a bit of use, unless I try it after this fashion. (He flogs the 
men all round.) At no time did I ever see human beings more 
like asses ; so hardened are your ribs with stripes ; when you 
flog them, you hurt yourself the most. Of such a disposition 
are these whipping-posts who follow this line of conduct ; 
when the opportunity is given, pilfer, purloin 3 , prig, plunder, 
drink, eat, and run away's the word. This is their method, 
so that you would choose rather to leave wolves among sheep, 
than these fellows on guard in your house. Yet, when you 
look at their appearance, they don't seem amiss ; by their 
doings they deceive you. Now, therefore, unless you all- of 
you give your attention to this charge, unless you remove 
drowsiness and sloth from your breasts and eyes, I'll make 
your sides to be right thoroughly marked with thongs, so 
much so that not even Campanian coverlets are coloured as 
well, nor yet Alexandrian tapestry 3 of purple embroidered 
with beasts all over. Even yesterday I already gave you all 
notice, and assigned to each his own respective employment ; 

1 Male) These male slaves in the text are called " lorarii." It was their pro- 
vince to lay the " lorum," or whip, about their fellow-slaves, at the bidding of 
their master. 

2 Purloin)— Ver. 138. " Clepo," to " purloin" or " prig," comes from the Greek 
icAf7n-a>, »« to steal." " Harpago," to " rob" or " plunder," is from the Greek verb 
apTrdyco, of a similar meaning. 

3 Alexandrian tapestry)— Ver. 147. We learn from Pliny the Elder that the 
people of Alexandria excelled in weaving tapestry of many threads, which was 
cal ed " polymita." They excelled both the Babylonians and Phrygians in de- 
picting birds, beasts, and human beings, upon their productions. Campania seema, 
from the present passage, to have been famous for its counterpanes. 

Sc. IL OB, THE CHEAT. 263 

but so utterly worthless are you, so neglectful, of such stub- 
born dispositions, that you compel me to put you in mind of 
your duty with a basting. You are so minded* I suppose, to 
get the better of this scourge and myself through the hard- 
ness of your hides. Never, i' faith, will your hides prove 
harder, than is this cow-hide of mine. {He dangles it before 
them.) Do look at that, please ; they are minding other 
matters. Attend to this, and give heed to this. (He flogs 
one of them.) How now ? Does it pain ? Ah, that's the 
way it's laid on when any slave slights his master. Stand 
all of you before me, you race of mortals born to be thrashed ; 
turn your ears this way ; give attention all of yoU to what I 
say. You fellow who are holding the pitcher, do you fetch 
the water ; do you take care that the cauldron's full this 
instant. You, with the axe, I appoint over the wood-cutting 

Slave. But this one is blunted on the edge. 

Bal. Let it be so, then. And so are you yourselves with 
stripes ; yet am I for that reason any the less to enjoy your 
services ? My orders I give to you, that the house be made 
clean. You have what you are to do ; make haste, and go 
in-doors. {Exit First Slave.) Be you the one that makes 
the couches smooth 1 . Do you wash the plate clean, and ar- 
range it in order as well. Take care that when I return 
from the Forum, I find things done ; that all be swept, 
sprinkled, scoured, made smooth, cleaned, and arranged in 
order. For this day is my birthday ; it befits you all to 
celebrate it. Take care to lay the gammon of bacon, the 
brawn, the collared neck, and the udder, in water ; do you 
hear me ? I wish to entertain tip-top men in first-rate style, 
that they may. fancy that I have property. Go you in-doors, 
and get these things ready quickly, that there may be 
no delay when the cook comes. I'm going to market, that I 
may make purchase of whatever fish is there. Boy, go you 
before me ; I must have a care that no one cuts away my 
purse. Or wait there ; there's something that I had almost 
forgotten to say at home. Do you hear me, you women ? I 
have this charge for you — you, misses of distinction, who 
spend your time vrith illustrious men in refinements, luxury, 

• Makes the couches smooth)— Ver. 162. It was to be his duty to prepare tue 
couches required tor the entertainment. 


and aeligbts ; now shall I know and make trial this day, 
which one has regard for her liberty 1 , which for her appetite 
which thinks on her business, which on sleeping only : this day 
I'll make trial which I must think of as a freed-woman, and 
which as one to be sold. Take you care that many a present 
from your lovers comes in for me this day ; for if your year's 
board isn't picked up for me, to-morrow I'll turn you adrift 
on the public. You know that this is my birthday ; where 
are those youths, the apples of whose eyes you are, whose 
-very existence, whose delight you are ? Where are your 
kisses, ivhere your bosoms sweet as honey ? Make the bearers 
of presents to come here then, for my sake, before this house, 
in whole regiments 2 . Why am I to find clothes for you, 
gold trinkets, and those things which you need? What 
have I, you jades, through your means, except vexation, you 
women, eager for nothing but the wine ? You are a -soaking 
away yourselves and your paunches too, at the very time that 
I'm here a-dry. Now, therefore, this is the best thing to 
do ; for me to call you each by her name, that no one of 
you may be declaring to me by-and-by that her business 
hasn't been told her. Give attention, all of you. In the 
first place, Hedylium, my business is with you — you, who 
are the favorite of the corn-merchants, men who have, all of 
them, immense mountains of wheat piled up at home ; take 
you care that wheat is brought here for me, to suffice this 
year to come for myself and all my household, and that I 
may so abound in corn that the city may change my name 
for me, and instead of the procurer Ballio proclaim me King 
Iasion 3 . 

1 Regard for her liberty)— Ver. 175. By "caput" he means "liberty of the 
head" or " person." He will try to find out which of the women attends to 
gaining as much money as will one day procure her liberation, and who, conse- 
quently, is studying the interests of her master. 

2 In whole regiments)— Ver. 181. " Manipulatim." Literally, "in whole ma- 
niples." There were 120 men in each maniple of the " velites," " hastati," and 
" principes" of the Roman army, and 60 in each maniple of the " triarii." Four 
maniples made a cohort. 

3 King Iasion) — Ver. 193. Iasius, or Iasion, was a king of Arcadia, the father 
of Atalanta, who attended the hunt of the Calydonian boar, and was beloved by 
Melcagcr. There was another person of the same name, who was the lover * 
Ceres, and was slain by the thunderbolts of Jove. As he was said to have been 
the father, bj Ceres, of Plutus, the. God of Riches, he is probably the person 
here referred to 

Sc. II. OR, THE CIIEAT. 265 

Cal. (apart). Do you hear what the gallows-bird 13 
Baying? * * * Doesn't he seem 

a regular boaster to you ? 

Pseud, (apart). V troth the fellow does, and a wicked 
one 1 aa well. But hush now, and give attention to this. 

Bal. iEschrodora, you who have for your patrons the 
Dutchers, those rivals of the procurers, who, just like our- 
selves, by false oaths seek their gains, do you listen ; unless 
the three larders shall be crammed for me this day with car- 
cases of ample weight, to-morrow, just as they say that for- 
merly the two sons of Jupiter fastened Dirce 2 to the bull, 
aye, this day as well, will I tie you up to the larder ; that, 
in fact, shall be your bull. 

Cal. (apart). I'm quite enraged by the talk of this fellow ; 
that we should suffer the youth of Attica to encourage here 3 
this fellow! Where are they — where are they skulking, 
they of mature age, who have their amorous dealings with 
this procurer? "Why don't they meet? Why don't they 
one and all deliver the public from this pestilence? But I 
am very simple, and very ignorant ; they would venture, of 
course, to do that to those, to whom their passions compel 
them, to their misfortune, to be subservient, and, at the 
same time, prevent them from doing that against them which 
they would rather wish to do. 

Pseud, (apart). Hush ! Cal. (apart). What's the matter ? 

Pseud, (apart). Pshaw! you are not very obliging. Why 
are you drowning his talk 4 by your noise ? 

Cal. (apart). I'll be silent. Pseud, (apart). But I'd 
much rather you would be silent, than that you should say 
you will be silent. 

Bal. And you, Xystilis, take you care and give me your 
attention — you whose fanciers have large quantities of oil at 
home. If oii shall not be brought me here forthwith in leathern 

1 And a wicked one) — Ver. 195. Pseudolus plays on the resemblance of the 
two words " magnificus," a boaster, and " malefieus," " wicked." 

2 Fastened Dirce) — Ver. 199. Dirce was married to Lycus, the King of Thebes, 
after he had divorced Antiope. On this, Zethus and Amphion, the sons of the 
latter by Jupiter, caused the supplanter of their mother to be fastened to the tail oi 
a wild bull, and put Lycus to death. 

3 To encourage here) — Ver. 202. As being the minister of their pleasures. 

* Drowning his talk) — Ver. 208. Calidorus will keep whispering to him, whiit 
l'e is wishful to listen to what the procurer is saying. 

266 PSEUDOLUS ; Act I. 

bags, I'll to-morrow cause yourself to be carried oft' in a 
leathern bag to the prostitutes' shambles 1 . There a bed 
shall be given you, I warrant, where you can have no rest, 

but where, even to downright fainting You understand 

what's the tendency of that which I'm saying ? Will you 
tell me, you viper you, you who have so many of your fanciers 
so right well laden with their oil, is noAV the head of any 
one of your fellow-slaves a bit the better anointed by your 
means, or do I, myself, get my dainty morsels a bit the 
better seasoned with oil 2 for it ? But I understand — you 
don't care much about oil ; with wine you anoint yourself. 
Only wait a bit ; by my troth I'll punish you for all at one 
spell, unless indeed this day you contrive to manage all these 
things that I've been speaking of. But as for you, Phce- 
nicium, I tell you this, you pet of the mighty men — you who 
have been for so long a time always paying down to me your 
money for your liberty — you who only know how to promise, 
but don't know how to pay what you have promised ; unless 
this day all your keep is brought me here out of the stores 
of your customers, to-morrow, Phcenicium, with a true Phoeni- 
cian hide 3 , you'll pay a visit to the strumpets' shambles. 
{The Slaves go into the house o/'Ballio.) 

Scene III. — Calidorus and Pseudolus come forward. 
Ballio stands near his door. 

Cal. Pseudolus, don't you hear what he says ? 
Pseud. I hear it, master, and I give good heed. 
Cal. What do you advise me to send him, that he mayn't 
devote my mistress to dishonor ? 

Pseud. Don't you trouble yourself about that ; be of cheer- 

1 Prostitutes' shambles) — Ver. 214. It is not exactly known what the "per- 
gula" was, but it is supposed that it was a " booth " or " shed " adjoining to a 
house, which was let out for persons who wished to expose their wares to the 
public view. It is not improbable that in these sheds the lower class of cour- 
tesans " prostabant venales," or courted the public favour. No doubt the " leno" 
had one of these in his establishment, and he threatens the refractory females 
with it as a punishment, as it was probably tenanted by the refractory ones, and 
those whose charms had ceased to attract more wealthy customers. 

2 Seasoned with oil) — Ver. 221. " Unctiusculo." The Romans used a great 
deal of oil in the seasoning of their dishes. 

2 True Ptioznician hide) — Ver. 228. He puns upon her name ; as " phce/ncium," 
or ' puniceum," was the r.ame of the Duri>le colour for which Tyre and Sidon, in 
Phoenicia, were so famous. 

Sc. III. OR, THE CHEAT. 267 

ful 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 

Cal. What's the plan? Pseud. Can't you attend to 
something else ? 

Cal. But Pseud. Tut. 

Cal. I'm distracted. Pseud. Harden your heart. 

Cal. I cannot. Pseud. Make yourself to can. 

Cal. By what means, pray, can I prevail upon my feel- 
ings ? 

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

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

Pseud. Do you persist ? Cal. my dear Pseudolus, 
let me be undone — do let me, please. 

Pseud. I'll let you ; only let me go. ( Going) 

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

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

Bal. {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 

Cal. Hallo there! he's going; why don't you call him 

Pseud. Why in such a hurry ? Gently. 

Cal. But before he's gone. 

Bal. Why the plague do you go so slowly, boy ? 

Pseud. 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. 

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

Pseud. He that has been your supporter. 

Bal. He's dead that has been; only he that is^ is nous 


Pseud. -You are too saucy. Bal. You are too trouble- 
some. {Turns away to go on.) 

Cal. Seize the fellow ; follow him up. 

Bal. Go on, boy. Pseud. Let's go and meet him this 
way. (They run and stand before him.') 

Bal. May Jupiter confound you, whoever you are. 

Pseud. That for yourself I wish. Bal. And for both of yoi» 
do I. Turn you this way, boy. {Takes another direction.) 

Pseud. May we not speak with you ? 

Bal. Why, it doesn't please me. 

Pseud. But if it's something to your advantage ? 

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

Pseud. Pshaw ! Stop. {Catches hold of him.) Bal. Let 
me go. 

Cal. Ballio, listen. Bal. I'm deaf. 

Cal. Really, you are uncivil. Bal. You are a chatterer 
of nonsense. 

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

Bal. I'm not asking what you gave. 

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

Bal. When you have it, bring it to me 1 . 

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

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

Pseud. At least consider him, who he is. 

Bal. I've known for a long time now who he was ; wh<? 
he now is, let him know himself. Do you walk on {to 
the Boy). 

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

Bal. At that price I'll give a look ; for if I were sacri- 
ficing to supreme Jupiter, and were presenting 3 the entrails in 
my hands to lay them on the altar, if in the meanwhile any- 

1 Bring it to me) — Ver. 258. " Ducito." This word may either mean " bring" 
the money when you have got it, or " take away" Phcenicium when you bring the 
money. The former seems the most probable meaning. 

2 And were presenting') — Ver. 266. " Porricio" was the word especially env 
ployed to signify the act of laying the entrails on the altar, for the purpose ol 
burning them. 

Sc. III. OR, THE CHEAT. 269 

thing 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. 

Pseud, {aside). The very Gods, whom it is especially our 
duty to reverence — them he esteems of little value. 

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

Pseud. May the G-ods 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. 

Bal. What's the matter, Calidorus ? 

Cal. Love and pinching want 1 are the matter. 

Bal. I would pity you, if, upon pity I could support my 

Pseud. 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 ? 

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

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

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

Pseud. He {pointing to Calidorus) is quite ashamed 
about what he promised you, and the day for which he pro- 
mised it, that he hasn't even yet paid you those twenty minse 
for his mistress. 

Bal. 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. 

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

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

Cal. "What if I had it not ? Bal. If you had been in 
love, you would have found it on loan. Yoi would have 

1 Love and pinching want) — Ver. 273. " Amatur atque egetur acriter.* 
Literally. " it is loved, and is wanted sharply." 

270 pseudolus ; Act T. 

gone to the usurer 1 ; you would have paid the interest ; or 
else you would have pilfered it from your father. 

Psetjd. 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. 

Bal. That's not like a procurer. Cal. And could I pos- 
sibly pilfer anything from my father, an old man so much on 
his guard ? And besides, if I could do so, filial affection 

Bal. I understand you; do you then at night embrace 
filial affection in place of Phoenicium. 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 ? 

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

Pseud. Look you now ; since, i' faith 2 , 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. 

Cal. 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. 

Bal. Buy oil on credit 3 , and sell it for ready money ; then, 
i' faith, even two hundred minae ready money might be raised. 

Cal. There I'm done ; the twenty-five year old law 4 
founders me. All are afraid to trust me. 

1 To the usurer) — Ver. 287. "Danista," from the Greek daviaTt]?, "an 

2 Since, V faith) — Ver. 296. He alludes probably to the receut fraudulent 
failure of some well-known bankers. 

3 Buy oil on credit) — Ver. 301. " Emito die caeca — id vendito oculata 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 ad- 
vise the young man to get oil on credit, and then sell it for anything it will fetch. 

* The twenty -five year old law) — Ver. 303. The Quinavicenarian, which was 
also called the Lsetorian Law, forbade credit to be given to persor_s under the age 
of twenty-five years, and deprived the creditor of all right to recover his monej 
or goods. As usual, Plautus does not scruple to refer to Roman customs, thougi 
the scene is at Athens. 

Sc. III. OR, THE CHE IT. 271 

Bal. The same law 1 have I. I'm afraid to trust you. 

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

Bal. 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. 

Cal. And don't you pity me at all ? 

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

Pseud. Heyday ! Is he dead already ? 

Bal. 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 brings 2 its money. As for that, 
which you are now lamenting about, that you have got no 
money, complain of it to your stepmother 3 . 

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

Bal. May the Gods grant better things. 

Pseud. 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, ekher by land or sea, I'll rout up 
this money for you. 

Bal. I, trust you ? Pseud. "Why not ? 

Bal. 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. 

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

Bal. "What do you want now ? Cal. 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. 

1 The same laid) — Ver. 304. By using the word " lex," he probabl" means that 
the law also applies to him, as it forbids him to give credit; or he nay simply 
mean that it is his rule and custom not to give credit. 

2 Complaint that brings) — Ver. 312. M Cum argentata querimoma." Lite- 
rally, " with a silvery complaint." He probably alludes to the chinking of silver. 

3 To your stepmother) — Ver. 314. Stepmothers, in ancient times, were pro- 
verbially 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. 

272 pseudolus ; Act I 

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

Cal. Capital — most delightful man ! 

Bal. Aye; and do you wish, too, that from joyful 1 
should make you even more joyous ? 

Cal. How so ? Bal. Why, because I've got no Phoe- 
nicium to sell. 

Cal. Not got her ? Bal. I' faith, not I, indeed. 

Cal. Pseudolus, go fetch the sacrifice, the victims, the 
sacrificers 1 , that I may make offering to this supreme Jove. 
For this Jupiter is now much more mighty to me than is 
Jupiter himself. 

Bal. I want no victims ; with the entrails of minse 2 I 
wish to be appeased. 

Cal. {to Pseudolus). Make haste. Why do you hesitate ? 
Go fetch the lambs ; do yuu hear what Jupiter says ? 

Pseud. I'll be here this moment ; but first I must run 
as far as beyond the gate 3 . 

Cal. Why thither? Pseud. 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. 

Bal. Away to utter perdition 4 . 

Pseud. Thither shall the pimping Jupiter go. 

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

Pseud. How so ? Bal. This May ; because, if I'm dead, 

1 The sacrificers) — Ver. 327. " Lanios." Literally, " butchers." These were 
.he " popae," or servants of the priests, who slaughtered the cattle which were 
offered in sacrifice. 

2 Entrails of minw) — Ver. 329. " 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 drachmae. He does not want victims, he wants the entrails of the 
money for his propitiation. 

3 Beyond the gate) — Ver. 331. 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 sacri- 
ficers 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. 

* To utter perdition) — Ver. 335. " 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 cress, as the instrument 
oi punishment for slaves and malefactors of the lower order. 


there will be no one worse than yourself in Athens. For 
your interest (to Caxidoeus) it is that I should die. 

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

Cal. Troth now, prithee, in serious truth, tell me this that 
I ask you — have you not got my mistress, Phcenicium, on sale? 

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

Cal. In what way ? Bal. Without her trappings, with 
all her inwards 1 . 

Cal. What ? Have you sold my mistress ? 

Bal. Decidedly ; for twenty minse. Cal. For twenty minse ? 

Bal. Or, in other words, for four times five minse, which- 
ever you please, to a Macedonian Captain ; and I've already 
got fifteen of the minse at home. 

Cal. "What is it that I hear of you ? 

Bal. That your mistress has been turned into money. 

Cal. "Why did you dare to do so ? 

Bal. 'Twas my pleasure ; she was my own. 

Cal. Hallo ! Pseudolus. Eun, fetch me a sword. 

Pseud. What need is there of a sword ? 

Cal. With which to kill this fellow this instant, and then 

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

Cal. 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? 

Bal. I confess it. Cal. In solemn form 2 , to wit. 

Bal. Aye, and well considered too. Cal. You have proved 
perjured, you villain. 

Bal. I sacked the money at home, however. Villain as 
I am, I am now able to draw upon a stock of silver in my 

1 With all her inwards) — Ver. 343. " Cum intestinis omnibus." By this 
unfeeling expression, the fellow means, u 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 

2 In solemn form) — Ver. 353. To take an oath in solemn form, or, " conceptia 
verbis," was when the oath was repeated by another person, and the party swear- 
ing him followed in his words. The Koman formula for sweariag was "El 
animi mei sententia juro." 


274 pseudolus ; Act L 

house; whereas you who are so dutiful, and born of that 
grand family, haven't a single coin. 

Cai. Pyeudolus, stand by him on the other side and load 
this fellow with imprecations. 

Pseud. Very well. Never would I run to the Praetor 1 
with equal speed that I might be made free. (Stands on the 
other side o/'Ballio.) 

Cal. Heap on him a multitude of curses. 

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

Bal. 'Tis the fact. Pseud. Villain ! 

Bal. Tou say the truth. Pseud. "Whipping-post ! 

Bal. "Why not? Pseud. Eobber of tombs ! 

Bal. No doubt. Pseud. Gallows-bird! 

Bal. Very well done. Pseud. Cheater of your friends ! 

Bal. That's in my way. Pseud. Parricide ! 

Bal. Proceed, you. Cal. Committer of sacrilege ! 

Bal. I own it. Cal.' Perjurer! 

Bal. You're telling nothing new 2 . Cal. Lawbreaker! 

Bal. Very much so. Pseud. Pest of youth ! 

Bal. Most severely said. Cal. Thief! 

Bal. Oh! wonderful! Pseud. Vagabond! 

Bal. Pooh! pooh 3 ! Cal. Defrauder of the public ! 

Bal. Most decidedly so. Pseud. Cheating scoundrel ! 

Cal. Filthy pander ! Pseud. Lump of filth ! 

Bal. A capital chorus. Cal. Tou beat your father and 

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

Pseud. We are pouring our words into a pierced cask* : 
we are losing our pains. 

1 Run to the Prattor)— Ver. 358. The " Praetor" was the public officer at Rome 
who liberated slaves at the request of their owners. The ceremony was per- 
formed by his lictor laying a rod called " vindicta" on the head of the person 

2 Telling nothing new) — Ver. 363. He means that Calldorus has called him 
that already; which he has done in the 354th line. 

3 Pooh ! pooh /) — Ver. 364. " Bombax." This is a Greek word, an expression 
of contempt. 

4 Into a pierced cash) — Ver. 369. This notion is probably taken from the 
punishment of the daughters of Danaiis, who, for the murder of their husbands, 
the sons of ^Egyptus, were doomed by Jupiter to pass their time in the Infern* 
regions in gathering u v water in perforated vessels- 


Bal. "Would you like to call me anything else besides ? 

Cal. Is there anything that shames you ? 

Bal. 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 minae 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. 

Cal. "What is that duty ? Bal. 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, with- 
out 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 ? 

Cal. Are you going then ? Bal. At present I am full of 
business. (Exit. 

Pseud. 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 lamprey 1 . Now, 
Calidorus, I wish you to give me your attention. 

Cal. "What do you bid me do ? 

Pseud. 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. 

Cal. Tell me, then, what you are going to do ? 

Pseud. 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. 

Cal. Tou plead what's very fair and very just. 

Pseud. Make haste ; bring the fellow hither quickly. 

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

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

Cal. I'll have him here this instant. 

Pseud. Can't you be off then? Tou create delay for 
yourself bj your talking. (Exit Calidorus. 

1 Cook does a lamprey)— Ver. 382. The " muraena," or " lamprey," was a dis.b 
highly valued by the Romans. 


276 PSEUDOLUS ; Act 1. 

Scene IY. — Pseijdoltjs, alone. 

Pseud. Since lie has gone hence, you are now standing 
alone, Pseudolus. "What are you to do now, after you have so 
largely promised costly delights to your master's son by your 
speeches ? You, for whom not even one drop of sure counsel is 
ready, nor yet of silver * * * * nor have 
you where first you must begin your undertaking, nor yet fixed 
limits for finishing off your web. But just as the poet, when 
he has taken up his tablets, seeks what nowhere in the world 
exists, and still finds it, and makes that like truth which really 
is a fiction ; now I'll become a poet ; twenty minae, which no- 
where in the world are now existing, still will I find. And 
some time since had I said that I would find them for him, and 
I had attempted to throw a net over our old gentleman ; how- 
ever, by what means I know not, he perceived it beforehand. 
But my voice and my talking must be stopped ; for, see ! 1 
perceive my master, Simo, coming this way, together with 
his neighbour, Callipho. Out of this old sepulchre will I dig 
twenty minae this day, to give them to my master's son. 
Now I'll step aside here, that I may pick up their conver- 
sation. (He stands apart.) 

Scene Y. — Enter Simo and Callipho. 

Simo. If now a Dictator 1 were to be appointed at Athens 
of Attica out of the spendthrifts or out of the gallants, 
I do think that no one would surpass my son. For now the 
only talk of all throughout the city is to the effect that he 
is trying to set his mistress free, and is seeking after money 
for that purpose. Some people bring me word of this ; and, 
in fact, I had long ago perceived it, and had suspected it, 
but I dissembled on it. 

Pseud, (apart). Already is his son suspected by him; this 
affair is nipt in the bud, this business is at a stand-still. The 
way is now entirely blocked up against me, by which I had 
intended to go a-foraging for the money. He has perceived it 
beforehand. There's no booty for the marauders. 

1 If now a Dictator)— Ver. 416. Though the scene is at Athens, Plautus here 
makes reference to Roman customs. The Dictator was the highest officer in the 
Roman Republic, and was only elected upon emergencies. 

Sc. V. OE, THE CHEAT. 277 

Call. Those men who carry about and who listen to accu- 
sations, should all be hanged, if so it could be at my decision, 
the carriers by their tongues, the listeners by their ears. 
For these things that are told you, that your son in his 
amour is desirous to chouse you out of money, the chance is 
that these things so told you are all lies. But suppose they 
are true, as habits are, now-a-days especially, what has he 
done so surprising ? What new thing, if a young man does 
love, and if he does liberate his mistress ? 

Pseud, (apart). A delightful old gentleman. 

Simo. I don't wish him to follow the old-fashioned 
habits 1 . 

Call. But still, in vain do you object ; or you yourself 
shouldn't have done the like in your youthful days. It 
befits the father to be immaculate, who wishes his son to be 
more immaculate than he has been himself. But the mis- 
chief and the profligacy you were guilty of might have been 
distributed throughout the whole population, a share for each 
man. Are you surprised at it, if the son does take after the 
father ? 

Pseud, (apart). Zeus, Zeus 2 ! how few in number are 
you considerate men. See, that's being a father to a son, 
just as is proper. 

Simo. Who is it that's speaking here ? (Looking round.) 
Why, surely 'tis my servant Pseudolus. 'Tis he corrupts my 
son, the wicked scoundrel ; he is his leader, he his tutor. I 
long for him to be put to extreme torture. 

Call. This is folly now, thus to keep your anger in 
readiness. How much better were it to accost him with kind 
words and to make all enquiries, whether these things are 
true or not that they tell you of ? 

Simo. I'll take your advice. Pseud, (apart). They are 
making towards you, Pseudolus; prepare your speech to 
meet the old fellow. Good courage in a bad case is half 

1 The old-fashioned habits)— Ver. 436. " Vetus nolo faciat." Literally, " I 
do not wish him to do what is old-fashioned." He alludes to the old-fashioned 
trick of falling into love, and running into extravagance. 

2 Zeus, Zeus!)— Ver. 443. *0 Zev, Zev. Zeus was the Greek name ot 
Jupiter, whose Latin title was formed from " Zeus pater," " Father Zeus." The 
use of it in Latin colloquy exactly corresponds with the irreverent French phmso 
too much in use with us, " mon Dieu !" 

278 PSEUDOLUS ; Act 1. 

the evil got over. {Aloud, as he advances to meet them.) 
First, I salute my master, as is proper ; and alter that, if any- 
thing is left, that I bestow upon his neighbour. 

Simo. Good day to you. What are you about ? 

Pseud. About standing here in this fashion (assuming an 

Simo. See the attitude of the fellow, Callipho ; how like 
that of a man of rank. 

Call. I consider that he is standing properly and with 

Pseud. It befits a servant innocent and guileless, as he 
is, to be bold, most especially before his master. 

Call. There are some things about which we wish to 
Inquire of you, which we ourselves know and have heard of 
as though through a cloud of mist. 

Simo. He'll manage you now with his speeches, so that 
you shall think it isn't Pseudolus but Socrates 1 that's talking 
to you. "What do you say ? 

Pseud. For a long time you have held me in contempt, 
I know. I see that you have but little confidence in me. 
You wish me to be a villain ; still, I will be of strict honesty. 

Simo. Take care, please, and make the recesses of your 
ears free, Pseudolus, that my words may be enabled to enter 
where I desire. 

Pseud. Come, say anything you please, although I am 
angry at you. 

Simo. What, you, a slave, angry at me your master ? 

Pseud. And does that seem wonderful to you? 

Simo. Why, by roy troth, according to what you say, I 
must be on my guard against you in your anger, and you 
are thinking of beating me in no other way than I am wont 
to beat yourself. What do you think ? (To Callipho.) 

Call. I' faith, I think that he's angry with good reason, 
since you have so little confidence in him. 

SlMO. I'll leave him alone then. Let him be angry : I'll 
take care that he shall do me no harm. But what do you 
say ? What as to that which I was asking you ? 

Pseud. If you want anything, ask me. What I know, 
do you consider given you as a response at Delphi. 

1 But Socrates) — Ver. 465. The most learned ar i virtuous of all the philoso 
pliers of ancient times. 

SC- V. OE, MOB CKEAT. 279 

Simo. Give your attention then, and take care and please 
mind your promise. What do you say ? Do you know that 
my son is in love with a certain music-girl ? 

Pseud. Tea, verily 1 . Simo. Whom he is trying to make 
free ? 

Pseud. Tea, verily and indeed. Simo. And you are 
scheming by cajolery and by cunning tricks to get twenty 
minae in ready money out of me ? 

Pseud. I, get them out of you ? 

Simo. Just so ; to give them to my son, with which to 
liberate his mistress. Do you confess it ? Speak out. 

Pseud. Tea, verily ; yea, verily. Simo. He confesses it. 
Didn't I tell you so just now, Callipho ? 

Call. So I remember. Simo. Why, directly you knew of 
these things, were they kept concealed from me ? Why 
wasn't I made acquainted with them ? 

Pseud. I'll tell you : because I was unwilling that a bad 
custom should originate in me, for a servant to accuse his 
master before his master. 

Simo. Wouldn't you order this fellow to be dragged 
head first to the treadmill 2 ? 

Call. Has he done anything amiss, Simo ? 
. Simo. Tes, very much so. Pseud, (to Callipho). Be 
quiet, I quite well understand my own affairs, Callipho. Is 
this a fault ? Now then, give your attention to the reason 
why I you kept ignorant of this amour. I knew that the 
treadmill was close at hand, if I told you. 

Simo. And didn't you know, as well, that the treadmill 
would be close at hand when you kept silent on it ? 

Pseud. I did know it. Simo. Why wasn't it told 

1 Yea, verily') — Ver. 483. Nat yap. This and the two following remarks of 
Pseudolus are in Greek. The Eomans affected curtness of repartee in Greek, in 
much the same manner as we do in French. A cant tone has been attempted in 
the translation to be given to the remarks so made by Pseudolus. 

2 To the treadmill)— Ver. 494. " Pistrinum." The establishment of each 
wealthy person had its " pistrinum," or " handmill," where the mill for grinding 
corn was worked by the hand of slaves. The most worthless and refractory 
were employed at this labour, and as the task was deemed a degradation, the 
" pistrinum" was the usual place of punishment for the slaves of tr e household. 
Throughout this translation, the liberty has been in general taken of conveying 
the meaning of the terra by the use of th« word " treadmill." 

280 PSEUDOLTJS ; Act I. 

Pseud. The one evil was close at hand, the other at a 
greater distance ; the one was at the moment, the other was 
a few days off. 

Simo. What will yon be doing now ? For assuredly the 
money cannot be gjt in this quarter out of me, who have 
especially detected it. I shall forthwith give notice to all 
that no one is to trust him the money. 

Pseud. I' faith, I'll never go begging to any person, so 
long, at all events, as you shall be alive ; troth, you shall find 
me the money ; and as for me, I shall take it from you. 

Simo. You, take it from me ? Pseud. Undoubtedly. 

Simo. Troth, now, knock out my eye, if I do find it. 

Pseud. You shall provide it. I warn you then to be on 
your guard against me. 

Simo. By my troth, I know this for sure ; if you do take it 
away, you will have done a wonderful and a great exploit. 

Pseud. I will do it, however. Simo. But if you don't 
carry it off? 

Pseud. Then flog me with rods. But what if I do carry 
it off? 

Simo. I give you Jupiter as your witness, that you shall 
pass your life free from punishment. 

Pseud. Take care and remember that. Simo. Could 1 
possibly be unable to be on my guard, who am forewarned ? 

Pseud. I forewarn you to be on your guard. I say you 
must be on your guard, I tell you. Keep watch. Look, now, 
with those same hands will you this day give me the money 

Simo. By my troth, 'tis a clever mortal if he keeps his 

Pseud. Carry me away to be your slave if I don't do it. 

Simo. You speak kindly and obligingly ; for at present you 
are not mine, I suppose. 

Pseud. "Would you like me to tell you, too, wh&t you will 
still more wonder at ? 

Simo. Come, then ; i' faith, I long to hear it ; I listen to 
you with pleasure. 

Pseud. Before I fight that battle, I shall first fight another 
battle, famous and memorable. 

Simo. What battle? Pseud. Why, with the procurer, 
your neighbour ; by means of stratagem and artful trbks, I'll 
cleverly bamboozle the procurer out of this music-girl, witb 

8c. Y. OB, THE CHEAT. 281 

whom your son is so desperately in love ; and I surely will 
oave both of these things effected this very day, before the 

Simo. Well, if you accomplish these tasks as you say, you 
will surpass in might King Agathocles 1 . But if you don't do 
it, is there any reason why I shouldn't forthwith put you in 
the treadmill ? 

Pseud. Not for one day, but, i' faith, for all, whatever the 
time. But if I effect it, will you not at once give me the 
money of your own free will for me to pay to the procurer ? 

Call. Pseudolus is making a fair claim ; say " I'll give it." 

Simo. But still, do you know what comes into my mind ? 
Suppose they have made an arrangement, Callipho, among 
themselves, or are acting in concert, and on a preconcerted 
plan, to bamboozle me out of the money ? 

Pseud. "Who would be more audacious than myself, if I 
dared to do such an action ? Well, Simo, if we are thus in 
collusion, or have ever arranged any plan, do you mark me 
quite all over with elm-tree stripes 2 , just as when letters are 
written in a book with a reed. 

Simo. Now then, proclaim the games as soon as you 

Pseud. Give me your attention, Callipho, I beg you, for 
this day, so that you may not any way employ yourself upon 
other business. 

Call. Why, now, I had made up my mind yesterday to go 
into the country. 

Pseud. Still, do you now change the plan which you haor 
resolved upon. 

Call. I am now resolved not to go away on account of 
this ; I have an inclination to be a spectator of your games, 
Pseudolus ; and if I shall find that he doesn't give you the 
money which he has promised, rather than it shouldn't be 
done, I'll give it. 

1 King Agathocles) — Ver. 332. Agathocles was famous for having risen, by 
his valour and merit, from being the son of a potter to be the King of Sicily. 

2 With elm-tree stripes) — Ver. 545. " Stylis ulmeis," " with elm-tree styli." 
He alludes to the weals produced by flogging with elm-tree rods, which, being 
long and fine, would ^semble the iron "stylus" used for writing upon wa» 

282 pseudolus ; Act II. 

Simo. I shall not change my purpose. 

Pseud. Because, by my faith, if you don't give it, you shall 
be dunned for it with clamour great and plenteous. Come, 
now, move yourselves off hence into the house this instant, 
and in turn give room for my tricks. 

Simo. Be it so. Call. You may have your way. 

Pseud. But I want you to keep close at home. 

Simo. Well, that assistance I promise you. 

Call. But I shall be off to the Forum. I'll be back here 
presently. (Exit Calltpho. Simo goes into his house.) 

Pseud. Be back directly. (To the Audience.) I have a 
suspicion, now, that you are suspecting that I have been pro- 
mising these so great exploits to these persons for the pur- 
pose of amusing you, while I am acting this play, and that I 
shall not do that which I said I will do. I will not change 
my design ; so far as that then I know for certain ; by what 
means I'm to carry it out not at all do I know as yet ; only 
this, that so it shall be. For he that appears upon the stage 
in a new character, him it befits to bring something that is 
new. If he cannot do that, let him give place to him who can. 
I am inclined to go hence into the house for some little time, 
while I summon together 1 all my stratagems in my mind. 
Meanwhile this piper shall entertain you. (Goes into the 
house of Simo, and the Piper strikes up a tune.) 

Act II. — Scene I. 

Enter Pseudolus, /row the house of Simo. 

Pseud. Jupiter, whatever I undertake, how cleverly 
and how fortunately does it befal me. Not any plan is there 
stored up in my breast that I can hesitate upon or be afraid 
of. But it is folly to entrust a bold exploit to a timorous 
heart ; for all things are just as you make them, so as you 
make them of importance. JSTow in my breast have I already 
so prepared my forces — double, aye, threefold stratagems, that 
when I engage with the enemy, relying upon the merits, I 

1 While I summon together) — Ver. 572. " Dum concenturio." Tins word 
.iterally means, "to collect together the centuries," or " companies of a hundred 
aien," for the purpose of giving their votes. 

Sc. II. OR, THE CHEAT. 283 

say, of my forefathers, and on my own industry and tricking 
propensity for mischief, I may easily conquer, and easily spoil 
my antagonists by my contrivances. Now will I adroitly batter 
down this Ballio 1 , the common foe of me and all of you ; only 
lend me your attention. Now will I forthwith draw out my 
legions against this old town. If I take it, I shall make it a 
pleasant matter for the citizens : I'll load and fill myself, and 
my allies as well, with booty from it. I shall strike terror and 
fright into my enemies, so that they may know of what race 
I was born. Great exploits it befits me to perform, which 
long after may bespeak fame for me. But whom do I see 
here? "Who's this low fellow that's presented before my 
eyes ? I should like to know why he's come here with his 
sword : I' troth, now then I'll lie here in ambush for him, 
\o see the business that he's about. (Retires to a distanced 

Scene II. — Enter Harpax, with a lag in Ms hand. 

Har. This is the place, and this the spot, which was 
pointed out to me by my master, according as I form a 
judgment from my eyesight. For my master, the Captain,, 
told me to this effect, that the house was the seventh from 
the gate, in which lives the person to whom he requested me 
to carry the token and this silver * * * * * 
I could vastly wish that some one would inform me where 
this Ballio, the procurer, lives. (Looks from side to side.) 

Pseud, (apart). Hist! Silence! This man is mine, unless 
all G-ods and men forsake me. Now have I need of a 
new plan ; this new scheme is suddenly presented to me. 
This I prefer to my former one ; that I shall dismiss, which, 
before, I had commenced to carry into effect. By my troth, 
I'll then work this military messenger that's just arrived. 

Har. I'll knock at the door, and call some one out of 
doors from within. (Goes towards the door of Ballio' s 

Pseud, (coming up to him). "Whoever you are, I wish you 
to spare your knocking ; for I've just come out of doors, 
I, the spokesman and the defender of the door. 

1 Batter down this Ballio)— Ver. 585. " Ballionem exbalistabo." He playi 
upon the resemblance of the name of Ballio to the " balista,"or "engine of war." 


Hae. Are you Ballio ? Pseud. "Why, no ; but I'm the 
deputy-Ballio 1 . 

Hae. What means that expression? Pseud. I'm his 
butler-steward 2 ; the caterer for his larder. 

Hae. As though you were to say, you are his chamber- 
lain 3 . 

Pseud. No ; I'm above his chamberlain. 

Hae. "What are you, slave or free man ? 

Pseud. Why, at present, I'm still a slave. 

Hae. So you seem to be ; and you don't look to be one 
worthy to be free. 

Pseud. Ain't you in the habit of looking at yourself when 
you abuse another person ? 

Hae. (aside). This must be a roguish fellow. 

Pseud, (aside). The Gods protect and favour me! for this 
is my anvil : this day will I hammer out thence full many a 

Hae. Why is he talking to himself alone ? 

Pseud. How say you, young man ? 

Hae. What is it? Pseud. Are you, or are you not, 
from that Captain of Macedonia ? The servant of him, 1 
mean, who bought a damsel of us here, who gave fifteen 
silver minae to the procurer, my master, and is still owing 

Hae. I am. But where in the world have you eopr 
known me, or have ever seen or spoken to me ? For in 
fact, before this day, I never was at Athens, nor did I ever 
before this day behold you with my eyes * * * 

# # # # # # # 

Pseud. Because you seem likely to be from him ; for at 
the time when he went away, this was the day appointed 
for the money, on which he was to pay it to us, and he has 
not brought it as yet. 

1 The deputy-Ballio)— V er. 607. In the Latin " subballio." 
8 His butler- steward) — Ver. 608. " Condus-promus" was the title given to the 
slave who had charge of the " storerooms," or " cellse," in the Roman establish- 
ments. The office answered to those of our housekeeper and butler combined. 

3 His chamberlain) — Ver. 609. " Atriensis" was the title of the slave ia 
whose caa-ge was the " atrium," or large hall, or centra! room on the ground 


Hae. Yes, here it is. {Holding up the bag.} 

Pseud. What ? — have you brought it ? 

Hae. I, myself. Pseud. Do you at all hesitate to give 
it ine? 

Hae. I, give it you ? 

Pseud. Aye, faith, to me, who manage the business and 
the accounts of my master Ballio, receive his money, and pay 
it to him to whom he owes it. 

Hae. By my troth, if you were even the keeper of the 
treasures of supreme Jove, I would never entrust a groat 
of silver to you. 

Pseud, (pointing). "While you've been making yourself so 
big, the money has become loose 1 . 

Hae. I'll keep it the rather tied up — this way. (Ties 
the mouth of the bag.) , 

Pseud. Woe to you! Tou indeed have been found to 
doubt my honor. As though innumerable times as much 
are not in the habit of being entrusted to me alone. 

Hae. It's possible that others may think so, and that I 
mayn't trust you. 

Pseud. As though you meant to say that I wished to 
chouse you out of the money. 

Hae. Why, yes ; as though you meant to say so ; and as 
though I, on the other hand, meant to suspect it. But what's 
your name ? 

Pseud, (aside). This procurer has a servant of the name 
of Syrus ; I'll say that I am he. I am Syrus. 

Hae. Syrus ? Pseud. That's my name. 

Hae. We are making many words. If your master's at 
home, why don't you call him out, that I may transact that 
Dr which I was sent here, whatever be your name ? 

Pseud. If he were within I would call him out. But if 
you choose to give it me, it will be more truly paid than if 
you were to give it to himself. 

Hae. But now do you know how it is ? My master has 
sent me to pay this, not to lose it. But I know, to a cer- 
tainty, that you are in a fever now, because you cannot lay 

1 Has become loose) — Ver. 629. This passage is of obscure meaning ; very pos- 
gibly, however, while Harpax has been vapouring, the mouth of the bag containing 
the money has become loose, to which Pseudolus draws his attention. 

286 PSEUDOLUS ; Act H 

your claws upon it. I shall entrust the money to no person 
except to Ballio himself. 

Pseud. But at present he's full of business : a cause of 
his is being tried before the judge. 

Hae. May the Gods prosper it! And I, when I shall 
think that he's at home, will come again. Do you take this 
letter from me, and give it him: for in it is the token 
agreed upon between your master and mine about the 

Pseud. For my part, I understand it ; the person who 
should bring the money and the impress of his likeness 
hither to us, with him he said he wished the damsel to be 
sent ; for he left a specimen of it here as well. 

Hae. You understand the whole affair ? 

Pseud. Why should I not understand it ? 

Hae. Give him this token then. ( Gives the letter and token.) 

Pseud. Very well. But what's your name ? 

Hae. Harpax. Pseud. Get along with you, Harpax, I 
like you not. By my troth, you really shan't enter this 
house, lest you should be doing something in the harpy line 1 . 

Hae. I am wont to carry off my enemies alive from the 
battle-field ; from that circmnstance is my name. 

Pseud. I' faith, I think that you are much more likely to 
carry off the brass pots from a house. 

Hae. Such is not the fact. But, Syrus, do you know 
what I request of you ? 

Pseud. I shall know, if you tell me. 

Hae. I shall put up outside of the gate here, at the third 
shop, at the house of that tun-bellied, limping, fat old woman, 

Pseud. What do you wish then ? Hae. That you'll fetch 
me thence when your master comes. 

Pseud. At your pleasure ; by all means. 

Hae. For, as I've come wearied off my journey, I wish to 
refresh myself. 

Pseud. Tou are very wise, and your plan is agreable 
to me. But take care, please, that you are not out of the 
way when I send for you. 

1 In the harpy line) — Ver. 654. He alludes to his name, as having the Gfreek 
verb cupjrdfa, " to plunder," or M to carry off by force," for its origin. 

Sc. III. OR, THE CHEAT. 287 

Har. Why, when I've dined, I shall indulge myseli with 
a nap. 

Pseud. I quite agree with you. Har. Do you wish aught 
else ? 

Pseud. .That you'll be off to take your nap. 

Har. I'm off. Pseud. And, do you hear, Harpax ? Order 
yourself to be covered up, please ; you'll receive the benefit 
if you take a good sweat. {Exit Harpax. 

