Amphitryo, Asinaria, Aulularia, Bacchides, Captivi
by Plautus Titus Maccius
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Angiporto illac per hortum circum ut clam, ne quis se videret. huc ire familiarium: ne uxor resciscat metuit de argento si mater tua sciat ut sit factum—

Sneaked in by the alley there through the garden, so that none of the servants would see him enter: he's afraid of his wife finding out. If your mother was to learn about the money, how it was—


Heia, bene dicite.

Hold on there! No ominous remarks!


Ite intro cito.

In with you, quick!



Good-bye, you two.


Et vos amate.

And spoon away, you two.

[EXEUNT Argyrippus AND Philaenium INTO Cleareta's HOUSE, Libanus AND Leonida INTO HOUSE OF Demaenetus.



ENTER Diabolus AND Parasite.


Agedum istum ostende quem conscripsti syngraphum inter me et amicam et lenam. leges pellege nam tu poeta es prorsus ad eam rem unicus.

Come on, show me that contract you drew up between me and my mistress and the Madame. Read over the terms. Ah, you're the one and only artist at this business.


Horrescet faxo lena, leges cum audiet.

(producing a document) I warrant you Madame will shudder when she hears the terms.


Age quaeso mi hercle translege.

Come come, man, for the Lord's sake let's have 'em!



Are you listening?


Audio. 750



"Diabolus Glauci filius Clearetae lenae dedit dono argenti viginti minas, Philaenium ut secum esset noctes et dies hunc annum totum."

(reading) "Diabolus, son of Glaucus, has given to Cleareta, Madame, a present of eighty pounds to the end that Philaenium throughout the coming year may spend her nights and days with him."


Neque cum quiquam alio quidem.

Yes, and not with anyone else, either.



Shall I add that?


Adde, et scribas vide plane et probe.

Add that, and see you put it down in a good firm hand.


"Alienum hominem intro mittat neminem. quod illa aut amicum aut patronum nominet, aut quod illa amicae[26] amatorem praedicet, fores occlusae omnibus sint nisi tibi. in foribus scribat occupatam esse se. 760

(after doing so) "She is to admit no male outsider into her house. In case she call him a mere friend or guardian, or in case she allege him to be the lover of a friend of hers, her doors must be closed to all but you. She must post a notice on the doors stating that she is engaged.

aut quod illa dicat peregre allatam epistulam, ne epistula quidem ulla sit in aedibus nec cerata adeo tabula; et si qua inutilis pictura sit, eam vendat: ni in quadriduo abalienarit, quo abs te argentum acceperit, tuos arbitratus sit, comburas, si velis, ne illi sit cera, ubi facere possit litteras.

Or in case she say that a letter from foreign parts has been delivered to her, there must be no letter at all in the house, nor so much as a waxen tablet; and if there be any undesirable picture about, let her sell it: unless she shall have removed it within four days after receipt of your money, it shall be at your disposal: you may burn it up, if you deem fit, that she may have no wax whereon to write.

vocet convivam neminem illa, tu voces; ad eorum ne quem oculos adiciat suos. si quem alium aspexit, caeca continue siet. 770 tecum una potet, aeque pocla potitet: abs ted accipiat, tibi propinet, tu bibas, ne illa minus aut plus quam tu sapiat."

She must invite no guest to the house: you shall invite them; and she must have eyes for none of them. If her glance has fallen on another man, she must become blind forthwith. She must drink with you only, and drink with you glass for glass: let her receive the glass from your hands, drink to your health, and then do you take it and drink, so that she may have no—(unobtrusively dropping the aspirate) whit more than you, nor less."


Satis placet.

(not noticing) Quite satisfactory.


"Suspiciones omnes ab se segreget. neque illaec ulli pede pedem homini premat, cum surgat, neque cum in lectum inscendat proximum, neque cum descendat inde, det cuiquam manum: spectandum ne cui anulum det neque roget. talos ne cuiquam homini admoveat nisi tibi. cum iaciat, 'te' ne dicat: nomen nominet. 780

"She must keep herself above every suspicion. She must not touch feet with any man when she arises from table: and when she steps upon the adjoining couch, or steps down therefrom, she must take no one's hand. She must give no one her ring to look at, nor ask to look at his. To no man save yourself must she pass the dice. On making a throw she must not say, 'Thee[E] I invoke!' She is to name your name.

[Footnote E: Naming one's sweetheart, on making a throw, was a common custom.]

deam invocet sibi quam libebit propitiam, deum nullum; si magis religiosa fuerit, tibi dicat: tu pro illa ores ut sit propitius. neque illa ulli homini nutet, nictet, annuat. post, si lucerna exstincta sit, ne quid sui membri commoveat quicquam in tenebris."

Let her call upon any goddess she pleases for favour, but upon no god; if she have religious scruples in regard to this, let her tell you, and do you make the prayer for his favour in her stead. To no man shall she nod, wink, or signify compliance. Further, if the lamp go out, she is not to move a single limb in the darkness."


Optumest. ita scilicet facturam. verum in cubiculo— deme istuc—equidem illam moveri gestio. nolo illam habere causam et votitam dicere.

Excellent! To be sure she mustn't, (pause) But in our own room—cut that clause out—why, I'm keen as can be for her to be lively there! I don't want her to have an excuse and say the contract forbids.


Scio, captiones metuis.

I see, you fear some catch.





Ergo ut iubes 790 tollam.

Well then, I shall strike that out, as you order.


Quid ni?

Of course you will.


Audi relicua.

Listen to the rest.


Loquere, audio.

Go on: I am listening.


"Neque ullum verbum faciat perplexabile, neque ulla lingua sciat loqui nisi Attica, forte si tussire occepsit, ne sic tussiat, ut cuiquam linguam in tussiendo proserat. quod illa autem simulet, quasi gravedo profluat, hoc ne sic faciat: tu labellum abstergeas potius quam cuiquam savium faciat palam.

"She must use no phrase of double meaning, and must know how to speak no language but the Attic. If she should happen to cough, she is not to cough so, (illustrating) in such a way as to extend her tongue toward anyone. Moreover, in case she pretends to have a running cold, she must not do this: (purses his lips) you are to wipe her little lip yourself rather than let her pucker up her mouth for anyone so obviously.

nec mater lena ad vinum accedat interim, nec ulli verbo male dicat. si dixerit, 800 haec multa ei esto, vino viginti dies ut careat."

"Nor shall the Madame, her mother, drop in while you are having your wine, or say a single abusive word to anyone. If such a word be said by her, the penalty shall be this— no wine for her for twenty days."


Pulchre scripsti. scitum syngraphum.

Splendid document! Capital contract!


"Tum si coronas, serta, unguenta iusserit ancillam ferre Veneri aut Cupidini, tuos servos servet, Venerine eas det an viro. si forte pure velle habere dixerit, 800 tot noctes reddat spurcas quot pure habuerit." haec sunt non nugae, non enim mortualia.

"Then if she bid her maid carry chaplets, wreaths, perfumes to Venus or to Cupid, your servant shall observe whether she gives them to Venus, or to a man. Should she happen to express a wish for religious seclusion, she must give you as many hours of love as she has of loneliness." These be no trifles; these be no dirges for dead folk, I tell you. The terms are highly satisfactory. Follow me in.


Placent profecto leges, sequere intro.

Very well.




IV. 2.

Scene 2.


Sequere hac, egone haec patiar aut taceam? emori 810 me malim, quam haec non eius uxori indicem. ain tu? apud amicam munus adulescentuli fungare, uxori excuses te et dicas senem? praeripias scortum amanti atque argentum obicias lenae? suppiles clam domi uxorem tuam?

(incensed) Come along! I put up with this? I hold my tongue? I'd rather perish from the earth than not let it out to his wife! (shouting to Demaenetus within) You will, will you? You will play the gay young spark with a mistress and excuse yourself to your wife on the plea of old age, eh? You will snatch a girl from her lover and toss your money to the Madame, eh? You will filch things from your lady at home on the sly, eh?

suspendam potius me, quam tu haec tacita auferas. iam quidem hercle ad illam hinc ibo, quam tu propediem, nisi quidem illa ante occupassit te, effliges scio, luxuriae sumptus suppeditare ut possies.

I'd sooner hang myself than let you carry it off so and nothing said. By the Lord, I'll go to her this very minute, I will, the woman you're bound to bring to pauperism shortly,—if she doesn't forestall you, that is,—just so that you may be kept in funds for your orgies!


Ego sic faciundum censeo: me honestiust, 820 quam te palam hanc rem facere, ne illa existimet amoris causa percitum id fecisse te magis quam sua causa.

(calmly, judiciously) In my opinion, this is the way we should handle the case: it would look better for me to appear in the matter than you; she might think you were hard hit and did it more out of jealousy than out of regard for her.


At pol qui dixti rectius. tu ergo fac ut illi turbas lites concias; cum suo sibi gnato unam ad amicam de die potare, illam expilare narra.

Right you are, gad yes, that is better! Then raise hell for him yourself; stir up a row; notify her that he's having a daylight carouse with his own son, one girl between 'em there at her house, and she herself being rooked for it!


Ne mone, ego istud curabo.

No advice needed! I shall take care of that.


At ego te opperiar domi.[27] (827)

Well, I'll wait for you at home. [EXIT.





Numquidnam tibi molestumst, gnate mi, si haec nunc mecum accubat? 830

You don't mind it, do you, my boy,—her being on the couch here with me? (merrily chucks Philaenium under the chin)


Pietas, pater, oculis dolorem prohibet. quamquam ego istanc amo, possum equidem inducere animum, ne aegre patiar quia tecum accubat.

(dolefully) My duty as a son takes the sting out of the sight, father. Even though I do love her, of course I can persuade myself not to be disturbed at her being with you.


Decet verecundum esse adulescentem, Argyrippe.

A young fellow should be modest, Argyrippus.


Edepol, pater, merito tuo facere possum.

Ah yes, father, I can behave as you deserve.


Age ergo, hoc agitemus convivium vino et[28] sermoni suavi. nolo ego metui, amari mavolo, mi gnate, me abs te.

(jovially) Come on then, let's have a lively banquet—wine and sweet converse, my dears! None of your filial awe for me: your love is what I want, my lad.


Pol ego utrumque facio, ut aequom est filium.

(still more dolefully) Ah yes, father, I give you both, as a son should.