Scene III. — Pseudolus, alone. 
Pseud. Immortal Gods ! this man has preserved me by his 
coming. By his supply for my journey he has brought me from 
my wanderings quite into the right way. For the Goddess 
Opportunity herself could not come to me more opportunely, 
than has this letter in this opportune manner been brought to 
me. For this has been brought as a horn of plenty 1 , in which 
there is whatever I wish for : here are my wiles, here all 
my tricks, here my stratagems, here my money, here his mis- 
tress for my master's son so much in love. And now how 
vaunting shall I show myself ; how, with a breast so fertile 
in expedients, I was to do each thing, how, to steal away the 
damsel from the procurer, I had all my plans arranged in 
order in my mind as I desired, fixed, planned out. But, 
no doubt, thus will it come to pass : this Goddess Fortune, 
unaided, prevails over the designs of a hundred armed men. 
And this is the fact, just as each person uses his fortune, so 
does he surpass others, and forthwith we all pronounce him 
wise. When we learn that the counsels of any person have 
turned out well, we declare that he is a prudent man ; but 
that he is a fool who is unsuccessful. In our folly we know 
not how much we are mistaken, when we eagerly wish -any- 

1 A horn of plenty') — Ver. 671. He alludes to the " Cornucopia," or " horn of 
plenty," of the heathen Mythology, respecting which we find varying accounts in 
the ancient writers. Some say that by it was meant the horn of the goat Amal- 
then, which suckled Jupiter, and that the Nymphs gave it to Acheloiis, who after- 
wards exchanged it for the horn of which Hercules afterwards deprived him in the 
contest for the hand of Deianira. Ovid, in the Ninth Book of the Metamorphoses, 
represents it as being the same horn which was broken off by Hercules. " And that 
was not enough: while his relentless right hand was holding my stubborn horn, 
he broke it, and tore it away from my mutilated forehead. This heaped with 
fruit and odoriferous flowers, the Nymphs have consecrated, and the bounteois 
Goddess Plenty is enriched by my horn." 


thing to be given to us ; as though we ourselves could possibly 
know what is for our advantage. We lose what is certain, while 
we are seeking what is uncertain. And this comes to pasM, 
amid labours and amid sorrow, that death meanwhile comes 
creeping on. But there's enough now of philosophizing ; I 
have been talking too long, and at too great length. Immortal 
Gods! my lie was not dear at its weight in double-distilled gold, 
which I just now trumped up here on the spur of the moment, 
when I said that I belonged to the procurer. Now, through 
this letter shall I deceive three persons — my master, and the 
procurer, and him who gave me this letter. Excellent! 
another thing as well has happened, that I wished for : see, 
Calidorus is coming; he is bringing some one with him, I 
know not whom. {Stands apart.) 

Scene IV. — Enter Calidorus and Charinus. 

Cal. The sweets and the bitters, all have I disclosed to 
you. Tou know my love, you know my difficulty, you know 
my poverty. 

Char. I well remember all ; do you only let me know what 
you want me to do. 

Cal. Pseudolus has directed me thus, that I should bring 
to him some bold and zealous person. 

Char. Tou observe your directions well; for you bring 
Mm one both friendly and zealous. But this Pseudolus ' is 
a stranger to me. 

Cal. He is a very clever fellow — he is my contriver. He 
said that he would effect those things for me that I have 
told you of. 

Pseud, {apart). I'll address this person in a very lofty 

Cal. Whose voice is it that's heard here ? 

Pseud. Oh ! thee, sovereign lord, thee, oh ! thee do I 
address who dost rule over Pseudolus : thee do I seek, to 
impart to thee delights thrice three, threefold, acquired by 
three contrivances, obtained over three persons through 
craftiness and through subtlety, which in this very little 
sealed packet I have brought unto you 1 . {Holds up the letter.) 

1 1 have brought unto you) — Ver. 706. The note of interrogation at the end 3/ 
this passage, as found in Kitschel's Edition, seems to be out of place. 

Se. IV. OH, THE CHEAT. 283 

Cal. That's the fellow ; how the hang-dog does bluster 
just like a tragedian. 

Pseud. Advance a step on thy side towards me. Boldly 
stretch forth thine arm for greeting. 

Cal. (taking his hand). Tell me, Pseudolus, whether, ar 
Hope or as Safety, must I greet you ? 

Pseud. "Why both. Cal. As both I greet you. But 
what has been done ? Why are you silent ? I have carried 
this person here. (Pointing to Chaeinus.) 

Pseud. How ? Carried him here ? Cal. Brought, I meant 
to say. 

Pseud. Who's this person ? Cal. Charinus. 

Pseud. Well done ; I return him thanks 1 then. 

Chae. Will you then boldly enjoin me what it is neces- 
sary to do ? 

Pseud. My thanks, so far. May it be well with you, Cha- 
rinus ; I don't like that we should be troublesome to you. 

Chae. You, troublesome to me ? Now, really, that's 

Pseud. Well, then, wait a moment. (Takes the letter out 
from under his dress.) 

Cal. What's that? Pseud. This letter have I just now 
intercepted, and the token. 

Cal. Token ? What token ? Pseud. The one that was 
brought just now from the Captain. His servant, who was 
bringing it, with five minsa of silver, who came to fetch your 
mistress hence, him I have just now bamboozled. 

Cal. How so ? Pseud. For the sake of these Spectators 
the play is being performed ; they know, who were present 
here ; you I'll tell at another time. 

Cal. What are we to do then ? 

Pseud. You shall this day embrace your mistress at 

Cal. What, I ? Pseud. You yourself. 

Cal. I ? Pseud. Your own self, I say, if indeed this 
head shall exist so long ; if you'll only quickly find me out 
a man. 

Chae. Of what description ? Pseud. A cunning, crafty, 
and clever one, who, when he has once taken hold of the 

1 Return him thanks) — Ver. 712. x°-P lv t °utg) ttoiu). He speaks in Greek for 
toe purpose of punning on tne name of Charinus in the word \dpiv, "thanks." 


290 PSEUDOLUS ; Act II. 

beginning, may by his own ingenuity still hold fast upon 
what it behoves him to do ; one, too, who has not often been 
seen here. 

Char. If he is a slave, does that matter at all ? 

Pseud. Why, I'd much rather have him than a free 

Char. I think that I'm able to procure for you a cunning 
and clever fellow, that has lately come to my father from 
Carystus 1 , and hasn't as yet gone anywhere out the house, 
and who never visited Athens before yesterday. 

Pseud. You assist in right earnest. But I have need to 
borrow five minae of silver, which I shall repay this day, for 
his father (pointing to Calidorus) owes it me. 

Char. I'll lend it ; don't seek it anywhere else. 

Pseud. O, how convenient a person for me. I have need 
of a scarf as well, a sword, and a broad-brimmed hat. 

Char. I can provide them from my house. Pseud. Im- 
mortal G-ods ! surely this is not Charinus for me, but Abun- 
dance. But this servant, who is come here from Carystus," 
is there anything in him ? 

Char. Plenty of the stinking goat 2 in Mm. 

Pseud. It befits the fellow, then, to have a tunic witli 
long sleeves 3 . Has the chap anything sharp 4 in his breast ? 

Char. Aye, of the very sharpest. Pseud But if it is 
necessary for him to draw forth what is sweet from the 
same place, has he aught of that? 

Char. Do you ask that ? He has wine of myrrh, sweet 

1 From Carystus) — Ver. 730. This was a city of Eubcea, opposite the Lsle of 

- The stinking goat) — Ver. 738. He cannot resist the temptation of a pun, 
though a somewhat unsavoury one. Pseudolus asks if this servant of Charinus 
is at all sharp. " Quid sapit ?" The same words also admit of the meaning, " does 
he smell of anything?" On which Charinus gives him answer, as though the 
question had been put in the latter sense, " Yes, of the goat under the arm-pits." 
The Romans, who were fond of giving a name to everything, whether it was wortli 
it or not, called the strong smell produced by the glands of the arm-pits by the 
name of " hircus," " the goat," by reason of the rank smell of that animal. 

3 Tunic with long sleeves)— Ver. 738. On this dirty answer being given him, 
Pesudolus says, " Well, then, he must have an under-garment with long sleeves," 
" manuleata tunica," in order to suppress the offensive smell. The use of the 
long-sleeved tunic w&B considered to denote great effeminacy. 

4 Anything sharp) — Ver. 739. " Ecquid aceti." Literally, " any vinegar." This 
word sometimes signifies "caustic wit" or "raillery." Here it denotes "natut.^ 

Sc. IV. OE, THE CHEAT. 291 

raisin wine, spice wine 1 , honey wine, sweets of every sort. 
Why, he once began to set up a hot liquor-shop in his breast. 

Pseud. Bravissi o! Why, Charinus, you beat me cleverly 2 
at my own game. But what am I to say is the name of this 
servant ? 

Chae. Simmia. Pseud. In a difficulty, does he under- 
stand how to twirl about ? 

Chae. A whirlwind 3 is not so ready as lie. 

Pseud. Is he shrewd at all ? Chae. In mischievous 
tricks 4 very often. 

Pseud. How, when he's caught in the fact ? 

Chae. He's a very eel; he slips out. 

Pseud. Is this fellow an experienced one ? 

Chae. A public ordinance 5 is not more experienced. 

Pseud. He is a suitable person, according to what I hear 
you say. 

Chae. Aye, and from this you may know it. When he 
looks at you he'll tell, of his own accord, w r hat it is you 
want with him. But what are you about to do ? 

Pseud. I'll tell you. When I've dressed up my man, I 
intend to make him become the pretended servant of the 
Captain ; let him take this token to the procurer, with five 
minae of silver. There's the whole plot for you. As for 
the rest, in what way he is to do each thing, I'll instruct 

1 Raisin wine, spice wine) — Ver. 741. " Passum" was wine made from grapes 
dried in the sun. " Defrutum" was new wine boiled down to one-half with herbs 
and spices to make it keep. 

2 You beat me cleverly) — Ver. 743. " Lamberas." The verb " lambero" 
generally signifies " to tear in pieces." 

3 A whirlwind) — Ver. 745. " Turbo" may mean either a " spinning-" or " whip- 
ping-top," or a " whirlwind," here. 

4 In mischievous tricks) — Ver. 746. " Argutus," as an adjective, signifies " clever," 
" shrewd." As the past participle of the verb " arguo," it means " accused." 
Pseudolus asks if he is "shrewd,'' " argutus ;" to which the other answers eva- 
sively, " yes (he has been accused," " argutus "), " of mischievous tricks very 

5 A public ordinance) — Ver. 748. The "plebiscita" among the Romans were 
the public ordinances, which were proposed by the Tribunes at the " Comitia 
Tr;tat°." of the people. He puns upon the resemblance of the word "scitus," 
which means "knowing," and "scitum" signifying "an ordinance." Is he 
" scitus," " knowing?" " yes, a public ordinance " " scitum," " is not, more 
knowing," " scitus," " than he is." 


£92 PSEUDOLl'S ; Act III. 

Cal. Why, therefore, do we stand here then ? 

Pseud. Bring the fellow to me just now, dressed out with 
all his accoutrements, to ^Eschinus, the banker's. But make 
all haste. 

Cal. We'll be there before you. 

Pseud. Get you gone there quickly. (Calidorus and 
Charinus go into Simo's house.) AVhatever before was un- 
certain or doubtful in my mind, is now clear — now fined to 
the dregs ; my heart has now an open path. All my legions 
will I lead forth under their standards with happy omen 1 
with favorable auspices, and to my heart's content. I have 
a certainty that I can rout my enemies. Now will I go to 
the Forum, and load Simmia with my instructions what he 
is to do, that he may not be tripping at all, and that he 
may cleverly lay the train for this plot. Soon now shall I 
cause the town of this procurer to be carried by storm. 


Act III. — Scene I. 

Enter a Boy from the house o/'Ballio. 

Boy. On that Boy on whom the Grods bestow servitude 
under a procurer, when they add a base occupation as well, 
assuredly do they, so far as I now understand in my mind, 
bestow upon him a great misfortune and miseries manifold. 
Just as this servitude has turned out to me, where I am set 
over duties great and small ; nor am I able to find any 
admirer to love me, so that at length I might be fitted out 
in a little better guise. Now this day is the birthday of this 
procurer. The procurer lias made a determination, from 
the lowest to the highest, that if each one does not this day 
send him a present, he shall perish to-morrow witli the 
greatest torments. Now, faith, I know not what to do in 
my line, for, unless I shall send a present to the procurer 
this day, to-morrow must I swallow down fullers' produce 2 . 
And yet I cannot do that which they who can are wont to do. 

1 With happy omen) — Ver. 762. "Ave sinistra " Literally, " with a bird on 
the left liand." This was considered to be a favorable omen. 

2 Fullers' produce) — Ver. 781. As fullers used hands, feet, and sticks in 
beating the cloth, "fructus fullonius" would mean "kicks and bruises." 

S(. II. OR, THE CHEAT. 293 

Alas ! how little am I, even still for this vocation. And by 
my troth, now, to my misfortune how fearfully do I dread 
punishment. If any one lays on 1 whose hand is too heavy, 
although they say that it generally is done amid great weep- 
ing, I think that I am able in some measure to keep my 
teeth closed. But I must keep close my lips and my talking, 
for see, my master is betaking himself home, and bringing 
a Cook with Mm. {Stands at a distance.) 

Scene II. — Enter Ballio and a Cook. 

Bal. Those who call it the cook's market, call it so 
foolishly; for 'tis not a cook's market, but a thieves' market. 
For if, upon oath, I were to seek out the worst of men, I 
couldn't have brought a worse one than this fellow that I'm 
bringing, one, chattering, bragging, silly, awe? worthless. Why, 
for this very reason Orcus has declined 3 to take him to him- 
self, that he might be here to cook a banquet for the dead ; 
for here he is able to cook a thing to please them alone. 

Cook. If you thought of me in this manner that you are 
mentioning, why did you hire me? 

Bal. Prom scarcity ; there wasn't another. But why, if 
you were a cook, were you sitting in the market-place, you 
alone behind the rest ? 

Cook. I'll tell you. By reason of the avarice of men have 
I become an inferior cook, not through my own inclina- 

Bal. For what reason is that? Cook. I'll tell you. 
Because, in fact, directly people come to hire a cook, n<? 
one enquires for him that's the best and the highest priced : 
rather do they hire him that's the lowest priced. Through 
this have I to-day been the only sitter in the market. Those 
wretched fellows are for a drachma a-piece ; not any person is 
able to prevail on me to rise for less than a didrachm 3 . I 

1 If any one lays on) — Ver. 785. It is supposed by some that an indecent 
allusion is obscurely made in tliis line ; it is, however, doubtful if such really is the 

2 Orcus has declined) — Ver. 795. " Orcus" is an epithet of Pluto, the king 
3f the Infernal regions, and, sometimes, of the place itself. 

3 A didrachm) — Ver. 809. Literally, "nummus," "a coin" or "piece ol 

291 pseitdolus ; Act 111. 

don't cook a dinner too, like other cooks, who bring me up 
reasoned meadows of grass upon their dishes ; who turn the 
guests into oxen, and supply the grass. This herbage, too, 
do they further season with other herbs : put in coriander, 
fennel, garlick, orage ; they add, too, sorrel, cabbage, beet, 
and spinach. In this they dissolve a pound weight of asafcetida. 
The roguish mustard is pounded, which makes the eyes of 
those that pound it drop tears before they have pounded it. 
These fellows, when they cook dinners, when they do season 
them, season them, not with seasonings, but with vampyre 
owls 1 , which eat out the bowels of the guests while still alive. 
Through this, in fact, it is, that people here live such short 
lives, inasmuch as they heap up these herbs of this sort in 
their stomachs, dreadful to be mentioned, not only to be 
eaten. Herbage which the cattle eat not, men eat themselves. 

Bal. "What do you say ? Do you use divine seasonings, by 
which you can prolong the life of men, you, who find fault 
with these other seasonings ? 

Cook. I proclaim it boldly ; for those who shall eat of my 
victuals which I have seasoned will be able to exist two hun- 
dred years even. Eor when I've put into the saucepan 
either cicilendrum, or cepolindrum, or mace 2 , or saucaptis, the 
very dishes become warmed forthwith. These are sauces 
i'ovftsh, the cattle of Neptune; the Jlesh of the earthly cattle 
I season with cicimandrum, hapalopsis, or cataractria. 

money," which means a didrachm or piece of two drachmae in value, or about one 
shilling and sevenpence of our money. 

1 With vampyre owls) — Ver. 820. " Strigibus." By this expression he 
probably alludes to the drastic effect of these herbs on those who partook of 
them. Ovid, in the Sixth Book of the Fasti, has these words: " There are raven- 
ous fowls; not those which used to rob the mouth of Phineus at the board, but 
thence do they derive their origin. Large are their heads, fixed is their gaze 
for plunder are their beaks adapted ; on their wings is a greyish colour, crooked 
talons are on their claws. By night they fly, and they seek the children unpro- 
tected by the nuise, and pollute their bodies dragged from their cradles. With 
their beaks they are said to tear the entrails of the sucklings, and they have their 
maws distended with the blood which they have swallowed. ' Strides' are they 
called ; and the origin of this name is the fact, that they are wont to screech in 
the dismal night." It is supposed by some persons that, under this name, the 
vampyre bat is alluded to. 

2 Cepolindrum, or mace) — Ver. 832. With the exception of mace, all these 
names are gibberish, invented by the Cook for the purpose of imposing upon 

Sc. II. OR, THE CHEAT. 295 

Bal. Now may Jupiter and all the Divinities confound 
you with your sauces, and with all those lies of yours I 

Cook. Do allow me to speak, please. Bal. Speak, and 
go to very perdition. 

Cook. "When all the saucepans are hot, I open them al v 
then does the odour fly towards heaven with its hand- 
hanging down 1 . 

Bal. The odour with its hands hanging down ? 

Cook. I made a mistake without thinking. 

Bal. How so? Cook. With its feet hanging down, 1 
meant to say. Jupiter dines on that odour every day. 

Bal. If you happen not to go out to. cook, pray what does 
Jupiter dine upon ? 

Cook. He goes to sleep without his dinner. 

Bal. Gro to very perdition. Is it for this reason that I'm 
to give you a didrachm to-day ? 

Cook. Well, I confess that I am a very high-priced cook j 
but I make the results of my labour to be seen for the price, 
hired at which I go out. 

Bal. In thieving, to wit. Cook. And do you expect to 
meet with any cook except with the claws of a kite or of 
an eagle ? 

Bal. And do you expect to go anywhere to cook, and not 
to cook the dinner there with your claws tied up ? Now, 
therefore, you hoy (to the Boy), who are my servant, I now 
give you notice to make haste to remove hence all mv 
property ; and to keep his eyes as well in your sight. 
Whichever way he shall look, do you look the same way as 
well. If he shall move in any direction, do you move as 
well. If he shall put forth his hand, put you forth vour 
hand as well. If he shall take anything of his own, do you 
suffer him to take it ; if he shall take what's mine, do you on 
the other side hold him fast. If he shaK stoop to the 
ground, do you stoop there as well. Likewise over your 
understrappers I shall appoint a single guard a-piece. 

1 With its hands hanging dovm) — Ver. 841. He means to personify the cdour 
and to represent it as flying up to heaven ; but, by mistake, he says it flies up, 
" demissis manibus," with its hands hanging down, which would lather be the 
attitude of a person thrown out of, and falling from, the heavens. Ballio repeat* 
the expression in a tone of surprise, on which the Cook corrects himself, and saya 
he meant to say, " with its feet hanging down," " demissis pedibus." 

296 pseitdoltts; Act III., Sc. II. 

Cook. On.y have good courage. Bal. Prithee, tell me 
how I possibly can have good courage, m ho am taking you 
home to my house ? 

Cook. Because, by my broth, this day will I do just in the 
way that Medea cooked up the old man Pelias 1 , whom she 
is said by a draught and by her potions from an aged man to 
have made young again ; so will I make you likewise. 

Bal. How now ; are you an enchanter as well ? 

Cook. Why no, by my troth, I am rather a preserver 2 of 

Bal. Well now ; for how much would you teach me that 
one point in cooking ? 

Cook. What point ? Bal. That I may preserve you from 
pilfering anything from me. 

Cook. For a didrachm, if you believe me ; if not, not for 
a mina even. But whether are you about to-day to give a 
dinner, to your friends or to your enemies ? 

Bal. Why, faith, to my friends surely. 

Cook. But why don't you invite your enemies to it rather 
than your friends ? For this day will I present to the 
guests a banquet so savoury, and I'll season it with such a 
dulcet sweetness, that whoever shall taste each thing that's 
seasoned, I'll make that same person to gnaw off the ends 
of his own fingers. 

Bal. Troth now, prithee, before you shall present aught 
to the guests do you yourself first taste, and give some 

1 The old man Pelias) — Ver. 869. The Cook could not be expected to be very 
learned in the heathen Mythology; and we accordingly find him making a 
blunder. iEson, the father of Jason, was restored to youth by the charms of 
Medea ; but Pelias being the enemy of Jason, Medea persuaded his daughters to 
cut him in pieces, that he might in similar manner restore him to youth ; which 
was accordingly done, on which, having thus contrived his death, she refused her 
assistance. It is much more probable that the Cook should be intended to be 
represented as ignorant, than as attempting here to impose on the ignorance of 
Ballio. Warner, in his translation, however, thinks otherwise. He says, " The 
humour plainly lies in the Cook's promises to restore Ballio to his juvenility by 
a cookery — one that would kill him. Ballio's ignorance is, indeed, here meant to 
be exposed to ridicule by the Cook, that is by Plautus, as it likewise is in tha 
names of the spices, which are probably fictitious." 

2 Rather a preserver)— Ver. 874. The " enchanters," who were called " vene- 
fici," " poisoners," were supposed tc destroy men by their potions, whence th* 
prescr/, reply of the Cook. 

Act IV., Sc. I. OR, THE CHEAT. 297 

to your understrappers, that you may gnaw off the ends 
of your own pilfering hands. 

Cook. Perhaps then you don't believe me in the things 
that I say. 

Bal. Don't you be troublesome ; you din me too much ; 
you don't please me by it. See, there I live. (Points to his 
house.) Do you go in-doors and cook the dinner, with all 

Boy. Why don't you go, and take your place ? Go and 
find the guests ; the dinner's spoiling already. (Cook and 
Boy go into the house.') 

Bal. Now, just look, please, at that young offshoot; for he, 
too, is a good-for-nothing deputy-scullion for the cook. Truly 
I don't know what now first to be on my guard against ; 
such thieves there are in my house, and there's a robber 
close at hand. Eor my neighbour here, the father of Cali- 
dorus, a short time since, in the market-place, asked me 
by all means to be on my guard against his servant Pseu- 
dolus, not to put any trust in him ; for that he is on the 
hunt this day, if possible to dupe me out of the woman. He 
said that he had stoutly promised to him that he would get 
away Phcenicium from me by stratagem. I'll now go in- 
doors and give notice to my household, that no one must 
put any trust whatever in this Pseudolus. {Goes into his 

Act IV. — Scene I. 
Enter Pseudolus. 
Pseud. If the immortal Gods ever did determine that any 
person should be assisted by their aid, now do they intend 
that Calidorus . shall be preserved for me, and the procurer 
destroyed, inasmuch as they produced you for my assistant, 
so clever and so knowing a fellow. (Looking bach.) But 
where is he ? am I not a shly fellow to be thus talking to 
myself alone ? I' faith, he has put a trick upon myself, as I 
fancy ; myself one knave, I have been poorly on my guard 
against another knave. By my troth I'm undone, if this 
fellow's off, and I shall not carry into effect this day what I 
intended. But see, there he is, a statue that deserves a whip, 
ping ; how stately he does stalk along ! 

298 pseudoltjs; Act IV. 

Enter Simmia, at a distance, dressed like Hakpax. 

Pseud. How now ! By my faith I was looking about for 
you ; I was very greatly afraid that you were off. 

Sim. It was my character to do so, I confess. 

Pseud. Where were you loitering ? Sim. AVhere I 

Pseud. That I know well enough already. 

Sim. Why then do you ask me what you know ? 

Pseud. Why this I want, to put you in mind. 

Sim. Needing to be put in mind yourself, don't you be 
putting me in mind. 

Pseud. Eeally I am treated by you quite with contempt. . 

Sim. And why shouldn't I treat you with contempt, I, 
who have the repute of being a military gentleman ? 

Pseud. I want this then, which has been commenced, to 
be completed. 

Sim. Do you see me a-doing anything else ? 

Pseud. Therefore walk on briskly. Sim. No, I choose to 
go slowly. 

Pseud. This is the opportunity ; while this Harpax is 
asleep, I want you to be the first to accost him. 

Sim. Why are you hurrying ? Softly ; don't you fear. I 
wish Jupiter would so make it, that he were openly in the 
same place with me, whoever he is, that has arrived from the 
Captain. Never a jot, by my troth, should he be a bit the 
better Harpax than I. Have good courage, I'll have this 
business nicely accounted for to you. So by my tricks and 
lies would I put this military stranger in a fright that he 
himself would deny that he is the person that he is, and would 
believe me to be the person that he himself is. 

Pseud. How can that be ? Sim. You are murdering me 
when you ask me that. 

Pseud. A clever fellow. Sim. And so are you too, who 
are quite my equal with your mischievous tricks and lies 

Pseud. May Jupiter preserve you for me. 
Sim. Aye, and for myself. But look, does this dress be* 
come me quite well ? 

SC. I. OR, THE CHEAT. 299 

Pseud. It suits very well. Sim. Be it so. 

Pseud. May the Deities grant you as many blessings as 
you may wish for yourself. For if I were to wish for as 
many as you are deserving of, they would be less than 
nothing ; (aside) nor have I ever seen any one more of a rogue 
than this fellow. 

Sim. (overhearing him). Do you say that to me ? 

Pseud. This man's an honest fellow. 

Sim. It is neither this person, then {pointing to Pseudo- 
lus), nor myself. 

Pseud. But take care that you don't be tripping. 

Sim. Can't you hold your tongue ? He that puts a man 
m mind of that which, remembering it, he does keep in mind, 
causes him to forget it. I recollect everything ; they are 
stored up in my breast ; my plans are cleverly laid. 

Pseud. I'm silent. But what good turn shall I do you 
if you carry through this matter with management? So 
may the Gods love me 

Sim. They won't do so; you'll be uttering sheer false- 
hoods then. 

Pseud. How I do love you, Simmia, for your roguery, and 
loth fear and laud you. 

Sim. That I have learned to make a present of to others ; 
you can't put your flatteries on me. 

Pseud. In how delightful a manner I shall receive you this 
day, when you have completed this matter. 

Sim. Ha, ha, ha ! {Laughing.) 

Pseud. With nice viands, wine, perfumes, and titbits 
between our cups. There, too, shall be a charming damsel, 
who shall give you kiss upon kiss. 

Sim. You will be receiving me in a delightful manner. 

Pseud. Aye, am? if you effect it, then I'll make you say so 
still more. 

Sim. If I don't effect it, do you, the executioner, take me 
off to torture. But make haste and point out to me where 
is the door of the procurer's house. 

Pseud. 'Tis the third hence. Sim. Hist ! hush ! the door's 

Pseud. In my mind, I believe that the house is poorly. 

Sim. Why so? Pseud. Because, i' faith, it is vomiting 
forth the procurer. (Ballio is coming out of his house.) 

300 PSEUDOLUS ; Act IV. 

Sim. Is this he ? Pseud. This is his own self. 

Sim. 'Tis a worthless commodity. Pseud. Do see that: 
he doesn't go straight, but sideways, just as a crab is wont. 
{They conceal themselves from Ballio.) 

Scene II. — Enter Ballio from his house. 

Bal. I do believe that this fellow is not so bad a cook as 
I thought he was ; for he has clawed off nothing as yet ex- 
cept a cup and a tankard. 

Pseud, {apart to Simmia). Hallo you! now's your oppor- 
tunity and your time. 

Sim. I agree with you. Pseud. Step slily out into the 
street ; I'll be here in ambush. (Simmia steps forward, and 
then walks along the middle of the street to meet Ballio.) 

Sim. {talking aloud to himself). I took the number care- 
fully ; this is the sixth lane from the city gate ; down that 
lane he bade me turn ; how many houses down he told me, 
that I don't quite know for certain. 

Bal. {eyeing Simmia). Who's this fellow in the scarf, or 
whence does he come, or whom is he looking for ? The 
appearance of the fellow seems outlandish and shabby. 

Sim. But see, here's a person, who, from uncertainty, will 
make the thing more certain for me that I wish to know. 

Bal. He's coming straight towards me. "Where in the 
world am 1 to say this fellow comes from ? 

Sim. Harkye ! you who are standing there with a goat's 
beard, answer me this that I ask you. 

Bal. How now ! Don't you salute me first ? 

Sim. {with a surly voice) . I have no salutations to give away. 

Bal. Well, troth, you shall get just as much from here 

Pseud, {from behind). Well done, at the very beginning. 

Sim. Do you know any person in this lane, I ask you ? 

Bal. I know myself. Sim. Pew persons do that which 
you mention ; for in the Porum there is hardly every tenth 
person that knows his own self. 

Pseud, {from behind). I'm all right; he is philosophizing 

Sim. I'm looking for a fellow here, a bad one, a law- 
breaker, an impious, perjured, and dishonest rogue. 

Bal {aside). He's looking for me, for those are my titles. 

Sc. II. OE, THE CHEAT. 301 

If he would only mention the name. (To Simmia.) "What's 
the name of this person r 

Sim. Ballio, the procurer. Bal. Do I know him ? I am 
the very person, young man, that you are looking for. 

Sim. What, are you Ballio ? Bal. I really am he. 

Sim. How you are clothed, a housebreaker * * 

(He takes hold of Ballio' s cloak.) 

Bal. I think if you were to see me in the dark, you'd 
be keeping your hand off. 

Sim. My master bade me present you many greetings. 
Keceive this letter from me ; he bade me give you it. 

Bal. "Who's the person that bade you ? 

Pseud, (from behind). I'm undone, now the fellow's in 
the middle of the mud. He doesn't know the name — 
this business is at a dead lock. 

Bal. "Who do you say sent me this ? 

Sim. Observe the seal ; do you yourself tell me his name, 
that I may know that you are Ballio himself. 

Bal. Give me the letter. Sim. Take it, and look at the 
seal. ( Gives him the letter.) 

Bal. (looking at it). Oho! 'Tis nothing more nor less 
than Polymachaeroplagides 1 , his own very self; I recognize 
it. Hallo you, Polymachaeroplagides is his name ! 

Sim. I know now that I have rightly given you the letter, 
since you have mentioned the name of Polymachaeroplagides. 

Bal. How fares he ? Sim. By my troth, just as a brave 
man and a good soldier should. But make haste, I beg, to 
read this letter through, for it is requisite to do so, and to 
take this money at once and send out the damsel. For it's 
necessary for me this day to be at Sicyon 3 , or else to suffer 
death to-morrow ; so peremptory is my master. 

Bal. I know it : you are telling those w r ho know it already. 

Sim. Make haste then to read the letter through. 

Bal. I'll do so, if you'll only hold your tongue. (He 
reads the letter.) " The Captain Polymachaeroplagides sends 

1 Pohjmachmroplagides) — Ver. 988. This high-sounding name is compounded 
of three Greek words, and signifies " the son of many blows with the sword," or 
something akin to it. 

* To be at Sicyon)—Ver. 995. This was a very ancient city of the Pebptu- 
nesue on the Gulf of Corinth. 

302 pseudolus ; Act IV. 

this letter, written to the procurer Ballio ; sealed with the 
impression which was formerly agreed upon, between us 

Sim. The token's in the letter. 

Bal. I see the token and I recognize it. But is he in the 
habit of sending no greeting written in his letter ? 

Sim. Such is the military etiquette, Ballio ; with their 
hand they send health to their well-wishers, and with the 
same do they send destruction to their evil-wishers. But 
as you have commenced, go on to ascertain of yourself what 
this letter says. 

Bal. Listen then. {Beading on.) " Harpax is my camp- 
servant, who has come to you." Are you this Harpax ? 

Sim. I am, and the real Harpax too 1 . 

Bal. (reading on). ""Who brings this letter ; I wish the 
money to be received from him, and the woman to be sent 
together with him. 'Tis becoming to send greeting to the 
worthy ; had I deemed you worthy, I should have sent it to 

Sim. "What then ? Bal. Pay me the money, take away 
the woman. 

Sim. "Which of us is delaying the matter ? 

Bal. Follow me in-doors then. 

Sim. I'm following. {They go into Ballio' s house.) 

Scene III. — Pseudolus comes forward. 

Pseud. I' troth, a more artful fellow, and one more skil- 
fully cunning, I never did see than is this same Simmia. 
Very much do I dread this man, and sadly do I fear that he 
may prove mischievous against myself just as he lias been 
against him ; lest in his prosperity he may now turn his 
horns against me, if he finds an opportunity. Should he 
prove mischievous towards me * * * * 

But, i' faith, for my part I hope not, for I wish well to him. 
Now in three ways am I in the greatest dread. First of all 
then, I dread this comrade of mine, lest he should forsake me 
and go over from me to the enemy. Next do I dread that 
my master should in the meantime return from the Forum ; 

1 The real Harpax too) — Ver. 1010. He lays a stress on the name, to catch a 
laugh from the audience by implying that he is a regular Harpax or " plunderer," 
both in name and reality. 

So. V. OE, THE CHEAT. 303 

lest, the booty taken, the plunderers should be taken. To- 
gether with these things do I fear, lest that other Harpax 
should arrive here before this Harpax has departed hence 
with the woman. By my faith, I'm undone ; they are 
very slow in coming out of doors. With baggage packed 1 
up, my heart is waiting, ready, if he doesn't bring out the 
damsel together with himself, to fly away in exile out from 
of my breast. *•'#**#_# 
{The door of B allio' s house opens.) I'm the conqueror — 
I've got the better of my wary guards. 

Scene IV. — Enter Simmia, />#/;* B allio' s house, leading 

Sim. (to Phcenicium). Don't weep : you know not how the 
matter is, Phcenicium ; but before long I'll let you. know it 
when you are resting. I'm not leading you to that Mace- 
donian long-teethed fellow, who now causes you to be weep- 
ing. To him will I lead you, whose you especially long to be. 
I'll cause you before very long to be embracing Calidorus. 

Pseud. Prithee, why did you stay so long in-doors ? For 
how long a time was my heart throbbing with beating 
against my breast. 

Sim. You have found reason, you whipping-post, with a 

vengeance to be making enquires of me * * * 

* * * * amid the ambush 

of the enemy. "Why don't we go home with all speed with 

military strides 3 . 

Pseud. Now, by my trotb, although you are a worthless 
fellow, you advise aright. March in triumphal procession, 
this way, straight in the path to the festive goblet. (TJiey 
march off in triumphal procession?) 

Scene Y. — Enter B allio, /row his house. 
Bal. Ha, ha, ha! (laughing.) Now, at last, my mind is 
in a state of ease, since that fellow has departed hence, 

1 With baggage packed) — Ver. 1033. " Conligatis vasis." This is a figure de- 
rived from military affairs. In modern as in ancient times, the custom is for the 
soldiers, when they break up the encampment, to collect all their vessels and 
baggage and tie them up in bundles. 

■ With military strides) — Ver. 1019. Having often to march qui :kly, soldiers 
would naturally acquire the habit of walking with large strides. 

30-1 pseudoltjs ; Act IV* 

and taken away the woman. I should like Pseudolus now 
to come, that wicked rascal, to carry the woman off from me 
by his stratagems. I know for sure, right well, that I had 
rather in solemn form perjure myself a thousand times, than 
that he should cheat me by making a laughing-stock of me. 
By my troth now, I'll laugh at the fellow if I meet him. 
But I guess that he'll soon be on the treadmill, just as befits 
him. Now I wish for Simo that he would come in my way, 
in order that he might be joyful in common with my joy. 

Scene VI. — Enter Simo. 

Simo (to himself). I'm going to see what business my 
Ulysses has transacted ; whether he now has the statue 1 from 
the Ballionian citadel. 

Bal. O, lucky man ! give me your lucky hand. (Takes 
his hand.) 

Simo. What's the matter ? Bal. Now. 

Simo. What now ? Bal. There's nothing at all for you 
to frar. 

Simo. What's the matter? Has that fellow Pseudolus 
come to you ? 

Bal. No. Simo. What good fortune is there, then ? 

Bal. Yo:ir twenty minse are safe and sound w r hich Pseu- 
dolus stipulated for from you this day. 

Simo. I' faith, I really do wish they were. 

Bal. Ask of me twenty minae if be this day gets hold of 
that woman, or gives her to your son this day, as he has pro- 
mised. On my word, prithee, do demand them of me ; I 
quite long to promise them. And, besides this, keep the 
woman as a present for yourself, that in every way you 
may know that your money's safe. 

Simo. There's no danger that I know of in making this 
bargain. According as you have solemnly pledged your 
word, will you give me twenty minse ? 

Bal. They shall be given. Simo. This, indeed, is not so 
badly done. But have you met the fellow ? 

Bal. Aye, both of tbem together. 

1 Noio has the statm) — Ver. 1064. He alludes to Ulysses carrying away the 
Palladium or statue of Minerva from the citadel of Troy. 

5c. yil. on, THE CHEAT. 30-5 

Simo. What did he say? What did he talk about? 
Prithee, what did he mention to you ? 

Bal. Theatrical nonsense ; expressions which, in comedies, 
are wont to be used to a procurer, which boys are ac- 
quainted with. He said that I was worthless, and wicked, 
and forsworn. 

Simo. I' faith, he told no lie. 

Bal. 'Twas for that reason I wasn't angry. For what 
matters it for you to speak uncivilly to him who cares not 
for it, and who don't deny the truth of ivhat you say ? 

Simo. Why is it that you are in no fear of him ? That 
I'm longing to hear. 

Bal. Because he never will carry the woman off now, nor 
is he able. Don't you yourself remember that I told you, some 
time since, that she had been sold to a Macedonian officer ? 

Simo. I remember. Bal. Well, his servant just now 
brought me the money, and the token with the impression, 
which had been arranged between himself and me. 

Simo. What then ? Bal. He took away with him the 
woman, not long since. 

Simo. Do you say this in real truth ? 

Bal. Whence could I possibly have that quality? 

Simo. Do you only take care that he hasn't been playing 
some trick there. 

Bal. The letter and the impress on the seal make me sure. 
Indeed, 'twas but just now he took her off for Sicyon. 

Simo. Troth now, 'twas well done. Why do I delay to 
make Pseudolus give a name 1 to a colony at the mill-stones ? 
But who's this fellow in the scarf? 

Bal. I don't know, i' faith ; however, let's observe whither 
he's going, and what business he's upon. {They stand on 
one side.) 

Scene YIL — Enter Haepax. 
Har. (to himself). That slave's a base and worthless fellow, 
who values his master's commands at nought; and he, too. 
is good for nothing who is forgetful to do his duty unless 
he's put in mind. But those who forthwith deem them- 
selves to be at liberty, when they have hidden themselves from 

1 Give a name) — Ver. 1100. He alludes to the custom of the first colonist* 
giving the name to a colony. He says that he thinks that he must give Pseudohu 
a settlement at the hand-mill, and so make him colonize the place of punishment 


306 rsEUDOLtrs ; Act TV 

the sight of their master, who riot, wench, devour what they 
have, — aye, what they have not, — long do those same endure 
the name of servitude. Nor is there any good disposition in 
them, except only that they may uphold themselves by their 
dishonest contrivances. With these, neither their company 
nor their conversation suits me, nor by these persons have 
I been ever known. Although he is away, I consider my 
master as being here ; I fear him when he isn't here, that I 
may not have to fear him when he is here. Therefore, as I 
have been ordered, to this business will I give my attention. 
But that Syrus, to whom I gave the token, would have been 
letting me stay even yet in the shop. As he bade me, I stayed 
there ; he said that he would send for me when the procurer 
was at aome. But since he hasn't come, or called me while 
staying there, I'm come hither of my own accord, that I may 
know what is the fact, that that fellow mayn't be playing 
tricks with me. And there is nothing better than that I 
should knock at this door, and call some out here from in- 
doors. I want this procurer to take this money of me, and to 
send off this woman with me. (Goes towards Ballio's door.) 

Bal. (from behind, to Simo). Hark you! Simo. (apart). 
"What do you want ? 

Bal. (apart). This fellow's my own. Simo. (apart). How 
so ? 

Bal. (apart, pointing to the purse in the hand o/'Harpax). 
Because that booty's mine. He's in search of a mistress 
he has got money. I already long to fix my teeth in him. 

Simo. (apart). Are you going to devour him already ? 

Bal. (apart). While he's fresh, while he's in the habit 
of giving away, while he's warm upon it, 'tis proper for him 
to be gobbled up. The good men keep me poor, the bad 
ones support me ; the virtuous are a benefit to the public, 
the debauched to myself. 

Simo. (aside). A mischief may the Gods send you; such 
a villain are you. 

Bal. (apart). Venus bestows upon me these blessings, 
when she drives hither these haters of money, these who 
quite long for losses, who carefully pamper themselves and 
their youthful age, eat, drink, and wench. Of quite dif- 
ferent dispositions are they and you. 

Har. (to himself). I'm now delaying myself, in not 
knocking at this door, that I may know whether or ni 

Sc. Vll. OE, THE CHEAT. 307 

Ballio is at home now. (Calls out, going up to the door.) 
Hallo ! where are you ? Hallo ! where are you ? 

Bal. (apart). Why, he's going straight up towards my 
house. I shall come off finely loaded with plunder from this 
fellow ; I know it's a lucky omen for me. 

Hae. (knocking violently at the door). Does any one come 
to open this door ? 

Bal. (calling out to him). Hallo! you in the scarf, what's 
owing you at that house ? 

Har. I'm enquiring for Ballio, the procurer, the master of 
the house. 

Bal. "Whoever you are, young man, make short work of 
your enquiries. 

Har. Why so ? Bal. Because he himself in person sees 
you in his presence before him. 

Har. What, are you he ? Simo. You in the scarf, take 
you care, please, of some crooked misfortune, and point your 
finger 1 at him ; this fellow is a procurer. 

Bal. (pointing to Simo). And this is an honest man. 
(To Simo.) But you, worthy fellow, are many a time being 
hunted after in the Forum with noise enough, when you 
haven't a groat in the world, unless this procurer here comes 
to help you a bit. 

Har. But why don't you address yourself to me ? 

Bal. I do address you. What is it you want ? 

Har. Tou to take this money. (He holds out the Jive 

Bal. (holding out his hand). Already have I extended my 
hand, if you are going to give it. 

Har. Take it ; here are five picked minse of silver counted 
out. (Gives him the money.) This did my master, Polyma- 
chseroplagides, order me to deliver to you, the sum which he 
was owing, and that you were to send Phcenicium with me. 

Bal. Tour master ? Har. I say to that effect. 

Bal. The Captain ? Har. T speak to that effect. 

Bal. The Macedonian ? Har. Such is the fact, I say. 

Bal. Polymachseroplagides sent you to me ? 

Har. You say what's fact. Bal. To give me this money ? 

1 Point your finger) — Ver. 1144. Simo thinks that Harpax lias come to be a 
customer of the procurer, and tells him to beware of misfortune, and rather to 
point the finger of scorn at such a worthless character. The middle firmer wtt 
ased for that purpose. 



Har. If you really are the procurer Ballio. 

Bal. And for you to take away the woman from me ? 

Har. Even so. Bal. Did he say that it was Phcenicium ? 

Har. You remember it exactly. Bal. Wait there; I'll 
return to you this instant. 

Har. Make haste, then, with all speed, for I'm in a hurry. 
'Tis now late in the day, d'ye see ? 

Bal. I see ; still I wish to call this person aside. Do you 
only wait there ; I'll return to you this instant. {He takes 
Simo on one side.) "What's to be done now, Simo ? What 
are we to do ? I've detected this fellow that has brought the 
money in the fact. 

Simo. How so ? Bal. And don't you understand what 
this plan is ? 

Simo. About as much as the most ignorant do. 

Bal. Tour servant, Pseudolus, has sent this fellow on the 
message, as though he was from the Macedonian Captain. 

Simo. Have you got the money from the fellow ? 

Bal. Do you ask about that which you see ? (Shows the 
purse in his hand.) 

Simo. Harkye, remember to give me one half of that 
plunder. It's right that that should be in common. 

Bal. Why, plague on't, 'tis all your own 1 . 

Har. (coming forward a step). How soon are you going to 
attend to me ? 

Bal. I'll attend to you, indeed. (Aside?) What now do 
you advise me to do, Simo ? 

Simo. (aside). Let's make some fun of this counterfeit 
spy, even until he himself shall be sensible that he is being 
made a fool of. 

Bal. Follow me. (To Harpax.) What have you to say ? 
You are his servant, I suppose ? 

Har. Most certainly. Bal. At what price did he pur- 
chase you? 

Har. With the victory of his prowess in battle ; for I was 
a very great general at home in my own country. 

Bal. Why, did he ever capture a gaol in your country ? 
Har. If you utter affronting speeches, you'll be hearing 

1 Youroion)— Ver. 1165. Meaning th*t, no doubt, Pseudolus had 6tolen A 
from him. 


Bal. Iii what time did you come from Sicyon hither ? 

Har. In one day, by noon. Simo. Bravo ! By my troth, 
yon did come quickly ; how very swift of foot this man is. 

Bal. When you look at his calves, you might know that 
he can wear heavy fetters. How say you — were you also, 
when a child, in the habit of sleeping in a cradle ? 

Simo. Of course. Bal. And were you, too, in the habit 
of doing 1 — you know what I mean ? 

Simo. Of course he was in the habit of doing as other 
children did? 

Har. Are you men in your senses? Bal. What, be- 
cause I asked you that ? At night, when the Captain was 
going on guard, and when you were going with him, did the 
sword of the officer fit your scabbard ? 

Ha.r. Gro to utter perdition. Bal. Tou, indeed, shall 
have the opportunity of going there in good time to-day. 

Har. But do you bring out the woman to me, or else give 
me back the money. 

Bal. Wait a hit. Har. Why should I wait ? 

Bal. That scarf, tell me for how much it has been lent. 
- Har. What matters it ? Simo. How much is the sword 
hired for ? 

Har. These fellows surely stand in need of hellebore 2 . 

Bal. How now — {Takes hold of him.) Har. {repulsing 
him). Leave me alone. 

Bal. What wages does that broad-brimmed hat hire to- 
day for its owner ? 

Har. What owner ? Simo. What do the shoes ? * * 
* * # # # 

Har. What are you dreaming about ? Why, I'm the 
owner of all these things, bought w r ith my own savings. 

Bal. Those, you mean, which the upper part of your 
thighs supports 3 . 

1 The habit of doing)— Ver. 1178. An indecent allusion is most probably here 
intended. An attempt lias been made in the translation to turn it into another 

2 Have need of hellebore) — Ver. 1 184. Black hellebore was much esteemed in 
cases of madness. Harpax has really, from their way of proceeding, some reason 
to think that the persons in conversation with him are not in their right senses. 

3 Your thighs supports)— Ver. 1189. Unless a more gross allusion is in- 
tended, he means that his " peculium*' is not his " savings" (which is the strict 
meaning of the word), but his back and flanks, which often receive on them 
the punishment of servitude, ana which alone he can caB his own. 


Har. (aside). These old fellows have been anointed ; they 
want themselves rubbed down 1 , after the old-fashioned custom. 

Bal. I' faith, prithee, answer me this truly and seriously, 
which I ask of you : "What are you to earn ? For how trifling 
a sum has Pseudolus hired you ? 

Har. Who is this Pseudolus ? Bal. Tour tutor, who 
has instructed you in this knavery, to take away the woman 
hence from me by stratagem. 

Har. What Pseudolus, and what stratagem are you talk- 
ing to me about ? A person that I know of no colour, black 
or white. 

Bal. Will you not be off from here ? There's no profit here 
for swindlers to-day. Therefore you may tell Pseudolus that 
another person has carried off the prize — the first Harpax 
that came. 

Har. On my word, I really am that Harpax. 

Bal. Aye, on my word, you want to be. This is nothing 
more nor less than a downright impostor. 

Har. I have given yourself the money, and a while ago, im- 
mediately on my arrival, the token to your servant ; a letter 
sealed with the likeness of my master, here before the door. 

Bal. You gave a letter to my servant ? What servant ? 

Har. To Syrus. Bal. (to Simo). The wicked rogue has 
assurance enough 2 . He hasn't contrived his knavish scheme 
amiss. By my faith, that whipping-post of a fellow, Pseudolus, 
how cleverly he has managed his plans ; just as much money 
as the Captain owed, he has given this man, and has dressed 
out the fellow that he might take away the woman * * 
****** (To Harpax.) But the 
real Harpax himself brought that letter hither to me. 

Har. My name is Harpax ; I am the servant of the Mace- 
donian Captain. I'm doing nothing roguishly or cheatinglv, 
nor do I know or understand this Pseudolus, what mortal 
being he is. 

Simo. Unless it's something wonderful, procurer, 3 r ou've 
clearly lost the woman. 

1 Themselves rubbed down) — Ver. 1190. After bathing, the Greeks and Romans 
were in the habit of being anointed, and then rubbed down with a flesh-brush. 
Probably the latter custom had gone out of fashion in the time of Plautus. 
Harpax says that the old men want to be rubbed down ; but he means, as uncle 
Bowling expresses it in Roderick Random, " with an oaken towel." 

2 Has assurance enough) — Ver. 1204. The note of interrogation, in RUscLe^ 
edition, after " nequam," seems to be out of place. 

Se. VII. OK, THE CHEAT. 811 

Bal. Assuredly, by my troth, I'm in dread of that more 
and more, when I come to hear his words. I' faith, that 
Syrus, too, has already set my heart ^-freezing, that received 
the token from him. 

Simo. "lis a wonder if it isn't Pseudolus. (To Haepax.) 
How now, you ! of what appearance was the person to whom 
you delivered the token ? 

Har. A certain red-haired fellow 1 , pot-bellied, with thick- 
calves, swarthy, with a big head, sharp eyes, red face, and 
very large feet. 

Bal. You prove our undoing, when you mention the feet. 
It was Pseudolus himself. It's all up with me. -I'm dying 
now, Simo. 

Har. By my troth, I shan't let you die, unless the money's 
returned me — twenty minse. 

Simo. And another twenty minse to me as well. 

Bal. (to Simo). And is the sum to be taken of me that 
I promised by way of a joke ? 

Simo. From, unprincipled men it's proper for both their 
money and their plunder to be taken. 

Bal. At least you might give up Pseudolus to me. 

Simo. I, give up Pseudolus to you ? What has he done 
amiss r Did I not tell you a hundred times that you were 
to beware of him ? 

Bal. He has ruined me. Simo. And on me he has laid a 
fine of twenty fair minse. 

Bal. What am I to do then ? Har. When vou have given 
me the money — go hang yourself. 

Bal. The Grods confound you. (To Harpax.) Follow me, 
then, this way, please, to the Forum, that I may pay you. 

Har. I follow you. Simo. What am I to do ? 

Bal. Strangers I'll pay at once ; to-morrow I'll settle 
with fellow-citizens. Pseudolus has been holding a council- 
general 3 against my life, in sending that fellow to me to-dav 

1 Red-haired fellow) — Ver. 1218. Some Commentators fancy that in these lines 
Plautus intends to give a description of himself. If so, he certainly was not bo 
handsome as he was ingenious. 

2 A council-general} — Ver. 1232. " Centuriata habmt comitia." Literally," has 
held the comitia centuriata." These were the largest and most, important meetings 
of the centuries or classes of all the Roman citizens, who there met together for 
the purpose of electing the superior magistrates by their votes, making laws, 
■ieciding upon war, and in later times, of concluding peace with foreign nations 

312 PSEUDOLUS ; Act V. 

to carry off the woman. {To Hakpax.) Do you follow me. 
{To the Audience.) Now don't you be expecting that I shall 
be returning home this way. As matters stand, I've deter- 
mined to go through the alleys. 

Hah. If you had walked at the rate you talk, you'd hy 
this have been at the Forum. 

Bal. I'm determined to make this, instead of my birthday, 
my dying day. {Exit Ballio, HAKYAxfolloioing. 

Scene VIII. — Simo, alone. 

Simo. I've touched this fellow handsomely, and cleverly 
has my servant managed his adversary. Now am I resolved 
to lie in ambush for Pseudolus in a different manner to what's 
done in other plays, where people lie in wait with goads or 
whips. "Without revenge will I at once pay down the twenty 
minae which I promised if he should effect it. I'll carry 
them to him of my own accord. This creature is very clever, 
very cunning, very artful. Pseudolus has surpassed the 
Trojan stratagem 1 and Ulysses too. Now I'll be off in-doors. 
I'll take out the money; I'll lie in ambush for Pseudolus. 
{Goes into his house.) 

Act V. — Scene I. 
Enter Pseudolus, drunk, with a chaplet on his head. 

Pseud, {staggering). How's this? And is it the fact? 
Feet — are you standing or not ? Or is it this you want, some 
one to pick me up here as I lie ? But, by my faith, if I do fall 
down, yours will be the fault. Are you going to go ? Heigho 1 
I must wait upon myself. This is the great fault in 
wine ; it first lays hold of the feet ; 'tis a cunning wrestler. 
By my faith, assuredly am I now come off right well drenched ; 
with such exquisite viands, with such becoming elegance, 
in such a delightful place, have we been delightfully enter- 
tained. "What's the need for me to make much prosing ? 
This is the thing for a man, an object for him to pass his 
life for ; here are all pleasures and all delights. I think that 
the ecstasy is equal to that of the Deities, when the lover 

As these important things were done with due deliberation, Ballio borrows a 
figure thence, and means that Pseudolus lias been giving all attention to the 
promotion of the success of the plot which he has laid against him. 

1 The Trojan stratagem) — Ver. 1244. He probably alludes to the contrivanc« 
^f fie Wooden Horse, which was first suggested bv Ulv**** 

8c. I. OE, THE CHEAT. 313 

embraces his mistress, when he places lip to lip, when melting 
kisses are exchanged, when breast is pressed to breast, or 
else, if they please, they are locked in strict embrace ; then 
for your most loving mistress, with her white hand, to be 
pledging you in the luscious goblet, for no one there to be 
disagreable to another, for no one to be indulging in silly 
conversation ; for unguents and perfumes, ribbons 1 and fes- 
tive wreaths, to be provided in profusion ; and for the rest 
of the entertainment, too, to be provided in no niggardly style. 
That no one may have to question me then, in this manner 
have myself and my young master been spending this day in 
jollity. After I had fulfilled all my task just as I intended, the 
enemy put to flight, I was leaving them reclining and drinking, 
each lover with his mistress, and my own mistress there as well, 
indulging heart and soul. But after I had risen, they begged 
me to dance. After this fashion (lie dances) did I show my- 
self off there quite charmingly, in a master-like style, to wit ; 
for I am thoroughly acquainted with the Ionian step. Thus, 
clad in my little mantle, full of fun, I was stepping about, 
this way. Some of them clapped me, others cried out for 
me to dance again. In that same Ionian fashion once again 
did I begin to take a turn ; I presented myself to my mis- 
tress, that she might caress me ; as I was pirouetting, down 
I tumbled : that was the funeral dirge 2 for my sport. And 

so, while I was a-struggling to get up, near , almost, 1 

mean, I soiled my mantle. Then, by my troth, I was the 
cause of plenteous mirth. A goblet was presented me on 
account of my fall. Forthwith I changed my mantle, and 
put on this ; thence have I come hither, that I might get 
rid of my surfeit. Now I'm going to my old master, to 
put him in mind of our bargain. Open — open the door. 
Hallo, there ! Tell Simo, somebody, that I'm here. {Knocks 
at the door o/Simo's house.) 

1 Ribbons) — Ver. 1265. " Lemniscos." According to Festus, "lemnisci" were 
purple ribbons wrapped round one another, and hanging down from the wreaths 
which the ancients wore on their heads at their entertainments. From a passage 
in Pliny it would appear that these ribbons were in general only worn by persons 
of distinction. The translation of 1. 1260 has necessarily been somewhat modified. 

2 The funeral dirge) — Ver. 127S. The word " Najnia," or " nenia," has several 
meanings, among others, tnat of '* a funeral dirge," which is probably its meaning 
here. Pseudolus intends to say that his fall, so far as he wab concerned, put an 
end to his enjoying the amusement of dancing any further. 

314* pseudolus ; Act V. 

Scene II. — Enter Simo 1 , from his house. 

Simo. The voice of a rascally fellow is calling me out oi 
doors. {He stares at Pseudolus.) But what's this? How's 
this ? What is it I see in this guise ? 

Pseud, {staggering towards him). Your own Pseudolus, 
drunk, with a cnaplet on 2 . 

Simo. {to himself). By my troth, this is free and easy 
indeed. But see his attitude ; is he on my account a bit 
the mere afraid ? I'm thinking whether I shall address 
him harshly or kindly. But this {pointing to a purse in his 
hand) that I'm carrying forbids me to use rough measures 
towards him just now ; if there's any hope for me, centred 
in this. 

Pseud, {staggering up to Simo). A worthless fellow is 
coming to meet the best of men. 

Simo. May the Gods bless you, Pseudolus. (Pseudolus 
eructates.) Poh! go to utter perdition. {Pushes him away.) 

Pseud. But why should I have that mischance befal me ? 

Simo. Why, the plague, in your drunkenness, are you 
eructating in my face ? 

Pseud. Hold me up, steadily; take care that I don't fall. 
Don't you see me, how drenched and soaking I am ? 

Simo. What impudence is this, for you to be going about 
this way in broad daylight, drunk, with a chaplet on ? 

Pseud. Such is my pleasure. {Eructates again.) SiMO.AVhy 
your pleasure ? Do you persist in eructating in my very face ? 

Pseud. An eructation is comforting to me ; do indulge me 
in it ; do but stand off. 

Simo. For my part I really do believe, you villain, that you 
are able in a single hour to drink up four right plentiful 
vintages of the Massic hills 3 . 

1 Enter Simo) — All the former editions introduced Ballio in this scene, and put 
in his mouth much of what really belongs to Simo. The astute Eitschel saw the 
absurdity of this, and has rectified the text accordingly. 

2 With a chaplet on) — Ver. 1287. Pseudolus lays some stress on this, as slaves 
were not permitted to wear chaplets. He, however, presumes on the fact of 
Simo being in his debt. 

3 The Massic hills) — Ver. 1303. The Massic hills were situate in the Falernian 
district, in the territory of Naples. The Massic or Falernian wine held the second 
rank among the choice wines of the Romans. It was considered fit for drinking 
when ten years old, and might be used up to the twentieth year, but when kept 

onger was considered to be injurious to the nervous system. 

SC II. Oil, THE CHEAT. 313 

Pseud. A winter hour 1 , add. Srao. You don't remind 
me amiss. But tell me, however, v. hence I am to say that 
you are bringing your deeply-laden bark ? 

Psettd. I've just been having a thorough bout with your 
son. That damsel is the cause of this ; along with your yon 
she is carousing, a free woman. 

Simo. You are a most worthless fellow. 

Pseud. But, Simo, wasn't Ballio nicely diddled? How 
well I carried what I told you into effect. 

Simo. I know everything in its order, just as you managed 
each particular. 

Pseud. Why, then, do you hesitate to pay me the money? 

Simo. You ask what's just, I confess; take it. (Gives 
him the money.} 

Pseud. But you declared that you wouldn't give it me ; 
and still do you give it. 

Simo. Are you laughing at me ? What ? Are you going 
to take this from your master, Pseudolus ? 

Pseud. With most willing heart and soul. 

Simo. Prithee, can't you venture to make me an abate- 
ment of some portion of this money ? 

Pseud. No : you shall say that I realty am a greedy fellow; 
for you shall never be richer by a single coin of this money. 

Simo. Well, I really didn't suppose that it would ever 
come to pass with me that I should be begging of you. 

Pseud. Load your shoulder with it, and follow me this 
way. (Pointing.) 

Simo. I — load myself with that ? Pseud. You will load 
yourself, I'm sure. 

Simo. What am I to do to this fellow ? Doesn't he, con- 
trary to my expectation, take my money, and then laugh at me ? 

Pseud. Woe to the conquered 2 : turn your back, then. 
(Turns him round.) 

1 A winter hour) — Ver. 1304. The Romans divided the light part of the day 
nto twelve hours; consequently, the hours of the winter days were much 

shorter than the summer ones* 

2 Woe to the conquered) — Ver. 1322. The following was the origin of this 
expression. When the Romans capitulated to the Gauls under Brennus, a thou- 
sand pounds weight of gold were to be their ransom. When it was about to ba 
weighed out, the Gauls brought false weights. On this the Roman officer refuse^ 
to use them, whereupon Brennus threw his sword into the scale, and exclaimed 
P Vse victis !" " Woe to the conquered !" The expression afterwards became jiro 
verbial, as signifying that no mercy was to be expected. 


Simo. Oh ! oh ! desist. Let me alone — I'm hi pain. 

Pseud. Were you not in pain, I should be in pain ; and 
no compassion would you have had for my back, if I hadn't 
this day managed this. 

Simo. There will be an opportunity for me to be revenged 
on you, if I live. 

Pseud. Why do you threaten ? I've got a back of my own. 

Simo. Very well, then. (Moves as if 'going .) Pseud. Come 
you back then. 

Simo. Why come back ? Pseud. Only come you back ; 
you shall not be deceived. 

Simo. {turns round). I am come back. Pseud. Come and 
have a drink with me. 

Simo. What — I, come ? Pseud. Do as I ask you. If you 
do come, I'll let you take half of this, or even more. (Points 
to the purse in his hand.) 

Simo. I'll come ; take me where you like, Pseudolus. 

Pseud. How now then ? Are you at all angry with me or 
with your son, Simo, on account of these matters ? 

Simo. Certainly, not at all. 'Pseud, (going). Step this 
way now. 

Simo. I follow you. But why don't you invite the Spec- 
tators as well ? 

Pseud, (turning round). I' faith, they are not in the habit 
of inviting me; and, therefore, I don't invite them. But if 
you (addressing the Audience) are willing to applaud and 
approve of this company of players, and this Comedy, I 
invite you for to-morrow 1 . 

1 Invite you for to-morrow) — Ver. 1335. At the Megalensian games the third 
day was especially set apart for scenic representations. Probably, as the present- 
Play was acted there, it was on that occasion announced for repetition on the suc- 
ceeding day. It may not be inapposite here to remark that Cicero, in his Treatise 
on Old Age, informs us that Plautus entertained a very high opinion of this 
Play; while Aulus Gellius styles it"Comce<lia festissima," "a most entertaining 
Comedy." Many of the modern Commentators have pronounced it to be the mosi 
meritorious of the Plays of Plautus. 


Bramatts persons'. 

Men/E"»xmus of Epidamnus. 

Menjechmus Sosicles, his twin-brother. 

Pkniculus, a Parasite. 

M essen 10, the servant of Menaxhmus Sosicles. 

Cylindkus, a Cook. 

An Old Man, father-in-law of Menaechmus Sosicle8. 

A Doctor. 

The Wife of Men\echmus of Epidamnus. 
Erotium, a Courtesan. 
Maid-Sekvant of Erotium. 

Scent. — Epidamnus, a city of Illyricum. The house of Menaechmus of Ep:daa 
nos is on one side of the street, and that of Erotium on the other. 


Moschus, a merchant of Syracuse, had two twin-sons who exactly resemhlcC 
each other. One of these, whose name was MensBcbmns, when a child, accom- 
panied his father to Tarentum, at Which place he was stolen and carried away to 
Epidamnus, where in course of time he has married a wealthy wife. Disagree- 
ments, however, arising with her, he forms an acquaintance with the Courtesan 
Erotiura, and is in the habit of presenting her with clothes and jewels which he 
pilfers from his wife. The original name of the other twin-brother was 
Sosicles, but on the loss of Menaschmus, the latter name has been substituted by 
their grandfather for Sosicles, in remembrance of the lost child. Menaechmus 
Sosicles, on growing to manhood, determines to seek his lost brother. Having 
wandered for six years, he arrives at Epidamnus, attended by his servant, 
Messenio. In consequence of his resemblance to his brother, many curious and 
laughable mistakes happen between him and the Courtesan Erotium, the wife of 
Menaechmus of Epidamnus, the Cook Cyliudrus, the Parasite Peniculus, the 
father-in-law of Menaechmus of Epidamnus, and lastly Messenio himself. A'. 
length, through the agency of the latter, the brothers recognize each other; on 
wnich Messenio receives his liberty, and Menaechmus of Epidtmnus resolve^ tc 
make sale of his possessions and to return to Syracuse, bis nat've place. 


[Supposed to have been written by Priseian the Grammarian.] 
A Sicilian merchant (Mercator) who had two sons, on one being stolen fr)ir 
him (Ei) 1 ended his life. As a name (Nomen) for him who is at home, his 
paternal grandfather (Avus) gives him that of Mensechmus instead of Sosicles. 
And (Et) he, as soon as he is grown up, goes to seek his brother about (Circum) 
all countries. At last he comes to Epidamnus ; hither (Hue) the one that was 
stolen has been carried. All think that the stranger, Menaechmus {3Iencech- 
mum), is their tVllow-citizen, and address him (Eum) as such: Courtesan, 
wife, and father-in-law. There (Jbi) at last the brothers mutually recognize 
each other. 


Isr the first 1 place now, Spectators, at the commencement, 
do I wish health and happiness 2 to myself and to yon. I 
bring yon Plautua, with my tongue, not with my hand : I beg 
that you will receive him with favouring ears. Now learn the 
argument, and give your attention ; in as few words as pos- 
sible will I be brief. And, in fact, this subject is a Greek 
one ; still, it is not an Attic 3 , but a Sicilian one. But in 
their Comedies the poets do this ; they feign that all the 
business takes place at Athens 4 , in order that it may appear 

1 In theJirst)—Yer. 1. This Play was the foundation of Shakspeare's Comedy 
of Errors. See the Note at the end of the Play. 

- Health and happiness)— Ver. 1. " Salutem propitiam." Literally, " propi- 
tious health." 

3 It is not an Attic) — Ver. 7. " Graecissat — Atticissat — Sicelissat." Perhaps 
these words might be more literally translated, " Grsecize," " Atticize," and 
" Sieilicize." 

* At Athens) — Ver. 10. As the majority of the Greek Comic Poets were either 
natives of, or residents at, Athens, they would naturally take that extensive, 
opulent, and bustling city as the scene of many of their Comedies. In the time 
of Plautus, Greek was yet the language of the Sicilians. In Cicero's time the 
language of the Sicilians was a mixture, partly Greek and partly Latin. Apuleius 
informs us that in his day they spoke Greek, Latin, and a language peculiar to 
themselves, called the Sicilian. 

320 MENiECHMI ; 

the more Grecian to you. I will not tell you that this matter 
happened anywhere except where it is said to have happened. 
This has been my preface to the subject of this play. Now 
will I give the subject, meted out. to you, not in a measure, 
nor yet in a threefold measure 1 , but in the granary itself ; 
so great is my heartiness in telling you the plot. 

There was a certain aged man, a merchant at Syracuse 3 ; to 
him two sons were born, twins, children so like in appearance 
that their own foster-mother 3 , who gave the breast, was 
not able to distinguish them, nor even the mother herself who . 
had given them birth ; as a person, indeed, informed me who 
had seen the children ; I never slw them, let no one of you 
fancy so. After the children were now seven years old, the 
father freighted a large ship with much merchandize. The 
father put one of the twins on board the ship, and took him 
away, together with himself, to traffic at Tarentum 4 ; the other 
one he left with his mother at home. By accident, there were 
games at Tarentum when he came there : many persons, as 
generally happens at the games, had met together ; the child 
strayed away there from his father among the people. A cer- 
tain merchant of Epidamnus was there ; he picked up the 
child, and carried it away to Epidamnus 5 . But its father, after 
he had lost the child, took it heavily to heart, and through 
grief at it he died a few days after at Tarentum. Now, after 
new3 reached the grandfather of the children at home about 
this matter, how that one of the children had been stolen, the 
grandfather changed the name of that other twin. So much 
did he love that one which had been stolen, that he gave his 

1 A threefold measure) — Ver. 15. " Trimodius." This was a measure for 
corn, consisting of three " modii," which last contained about a peck of English 

2 At Syracuse) — Ver. 17. Syracuse was the principal city of Sicily famed for 
its commerce and opulence. 

Foster-mother) — Ver. 19. " Mater." Literally, " mother." 

4 At Tarentum) — Ver. 27. Tarentum was a city of Calabria, in the south of 
Italy. It was said to have been founded by the Lacedaemonians. 

5 To Epidamnus) — Ver. 33. Epidamnus, or Epidamnum, was a town of Mace- 
donia, situate on the Adriatic Sea. It was much resorted to for the purpose of 
transit to the opposite shores of Italy. It received its original name from Epidamnus, 
one of its kings : but on falling into the possession of the Romans, they changed its 
name, as we are informed by Pliny the Elder, into Dyrrachium, from a superstitious 
notion that when hey were going to " Epidamnum," they were going " to their 
loss," as " damnum" is the Latin for " loss" or " destruction," and Wt, or " epi, 
is the Greek preposition 'iguifyiiut to Cicero was banished to this place. 


name to the one that was at home. That you may not mis- 
take hereafter, I tell you then this beforehand ; the name of 
both the twin-brothers is the same. He gave the same 
name of Mensechmus to this one as the other had ; and by the 
same name the grandfather himself was called. I remember 
his name the more easily for the reason that I saw him cried 
with much noise 1 . Now must I speed back on foot to Epi- 
damnus, that I may exactly disclose this matter to you. If 
any one of you 2 wishes anything to be transacted for him at 
Epidamnus, command me boldly and speak out ; but on these 
terms, that he give me the means by which it may be transacted 
for him. For unless a person gives the money, he will be mis- 
taken ; (in a lower tone) except that he who does give it will be 
very much more mistaken 2 ". But I have returned to that place 
whence I set forth, and yet I am standing in the self-same spot. 
This person of Epidamnus, whom I mentioned just now, that 
stole that other twin child, had no children, except his wealth. 
He adopted as his son the child so carried off, and gave him 
a well-portioned wife, and made him his heir when he himself 
died. For as, by chance, he was going into the country, when 
it had rained heavily, entering, not far from the city, a rapid 
stream, in its rapidity 4 it threw the ravisher of the child off 
his legs, and hurried the man away to great and grievous 
destruction. And so a very large fortune fell to that youth. 
Here (pointing to the house) does the stolen twin now dwell. 
Now that twin, who dwells at Syracuse, has come this day to 
Epidamnus with his servant to make enquiry for this own 
twin-brother of his. This is the city of Epidamnus while 
this play is acting ; when another shall be acted, it will 
become another town ; just as our companies, too, are wont 
to be shifted about. The same person now acts the procurer, 
now the youth, now the old man, the pauper, the beggar, the 
king, the parasite, the soothsayer * * * * 

#'* # • * # # * 

1 Cried with much noise) — Ver. 48. Probably the word " flagitarier" means 
that the lost child was cried publicly by the "praeco," or "crier." 

2 // any one of you) — Ver. 51. This is said facetiously to the Audience fur 
the purpose of catching a laugh. 

8 Very much more mistaken) — Ver. 55. Because he will keep the money and 
not execute the commission. 

4 In its rapidity) — Ver. 65. He means to pun upon the words " rapidus," 
4 rapid'' or "carrying away," and "raptor," the " carrier away" or "ravisher/ 
* The stream carried away the carrier away " 


822 MENJ3CHMI ; Act I 

Act I. — Scene I. 

Enter Penictjlus 

Pen. The young men have given me the name of Pem- 
culus 1 , for this reason, because when I eat, I wipe the tables 
clean. ********* 
The persons who bind captives with chains, and who put 
fetters upon runaway slaves, act very foolishly, in my opinion 
at least. For if bad usage is added to his misfortune for a 
wretched man, the greater is his inclination to run away and 
to do amiss. For by some means or other do they release them- 
selves from the chains ; while thus fettered, they either wear 
away a link with a file, or else with a stone they knock out 
the nail ; 'tis a mere trifle this. He whom you wish to keep 
securely that he may not run away, with meat and witli drink 
ought he to be chained.; do you bind down the mouth of a 
man to a full table. So long as you give him what to eat and 
what to drink at his own pleasure in abundance every day, 
i' faith he'll never run away, even if he has committed an 
offence that's capital; easily will you secure him so long as 
you shall bind him with such chains. So very supple are 
these chains of food, the more you stretch them so much 
the more tightly do they bind. But now I'm going directly 
to MensDchmus ; whither for this long time I have been sen- 
tenced, thither of my own accord I am going, that he may 
enchain me. For, by my troth, this man does not nourish 
persons, but he quite rears and reinvigorates them ; no one 
administers medicine more agreably. Such is this young 
man ; himself with a xerj well-stocked larder, he gives dinners 
fit for Ceres 2 ; so does he heap the tables up, and piles so vast 
of dishes does he arrange, you must stand on your couch if you 
wish for anything at the top. But I have now had an interval 
these many days, while I've been lording it at home all along 

J Name of Peniculus)—Ver. 77. This word means " a sponge" which was 
fastened to a stick, and was used for the purpose of cleansing tables. He says 
that the youths so called him from his own propensity for clearing the tables of 
their provisions. The tails of foxes and of oxen were also used as "renicuii.'' 
Colman and Warner, in their translations of Terence and Flautus, rende: «.e word 
" dishclout." 

* Fit for Ceres) — Ver. J 01. As Ceres was the God Jess of corn and the 
giver of plenty, the entertainments in honor of her would of course h-J ver? 


together with my dear ones 1 ; — for nothing do I eat or pur- 
chase but Avhat it is most dear. But inasmuch as dear ones, 
when they are prjvided, are in the habit of forsaking us, I am 
now paying him a visit. But his door is opening ; and see, 1 
perceive Menaechmus himself; he is coming out of doors. 
Scene II. — Enter Men^chhus of Epidamnus,from his house. 

Men. {speaking at the door to his Wife within). Unless 
you were worthless, unless you were foolish, unless you were 
stark wild and an idiot, that which you see is disagreable to 
your husband, you would deem to be so to yourself as well. 
Moreover, if alter this day you do any such thing to me, I'll 
force you, a divorced woman, turned out of my doors to go visit 
your father. For as often as I wish to go out of the house, 
you are detaining me, calling me back, asking me questions : 
whither I am going, what matter I am about, what business 
I am transacting, what I am wanting, what I am bringing, 
what I have been doing out of doors ? I've surely brought 
home a custom-house officer 3 as my wife; so much am I 
obliged to disclose all my business, whatever I have done and 
am doing. I've had you hitherto indulged too much. Now, 
therefore, I'll tell you how I am about to act. Since I find 
you handsomely in maids, provisions, wool, gold trinkets, 
garments, and purple, and you are wanting in nought, you'll 
beware of a mischief if you're wise ; you'll leave off watching 
your husband. {In a lower voice.) And therefore, that you 
mayn't be watching me in vain, for your pains I shall find me a 
mistress to-day, and invite her to dinner somewhere out of doors. 

Pen. (apart). This fellow pretends that he's upbraiding 
his wife, but he's addressing myself; for if he does dine out of 
doors, he really is punishing me, not his wife. 

Men. (to himself). Hurra! I' troth, by my taunts I've 
driven my wife from the door at last. Where now are your 

1 With my dear ones) — Ver. 105. " Cum caris meis." When he says this, it 
might he supposed that he is meaning his family by these words of endearment. 
The next line shows that such is not the case. He has had a supply of victuals, 
purchased at his own cost; he has been consuming these victuals, and right dear 
(carissimum') has he found them. He is now coming out to look for Menajchmus, 
and to make up for lost time. 

2 A custom-house officer) — Ver. 117. The " portitores" examined those who 
landed or embarked at any port, to see that they had no merchandize about them 
winch had not paid duty. They also made the necessary enquiries who the par- 
ties were, and what was their destination. He compares his wife to one of these 
inquisitive per3ona 

324 MEN.ECIIMI ; Act f . 

intriguing husbands ? Why do they hesitate, all returning 
thanks, to bring presents to me who have fought so gallantly ? 
This mantle 1 of my wife's {talcing it from under his cloak) 
I've just now stolen from in-doors, and I'm taking it to my 
mistress. This way it's proper for a clever trick to be played 
this knowing husband-watcher. This is a becoming action, 
this is right, this is skilful, this is done in workman-like style ; 
inasmuch as at my own risk I've taken this from my plague, 
this same shall be carried off to destruction 2 . With the safety 
of my allies 3 I've gained a booty from the foe. 

Pen. (aloud, at a distance). Harkye! young man; pray 
what share have I 4 in that booty ? 

Men. I'm undone ; I've fallen into an ambuscade. 

Pen. Say a safeguard rather. Don't be afraid. 

Men. What person's this ? Pen. 'Tis I. {Coming up to 

Men. O my convenient friend — my ready occasion, 
save you. 

Pen. And save you. {They shake hands.) Men. What are 
you about ? 

Pen. Holding my good Genius in my right hand. 

Men. You couldn't have come to me more a propos than 
you have come. 

Men. I'm in the habit of doing so ; I understand all the 
points of ready occasion. 

Men. Would you like to be witness of a brilliant exploit ? 

Pen. What cook has cooked it ? I shall know at once if 
he has made any mistake, when I see the remnants 5 . 

1 This mantle) — Ver. 130. The "palla," a kind of "mantle" or "cloak," was 
worn indifferently by both sexes among the Greeks and Romans. This will 
account for the circumstance of Mensechmus Sosicles wearing, as we shall see 
in the sequel, the " palla" of a female, without expecting to attract the notice of 
passers-by. The "palla," which by the prose writers is also called "pallium," 
was used for many other purposes than that of a garment. See Dr. Smith's 
Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities. 

- To destruction) — Ver. 133. "Ad damnum." He calls the Courtesan "dam- 
num," "sheer loss" or " wastefulness" par eminence. 

3 Of my allies) — Ver. 134. By these he means the Courtesan Erotium and the 
Parasite Peniculus, who have run no risk by helping him to filch away the 

4 What share have /) — Ver. 135. Thinking himself alluded to as one of the 
'.socii" or "allies," the Parasite immediately appears before bin: and asks what 

enure, then, he is to have of the booty. 

When I see the remnants) — Ver. 142. He thinks that Mensechmua ;s alluding 

SC. 1 1. OK, THE TW1N-BK0THEII8. , 325 

Men. Tell me — did you ever see a picture painted on a 
wall, where the eagle is carrying off Ganymede 1 , or Venus 
Adonis ? 

Pen. Many a time. But what are these pictures to me ? 

Men. Come, look at me 2 . Do I at all bear any resem- 
blance to them ? 

Pen. "What's this garb of yours ? 

Men. Pronounce me to be a very clever fellow, 

Pen. Where are we to feed ? Men. Only do you say 
that which I requested you. 

Pen. Well, I do say so ; very clever fellow. 

Men. And don't you venture to add anything of your 
own to it ? 

Pen. — And very pleasant fellow. Men. Go on. 

Pen. I' faith, I really can't go on, unless I know for what 
reason. You've had a fall-out with your wife ; on that 
ground am I the more strongly on my guard 3 against you. 

Men. While you are interrupting me, you are delaying 

Pen. Knock out my only eye 4 , Menaechmus, if I speak 
one word but what you bid me. 

Men. • * • • where, un- 

known to my wife, we will erect the funeral pile # * 

to something in the eating way, and says that he can tell whether the cook has 
done his duty well or not, by only looking at the scraps of the entertainment. 

1 Ganymede) — Ver. 144. He is mentioned in the text under another name of 
a gross nature. Ganymede was the son of Tros, King of Troy. Jupiter was said, 
in the form of an eagle, to have carried him off, and made him cupbearer to the 
Gods, in the place of Hebe, the Goddess of youth. 

2 Come, look at me) — Ver. 145. Saying this, he probably takes the " palla" 
from behind him, and putting it on, stalks about with it upon him. This he could 
do without the risk of being seen by his wife, as on the Roman stage a number 
of streets and lanes were seen to terminate, up which the actor would go a little 
way to escape observation from a house situate just at the end of another street. 
He means to ask the Parasite if he does not quite equal Ganymede or Adonis, 
as represented in the pictures, by reason of his tasteful attire. 

3 On my guard) — Ver. 151. As Menajchmus has fallen out with his wife, the 
Parasite thinks there is no chance of a " coena" at his house. He is the more 
carjful then to make enquiries, lest Menaschmus should contrive to baulk him of 
h:s banquet altogether. 

My only eye) — Ver. 152. By this it appears that Peniculus has but 
one eye. In the Curculio, the Parasite of that name is also represented as having 
but one eye. 

326 . MENiECnMI ; Act 1. 

***** and let us consume 

this day 1 upon it. 

Pen. "Well, come then, since you request what's fair, how 
soon am I to set fire to the pile ? Why really, the day's half 
dead already down to its navel 2 . 

Men. Come this way from the door. 

Pen. Be it so. (Moves from the door.) Men. Come still 
more this way. 

Pen. Very well. (Moves.) Men. Even still, step aside 
boldly from the lioness's den. 

Pen. (still moving). Well done; by my troth, as I fancy, 
you really would be an excellent charioteer 3 . 

Men. Why so ? Pen. That your wife mayn't follow you, 
you are looking back ever and anon. 

Men. But what say you ? Pen. What, I? Why, whatevei 
you choose, that same do I say, and that same do I deny. 

Men. Could you make any conjecture at all from the 
smell, if perchance you were to take a smell at something ? 

Pen. Were the college of Augurs summoned * 
f # # # # 

Men. (Jwlds out the skirt of the mantle). Come then, take 
a Bniff at this mantle that I'm holding. What does it smell 
of? Do you decline ? 

Pen. It's as well to smell the top of a woman's garment ; 
for at this other place the nose is oifended with an odour 
that can't be washed out. 

Men. (holding another pari). Take a smell here then, 
Peniculus, as you are so daintily nice. 

Pen. Very well. (He smells it.) Men. How now? 
What does it smell of ? Answer me. 

1 Let consume this day) — Ver. 1 55. He supposes the day to be dead so far 
as business is concerned ; the " coena," which generally commenced about three 
o'clock in the afternoon (and sometimes, perhaps, the " prandium" as well), was 
followed by " potatio" or " drinking," which by such characters as Mensechmus 
and the Parasite would be prolonged to midnight, when they would see the day 
dead, and celebrate its funeral in their orgies. 

2 To its navel) — Ver. 157. " Umbilicus," the " navel," was a term much used 
to signify the middle part of anything. Thus Delphi was called the " umbilicus,'' 
or '• navel," of the world. 

3 An excellent charioteer) — Ver. 160. The drivers of the chariots at the Circen- 
sian games were called " agitatores." Of course they would look back every now 
sad then to see how near their opponents were, that they might keep thfc lead. 


Pen. Theft, a mistress, and a breakfast. To y ou * 

Mek. You have spoken out * * * 

* * now it shall be taken to this mistress ofmine^ 

the Courtesan Erotium. I'll order a breakfast at once to be 
got ready, for me, you, and her ; then will we booze away 
even to the morrow's morning star. 

Pen. Capital. You've spoken out distinctly. Am I to 
knock at the door then ? 

Men. Knock — or hold, rather. Pen. You've removed 1 
the goblet a. full mile by that. 

Men. Knock gently. Pen. You're afraid, I think, that 
the doors are made of Samian crockery. {Goes to knock.) 

Men. Hold, prithee, hold, i' faith ; see, she's coming out 
herself. (The door of Erotium' s house is opened.) Ha 
you behold the sun, is it not quite darkened in comparison 
with the bright rays of her person. 

Scene III. — Enter Erotium, from her house. 

Ero. My life, Menaichmus, save you. 

Pen. And what for me? Ero. You are out of my 

Pen. ••'••-• that 

same thing is wont to be done for the other supernumeraries 3 
of the legion. 

Men. I would order a skirmish to be got ready there at 
vour house for me to-day. 

Ero. To-day it shall be done. 

Men. In that skirmish we two shall drink. Him shall 
you choose that shall be found there the better warrior with 
the goblet ; do you make up your mind with which of the 
two you'll pass this night. How much, my love, when I look 
upon you, do I hate my wife. 

1 You've removed) — Ver. 178. Peniculus now loses patience, and reflects 
that there is many a slip between the cup and the lip. 

2 Supernumeraries) — Ver. 184. The " adscriptivi," who were also called " ac- 
censi," were a body of reserve troops who followed the Soman army without an? 
military duties to perform, and who were drafted off to supply the deficiencies 
m the leadens. In battle they were placed in the rear of the army. Of course 
they could not claim the same advantages as the regular soldier ; and his own 
position is liker.ed by the Parasite to their*. 

328 men^chmi; Act 1. 

Ero. Meantime, however, you cannot help being wrapped in 
something of hers. AVhat's this ? {Takes hold of the mantle.) 

Men. (talcing it off"). 'Tis a new dress for you, and a spoil 
from 1 my wife, my rosebud. 

Ero. You have a ready way of prevailing, so as to be 
superior in my eyes to any one of those that pay me suit. 
(Embraces him.) 

Pen. (aside). The harlot's coaxing in the meantime, while 
she's looking out what to plunder * * * * 

* * * (to Erotium) for if you really loved him, by 
this his nose ought to have been off with your teething him 3 . 

Men. Take hold of this, Peniculus : 1 wish to dedicate the 
spoil that I've vowed. 

Pen. Give it me. (Holds it while Men^echmus puts it on.) 
But, i' faith, prithee, do dance afterwards with the mantle on 
in this way. 

Men. I — dance ? I' faith, you're not in your senses. 

Pen. Are you or I the most ? If you won't dance, then 
take it off. 

Men. (to Erotium). At a great risk have I stolen this to- 
day. In my opinion, indeed, Hercules didn't ever carry off 
the belt from Hippolyta 3 with danger as great. Take this for 
yourself (he takes it off, and gives her the mantle), since you 
are the only one alive that's compliant with my humours. 

Ero. With such feelings 'tis proper that real lovers should 
be animated. 

Pen. (aside). Those, indeed, who are making haste to bring 
themselves down to beggary. 

Men. I purchased that for my wife a year since at the 
price of four minse. 

Pen. (aside). The four minae are clearly gone for ever, as 
the account now stands. 

1 A spoil from)— Ver. 191. " Exuviae" means either the slough or cast skin of 
a snake, or the spoil taken from the enemy. Perhaps the latter is the sense m 
which it is here meant, as he has described his operations as a perfect campaign. 

2 With your teething him) — Ver. 195. Judging from this remark, perhaps she 
has accidentally forgotten to kiss her dupe, Meineehmus. 

3 From Hippolyta) — Ver. 200. Hercules was commanded by Eurystheus to 
obtain the belt or girdle of Hippolyta, or Antiope, the Queen of the Amazons. 
This he effected, and gave her in marriage to his companion Theseus, by whom, 
after giving birth to Hippolvtus, she was put to death. Some accounts, however, 
etate that she was slain by ibrcules. 


Men". Do you know what I wish you to attend to ? 

Ero. I don't know ; but I'll attend to whatever you do wish. 

Me?c. Order a breakfast, then, to be provided for us three 
at your house, and some dainties to be purchased at the 
market ; kernels of boars' neck, or bacon off the gammon 1 , or 
pig's head, or something in that way, which, when cooked 
and placed on table before me, may promote an appetite like 
a kite's : and — forthwith 

Ero. I' faith, I will. Men. "We're going to the Eorum : 
we shall be here just now. "While it's cooking, we'll take a 
whet in the meantime. 

Ero. Come when you like, the things shall be ready. 

Men. Only make haste, then. Do you follow me (to Peni- 

Pen. By my troth, I certainly shall keep an eye on you, and 
follow you. I wouldn't take the wealth of the Gods to lose 
you this day. (Exeunt Men^chmus and Penictjlus. 

Ero. (speaking at the door of her house). Call Cylindrus, 
the cook, out of doors this moment from within. 

Scene IY. — Enter Cylindrus. from the 

Ero. Take a hand-basket and some money. See, you have 
three didrachms here. (Giving him money.) 

Ctl. I have so. Ero. Gro and bring some provisions , 
see that there's enough for three ; let it be neither deficient 
nor overmuch. 

Cyl. What sort of persons are these to be ? 

Ero. Myself, Menaechmus, and his Parasite. 

Cyl. Then these make ten, for the Parasite easily performs 
the duty of eight persons 2 . 

Ero. I've now told you the guests ; do you take care of 
the rest. 

Cyl. Very well. It's cooked already ; bid them go and 
take their places. 

Ero. Make haste back. Cyl. I'll be here directly. 
(Exit Cylindrus, and Erotium goes into her house. 

1 Bacon off the gammon) — Ver. 210. He facetiously calls bacon " pernonides ;'' 
literally, " the son of the gammon." 

2 Duty of eight persons) — Ver. 223. Athenaeus, Book I., quotes a passage from 
Eubulus, the Comic writer, where he represents a Parasite as being counted o* 
two or even three at table. 

330 men^chmi ; Act II. 

Act II. — Scene I. 
Enter Menjechmtts Sosicles and Messenio. 

Men. Sos. There's no greater pleasure to voyagers, in my 
notion, Messenio, than at the moment when from sea they 
espy the land afar. 

Mess. There is a greater, I'll say it without subterfuge, — 
if on your arrival you see the land that is your own. But, 
prithee, why are we now come to Epidamnus ? Why, like 
the sea, are we going round all the islands ? 

Men. Sos. To seek for my own twin-brother born ? 

Mess. Why, what end is there to be of searching for him ? 
This is the sixth year that we've devoted our attention to this 
business. We have been already carried round the Istrians 1 , 
the Hispanians, the Massilians, the Illyrians, all the Upper 
Adriatic Sea, and foreign Greece 2 , and all the shores of 
Italy, wherever the sea reaches them. If you had been 
searching for a needle, I do believe you would, long ere this, 
have found the needle, if it were visible. Among the living 
are we seeking a person that's dead ; for long ago should we 
have found him if he had been alive. 

Men. Sos. For that reason I am looking for a person to 
give me that information for certain, who can say that he 
knows that he really is dead ; after that I shall never take 
any trouble in seeking farther. But otherwise I shall never, 
while I'm alive, desist ; I know how dear he is to my heart. 

Mess. Tou are seeking a knot in a bulrush 3 . Why don't 
we return homeward hence, unless we are to write a history 4 ? 

1 The Istrians) — Ver. 235. The Istrians were a people of the north of Italy, 
near the Adriatic Sea, and adjoining to Illyricum. The Illyrians inhabited the 
countries now called Dalrnatia and Sclavonia. The Massilians were the natives 
of the city of Massilia, now called Marseilles, in the south of France, where 
Pontius Pilate ended his days in banishment. The Hispani were the inhabitants 
of Hispania, now Spain. 

2 And foreign Greece)— Ver. 236. The " Grsecia exotica," or " foreign Greece," 
here mentioned, was the southern part of Italy, which was also called " Magna 
Gra:cia," in consequence of the great number of Grecian settlements there. The 
Greeks were in the habit of calling the Sicilians and Calabrians "EWrjvas 
e'£coriKoti9, " barbarian" or " foreign Greeks." 

3 In a bulrush)— Ver. 247. Those who made difficulties when there really was 
no difficulty at all, were said " in scirpo nodum qua3rere," " to seek a knot in a 
bulrush," the stem of which is perfectly smooth. 

4 To lorite a history)— Ver. 248. A narrative or history of their travels. 
Boxhoru thinks that the remark alludes to the voyage of Ulysses, a counterpart 


Men. Sos. Have done with your witty sayings, and be on 
your guard against a mischief. Don't you be troublesome ; 
this matter shan't be done at your bidding. 

Mess, (aside). Aye, aye ; by that same expression do I rest 
assured that I'm a slave ; he couldn't in a few words have said 
more in a plain-spoken way. But still I can't restrain myself 
from speaking. (Aloud.) Do you hear, Mensechmus ? When 
I look in the purse, I find, i' faith, we're only equipped for our 
journey like summer travellers 1 . By my troth, I guess, if you 
don't be returning home, while you're seeking your twin- 
hr other, you'll surely be groaning 2 , when you. have nothing 
left. Eor such is this race of people ; among the men of 
Epidamnus there are debauchees and very great drinkers ; 
Iwindlers besides, and many wbeedlers are living in this city ; 
then the women in the harlot line are said nowhere in the 
world to be more captivating. The name of Epidamnus was 
given to this city for the very reason, because hardly any 
person sojourns here without some damnable mishap 3 . 

Men. Sos. I'll guard against that. Just give me the purse 
this way. 

Mess. What do you want with it? 

Men. Sos. I'm apprehensive then about yourself, from 
your expressions. 

Mess. "Why are you apprehensive ? Men. Sos. Lest you 
should cause me some damnable mishap in Epidamnus. You 
are a great admirer of the women, Messenio, and I'm. a pas- 
sionate man, of an unmanageable disposition ; of both these 
things will I have a care, when I've got the money, that you 
shall not commit a fault, and that I shall not be in a passion 
with you. 

Mess, (giving him the purse). Take and keep it; with all 
my heart you may do so. 

of which voyage could not be written without great personal observation, and an 
extensive knowledge of geography. 