Credam istuc, si esse te hilarum videro.

I'll believe that, once I see you looking jolly.


An tu me tristem putas?

(with a deep sigh) You don't think I'm ... melancholy ... do you?


Putem ego, quem videam aeque esse maestum ut quasi dies si dicta sit?

Think so? When you look as sepulchral as if you were docketed for trial!


Ne dixis istuc.

Don't say that.


Ne sic fueris: ilico ego non dixero. 839,840

Don't be that, and I'll stop saying it soon enough.


Em aspecta: rideo.

(making a dismal effort to look happy) Here now! See! I'm smiling.


Utinam male qui mihi volunt sic rideant.

(dryly) I wish my enemies were blessed with a smile like that.


Scio equidem quam ob rem me, pater, tu tristem credas nunc tibi: quia istaec est tecum. atque ego quidem hercle ut verum tibi dicam. pater, ea res me male habet; at non eo, quia tibi non cupiam quae velis; verum istam amo. aliam tecum esse equidem facile possum perpeti.

Of course I know why you think my bearing toward you now is melancholy, father,—because she's with you. And good heavens, father, to tell you the truth, I—it does make me miserable; not because I'm not eager to have your wishes gratified; but I love that girl. If it was some other one, I shouldn't mind at all, really I shouldn't.


At ego hanc volo.

I want this one, though.


Ergo sunt quae exoptas: mihi quae ego exoptem volo.

Well then, you've got your desire: I wish I could have the same luck!


Unum hunc diem perpetere, quoniam tibi potestatem dedi, cum hac annum ut esses, atque amanti argenti feci copiam.

Oh, you'll take it calmly this one day, now that I've given you the chance to be with her for a year, and furnished forth my young gallant with funds.


Em istoc me facto tibi devinxti.

Just the point! You have me bound hard and fast by that.


Quin te ergo hilarum das mihi? 849,850

Come then, surrender and be jolly, won't you?

V. 2.

Scene 2.

ENTER Artemona AND Parasite FROM HOUSE OF Demaenetus.


Ain tu meum virum his potare, obsecro, cum filio et ad amicam detulisse argenti viginti minas meoque filio sciente id facere flagitium patrem?

(tempestuously) What's that, for heaven's sake,—my husband carousing here with his son, and brought eighty pounds to a mistress, and my son conniving at such an outrage on the part of his father, his father?


Neque divini neque mi humani posthac quicquam accreduas, Artemona, si huius rei me esse mendacem inveneris.

Never trust me in another thing divine or human, madam, if you find I have misinformed you in this.


At scelesta ego praeter alios meum virum[29] frugi rata, siccum, frugi, continentem, amantem uxoris maxume.

But oh dear me! I thought my husband was the very paragon of men, a sober man, a worthy, moral man that loved his wife devotedly.


At nunc dehinc scito illum ante omnes minimi mortalem preti, madidum, nihili, incontinentem atque osorem uxoris suae.

But from now on you must realize that he is the very scum of the earth, a toping man, a worthless, immoral man that hates the wife of his bosom.


Pol ni istaec vera essent, numquam faceret ea quae nunc facit. 860

Mercy yes! unless all that was true, he would never be acting as he does now.


Ego quoque hercle illum antehac hominem semper sum frugi ratus, verum hoc facto sese ostendit, qui quidem cum filio potet una atque una amicam ductet, decrepitus senex.

I always thought he was a worthy man myself before to-day, upon my soul I did: but now he shows himself in his true colours—carousing with his own son and sharing his mistress with him, the old ruin!


Hoc ecastor est quod ille it ad cenam cottidie. ait sese ire ad Archidemum, Chaeream, Chaerestratum, Cliniam, Chremem, Cratinum, Diniam, Demosthenem: is apud scortum corruptelae est liberis, lustris studet.

Good gracious! This explains his going out to dinner every day! He with his tales of going to dine with Archidemus, Chaerea, Chaerestratus, Clinia, Chremes, Cratinus, Dinias, Demosthenes—and all the time corrupting his children at a harlot's, haunting houses of ill fame!


Quin tu illum iubes ancillas rapere sublimen domum?

Why not tell your maids to pick him up and take him off home?


Tace modo. ne ego illum ecastor miserum habebo.

You just keep still. Oh, but I'll make life miserable for him, I swear I will!


Ego istuc scio, ita fore illi dum quidem cum illo nupta eris.

I have no doubt about that, just as long as he is your husband.


Ego censeo. 870 eum[30] etiam hominem in senatu dare operam aut clientibus, ibi labore delassatum noctem totam stertere: ille opere foris faciendo lassus noctu ad me advenit; fundum alienum arat, incultum familiarem deserit. is etiam corruptus porro suom corrumpit filium.

(too irate to notice unflattering accent) Yes, indeed! He busy in the Senate or helping his clients! He wearied out by his labours there, there, that he spends the whole night snoring! It is business away from home that makes him turn up at night all weary—the business of ploughing other people's fields and leaving his own uncultivated. Corrupt himself, he actually goes on and corrupts his own son.


Sequere hac me modo, iam faxo ipsum hominem manifesto opprimas.

Just follow me this way: I'll soon make you drop on our gentleman in the very act.


Nihil ecastor est quod facere mavelim.

Ah-h-h! There's nothing I'd like better!


Mane dum.

Hm! wait! (goes quietly to Cleareta's door, peeps in and comes back)


Quid est?

What's the matter?


Possis, si forte accubantem tuom virum conspexeris cum corona amplexum amicam, si videas, cognoscere?

If you happened to spy your husband stretched out on a banquet couch with a garland on and a girl in his arms—if you saw him, could you recognize him?


Possum ecastor.

Indeed I can!


Em tibi hominem.

(taking her cautiously to the door) Behold your man!



(peeping) Dreadful, dreadful!


Paulisper mane. 880 aucupemus ex insidiis clanculum quam rem gerant.

(drawing her aside) Wait a bit! Let's lie in ambush and spy what's going on without being seen.


Quid modi, pater, amplexando facies?

(resentfully) Father! When is that hug going to end?


Fateor, gnate mi—

(somewhat embarrassed) I admit, my dear boy,—


Quid fatere?

Admit what?


Me ex amore huius corruptum oppido.

That this lady is altogether too much for my sense of decorum.


Audin quid ait?

(to Artemona) Do you hear what he says?



I hear!


Egon ut non domo uxori meae subripiam in deliciis pallam quam habet, atque ad te deferam? non edepol conduci possum vita uxoris annua.

(to Philaenium) Not steal my wife's pet mantle from home and bring it to you? By heaven, I couldn't be hired not to— not if she should die within the year.


Censen tu illum hodie primum ire adsuetum esse in ganeum?

(to Artemona) Do you think to-day is the first time that gentleman has used such resorts?


Ille ecastor suppilabat me, quod ancillas meas suspicabar atque insontis miseras cruciabam.

Mercy on us! So he was the thief all those times I suspected my maids, yes, and tortured the poor innocent things.


Pater, iube dari vinum; iam dudum factum est cum primum bibi. 890

Tell them to set the wine going, father; it seems an age since I had my first drink.


Da, puere, ab summo. age, tu interibi ab infimo da savium.

(to servant) Boy, send round the wine from the head of the table. (to Philaenium) Come, my dear, meanwhile you send round a naughty, naughty kiss from the foot. (Philaenium obeys)


Perii misera, ut osculatur carnufex, capuli decus.

Oh-h-h! Good heavens! The way he kisses, the villain, fit only to grace a coffin!


Edepol animam suaviorem aliquanto quam uxoris meae.

My word! Rather sweeter breath than my wife's!


Dic amabo, an fetet anima uxoris tuae?

Do tell me, there's a dear—your wife's breath isn't bad, is it?


Nauteam bibere malim, si necessum sit, quam illam oscularier.

I'd rather drink bilge water, if it came to that, than kiss her.


Ain tandem? edepol ne tu istuc cum malo magno tuo dixisti in me. sine, revenias modo domum, faxo ut scias quid pericli sit dotatae uxori vitium dicere.

(aside) So? You would, would you? Good gracious, sir, that fling at me will cost you dear. Very well! just you come back home, sir! I'll show you the danger of vilifying a wife with money.


Miser ecastor es.

Goodness me, you poor thing!


Ecastor dignus est.

(aside) Goodness me, he deserves to be!


Quid ais, pater? ecquid matrem amas?

Look here, father. Do you love my mother?


Egone illam? nunc amo, quia non adest. 900

Love her? I? I love her now for not being near.


Quid cum adest?

And when she is near?


Periisse cupio.

I yearn for a death in the family.


Amat homo hic te, ut praedicat.

(to Artemona) This gentleman is fond of you, it seems.


Ne illa ecastor faenerato funditat: nam si domum redierit hodie. osculando ego ulciscar potissimum.

(aside) Oh-h-h! won't he pay interest on that flow of words! Just let him come back home to-day, and that will be my favourite method of revenge—kissing him.


Iace, pater, talos, ut porro nos iaciamus.

(pushing some dice toward Demaenetus) Your throw, father: come, so that I can take my turn.


Maxime. te, Philaenium, mihi atque uxoris mortem, hoc Venerium est. pueri, plaudite et mi ob iactum cantharo mulsum date.

By all means. (as he throws) Here's to you for me, Philaenium, and my wife for the tomb! (looking at throw) Ha! The Venus![F] (to servants) A cheer, lads, and some mead from the tankard for that throw!

[Footnote F: The highest throw.]


Non queo durare.

(aside to Parasite) This is intolerable!


Si non didicisti fulloniam, non mirandum est.[31] in oculos invadi optumum est.

(aside to Artemona) No wonder, if you never learned the fuller's[G] trade. Your best plan is to make a dash for his eyes.

[Footnote G: Fullers being accustomed to unpleasant smells.]


Ego pol vivam et tu istaec hodie cum tuo magno malo invocavisti.

(bursting into house) My heavens, sir, I will live, and you shall pay dear for that petition of yours just now! (tableau)


Ecquis currit pollictorem accersere? 910

(gleefully) Run, some one, and fetch the undertaker!


Mater, salve.

(innocently) How do you do, mother?


Sat salutis.

Enough of your how d'ye do-ing!


Mortuost Demaenetus. tempus est subducere hinc me; pulchre hoc gliscit proelium. ibo ad Diabolum, mandata dicam facta ut voluerit, atque interea ut decumbamus suadebo, hi dum litigant.