1 Like summer travellers) — Ver. 255. Of course lighter garments and a less 
weight of luggage would be carried by travellers in the heat of summer 

2 You'll surely be groani?iff) — Ver. 257. He intends a puerile play upon the 
resemblance of the words " gemes," " will be groaning," and "geminum," "twin- 

3 Some damnable mishap) — Ver. 264. " Sine damno." Literally, " without 
mischief" or " mishap." He puns on the resemblance of " damnum" to " Epi- 
damnum." An attempt has been made in the translation to preserve thy resem- 
blance in some degree. 

332 3IEK2ECHMI ; Act 11. 

Scene II. — Enter Ctlindkijs, with a basket of provisions. 

Ctl. I've catered well, and to my mind. I'll set a good 
breakfast before the breakfasters. But see, I perceive Me- 
nsechmus. "Woe to my back ; the guests are now already 
walking before the door, before I've returned with the pro- 
visions. I'll go and accost him. Save you, Menaechmus. 

Men. Sos. The G-ods bless you, whoever you are. * 

Ctl. * * * who I am ? 

Mess. I' faith, not I, indeed. Ctl. "Where are the other 
guests ? 

Men. Sos. What guests are yon enquiring about ? 

Ctl. Your Parasite. Men. Sos. My Parasite ? Surely 
this fellow's deranged. 

Mess. Didn't I tell you that there were many swindlers 
here ? 

Men. Sos. What Parasite of mine, young man, are you 
enquiring about ? 

Ctl. Peniculus. Men. Sos. * * * * 

Where is my #####? 

Mess. See, I've got your sponge 1 [Peniculus] all safe in 
the wallet. 

Ctl. Mena3chmus, you've come here too soon for breakfast ; 
I'm but now returning with the provisions. 

Men. Sos. Answer me this, young man : at what price do 
pigs sell here 2 , unblemished ones, for sacrifice ? 

Ctl. At a didrachm a-piece. 

Men. Sos. (holding out his hand) . Receive, then, a didrachm of 
me ; bid a sacrifice be made for you at my expense ; for, by my 
faith, I really am sure in very truth that you are deranged, who 
are annoying me, a person that's a stranger, whoever you are. 

Ctl. I am Cylindrus ; don't you know my name ? 

Men. Sos. Whether you are Cylindrus or Caliendrus 3 , 

1 I've got your sponge)— Ver. 286. Menaschmus takes Cylindrus to mean as 
though he were really talking about a " peniculus," or " sponge," used for the 
purposes of a napkin. He turns to Messenio, and probably says (in the mutilated 
passage), " Where is my peniculus ?" on which the servant, taking it out of the 
" vidulus," or travelling-bag, says, ' ; Here it is, quite safe." 

2 Do pigs sell here) — Ver. 289. Pigs without blemish were sacrificed to the Lares, 
or household Gods, in behalf of those who were afflicted with insanity. Menaech- 
mus Sosieles adopts this as a quiet way of telling Cylindrus that he must be mad. 

3 Cylindrus or Caliendrus) — Ver. 295. Probably Cylindrus is so called from the 
words "cylindrus," "a cylinder," in the sense of a " rolling-pin." Sosieles plays 


confound you. 1 don't know you, and, in fact, I don't want 
to know you. 

Ctl. "Well, your Dame, however, is Menaechmus, that I do 

Men. Sos. Tou speak like a sane person when you call me 
by my name. But where have you known me ? 

Cyl. "Where have I known you, you who have Erotium, 
this mistress of mine {'pointing to the house), for your lady ? 

Men. Sos. By my troth, I have not, nor do I know your- 
self what person you are. 

Ctl. Not know who I am, who have many a time filled 
the cups for your own self at our house, when you've been 
drinking ? 

Mess. Woe to me, that I've got nothing with which to 
break this fellow's head. 

Men. Sos. Are you in the habit of filling the cups for me, 
who, before this day, have never beheld Epidamnus, nor been 
there ? 

Ctl. Do you deny it ? Men. Sos. Upon my honor, I 
decidedly do deny it. 

Ctl. Don't you live in that house ? {Pointing to the 
house o/Menhchmus of Epidamnus.) 

Men. Sos. May the Gods send to perdition those that live 

Cyl. Surely, this fellow's mad, who is thus uttering curses 
against his own self. Do you hear, Menaechmus ? 

Men. Sos. What do you want ? Ctl. If you take my 
advice, that didrachm, w T hich you just now promised to give 
me — you would order, if you were wise, a pig to be procured 
with it for yourself. For, i' faith, you really for sure are 
not in your senses, Menaechmus, who are now uttering curses 
against your own self. 

Men. Sos. Alas ! By my faith, a very silly fellow, and an 
annoyance to me. 

Ctl. {to Messenio). He's in the habit of often joking 
with me in this fashion. How very droll he is, when his 
wife isn't present. How say yon ? 

Men. Sos. What do you mean, you rascal ? 

Ctl. {pointing to the basket). Has this that you see beeu 
provided in sufficient quantity for three persons, or air 
upon its resemblance to '' cahendrus," which perhaps meant a M peruke" 0/ 
" wig," as the Latin word " caliendrum" had that signification. 

384 MEN^CIOII ; Act II. 

I to provide still more for yourself and the Parasite aiid the 

Men. Sos. What ladies — what Parasites are you talking 
about ? 

Mess. "What, you villain, urges you to be an annoyance to 
him ? 

Ctl. Pray what business have you with me? I don't 
know you; I'm talking to this person, whom I do know. 

Men. Sos. By my troth, you are not a person in his right 
senses, that I know for sure. 

Cyl. I'll have these things cooked directly ; there shall be 
no delay. Don't you be going after this anywhere at a dis- 
tance from the house. Do you want anything ? 

Men. Sos. You to go to utter and extreme perdition. 

Ctl. I' faith, 'twere better for you to go in-doors at 
once and take your place, while I'm subjecting these things 
to the strength of the fire 1 . I'll go in-doors now, and tell 
Erotium that you are standing here, that she may fetch you 
away hence, rather than you be standing here out of doors. 
{He goes into the house.) 

Scene III. — Men^chmus Sosicles, Messenio. 

Men. Sos. Is he gone then ? He is gone. By my faith, I 
find by experience that your words are not untrue. 

Mess. Do you only be on your guard ; for I do believe 
that some woman in the harlot line is Living here, as, in fact. 
this madman said, who has just gone away from here. 

Men. Sos. But I wonder how he came to know my name. 

Mess. I' faith, 'tis far from surprising: courtesans have 
this custom ; they send servant-boys and servant-girls down 
to the harbour ; if any foreign ship comes into port, they 
enquire of what country it is, and what its name is ; after 
that, at once they set themselves to work, and fasten them- 
selves upon him ; if they inveigle him, they send him home a 
ruined man. JNow in this harbour there stands a piratical 
craft, against which I really think that we must be on our 

Men. Sos. I' troth, you really counsel aright. 

Mess. Then, in fine, shall I be sure that I've counselled 
aright, if you are rightly on your guard. 

Strength of the fire)— Yaw 330 Vulcani ad violentiam. Literally " to th« 
violence of Vulcan," the God of fire. 


Men. Sos. Be silent for a moment, then; for the door 
makes a noise. Let's see who's coming out from there. 

Mess. Meanwhile, I'll lay this down. {He puts down the 
wallet.) Do you keep watch upon these things, if you please, 
you sailors 1 . 

Scene IV. — Enter ~Euotivm, from her house. 

Ero. (speaking to her Servants within). Leave the door 
ajar^ thus ; begone. I don't want it shut : prepare, attend, 
and provide within ; what is requisite, let it be done. Lay clown 
the couches, burn the perfumes ; neatness, that is the charm 
for the minds of lovers. Gur agreableness is for the lover's loss, 
for our own gain. (To herself.) But where is he whom the 
Cook said was in front of the house ? O, I see him there — ■ 
one who is of service to me, and who profits me very much. 
And right willingly is such usage shown to him, as he de- 
serves to be of especial importance in my house. Now I'll 
accost him ; I'll address him of my own accord. (To Me- 
mchmus.) My dear life, it seems wonderful to me that you 
are standing here out of doors, for whom the door is wide 
open, more so than your own house, inasmuch as this house 
is at your service. Everything's ready a,s you requested and 
as you desired ; nor have you now any delay in-doors. The 
breakfast, as you ordered, is prepared here ; when you please, 
you may go and take your place. 

Men. Sos. To whom is this woman addressing herself? 

Ero. Why, Tm talking to yourself. 

Men. Sos. What business have I ever had with you, or have 
I now ? 

1 You sailors) — Ver.350. Some Commentators think that by the words " navales 
pedes" he means " oars," as being the feet, or source of motion to the ship, and 
that Messenio puts his luggage upon some oars on the ground close by, telling 
them to be good enough to keep it all safe. It is more probable, however, 
that he is addressing some of the crew, perhaps the rowers who have carried the 
luggage from the ship. Others suggest that the luggage-porters, who awaited 
the arrival of ships with passengers and merchandize, are here referred to. This 
line, in Cotter's translation, is rendered, " Observe these things now, if you 
please. Behold the ship !" with this note, " Navales pedes, the oars of a ship, put 
for the ship itself."! De TCEuvre ingeniously suggests that "paades" is ther 
correct reading, and the word is the Greek 7rai8es Latinized, and signifying, 
in the present instance, the " ship-boys" or " servants." 

Leave the door ajar) — Ver. 351. Ladies of Erotium's character would find ii 
more convenient to have their doors ajar, that persons might step in unperceived : 
tasides, in the present instance, she wishes the "janitor" not to shut the door, as 
»he expects to return directly with Mensechinus. 

330 MEN^CHMI ; Act II. 

Ero. Troth, inasmuch as Venus has willed that you singly 
above all I should exalt ; and that not without your deserving 
it. For, by my faith, you alone make me, by your kindnesses, 
to be thriving. 

Men. Sos. For sure this woman is either mad or drunk, 
Messemo, that addresses me, a person whom she knows not, 
in so familiar a way. 

Mess. Didn't I say that these things are in the habit of 
occurring here ? The leaves are falling now ; in comparison 
with this, if we shall be here for three days, the trees will be 
tumbling upon you. For to such a degree are all these 
Courtesans wheedlers out of one's money. But only let me 
address her. Harkye, woman, I'm speaking to you. 

Ero. What's the matter? Mess. Where have you your- 
self known this person ? 

Ero. In that same place where he has Jcnovm me for this 
long time, in Epidamnus. 

Mess. In Epidamnus ? A man who, until this day, lias 
never put a foot here inside of this city. 

Ero. Heyday ! You are making fun, my dear Mensech- 
mus. But, prithee, why not go in ? There, it will be more 
suitable for you. 

Men. Sos. I' faith, this woman really does address me 
rightly by my name. I wonder very much what's the meaning 
of this business. 

Mess, (aside). That purse that you are carrying has been 
smelt out by her. 

Men. Sos. (aside). I' faith, and rightly have you put me 
in mind. Take it, then ; I'll know now. whether she loves 
myself or the purse most. (Gives him the purse.) 

Ero. Let's go in the house to breakfast. 

Men. Sos. You invite me kindly ; so far, my thanks. 

Ero. Why then did you bid me a while since prepare a 
breakfast for you ? 

Men. Sos. I, bid you prepare ? 

Ero. Certainly you did, for yourself and your Parasite. 

Men. Sos. A plague, what Parasite ? Surely this woman 
isn't quite right in her senses. 

Ero. Peniculus. Men. Sos. Who is this Peniculus ? 
The one with which the shoes are wiped clean 1 ? 

1 Are wiped clean) — Ver. 391. " Baxae" or " baxeas" were sanaals made of 
twigs or fibres. The y were often wcrn on the stage by Comic actors, and probably 


Eeo. Him, [ mean, who came with you a while ago, when 
you brought me the mantle which you purloined from your 

Men". Sos. "What do you mean ? I, gave you a mantle, 
which I purloined from my wife ? Are you in your senses r 
Surely this woman dreams standings after the manner of a 
gelding 1 . 

Ero. Why does it please you to hold me in ridicule, and 
to deny to me things that have been done by you ? 

Men. Sos. Tell me what it is that I deny after having 
done it ? 

Ero. That you to-day gave me your wife's mantle. 

Men. Sos. Even still do I deny it. Indeed, I never had 
a wife, nor have I one ; nor have I ever set my foot here 
within the city gate since I was born. I breakfasted on board 
ship ; thence did I come this way, and here I met you. 

Ero. See that now ; I'm undone, wretched creature that 
I am ! What ship are you now telling me about ? 

Men. Sos. A wooden one, weather-beaten full oft, cracked 
full oft, many a time thumped with mallets. Just as the 
implements of the furrier 2 ; so peg is close to peg. 

Ero. Now, prithee, do leave off making fun of me, and 
sten this way with me. 

Men. Sos. •#•#•« 
for, madam, you are looking for some other person, I know 
not whom, not me. 

Ero. Don't I know you, Menaechmus, the son of your 
father Moschus, who are said to have been born in Sicily, 
at Syracuse, where King Agathocles reigned, and after 
him Pintia 3 , the third Liparo, who at his death left the 
kingdom to Hiero — which Hiero is now king ? 

on saying this, Menaschmus Sosicles points to his own. The Egyptians made them 
of palm-leaves and papyrus. They were much worn by the philosophers of 
ancient times. Probably the " peniculi," made of the tails of oxen, were much 
used for the purpose of dusting shoes. 

1 Manner of a gelding) — Ver. 395. He compares her to a horse, which sleeps 
and dreams (if it dreams at all) in a standing posture. 

2 Of 'the furrier) — Ver. 404. The "peKio," "furrier" or "skinner," would 
require a great many pegs in fastening down the skins for the purpose of stretch- 
ing them. Meursius thinks that Plautus intends a sly hit here at Pellio, the bad 
actor, who is mentioned in the Second Scene of the Second Act in the Bacchides. 
If so, the joke is quite lost on us. 

3 After him Pintia) — Ver. 410. She is supposed, by the Commentators, to l*i 

338 MEN^CIIMI ; Act II. 

Men. Sos. You say, madam, what is not untrue. 

Mess. By Jupiter, hasn't this woman come from there, 

who knows you so readily ? * * * * 

# # ' # # # # # 

Men". Sos. (apart). Troth, I think she must not be denied. 
Mess, (apart). Don't you do it. You are undone, if you 
enter inside her threshold. 

Men. Sos. (apart). But you only hold your tongue * 

* * • * * * The matter 
goes on well. I shall assent to the woman, whatever she shall 
say, if I can get some entertainment. Just now, madam 
(speaking to her in a low voice), I contradicted you not un- 
designedly ; I was afraid of that fellow, lest he might carry 
word to my wife about the mantle and the breakfast. Now, 
when you please, let's go in-doors. 

Ero. Are you going to wait for the Parasite as well ? 

Men. Sos. I'm neither going to wait for him, nor do I 
care a straw for him, nor, if he should come, do I want him 
to be admitted in-doors. 

Ero. By my faith, I shall do that not at all reluctantly. 
But do you know what I beg you to do ? 

Men. Sos. Only command me what you will. 

Ero. Eor you to take that mantle which you gave me 
just now to the embroiderer's 1 , that it may be trimmed 
again, and that some work may be added which I want. ■ 

purposely represented here as quite mistaken in her historical facts, and as making 
nothing but a confused jumble of them. Some think that the words " Pintia" and 
" Liparo" are ablative cases; but it is much more probable that they are nomina- 
tives. Gronovius thinks that one Phintias is alluded to, who, as we are told by 
Diodorus Siculus, assumed the government atAgrigentum after the death of Aga- 
thocles. He did not, however, reign at Syracuse. We do not learn from history 
that Hiero received the government from Liparo, but, on the contrary, that his 
virtuous character was the sole ground for his election to the sovereignty. Lipara 
was the name of one of the^olian islands (now called the Isles of Lipari), not far 
from the coast of Sicily. Some think that she means to call Agathocles by the 
additional names of Plintias (and not Pintia) from ttKivtos, " pottery," as he 
had exercised the trade of a potter, and of " Liparo," from the Greek \v7rr)pos, 
" savage," by reason of the cruelty of which he was guilty in the latter part of his 
life. This notion seems, however, to be more fanciful than well-founded. 

1 To the embroiderer's)— Ver. 425. " Phrygionem." As the natives of Phrygia 
were very dexterous at embroidering, and their services were much sought for the 
purposes of luxury, all embroiderers in time came to be called " phrygiones." 


Men. Sos. I' faith, you say what's right ; in such a way 
shall it be disguised that my wife shan't know that you are 
wearing it, if she should see you in the street. 

Ero. Then take it away with you just now, when you go 

Men. Sos. By all means. Ero. Let's go in-doors. {Goes 
into her house.} 

Men. Sos. I'll follow you this instant; I only wish to 
speak to this person. So, there ! Messenio, step to me this 

Mess. What's the matter ? Men. Sos. Listen. 

Mess. "What need for it ? Men. Sos. There is need. I 
know what you'll say to me 

Mess. So much the worse. Men. Sos. Hold your tongue 

I've got some spoil ; thus much of the business have I begun 
upon. Go, and, as quick as you can, take away those people 1 
at once to an inn 2 . Then do you take care to come and 
meet me 3 before sunset. 

Mess. Don't you know that these people are harlots, 
master ? 

Men. Sos. Hold your tongue, I say, and go you away from 
here. It will cost me pain, not you, if I do anything here 
that's foolish. This woman is silly and inexperienced. So 
far as I've perceived just now, there's some spoil for us here. 
{He goes into the house o/'Erotium.) 

Mess. I'm undone. Are you going away then ? He is 
certainly ruined ; the piratical craft is now leading the boat 
straight to destruction. But I'm an unreasonable fellow 
to wish to rule my master ; he bought me to obey his orders, 

Cotter renders " ad phrygionem" here " to Phrygia," and so throughout the 
whole play ! 

1 Those people) — Ver. 436. By " istos" he probably means the sailors or porters 
who were carrying the luggage. 

2 To an inn) — Ver. 436. The accommodation of the " taberna diversoria," or 
" diversorium," was generally of a humble kind, and these places were mostly 
adapted for the poorer classes only. 

3 Come and meet me) — Ver. 437. That is, as his " adversitor," which was the 
title given to the servant whose duty it was to fetch his master home in the ovea- 


340 MEN^CHMI; Act ill. 

not to be his commander. (To the Attendants.) Follow 
me, that, as I'm ordered, I may come in good time to meet 
my master. 

Act III. — Scene I 
Enter Penicultis. 
Pen. More than thirty years have I been boil vet during 
that time I never did any more mischievous or mu-e evil trick 
than tins day, when, to my misfortune, I thrust myself into 
the midst of the assembly' 1 • while I was gaping about there, 
Menaechmus stole away fruin me, and went, I suppose, to 
his mistress, and didn't want to take me. May all the 
Divinities confound that man who first. mischievously devised 
the holding of an assembly, which keeps men thus engaged. 
By my troth, is it not fitting that men who are disengaged 
should be chosen for that purpose ? These, when they are 
cited, if they are not present, let the officers exact the fine 2 
forthwith * * * * the senate * 

# * * * * Abundance of men 

are there who every day eat their victuals alone, who have no 
business, who are neither invited nor invite to feast ; these 
ought to give their attendance at the assembly and the 
law-courts 3 . If so it had been, this say I shouldn't have 
lost my breakfast ; to which I deemed myself as much ac- 
customed, as to see myself alive. I'll go ; even yet the hope 
of the scraps comforts my mind. But w r hy do I see Menach- 
mus here ? He's coming out of doors with a chaplet on ? The 
banquet is removed ; i' faith, I come just in time to meet him. 
I'll watch the fellow, what he's about, then I'll go and accost 
him. (He steps aside.) 

1 Midst of the assembly) — Ver. 448. This " concio" was the sitting of the court 
for the trial of causes, to which we shall find further reference in the sequel, 
when it is explained how he happened to lose sight of Menrechmus. 

2 Exact the fine) — Ver. 454. He suggests that Menaechmus has possibly been 
summoned, in his capacity as a citizen, to the "concio," for the purpose of being 
present at the trials going on. The Parasite curses this custom, and wishes that 
they would summon only the idle men, and not those engaged in the important 
business of feasting their friends. There isi some doubt as to the meaning oi 
u census capiant," but it probably signifies " let them exact the fine." 

1 And the law-courts) — Ver. 459. The "comitia" of the Romans havebwn r* 
Cwred to in a previous Note. 


Scene II. — Enter Men^chmtts Sosicles, from the house of 
Erotitjm, with the mantle on. 

Men. Sos. (speaJcing to Erotitjm ivithin). Can't you rest 
content, if this day I bring it you back in good time, nicely 
and properly trimmed ? I'll cause you to say it isn't itself, 
so much shall it be disguised. 

Pen. (apart). He's carrying the mantle to the embroi- 
derer's, the breakfast finished and the wine drunk up, and 
the Parasite shut out of doors. By my troth, I'm not the 
person that I am, if I don't handsomely avenge this injury 
and myself. "lis requisite I should watch # * 

I'll give something. 

Men. Sos. (to himself). ye immortal Gods! on what 
man ever have you conferred more blessings in one day, who 
hoped for less r I've been breakfasting, drinking, feasting 
with a mistress ; and I've carried off this mantle, of which 
she shall no more be owner after this day. 

Pen. Isn't he now talking about me, and my share of the 
repast ? I can't well hear what he says. 

Men. Sos. (to himself). She says that I secretly gave her 
this, and that I stole it away from my wife. "When I per- 
ceived that she was mistaken, at once I began to assent, as 
though I really had had acquaintanceship with her. What- 
ever the woman said, the same said I. What need of many 
words ? I was never entertained at less expense. 

Pen. (apart). I'll accost the fellow; for I quite long to 
have a row. 

Men. Sos. Who's this that's coming up towards me ? 
(Takes off the mantle, and hides it.) 

Pen. What say you, you fellow lighter than a feather, most 
rascally and most abandoned — you disgraceful man — you 
cheat, and most worthless fellow ? Why have I deserved 
this of you ? For what reason should you ruin me ? How 
you stole yourself away from me just now at the Forum. 
You've been performing the funeral of the breakfast in my 
absence. Why did you dare to do so, when I was entitled to 
it in an equal degree ? 

Men. Sos. Young man, prithee, what business with me 
have you, who are thus purposely insulting a person whom 


you know not ? Do you wish a punishment to bo given you 
for your abuse ? 

Pen. Do be quiet ; by my faith, I discover that you've done 
that already indeed. 

Men. Sos. Answer me, young man, I beg ; what is your 
name ? 

Pen. Are you laughing at me, as well, as though you didn't 
know my name ? 

Men.' Sos. By my troth, I never saw or knew you, that 
I'm aware of, before this day ; but at all events, whoever you 
are, if you do what's right, you won't be an annoyance to me. 

Pen. Don't you know me ? Men. Sos. I shouldn't deny 
it if I did know you. 

Pen. Mensechmus, awake. Men. Sos. I' troth, I really am 
awake, so far as I know. 

Pen. Don't you know your own Parasite ? 

Men. Sos. Young man, I find that your headpiece isn't 

Pen. Answer me ; have you not purloined that mantle 
from your wife to-day, and given it to Erotium ? 

Men. Sos. I' faith I have no wife, nor have I given the 
mantle to Erotium, nor have I purloined it. 

Pen. Are you really in your senses ? * * 

***** This matter's settled 1 . 
Did I not see you coming out of doors clad in a mantle ? 

Men. Sos. Woe to your head. Do you think that all people 
are effeminate rogues 2 because you are one ? Do you declare 
that I was clothed in a mantle ? 

Pen. Troth, I really do. Men. Sos. Why don't you go 
where you are deserving to go, or else request yourself to be 
atoned for, you downright madman ? 

Pen. By my troth, never shall any one prevail upon me not 
to tell your wife the whole matter now, just as it happened. 
All these insults shall be retorted upon yourself. I'll take 
care that you shan't have devoured the breakfast unpunished. 
{Re goes into the house of Mensechmus of Upidamnus.) 

Men. Sos. What's the meaning of this business ? Why, 

» This matter's settled)— Ver. 512. " Occisa est hsec res." Literally, " this 
matter is killed ;" somewhat similar to our expression, " the murder is out." 

2 Effeminate rogues)— Ver. 514. " Cinsedos." Literally, " dancers" or "danc- 
ing-masters," who, being effeminate persons, would be more likely to wear a 
'•palla" of gay colours. 


just as I see each person, do they all make fun of me 
in this way ? But the door makes a noise. 

Scene III. — Enter a Maid-Servant, from the house of 

Maid. Mensechmus, Erotium says that she entreats you 
much, that at the same opportunity you'll take this to the 
goldsmith's, and add to it an ounce in weight of gold, and order 
the bracelet 1 to be fashioned anew. {Gives him a bracelet.} 

Men. Sos. Tell her that I'll attend both to this and any- 
thing else that she shall wish, if she wishes anything else 
attended to. 

Maid. Do you know what this bracelet is ? 

Men. Sos. I don't know, unless it's of gold. 

Maid. This is the same one that you once said that you 
had secretly stolen out of the closet from your wife. 

Men. Sos. By my troth, 'twas never done. 

Maid. Prithee, don't you remember it ? 

Men. Sos. Not in the least. Maid. Give it me back 
then, if you don't remember it. {Tries to take it.) 

Men. Sos. Stop. (Pretends to examine the bracelet?) O 
yes, I really do remember it ; it's the same, I believe, that I 
presented to her. 

Maid. I' faith, it is the same. Men. Sos. Where are the 
clasps which I gave her together with them ? 

Maid. Tou never gave her any. Men. Sos. Why, faith, I 
gave them together with this * * * * * 

Maid. Shall I say that you'll attend to it ? 

Men. Sos. Do say so ; it shall be attended to. I'll take care 
that the mantle and the bracelet are brought back together. 

Maid. My dear Mensechmus, do, pray, give me some ear- 
rings 2 , the pendants to be made two didrachms in weight ; 

1 Order the bracelet) — Ver. 527. " Spinter" or " spinther" is another name, 
derived from the Greek a-(f)iyKTT]p, for the Latin " armilla" or bracelet. It received 
its Greek name, from its keeping in its place by compressing the arm of the wearer. 
Festus tells us that the bracelet called "spinter" was worn by the Eoman ladies 
on the left arm, while the " armilla" was worn on either. 

2 Give me some earrings) — Ver. 541. The drops of the earrings were probably 
to be of the weight of two didrachms. The earring was called among the 
F.omans " inauris," and by the Greeks ivariov. The Greeks also called k 
tWoSiov, from its being inserted in the lobe of the ear. These ornaments were 

314 MEKECHMI; Act IV. 

that I may look on you with delight when you come to our 

Men. Sos. Be it so. Give me the gold 1 ; I'll find the 
price of the workmanship. 

Maid. Give it yourself, please; at a future time I'll give 
it you back. 

Men. Sos. No, give it yourself; at a future time I'll give 
it you twofold. 

Maid. I haven't any. Men. Sos. But when you have it, 
do you give it me, then. 

Maid. Do you wish for aught ? Men. Sos. Say that I'll 
attend to these things, (aside) to be sold as soon as they can, 
and for what they'll fetch. (The Maid-Servant goes into 
the house.) Has she now gone off in-doors ? She's gone, 
and has shut the door. Surely all the Gods are favouring, 
amplifying, and prospering me. But why do I delay while 
opportunity and time are granted me to get away from these 
procurers' dens ? Make haste, Mensechmus ; pull foot and 
quicken your pace. I'll take off this chaplet 2 , and throw it 
away on the left hand side (throws the chaplet down), that, 
if they follow me, they may think I've gone in that direction. 
I'll go and meet my servant, if I can, that he may learn from 
me these blessings which the Gods confer upon me. 

Act IV. — Scene I. 
Enter, from her house, the Wife of Men&chmtjs of EpU 
damnus, followed by Penicultjs. 
"Wife. And shall I allow myself to remain in wedlock 3 

worn by both sexes among the Lydians, Persians, Libyans, Carthaginians, and 
other nations. Among the Greeks and Romans, the females alone were in the 
habit of wearing them. As with us, the earring consisted of a ring, and a drop, 
called " stalagmium," the ring being generally of gold, though bronze was some- 
times used by the common people. Pearls, especially those of elongated form, 
called " elenchi," were very much valued for pendants. 

1 Give me the gold) — Ver. 544. He asks for the gold with the intention of steal- 
ing it; for, in spite of their wealth, it is evident, from this, and what appears in the 
sequel, that both he and his brother are by nature arrant thieves. 

2 Take off this chaplet)— Ver. 555. This he had been wearing at the " pran- 
dium," or "breakfast," at Erotium's house. The latter appears to be a more 
fitting name for a meal that was taken generally about twelve o'clock; while 
" the coena," which commenced in general at about three, carnot with propriety be 
termed anything else than a " dinner." 

8 To remain m wedlock) — Ver. 559. As already observed in the Notes to tn« 


here, when my husband secretly pilfers whatever's in the 
house, and carries it thence off to his mistress? 

Pen. Why don't you hold your peace? I'll let you now 
catch him in the fact; do you only follow me this way. 
{They go to the opposite side of the stage.) In a state of 
drunkenness, with a chaplet on, he was carrying the mantle 
to the embroiderer's, which he purloined from you at home 
to-day. But see, here is the chaplet which he had on. {Seeing 
the chaplet on the ground.) Now am I saying false ? Aha, 
this way has he gone, if you wish to trace his footsteps. 
And, by my faith, see, here he comes on his way back most 
opportunely, but he isn't wearing the mantle. 

Wife. What now shall I do to him ? 

Pen. The same as usual ; abuse him. 

Wife. So I am resolved. Pen. Let's step aside this way 
watch him from ambush. (They retire on one side?) 

Scene II. — Enter Men^chmtjs of Epidamnus. 

Men. (to himself). Howwe do practise a custom here that is 
very foolish and extremely troublesome, and how even thosewho 
are the most worthy and great 1 do follow this habit : all wish 
their dependants to be many in number ; whether they are de- 
serving or undeserving, about that they don't enquire. Their 
property is more enquired about, than what the reputation of 
their clients is for honor. If any person is poor and not 
dishonest, he is considered worthless ; but if a rich man is 
dishonest, he is considered a good client. Those who neither 
regard laws nor any good or justice at all, the same have 
zealous patrons. What has been entrusted to them, they deny 
to have been so entrusted ; men full of litigation, rapacious, 
and fraudulent ; who have acquired their property either by 
usury or by perjury ; their whole pleasure is in litigation. 
When the day for trial is appointed, at the same time it is 
mentioned to their patrons, in order that they may plead for 

Stichus and the Miles Gloriosus, the facilities for divorce, by reason of incompati- 
bility and other circumstances, were very great among the Romans. 

1 Most worthy and great) — Ver. 572. " Optumi maximi." This was properly 
an epithet of Jupiter, and is, perhaps, satirically applied to the " little Gods," the 
great men of Rome. In the previous line he uses " morus," the Greek word 
ucopor, sigmiymg -foolish," on account of its resemblance to the word "mere, 
* manner" or " custom." 

346 MEN.ECHHI ; Act IV. 

them, about what they have done amiss. Before the people 1 , 
or at law before the JPrastor, or before the JEdile, is the cause 
tried. Just so, this day, a certain dependant has kept me 
very much engaged, nor was it allowed me to do what I wished, 
or in company with whom I wished ; so fast did he stick to me, 
so much did he detain me. Before the JEdile, in behalf of 
his doings, very many and very disgraceful, did I plead his 
cause ; a compromise I obtained, obscure and perplexed — 
more than enough I said, and than I needed to say, that 
surety for him 2 might end this litigation. What did he do ? 
Well, what ? He gave bail. And never did I at any time 
see any person more clearly detected ; three very adverse wit* 
nesses against all his misdeeds were there. May all the Gods 
confound him, he has so spoilt this day for me ; and myself 
as well, who ever this day beheld the Forum with my eyes. 
I ordered a breakfast to be prepared ; my mistress is expecting 
me, I'm sure ; as soon as ever I had the opportunity, I made 
haste immediately to leave the Forum. Now, I suppose, 
she's angry with me ; the mantle, however, will appease her 
that I gave her, the one I took away to-day from my wife 
and carried to Erotium here. 

Pen. (apart to the Wife) . What say you now ? 

Wife (apart). That I'm unfortunately married to a worth- 
less fellow. 

Pen. (apart). Do you perfectly hear what he says ? 

Wife (apart). Quite well. Men. If I am wise, I shall 
be going hence in-doors, where it may be comfortable for me. 

Pen. (coming forward). Stop; on the contrary, it shall be 

Men. * * * * * she 

is very sorrowful; this doesn't quite please me, but I'll 
speak to her. Tell me, my wife, what is it amiss with you ? 

1 Before the people) — Ver. 587. It is thought that he here refers to the three 
modes of trial in civil cases among the Romans — " apud populum," before the 
people in the Comitia centuriata, or full assembly ; " injure," before the " Praetor," 
or his delegates, the "Recupera tores" or " Judices selecti," "commissioned judges;" 
and before the iEdile, or city officer. He says, that on being summoned to th« 
" concio," a " cliens" or dependant suddenly accosted him, and insisted on his 
defending him, which greatly detained him, but that in spite of the wcrthlessness 
of his client's cause, he was at last successful in effecting a compromise. 

2 That surety for him) — Ver. 592. He probably means that he gained time for 
his client to pay the debt, on condition of his giving bail or security that he wouk 
do so within a certain time. 


Pen. (to the Wife). The pretty fellow's soothing you. 

Men. Can't you cease being annoying to me ? Did I ad- 
dress you ? 

"Wiee. (turning away from Men^chmus). Take yourself 
off — away with your caresses from me. Do you persist in it ? 

Men. Why are you offended with me ? 

Wife. You ought to know. Pen. The rascal knows, but 
he pretends not to know. 

Men. Has any one of the servants done amiss ? Do either 
the maid or the men-servants give you saucy answers ? Speak 
out ; it shan't be done with impunity. 

Wife. Tou are trifling. Men. Surely you are angry at 
some one of the domestics ? 

Wife. Tou are trifling. Men. Are you angry with me 
at all events ? 

Wife. Now you are not trifling. Men. I' faith, I haven't 
done wrong in anything. 

Wife. Ah ! now you are trifling again. 

Men. Wife, what's the matter? Wife. Do you ask me 
that ? 

Men. Do you wish me to ask him ? (To Peniculus.) 
What's the matter ? 

Wife. The mantle. Men. The mantle ? 

Wife. A certain person has taken a mantle. (Men^ch- 
mtjs starts.) 

Pen. (to Memchmtjs). Why are you alarmed ? 

Men. For my part, I'm not alarmed at all — (aside) except 
about one thing ; the mantle makes 1 my face mantle. 

Pen. (aside to Men^chmus). But as for me, you shouldn't 
have slily devoured the breakfast. (To the Wife.) Go on 
against your husband. 

Men. (making signs to Peniculus). Won't you hold your 
tongue ? 

Pen. Faith, I really will not hold my tongue. (To the 
Wife.) He's nodding to me not to speak. 

Men. On my word, I really never did nod to you, or wink 
in any way. 

1 The mantle makes) — Ver. 616. " Palla pallorem incutit." In his alarm he 
cannot avoid a pun on the resemblance between M palla," the " mantle," and 
" pallor," paleness. The meaning is, literally, " the mantle strikes paleness into 
me ;" but an attempt is made in the Translation to imitate the play upon the words 

3-18 men^chmi ; Act IV. 

Pen. Nothing is more audacious than this man, who reso- 
lutely denies those things which you see. 

Men. By Jupiter and all the Gods, I swear, wife, that I 
did not nod to him ; isn't that enough for you ? 

Pen. She now believes you about that matter : go back 
again there. 

Men. Go back where ? Pen. Why, to the embroiderer, 
as I suppose. Go and bring the mantle back. 
_ Men. What mantle is it ? Pen. Now I hold my tongue, 
since he doesn't remember his own business. 

Wife. Did you suppose that you could possibly commit 
these villanies unknown to me ? By heavens, you have as- 
suredly taken that away from me at a heavy usury ; such is 
the return 1 . (Shaking her fist .) 

Pen. Such is the return. Do you make haste to eat up 
the breakfast in my absence ; and then in your drunken- 
ness make fun of me, with your chaplet on, before the house. 

Men. By all the powers, I have neither breakfasted, nor 
have I this day set foot inside of that house. 

Pen. Do you deny it ? Men. By my troth, I really do 
deny it. 

Pen. Nothing is there more audacious than this fellow. 
Did I not just now see you standing here before the house, 
with a chaplet of flowers on, when you were declaring that 
my headpiece wasn't sound, and declaring that you didn't 
know me, and saying that you were a foreigner ? 

Men. On the contrary, as some time since I parted with 
you, so I'm now returning home at last. 

Pen. I understand you. You didn't think it was in my 
power to take vengeance upon you ; i' faith, I've told it all 
to your wife. 

Men. Told her what ? Pen. I don't know ; ask her own 

Men. (turning to Aw Wife) . What's this, wife ? Pray, what 

1 Stick is the return) — Ver. 626. " Sic datur." Literally, "thus it is given," 
or " on these terms it is lent." Some Commentators will have it, that these 
words are accompanied with a slap on the face, in which case they will be equiva- 
lent to " there, take that." They may, however, simply mean, "such are the terms" 
on which you had my mantle, "such are the results of your lending;" her 
abuse and indignation, accompanied, perhaps, with a threat, being the " foenus, 
or " interest" for the loan. 


has he been telling you ? "What is it ? Why are you silent ? 
"Why don't you say what it is ? 

"Wife. As though you didn't know. I' faith, I certainly 
am a miserable woman. 

MEN. Why are you a miserable woman ? tell me. 

Wife. Do you ask me ? Men. Faith, I shouldn't ask you 
if I knew. 

Pen. the wicked fellow ; how he does dissemble. You 
cannot conceal it ; she knows the matter thoroughly ; by my 
faith, I've disclosed everything. 

Men. What is it? "Wife. Inasmuch as you are not at. 
all ashamed, and don't wish to confess of your own accord, 
listen, and attend to this ; I'll both let you know why I'm 
/sorrowful, and what he has told me. My mantle has been 
purloined from me at home. 

Men. Mantle purloined from me ? Pen. (to the Wife). 
D'you see how the rogue is catching you up ? (To Me- 
mchmus.) It was purloined from her, not from you ; for 
certainly if it had been purloined from you, it would now 
be safe. 

Me>-. {to Peniculus). I've nothing to do with you. But 
(to his Wife) what is it you say ? 

Wife. A mantle, I say, has been lost from home. 

Men. "Who has stolen it ? "Wife. I faith, he knows that, 
who took it away. 

Men. What person was it? Wife. A certain Me- 

Men. By my troth, 'twas villanously done. Who is this 
Mena3ehmus ? 

Wife. You are he, I say. Men. I? 

Wife. You. Men. Who accuses me? 

Wife. I, myself. Pen. I, too ; and you carried it off to 
Erotium here, your mistress. 

Men. I, gave it her ? Pen. You, you, I say. Do you 
wish for an owl 1 to be brought here, to say " you, you," con- 
tinually to you ? For we are now quite tired of it. 

Men. By Jupiter and all the Gods, I swear, wife (and 
isn't that enough for you ?), that I did not give it. 

Pen. Aye, and I, by all the powers, that we are telling no 

1 Wish for an owl) — Ver. 654. "Tu, tu." He alludes to the note of the owl 
Which to the Romans would seem to say " tu, tu " " you, you." 

350 men^echmi ; Act IV. 

Men. But I haven't given it away, but just only lent it 
to be made use of. 

Wife. But, i' faith, for my part, I don't lend either your 
scarf or your cloak out of the house, to any one, to be made 
use of. 'Tis fair that the woman should lend out of the 
house the woman's apparel, the man the man's. But why 
don't you bring the mantle home again ? 

Men. I'll have it brought back. "Wife. For your own 
interest you'll do so, as I think ; for you shall never enter the 
house to-day unless you bring the mantle with you. I'm 
going home. 

Pen. (to the Wife). What's there to be for me, who have 
given you this assistance ? 

Wife. Tour assistance shall be repaid, when anything 
shall be purloined from your house. (The Wife goes into 
the house.) 

Pen. Then, by my troth, that really will never be ; for 
nothing have I at home to lose. May the Gods confound 
you, both husband and wife. I'll make haste to the Forum, 
for I see clearly that I've quite fallen out with this family. 


Men. My wife thinks that she does me an injury when she 
shuts me out of doors ; as though I hadn't another better 
place to be admitted into. If I displease you, I must endure 
it; I shall please Erotium here, who won't be shutting, me 
out of her house, but will be shutting me up in her house 
rather. Now I'll go ; I'll beg her to give me back the mantle 
that I gave her a while since. I'll purchase another for her — 
a better one. Hallo ! is any one the porter here ? (Knocks 
at Eeotium's door.) Open here, and some one of you call 
Erotium before the door. 

Scene III. — Enter Erotium, from her house. 

Ero. Who's enquiring for me here ? 

Men. One that's more of an enemy to his own self than 
to yourself 1 . 

Ero. My dear Mensechmus ? Why are you standing 
before the house ? Do follow me in-doors. 

1 Than to yourself) — Ver. 675. " ^Etati tuse." Literally, " to your age," a ctr 
cumlocution for " yourself." 


Men. Stop. Do you know why it is that I'm come to 

Ero. I know well; that you may amuse yourself with 

Men. "Why no, troth, that mantle which I gave you a 
while since, give it me back, I entreat you ; my wile has be- 
come acquainted with all the transaction, in its order, just 
as it happened. I'll procure for you a mantle of twofold 
greater value than you shall wish. 

Ero. Why, I gave it your own self a little while since, 
that you might take it to the embroiderer's, and that bracelet, 
too, that you might take it to the goldsmith's that it might 
be made anew. 

Men. You, gave me the mantle and the bracelet ? You'll 
find 'twas never done. For, indeed, after I gave it you 
awhile ago, and went away to the Forum, I'm but just re- 
turning, and now see you for the first time since. 

Ero. I see what plan you are upon ; that you may de- 
fraud me of what I entrusted to you, at that thing you are 

Men. On my word, I do not ask it for the sake of defraud- 
ing you. But I tell you that my wife has discovered the 

Ero. Nor did I of my own accord beg you to give it 
me ; of your own accord you yourself brought it me. You 
gave it me as a present ; now you're asking for the same 
thing back again. I'll put up with it; keep it to yourself; 
take it away ; make use of it, either yourself or your wife, or 
squeeze it into your money-box 1 even. After this day, that 
you mayn't be deceived, you shan't set your foot in this 
house, since you hold me in contempt, who deserve so well 
of you. Unless you bring money, you'll be disappointed ; 
you can't cajole me. Find some other woman, henceforth, 
for you to be disappointing. 

Men. By my troth, very angry at last. Hallo! you; 
stay, I bid you. Come you back. "Will you stay now ? 
Will you even for my sake come back ? (Erotittm goes into 
her house, and shuts the door.) She has gone in-doors, and 
shut the house. Now I'm regularly barred out ; I have 

1 Into your money-box) — Ver. 691. " As you make so much fuss about it, 
tno. it is so valuable, squeeze it up into your money-box." 

352 MENJECHMI ; Act V. 

neither any credit at home now, nor with my mistress. I'll 
go and consult my friends on this matter, as to what they 
think should be done. {Exit. 

Act Y. — Scene I. 
Enter Menjschmus Sosicles, with the mantle on. 
Men. Sos. I did very foolishly a while since, in entrusting 
my purse to Messenio with the money. I suspect he has got 
himself into some bad house 1 or other. 

Enter £Ae Wife o/'Men^chmtts of Epidamnus,from the house. 

"Wiee. I'll look out to see how soon my husband is going 
to return home. But here he is ; I see him ; I'm all right, 
he's bringing back the mantle. 

Men. Sos. (to himself). I wonder where Messenio can be 
walking now. 

Wife. I'll go and receive the fellow with such language as 
he deserves. (Accosting him.) Are you not ashamed to come 
forward in my presence, you disgraceful man, in that garb ? 

Men. Sos. What's the matter ? What thing is troubling 
you, woman ? 

Wiee. Do you dare, you shameless fellow, to utter even 
a single word, or to speak to me ? 

Men. Sos. Pray, what wrong have I committed, that I 
shouldn't dare to speak to you ? 

Wife. Do you ask me ? dear, the impudent audacity 
of the fellow ! 

Men. Sos. Don't you know, madam, for what reason the 
Greeks used to say that Hecuba was a bitch 2 r 

1 Into some bad house) — Ver. 704. The "ganese" or "ganea" were, probably, 
very similar to the " popina3," the loose character of which, and the " therrno- 
polia," has been alluded to in a preceding Note. 

2 Hecuba was a bitch) — Ver. 714. Hecuba was the daughter of Cisseus or of 
Dymas, and the wife of Priam, King of Troy. In the distribution of the spoil, 
a^'ter the siege of Troy, she fell to the share of Ulysses, and became his slave, but 
died soon after in Thrace. Servius alleges, with Plautus, that the Greeks circu- 
lated the story of her transformation into a bitch, because she was perpetually 
railing at them to provoke them to put her to death, rather than condemn her to 
the life of a slave. According to Strabo and Pomponius Mela, in their time the 
place of her burial was still to be seen in Thrace. It was called kvvos tt^/xci, 
" the Tomb of the bitch." Euripides, in his " Hecuba," has not followed this tra- 
dition, but represents her as complaining that the Greeks had chained her to th« 
door of Agamemnon like a dog. 


Wife. I don't know, indeed. Men. Sos. Because Hecuba 
used to do the same thing that you are now doing. She 
used to heap all kinds of imprecations on every one she saw ; 
and, therefore, for that reason she was properly begun to be 
called a bitch. 

Wife. I can't put up with this disgraceful conduct of 
yours ; for I had rather see my life that of a widow, than 
endure this vile conduct of yours that you are guilty of. 

Men. Sos. "What is it to me, whether you are able to 
endure to live in the married state, or whether you will 
separate from your husband ? Is it thus the fashion here to 
tell these stories to a stranger on his arrival ? 

Wife. What stories ? I say, I'll not endure it hence- 
forth, but live separate rather than put up with these ways. 