(aside) Demaenetus is dead. Time for me to retire from the scene; the battle waxes finely. I'll off to Diabolus and tell him his mandates are executed to the letter, yes, and suggest our taking dinner meantime, while they fight it out.

poste demum huc cras adducam ad lenam, ut viginti minas ei det, in partem hac amanti ut liceat ei potirier. Argyrippus exorari spero poterit, ut sinat sese alternas cum illo noctes hac frui. nam ni impetro, regem perdidi: ex amore tantum est homini incendium.

Then to-morrow when it's over I'll bring him back to the Madame so that he may give her the eighty pounds and get her permission for his fond self to go shares in the girl here. I do hope Argyrippus can be induced to let him have her half the time. For if I don't get so much out of him, I have lost a patron—all one blaze of love, as the fellow is. [EXIT Parasite.


Quid tibi hunc receptio ad te est meum virum?

(to Philaenium) What do you mean by receiving this man at your house—my husband?


Pol me quidem 920 miseram odio enicavit.

Dear, dear! Why, I'm fairly bored to death by him, for my part.


Surge, amator, i domum.

(standing over Demaenetus) Get up, my gallant; home with you!


Nullus sum.

(half aside, afraid to move) I'm a dead man!


Immo es, ne nega, omnium unus pol nequissimus. at etiam cubat cuculus. surge amator, i domum.

Good gracious, no! You're the vilest man living, and you needn't deny it. But he's roosting there still, the cuckoo! Get up, my gallant; home with you!


Vae mihi.

(half aside) Oh, I'm in for it!


Vera hariolare. surge, amator, i domum.

You are a true prophet. Get up, my gallant; home with you!


Abscede ergo paululum istuc.

Well then, do stand a bit farther off.


Surge, amator, i domum.

Get up, my gallant; home with you!


Iam obsecro, uxor.

For heaven's sake now, my dear!


Nunc uxorem me esse meministi tuam? modo, cum dicta in me ingerebas, odium, non uxor eram.

Now you recollect that I am your dear, do you? A moment ago, when you were saying things about me, I was your abomination, not your dear.


Totus perii.

(half aside) It's all up with me, absolutely!


Quid tandem? anima fetetne uxoris tuae?

You really meant it, did you? Your dear's breath smells, does it?


Murram olet.

(hastily) Smells of myrrh, myrrh!


Iam subrupuisti pallam, quam scorto dares?

(ironically) Have you stolen the mantle yet to give this creature?


Ecastor qui subrupturum pallam promisit tibi. 930

He promised he would steal it from you, indeed he did!


Non taces?

(aside to Philaenium) Shut up, won't you?


Ego dissuadebam, mater.

I tried to dissuade him, mother.


Bellum filium. istoscine patrem aequom est mores liberis largirier? nilne te pudet?

A pretty son! (to Demaenetus) Is this the way for a father to edify his children? Is there nothing you're ashamed of? (helps him off the couch by the ear)


Pol, si aliud nil sit, tui me, uxor, pudet.

Oh Lord! You make me ashamed, my dear, if nothing else would.


Cano capite te cuculum uxor ex lustris rapit.

(guiding him toward the door) It's your dear that is dragging you from this den of vice, your hoary-headed cuckoo!


Non licet manere—cena coquitur—dum cenem modo?

Mayn't I stay—dinner's being cooked—just till I've dined?


Ecastor cenabis hodie, ut dignus es, magnum malum.

Good heavens, sir! You shall dine as you deserve today—on dire distress.


Male cubandum est: iudicatum me uxor abducit domum.

(aside) It's a poorish night I'm in for: here I am sentenced, and my wife leading me off—home. (Argyrippus and Philaenium follow them to door)


Dicebam, pater, tibi, ne matri consuleres male.

I kept telling you, father, not to play any tricks on mother.


De palla memento, amabo.

Remember about the mantle, there's a dear!


Iuben hanc hinc abscedere?

(to wife) Tell her to get out of here, won't you?


I domum.

(jerking him along) Home with you!


Da savium etiam prius quam abis.

Do give me another naughty, naughty kiss before we part.


I in crucem. 940

Go to hell!


Immo intro potius. sequere hac me, mi anime.

Oh no, inside, instead, (to Argyrippus, as she goes back inside) Come along with me, darling.


Ego vero sequor.

Indeed I will. [EXEUNT OMNES.



(Spoken by the Company)

Hic senex si quid clam uxorem suo animo fecit volup, neque novum neque mirum fecit nec secus quam alii solent; nec quisquam est tam ingenio duro nec tam firmo pectore, quin ubi quicque occasionis sit sibi faciat bene. nunc si voltis deprecari huic seni ne vapulet, remur impetrari posse, plausum si clarum datis.

If this old gentleman has indulged his inclinations a bit without informing his wife, he has done nothing new or strange, or different from what other men ordinarily do. No one has such an iron nature, such an unyielding heart, as not to do himself a good turn whenever he has any chance. So now in case you wish to beg the old fellow off from a beating, we opine that you can succeed, if you—give us some loud applause.

* * * * *

[Footnote 1: Leo brackets following v., 25-26: ita me obstinate adgressu's, ut non audeam profecto, percontanti quin promam omnia.]

[Footnote 2: Leo brackets following v., 33: ubi flent nequam homines, qui polentam pinsitant.]

[Footnote 3: Corrupt (Leo): obsequellam MSS: obsequellam eam Acidalius.]

[Footnote 4: Leo brackets following v., 77: volo amori obsecutum illius, volo amet me patrem.]

[Footnote 5: Corrupt (Leo): venari autem rete iaculo MSS: reti, iaculo venari autem Vahlen.]

[Footnote 6: Leo notes lacuna here: atqui ibi MSS: ibo atque ibi Camerarius.]

[Footnote 7: Corrupt (Leo): experiri MSS: experi Skutsch.]

[Footnote 8: Leo brackets following v., 252: igitur inveniundo argento ut fingeres fallaciam.]

[Footnote 9: Leo notes lacuna here: istuc MSS: istuc, istuc Palmer.]

[Footnote 10: Corrupt (Leo): exasciato Acidalius: exasceatum MSS.]

[Footnote 11: Leo notes lacuna here: da MSS: dare Fleckeisen.]

[Footnote 12: Leo brackets following vv., 480-483:

in ius voco te. Leon. Non eo. Merc. Non is? memento. Leon. Memini. Merc. Dabitur pol supplicum mihi de tergo vostro. Leon. Vae te tibi quidem supplicum, carnufex de nobis detur? Merc. Atque etiam pro dictis vostris maledicis poenae pendentur mi hodie.]

[Footnote 13: etiam nunc dico MSS: Lindsay excises nunc dico.]

[Footnote 14: Leo brackets following v., 508:

Cle. An decorum est adversari meis te praeceptis? Phil. Quid est? ]

[Footnote 15: Corrupt (Leo): nobis excised by Bothe.]

[Footnote 16: quo est Leo: not in MSS.]

[Footnote 17: Leo brackets following v., 547: scapularam confidentia, virtute ulmorum freti.]

[Footnote 18: advorsum stetimus Ussing: qui advorsum stimulos MSS.]

[Footnote 19: Inductoresque Acidalius and others: indoctoresque MSS.]

[Footnote 20: Leo brackets following v., 552— qui saepe ante in nostras scapulas cicatrices indiderunt— and assumes lacuna following.]

[Footnote 21: Corrupt (Leo): collegae MSS: collegae mei Leo.]

[Footnote 22: Leo brackets following v., 570: ubi periuraris, ubi sacro manus sis admolitus.]

[Footnote 23: Leo brackets following v., 573: ubi amicae quam amico tuo fueris magis fidelis.]

[Footnote 24: Corrupt (Leo): interioris MSS: interior Bothe.]

[Footnote 25: Corrupt (Leo): atque ad me adgredire Langen.]

[Footnote 26: Leo notes slight lacuna here: amicae suae Gulielmius.]

[Footnote 27: Leo brackets following v., 828, 829:

Argyr. Age, decumbamus sis, pater. Dem. Ut iusseris, mi gnate, ita fiet. Argyr. Pueri, mensam adponite.

Argyr. Come father, let's take our places, please. Dem. Just as you say, my dear boy. Argyr. (to slaves) Bring the table, my lads. ]

[Footnote 28: et Pius: ut MSS.]

[Footnote 29: Corrupt (Leo): fui Pylades: fueram Leo.]

[Footnote 30: Corrupt (Leo). hominem (aut) Camerarius.]

[Footnote 31: non mirandumst, (Artemona. Art.). In Havet.]

* * * * *

[Transcriber's Corrections: Asinaria (The Comedy of Asses)

Prologue, l. 11 Maccus vortit barbare Maccus translated it spelling of name unchanged

II. 2. not with a chariot and four, white horses punctuation unchanged

II. 3. He'll be here soon, I fancy. text reads soon, I, fancy.

II. 4. Trader: ... I don't know, by gad. text reads know by, gad. ]

* * * * * * * * * * * * * *



* * * * *



Senex avarus vix sibi credens Euclio domi suae defossam multis cum opibus aulam invenit, rursumque penitus conditam exanguis amens servat. eius filiam Lyconides vitiarat. interea senex Megadorus a sorore suasus ducere uxorem avari gnatam deposcit sibi.

A miserly old man named Euclio, a man who would hardly trust his very self, on finding a pot full of treasure buried within his house, hides it away again deep in the ground, and, beside himself with terror, keeps watch over it. His daughter had been wronged by Lyconides. Meanwhile an old gentleman, one Megadorus, is persuaded by his sister to marry, and asks the miser for his daughter's hand.

durus senex vix promittit, atque aulae timens domo sublatam variis abstrudit locis. insidias servos facit huius Lyconidis qui virginem vitiarat; atque ipse obsecrat 10 avonculum Megadorum sibimet cedere uxorem amanti. per dolum mox Euclio cum perdidisset aulam, insperato invenit laetusque natam conlocat Lyconidi.

The dour old fellow at length consents, and, fearing for his pot, takes it from the house and hides it in one place after another. The servant of this Lyconides, the man who had wronged the girl, plots against the miser; and Lyconides himself entreats his uncle, Megadorus, to give up the girl, and let him, the man that loves her, marry her. After a time Euclio, who had been tricked out of his pot, recovers it unexpectedly and joyfully bestows his daughter upon Lyconides.