Men. Sos. Troth, so far indeed as I'm concerned, do live 
separate, even so long as Jupiter shall hold his sway. 

Wife. By heavens, I'll certainly now send for my father, 
and I'll tell him your disgraceful conduct that you are 
guilty of. Go, Decio (calling to a Servant), seek for my 
father, that he may come along with you to me ; tell him that 
occasion has arisen for it. I'll now disclose to him this dis- 
graceful conduct of yours. 

Men. Sos. Are you in your senses? What disgraceful 
conduct of mine ? 

Wife. When you filch from home my mantle and gold 
trinkets, without the knowledge of your wife, and carry 
them off to your mistress. Don't I state this correctly ? 

Men. Sos. O dear ! madam, by my faith, you are both very 
bold and very perverse. Do you dare to say (pointing at the 
mantle) that this was stolen from you which another woman 
gave me, for me to get it trimmed ? 

Wife. A little while since you didn't deny that you had 
purloined it from me ; do you now hold up that same before 
my eyes ? Are you not ashamed ? 

Men. Sos. By my faith, madam, I entreat you, if you 
Know, show me what I'm to drink 1 , by means of which I 
may put up with your impertinence. What person you are 

» What Tm to drink) — Ver. 742. Some Commentators think that he is asking 
for a medical potion, to help him to swallow down the " petulantia," or msultini^ 
conduct. This supposition does not seem necessary, for even i draught of water 
would have the same effect in such a case. 

354 MEN^CHMl ; Act IV. 

taking me to be, I don't know; I know you just as well 
as Parthaon 1 . 

Wife. If you laugh at me, still, i' troth, you can't do 
so at him ; my father, I mean, who's coming here. "Why 
don't you look back ? Do you know that person ? 

Men. Sos. Just as well as Calchas 2 do I know him ; I 
have seen him on that same day on which I have seen your- 
self before this present day. 

Wife. Do you deny that you know me ? Do you deny 
that you know my father ? 

Men - . Sos. Troth, I shall say the same thing, if you choose 
to bring your grandfather. 

Wife. I' faith, you do this and other things just in a like 

Scene II. — Enter an Old Man, hobbling with a stick. 

Old Man. According as my age permits, and as there is 
occasion to do so, I'll push on my steps and make haste to 
get along. But how far from easy 'tis for me, I'm not mis- 
taken as to that. For my agility forsakes me, and I am beset 
with age ; I carry my body weighed down ; my strength has 
deserted me. How grievous a pack upon one's back is age. 
For when it comes, it brings very many and very grievous 
particulars, were I now to recount all of which, my speech 
would be too long. But this matter is a trouble to my' 
mind and heart, what this business can possibly be on 
account of which my daughter suddenly requires me to come 
to her, and doesn't first let me know what's the matter, 
what she wants, or why she sends for me. But pretty 
nearly do I know now what's the matter ; I suspect that 
some quarrel has arisen with her husband. So are these 
women wont to do, who, presuming on their portions, and 
haughty, require their husbands to be obedient to them ; and 
they as well full oft are not without fault. But still there are 
bounds, within which a wife ought to be put up with. By my 
troth, my daughter never sends for her father to come to her 

1 As well as Parthaon) — Ver. 745. Parthaon was the father of (Eneus, King of 
iEtolia, the fath ?r of Deianira, the wife of Hercules. The name is used to sig- 
nify a person who lived so long ago that it was impossible to know him. 

2 As well as Calchas) — Ver. 748. Calchas, the son of Thestor, was a famous 
soothsayer, who accompanied the Grecian army in the expedition against Troj . 


except when either something has been done wrong, or there 
is a cause for quarrelling. But whatever it is, I shall now 
know. And see, I perceive her herself before the house, and 
her husband in a pensive mood. 'Tis the same as I 
suspected. I'll accost her. 

Wife. I'll go and meet him. May every happiness attend 
you, my father. 

Old Man. Happiness attend you. Do I find you in good 
spirits ? Do you bid me be fetched in happy mood ? Why 
are you sorrowful ? And why does he {pointing at Men^ch- 
mits) in anger stand apart from you ? Something, I know not 
what, are you two wrangling about 1 between you. Say, in few 
words, which of the two is in fault : no long speeches, though. 

Wife. For my part, I've done nothing wTong ; as to that 
point do I at once make you easy, father. But I cannot live 
or remain here on any account ; you must take me away 
hence immediately. 

Old Man. Why, what's the matter ? Wiee. I am made 
a laughing-stock of, father. 

Old Man. By whom? Wiee. By him to whom you 
gave me, my husband. 

Old Man. Look at that — a quarrel now. How often, I 
wonder, have I told you to be cautious, that neither should be 
coming to me with your complaints. 

Wiee. How, my father, can I possibly guard against that ? 

Old Man. Do you ask me? * * * * 

* * * * unless you don't wish. 

How often have I told you to be compliant to your hus- 
band. Don't be watching what he does, where he goes, or 
what matter he's about. 

Wiee. Why, but he's in love with a courtesan here close 

Old Man. He is exceedingly wise : and for this pains- 
taking of yours, I would even have him love her the more. 

Wiee. He drinks there, too. Old Man. And will he 
really drink the less for you, whether it shall please him to do 

1 Wrangling about) — Ver. 778. " Velitati estis ;" literally, " have been skir- 
i mishing." The figure is derived from the " velites," the light-armed soldiers of the 
Koman army, who were not drawn up in rank and file, but commonly skirmished 
m front of the main body, attacking the enemy here and there, and when bard 
pressed, retiring into the vacant spaces of the legion. 

2 a2 

35G mentECiimi ; Act IV. 

so there or anywhere else ? Plague on it, what assurance is 
this ? On the same principle, you would wish to hinder him 
from engaging to dine out, or from receiving any other per- 
son at his own house. Do you want husbands to be your 
servants ? You might as well expect, on the same prin- 
ciple, to be giving him out his task, and bidding him sit 
among the female servants and card wool. 

Wife. Why, surely, father, I've sent for you not to be 
my advocate, but my husband's : on this side you stand 1 , on 
the other you plead the cause. 

Old Man. If he has done wrong in anything, so much 
the more shall I censure him than I've censured you. 
Since he keeps you provided for and well clothed, and finds 
you amply in female servants and provisions, 'tis better, 
madam, to entertain kindly feelings. 

Wife. But he purloins from me gold trinkets and mantles 
from out of the chests at home ; he plunders me, and secretly 
carries off my ornaments to harlots. 

Old Man. He does wrong, if he does that ; if he. does 
not do it, you do wrong in accusing him ivhen innocent. 

Wife. Why at this moment, even, he has got a mantle, 
father, and a bracelet, which he had carried off to her ; now, 
because I came to know of it, he brings them back. 

Old Man. I'll know from himself, then, how it happened. 
I'll go up to this man and accost him. {Goes up to Me- 
n^chmtjs.) Tell me this, Menaechmus, what you two are 
disputing about, that I may know. Why are you pensive 3 
And why does she in anger stand apart from you ? 

Men. Sos. Whoever you are, whatever is your name, old 
gentleman, I call to witness supreme Jove and the Dei- 

Old Man. For what reason, or what matter of all matters ? 

Men. Sos. That I have neither done wrong to that woman, 
who is accusing me of having purloined this {pointing to 
the mantle) away from her at home * * 

and which she solemnly swears that I did take away. If 

1 On this side you stand) — Ver. 799. It was the custom for the patron, when 
acting as the counsel, to have his client standing hy him while pleading. The wife 
complains that her father has been sent for by her to act as her own advocate, but 
that, instead of so doing, he is encouraging her supposed husband in hia perverse- 


ever I set foot inside of her house where she lives, I wish 
that I may become the most wretched of all wretched 

Old Man. Are you in your senses to wish this, or to deny 
that you ever set foot in that house where you live, you 
downright madman ? 

Men. Sos. Do you say, old gentleman, that I live in this 
house ? (Pointing at the house.) 

Old Man. Do you deny it ? Men. Sos. By my faith, I 
certainly do deny it. 

Old Man. In your fun you are going too far in denying 
it ; unless you flitted elsewhere this last night. Step this 
way, please, daughter. (To the Wife.) What do you say ? 
Have you removed from this house ? 

Wife. To what place, or for what reason, prithee ? 

Old Man. I' faith, I don't know. Wife. He's surely 
making fun of you. 

Old Man. Can't you keep yourself quiet ? Now, Me- 
naechmus, you really have joked long enough ; now do 
seriously attend to this matter. 

Men. Sos. Prithee, what have I to do with you ? Whence 
or w T hat person are you ? Is your mind right, or hers, in 
fact, who is an annoyance to me in every way ? 

Wife. Don't you see how his eyes sparkle ? How a 
green colour 1 is arising on his temples and his forehead ; look 
how his eyes do glisten * * * * * 

# # * # 

Men. Sos. me ! They say I'm mad, whereas they of 
themselves are mad. 

Wife. How he yawns, as he stretches himself. What am 
I to do now, my father ? 

Old Man. Step this way, my daughter, as far as ever you 
can from him. 

Men. Sos. (aside). What is there better for me than, 
since they say I'm mad, to pretend that I am mad, that I 
may frighten them away from me ? (He dances about.) 

1 A green colour) — Ver. 829. It was supposed that in madness, or extrema 
anger, the countenance assumed a greenish hue. Ben Jonson has probably imi- 
tated this passage m the Silent Woman, Act IV., sc. 4. : " Lord ! how idly he talks, 
and how his eyes sparkle t he looks green about the temples ! Do you see what 
blue spots he has?" 

858 MEiTJSOHMij ActlY. 

"Bvoe, Bacchus, ho ! Bromius 1 , in what forest dost thou in- 
vite me to the chase ? I hear thee, but I cannot get away 
from this spot, so much does this raving mad female cur 
watch me on the left side. And behind there is that other 
old he-goat, who many a time in his life has proved the de- 
struction of an innocent fellow-citizen by his false testi- 

Old Man (shaking his stick at him). Woe to your head! 

Men. Sos. Lo ! by his oracle, Apollo bids me burn out her 
eyes with blazing torches. (He points with his fingers at her.) 

"Wife. I'm undone, my father ; he's threatening to burn 
my eyes out. 

Old Man. Hark you, daughter. Wife. What's the 
matter ? What are w T e to do ? 

Old Man. What if I call the servants out here ? I'll go 
bring some to take him away hence, and bind him at home, 
before he makes any further disturbance. 

Men. Sos. (aside). So now; I think now if I don't adopt 
some plan for myself, these people will be carrying me off 
home to their house. (Aloud.) Dost thou forbid me to spare 
my fists at all upon her face, unless she does at once get out 
of my sight to utter and extreme perdition ? I will do what 
thou dost bid me, Apollo. (Buns after her.) 

Old Man (to the Wife). Away with you home as soon 
as possible, lest he should knock you down. 

Wife. I'm off. Watch him, my father, I entreat you, 
that he mayn't go anywhere hence. Am I not a wretched 
woman to hear these things ? (She goes into her house.) 

Men. Sos. (aside). I've got rid of her not so badly. 
(Aloud). Now as for this most filthy, long-bearded, palsied 
Tithonus, who is said to have had Cygnus for his father 3 , you 

1 Ho ! Bromius) — Ver. 836. Evius and Bromius were two of the names by 
which the Bacchanals addressed Bacchus in their frenzy. 

2 Cygnus for his father) — Ver. 854. Plautus designedly makes Menaechmus 
Sosicles be guilty of the mistake of styling Tithonus the son of Cygnus, as helping 
to promote the belief of his madness. Tithonus was the son of Laomedon, and the 
brother of Priam. He was beloved by Aurora, and the poets feigned that he was 
her husband. Having received the gift of immortality, he forgot to have perpetual 
youthfulness united with the gift ; and at length, in his extreme old age, he was 
changed into a grasshopper. There were several persons of the name of Cygnus, 
or Cycnus ; one was the son of Apollo and Hyrie, another of Mars and Pelopea, 
or Pyrene, another of Neptune and Calyx, and a fourth of Ocitus and Arnophile 


bid me break in pieces his limbs, and bones, and members 
with that walking-stick which he himself is holding. 

Old Man. Punishment shall be inflicted if you touch, me 
indeed, or if you come nearer to me. 

Men. Sos. {shouting aloud). I will do what thou dost bid 
me ; I will take a two-edged axe, and I will hew this old fellow 
to his very bones, and I will chop his entrails into mince- 

Old Man (retreating as far as he can). Why really 
against that must I take care and precaution. As he 
threatens, I'm quite in dread of him, lest he should do me 
some mischief. 

Men. Sos. (jumping and raising Ms arms). Many things 
dost thou bid me do, Apollo. Now thou dost order me to 
take the yoked horses, unbroke and fierce, and to mount the 
chariot, that I may crush to pieces this aged, stinking, tooth- 
less lion. Now have I mounted the chariot ; now do I hold 
the reins ; now is the whip in my hand. Speed onward, ye 
steeds, let the sound of your hoofs be heard ; in your swift 
course let the rapid pace of your feet 1 be redoubled. (Points 
at the Old Man as he pretends to gallop.) 

Old Man. Are you threatening me with your yoked 
steeds ? 

Men. Sos. Lo ! again, Apollo, thou dost bid me to make 
an onset against him who is standing here, and to murder 
him. But what person is this that is tearing me hence by 
the hair down from the chariot ? He revokes thy commands 
and the decree of Apollo. 

Old Man. Alas ! a severe and obstinate malady, i' faith. 
By our trust in you, ye Gods * * * * 

* * * * even this person who is 

now mad, how well he was a little time since. All on a 
sudden has so great a distemper attacked him. I'll go now 
and fetch a physician as fast as I can. (Exit. 

Men. Sos. Prithee, are these persons gone now out of my 
sight, who are compelling me by force, while in my wits, to 
be mad ? Why do I delay to be off to the ship, while I can 

1 The rapidpace of your feet) — Ver. 867. " Cursu celeri facite inflexa sit pedum 
pernicitas." Literally, " in the swift course, make the swiftness oi your feet to 
be bent inwards." The legs of good horses, when trotting fast, bend inwards b^ 
fore they throw them out. 

360 MEN^CHMI ; Act V, 

in safety? ###### 

# * And all of you (to ^Spectators), 

if the old gentleman should return, I beg not to tell him, 
now, by what street I fled away hence. {Exit. 

Act V. — Scene I. 

Enter the Old Man, very slowly. 

Old Man. My bones ache with sitting, my eyes with 
watching, while waiting for the Doctor, till he returned from 
his business. At last the troublesome fellow has with diffi- 
culty got away from his patients. He says that he has set 
a broken leg for iEsculapius 1 , and an arm for Apollo. I'm 
now thinking whether I'm to say that I'm bringing a doctor 
or a carpenter 2 . But, see, here he comes. — Do get on with 
your ant's pace. 

Scene II. — Enter a Doctor. 

Doct. "What did you say was his disorder ? Tell me, 
respected sir. Is he harassed by sprites 3 , or is he frenzied ? 
Let me know. Is it lethargy, or is it dropsy, that possesses 

Old Man. "Why, I'm bringing you for that reason, that 
you may tell me that, and make him convalescent. 

Doct. That indeed is a very easy matter. Why, I shall 
heal innumerable times as many 4 in the day. 

Old Man. I wish him to be treated with great attention. 

Doct. That he shall be healed, I promise that on my 
word ; so with great attention will I treat him for you. 

1 For jEsculapius) — Ver. 885. Apollo and iEsculapius were the two guardian 
Divinities of the medical art. The old man, perhaps, mentions their names in- 
stead of those of some persons of whose wonderful cures the Doctor has been 

2 Or a carpenter) — Ver. 887. He says that, talking of meuding legs, the 
Doctor may, for aught he knows, be some carpenter, who has been patching up 
the legs of statues. 

3 Harassed by sprites) — Ver. 890. " Larvatus aut cerritus." The " larvati" 
were mad persons, supposed to be afflicted with ghosts or spectres; while the 
"cerriti" were persons who were thought to be visited with madness by the 
Goddess Ceres. 

* Innumerable times as many) — Ver. 894. The Doctor is bragging oi hi? exces- 
sive practice. 


Old Man. Why, see ! here's the man himself. 
Doer. Let's watch what matter he's about. (Tliey stand 

Scene III. — Enter Men^chhus of Epidamnus. 

Men. (to himself). By my faith, this day has certainly 
fallen out perverse and adverse for me, since the Parasite, 
who has filled me full of disgrace and terror, has made that 
all known, which I supposed I was doing secretly ; my own 
Ulysses 1 , who has brought so great evil on his king — a fellow 
that, by my troth, if I only live, I'll soon finish his life 2 . 
But I'm a fool, who call that his, which is my own. "With 
my own victuals and at my own expense has he been sup- 
ported ; of existence will I deprive the fellow. But the 
Courtesan has done this in a way worthy of her, just as the 
harlot's habit is : because I ask for the mantle, that it may 
be returned again to my wife, she declares that she has given 
it me. O dear ! By my faith, I do live a wretched man. 

Old Man (apart). Do you hear what he says ? 

Doct. (apart). He declares that he is wretched. 

Old Man (apart). I wish you to accost him. 

Doct. (going up to Mm) . Save you, Mensechmus. Prithee, 
why do you bare your arm ? Don't you know how much 
mischief you are now doing to that disease of yours ? 

Men. Why don't you go hang yourself? 

Old Man. What think you now ? Doct. What shouldn't 
I think? This case can't be treated with even ointment of 
hellebore. But what have you to say, Mensechmus ? 

Men. What do you want ? Doct. Tell me this that I 
ask of you ; do you drink white wine or dark-coloured ? 

Men. What need have you to enquire ? 

Doct * * * ^ * ^ 

Men. Why don't you go to utter perdition ? 

1 My own Ulysses) — Ver. 902. He complains that the Parasite, who used to 
be his adviser, and as good as a Ulysses to him, his king, or patron, has been the 
cause of all liis mishaps. 

2 Finish his life) — Ver. 933. "Vita evolvam sua." Literally, "I will wind 
him off of his life." He probably alludes to the " Parese," the " Fates" or 
" Destinies," who were fabled to be the daughters of Xox and Erebus, and of whom, 
one, named Clotho, held the distaff, and spun the thread of life; another, named 
Lachesis, wound it off; and the third, called Atropos, cut it off when of the re- 
quisite length. 

362 menjechmi ; Act V 

Old Man. Troth, lie's now beginning to be attacked with 
the fit. 

Men. Why don't yon ask whether I'm wont to eat dark 
bread, or purple, or yellow ? Or whether I'm wont to eat 
birds with scales, or fish with wings ? 

Old Man. Dear, dear! {To ^Doctor.) Don't you hear how 
deliriously he talks ? Why do you delay to give him some- 
thing by way of a potion, before his raving overtakes him ? 

Doct. Stop a little; I'll question him on some other 
matters as well. 

Old Man. You are killing me 1 by your prating. 

Doct. (to Men^echmtjs). Tell me this ; are your eyes ever 
in the habit of becoming hard 2 ? 

Men. What ? Do you take me to be a locust 3 , you most 
worthless fellow ? 

Doct. Tell me, now, do your bowels ever rumble that you 
know of? 

Men. When I'm full, they don't rumble at all ; when I'm 
hungry, then they do rumble. 

Doct. I' faith, he really gave me that answer not like an 
insane person. Do you always sleep soundly until daylight ? 
Do you easily go to sleep when in bed ? 

Men. I sleep throughout if * * * * 

* * I go to sleep if I have paid my money 

to him to whom I owe it. 

Doct. ******* 

Men. (to the Doctoe). May Jupiter and all the Divinities 
confound you, you questioner. 

Doct. (aside). Now this person begins to rave. (To the 
Old Man.) From those expressions do you take care of 

Old Man. Why, he's now really quite favourable in his 
language, in comparison with what he was a short time since ; 

1 You are hilling me) — Ver, 922. " Occidis fabulans." This remark seems 
rather to apply to the effect of his chattering, upon the old man himself, who is 
growing impatient, than upon the supposed madman ; though, from the elliptical 
nature of the expression, the latter may possibly be the meaning. 

3 Of becoming hard) — Ver. 923. This was supposed to be one of the symp* 
toms of madness. 

3 To be a locust) — Ver. 924. The eyes of locusts were considered to be of pecu 
liar hardness. They are very large and prominent. It has been suggested that 
w io:i\sta" here means a *' lobster." 


for, a little while ago, lie was saying that his wife was a 
raving cur. 

Men. What did I say ? Old Man. You were raving, I 

Men. "What, I ? Old Man. You there ; who threatened 
as well to ride me down with your yoked steeds. 

Men. ****** 

Old Man. I myself saw you do this ; I myself accuse you 
of this. 

Men. And I know that you stole 1 the sacred crown of 
Jupiter ; and that on that account you were confined in pri- 
son ; and after you were let out, I know that you were beaten 
with rods in the bilboes ; I know, too, that you murdered 
your father and sold your mother. Don't I give this abuse 
in answer for your abuse, like a sane person ? 

Old Man. I' faith, Doctor, whatever you are about to do, 
prithee, do it quickly. Don't you see that the man is raving ? 

Doct. Do you know what's the best for you to do ? 
Have him taken to my house. 

Old Man. Do you think so ? Doct. Why should I not ? 
There at my own discretion I shall be able to treat the man. 

Old Man. Do just as you please. Doct. (to Men&ch- 
mits). I'll make you drink hellebore some twenty days. 

Men. But, hanging up 2 , I'll flog you with a whip for thirty 

Doct. (to the Old Man). Go fetch some men to take him 
off to my house. 

Old Man. How many are sufficient ? 

Doct. Since I see him thus raving, four, no less. 

Old Man. They shall be here this instant. Do you keep 
an eye on him,. Doctor. 

Doct. Why, no, I shall go home that the things may be 
got ready, which are necessary to be prepared. Bid your ser- 
vants carry him to my house. 

Old Man. I'll make him be there just now. 

1 That you stole) — Ver. 941. This expression has been already remarked upon 
in the Notes to the Trinummus. 

2 But, hanging up) — "Ver. 951. "Pendentem." When they were flogged, the 
slaves were tied up with their hands extended over their heads. Probably, the 
Doctor is intended to be represented as being a slave ; as many of the liberal pur- 
suits were followed by slaves, and sometimes to the very great profit of their 
masters. The " furca " (for want of a better word, called " oilboes ' in thtf 
translation) is referred to in another Note. 

364 MENiECHMI ; Act V- 

Doct. I'm off. Old Man. FareweL. 

{Exeunt Old Man and Doctor, separately. 

Men. My father-in-law is gone, the Doctor is gone ; I'd 
alone. O Jupiter ! "Why is it that these people say I'm 
mad ? Why, in fact, since I was born, I have never for a 
single day been ill. I'm neither mad, nor do I commence 
strifes or quarrels. In health myself, I see others well ; I 
know people, I address them. Is it that they who falsely say 
I'm mad, are mad themselves ? "What shall I do now ? I 
wish to go home ; but my wife doesn't allow me ; and here 
{pointing to Erottum's house) no one admits me. Most 
unfortunately has this Mien out. Here will I still remain ; 
at night, at least, I shall be let into the house, I trust. 
{Stands near his door.) 

Scene IV. — Enter Messenio. 
Mess, {to himself). This is the proof of a good servant, 
who takes care of his master's business, looks after it, arranges 
it, thinks about it, in the absence of his master diligently to 
attend to the affairs of his master, as much so as if he himself 
were present, or even better. It is proper that his back 1 
should be of more consequence than his appetite, his legs 
than his stomach, whose heart is rightly placed. Let him 
bear in mind, those who are good for nothing, what reward 
is given them by their masters — lazy, worthless fellows. 
Stripes, fetters, the mill, weariness, hunger, sharp cold ; these 
are the rewards of idleness. This evil do I terribly stand in 
awe of. Wherefore 'tis sure that to be good is better than 
to be bad. Much more readily do I submit to words, 
stripes I do detest ; and I eat what is ground much more 
readily than supply it ground by myself 2 . Therefore do I 
obey the command of my master, carefully and diligently do 
I observe it ; and in such manner do I pay obedience, as I 
think is for the interest of my back. And that course does 
profit me. Let others be just as they take it to be their 
interest; I shall be just as I ought to be. If I adhere to 
that, I shall avoid faultiness ; so that I am in readiness for my 

1 Jliat his back)— Vex. 970. For the purpose of keeping his back intact from 
the whip, and his feet from the fetters. 

2 Ground by myself) — Ver. 979. He alludes to the custom of sending refractory 
siaves to the "pistrinum," where the corn was ground by a handinill, which en- 
tai ed extreme labour on those grinding. He says that he would rather that 
others should grind the corn for him, than that he should grind it for others. 


master on all occasions, I shall not be much afraid. The time 
is near, when, for these deeds of mine, my master will give his 
reward. After I had deposited the goods and the servants in 
the inn, as he ordered me, thus am I come to meet him. 
( Going to the door o/'Erotittm's home?) Now I'll knock at the 
door, that he may know that I'm here, and that out of this thick 
wood 1 of peril I may get my master safe out of doors. But I'm 
afraid that I'm come too late, after the battle has been fought. 
Scene Y. — Enter the Old Man, with Servants. 

Old Man (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. TJie Servants gather around Men^chmus. 

Men. 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 ? Whi- 
ther 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 ? 

Mess, (running towards them). O ye immortal Gods, I be- 
seech you, what do I behold with my eyes ? Some fellows, 1 
know not who, are most disgracefully carrying off my master 
upon their shoulders. 

Men. Who is it that ventures to bring me aid ? 

Mess. 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. 

Men. Prithee, whoever you are, do lend me your aid, and 
don't suffer so great an outrage to be signally committed 
against me. 

1 This thick wood) — Ver. 988. He compares the house of the Courtesan to a 
forest, or thicket. These latter places, as being frequently the lurking-place* 
of thieves and robbers, would be especially dangerous to travellers. 

366 menjschmi ; Act V 

Mess. 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.) 

Men. (fighting with them). I've got hold of this fellow's eye. 

Mess. Make the socket of his eye be seen in his head. You 
rascals ! you villains ! you robbers ! 

The Seevants {severally). We are undone. Troth, now, 
prithee, do 

Mess. Let him go then. Men. What business have you 
to touch me ? Thump them with your fists. 

Mess. 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.) Eight 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. 

Men. 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. 

Mess. By my troth, then, master, if you do right, you will 
give me my freedom. 

Men. I, give you your freedom? Mess. Doubtless: 
since, master, I have saved you. 

Men. How's this ? Young man, you are mistaken. 

Mess. How, mistaken ? Men. By father Jove, I solemnly 
swear that I am not your master. 

Mess. Will you not hold your peace ? Men. I'm telling 
no lie ; nor did any servant of mine ever do such a thing 
as you have done for me. 

Mess. In that case, then, let me go free, if you deny that 
I am your servant. 

Men. By my faith, so far, indeed, as I'm concerned, be 
free, and go where you like. 

Mess. That is, you order me to do so ? 

Men. I' faith, I do order you, if I have aught of authority 
over you. 

Mess. Save you, my patron. Since you seriously give me 
»ny freedom, I rejoice. 

Men. I' faith, I really do believe you. 


Mess. But, my patron, I do entreat you that you won't 
command me any the less now than when I was your ser- 
vant. 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. 

Men. Bring it carefully. Mess. I'll give it back safe to 
you just as you gave it to me. Do you wait for me here. 

{Exit Messenio. 

Men". "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 it 1 , 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 Ekotium's house.} 

Scene VI. — Enter Men^chmus Sosicles and Messenio. 

Men. Sos. Do you dare affirm, audacious fellow, that I 
have ever met you this day since the time when I ordered 
you to come here to meet me ? 

Mess. Why, I just now rescued you before this house, 
when four men were carrying you off upon their shoulders. 
You invoked the aid of all Gods and men, when I ran 
up and delivered you by main force, fighting, and in spite of 
them. For this reason, because I rescued you, you set me 
at liberty. WTien I said that I was going for the money and 
the luggage, you ran before to meet me as quickly as you 
could, in order that you might deny what you did. 

1 If he does bring it) — Ver. 1044. He contemplates robbing even the man wlm 
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 re narked. 

368 MEN^CHMl J Act V. 

Men. Sos. I, bade you go away a free man ? 

Mess. Certainly. Men. Sos. Why, on the contrary, 'tis 
most ce rtain that I myself would rather become a slave than 
ever give you your freedom. 

Scene VII. — Enter Men^schmtts of Epidaninus, from 
Erotium's house. 

Men. {at the door, to Erotium within). If you are ready 
to swear by your eyes, by my troth, not a bit the more for 
that reason, most vile woman, will you make it that I took 
away the mantle and the bracelet to-day. 

Mess. Immortal Gods, what do I see ? 

Men. Sos. "What do you see ? Mess. Tour resemblance 
in a mirror. 

Men. Sos. What's the matter ? Mess. "lis your image ; 
'tis as like as possible. 

Men. Sos. {catching sight of the other). Troth, it really is 
not unlike, so far as 1 know my own form. 

Men. {to Messenio). O young man, save you, you who 
preserved me, whoever you are. 

Mess. By my troth, young man, prithee, tell me your 
name, unless it's disagreable. 

Men. I' faith, you've not so deserved of me, that it should 
be disagreable for me to tell what you wish. My name is 

Men. Sos. Why, by my troth, so is mine. 

Men. I am a Sicilian, of Syracuse. 

Men. Sos. Troth, the same is my native country. 

Men. What is it that I hear of you ? 

Men. Sos. That which is the fact. 

Mess. {To Men^chmus Sosicles, by mistake). I know 
this person myself {'pointing to the other Men^ichmus) ; he 
is my master, I really am his servant ; but I did think I be- 
longed to this other. {To Menjechmtjs of Epidamnus, by 
mistake.) I took him to be you ; to him, too, did I give 
some trouble. {To his master.) Pray, pardon me if I have 
said aught foolishly or unadvisedly to you. 

Men. Sos. You seem to me to be mad. Don't you re- 
member that together with me you disembarked from board 
ship to-day ? 

Mess. Why, really, you say what's right — you are my 
master ; {to Men^chmus of Epidamnus) do you look out 
for a servant. (To his master.) To you my greetings ; {tJ 


Menaechmus of JEpidamnus) to you, farewell. This, I say, 
is Menaechmus. 

Men. But I say I am. Men. Sos. What story's this? 
Are you Menaechmus ? 

Men. I say that I'm the sou of Moschus, who was my father. 

Men. Sos. Are you the sou of* my father ? 

Men. Aye, I really am, young man, of my own father. I 
don't want to claim your father, nor to take possession of 
him from you. 

Mess. Immortal Gods, what unhoped-for hope do you be- 
stow on me, as I suspect. For unless my mind misleads me, 
these are the two twin-brothers ; for. they mention alike 
their native country and their father. I'll call my master 
aside — Menaechmus. 

Both oe the Men^chmi. What do you want ? 

Mess. I don't want you both. But which of you was 
brought here in the ship with me ? 

Men. Not I. Men. Sos. But 'twas I. 

Mess. You, then, I want. Step this way. {They go aside.) 

Men. Sos. I've stepped aside now. What's the matter r 

Mess. This man is either an impostor, or he is your twin- 
brother. But I never beheld one person more like another 
person. Neither water, believe me, is ever more like to water 
nor milk to milk, than he is to you, and you likewise to him ; 
besides, he speaks of the same native country and father. 'Tis 
better for us to accost him and make further enquiries of him. 

Men. Sos. I' faith, but you've given me good advice, and I 
return you thanks. Troth, now, prithee, do continue to lend 
me your assistance. If you discover that this is my brother, 
be you a free man. 

Mess. I hope I shall. Men. Sos. I too hope that it will 
be so. 

Mess, (to Menjechmtts of Upidanmus). How say you? 
I think you said that you are called Menaechmus ? 

Men. I did so indeed. Mess, ('pointing to his master). His 
name, too, is Menaechmus. You said that you were born at 
Syracuse, in Sicily; he was born there. You said that Moschus 
was your father ; he was his as well. Now both of you can 
be giving help to me and to yourselves at the same time. 

Men. You have deserved that you should beg nothing but 
what you should obtain that which you desire. Free as I am, 
I'll serve you as though you had bought me for money. 

370 MEN^CIIMI Act V. 

Mess. I have a hope that I shall find that you two are 
twin-born brothers, born of one mother and of one father on 
the same day. 

Men. You mention wondrous things. I wish that you 
could effect what you've promised: 

Mess. I can. But attend now, both of you, and tell me 
that which I shall ask. 

Men. Ask as you please, I'll answer you. I'll not con- 
ceal anything that I know. 

Mess. Isn't your name Mensechmus ? Men. I own it. 

Mess. Isn't it yours as well ? Men. Sos. It is. 

Mess. Do you say that Moschus w^as your father ? 

Men. Truly, I do say so. Men. Sos. And mine as v)ell. 

Mess. Are you of Syracuse ? Men. Certainly. 

Mess. And you ? Men. Sos. Why not the same? 

Mess. Hitherto the marks agree perfectly well. Still 
lend me your attention. {To Men^chmus.) Tell me, what 
do you remember at the greatest distance of time in your 
native country ? 

Men. When I went with my father to Tarentum to traffic; 
and afterwards how I strayed away from my father among 
the people, and was carried away thence. 

Men. Sos. Supreme Jupiter, preserve me ! 

Mess, (to MENiECHMUs Sosicles). Why do you exclaim? 
Why don't you hold your peace ? {To Men^chmus.) How 
many years old were you when your father took you from 
your native country ? 

Men. Seven years old; for just then my teeth were 
changing for the first time. And never since then have I 
seen my father. 

Mess. Well, how many sons of you had your father then ? 

Men. As far as I now remember, two. 

Mess. Which of the two was the older — you or the other ? 

Men. Both were just alike in age. 

Mess. How can that be ? Men. We two were twins. 

Men. Sos. The (rods wish to bless me. 

Mess, {to Menjechmus Sosicles). If you interrupt, I shall 
hold my tongue. 

Men. Sos. Rather than that, I'll hold my tongue. 

Mess. Tell me, were you both of the same name ? 

Men. By 70 means ; for my name was what it is now, 
Mensechmus , the other they then used to call Sosicles. 


Men. Sos. {embracing his brother). I recognize the proofs ; 
T cannot refrain from embracing him. My own twin-brother, 
blessings on you ; I am Sosicles. 

Men. How then was the name of Menaechmus afterwards 
given to you ? 

Men. Sos. After word was brought to us that you * 

* * * * and that my father was 
dead, my grandfather changed it ; the name that was yours 
he gave to me. 

Men. I believe that it did so happen as you say. But 
answer me this. 

Men. Sos. Ask it of me. Men. What was the name of 
our mother ? 

Men. Sos. Teuximarcha. Men. That quite agrees. {He 
again embraces him.) welcome, unhoped-for brother, whom 
after many years I now behold. 

Men. Sos. And you, whom with many and anxious labours 
I have ever been seeking up to this time, and whom I re- 
joice at being found. 

Mess, {to his master). It was for this reason that this 
Courtesan called you by his name ; she thought that you 
were he, I suppose, when she invited you to breakfast. 

Men. Why, faith, to-day I ordered a breakfast to be got 
ready here {pointing to Eeotium's house) for me, unknown 
to my wife ; a mantle which a short time since I filched from 
home, to her I gave it. 

Men. Sos. Do you say, brother, that this is the mantle 
which I'm wearing ? 

Men. How did this come to you ? Men. Sos. The Courte- 
san who took me here {pointing to Erotium's house) to 
breakfast, said that I had given it to her. I breakfasted 
very pleasantly ; I drank and entertained myself with my 
mistress ; she gave me the mantle and this golden trinket. 
{Showing the bracelet.) * * * * 

# " ' # # * # 

Men. I' faith, I'm glad if any luck has befallen you on my 
account ; for when she invited you to her house, she supposed 
it to be me. 

Mess. Do you make any objection that I should be free as 
you commanded? 

Men. He asks, brother, what's very fair and very just. 
Do it for mv sake. 


372 MENiECHMI. Act V 

Men. Sos. {touching Messenio's shoulder). Be thou a 
free man. 

Men. I am glad, Messenio, that you are free. 

Mess. Why, better auspices 1 were required that I should 
be free for life. • • »• • 

* # * # 

Men. Sos. Since these matters, brother, have turned out 
to our wishes, let us both return to oar native land. 

Men. Brother, I'll do as you wish. I'll have an auction 
here, and sell whatever I have. In the meantime, brother, 
let's now go in-doors. 

Men. Sos. Be it so. Mess. Do you know what I ask of you? 

Men. What ? Mess. To give me the place of auctioneer. 

Men. It shall be given you. Mess. Would you like the 
auction, then, to be proclaimed at once ? For what day? 

Men. On the seventh day hence. 

Mess, {coming forward, and speaking in a loud voice). An 
auction of the property of Menaechmus will certainly take 
place on the morning of the seventh day hence. His slaves, 
furniture, house, and farms, will be sold. All will go for 
whatever they'll fetch at ready money prices. His wife, too, 
will be sold as well, if any purchaser shall come. I think that 
by the entire sale Mencschmus will hardly get fifty hundred 
thousand 3 sesterces. {To the Spectators.) Now, Spectators, 
fare you well, and give us loud applause 3 . 

1 Belter auspices') — Ver. 1149. He alludes to the pretended manumission which 
lie has already received from Menaechmus of Epidaninus, when he took him to be 
his master 

- Fifty hundred thousand) — Ver. 11G1. The sestertius, before the time of Au- 
gustus, was a silver coin of the value of twopence and one-half of a farthing; 
while after that period, its value was one penny three-farthings and a half. The 
large sum here mentioned, at the former value, amounts to 44,370/. 16s. 8d. He 
says " vix," it will "hardly" amount, by way of a piece of boasting. 

3 Give us loud applause) — Ver. 1162. This Comedy, which is considered to be one 
of the best, if not the very best, of all the plays of Plautus, is thought by some to 
have been derived from one of Menander's, as there are some fragments of a play 
by that Poet, called AiSu/zoi, " the Twins." It is, however, very doubtful if such 
is the fact. It is rendered doubly famous from the fact that Shakspeare borrowed 
the plot of his Comedy of Errors from it, through the medium of the old trans- 
lation of the Play, published in the year 1595, which is in some parts a strict 
translation, though in others only an abridgment of the original work. It is 
thought to have been made by William Warner, who wrote a poem called " Albion's 
England," which lie dedicated to Henry Cary, Lord Hunsdon, who was Lord 
Chamberlain to Queen Ann the wife of James the Firs* 


Bramatis ^3crson.x. 
The Household God, who speaks the Prologue. 

Euclio, an aged Athenian. 

Megadorus, uncle of Lyconides. 

Lyconides, a young Athenian. 

Strobilus. servant of Megadorus and Lyconides 

Pythodicus, servant of Megadorus. 

Anthrax ") 



Eunomia, the sister of Megadorus. 
Piledra, the daughter of Euclio. 
Staphyla, an old woman, servant of Euclio. 

Sser«»— At hens, before the houses of Euclio and Megadorus, and the Tfmpia 
of Faith. 


Luclio, a miserly old Athenian, has a daughter named Phaedra, who has w*9n 
ravished by a young man named Lyconides, but is ignorant from whom she 
has received that injury. Lyconides has an uncle named Megadorus, who, 
being ignorant of tnese circumstances, determines to ask Phaedra of her father, 
in marriage for himself. Euclio has discovered a pot of gold in his house, 
which he watches with the greatest anxiety. In the meantime, Megadorus 
asks his daughter in marriage, and his proposal is accepted ; and while pre- 
parations are making for the nuptials, Euclio conceals his treasure, first in on 
place and then in another. Strobilus, the servant of Lyconides, watches his 
movements, and, having discovered it, carries off the treasure. While Euclio is 
lamenting- his loss, Lyconides accosts him, with the view of confessing the 
outrage he nas committed on his daughter, and of announcing to him that his 
uncle, Megadorus, has cancelled his agreement to marry her, in favour of him- 
self. Euclio at first thinks that he is come to confess the robbery of the treasure. 
After much parleying, his mistake is rectified, and the matter is explained ; on 
which Lyconides forces Strobilus to confess the theft ; and (although the rest 
of the Play in its original form is lost) we learn from the acrostic Argument 
that Strobilus gives up the treasure, and Lyconides marries the daughter of 
Euclio, and receives the gold for a marriage-portion. The Supplement written 
by Codrus Ursens to supply the place of what is lost, has been added. 



A pot (Aulam) that he has found full of gold, Euclio watches with the greatest 
strictness ( Ft), being distracted in a dreadful manner. Lyconide^ (Lyconides) 
debauches his daughter. Megadorus wishes (Tuft) to marry her without a por- 
tion, and to do it in a cheerful way (Lubens), he provides cooks with provi- 
sions. Euclio is afraid on account of the gold (Auro); he drives them out of 
the house ; and the whole matter (.Re) having been seen, the servant of the 
ravisher steals it (Id). He discloses the matter to Euclio; by (Ab) him he is 
presented with the gold, a wife, and a son. 


Spoken by the Household God. 
Lest any one should wonder who I am, I will tell you in a 
few words. I am the household God of this family, from whose 
house you have seen me coming forth. It is now many years 
that I have been occupying this house, and I inhabited it for 
the father and the grandfather of this person who now dwells 
here. But beseeching me, his grandfather entrusted to me a 
treasure of gold, unknown to all. He deposited it in the midst 
of the hearth 2 , praying me that I would watch it for him. He, 
when he died, was of such an avaricious disposition, that he 

1 Aulularia) This word is derived from the old Latin word " aula," the same 
with the more recent form " olla," signifying "a pot," and whose diminutive 
was " aulula," which had the same signification. It will be seen how conspicuous 
a part the " aula" performs in the Play. Warner says, in a Note to his Transla- 
tion, that Moliere took a great part of his Comedy, called L'Avare, from this play 
of Plautus ; and that there are two English Comedies on the same plan, one by 
Shadwell, the other by Fielding, called the Miser. 

2 Midst of the hearth) — Ver. 7. The Lares, or household Gods, were kept in the 
•'lararium," which was a recess near the "focus," or "hearth," and in which 
prayers were offered up by the Romans on rising in the morning. The hearth oi 
fireplace was in the middle of the house, and was sacred to the Lares 

376 AULITLARIA ; Act I. 

would never disclose it to his own son, and preferred rather to 
leave him in want than to show that treasure to that son. He 
left him no large quantity of land, on which to live with great 
laboriousness and in wretchedness. "When he died who had 
entrusted that gold to me, I began to take notice whether Ins 
son would any how pay greater honor to me than his father 
had paid me. But he was in the habit of venerating me still 
less and less by very much, and gave me a still less share of 
devotion. So in return was it done by me ; and he likewise 
ended his life. He left this person who now dwells here, his 
son, of the same disposition as his father and grandfather 
were. He has an only daughter ; she is always eveiy day 
making offerings to me, either with incense, or wine, or some- 
thing or other ; she presents me, too, with chaplets. Out of 
regard for her, I have caused this Euclio to find this treasure, 
in order that he might more readily give her in marriage if he 
should wish ; for a young man of very high rank has ravished 
her ; this young man knows who it is that he has ravished ; 
she knows him not, nor yet does her father know that she has 
been ravished. This day I shall cause the old gentleman here, 
our neighbour, to ask her as his wife; that will I do for this 
reason, that he may the more easily marry her who has ravished 
her. And this old gentleman who shall ask her as his wife, 
the same is the uncle of that young man who debauched her 
in the night time at the festival of Ceres 1 . But this old fel- 
low is now making an uproar in the house, as usual ; he is 
thrusting the old woman out of doors, that she may not be 
privy to the secret. I suppose he wants to look at the gold, 
if it be not stolen. 

Act I. — Scene I. 
Enter Euclio, driving out Staphyla. 
Etjc. Get out, I say, be off, get out ; by my troth, you 

1 Festival of Ceres) — Ver. 36. He probably alludes to the Thesmophoria, a 
festival which was celebrated in honor of the Goddess Ceres, and a large portion 
of the rites whereof were solemnized in the night time. In general it was cele- 
brated only by the married women, though, as we find in the present instance, 
the maidens took some part in a portion of the ceremonial. It was said to have 
been celebrated in the night time in commemoration of the search by Ceres, with 
a torch in her hand, for her daughter Proserpine, when ravished by Pluto. No 
lights were used on the occasion, which will account, in a great measure, for th» 
mishap of Phaedra in the present instance, without her knowing who was the 
party that had insulted her. See an able article on the Thesmophoria in Lr 
liaaith's Dictionary of Antiquities. 


must budge out of this house here, you pryabout woman, 
with your inquisitive eyes. 

Staph. Pray why are you beating me, wretched creature 
that I am ? 

Euc. That you may be wretched, and that, curst as you 
are, you may pass a curst life, well befitting you. 

Staph. But for what reason have you now pushed me out 
of the house ? 

Euc. Am I to be giving you a reason, you whole harvest of 
whips 1 . G-et away there from the door ! There, do look, if 
you please, how she does creep along. But do you know how 
matters stand with you ? If I just now take a stick or a 
whip in my hand, I'll quicken that tortoise pace for you. 

Staph. that the Gods would drive me to hang myself, 
rather indeed than that I should be a slave in your house 
on these terms ! 

Euc. Hark how the hag is grumbling to herself! By my 
troth, you wretch, I'll knock out those eyes of yours, that you 
mayn't be able to watch me, what business I'm about. Get 
out {pushes her with his hands) — further yet ! still further ! 
further ! There now, stand you there ! By my faith, if you 
budge a finger's breadth, or a nail's width from that spot, or 
if you look back until I shall order you, i' faith, I'll give you 
up at once as a trainer for the gibbet. (Aside.) I know for 
sure that I did never see one more accursed than this hag, 
and I'm sadly in fear of her, lest she should be cheating me 
unawares, or be scenting it out where the gold is concealed, a 
most vile wretch, who has eyes in the back of her head as well. 
^'o\v I'll go and see whether the gold is just as I concealed it, 
that so troubles wretched me in very many ways. {He goes 
into his house.) 

Scene II. — Staphyla, alone. 

Staph. By heavens, I cannot now conceive what mis 
fortune, or what insanity, I am to say has befallen my 
master ; in such a way does he often, ten times in one day, 
in this fashion push wretched me out of the house. I' faith, I 
know not what craziness does possess this man ; .whole nights 
is he on the watch ; then, too, all the day long does he sit foT 

1 Harvest of whips) — Ver. 6. " Stimulorum seges." Literally, " you corn-field ot 
whips." He means, that he will make her body as full of weals from whipping 
in a covn-field is of ears of corn. 