*A*ulam repertam auri plenam Euclio *V*i summa servat, miseris adfectus modis. *L*yconides istius vitiat filiam. *V*olt hanc Megadorus indotatam ducere, *L*ubensque ut faciat dat coquos cum obsonio. *A*uro formidat Euclio, abstrudit foris. *R*e omni inspecta compressoris servolus *I*d surpit. illic Euclioni rem refert. *A*b eo donatur auro, uxore et filio.

Euclio, on finding a pot full of gold, is dreadfully worried, and watches over it with the greatest vigilance. Lyconides wrongs his daughter. This girl, undowered though she is, Megadorus wishes to marry, and he cheerfully supplies cooks and provisions for the wedding feast. Anxious about his gold, Euclio hides it outside the house. Everything he does having been witnessed, a rascally servant of the girl's assailant steals it. His master informs Euclio of it, and receives from him gold, wife, and son.




THE HOUSEHOLD GOD OF EUCLIO, the Prologue. EUCLIO, an old gentleman of Athens. STAPHYLA, his old slave. EUNOMIA, a lady of Athens MEGADORUS, an old gentleman of Athens, Eunomia's brother. PYTHODICUS, his slave CONGRIO, cook. ANTHRAX, cook. STROBILUS, slave of Lyconides. LYCONIDES, a young gentleman of Athens, Eunomia's son. PHAEDRIA, Euclio's daughter. MUSIC GIRLS.

Scene:—Athens. A street on which are the houses of Euclio and Megadorus, a narrow lane between them, in front an altar.





Ne quis miretur qui sim, paucis eloquar ego Lar sum familiaris ex hac familia unde exeuntem me aspexistis. hanc domum iam multos annos est cum possideo et colo patri avoque iam huius qui nunc hic habet sed mi avos huius obsecrans concredidit thensaurum auri clam omnis. in medio foco defodit, venerans me ut id servarem sibi.

That no one may wonder who I am, I shall inform you briefly. I am the Household God of that family from whose house you saw me come. For many years now I have possessed this dwelling, and preserved it for the sire and grandsire of its present occupant. Now this man's grandsire as a suppliant entrusted to me, in utter secrecy, a hoard of gold: he buried it in the centre of the hearth, entreating me to guard it for him.

is quoniam moritur—ita avido ingenio fuit— numquam indicare id filio voluit suo, 10 inopemque optavit potius eum relinquere, quam eum thensaurum commonstraret filio; agri reliquit ei non magnum modum, quo cum labore magno et misere viveret.

When he died he could not bear—so covetous was he—to reveal its existence to his own son, and he chose to leave him penniless rather than apprise him of this treasure. Some land, a little only, he did leave him, whereon to toil and moil for a miserable livelihood.

Ubi is obiit mortem qui mihi id aurum credidit, coepi observare, ecqui maiorem filus mihi honorem haberet quam eius habuisset pater. atque ille vero minus minusque impendio curare minusque me impertire honoribus. item a me contra factum est, nam item obiit diem. 20 is ex se hunc reliquit qui hic nunc habitat filium pariter moratum ut pater avosque huius fuit.

After the death of him who had committed the gold to my keeping, I began to observe whether the son would hold me in greater honour than his father had. As a matter of fact, his neglect grew and grew apace, and he showed me less honour. I did the same by him: so he also died. He left a son who occupies this house at present, a man of the same mould as his sire and grandsire.

huic filia una est. ea mihi cottidie aut ture aut vino aut aliqui semper supplicat, dat mihi coronas. eius honoris gratia feci, thensaurum ut hic reperiret Euclio, quo illam facilius nuptum, si vellet, daret nam eam compressit de summo adulescens loco. is scit adulescens quae sit quam compresserit, illa illum nescit, neque compressam autem pater. 30

He has one daughter. She prays to me constantly, with daily gifts of incense, or wine, or something; she gives me garlands. Out of regard for her I caused Euclio to discover the treasure here in order that he might the more easily find her a husband, if he wished. For she has been ravished by a young gentleman of very high rank. He knows who it is that he has wronged; who he is she does not know, and as for her father, he is ignorant of the whole affair.

Eam ego hodie faciam ut hic senex de proxumo sibi uxorem poscat. id ea faciam gratia, quo ille eam facilius ducat qui compresserat. et hic qui poscet eam sibi uxorem senex, is adulescentis illius est avonculus, qui illam stupravit noctu, Cereris vigiliis.

I shall make the old gentleman who lives next door here (pointing) ask for her hand to-day. My reason for so doing is that the man who wronged her may marry her the more easily. And the old gentleman who is to ask for her hand is the uncle of the young gentleman who violated her by night at the festival of Ceres.

sed hic senex iam clamat intus ut solet. anum foras extrudit, ne sit conscia. credo aurum inspicere volt, ne subreptum siet.

(an uproar in Euclio's house) But there is old Euclio clamouring within as usual, and turning his ancient servant out of doors lest she learn his secret. I suppose he wishes to look at his gold and see that it is not stolen. [EXIT.




Exi, inquam. age exi. exeundum hercle tibi hinc est foras, 40 circumspectatrix cum oculis emissicus.