378 AULTJLARIA ; Act 1, 

whole days together at home like a lame cobbler 1 . Nor can 
I imagine now by what means to conceal the disgrace of my 
master's daughter, whose lying-in approaches near ; and 
there isn't anything better for me, as I fancy, than to make 
one long capital letter 2 of myself, when I've tied up my neck 
in a halter. 

Scene III. — Enter EucLio,/row his house. 

Euc. (to himself). Now, with my mind at ease, at length 
I go out of my house, after I've seen that everything is safe 
in-doors. Now do you return at once into the house (to 
Staphyla), and keep watch in-doors. 

Staph. Keep watch in-doors upon nothing at all, forsooth'. 
or is it, that no one may carry the house away. For here in 
our house there's nothing else for thieves to gain, so filled is 
it with emptiness 3 and cobwebs. 

Euc. 'Tis a wonder that, for your sake, Jupiter doesn't 
now make me a King Philip, or a Darius 4 , you hag of hags. 
I choose those cobwebs to be watched for me. I am poor, I 
confess it — I put up with it. What the Gods send, I endure. 
Gro in-doors, shut to the door, I shall be there directly. Take 
you care not to let any strange person into the house. 

Staph. What if any person asks for fire ? 

Euc. I wish it to be put out, that there may be no cause 
for any one asking it of you. But if the fire shall be kept 
in, you yourself shall be forthwith extinguished. Then do you 
say that the water has run out 5 , if any one asks for it. 

1 A lame cobbler) — Ver. 34. Of course, lame people would be the most likely to 
take to such a sedentary employment as that of a cobbler. 

2 Long capital letter) — Ver. 38. She means to say, that she shall be forced to 
make a letter I of herself, by hanging herself. In so saying, she not only alludes 
to the straight and perpendicular form of that letter, but to its being especially 
long in the Roman mode of writing. They wrote words with the l etter I thus: 
^dIlts, pIso, IvlIvs, for JEdilis, Piso, and Julius. 

3 Filled is it with emptiness) — Ver. 45. The expression, " full of emptiness," is 
intended as a piece of wit on the part of the old woman. Perhaps Euclio would 
not have the spiders molested, because they were considered to bring good luck. 

4 Philip, or a Darius)— Ver. 47. The names of Philip, King of Macedon, and 
Darius, King of Persia, as powerful and wealthy monarchs, would be likely to be 
well known to the writers of the new Greek Comedy, from whom Plautus 
borrowed most, if not all, of his plays. 

b Has run out) — Ver. 55. It is not improbable that allusion is here made tc tin 
supply of water by pipes from the aaueducts. 


Staph. The knife, the hatchet, the pestle and mortar, 
utensils that neighbours are always asking the loan of 

Euc. Say that thieves have come and carried them oli. 
In fact, in my absence, I wish no one to be admitted into my 
house ; and this, too, do I tell you beforehand, if Good Luck 
should come, don't you admit her. 

Staph. 1' faith, she takes good care, I think, not to be ad- 
mitted ; for though close at hand 1 , she has never come to our 

Euc. Hold your tongue, and go in-doors. 

Staph. I'll hold my tongue, and be off. 

Euc. Shut the door, please, with both bolts. I shall be 
there directly. (Staphyla goes into the house.} I'm lor- 
mented in my mind, because I must go away from my house ! 
I' faith, I go but very unwillingly; but I know full well what 
I'm about ; for the person that is our master of our ward 2 has 
given notice that he will distribute a didrachm of silver to each 
man ; if I relinquish that, and don't ask for it, at once I fancy 
that all will be suspecting that I've got gold at home ; for it 
isn't very likely that a poor man would despise ever such a 
trifle, so as not to ask for his piece of money. For as it is, 
while I am carefully concealing it from all, lest they should 
know, all seem to know it, and all salute me more civilly than 
they formerly used to salute me ; they come up to me, they 
stop, they shake hands 3 ; they ask me how I am, what I'm 

1 Close at hand) — Ver. 63. She seems to allude to the fact of the temple of 
Bona Fortuna, or Good Luck, being in the vicinity of Euclio's house. 

2 Master of our ward) — Ver. 68. The " curiae" at Rome were sub-divisions of 
the tribes originally made by Romulus, who divided the Ramnes, Titienses, and 
Luceres into thirty "curiae." Each "curia" had its place for meeting and 
worship, which was also called " curia ;" and was presided over by the " Curio," 
who is here called the " Magister curias," or " master of the ward." At first the 
Patricians and Equites had the sole influence in the " curiae," and alone electee 
the " Curiones ;" but after the year A.u.c. 544, the " Curio" was elected from the 
Patricians, after which period the political importance of the " curiae" gradually 
declined, until they became mere bodies meeting for the performance of religious 
observances. Plautus probably alludes, in the present instance, to a dole, or dis- 
tribution of money, made by the Greek Trittuarch among the poorer brethren of 
ins TpiTTVs, or " tribus ;" as in adapting a Greek play to the taste of a Roman 
audience, he very often mingles the customs of the one country with those of the 

3 They shake hands)— Ver. 77. " Copulantur dextras." Literally, " they ccuple 
right hands." 

380 ATTLULABIA ; Act 11, 

doing, what business I'm about. Now I'll go there whither 
I had set out 1 ; afterwards, I'll betake myself back again 
home as fast as ever I can. 

Act II. — Scene I. 

Enter Eunomia and MEGADORTTSjyrow their house. 

Eun. I could wish you, brother, to think that I utter these 
words by reason of my own regard and your welfare, as is be- 
fitting your own sister to do. Although I'm not unaware that 
we women are accounted troublesome ; for we are all of us 
deservedly considered very talkative, and, in fact, they say 
at the present day that not a single woman has been found 
dumb 2 in any age. Still, brother, do you consider this one 
circumstance, that I am your nearest relation, and you in like 
manner are mine. How proper it is that I should counsel and 
advise you, and you me, as to what we may judge for the in- 
terest of each of us ; and for it not to be kept concealed or 
kept silence upon through apprehension, but rather that I 
should make you my confidant, and you me in like manner. 
Eor that reason,- now, have I brought you here apart out of 
doors, that I might here discourse with you upon your private 

Meg. Best of women, give me your hand. {Takes her hand) 

Eun. (looking about). Where is she? Who, pray, is this 
best of women ? 

Meg. Yourself. Eun. Do you say so ? 

Meg. If you say no, I say no. 

Euk. Indeed, it's right that the truth should be spoken; 
for the best of women can nowhere be found ; one is onlf) 
worse than another, brother. 

Meg. I think the same, and I'm determined never to con- 
tradict you on that point, sister. What do you wish ? 

Eun. Grive me your attention, I beg of you. 

Meg. "lis at your service ; use and command me, please, 
if you wish for aught. 

1 Whither I had set out)— Vex. 79. " Nunc quo profectus sumito." This is 
rendered, in Cotter's Translation, " now I will go where I am profited!" 

- Has been found dumb) — Ver. 86. Not seeing the sarcasm intended against the 
female sex in this passage, Lambinus seriously takes the trouble to contradict 
Eunomia; his words are, " I myself, who am at present in my fifty-sixth year 
liEve seen no less than two dumb women." 


Eux. A thing that I consider very greatly for your advan- 
tage I'm come to recommend you. 

Meg-. Sister, you are doing after your usual manner. 

Etin. I wish it were done. Meg. "What is it, sister ? 

Eitn. That you may enjoy 1 everlasting blessings in being 
the father of children. 

Meg. May the Gods so grant it. 

Etjn. I wish you to bring home a wife. 

Meg. Ha ! I'm undone. Eun. How so ? 

Meg. Because, sister, your words are knocking out the 
brains of unfortunate me; you are speaking stones 2 . 

Euisr. Well, well, do this that your sister requests you. 

Meg. If she requests me, I will do it. 

Eun. Tis for your own interest. Meg. Yes, for me to 
die before I marry. Let her who comes here to-morrow, be 
carried out 3 of the house the day after, sister ; on that con- 
dition, give me her whom you wish to give ; get ready the 

Eun. I am able, brother, to provide you with a wife with a 
very large marriage-portion. But she's somewhat aged ; she's 
of the middle-age of woman. If you request me, brother, to 
ask her for you, I'll ask her. 

Meg. "Would you like me to ask you a question ? 

Eitn". Yes, if you like, ask it. 

Meg. Suppose any old man, past mid-age, brings home a 
middle-aged wife, if by chance he should have a child by this 
old woman, do you doubt at all but that the name of that 
child is Posthumus 4 , all prepared ? Now, sister, I'll remove 
and lessen this labour for you. I, by the merits of the Gods 

1 That you may enjoy) — Ver. 105. "Quod tibi sempiternum salutare sit." 
This was a formula frequently introduced in announcing intelligence, or in making 
a proposition, and was considered to be significant of a good omen. 

2 You are speaking stones) — Ver. 110. So Shakspeare says, in Hamlet, Act III., 
sc. 7, " I will speak daggers to her, but use none." Aristophanes says, in one 
of his plays, " You have spoken roses to me." 

3 Be carried out) — Ver. 113. " Feratur," "may be carried out to burial." 
" Fero" and " effero" have that especial signification. The body was carried out 
to burial on a bier, which resembled a bed or couch. 

4 Is Posthumus) — Ver. 121. Children, who were born after their father's decease, 
were called "posthumi," a term which is still retained. By speaking of 9.n old 
woman, " anus," as the mother, he seems also to allude to the chiuce of the child 
losing its mother as well, at the moment of its birtb 

882 ATJLTJLAllIA ; Act II 

mid of my forefathers, am rich enough ; these high families, 
naughty pride 3 , bountiful portions, acclamations, imperious- 
ness, vehicles inlaid with ivory, superb mantles and purple, 
I can't abide, things that by their extravagance reduce men 
to slavery. 

Eun. Tell me, pray, who is she whom you would like to 
take for a wife ? 

Meg. I'll tell you. Do you know that Euclio, the poor 
old man close by ? 

Eun. I knoAv him ; not a bad sort of man, i' faith. 

Meg. I'd like his maiden daughter to be promised me 
in marriage. Don't make any words 2 about it, sister; I know 
what yon are going to say ; that she's poor. This poor girl 
pleases me. 

Eun. May the Gods prosper it. Meg. I hope the same. 

Eun. What do you want me now for ? Do you wish for 
anything ? 

Meg. Farewell. Eun. And you the same, brother. {Goes 
into the house.} 

Meg. I'll go meet Euclio, if he's at home. But, see ! the 
very person is betaking himself home, whence, I know not. 

Scene II. — Enter Euclio. 

Eire, (to himself). My mind had a presentiment that I was 
going to no purpose when I left my house ; and therefore I 
went unwillingly ; for neither did any one of the wardsmen 
come, nor yet the master of the ward, who ought to have dis- 
tributed the money. Now I'm making all haste to hasten 
home ; for I myself am here, my mind's at home. 

Meg. (accosting him). May yon be well, and ever for- 
tunate, Euclio ! 

Eire. May the Gods biess you, Megadorus ! 

Meg. How are you ? Are you quite well, and as you wish ? 

Euc. (aside). It isn't for nothing when a rich man accosts 

1 Haughty pride)— Ver. 124. He means to say, that these evils are attendant 
upon marrying a woman with a large dowry. 

2 Don't make any words) — Ver. 130. Ben Jonson has imitated this passage ill 
his Silent Woman, Act I., sc. 5 : 

I know what thou wouldst say: 

She's poor, and her friends deceased. 

She has brought a wealthy dowry in her silence. 


a poor man courteously ; now this fellow knows that I've 
got some gold ; for that reason he salutes me more cour- 

Me'g. Do you say that you are well ? 

Euc. Troth, I'm not very well in the money line. 

Meg. I' faith, if you've a contented mind, you have enouga 
to passing a good life with. 

Euc. (aside). By my faith, the old woman has made a dis- 
covery to him about the gold ; 'tis clear it's all out. I'll 
cut off her tongue, and tear out her eyes, when I get home. 

Meg. Why are you talking to yourself? 

Euc. I'm lamenting my poverty ; I've a grown-up girl 
without a portion, and one that can't be disposed of in 
marriage ; nor have I the ability to marry her to anybody. 

Meg. Hold your peace ; be of good courage, Euclio : she 
shall be given in marriage ; you shall be assisted by myself. 
Say, if you have need of aught : command me. 

Euc. (aside). Now is he aiming at my property, while he's 
making promises ; he's gaping for my gold, that he may de- 
vour it ; in the one hand he is carrying a stone 1 , while he 
shows the bread in the other. I trust no person, who, rich 
himself, is exceedingly courteous to a poor man; when he 
extends his hand with a kind air, then is he loading you 
with some damage. I know these polypi 2 , who, when they've 
touched a thing, hold it fast. 

1 Carrying a stone) — Ver. 152. " To ask for bread, and to receive a stone," 
was a proverbial expression with the ancients. Erasmus says that it was ap- 
plied to those who pretended to be friendly to a person, and at the same 
time were doing him mischief; and that it was borrowed from persons enticing a 
dog with a piece of bread, and, when it had come sufficiently near, pelting it 
with a stone. The expression is used in the New Testament. " If a son shall 
ask bread of any of you that is a father, will he give him a stone ?" St. Luke, c. xi., 
v. 11. The bread, as we learn from specimens found at Pompeii, was often made 
into cakes, which somewhat resembled large stones. 

2 These polypi) — Ver. 155. Ovid says in his Halieuticon, or Treatise on Fishes : 
" But, on the other hand, the. sluggish polypus sticks to the rocks with its body 
provided with feelers, and by this stratagem it escapes the nets ; and, according to 
the nature of the spot, it assumes and changes its colour, always resembling that 
place which it has lighted upon ; and when it has greedily seized the prey hanging 
from the fishing-line, it likewise deceives the angler on his raising the rod, when, 
on emerging into the air, it loosens its feelers, and spits forth the he ok that it ha? 
despoif ed of the bait." 


Meg. Give me your attention, Euclio, for a little time : 1 
wish to address you in a few words, about a common concern 
of yours and mine. 

Euc. (aside). Alas ! woe is me ! my gold has been grabbed 
from in-doors : now he's wishing for this thing, I'm sure, 
to come to a compromise with me ; but I'll go look in my 
house. (He goes towards his door.) 

Meg. Where are you going? Euc. I'll return to you 
directly, for there's something I must go and see to at home. 
(He goes into his house.) 

Meg. By my troth, I do believe that when I make men- 
tion of his daughter, for him to promise her to me, he'll 
suppose that he's being laughed at by me; nor is there 
out of the whole class of paupers one more beggarly than 
he. (Euclio returns from his house.) 

Euc. (aside). The Gods do favour me; my property's all 
safe. If nothing's lost, it's safe. I was very dreadfully 
afraid, before I went in-doors ! I was almost dead ! (Aloud.) 
I'm come back to you, Megadorus, if you wish to say any- 
thing to trie. 

Meg. I return you thanks ; I beg that as to what I shall 
enquire of you, you'll not hesitate to speak out boldly. 

Euc. So long, indeed, as you enquire nothing that I mayn't 
choose to speak out upon. 

Meg. Tell me, of what sort of family do you consider me 
to be sprung ? 

Euc. Of a good one. Meg. What think you as to my 
character ? 

Euc. 'Tis a good one. Meg. What of my conduct ? 

Euc. Neither bad nor dishonest. Meg. Do you know 
my years ? 

Euc. 1 know that they are plentiful, just like your 

Meg. I' faith, for sure I really did always take you to 
be a citizen without any evil guile, and now I think you 

. Euc. (aside). He smells the gold. (Aloud.) What do 
you want with me now ? 

Meg. Since you know me, and I know you, what sort of 
person you are — a thing, that may it bring a blessing on my- 


self, and you and your daughter, I ask your daughter as my 
wife. Promise me that it shall be so. 

Euc. Heyday ! Megadorus, you are doing a deed that's 
not becoming to your usual actions, in laughing at me, a poor 
man, and guiltless towards yourself and towards your family 
For neither in act, nor in words, have I ever deserved it ol 
you, that you should do what you are now doing. 

Meg. By my troth, I neither am come to laugh at you, 
nor am I laughing at you, nor do I think you deserving 
of it. 

Euc. Why then do vou ask for my daughter for your 

Meg. That through me it may be better for you, and 
through you and yours for me. 

Euc. This suggests itself to my mind, Megadorus, that you 
are a wealthy man, a man of rank ; that I likewise am a person, 
the poorest of the poor ; now, if I should give my daughter in 
marriage to you, it suggests itself to my mind that you are the 
ox, and that I am the ass; when I'm yoked to you, and when 
I'm not able to bear the burden equally with yourself, I, the 
ass, must lie down in the mire ; you, the ox, would regard me 
no more than if I had never been born; and I should both find 
you unjust, and my own class would laugh at me ; in neither 
direction should I have a fixed stall, if there should be any 
separation 1 ; the asses would tear me with their teeth, the 
oxen would butt at me with their horns. This is the great 
hazard, in my passing over from the asses to the oxen. 

Meg. The nearer you can unite yourself in alliance with 
the virtuous, so much the better. Do you receive this pro- 
posal, listen to me, and promise her to me. 

Euc. But indeed there is no marriage-portion. 

Meg. You are to give none ; so long as she comes with 
good principles, she is sufficiently portioned. 

Euc. I say so for this reason, that you mayn't be sup- 
posing that I have found any treasures. 

1 Be any separation)— Ver. 190. " Si quid divortii fuat." By the use of the 
word " divortium," he means either an estrangement of himse.f from Megadorus, 
or a separation or divorce of the latter from his intended wife, which of course 
would lead to the same consequences. The facilities for divorce among the'Komar* 
have be>n remarked upon hi a previous Note. 

380 AULULARIA ; Act II. 

Meg. I know that ; don't enlarge upon it. Promise her 
to me. 

Euc. So be it. (Starts and looks about.) But, Jupi- 
ter, am I not utterly undone ? 

Meg. What's the matter with you ? 

Euc. What was it sounded just now as though it were iron ? 

Meg. Here at my place, I ordered them to dig up the 
garden. (Eucno runs off into Ms house.) But where is this 
man ? He's off, and he hasn't fully answered me ; he treats 
me with contempt. Because he sees that I wish for his friend- 
ship, he acts after the mauner of mankind. Eor if a wealthy 
person goes to ask a favour of a poorer one, the poor man is 
afraid to treat with him ; through his apprehension he hurts 
his own interest. The same person, when this opportunity is 
lost, too late, then wishes for it. 

Euc. {coming out of the house, addressing Staphyl4 
within) . By the powers, if I don't give you up to have your 
tongue cut out by the roots, I order and I authorize you 
to hand me over to any one you please to be incapacitated. 

Meg. By my troth, Euclio, I perceive that you consider 
me a fit man for you to make sport of in my old age, for no 
deserts of my own. 

Euc. I' faith, Megadorus, I am not doing so, nor, should I 
desire it, had I the means 1 . 

Meg. How now ? Do you then betroth your daughter to 
me ? 

Euc. On those terms, and with that portion which I men 
tioned to you. 

. Meg. Do you promise her then ? Euc. I do promise 

Meg. May the Gods bestow their blessings, on it. 

Euc. May the Gods so do. Take you care of this, and 
remember that we've agreed, that my daughter is not to 
bring you any portion. 

1 Had I the means) — Ver. 210. " Neque, si cupiam, copia est." In saying this, 
Kuclio intends to play upon the words of Megadorus, " ludos facias," which may 
either signify " you make sport of me," or " you give a public show" or " spec- 
tacle," which the wealthy Patricians of Rome were in the habit of doing. Euclio 
pretends to take his words in the latter sense, and replies, " I couldn't even if I 
would," by reason of his poverty, as he pretends. It was usual for the iEdiles to 
provide the spectacles from their private resources, from winch circumstance one 
who lived a life of extravagance was said " ^Edilitatem petere," " to be aspiring 
to the &dileship." 


Meg. I remember it. Euc. But I understand in what 
fashion you, of your class, are wont to equivocate ; an agree* 
ment is no agreement, no agreement is an agreement, just 
as it pleases you. 

Meg. I'll have no misunderstanding with you. But what 
reason is there why we shouldn't have the nuptials this 
day ? 

Ere. "Why, by my troth, there is very good reason for them, 
' Meg. I'll go, then, and prepare matters. Do you want 
me in any way ? 

Euc. That shall be done. Tare you well. 

Meg. {going to the door of his house and calling out). 
Hallo ! Strobilus, follow me quickly, in all haste, to the flesh- 
market. {Exit Megadorus. 

Euc. He has gone hence. Immortal Gods, I do beseech 
you ! How powerful is gold ! I do believe, now, that he has 
had some intimation that I've got a treasure at home ; he's 
gaping for that ; for the sake of that has he persisted in this 

Scene III. — Euclio, alone. 

Euc. {going to the door of his house, he opens it, and calls 
to Staphtla within). "Where are you who have now been 
blabbing to all my neighbours that I'm going to give a por- 
tion to my daughter ? Hallo ! Staphyla, I'm calling you ! 
Don't you hear ? Make haste in-doors there, and wash the 
vessels clean. I've promised my daughter in marriage ; to- 
day I shall give her to be married to Megadorus here. 

Enter Staphtla, from the house. 

Staph, {as she enters). May the G-ods bestow their bless- 
ings on it ! But, i' faith, it cannot be ; 'tis too sudden. 

Euc. Hold your tongue, and be off. Take care that things 
are ready when I return home from the Forum, and shut the 
house up. I shall be here directly. {Exit. 

Staph. "What now am I to do ? Now is ruin near at hand 
for us, both for myself and my master's daughter ; for her 
disgrace and her delivery are upon the very point of becoming 
known ; that which even until now has been concealed and 
kept secret, cannot be so now. I'll go in-doors, that what my 

388 atjlularia; Act III. 

master ordered may be done when he comes. But, by my 
faith, I do fear that 1 shall have to drink of a mixture of 
bitterness 1 ! {Exit. 

Act III. — Scene I. 

Enter Strobiltjs, Anthrax, and Congrio, with Music- 
Girls, and Persons carrying provisions. 

Stro. After my master had bought the provisions, and 
hired the cooks 2 and these music-girls in the market-place, he 
ordered me to divide these provisions into two parts. 

Con. By my troth, but you really shan't be dividing me 8 , 1 
tell you plainly. If you wish me to go anywhere whole, I'll 
do my best. 

Anth. A very pretty and modest fellow, indeed 4 . As if, 
when you are a conger by name, you wouldn't like to be cut 
into pieces. 

Con. But, Anthrax, I said that in another sense, and not 
in the one which you are pretending. 

Stro. Now my master's going to be married to-day. 

Anth. Whose daughter is he to marry ? Stro. The 
daughter of this Euclio, his near neighbour here. For that 
reason he has ordered half of these provisions here to be pre- 
sented to him — one cook, and one music-girl likewise. 

Anth. That is, you take one half to him, the other half 
home ? 

1 A mixture of bitterness) — Ver. 235. Hildyard suggests that Staphyla is fond 
cf a drop, and likes her liquors neat (" merum "), wherefore it is a double misfor- 
tune to her, not only to endure misfortunes, but those of a " mixed" nature. 
" Mixtum" was the term applied to the wine, when mixed with its due proportion 
of water for drinking. 

- Hired the cooks) — Ver. 236. Allusion has been made, in the Notes to the 
Pseudolus, to the custom of hiring cooks in the markets on any special occasion. 
These were frequently slaves ; and in such case, the greater portion of their 
earnings would go into the pockets of their masters. From the remark made . 
Ui 1. 265, we find that Congrio and Anthrax are slaves. 

3 You really shan't be dividing me) — Ver. 239. He alludes to his own name, 
" Congrio," " a conger eel," which was cut up before it was cooked ; and he means 
to say, that spite of his name, he will not stand being divided by Strobilus. 

4 Modest fellow, indeed) — Ver. 241. Anthrax gives a very indelicate turn to 
the remark of Congrio; and the liberty has been taken of giving a more harm- 
less form to the gross witticism of Anthrax. It may be here remarked, that he 
takes his name from the Greek word, signifying " a coal," a commodity, of 
course, much in request with cooks. 


Stro. Tis just as you say. A nth. How's that ? Couldn't 
tins old fellow provide from his own resources for the wedding 
of his daughter. 

Stro. Pshaw! Anth. What's the matter ? 

Stro. What's the matter, do you ask ? A pumice stone 
isn't so dry as is this old fellow. 

Anth. Do you really say that it is as you affirm ? 

Stro. Do be judge yourself. Why, he's for ever crying 
out for aid from Grods and men, that his property has gone, 
and that he is ruined root and branch, if the smoke by chance 
escapes out of doors through the rafters of his house. Why, 
when he goes to sleep, he ties a bag 1 beneath his gullet. 

Anth. Why so ? Stro. That when he sleeps, he may lose 
no breath. 

Anth. And does he stop up the lower part of his wind- 
pipe 2 as well, lest, perchance, he should lose any breath as he 
sleeps ? 

Stro. In that 'tis as fair that you should credit me, as it is 
for me to credit you. 

Anth. Why really, I do believe you. 

Stro. But, further, do you know how it is ? I' faith, he 
grieves to throw away the water when he washes. 

Anth. Do you think a great talent 3 might be begged of 
this old fellow for him to give us, through which we might be- 
come free ? 

Stro. By my troth, if you were to ask it, he would never 
let you have the loan of hunger. Why, the other day, the 
barber had cut his nails 4 ; he collected all the parings, and 
carried them off. 

1 He ties a bag) — Ver. 257. He probably intends to hint here that Euclio sleeps 
with his purse (which consisted of a " follis," or " leathern bag ") tied round his 
throat, but implies that he not only wishes thereby to save his money, but his 
breath as well, by having the mouth of the bag so near to his own. Although 
Thornton thinks that the suggestion of Lambinus that " follem obstringit" means, 
u he ties up the nozzle of the bellows," is forced and far-fetched, it is far from im- 
probable that that is the meaning of the passage. It may possibly mean that he 
ties the bellows to his throat. 

2 Part of his windpipe) — Ver. 260. An indelicate remark is here made, which 
has been obviated in the translation. 

3 A great talent) — Ver. 264. As the ancients weighed silver on paying a talent, 
the word " talentum" denoted both a sum of money and a weight. The great 
talent here mentioned, was the Attic talent of sixty minae, or six thousand 

* Had cut his nails) — Ver 267. From this passage we learn that barbefa were 

390 aululajua; Ate III. 

Anth. I' faith, you do describe a miserably stingy wretch. 

Cox. But do you think that he does live so very stingily 
'ind wretchedly ? 

Steo. A kite, the other day, carried off his morsel of food ; 
the fellow went crying to the Prsetor 1 ; there, weeping and 
lamenting, he began to request that he might be allowed to 
compel the kite to give bail. There are innumerable other 
tilings that I could mention, if I had the leisure. But which 
of you two is the sharper ? Tell me. 

Con. I — as being much the better one. Stro. A cook I. 
ask for, not a thief 2 . 

Con. As a cook, I mean. Steo. (to Anthrax). "What do 
you say ? 

Anth. I'm just as you see me. 

in the habit of paring the nails of their customers ; in the Epistles of Horace, 
B. 1, Ep. 7, 1. 50, we are informed that idlers pared their nails in the barber's 
&liops of Rome. 

1 To the Prcetor) — Ver. 272. The " Praetor " was a magistrate at Rome, who 
administered justice, and ranked next to the Consuls. There were eight Praetors 
in the time of Cicero. Two of them were employed in adjudicating " in causis 
privatis," " disputes concerning private property." One of these was called 
'• Prastor urbanus," or "the city Praator," who administered justice when the parties 
were " cives," or possessed the lights of Roman citizenship. The other was called 
" Praetor peregrinus," or " the foreigners' Praetor," who administered justice when 
both the litigating parties, or only one of them, were " peregrini," or " foreigners," 
and had not the right of Roman citizenship. The other six Praetors had juris- 
diction in criminal cases, such as murder, adultery, and violence. The Praetors 
committed the examination of causes to subordinate judges, who were called 
"judices selecti," and they published the sentences of the judges so appointed by 
them. The Praetors wore the " toga praetexta," or " magisterial robe," sat on the 
" sella curulis," and were preceded by six lictors. Their duties lasted for a year, 
after which they went as governors to such provinces as had no army, which were 
assigned to them by lot. There they administered justice in the same way as 
they had done as Praetors at Rome, and were called by the name of " Propraetores ;" 
though, as such governors, they were also sometimes called " Praetores." The 
office of Praetor was first instituted at Rome A.U.C. 388, partly because the Consuls, 
on account of the many wars in which the Romans were engaged, could no longer 
administer justice ; partly that the Patricians might thereby have a compensation 
for admitting the Plebeians to a share in the Consulate. At first there was only 
one Praetor ; Sylla made their number six ; Julius Caesar eight ; and Augustus 
increased them to sixteen. It will not escape observation, that Plautus, as usual, 
mentions a Roman officer in a Play, the scene of which is supposed tc be 

2 Not a thief) — Ver. 277. Because " celer," " sharp" or " nimble," v/ouij 
especially apply to the requisite qi. >lifications for an expert thief. 


Con. He's a nine-day cook 1 ; every ninth day he's in the 
habit of going out to cook. 

Anth. You, you three-lettered fellow 2 ; do you abuse me, 
you thief ? 

Con. To be sure I do, you trebly-distilled thief of thieves 3 . 

Stro. Now do you hold your tongue for the present, 
and, that lamb, whichever is the fatter of the two 

Con. Very well 4 . Stro. Do you, Congrio, take that, and 
go in-doors there (pointing to Euclio's house) ; and (to a 
Music-Grisii and some of the People with provisions) do you 
follow him ; the rest of you this way, to our house. 

Con. By my troth, you've made an unfair division ; they've 
got the fattest lamb. 

Stro. But the fattest music-girl shall be given you then. 
Do you, therefore, go along with him, Phrygia 5 . And do 
you, Eleusium, step in-doors here, to our house. 

1 A nine-day cook) — Ver. 279. Congrio probably means to say that Anthrax is a 
cook who only gets employment on the " Nundinal," when the influx of country- 
people into the city called the services of even the worst cooks into requisition, 
and the eaters were not of the most fastidious description. The " Nundina/' (so 
called from " nonae," " ninth," and " dies," " day") returned every eighth day, 
according to our mode of reckoning ; but according to the Romans, who, in count- 
ing, reckoned both extreme* every ninth day, whence the name. On this day the 
country-people came into the city to sell their wares, make their purchases, hear 
the new laws read, and learn the news. By the Hortensian law, the " Nundina>," 
which before were only " feria±," or "holidays," were made " fasti," or "court- 
days," that the country-people then in town might have their lawsuits deter- 
mined. Lipsius thinks that reference is here made to the feast called " noven- 
diale," which was sometimes given to the poorer classes on the ninth day after the 
funeral of a person of affluence. Probably, the cooking of these banquets was not 
of the highest order; but the former seems the more probable explanation of ths 

2 Three-lettered fellow) — Ver. 280. " Trium literarum homo ;" literally, " man 
of three letters"— "F U R," "thief." 

3 Thief of 'thieves)— -Ver. 281. " Fur trifurcifer." Strictly speaking, the latter 
word signifies " thief three times over.' 

4 Very well) — Ver. 283. Congrio answers " licet," by way of assent to Stro- 
bilus, thinking that he is asking him to take the fattest lamb, on which Stro- 
bilus gives him the leanest one. Hildyard suggests that Congrio fancies that 
Strobilus is asking which is the fattest cook, and not the fattest lamb, and ac- 
cordingly says, " Very well," thereby admitting that he is the fattest of the two. 
If there is any such wit intended in the passage, it is very recondite. 

5 Phrygia) — Ver. 287. " Phrygia" was an appropriate girl for a " tibicina," 
music-girl," or female player on the flute, as that instrument was originally 

introduced from Phrygia, or Lydia, which adjoined it. Eleusium would ptobabll 


Con. O you crafty Strobilus, have you pushed me off here 
upon this most miserly old fellow, where if I ask for anything, 
I may ask even to hoarseness before anything's found me ? 

Stko. 'Tis very foolish, and 'tis thanklessly done, to do a 
Bervice to you, when what you do goes for nothing. 

Con. But how so? Steo. 1)o you ask? In the first 
place then, there will be no confusion for you there in the 
house ; if you want anything to use, bring it from your own 
home, don't lose your trouble in asking for it. But here, 
at our house, there's great confusion, and a large establish- 
ment — furniture, gold, garments, silver vessels. If any- 
thing's lost here (as I know that you can easily 1 keep 
hands off — if nothing's in your way), they may say, " The 
cooks have stolen it ; seize them, bind them/ beat them, 
thrust them in the dungeon" 2 . Nothing of that sort will 
happen to you, inasmuch as there will be nothing for you ta 
steal. Follow me this way. 

Con. I follow. 

Steo. (knocking at the door of Euclio's house). Ho, there ! 
Staphyla, come out and open the door. 

Staph, (from within). Who calls there? Steo. Strobilus. 
Scene II. — Enter Staphyla. 

Staph. "What do you want ? Steo. Eor you to take in 
these cooks, and this music-girl, and these provisions for tr^e 
wedding. Megadorus bade me take these things to Euclio. 

Staph. Are you about to make this wedding, Strobilus, in 
honor of Ceres 3 ? 

derive her name from Eleusis in Attica, where the mysteries of Ceres were cele- 
brated. Players on the " tibise" were much in request on festive occasions, espe- 
cially at weddings, as in the present instance. The " tibicinae" were probably 
hired in the rriarket-place, the same way as the cooks. 

1 You can easily)— Ver. 299. " Facile," " easily," seems a preferable reading to 
" facere." If the latter reading is adopted, there are three consecutive verbs in the 
infinitive mood, which, even in the (occasionally) uncouth language of Plautus, 
sounds very uneuphoniously, " Facere abstinere posse." 

2 In the dungeon) — Ver. 301. " Puteus" here signifies the black hole or dun- 
geon underground (called also " ergastulum"), where the refractory slaves were 
put in confinement. 

3 In Honor of Ceres) — Ver. 309. The old woman probably alludes to the 
Thesmophoria, where abstinence from wine was especially practised, and which 
were celebrated in a state of fasting and purification. Her question here tends tJ 
confirm the suspicion that she was more fond of the " merum" than the " mixtum," 
reference to which has already been made. 


Stro. Why ? Staph. Because I don't see any wine brought. 

Stro. "Why, that will be brought just now, when he him sell 
comes back from the market. 

Staph. There's. no firewood here in our house. 

Con. There are the beams. Staph. I' faith, there are. 

Cow. There is wood, then ; don't you be seeking it out of 

Staph. What, you unpurified /eZZW, although your busi- 
ness is with the fire, for the sake of a dinner, or of your own 
hire, do you request us to set our house on fire ? 

Con. I don't ask you. Stro. Take them in-doors. 

Staph. Follow me. {They follow hen 'in-doors, and Stro- 
bilus goes with the others into the house o/'Megadorus.) 

Scene III. — Enter PxTHODicus,/row the house of 
Ptth. Mind you your business ; I'll step in and see what 
the cooks are doing, to observe whom, i' faith, to-day it is a 
most laborious task. Unless I manage this one thing, for them 
to cook the dinner down in the dungeon 2 ; thence, when cooked, 
we might bring it up again in small baskets. But if they 
should eat below 3 whatever they should cook,those above would 
go without their dinner, and those below have dined: But 
here am I chattering, as though I had no business, when there's 
such a pack of thieves in the house. ( Goes into the house.) 

Scene IV. — Enter Etjclio, with some chaplets of flowers in 
his hand. 
Ere. I wished at length to screw up my courage to-day, 
so as to enjoy myself at the wedding of my daughter. I 
come to the market, I enquire about fish ; they tell me that 
it is dear, that lamb is dear, beef is dear, veal, large fish 4 , 

1 You unpurified fellow)— Ver. 313. "Impurate." ' You that are unpurified, 
in spite of your everlastingly stewing over the fire." She alludes, figuratively, tc 
the process of smelting and purifying metals by the action of fire. 

2 In the dungeon)— Ver. 319 . By the use of the word " puteus" he may possibly 
mean the black hole or dungeon alluded to in 1. 301, whence there was no 
means of egress but by being drawn up. He means to say that such a place will be 
the only one for preventing the cooks from thieving whatever comes in their way. 
The thievish propensities of the hired cooks are also referred to in the Pseudolus. 

* Should eat below)— Ver. 321. He reflects that if they are put in the " puteus" 
to prevent their thieving, they may possibly revenge themselves by eating up the 
victuals as fast as they cook it. 

* Large jish)— Ver. 329. " Cetus" or " cete" Droperly signifies fish of th* 

394 aulflaria ; Act IIL 

and pork, all of them are dear. And for this reason were they 
still dearer ; I hadn't the money. I came away thence in 
a rage, since I had nothing wherewithal to make a purchase ; 
and thus did I baulk 1 all those rascals. Then I began to 
think with myself upon the road, " If you are guilty of any 
extravagance on a festive day, you may be wanting on a 
common day, unless you are saving." After I disclosed this 
reasoning to my heart and appetite, my mind came over to 
my opinion, that I ought to give my daughter in marriage at 
as little expense as possible. Now I've bought a bit of 
frankincense, and these chaplets of flowers ; these shall be 
placed upon the hearth for our household God, that he may 
grant a propitious marriage to my daughter. But what 

do I ? Do I behold my house 'open? There's a noise, 

too, within ; is it that I'm robbed, wretch that I am ? 

C<m (speaking within the house). Seek of the neighbours a 
bigger pot 2 if you can; this one's too little, it can't hold it. 

Euc. Woe to me ! By my faith, I'm a dead man ; the gold's 
being carried oif — my pot's being looked for. I am certainly 
murdered, unless I make haste to run with all haste in- 
doors here ! Apollo, prithee do assist and help me, whom 
thou hast already, before this, helped in such circumstances. 
Pierce with thine arrows the plunderers of my treasures. But 
am I delaying to run, before I perish outright. (He runs 
into his house.) 

Scene V. — Enter Anthrax, from the house of MegadoRtts. 

Anth. (speaking to some within) . Dromo, do you scale the 
fish. Do you, Machserio, have the conger and the lamprey 
boned. I'm going to ask the loan of a baking-pan of 

•whale or dolphin kind ; it perhaps means here simply the larger and coarser fish 
in use among the Romans, like plaice or codfish with us. He probably would no 4, 
ask the price of " pisciculi," or " small fish," as their dearoess would terrify him 
out of his wits. 

1 Did I baulk)— Ver. 332. " Manum adire" probably signified " to kiss the 
hand" to a person when expecting something more than that, and thereby " to make ■ 
a fool of him." He asked the prices of all the commodities, and probably chaffered 
about them, then kissed his hand to the dealers, and left the market without pur- i 
chasing. Some think it alludes to a feint or baulk made in wrestling. 

2 A bigger pot) — Ver. 344. Congrio is bawling out within doors for a bigger , 
' aula," " pot" or "jar," to be brought for his cooking, on which the old huncki 

thinks that some thieves have discovered his own dear " aula." 


our neighbour Congrio, Tou, if you are wise, will have that 
capon more smoothly picked for me than is a plucked play- 
actor 1 . But what's this clamour that's arising here hard 
by ? By my faith, the cooks, I do believe, are at their usual 
pranks 3 . I'll run iu-doors, lest there may be any disturbance 
here for me as well. (Retreats into the house of Megadoeus.) 

Scene VI. — Enter Congeio, in haste, from the house of 

Con. (roaring out). Beloved fellow-citizens, fellow-country- 
men, inhabitants, neighbours, and all strangers, do make way" 
for me to escape ! Make all the streets clear ! Never have 1 
at any time, until this day, come to Bacchants 3 , in a Baccha- 
nalian den, to cook ; so sadly have they mauled wretched me 
and my scullions with their sticks. I'm aching all over, and 
am utterly done for ; that old fellow has so made a bruising 
school 4 of me ; and in such a fashion has he turned us all out 
of the house, myself and them, laden with sticks. Nowhere, 
in all the world, have I ever seen wood dealt out more plen- 
tifully. Alackaday! by my faith, to my misery, I'm done 
for ; the Bacchanalian den is opening, here he comes. He's 
following us. I know the thing I'll glo: that the master 
himself 5 has taught me. 

Scene VII. — Enter 'Etjcjao, from his house, driving the 

Cooks and the Music-G-iel before him. 
Euc. (calling out, while Congeio and the others are run- 

1 A plucked play-actor)— Ver. 356. The actors, having to perform the parts of 
women and beardless youths, were obliged to remove superfluous hair from the 
face, which was effected " vellendo," " by plucking it out," whence the term 
" volsus." 

2 At their usual pranks) — Ver. 358. " Faciunt officium suum." Literally, 
"are doing their duty." He says this ironically; on hearing the row going on in 
Euclio's house, he supposes that the cooks are up to their old tricks of thieving 
and wrangling. 

3 To Bacchants) — Ver. 362. The Bacchants, or frantic female worshippers of 
Bacchus, with their rites, have been alluded to in a Note at the commencement of 
the Bacchides. 

4 A bruising school) — Ver. 364. Literally, " a Gymnasium." The Gymnasium 
was the place where vigorous exercise was taken ; so Congrio means to say that 
Euclio has been taking exercise in basting his back. 

5 The master himself) — Ver. 368. By " magister" he probably means Euclio, 
whom he styles the master of the Gymnasium, whose duty it was to train the 
pupils in the various exercises. He says that his master has taught him a trick, 
namely, how to defend himself, which in the next Scene he threatens to do. 


ning off). Come back! Where are you running to, now? 
Hold you ! 

Cox. Why are you crying out, you stupid ? 

Euc. Because this instant I shall give your name to the 
Triumvirs 1 . 

Con. Why ? Ere. Because you've got a knife. 

Con. 'Tis the proper thing for a cook. Euc. "Why did 
you threaten me ? 

Con. I think that it was badly managed, that I didn't 
pierce your side tvith it. 

Euc. There's not a person that's living this day a greater 
rascal than you, nor one to whom designedly I would with 
greater pleasure cause a mischief. 

Con. I' faith, though 2 you should hold your noise, really 
that's quite clear ; the thing itself is its own witness. As 
it is, I'm made softer by far with your sticks than any ballet- 
dancer. But what right have you to touch us, you beggar- 
man? What's the matter ? 

Euc. Do you even ask me ? Is it that I've done less than 

I ought to have done ? Only let me (Is going to 

strike him.) 

Con. Now, by my faith-, at your great peril, if this head 
should feel it ! 

Euc. Troth, I don't know what may happen 3 hereafter ; 
your head feels it just now! But what business, pray, had 
you in my house, in my absence, unless I had ordered you ? 
I want to know that. 

1 To the Triumvirs) — Ver. 369. " Trisviros." Though the scene is in Greece 
he refers to the " Triumviri capitales,'' who were Roman magistrates. They took 
cognizance of capital crimes, and they apprehended criminals. In conjunction 
with the iEdiles, they had to preserve the public peace, to prevent unlawful as- 
semblies, and to enforce the payment of fines due to the state. They had also 
the care of the public prisons, and to them was entrusted the punishment of cri- 
minals. They had authority to inflict summary punishment upon the slaves and 
the lower orders, though, probably, not upon those who enjoyed the rights of 
Roman citizens. 

2 T faith, though) — Ver. 375. In Hildyard's edition this and the next line are 
given to Euclio ; but they seem much more likely to belong to Congrio, as we do 
not find that any person has beat Euclio with sticks, whereas Congrio has already 
complained of the rough usage he has experienced. 

3 Wh(J may happen) — Ver. 380. Euclio is laughing at his " ifs," which com- 
mence the saving-clause of all cowards. He does not care what Congrio will do, 
tot he knows that he has already made his head to feel it. 


Con. Hold your noise, then ; because we came to cool? 
for the wedding. 

Eire. "Why the plague do you trouble yourself whether I 
eat meat raw or cooked, unless you are my tutor 1 . 

Con. I want to know if you will allow or not allow us to 
cook the dinner here ? 

Euc. I, too, want to know whether my property will be ' 
safe in my house. 

Con. I only wish to carry the things away safe that I 
brought here ! I don't care for yours ; should I be coveting 
your things ? 

Euc. I understand ; don't teach me ; I know. 

Con. What is it, on account of which you now hinder us 
from cooking the dinner here ? What have we done ? What 
have we said to you otherwise than you could wish ? 

Euc. Do you even ask me, you rascally fellow ? You who've 
been making a thoroughfare of every corner of my house, and 
the places under lock and key ? If you had stopped by the 
fireside, where it was your business, you wouldn't have had 
your head broken. It has been done for you deservedly' 
Therefore that you may now know my determination ; if you 
come nearer to the door here, unless I order you, I'll make 
you to be the most wretched of creatures. Do you now know 
my determination ? {He goes into his house.) 

Con. Where are you going ? Come you back again ! So 
may Laverna 3 love me well, I'll expose you at once with loud 
abuse here before the house, if you don't order my utensils tc 
be restored to me ! What shall I do now ? Verily, by my 
faith, I came here with unlucky auspices ; I was hired for a 
didrachm 3 ; I stand in more need now of a surgeon than of 

1 You ire my tutor)— Ver. 384. One of the duties of the " paedagogus," or 
" tutor of boys," would be to see that they did not eat unwholesome food. 

2 So may Laveima)—Ver. 399. Laverna was a Goddess worshipped by the 
thievish fraternity at Rome, as their tutelar Divinity. Horace makes mention of 
her in his Epistles, B. 1, Ep. 16. 

3 For a didrachni) — Ver. 402. " Nummo." It has been remarked, in the Notes 
to the Pseudolus, that a "nummus," or didrachm, of nearly twenty-pence of our 
money, was the wages of a good cook for a lay's employment. See the Pseudolus 
... 800—810. 


Scene VIII. — Enter Euclio, from. his house, with the pot of 
money under his cloak. 

Euc. {to himself as he enters). This, by my faith, wherever 
I shall go, really shall be with me, and with myself will I 
carry it, nor will I ever again entrust it to that place, for it to 
be in such great peril. (Speaking to Congrio and his Scul- 
lions.) Now, then, go you all of you in the house, cooks and 
music-girls ; introduce even, if you like, a whole company of 
hirelings 1 ; cook, bustle, and hurry now at once just as much 
as you please. 

Con. O dear, I'm a ruined man. Euc. Be off! your labour 
was hired here, not your talk. 

Con. Harkye, old gentleman, for the beating, by my faith, 
I shall demand of you a recompense. I was hired a while ago 
to cook, and not to be basted. 

Euc. Proceed against me at law ! Don't be troublesome ! 
Either cook the dinner, or away with you from the house to 
downright perdition! 

Con. Go there yourself then. (Congeio and the Cookb 
and Music-Girl go back into the house.) 

Scene IX. — Euclio, alone. 

Euc. He's gone. Immortal Gods ! A poor man, who begins 
to have dealings or business with an opulent one, commences 
upon a rash undertaking ! Thus, for instance, Megadorus 
who has pretended that, for the sake of honoring me, he seiids 
these cooks hither, is plaguing unfortunate me in every way ; 
for this reason has he sent them, that they might purloin 
this (putting his hand on the pot) from unfortunate me. Just 
as I might expect, even my dunghill-cock in-doors, that was 
bought with the old woman's savings 2 , had well nigh been the 
ruin of me ; where this was buried, he began to scratch there 
all round about with his claws. What need of more words ? 
So exasperated were my feelings, I took a stick, and knocked 

1 Company of hirelings) — Ver. 406. " Venalium'' may mean either "slaves" or 
"hirelings;" it does not much signify which, as the cooks, in this instance at 
least, were both. Having secured his money, Euclio does not care if a whole 
gang of thieves is admitted into his house, as there is nothing for them to steal. 

2 With the old tooman's savings) — Ver. 420. " Ani peculiaris." Bought out oi 
the " peculium," or " savings," of the old woman. 


off the head of the cock — a thief caught in the act. I' faith, 
I do believe that the cooks had promised a reward to the cock, 
if he should discover it ; I took the opportunity 1 out of their 
hands, however. What need of many words ? I had a regu- 
lar battle 3 with the dunghill-cock. But see, my neighbour 
Megadorus is coming from the Forum. I can't, then, venture 
to pass by him, but I must stop and speak to him. {He 
retires close to his door.) 

Scene X. — Enter Megadorus, at a distance. 
Meg. {to himself). I've communicated to many friends my 
design about this proposal; they speak in high terms of the 
daughter of Euclio. They say that it was discreetly done, and 
with great prudence. But, in my opinion, indeed, if the other 
richer men were to do the same, so as to take home as their 
wives, without dower, the daughters of the poorer persons, 
both the state would become much more united, and we should 
meet with less ill feeling than we now meet with ; both, they, 
the wives, would stand in fear of punishment more than they 
do stand in fear of it, and we husbands should be at less 
expense than we now are. In the greater part of the people 
this is a most just way of thinking ; in the smaller portion 
there is an objection among the avaricious, whose avaricious 
minds and insatiate dispositions there is neither law nor ma- 
gistrate to be able to put a check upon. But a person may 
say this ; " How are these rich women with portions to marry, 
if this law is laid down for the poor?" Let them marry 
whom they please, so long as the dowry isn't their companion. 
If this were so done, the women would acquire for themselves 
better manners for them to bring, in place of dowry, than they 
now bring. I'd make mules, which exceed horses in price, 
to become cheaper than Gallic geldings 3 . 

1 Took the opportunity') — Ver. 425. " Eximere ex manu manubrium," literally 
means, " to take the handle out of the hand," and its figurative application is 
derived from the act of taking a sword out of the hand of a person who is about 
to use it. 

2 A regular battle) — Ver. 426. Hildyard suggests that, in these words, there 
is probably a reference to some current saying or proverb. If such is the case, 
the saying so referred to has not come down to us. 

3 Than Gallic geldings) — Ver. 449. Mules were much coveted by the haughtj 
aames of Rome for the purpose of drawing their carriages. He says that if he 
nad his way, such extravagance should not be encouraged, and mules should not 
oe a bit more valuable than humble Gallic geldings. 


Euc. {aside). So may the Gods favour mo, I listen to him 
with delight ; very shrewdly has he discoursed on the side 
of economy. 

Meg. (to himself) . No wife should then be saying: "In- 
deed, I brought you a marriage-portion far greater than was 
your own wealth ; why, it really is fair that purple and gold 
should be found for me, maid-servants, mules, muleteers, and 
lacqueys 1 , pages to carry 3 compliments, vehicles in which I 
may be carried." 

Euc. (aside). How thoroughly he does understand the 
doings of the wives ! I wish he were made Prefect of the 
manners of the women. 

Meg. (to himself). Now, gowhereyouwill,youmayseemore 
carriages 3 among the houses than in the country whenyou go to 
a farm-house. But this is even light, in comparison with wher. 
they ask for their allowance ; there stands the scourer 4 , the 
embroiderer, the goldsmith, the woollen-manufacturer, retail 
dealers in figured skirts 5 , dealers in women's under-clothing 6 , 

1 And lacqueys) — Ver. 455. " Pedissequos." The " pedissequi" were a particular 
class of slaves whose duty it was to follow their master when he went out of doors. 
They were of the lowest rank in the slave family. 

2 Pages to carry) — Ver. 456. The " salutigeruti pueri" were hoys whose busi- 
ness it was to run on errands, and carry messages and compliments from one house 
to another. Hildyard. suggests the rather refined, translation of " boys to carry 

3 More carriages) — Ver. 459. " Plaustra" generally mean " carts" or " wag- 
gons," and perhaps, from his reference to the country, may have that signification 
here ; though he has just been speaking of the luxury of the ladies, with their 
" vehicla," or " carriages.'" 

4 The scourer) — Ver. 462. The "fullo" was a washer and cleaner of linen and 
woollen clothing with fuller's earth. As woollen dresses were chiefly worn by the 
Komans, they would, by reason of the perspiration produced by so hot a climate, 
require frequent purification. As the ancients, probably, were not acquainted 
with the use of ordinary washing soap, various alkalis were used in its place for 
the purpose of cleansing garments. It is not known whether the fuller's earth of 
the Romans resembled that used at the present day. 

5 Dealers in figured skirts) — Ver. 463. " Patagiarii." These were persons who 
sold the " patagium," which was a broad band or hem on the tunics of the women, 
answering to the " clavus," or " broad stripe," on the clothes of the men. It may 
possibly have been the same as the " instita," or broad f J ounce, which distinguished 
the Roman matrons of reputable character. 

6 Dealers in women's under-clothing) — Ver. 463. ' Indusiarii," " makers" or 
" sellers" of the " indusium," which is by some thought to have been the upper 
tunic worn by the Roman women ; while others suppose the under tunic, wu'D 
next the skin, to have been so called, from ; ' intus," " innermost." 


dyers in flame-colour, dyers in violet, dyers in wax-colour 1 , or 
else sieeve-makers 2 , or perfumers 3 ; wholesale linendrapers, 
shoemakers, squatting cobblers, slipper-makers ; sanda*- 
makers stand there ; stainers in mallow colour stand there ; 
hairdressers 4 make their demands, botchers their demands ; 
boddice-makers 5 stand there ; makers of kirtles 6 take their 
stand. Now you would think them got rid of; these make 
way, others make their demands; three hundred duns 7 

1 Dyers in wax-colour) — Ver. 464. " Carinarii." Ovid, in the Art of Love, 
B. 3, 1. 184, has the line, " Sua velleribus nomina cera dedit." "The wax has 
given its own name to the wool." The yellow colour resembling that of wax was 
much esteemed by the Romans. 

2 Sleeve-makers)— Ver. 465. " Manulearii," " makers of the manulea." This 
was a long sleeve fitted on to the tunics of the Roman ladies, and was probably 
made to take on and off, for the purpose of keeping the arms and hands warm. 

3 Perfumers)— Ver. 465. " Murobrecharii." One reading here is " murroba- 
thrarii," " persons who give an agreable smell to women's shoes, by scenting 
them with myrrh." " Murobrecharii," whioh is adopted above, means " perfumers," 
or " persons who scented the clothes," from the Greek fxvpbv, " ointment," and 
/SofYoo, " to moisten." Myrrh or nard was much used for this purpose. The 
unguents or ointments used by the ancients were very numerous. Among those 
used for the skin or the hair were " mendesium," " megalesium," " meto- 
pium," " amaracinum," " Cyprinum," " susinum," "nardinum," "spicatum," 
"jasminum," "rosaceum," and crocus oil, which last was considered the most 
costly. Powders were also used as perfumes ; they were called " diapasmata." 
The Greeks used expensive perfumes from early times, and both Greeks and 
Romans were in the habit of carrying them about in small boxes of elegant work- 
manship. In the luxurious city of Capua, there was one great street, called 
the " Seplasia," which consisted entirely of shops in which ointments and per- 
fumes were sold. 

* Hairdressers) — Ver. 469. " Ciniflones." The " ciniflones" were those per- 
sons whose duty it was to heat the " calamistrum," or "curling-iron," in wood- 
ashes (cinis), from which they took their name. In the time of Cicero, the youths 
of Rome generally had their hair curled, whence they were termed "calamis- 

5 Boddice-makers) — Ver. 471. " Strophiarii." These were makers of the band 
or stomacher which was worn by the women, to correct excessive protuberance of 
the breast and stomach. 

6 Makers of kirtles) — Ver. 470 " Semizonarii." These were makers or sellers 
of " semicinctia," which were little " aprons" or " kirtles" extending half way 
down the body. 

7 Three hundred duns) — Ver. 472. " Phylacistse," from the Greek (bvhaKioTrjs, 
" a keeper of a prison." He calls " duns" or importunate creditors by this 
name, from their keeping as close a watch on the front of a debtor's bouse as 
if they were gaolers. 

2 D 


are standing in your hall ; wearers, lace-makers 1 , cabinet- 
makers 3 , are introduced ; the money's paid them. You 
would think them got rid of by this ; when dyers in saffron- 
colours come sneaking along ; or else there's always some 
horrid plague or other which is demanding something. 

Euc. (aside). I would accost him, if I didn't fear that lie 
would cease to descant upon the ways of women ; for the 
present I'll leave him as he is. 

Meg. When the money has been paid to all the nicknack- 
mongers, for these saffron-coloured garments and stomachers, 
your wife's expenses, then at the last comes the tax-gatherer 3 
and asks for money. You go, your account is being made up 
with your banker 4 ; the tax-gatherer waits, half-starved, and 
thinks the money will be paid. When the account has been 
made up with the banker, even already is the husband himself 
in debt to the banker, and the hopes of the tax-gatherer are 
postponed to another day. These, and many others, are the 
inconveniences and intolerable expenses of great portions ; 
but she who is without portion is in the power of her hus- 
band ; the portioned ones overwhelm their husbands with 
loss and ruin. But see ; here's my connexion by marriage 
before the house ! How do you do, Euclio ? 

Euc. With very great pleasure have I listened to your 

Meg. Did you hear me? Euc. Everything from the 
very beginning. 

Meg. (eyeing him from head to foot). Still, in my way of 
thinking indeed, you would be acting a little more becomingly 
if you were more tidy at the wedding of your daughter. 

Euc. Those who have display according to their circum- 

1 Lace-makers) — Ver. 473. " Limbuarii." The makers of " limbus," " lace" or 
" fringes" for women's dresses. 

2 Cabinet-makers) — Ver. 473. " Arcularii," makers of u arculas," " caskets" or 
" cabinets" for jewels and nicknacks. 

3 The tax-gatherer)— Ver. 481. "Miles." Literally, "the soldier." This is 
explained as meaning that the soldier comes to receive the military tribute levied 
by the Tribunes, which was called " ass militare." The word may, however, 
possibly mean simply the officer of the magistrate by whom the tribute was levied, 
as " miles" has sometimes, though very rarely, that signification. 

* With your banker) — Ver. 482. The "argentarii" acted as bankers of deposit 
Epon whom the depositors drew checks as with us. 


stances and splendour according to their means 1 , remember 
themselves, from whence they are sprung ; neither by myself, 
Megadorus, nor by any poor man, are better circumstances 
enjoyed than appearances warrant. 

Meg. Surely they are ; and may the Gods, I hope, make 
them so to be, and more and more may they prosper that 
which you now possess. 

Eire, (aside). That expression don't please me, " which you 
now possess." He knows that I've got this, as well as I do 
myself: the old woman has discovered it to him. 

Meg. "Why do you separate yourself thus alone, apart 
from the Senate 2 ? 

Euc. Troth, I was considering whether I should accuse 
you deservedly. 

Meg. "What's the matter ? Euc. Do you ask me what's 
the matter ? You who have filled every corner in my house, 
for wretched me, with thieves ? You who have introduced 
into my dwelling five hundred cooks, with six hands a-piece, 
of the race of Greryon 3 , whom were Argus to watch, who was 
eyes all over, that Juno once set as a spy upon Jupiter, he 
never could watch them ; a music-girl besides, who could 
alone drink up for me the Corinthian fountain of Pirene 4 , if 
it were flowing with wine ? And then as to provisions 

Meg. Troth, there's enough for a procurer 5 even. I sent 
as much as a lamb. 

1 According to their means) — Ver. 496. Shakspeare expresses the same idea in 
Hamlet, Act II., Sc. 3: 

Costly tliy habit as thy purse can buy, 
But not expressed in fancy. 

2 Apart from the Senate) — Ver. 504. As the Senate consults about the com- 
mon interests, so are they discussing their common sentiments. Megadorus there- 
fore, on hearing him talking to himself, asks him why he is withdrawing himself 
from the discussions of the Senate. 

3 Of the race of Geryon) — Ver. 509. Geryon was a King of Spain, slain by He was fabled to have had three heads and three bodies, consequently 
six hands. 

4 Fountain of Pirene) — Ver. 514. Pirene, the daughter of Acheloiis, on Con- 
chreas her son by Neptune being slain by Diana, pined away, and was changed 
into a fountain, which was in the Arx Corinthiacus, or Citadel of Corinth, and 
retained her name. 

5 For a procurer) — Ver. 515. Who might be presumed to have a voracious and 
Ungovernable appetite, and probably a large household to satisfy. Some editions, 
however, have "legioni," which would almost appear to be a preferable reading: 

almost enot igh for a whole legion." 



Euc. Than which lamb, I, indeed, know right well that 
there is nowhere a more curious 1 beast existing. 

Meg. I wish to know of you why is this iamb curious ? 

Euc. Because it's all skin and bone, so lean is it with 
care ; why, even when alive, by the light of the sun you 
may look at its entrails ; it's iust as transparent as a Punic 
lantern 2 . 

Meg. I bought it to be killed. 

Euc. Then it's best that you likewise should bargain for 3 
it to be carried out for burial; for I believe it's dead by this 

Meg. Euclio, I wish this day to have a drinking with you. 

Euc. By my troth, I really must not drink. 

Meg. But I'll order one cask of old wme to be brought 
from my house. 

Euc. I' faith, I won't have it ; for I've determined to 
drink water. 

Meg. I'll have you well drenched this day, if I live, you 
who have determined to drink water. 

Euc. (aside). I know what plan he's upon; he's aiming 
at this method, to overcome me with wine, and after that, to 
change the settlement 4 of what I possess : I'll take care of 

1 A more curious) — Ver. 517. " Magis curiosam." It is suggested in Schmie- 
der's Notes to Plautus, that Euclio intends to call the lamb " inquisitive" or 
" curious," " curiosam," because he had found it, when he entered his house 
to drive out Congrio and his scullions, scraping and smelling about in every 
direction, as in a strange place it was natural for it to do, but which the old man 
thought to he done in quest of his treasure. On this, Megadorus, who has not 
heard, or else has misunderstood, the last syllable for " nem," instead of " sam," 
asks him what sort of a lamb a "curio" (the nominative of " curionem") lamb is; 
on which Euclio catches him up, and says he calls a " curio" lamb such a one as 
he has sent him, all skin and bone, and lean with " cura," " care." " Curionem" 
is by many preferred as the reading in the 517th line to " curiosam," and perhaps 
it is the best. Be it as it may, the wit seems far-fetched; and not improbably 
the word " curio" may have had some meaning which is now lost, other than its 
usual signification of the master or head of a " curia," or " ward." 

2 A Pvnic lantern) — Ver. 521. The horn exported from Carthage, for the pur- 
pose of making lanterns, was more pellucid than any other. 

3 Should bar gain for) — Ver. 523. " Loces." " Should hire" the " conductores, 
or " libitinarii," who contracted to perform funerals. He seems to hint that the 
lamb is so meagre that it is not worth eating. If that is not his meaning, the wit 
intended to be conveyed by the passage is imperceptible. 

* Change the settlement) — Ver. 531. " Commutet coloniam." Literally "ma' 
♦hange its colony." 


that, for I'll hide it somewhere out of doors. I'll make 
him lose his wine and his trouble together. 

Meg. Unless you want me for anything, I'm going to 
bathe, that I may sacrifice. {He goes into his house.) 

Euc. By my faith, you pot (taking it from under his 
cloak), you surely have many enemies, and that gold as well 
which is entrusted to you ! Now this is the best thing to be 
done by me, to take you away, my pot, to the Temple of Faith 1 , 
where I'll hide you carefully. Faith, thou dost know me, and 
I thee ; please, do have a care not to change thy name against 
me, if I entrust this to thee. Faith, I'll come to thee, relying 
on thy fidelity. {He goes into the Temple of Faith.) 

Act IV. — Scene I. 

Enter Strobilus 2 . 

Stro. This is the duty of a good servant, to do what I'm 
intending, not to consider the commands of his master a 
bore or trouble to him. For that servant who resolves to 
serve his master with hearty goodwill, him it behoves to 
act expeditiously for his master, slowly for himself ; but if he 
sleeps, let him so sleep as to bethink himself that he is a 
servant. But he who lives in servitude to one in love, as I 
am serving, if he sees love overcoming his master, this I 
think to be the duty of the servant ; to restrain him for his 
safety, not to impel him onwards towards his own inclina- 

1 Temple of Faith) — Ver. 538. "Fides," " Faith," was a Goddess worshipped 
by the Romans. Probably, in the present instance, her Temple was represented 
at one side of the stage, and the door just beyond the side-scene. 

2 Strobilus) It is a curious fact that all of the editions make this to be a dif- 
ferent person from the Strobilus, the servant of Megadorus, whom we have already 
•"en hiring Congrio, Anthrax, and the " tibicinae." In the " dramatis personam" 

tiey style this one, Strobilus, " the servant of Lyconides," and the other Strobilus. 
m some instances, as " the servant of Megadorus," and in others (evidently by mis- 
take) as " the servant of Euclio." On examination we .shall find there is no ground 
for tills. Eunomia (most probably a widow) is living, together with her son Lyco- 
nides, in the house of her brother Megadorus. This is clear from what Lyconides 
says in 1. 684, where, speaking of the house of his uncle, he calls it " ledes nostras," 
"our house," which he would not have said had he not been residing there. By 
the indulgence of his uncle, who has no children, we may presume that Strobilus 
has been permitted to consider him as " his young master." After hiring the cooks, 
he has communicated the bad news to Lyconides, who tells him to keep a good 
look-out, and inform him of any chance that may possibly happen for breaking off 
the marriage. 


tion. Just as a float of bulrushes is placed beneath boys 
who are learning to swim, by means of which they may 
labour less, so as to swim more easily and move their 
hands ; in the same way do I consider that it is proper for 
the servant to be a buoy to his master thus in love, so as to 
bear him up lest he should go to the bottom ; and so 
* * * should he learn the will of 

his master, that his eyes should know what his mouth 
chooses not to speak. What he orders, he should hasten to 
perform more swiftly than the swift steeds. He who shall 
have a care for these things, will escape the castigation of the 
ox's hide, nor by his own means will he ever bring the fetters 
to brightness. Now, my master's in love with the daugh- 
ter of this poor man, Euclio ; word has just now been brought 
to my master that she is given to Megadorus here : he has 
sent me here to spy out, that he may be made acquainted 
with the things that are going on. Now, without any sus- 
picion, I'll sit here by the sacred altar 1 . From this spot I 
shall be able, in this direction and that, to witness what 
they are about. (He sits by the altar, and on seeing Euclio, 
hides behind it.) 

Scene II. — Enter Euclio, from the Temple. 
Euc. O Goddess Faith, do thou but take care not to dis- 
cover to any person that my gold is there. I have no fear 
that any one will find it, so well is it concealed in its hiding- 
place. By my troth, he will surely have a charming booty 
there, if any one shall meet with that pot loaded with gold. 
But I entreat thee, Faith, to hinder that. Now I shall go 
wash me, that I may perform the sacrifice ; so that I may not 
delay my new connexion by marriage, but that, when he sends 
to me, he may forthwith take my daughter home. Over 
and over again now, Goddess Faith, do thou take care that I 
shall carry away the pot safe from thy Temple. To thy 
fidelity 2 have I entrusted the gold ; in thy grove and Temple 
is it placed. (Goes into his house.) 

1 By the sacred altar) — Ver. 560. The Athenians often raised altars to Apollo 
or B icchus at their doors. The Romans also had altars in their public streets. 
On the stage of Comedy there was generally an altar erected in honor of Apollo, 
%-pr,(TTa.Tr)pi6s, " that presides." 

- To thy fidelity)— Ver. 569 " Tuse fidei." He plays upon the word " fides," 
and flatters himself that his treasure cannot be more secure than when entrusted 
u to the faith of Faith." 


Stro. {coming from behind the altar) . Immortal Gods, what 
a deed did I hear this person speaking of, how that he 
had hidden here, in the Temple of Faith, a pot filled with 
gold ; prithee, beware you, how you are more faithful to him 
than to myself! And he, as I fancy, is the father of her whom 
my master's in love with. I'll go hence into it ; I'll tho- 
roughly ransack the Temple, to see if I can anywhere find the 
gold, while he's engaged. But if I do find it, O Goddess Faith, 
I'll offer to thee a gallon jug 1 full of honeyed wine, that I'll 
surely offer to thee ; but I'll drink it up myself, when I have 
offered it. (Betreats behind the altar.) 

Scene III. — Enter ~Exj cmo, from his house. 

Euc. (to himself). It wasn't for nothing that the raven was 
just now croaking on my left hand 2 ; he was both scratching 
the ground with his feet and croaking with his voice. At once 
my heart began to jump about 3 , and to leap within my 
breast. But why do I delay to run ? {He discovers Stro- 
bile's, and drags him from behind the altar.) Out, out, you 
earthworm 4 , who have this instant crept out of the earth ; 
who just now were nowhere seen, and now that you are seen 
shall die/or it. By my faith, you juggler, I'll receive you now 
after a disagreable fashion. {Begins to shake and beat him.) 

Stro. What the curst plague does ail you ? What busi- 
ness have you with me, old fellow ? Why do you torment 
me ? Why are you dragging me ? For what reason are you 
beating me ? 

1 A gallon jug) — Ver. 576. " Congialem." Literally, " holding a congius.' 
This contained about nine pints of English measure. By the use of the word 
" fidelia," " a jug," he plays on its resemblance to the name of " Fides." 

2 On my left hand) — Ver. 578. We cannot fail to remember here the exactly 
similar expression of Gay, in the fable of the Farmer's Wife and the Raven: 

That raven on yon left-hand oak 
(Curse on his ill-betiding croak !) 
Bodes me no good. 

3 Began to jump about) — Ver. 580. " Ars ludicra" here means "the art of a 
1 ludius,' or stage-player," who moves to and fro and gesticulates — hence " cor 
ccepit artem facere ludicram" would strictly mean " my heart begins to move 
to and fro like a play-actor." 

4 Earthworm) — Ver. 582. He thinks, that in the short space of time during 
which he has been absent in the Temple, he can only have sprung out of the earth, 
as he had not seen him a few minutes before; and taking him to be a sort of 

' prsestigiator," or "juggler," he fancies that he has followed him into the 
Temple, and purloined the treasure. 

4-08 AULULAEIA ; Act IV. 

Euc. You out-and-out whipping-post, do you even ask 
that, you, not thief, but thrice-dotted thief. 

Steo. What have I stolen from you ? 

Ere. Give me that back here, if you please. 

Steo. What do you want me to give you back ? 

Euc. Do you ask me that? Steo. As forme, I've taken 
nothing away from you. 

Euc. But give up that which you have taken away for 
yourself. Are you going to do so ? 

Steo Do what? Euc. Tou can't carry it off. 

Steo. What do you want ? Euc. Lay it down. 

Steo. Troth, for my part, I think that you are in the 
habit 1 of quizzing, old gentleman. 

Euc. Put that down, please ; cease your quibbling ; I'm 
not trifling now. 

Steo. What am I to put down ? Why don't you men- 
tion it, whatever it is, by its own name ? By my faith, I 
really have neither taken nor touched anything. 

Euc. Show me your hands, here. Steo. Well, I do show 
them ; see, here they are. (Holding out his hands?) 

Euc. I see them. Come, show me the third 3 , as well. 

Steo. {aside). Sprites, and frenzy, and madness, possess 
this old fellow. Are you doing me an injustice, or not ? 

Euc. A very great one, I confess, inasmuch as you are 

1 In the habit) — Ver. 591. The real meaning of the author in this line is so 
indelicate, that it requires another turn to be given to the passage. 

- Show me the third)— Yer. 595. This passage has been considered as extrava- 
gant ; but it really does not appear inconsistent with the ridiculous conduct of 
the wretched Euclio throughout. Thornton supposes that the following passage 
in the old play of Albumazar, Act III., Sc. 8 (where Trinculo questions Ronca 
about the purse, which the latter has stolen from him), is an imitation of thir, 
passage : 

Trin. Show me your hand. 

Ron. Here 'tis. 

Trin. But where's the other? 
Ron. Why, here. 

Trin. But I mean, where's your other hand ? 
Ron. Think you me the giant with an hundred hands? 
Trin. Give me your right. 

Ron. My right? 

Trin. Your left. 

Ron. My left? 
Trin. Now both. 

Ron. There's both, my dr -xr Antonio. 


not strung ap ; and that too shall be done this moment, un- 
less you do confess. 

Stro. What am I to confess to you ? Euc. What it was 
you took away hence. 

Stro. May the Gods confound me, if I've taken away 
anything of yours, (aside) and if I don't wish I had taken 
it away. 

Euc. Come then, shake out your cloak. 

Stro. At your pleasure. (Shakes it.) 

Euc. Tou haven't it among your under-clothing ? 

Stro. Search where you please. Euc. Pshaw ! how civilly 
the rascal speaks, that I mayn't suppose he has taken it 
away ! I know your tricks. Come, show me here again that 
right hand. 

Stro. Here it is. (Extending it.) Euc. Now show me 
your left. 

Stro. Well, then, I show you both, in fact. (Extending 

Euc. Now I leave off searching. Give back that here. 

Stro. Give back what ? Euc. Are you trifling with me ? 
You certainly have got it. 

Stro. I, got it? Got what? Euc. I shan't say; you 
want to hear. Whatever you have of mine, give it back. 

Stro. Tou are mad ; you've searched me all over at your 
own pleasure, and yet you've found nothing of yours in my 

Euc. (starting). Stop, stop; who was that? Who was 
the other 1 that was within here, together with yourself? 
Troth, I'm undone ; he's now rummaging about within. If 
I let this one go, he'll escape. At last, I've now searched 
this one all over ; he has got nothing. Be off where you 
please ; Jupiter and the Gods confound you ! 

Stro. He returns his thanks not amiss 2 . 

Euc. I'll go in here now, and I'll at once throttle this 
accomplice of yours. Will you not fly hence from my sight ? 
Will you away from here, or no ? 

1 Who tvas the other) — Ver. 609. This suspicion in Euclio is very natural ; 
and he asks the question very artfully, for the purpose of catching a confession 
from him by inadvertence. 

2 Thanks not amiss) — Ver. 612. Re s«ys this sarcastically If he gets such 
thanks when hp has not stolen the treasure, what would he h a ve got supposing 
that he had ? 


Stro. I'm off. Euc. Take you care, please, how I see you, 
(He goes into the Temple.) 

Scene IV. — Strobiltjs, alone. 

Stro. I would rather that I were dead outright, by a 
shocking death, than not lay an ambush this day for that old 
fellow. But he'll not venture now to hide his gold here; 
he'll now be carrying it with him, I guess, and be changing the 
spot. But hark ! there's a noise at the door. (Looking in 
the direction of the Temple.) See, the old fellow's bringing 
out the gold with him ! Meanwhile, I'll step aside here to 
the door. (Conceals himself near the door.) 

Scene V. — Enter Euclio, from the Temple, with the pot of 

Euc. (to himself). I had thought that there was the very 
greatest dependence upon Faith ; very nearly had she played 
me a pretty trick 1 . If the raven hadn't come to my assist- 
ance, to my sorrow I should have been undone. Troth, I very 
much wish that raven would come to me which gave me 
the warning, that I might say something kind to him ; for I 
would as soon give 2 him something to eat as lose it. Xow 
I'm thinking of a lonely spot where I shall hide this. The 
grove of Sylvanus, outside of the wall, is unfrequented, and 
planted with many a willow ; there will I choose "a spot. > I'm 
determined to trust Sylvanus 3 , rather than Faith. (Exit. 

Stro. (re-appearing from his hiding-place) . Capital! capi- 
tal ! the Gods will me to be safe and preserved ! Now 
will I run before to that place, and climb up into some tree, 
and thence will I watch where the old fellow hides the gold. 
Although my master bade me remain here, I'm resolved 
rather to risk a mishap along with emolument. (Exit. 

1 Played me a pretty trick) — Ver. 623. " Sublevit os." " Sublinere os" means 
" to paint the face secretly," in allusion to the practical joke of so doing when a 
person is asleep, and thereby making a fool of him. 

2 Would as soon give)— Ver. 626. That is, "not at all." Hesf.ys "thank 
you" to the raven, but he would be as likely to give it a scrap of victuals as tc 
throw it away, which was quite repugnant to his "jus et norma vivendi," his mod< 
of life. 

3 Sylvanus) — Ver. 630. Sylvanus was the tutelary Divinity of the woodland* 
fields, and cattle. Pigs were usually offered in sacrifice to him. 


Scene VI. — Enter Ltconides and Eunomia, from the 
house o/'Megadortts. 

Ltc. I've told you all, mother ; as well as I do myself, 
you understand all about the daughter of Euclio. Now, 1 
(lo entreat you, my mother, make mention of it to my uncle, 
and I now unask of you, mother, that which before I en- 
treated of you, to conceal this from Meg 'adorns. 

Eun. You know, yourself, that what you desire to be done, 
I desire, and I trust that I shall obtain this of my brother ; 
and the reason is good, if 'tis so as you say, that in a drunken 
fit you debauched this damsel. 

Ltc. Could I, my mother, tell a falsehood in your presence ? 

(Phaedra cries out in labour, in Euclio' s house.) I die, 
my nurse ; my pangs are coming on ! I entreat thee for thy 
protection, Juno Lucina 1 ! 

Ltc. Ah ! my mother, I see a more convincing proof for 
you; she's crying aloud — she's in the pangs of labour. 

Eun. Come in-doors here, with me, my son, to my brother, 
that I may obtain a grant from him of that which you beg 
of me. 

Ltc. Go; I'll. follow you this instant, mother. (Etjkomia 
goes into the house.) But my servant, Strobilus, I wonder 
where he is, whom I ordered to wait here for me. JSTow I 
reflect with myself, if he's lending me his assistance, it isn't 
fair that I should be angry with him. I'll go in-doors, where 
they are sitting in judgment 2 upon my life. {Goes into the 
house o/'Megadorus.) 

Act V. — Scene I. 
Enter Strobilus, with the pot of money. 
Stro. I, by myself, exceed the riches of the Griffins 3 , who 

Juno Lucina) — Ver. 646. Juno Lucina was the Goddess who presided over 
childbirth. Some suppose that the Goddess Diana was called by that name ; but 
(although Diana was also addressed by parturient females) it is more likely that 
Juno was addressed under the title. A similar circumstance to this takes place 
in the Andria and the Adelphi of Terence. 

2 They are sitting in judgment) — Ver. 654. " Ubi de capite meo sunt Comitia." 
Literally, " where, then, are the Comitia about my life." Trials were held before 
the " Comitia centuriata," or assemblies of the people, at Rome, to which reference 
is here made. He alludes to the discussion between Eunomia and Megadorus, on 
the marriage of the latter with Phaedra. 

Riches of the Griffins) — Ver. 655. Pici. " Picis" would be a better reading here, 
ard ought to be adopted, unless we agree with some of the Commentators, who 


inhabit the golden mountains. For I'm unwilling to make 
mention of those other kings, beggarly fellows — I am the 
king Philip. O charming day ! for when I went from here, 
just now, I arrived there much the first, and, long before, I 
placed myself in a tree, and thence observed where the old 
fellow hid the gold. When he departed thence, I let myself 
down from the tree, and dag up the pot full of gold. Thence, 
from that spot, I saw the old fellow betaking himself back 
again ; he didn't see me, for I turned a little on one side, out 
of the path. Heyday ! here he comes himself. I'll go and 
hide this away, at home. (Goes into the house o/'Mega.dorus.) 

Scene II. — Enter Etjclio, tearing his hair and wringing his 
Euc. I'm ruined ! I'm done for ! I'm murdered ! "Whither 
shall I run? Whither not run? Stop him — stop Mm. Whom? 
who ? I don't know. I see nothing ! I'm going blindfold ; 
and, in fact, whither I am going, or where I am, or who I am, 
I can't in my mind find out for certain. (To the Audience.) 
I beseech you, give me your aid (I beg awe? entreat of you), and 
point me out the person that has taken it away. What's the 
matter ? Why do you laugh ? I'm acquainted with you all ; 
I know that there are many thieves here, who conceal them- 
selves with white clothes and chalk 1 , and sit as though they 
were honest ! (To one of the Spectators.) What say you ? 
You I'm resolved to believe ; for I perceive, qven by your 
looks, that you are honest. Well then, none of these has got 
it ? You've been the death of me ! Tell me, then, who has got 
it? You don't know? Oh, wretched, wretched me ! I'm done 
for! wofully undone! In most sorry plight I go; so much groan- 
ing, and misfortune, and sorrow, has this day brought upon me, 

think that Strobilus begins a sentence, and then, in the exuberance of his joy, 
breaks out into an expression of a different construction from that originally in- 
tended. It may, however, possibly be, as Hildyard suggests, the " nominativus 
pendens," which is not unfrequently used by Plautus. The Pici here alluded to 
were Griffins, or fabulous monsters, who were said to watch the treasures of the 
Arimaspi, a people of the north of Scythia, mentioned by Herodotus, who were 
said to possess mountains of gold; in which story, no doubt, the Uralian moun- 
tians were alluded to. 

1 White clothes and c7ialk)—Ver. 673. The Romans were much in the habit of 
iiaving their woollen " toga?" made extremely white by chalk, pipeclay, and the 
fuller's art. He alludes to white garments covering bad manners, much as in J 
Scripture whited sepulchres are mentioned as being full of uncleanness. 


hunger and poverty, too. I'm the most utterly ruined of all 
men upon the earth ! For what need of life have I, who have 
lost so much gold that I so carefully watched ? I pinched 
myself, and my inclinations, and my very heart 1 ! Now others 
are rejoicing at this, my loss and my misfortune ! I cannot 
endure it. {He runs about, crying and stamping.) 

Scene III. — ifoter LYCoxiDESj/hm the house q/'M egadorus. 

Ltc. "What person, I wonder, is this before our house 
lamenting, and that utters complaints with his moaning? 
Why,surely, this is Euclio, as I imagine. I'm utterly undone ! 
The tiling's all out ; he knows now, as I suppose, that his 
daughter is brought to bed. I'm in a state of uncertainty 
now what I shall do, whether go or remain, accost him or fly. 

Euc. What person is it that speaks there ? 

Lyc. 'Tis I, wretch that I am. 

Euc. Tes, and so am I, and wretchedly ruined, whose lot 
is misfortune so great and sorrow. 

Lyc. Be of good courage. Euc. How, prithee, can I be so ? 

Lyc. Because that deed which is afflicting your mind, I 
did it, and I confess it. 

Euc. What is it I hear from you ? 

Lyc. That which is the truth. Euc. What evil, young 
man, have I deserved, by reason of which you should do thus, 
and go to ruin both me and my children ? 

Lyc A Divinity was my prompter ; he prompted me to 
do it 2 . 

Euc. How ? Lyc. I confess that I have done wrong, and 
I know that I deserve censure ; for that reason I'm come to 
beseech you, that, with feelings assuaged, you will pardon me. 

Euc. Why did you dare do so, to touch that which was. not 
your own ? 

1 And my very heart)— Ver. 682. " Geniumque meum." Literally, "and my 
Genius,'' i. e. " my social disposition" or " capacity for enjoyment.' 

2 Prompted me to do it) — Ver. 694. " Ad illam illexit." Literally, " enticed me 
tc her." The humour of the whole scene turns upon Euclio and Lyconides 
mistaking the meaning of each other — the former thinking that the latter is 
speaking about the " aula," or " pot," while the latter fancies that Euclio is 
'amenting the mishap of his daughter. In the Latin language, the word " aula" 
is o: the feminine gender, by reason of which the misunderstanding is much more 
natural tnan it would be in the English language. In consequence, some little 
latitude in the translation is absolutely necessary to sustain the equivoque of the 

114 AULULA.RIA ; Act V. 

Ly?. What do r ou wish to be done ? The thing has been 
done ; it can't be undone. I believe that the Gods willed 
it, for if they hain't willed it, I know it wouldn't have 

Euc. But I believe that the Gods have willed that I should 
be the death of you in fetters. 

Ltc. Don't say that! Euc. What business then have 
you to touch what is my own against my will ? 

Ltc. Because I did it under the evil influence of wine and 

Euc. Most audacious man, that you should dare to come 
here to me with that speech, you impudent fellow ! For if 
this is lawful, so that you may be able to excuse it — let us 
openly, in broad daylight, plunder their golden trinkets from 
ladies — after that, if we are caught, let us excuse ourselves, 
that we did it when intoxicated, by reason of being in love. 
Too cheap are wine and love, if one in^liquor and in love is 
allowed to do with impunity whatever he pleases. 

Lyc. But I come to you of my own accord to supplicate 
you on account of my folly. 

Euc. Persons don't please me, who, when they've done 
wrong, excuse themselves. You knew that you had no 
right there ; you oughtn't to have touched 1 . 

Lyc. Therefore, inasmuch as I did dare to touch, I make 
no objection to keep by all means. 

Euc. Tou, keep what is my own against my will ? 

Lyc. Against your will, I do not ask ; but I think that 
that which was yours ought to be mine 2 . Moreover, Euclio, 
you'll find, I say, that mine it ought to be. 

Euc. Now really, on my word, I'll drag you to the 
Praetor and take proceedings 3 against you, unless you make 

1 You oughtn't to have touched') — Ver 711. " Tu illam scibas non tuam esse: 
non attactam aportuit " This literally, speaking of the pot (aula) as of the 
feminine gender, would mean " you knew that she was not your own ; it was not 
fitting for her to be touched.'' This of course helps to confirm Lyconides in the 
impression that Euclio is speaking of his daughter. 

2 Ought to be mine) — Ver. 714. Lyconides here alludes to a law which pre- 
vailed at Rome, whereby, when a person had seduced a freeborn female, he was 
obliged either to marry her himself without a portion, or else to give her such a 
portion as was suitable to her station. Lyconides means to say that he shall 
exercise the former right. 

* And take proceedings} — Ver. 716. " Scribam dicam." " Dica" was a nam' 1 


Ltc. Make restitution of what to you ? 
Euc. What you've stolen of mine. 
Ltc. I, stolen of yours ? Whence, or what is it ? 
Euc. So shall Jupiter love you, how ignorant you are 
about it ! 

Ltc. Unless, indeed, you tell me what you are enquiring 

Euc. The pot of gold, I say, I'm asking back of yon, which 
you confessed to me that you had taken away. 

Ltc. By my faith, I've neither said so, nor have I done it. 
Euc. Do you deny it ? Ltc. Tes, I do utterly deny it ; 
for neither the gold nor yet this pot, what it means, do I 
know or understand. 

Euc. Give me up that pot which you took away from the 
wood of Sylvanus. Come, give it me back ! I would 
rather give you the one-half of it. Although you are a thief 
to me, I'll not be hard upon the thief. Grive it me 

Ltc. Tou are not in your senses, to call me a thief; I 
thought, Euclio, that you had come to the knowledge of 
another matter ; as concerns myself, it is a great matter 
which I wish to speak with you upon at your leisure, if you 
are at leisure. 

Euc. Tell me, in good faith, have vou not stolen that 

Ltc. In good faith, Iso. Euc. Nor know who has taken 
it away ? 

Lyc. In good faith, No, to that as well. 
Euc. But if you should know who has taken it away, will 
you discover it to me ? 

Ltc. I will do so. Euc. JNTor accept of a share from him, 
whoever he is, for yourself, nor harbour the thief ? 
Ltc. Even so. Euc. "What if you deceive me ? 
Ltc. Then may great Jupiter do unto me what he 

Euc. I'm satisfied. Come, then, say what you wish. 
Ltc. If you know me but imperfectly, of what family I'm 
born: Megadorus here is my uncle; Antimachus was my 
father ; my name is Lyconides ; Eunomia is my mother. 

derived from the Greek, for an " indictment," " writ," or " process," by which 
an action was commenced. 

416 AULULAKiA ; Act V 

Ere. I know the family ; now, what do you want ? 

Ltc. I want to know this. You have a daughter 01 
yours ? 

Etjc. Why, yes, she's there at home. 

Ltc. Tou have, I think, recently betrothed her to my 
uncle ? 

Euc. Tou have the whole matter. Ltc. He has now bade 
me announce to you his refusal of her 1 . 

Etjc. A refusal, when the things are got ready, and the 
wedding's prepared ? May all the immortal Gods and God- 
desses confound him, so far as is possible, by reason of whom 
this day, unhappy wretch that lam, I have lost so much gold! 

Ltc. Be of good heart, and speak in kindly terms ; now, 
a thing — may it turn out well and prosperously to you and 
your daughter. — May the Gods so grant — say. 

Euc. May the Gods so grant. Ltc. And for me, too, 
may the Gods so grant it. Now, then, do you listen. The 
man that admits a fault is not so much to be despised, if 
he feels a sense of shame when he excuses himself. Now, 
Euclio, I do beseech you, that what unawares I have done 
-*Tong towards yourself or your daughter, you Mill grant me 
pardon for the same, and give her for a wife to me, as the 
laws demand. I confess that I did violence to your daughter, 
on the festival of Ceres, by reason of wine and the impulse 
of youth. 

Euc. Woe is me ! What shocking deed do I hear of you ? 

Ltc. Why do you exclaim ? You whom I've made to be 
a grandfather now at the very wedding of your daughter. 
Eor your daughter has just been brought to bed in the ninth 
month after — calculate the number 2 ; for that reason, in my 
behalf, has my uncle sent his refusal. Go in-doors ; enquire 
whether it is so or not as I say. 

Euc. I'm undone utterly ; so very many misfortunes unite 
themselves for my undoing. I'll go in-doors, that I may 
know what of this is true. {He goes into his house.) 

! His refusal of her) — Ver. 740. " Repudium." The rejection of i person 
after being betrothed was called "repudium;" while the putting-away of a mar- 
ried woman by her husband was called " divortium." 

- Calculate tie number) — Ver. 755. " Numeram cape." He probably means 
by this, " calculate the time" since the festival of Ceres, when this misforcuue 


Lyc. I'll follow you this instant. This matter seoms now 
to be pretty nearly in the haven of safety. Now, where to say 
my servant Strobilus is, I don't know, but yet I'll wait 
here still a little while ; after that I'll follow this man in- 
doors ; now, in the meantime, I'll give him leisure to enquire 
of the nurse about my doings, the attendant of his daugh- 
ter, whether she knows the truth. (Moves as if going.} 

Scene IY. — Enter Strobiltts, at a distance. 

Stro. (to himself). Immortal Gods, with what and how 
great delights do you present me ! I've got a four pound pot 
filled with gold ; who there is richer than I ? What man is 
there greater than I at Athens now ; any one, I mean, to 
whom the Gods are propitious ? 

Lvc. (to himself). Why, surely, I seemed just now to 
hear the voice of some one speaking here. 

Stro. (to himself). Ha! do I not see my master? 

Lyc. (to himself). Do I see Strobilus now, my servant ? 

Stro. (to himself). 'Tis he himself. Lyc. (to himself). 
"lis no other. 

Stro. (to himself). I'll accost him. Lyc. (to himself). 
I'll step out 1 towards him. I do think that he has been, as 
I requested him, to the old woman, the nurse herself of this 

Stro. (to himself). Why don't I tell him that I've found 
this prize, and speak out ? For that reason, I'll beg of him 
to make me free. I'll go and speak to him. (Addressing 
him.) I've found 

Lyc. What have you found ? Stro. Not that which the 
boys cry out that they've found in the bean 2 . 

Lyc. And are you trifling with me then, as you are in the 
habit of doing ? (He turns as if to go away.) 

Stro. Master, stop ; I'll speak out then ; do listen. 

1 Fit step out) — Ver. 770. It must be supposed that Strobilus is a good 
I way down a street, which emerges on the stage right opposite the Spectators ; 
JwhileLyconides is in the front of the stage, and consequently beyond the nearer 
lend of the street. 

2 Found in the lean) — Ver. 775. This is explained as meaning a little worm 
weevil, which boys used to seek for in beans and other pulse, and which they 
lied " Midas " 


418 aulularia; Act V. 

Ltc. Come then, tell me. Stro. I've found to-day, master, 
very great riches. 

Ltc. Where, pray ? Stro. A four pound pot 1 , I say, full 
of gold ! 

Ltc. What crime is this that I hear of from you ? 

Stro. I've stolen it from this old fellow, Euclio. 

Ltc. Where is this gold ? Stro. In my box at home ; 
I now wish to be made free. 

Ltc. I, make you free, you fellow, brimful of wickedness ? 

Stro. Out upon you, master, I know what you would be 
at. Troth, I've cleverly tried your inclination ; you were 
just getting ready to take it away from me ; what would you 
do, if I had found it r 

Ltc. You can't make good your pretences. Come, give 
up the gold ! 

Stro. I, give up the gold ? Ltc. Give it up, I say, that 
it may be given back to him. 

Stro. Where am I to get it from ? Ltc. That which you 
confessed just now to be in your box. 

Stro. I' faith, I'm in the habit of talking nonsense ; 'twas 
in that way I was speaking. 

Ltc. {seizing him). But do you know what ? 

Stro. Even kill me outright, i' faith, you never shall get 
it hence of me * * * * 2 


Stro. the pot belonging to the old fellow, which I've 

not got. 

Ltc. I will have it, whether you will or no ; when I've 
tied you up all fours, and torn asunder your body for you 
tied up to the beam. But why do I delay to rush upon the 
jaws of this rascal, and why this instant do I not compel his 

1 A four pound pot') — Ver. 777. " Quadrilibris" probably alludes to the capacity 
of the pot, and not its weight. It was probably a jar made to contain four pounds 
weight of liquid. 

2 * * * The rest of this Play is unfortunately lost. From the Acrostic Argument 
which is prefixed to the Play, we learn that Lyconides obtained the gold, ana gave 
it up to Euclio, who presented it to him as a marriage-portion with his daughter. 
Ii some of the Editions there is a Supplement to the last Scene, written in a ve 
meagre style by some unknown author, which is not worth presenting to the 
reader The Supplementby Antonius Codrus Urceus, a learned scholar and pro- 
fessor at Bologna, is certainly somewhat superior, and, such as it is, a translatioi 


soul to take its journey before its time 1 ? Are you going 
to give it me or not ? 

Stro. I will give it you. Lyc. I want you to give it me 
now, and not at a future time. 

Stro. I'll give it now ; but I entreat you to allow me to 
recover breath. (Lyconides lets him go.) Aha! "What is 
it you want me to give you, master ? 

Lyc. Don't you know, you rascal ? And do you dare to re- 
fuse me the four pound pot full of gold which you just now 
said you had stolen? (Calling at the door.) Hallo there! 
Where now are the flogging men ? 

Stro. Master, do hear a few words. Lyc. I won't hear ; 
floggers, hallo there — hallo ! 

Scene V. — Enter two elogging Slaves. 

Slave. What's the matter ? Lyc. I want the chains to 
be got ready. 

Stro. Listen to me, I beg of you ; afterwards order them 
to bind me as much as you please. 

Lyc. I will hear you ; but hasten the matter very quickly. , 

Stro. If you order me to be tortured to death, see what 
you obtain ; in the first place, you have the death of your slave. 
Then, what you wish for you cannot get. But if you had 
only allured me by the reward of dear liberty, you would 
already have obtained your wish. Nature produces all men 
free, and by nature all desire freedom. Slavery is worse than 
every evil, than every calamity ; and he whom Jupiter hates, 
him he first makes a slave. 

Lyc. Tou speak not unwisely. Stro. JSTow then hear the 
rest. Our age has produced masters too grasping, whom 
I'm in the habit of calling llarpagos, Harpies, and Tantali, 
poor amid great wealth, and thirsty in the midst of the waters 
of Ocean ; no riches are enough for them, not those of Midas, 
not of Croesus ; not all the wealth of the Persians can satisfy 

of it is here presented to the reader. Its chief fault is, that it indicates a greater 
change in the nature of the mi.ser than is consistent with probability. Though 
Plautus doubtless depicted him as giving up the gold to his new son-in-law, it 
was probably on some other ground than a change of disposition. 

1 Before its time) — The expression used here by Urceus is capable of tv? 
of translation ; the most delicate one has been preferred. 



their Tartarean maw. Masters use their slaves rigorously, 
and slaves now obey their masters but tardily ; so on neither 
side is that done which would be fair to be done. Their 
provisions, kitchens, and store-cellars, avaricious old fellows 
shut up with a thousand keys. Slaves, thievish, double- 
dealers, and artful, open for themselves things shut up 
with a thousand keys, which the oivners hardly like to be 
granted to their lawful children, and stealthily do they carry 
off, consume, and lick them up— -fellows that will never dis- 
close their hundred thefts even at the gibbet ; thus in laughter 
and joking do bad slaves take revenge upon their slavery. So 
then, I come to the conclusion that liberality renders slaves 

Lyc. Hightly, indeed, have you spoken, but not in a few 
words, as you promised me. But if I do make you free, will 
you give me back what I'm asking for ? 

Steo. I will give it back ; but I wish for witnesses to be 
present ; you'll pardon me, master, I trust you but little. 

Lyc. Just as you please ; let there be present even a hun- 
dred ; then I shouldn't care about it. 

Steo. {going to the door of the house of Megadoetjs). 
Megadorus, and you, Eunomia, please come here, I beg of 
you ; the business finished, you shall return directly. 

.Scene YI. — Enter Megadoetjs aw J Eunomia. 

Meg. Who's calling us? Ha! Lyconides! Eun. Ha! 
Strobilus, what is the matter ? Say. 

Lyc. 'Tis a short matter. Meg. "What is it ? 

Steo. I'm calling you as witnesses. If I bring here a 
four pound pot full of gold and give it up to Lyconides, Lyco- 
nides makes me a free man, and orders me to be my own 
master. {To Lyconides.) Do you not promise me so ? 

Lyc. I do promise so. Steo. Have you heard now what 
he has said ? 

Meg. We have heard. Steo. Swear, then, by Jupiter. 

Lyc. Alas ! to what I am reduced by the misfortunes of 
others ! You are too insulting ; still, I'll do what he bids 

Steo. Hark jou, our generation hasn't much confidence 
in people : the documents are signed ; the twelve witnesses 


are present; the registrar writes down the time and the 
place ; and still, the pleader is found to deny that it has been 

Ltc. But release me speedily, please. 

Stro. Here, take this stone. (Giving Mm a stone.) 

Ltc. If I knowingly deceive you, so may Jupiter reject 
from me his blessings, the city and citadel safe, as I do this 
stone. (He throws it.) Have I now satisfied you ? 

Stro. I am satisfied ; and I'm going to bring the gold. 

Ltc. Gro with the speed of Pegasus, and return devouring 
the road with your rapid steps. (Exit Strobilus.) Any 
impertinent slave, that wishes to be more wise than his master, 
is a nuisance to a decent man. Let this Strobilus be off as a 
free man to utter perdition, if he only brings me the pot full 
of pure gold, so that I may restore Euclio, my father-in-law, 
from his grief to joy, and obtain the favour of his daughter, 
who is just brought to bed by reason of my debauching her. 
But see ! Strobilus is returning, loaded ; as I guess, he's 
bringing the pot ; and, for sure, it is the pot that he's car- 

Scene VII. — Enter Strobilus, carrying the pot of gold. 

Stro. Lyconides, I bring you my findings that I pro- 
mised — the four pound pot of gold ; have I been long ? 

Ltc. Why, yes. (He takes some of the gold out of the pot.) 
immortal Grods, what do I behold ? Or what is it I hold ? 
More than six hundred Philippean pieces, three or four times 
over. But let's call out Euclio forthwith. 

Scene VIII. 

Ltc. (going to the door of Euclio's house). Ho, Euclio, 
Euclio ! 

Me«g. Euclio; Euclio ! Euc. (opening his window). What' 
the matter ? 

Ltc. Come down to us, for the Gods will you to be 
saved ; we've got the pot. 

Euc. Have you got it, or are you trifling with me ? 

Ltc. We've got it, I say. Now, if you can, fly down 

Euc. (having come out of the house to theni). great Ju- 
piter ! O household Divinity and Queen Juno ! and Alcides, 

422 aultjlaeia. Act V. 

my treasurer ! that at length you do show pity upon a 
wretched old man. {Taking the pot in his arms.) O my pot ! 

how aged I, your friend, do clasp you with joyf il arms, 
and receive you with kisses ; with a thousand embraces even 

1 cannot be satisfied. O my hope ! my heart ! thrt dissi- 
pates my grief. 

Ltc. {aside, to Megadoeus). I always thought thnt to be 
.TL want of gold was the worst thing for both boys and n en, and 
all old people. Indigence compels boys to be guilty of mis- 
deeds, men to thieve, and old men themselves to beco ne beg- 
gars. But 'tis much worse, as I now see, to abound in gold 
beyond what's necessary for us. Alas ! what misei ies has 
Euclio endured on account of the pot, that a littL 4 while 
jince was lost by him ! 

Euc. To whom shall I give deserved thanks ? Whe ther ta 
the Grods, who show regard for good men, or to my friends, 
upright men, or to them both ? Rather to both, i think ; 
and first to you, Lyconides, the origin and author of so great 
a good ; you do I present with this pot of gold ; accept it 
with pleasure. I wish it to be your own, and my daughter 
as w r ell, in the presence of Megadorus, and his good sister, 

Ltc. {receiving the pot of gold). The favour is received, and 
is returned, in thanks, as you deserve, Euclio, a father-in-law 
most acceptable to me. 

Euc. I shall think the favour sufficiently returned to me, 
if you now receive with pleasure my gift, and myself as well 
for your father-in-law. 

Ltc. I do receive it ; and I wish my house to be thai; of 

Steo. "What still remains, master, — remember now that 
I'm to be free. 

Ltc. You've well put me in mind. Be you a free man, 
O Strobilus, for your deserts ; and now prepare in-doors 
the dinner that has been so disturbed. 

Steo. {coming forward) . Spectators, the avaricious Euclio 
has changed his nature ; he has suddenly become liberal ; ho, 
too, do you practise liberality ; and if the play has pleoued 
vou well, loudly clap your hands. 


Bramatts persona?. 

Hegio, an iEtolian, father of Philopolemus. 
Philocrates, an Elean, captive in iEtolia. 
Tyndarus, his servant. 
Aristophontes, an Elean, captive in iEtolia. 
Philopolemus, an iEtolian, captive in Elis. 
Ergasilus, a Parasite. 
Stalagmus, the servant of Hegio. 
A Slave of Hegio. 
A Lad, the same. 

ibcne.— A place in vEtolia, before the house ol iLfUUQ, 


Hegio, a wealthy native of jEtolia, had two sons, one of which was stolen by a sLitc 
when four years old, and being carried away to Elis, was sold there ; the father 
being unable for many years to learn what has become of him. A war having 
commenced between the Eleans and the iEtolians, Philopolemus, the other son 
of Hegio, is taken prisoner by the Eleans. The iEtolians having taken many 
Elean prisoners, Megio commences to traffic in captives, with the view of thereb 
redeeming his son from the Eleans, in exchange for some prisoner of rank. A - 
this conjuncture the Play commences. Among the captives whom Hegio has pur- 
chased, Philocrates is one, having been taken prisoner, together with his ser- 
vant, Tyndarus. With the object of deceiving Hegio, Philocrates and Tyndarus 
change their clothes, and having exchanged names as well, Philocrates pretends 
to be the servant of Tyndarus. Hegio being desirous to procure the ex- 
change of his son, Philocrates (in the character of the servant of his fellow- 
captive) is sent to Elis for that purpose. After his departure, Aristophontes, 
another captive, accidentally puts Hegio in the way of discovering the manner 
in which he has been deceived. On this, the old man, losing all hope of obtaining 
the liberation of his son, sends Tyndarus in chains to the stone-quarries. 
Shortly after, Philocrates returns, and brings with him Philopolemus, the* son 
of Hegio, and Stalagmus, the runaway slave, that had stolen his other son. 
It is then discovered that Stalagmus had sol'd the child to the father of Phi- 
locrates, and that he is no other than Tyndarus, tt:e slave; on which, Tyndarus 
is sent for, and is informed that he is the lost son of Hegio. Stalagmus is tli«o 
condemned to the chains from which Tyndarus is liberated. 


[Supposed to have been written by Pnscian the Grammarian.] 
One son of Hegio has been made prisoner (Captus) in battle. A runaway slave 
has sold the other (Alium) when four years old. The father (Pater) traffics in 
Elean captives, only (Tantum) desirous that he may recover his son, and (Et) 
among these he buys his son that was formerly lost. He (Is), his clothes 
and his name changed with his master, causes that (Ut) he is lost to Hegio ; 
and he himself is punished. And (Et) he brings back the captive and the 
runaway together, through whose information (Indicio) he discovers his other 


These two captives (pointing to Philo crates and Tyn- 
jj dartts), whom you see standing here, are standing here be- 
cause they are both 2 standing, and are not sitting. That 

I am saying this truly, you are my witnesses. The old man, 
who lives here (pointing to Heguo's house), is Hegio — his 
father (pointing to Tyndarus). But under what circum- 
stances he is the slave of his own father, that I will here 
explain to you, if you give attention. This old man had 
two sons ; a slave stole one child when four years old, 
and flying hence, he sold him in Elis 3 , to the father of this 

1 In this Acrostic it will be found that the old form of " Capteivei" is preserved. 

2 Because — they are both) — Ver. 2. This is apparently intended as a piece of 
humour, in catching or baulking the audience. He begins as though he was 
going to explain why the captives are standing there, and ends his explanation 
with saying that they are standing because they are not sitting. A similar 
truism is uttered by Pamphila, in the Stichus, 1. 120. 

3 In Elis) — Ver. 9. Elis, or, as it is called by Plautus, " Alls," was a city of 
Achaia, in the north-western part of the Peloponnesus. Near it the Olympic 
games were celebrated 

126 captiti ; 

captive {pointing to Philocrates). Now, do you under- 
stand this ? Very good. I' faith, that man at a distance 1 
there {pointing) says, no. Come nearer then. If there isn't 
room for you to sit down, there is for you to walk ; since 
you'd be compelling an actor to bawl like a beggar 2 . I'm 
not going to burst myself for your sake, so don't you be mis- 
taken. You who are enabled by your means to pay your 
taxes 3 , listen to the rest 4 ; I care not to be in debt to another. 
This runaway slave, as I said before, sold his young master, 
whom, when he fled, he had carried off, to this one's father. 
He, after he bought him, gave him as his own private slave 5 

1 That man at a distance) — Ver. 11. One of the audience, probably a plebeian 
who has no seat, but is standing in a remote part of the theatre, is supposed to 
exclaim in a rude manner that he cannot hear what the actor says. On this the 
speaker tells him that he had better come nearer ; and if he cannot find a seat, 
there is room for him to walk away. Possibly the verb "ambulo" may be in- 
tended to signify in this case either " to walk" or " to stand," in contradistinction 
to sitting. Rost, with some reason, suggests " abscedito," " walk out," in place of 
" accedito," " come nearer." 

2 To bawl like a beggar) — Ver. 13. Commentators have differed as to the 
meaning of this passage. Some think that he means that with the view of 
pleasing the plebeian part of the audience, he shall not bawl out like a beggar 
asking alms ; while others suppose that the meaning is, that he will not run the 
risk of cracking his voice, after which he will be hissed off the stage, and so be 
reduced to beggary. 

3 To pay your taxes) — Ver. 1 5. By this he shows that the party whom he 
is addressing, is either one of the lowest plebeians or a slave. In the assess- 
ment or census, which was made by the Censors, the slaves were not numbered 
at all, being supposed to have no " caput," or " civil condition." The lowest cen- 
tury were the " proletarii," whose only qualification was the being heads of fami- 
lies, or fathers of children. In addressing those who are reckoned in the census 
" ope vestra," " by your means" or " circumstances," he seems to be rebuking the 
" proletarii," who had no such standing, and who probably formed the Kiost noisy 
part of the audience. As these paid no part of the taxes with which the theatres 
were in part supported, of course they would be placed at a greater distance from 
the stage, and probably were not accommodated with seats. It was just about 
this period that the elder Scipio assigned different places in the theatres to the 
various classes of the people. 

4 Listen to the rest) — Ver. 16. " Reliquum" was a term which either signified 
generally, " what is left," or money borrowed and still unpaid. He plays upon 
these different meanings — " Accipite reliquum," which may either signify " hear 
the rest" or " take what is due and owing," and he then makes the observation, 
parenthetically, " alieno uti nil moror," " I don't care to be in debt." 

5 His own private slave) — Ver. 20. " Peculiaris" means "for his own private 
ose," or " attached to his person i" beinjs considered as though bought with bu 


*o this son of his, because they were of about the same age. 
He is now the slave at home of his own father, nor does his 
father know it. Verily, the Gods do treat us men just like 
footballs 1 . You hear the manner now how he lost one sun. 
Afterwards, the iEtolians 2 are waging war with the people of 
Elis, and, as happens in warfare, the other son is taken pri- 
soner. The physician Menarchus buys him there in Elis. 
On this, this Regio begins to traffic in Elean captives, if, per- 
chance, he may be able to find one to change for that captive 
son of his. He knows not that this one who is in his house 
is his own son. And as he heard yesterday that an Elean 
knight of very high rank and very high family was taken 
prisoner, he has spared no expense to rescue his son 3 . In 
order that he may more easily bring him back home, he buys 
both of these of the Quaestors 4 out of the spoil. 

Now they, between themselves, have contrived this plan, 
that, by means of it, the servant may send away hence his 
master home. And therefore amoug themselves they change 
their garments and their names. He, there {pointing), is 
called Philocrates ; this one {pointing), Tyndarus ; he this 
day assumes the character of this one, this one of him. And 
this one to-day will cleverly carry out this plot, and cause 
his master to gain his liberty ; and by the same means he will 

son's " peculium," or jut of his own private purse. The " peculium" was the sum 
* money which a son in his minority was allowed by his father to be in possession 
of. The word also signified the savings of the slave. 

1 Just like footballs) — Ver. 22. " Pilas." Among the ancients, games with 
the " pila" were those played with the " pila trigonalis," so called, probably, from 
the players standing in a triangle, and those with the " follis," which was a larger 

", inflated with air and struck with the hands, or used for a football. " Paga- 
nica" was a similar ball, but harder, being stuffed with feathers, and was used by 
the country-people. " Harpastum" was a small ball used by the Greeks, which 
was scrambled for as soon as it came to the ground, whence it received its name. 
The Greeks had a proverb similar to this expression, Qecov iraiyvia dv6pa>7rol, 
' men are the playthings of the Gods." So Plato called mankind deoov a$vp- 
nara, " the sport of the Gods." • 

2 The JEtolians^—Vur. 24. iEtolia was a country of Greece, the southern por- 
tion of which was bounded by the Corinthian Gulf; it was opposite to the Elean 
wrritory, from which it was divided by the gulf. 

To rescue his son) — Ver. 32. " Filio dum parceret." Literally, " so long as 
might spare his son." 

Of the Qucestors) — Ver. 34. In speaking of these officers, Plautus, as usual, 
ntroduces Roman customs into a Play the scene of which is in Greece. It has been 
previously remarked that the Qusestors had the selling of the spoils taken in wir 

428 captiyi ; Act L 

save his own brother, and without knowing it, will cause him 
to return back a free man to his own country to his father , 
just as often now, on many occasions, a person has done more 
good unknowingly than knowingly. But unconsciously, by 
their devices, they have so planned and devised their plot, 
and have so contrived it by their design, that this one 
is living in servitude with his own father. And thus now, 
in ignorance, he is the slave of his own father. What poor 
creatures are men, when I reflect upon it ! This plot will be 
performed by us — a play for your entertainment. But there 
is, besides, a thing which, in a few words, I would wish to 
inform you of. Really, it will be worth your w T hile to give 
your attention to this play. 'Tis not composed in the hack* 
neyed style, nor yet like other plays, nor are there in it any 
ribald lines 1 unfit for utterance : here is neither the perjured 
procurer, nor the artful courtesan, nor yet the braggart cap- 
tain. Don't you be afraid because I've said that there's war 
between the JEtolians and the Eleans. There {pointing), at 
a distance, beyond the scenes, the battles will be fought. For 
this were almost impossible for a Comic establishment 2 , that 
we should at a moment attempt to be acting Tragedy. If, 
therefore, any one is looking for a battle, let him commence 
the quarrel ; if he shall find an adversary more powerful, I'll 
cause him to be the spectator of a battle that isn't pleasant 
to him, so that hereafter he shall hate to be a spectator oi 
them all. I now retire. Fare ye well, at home, most upright 
judges, and in warfare most valiant combatants. 

Act I. — Scene I. 

Enter Erg-asiltjs. 

Erg. The young men have given me the name of " the 
mistress," for this reason, because invocated 3 I am wont 

1 Any ribald lines) — Ver. 56. See the address of the Company of actors to 
the Spectators at the end of the Play. 

2 A Comic establishment) — Ver. 61. " Comico choragio." Literally, " for the 
choragium of Comedy." The " choragium" was the dress and furniture, or " pro- 
perties" for the stage, supplied by the " choragus," or keeper of the theatrical 

3 Because invocated) — Ver. 70. " Invocatus." The following Note is extracted 
from Thornton's Translation of this Play : — " The reader's indulgence for the coin- 
age of a new term (and perhaps not quite so much out of character from the mouth 
of a Parasite) is here requested in the use of the word ' invocated' in a sense, which 


to attend at the banquet. I know that buffoons 1 say that this 
is absurdly said, but I affirm that it is rightly said. For at 
the banquet the lover, when he throws the dice, invokes his 
mistress 2 . Is she then invocated, or is she not ? She is, 
most clearly. But, i' faith, we Parasites with better reason 
are so called, whom no person ever either invites or in- 
vokes, and who, like mice, are always eating the victuals of an- 
other person. "When business is laid aside 3 , when people 
repair to the country, at that same moment is business laid 
aside for our teeth. Just as, when it is hot weather, snails 
lie hidden in secret, and live upon their own juices, if the 
dew doesn't fall ; so, when business is laid aside, do Parasites 
lie hidden in retirement, and miserably live upon their 
own juices, while in the country the persons are rusticating 
whom they sponge upon. When business is laid aside, we 
Parasites are greyhounds ; when business recommences, like 
mastiffs 4 , we are annoying-like and very troublesome-like 5 . 

it is owned, there is no authority for, but without it no way occurs to explain the 
poet's meaning — which, such as it is, and involved in such a pun, is all that can 
be aimed at. The word ' invocatus' means both ' ealled upon' and ' not called 
upon.' Ergasilus here quibbles upon it ; for, though at entertainments he at- 
tends, as it is the common character of Parasites to do, without invitation, that 
is 'not called upon;' and as mistresses are 'called upon' that their names so in- 
voked may make their lovers throw the dice with success ; still, according to 
the double sense of the word, they may be compared to each other, as they are 
both, according to the Latin idiom, ' invocati.' " 

1 That buffoons) — Ver. 71. "Derisores," "buffoons." By this word he means, 
that particular class of Parasites who earned their dinners by their repartees and 

2 Invokes his mistress) — Ver. 73. It was the Grecian custom, when they threw 
dice at an entertainment, for the thrower to call his mistress by name, which in- 
vocation was considered to bring good luck. 

3 When business is laid aside) — Ver. 78. " Ubi res prolatae sunt." Meaning 
thereoy " in vacation-time." In the heat of summer the courts of justice were 
closed, and the more wealthy portion of the Romans retired into the country or to 
the seaside. Cicero mentions this vacation as " rerum prolatio." The allusion in 
the previous line is probably derived from a saying of the Cynic Diogenes : when 
he saw mice creeping under the table, he used to say, " See the Parasites of Dio- 

4 Like mastiffs) — Ver. 86. " Molossici." Literally, " dogs of Molossus," a 
country of Epirus. 

5 Annoying-like and very troublesome-like) — Ver. 87. " Odiosici — incommo- 
destici." These are two extravagant forms of the words " odiosi" and " incora 
modi," coinej by the author for tbe occasion 

430 CAPTITI ; Act I. 

And here, indeed, unless, i' faith, any Parasite is able to en- 
dure cuffs with the fist, and pots to be broken 1 about his 
head, why he may e'en go with his wallet outside the Trige- 
minian Gate 2 . That this may prove my lot, there is some 
danger. For since my patron 3 has fallen into the hands of 
the enemy — (such warfare are the JEtolians now waging with 
the Eleans ; for this is iEtolia ; this Philopolemus has been 
made captive in Elis, the son of this old man Hegio who lives 
here {pointing to the house) — a house which to me is a house 
of woe, and which so oft as I look upon, I weep). Now, for 
the sake of his son, has he commenced this dishonorable 
traffic, very much against his own inclination. He buys up 
men that have been made captives, if perchance he may be 
able to find some one for whom to gain his son in exchange. 
An object which I really do much desire that he may gain ; 
for unless he finds him, there's nowhere for me to find myself. 
I have no hopes in the young men ; they are all too fond of 
themselves. He, in fine, is a youth with the old-fashioned 
manners, whose countenance I never rendered cheerful with- 
out a return. His father is worthily matched, as endowed 
with like manners. Now I'll go to him ; — but his door is 
opening, the door from which full oft I've sallied forth drunk 
with excess of cheer. {He stands aside.) 

Scene II. — Enter, from his house, Hegio and a Slave. 

Heg-. Now, give attention you, if you please. Those two 
captives whom I purchased yesterday of the Quaestors out of 
the spoil, put upon them chains of light weight 4 ; take oft 

1 Pots to be broken) — Ver. 89. By Meursius we are informed that these prac- 
tical jokes were played upon the unfortunate Parasites with pots filled with cin- 
ders, which were sometimes scattered over their clothes, to the great amusement 
of their fellow-guests. 

2 The Trigeminian Gate) — Ver. 90. The Ostian Gate was so called because the 
Horatii left the city by that gate to fight the Curiatii. The brothers being born 
at one birth were " trigemini," whence the gate received its name. The beggars 
with their wallets were seated there. See the Trinummus, 1. 423, and the Note 
to the passage. 

3 Since my patron) — Ver. 92. Eex; literally, " king." The Parasites were in 
the habit of so calling their entertainers. 

4 Chains of light weight) — Ver. 112. " Singularias." This word may admit of 
three interpretations, and it is impossible to decide which is the right one. It 
may mean chains weighing a single " libra," or pound ; it may signify chains 
for the captives singly, in contradistinction to those by which they were fastened 


those greater ones with which they are bound. Permit thein 
to walk, if they wish, out of doors, or if in-doors, but so that 
they are watched with the greatest care. A captive at liberty 
is like a bird that's wild ; if opportunity is once given for 
escaping, 'tis enough ; after that, you can never catch him. 

Slave. Doubtless we all are free men more willingly than 
we live the life of slaves. 

Heg-. Tou, indeed, don't seem to think so 1 . 

Slave. If I have nothing to give, should you like me to 
give myself to flight 2 ? 

Heg. If you do so give yourself ] I shall at once have some- 
thing to be giving to you. 

Slave. I'LL make myself just like the wild bird you were 
telling of. 

Heg. 'Tis just as you say; for if you do so, I'll be giving 
you to the cage 3 . But enough of prating ; take you care of 
what I've ordered, and be off. (The Slave goes into the 
house.) I'll away to my brother's, to my other captives ; I'll 
go see whether they've been making any disturbance last 
night. From there I shall forthwith betake myself home again. 

Erg. (apart). It grieves me that this unhappy old man is 
following the trade of a slave-dealer, by reason of the mis- 
fortune of his son. But, if by any means he can be brought 
back here, I could even endure for him to become an exe- 

Heg. (overhearing him). Who is it that's speaking? 

to each other ; or it may mean single chains, in opposition to double ones. In the 
Acts of the Apostles, ch. 12, v. 6, we read that St. Peter was bound with two 
chains ; and in ch. 13, v. 38, *he chief captain orders St. Paul to be bound with 
two chains. 

1 Don't seem to think so) — Ver. 120. Hegio means to say that the slave does 
not seem to think liberty so very desirable, or he would try more to please 
his master and do his duty, which might probably be the right method for 
gaining his liberty. ' As the slave could generally ransom himself out of his 
" peculium," or " savings," if they were sufficient, the slave here either thinks, or 
pretends to think, that Hegio is censuring him for net taking those means, and 
answers, accordingly, that he has nothing to offer. 

2 Give myself to flight) — Ver. 121. " Dem in pedes." Literally, M give myself 
to my feet," meaning thereby " to run away." He puns upon this meaning of 
" dare," and its common signification of " to give" or " to offer to give." 

s Giving you to the cage) — Ver. 124. " In cavearn." He plays on the word 
"cavea," which meaning " a cage" for a bird, might also mean confiaement for a 

'1*32 captiyi ; Act L 

Erg. 'Tis I, who am pining at your afflictior, growing 
tnin, waxing old, and shockingly wasting away. Wretched 
man that I am, I'm but skin and bone through leanness ; nor 
does anything ever do me good that I eat at home; even 
that ever so little which I taste out of doors, the same re- 
freshes me. 

Heg. Ergasilus, save you! Erg. {crying). May the Gods 
kindly bless you, Hegio ! 

Heg. Don't weep. Erg. Must I not weep for him ? 
Must I not weep for such a young man ? 

Heg. I've always known you to be a friend to my son, 
and I have understood him to be so to you. 

Erg. Then at last do we men know our blessings, when 
we have lost those things which we once had in our power. 
I, since your son fell into the power of the enemy, knowing 
by experience of what value he was, now feel his loss. 

Heg. Since you, who are no relation, bear his misfortune 
so much amiss, what is it likely that I, a father, should do, 
whose only son he is ? 

Erg, I, no relation to him ? He, no relation to me ? Oh, 
Hegio ! never do say that, nor come to such a belief. To 
you he is an only child, but to me he is even more only than 
an only one. * 

Heg. I commend you, in that you consider the affliction 
of your friend your own affliction. Now be of good heart. 

Erg. {crying). O dear! Heg. {half-aside). 'Tis this afflicts 
him, that the army for guttling is now disbanded. Mean- 
while, have you found no one to command for you the army 
that you mentioned as disbanded ? 

Erg. What do you think ? All to whom it used to fall 
are in the habit of declining that province since your son 
Philopolemus was taken prisoner. 

Heg. I' faith, 'tisn't to be wondered at, that they are 
in the habit of declining that province. Tou have necessity 
for numerous troops, and those of numerous kinds. Well, 
first you have need of the Bakerians 1 . Of these Bakerians 

1 The Bakerians)— Net. 162. This and the following appellations are ex~ 
pressive both of the several trades that contributed to furnishing entertainments, 
and, in the Latin, also denoted the names of inhabitants of several places in Italy 
or elsewhere. As this meaning could not be expressed in a literal translation of 
them, the original words are here subjoined 1» the word " Pistorienses," h» 


there are several kinds. You have need of Eoll-makerians, 
you have need too of Confectionerians, you have need of 
Poultererians, you have need of Beccaficorians ; besides, all 
the maritime forces are necessary for you. 

Erg. How the greatest geniuses do frequently lie con- 
cealed ! How great a general now is this private individual ! 

Heg. Only have good courage ; for I trust that in a few 
days I shall bring him back home. For see now ; there's a cap- 
tive here, a young man of Elis, born of a very high family, 
and of very great wealth ; I trust that it will come to pass 
that I shall get my son in exchange for him. 

Erg. May the Gods and Goddesses grant it so ! 

Heg. But are you invited out anywhere to dinner ? 

Erg. Nowhere that I know of. But, pray, why do you 
ask me ? 

Heg. Because this is my birthday ; for that reason IM 
like you to be invited to dinner at my house. 

Erg. "lis kindly said. Heg. But if you can be content 
to eat a very little 

Erg. Aye, even ever so little ; for on such fare as that do 
I enjoy myself every day at home. 

Heg. Come, then, please, set yourself up for sale. 

Erg. I'll put myself up for purchase, just like a landed 
estate, unless any one shall privately make a better oifer that 
pleases myself and my friends more, and to my own conditions 
will I bind myself. 

Heg. You are surely selling me a bottomless pit 1 , and not 
a landed estate. But if you are coming, do so in time. 

Erg. Why, for that matter, I'm at leisure even now. 

alludes to the bakers, and the natives of Pistorium, a town of Etruria ; in the 
Panicei," to the bread or roll bakers, and the natives of Pana, a little town 
of the Samnites, mentioned by Strabo; in the " Placentini," to the "confec- 
tioners" or " cake-makers," and the people of Placentia, a city in the North of 
Italy ; in the " Turdetani," to the " poulterers" or " sellers of thrushes," and the 
people of Turdetania, a district of Spain ; and in the " Ficedulae," to the " sellers 
of beccaficos," a delicate bird, and the inhabitants of Ficeauke, a town near 
Rome. Of course, these appellations, as relating to the trades, are only co- 
mical words coined for the occasion. 

1 A bottomless pit) — Ver. 183. He plays upon the resemblance in sound of the 
word " fundum," " landed property," to " prof'undum," " a deep cavity," to which 
ne compares the Parasite's stomach. " You sell me lauded property, indeed ; say 
I rather a bottomless pit." 


434 oaptivi ; Act II. 

Heg. G-o then, and hunt for a hare ; at present, in me you 
have but a ferret 1 , for my fare is in the way of frequenting a 
rugged road. 

Erg. You'll never repulse me by that, Hegio, so don't 
attempt it. I'll come, in spite of it, with teeth well shod. 

Heg. Really, my viands are but of a rough sort 2 . Erg. 
Are you in the habit of eating brambles ? 

Heg. Mine is an earthy dinner. Erg. A pig is an earthy 

Heg. Earthy from its plenty of vegetables. 

Erg. Treat your sick people 3 at home with that fare? Do 
you wish anything else ? 

Heg. Come in good time. Erg. You are putting in mind 
one who remembers quite well. (Exit. 

Heg. I'll go in-doors, and in the house I'll make the cal- 
culation how little money I have at my banker's ; afterwards 
I'll go to my brother's, whither I was saying I would go. 
(Goes into his house.) 

Act II. — Scene I. 

Enter, from the house, Philocrates, Tyndarus, and Slaves 
and Captives of Hegio. 

Slate. If the immortal Gods have so willed it that you 
should undergo this affliction, it becomes you to endure it 
with equanimity ; if you do so, your trouble will be lighter 4 . 

1 Have but a ferret) — Ver. 185. This passage has much puzzled the Commen- 
tators ; but allowing for some very far-fetched wit, which is not uncommon with 
Plautus, it may admit of some explanation. He tells the Parasite that he had 
better look for a nicer dinner, a hare, in fact ; for that in dining with him, he will 
only get the ferret (with which the hare was hunted) for his dinner. Then, inas- 
much as the ferret was used for following the hare or rabbit into " scruposae via?," 
"impervious" or "rocky places" where they had burrowed, he adds: "For my 
dinner, ferret-like, frequents rugged places;" by which he probably means that 
it is nothing but a meagre repast of vegetables, of which possibly capers formed a 
part, which grow plentifully in Italy, in old ruins and craggy spots. Some suggest 
that it was a custom with the huntsmen, if they failed to catch the hare, to kill 
and eat the ferret. 

2 Are but of a rough sort) — Ver. 189. The word "asper" means either "un- 
savoury" or " prickly," according to the context. Hegio means to use it in the former 
sense, but the Parasite, for the sake of repartee, chooses to take it in the latter. 

» Treat your sick people) — Ver. 191. He means that such a dinner may suit 
sick people, but will not be to his taste. 

* Will be lighter) — Ver. 197. The English proverb corresponds with this- 
What can't be cured must be endured. 


At home you were free men, I suppose ; no^ if slavery has 
befallen you, 'tis a becoming way for you to put up with it, 
and by your dispositions to render it light, under a master's 
rule. Unworthy actions which a master does must be deemed 
worthy ones. 

Phil, and Tynd. Alas '..alas! alas! Slave. There's no 
need for wailing ; you cause much injury to your eyes. In 
adversity, if you use fortitude of mind, it is of service. 

Phil, and Tynd. But we are ashamed, because we are in 

Slave. But in the result it might cause vexation to our 
master, if he were to release you from chains, or allow you to 
be loose, whom he has purchased with his money. 

Phil, and Tynd. What does he fear from us ? We know 
our duty, what it is, if he allows us to be loose. 

Slave. Why, you are meditating escape. I know what 
it is you are devising. 

Phil, and Tynd. We, make our escape ? Whither should 
we escape ? 

Slave. To your own country. Phil, and Tynd. Out 
upon you ; it would ill befit us to be following the example of 

Slave. Why, faith, should there be an opportunity, I don't 
advise you not. 

Phil, and Tynd. Do you allow us to make one request. 

Slave. What is it, pray? Phil, and Tynd. That you 
will give us an opportunity of conversing, without these and 
yourselves for overlookers. 

Slave. Be it so ; go you away from here, you people. Let's 
step here, on one side. (To the other Captives and Slaves.) 
But commence upon a short conversation only. 

Phil. O yes, it was my intention so to do. Step aside this 
way (to Tyndaeus). 

Slave (to the other Captives). Stand apart from them. 

Tynd. (to the Slave). We are both greatly obliged to you, 
| by reason of your doing so, since you allow us to obtain what 
I we are desirous of. 

Phil. Step here then, at a distance now, if you think fit, 
I that no listeners may be enabled to overhear our discourse, 
and that this plan of ours mayn't be divulged before them ; 
for a stratagem is no stratagem, if you don't plan it with art 

13 o o-APTITI; Act II, 

but it is a very great misfortune if it becomes disclosed. 
Por if you are my master, and I represent myself as your 
servant, still there's need of foresight, and need of caution, 
that this may be carried out discreetly and without over- 
lookers, with carefulness an^ with cautious prudence and 
diligence. So great is the Hotter that has been commenced 
upon ; this must not be carried out in any drowsy fashion. 

Tynd. Just as you shall desire me to be, I will be. 

Phil. I trust so. Tynd. For now you see that for your 
precious life I'm setting at stake my own, as dear to one. 

Phil. I know it. Tynd. But remember to know it when 
you shall be enjoying that which you wish for ; for mostly, the 
greatest part of mankind follow this fashion ; what they 
for, until they obtain it, they are rightminded; but when 
they have now got it in their power, from being rightminded 
they become most deceitful, and most dishonest ; now I do 
consider that you are towards me as I wish. "What I advise 
you, I would advise my own father. 

Phil. 1' faith, if I could venture, I would call you father ; 
for next to my own father, you are my nearest father. 

Tynd. I understand. Phil. And therefore I remind you 
the more frequently, that you may remember it. I am not 
your master, but your servant ; now this one thing I do beseech 
you. Inasmuch as the immortal Gods have disclosed to us 
their wishes, that they desire me to have once been your 
master, and now to be your fellow- captive ; what formerly of 
my right I used to command you, now with entreaties do I beg 
of you, by our uncertain fortunes, and by the kindness of my 
father towards you, and by our common captivity, which has 
befallen us by the hand of the enemy, don't you pay me any 
greater respect than I did you when you were my slave ; and 
don't you forget to remember who you were, and who you 
now are. 

Tynd. I know, indeed, that I now am you, and that you 
are I. 

Phil. "Well, if you are able carefully to remember that, 1 
have some hope in this scheme of ours. 

Scene II. — Enter Hegio, from his house, speaking to those 
Heg. I shall return in-doors just new, when I shall have 


discovered from these people what I want to know. (To the 
Slaves.) Where are those persons whom I ordered to be 
brought out of doors here, before the house ? 

Phil. By my faith, I find that you have taken due pre- 
caution that we shouldn't be missed by you, so walled in 
are we with chains and keepers. 

Heg. He that takes precaution that he mayn't be deceived, 
is hardly on his guard, even while he's taking precaution ; 
even when he has supposed that he has taken every precau- 
tion, full often is this wary man outwitted. Was there not 
good reason, indeed, for me to watch you carefully, whom I 
purchased with so large a sum of ready money ? 

Phil. Troth, it isn't fair for us to hold you to blame, be- 
cause you watch us closely ; nor yet for you us, if we go away 
hence, should there be an opportunity. 

Heg. As you are here, so is my son a captive there among 
your people. 

Phil. He, a captive ? Heg. Even so. 

Phil. We, then, have not proved the only cowards 1 . 

Heg. (to Philoceates, supposing him to be the Servant 
of the other). Step you aside this way, for there are some 
things that I wish to enquire of you in private, on which 
subjects I would have you not to be untruthful to me. 
(They step aside.) 

Phil. I will not be, as to that which I shall know ; if I 
shall not know anything, that which I don't know I'll tell 
you of. 

Tynd. (aside). Now is the old fellow in the barber's 
shop ; now, at this very instant, is Philocrates wielding 
the razor 3 . He hasn't cared, indeed, to put on the barber's 
cloth 3 , so as not to soil his dress. But whether to say 
that he's going to shave him close, or trim him* through the 

1 The only cowards) — Ver. 267. He alludes to the notion in the heroic times, 
that it was the duty of a warrior to conquer or to die, and that it was dis- 
graceful to he made prisoner. 

2 Wielding the razor)— Ver. 271. It is hard to say whether by the word " eul- 
tros," in this passage, razors or scissors are meant. 

3 To put on the barber's cloth) — Ver. 272. He probably means by this ex- 
pression that Philocrates has made no preamble, and shown no hesitation, in com- 
mencing at once to dupe the old man. 

4 Or trim him) — Ver. 273. He alludes here to the two kinds of shaving and 
trimming the beard used by the barbers among the ancients. The one was closa 

'138 CAPTIVI ; Act II. 

eomb 1 , I don't know ; but if he's wise, he'll scrape him right 
well to the very quick. 

Heg. (to Philockates). Which would you ? "Would you 
prefer to be a slave, or a free man ? — Tell me. 

Phil. That which is the nearest to good, and the furthest 
off from evil, do I prefer ; although my servitude hasn't proved 
very grievous to me, nor has it been otherwise to me than 
if I had been a son in the family. 

Ttnd. {aside). Capital! I wouldn't purchase, at a talent's 
price even, Thales the Milesian 2 ; for compared with this 
man's wisdom, he was a very twaddler. How cleverly has he 
suited his language to the slave's condition. 

Heg. Of what family is this Philocrates born? 

Phil. The Polyplusian 3 ; which one family is nourishing 
there, and held in highest esteem. 

Heg. What is he himself? In what esteem is he held 
there ? 

Phil. In the highest, and that by the very highest men. 

Heg. Since, then, he is held in such great respect among 
the Eleans, as you tell of, what substance has he ? — Of large 
amount ? 

Phil. Enough for him, even, when an old man, to be melt- 
ing out the tallow 4 . 

il strictim," when they shaved to the skin ; the other was, when with a pair of 
scissors they clipped the hair, with the interposition of, a comb. The former fashion 
was called by the Greeks crKatyiov ', the latter method, which was borrowed 
from the Persians, KrJ7ros. " Esse in tonstrina," " to be in the barber's shop," 
was a proverbial expression to denote " being imposed upon." Tyndarus is wonder- 
ing to what extent Philocrates is going to impose upon Hegio. 

1 Through the comb) — Ver. 273. The Greeks and Romans made their combs 
of boxwood, much of which was imported from Paphlagonia. The Egyptians 
used them made of wood and of ivory, and toothed on one side only ; while those 
of the Greeks had teeth on both sides. 

2 Thales the Milesian) — Ver. 279. A talent would be a low price for such a 
learned slave as Thales the Milesian, who was one of the seven wise men of 
Greece. He says, however, that Thales at such a low price would be nothing in 
comparison with Philocrates for the same money. 

3 The Polyplusian) — Ver. 282. This word is coined by Philocrates for the occa- 
sion, as being the name of his family, from the Greek word iro\vTrkovo~ibs, 
" very wealthy ;" probably with the idea of raising the expectations of Hegio, 
and making him the more ready to promote an exchange of his own son for a 
member of so opulent a family. 

1 Melting out the tallow)— Ver. 286. Hegio asks him if his riches are ver? 

8c. 1 l 'THE CAPTIVES. 439 

Heo. What is his father ? Is he living ? Phil. When we 
departed thence, we left him alive ; whether he's living now 
or not, Orcus, forsooth, must know that. 

Ttnd. (aside). The matter's all right; he's not only 

ng, but he's even philosophizing now. 
~eg. What's his name ? Phil. Thesaurochrysonicocroe- 
sides 1 . 

Heg. That name has been given, I suppose, by reason of 
his wealth, as it were. 

Phil. Troth, not so, but rather by reason of his avarice 
and grasping disposition ; for, indeed, he was Theodoromedes 
originally by name. 

Heg. How say you ? Is his father covetous ? 

Phil. Aye, by my faith, he is covetous. Why, that you 
may even understand it the better, — when he's sacrificing at 
any time to his own Genius 2 , the vessels that are needed for 
the sacrifice he uses of Samian ware, lest the Genius himself 
should steal them ; from this, consider how much he would 
trust other people. 

Heg. (addressing Tyndarus as though Philocrates). Do 
you then follow me this way. (Aside.) The things that I 
desire to know, I'll enquire of him. (Addressing Ttn- 
darus.) Philocrates, this person has done as it becomes an 
honest man to do. For from him I've learnt of what 
family you are sprung ; he has confessed it to me. If you 
are willing to own these same things (which, however, un- 
derstand that I already know from him), you will be doing 
it for your own advantage. 

abundant, and in doing so uses the word "opirase," of which the primary mean- 
ing was " fat ;" the other answers, " Yes, so fat that he can be melting the tallow 
out of them even when he is an old man ;" meaning thereby that he is amply 
provided with means. 

1 Thesaurochrysonieocrcesides) — Ver. 290. This is a name made up of several 
Greek words, and seems to mean " a son of Croesus, abounding in treasures of 
gold," in allusion to Croesus, the wealthy king of Lydia. The author indulges m 
similar pleasantry in the Miles Gloriosus. 

2 To his own Genius) — Ver. 295. As the Genius of a man was not only his 
guardian Deity through life, but the word was also used to signify his capacity for 
enjoyment; the term " to sacrifice to his Genius," is supposed by some Commen- 
tators to mean, " to indulge the appetite in feasting and good cheer." This, 
however, seems not to be the meaning in this instance ; and he probably intends 
to be understood as alluding, literally, to the domestic sacrifice to the Genius- 

440 ciptiti ; Act II. 

TrN\D. He did his duty when he confessed the truth tc 
you, although, Hegio, I wished carefully to conceal both my 
rank and my wealth ; now, inasmuch as I've lost my country 
and my liberty, I don't think it right for him to be dreading 
me rather than you. The might of warfare has made my 
fortunes on a level with himself. I remember the time when 
he didn't dare to do it in word ; now, in deed, he is at liberty 
to offend me. But don't you see ? Human fortune moulds 
and fashions just as she wills. Myself, who was a free man 
she has made a slave, from the very highest the very lowest. 
I, who was accustomed to comma