(within) Out with you, I say! Come now, out with you! By the Lord, you've got to get out of here, you snook-around, you, with your prying and spying.



Nam cur me miseram verberas?

(groaning) Oh, what makes you go a-hitting a poor wretch like me, sir?


Ut misera sis atque ut te dignam mala malam aetatem exigas.

(savagely) To make sure you are a poor wretch, so as to give a bad lot the bad time she deserves.


Nam qua me nunc causa extrusisti ex aedibus?

Why, what did you push me out of the house for now?


Tibi ego rationem reddam, stimulorum seges? illuc regredere ab ostio. illuc sis vide, ut incedit. at scin quo modo tibi res se habet? si hercle hodie fustem cepero aut stimulum in manum, testudineum istum tibi ego grandibo gradum.

I give my reasons to you, you,—you patch of beats, you? Over there with you, (pointing) away from the door! (Staphyla hobbles to place indicated) Just look at her, will you,—how she creeps along! See here, do you know what'11 happen to you? Now by heaven, only let me lay my hand on a club or a stick and I'll accelerate that tortoise crawl for you!


Utinam me divi adaxint ad suspendium 50 potius quidem quam hoc pacto apud te servium.

(aside) Oh, I wish Heaven would make me hang myself, I do! Better that than slaving it for you at this rate, I'm sure.


At ut scelesta sola secum murmurat oculos hercle ego istos, improba, ecfodiam tibi, ne me observare possis quid rerum geram abscede etiam nunc—etiam nunc—etiam—ohe.

(aside) Hear the old criminal mumbling away to herself, though! (aloud) Ah! those eyes of yours, you old sinner! By heaven, I'll dig 'em out for you. I will, so that you can't keep watching me whatever I do. Get farther off still! still farther! still—Whoa!

istic astato. si hercle tu ex istoc loco digitum transvorsum aut unguem latum excesseris aut si respexis, donicum ego te iussero, continuo hercle ego te dedam discipulam cruci.

Stand there! You budge a finger's breadth a nail's breadth from that spot; you so much as turn your head till I say the word, and by the Almighty, the next minute I'll send you to the gallows for a lesson, so I will.

scelestiorem me hac anu certo scio 60 vidisse numquam, nimisque ego hanc metuo male, ne mi ex insidiis verba imprudent duit neu persentiscat aurum ubi est absconditum, quae in occipitio quoque habet oculos pessima. nunc ibo ut visam sitne ita aurum ut condidi, quod me sollicitat plurimis miserum modis.

(aside) A worse reprobate than this old crone I never did see, no, never. Oh, but how horribly scared I am she'll come some sly dodge on me when I'm not expecting it, and smell out the place where the gold is hidden. She has eyes in the very back of her head, the hell-cat. Now I'll just go see if the gold is where I hid it. Dear, dear, it worries the life out of me! [EXIT Euclio INTO HOUSE.


Noenum mecastor quid ego ero dicam meo malae rei evenisse quamve insaniam, queo comminisci; ita me miseram ad hunc modum decies die uno saepe extrudit aedibus. 70 nescio pol quae illunc hominem intemperiae tenent; pervigilat noctes totas, tum autem interdius quasi claudus sutor domi sedet totos dies.

Mercy me! What's come over master, what crazy streak he's got, I can't imagine,—driving a poor woman out of the house this way ten times a day, often. Goodness gracious, what whim-whams the man's got into his head I don't see. Never shuts his eyes all night: yes, and then in the daytime he's sitting around the house the whole livelong day, for all the world like a lame cobbler.

neque iam quo pacto celem erilis filiae probrum, propinqua partitudo cui appetit, queo comminisci; neque quicquam meliust mihi, ut opinor, quam ex me ut unam faciam litteram longam, meum laqueo collum quando obstrinxero.

How I'm going to hide the young mistress's disgrace now is beyond me, and she with her time so near. There's nothing better for me to do, as I see, than tie a rope round my neck and dangle myself out into one long capital I.

I. 2.

Scene 2.



Nunc defaecato demum animo egredior domo, postquam perspexi salva esse intus omnia. 80 redi nunciam intro atque intus serva.

(aside) At last I can feel easy about leaving the house, now I have made certain everything is all right inside. (to Staphyla) Go back in there this instant, you, and keep watch inside.


Quippini? ego intus servem? an ne quis aedes auferat? nam hic apud nos nihil est aliud quaesti furibus, ita inaniis sunt oppletae atque araneis.

(tartly) I suppose so! So I'm to keep watch inside, am I? You aren't afraid anyone'll walk away with the house, are you? I vow we've got nothing else there for thieves to take— all full of emptiness as it is, and cobwebs.


Mirum quin tua me causa faciat Iuppiter Philippum regem aut Dareum, trivenefica araneas mihi ego illas servari volo. pauper sum, fateor, patior, quod di dant fero.

It is surprising Providence wouldn't make a King Philip or Darius of me for your benefit, you viper, you! (threateningly) I want those cobwebs watched! I'm poor, poor; I admit it, I put up with it; I take what the gods give me.

abi intro, occlude ianuam. iam ego hic ero cave quemquam alienum in aedis intro miseris 90 quod quispiam ignem quaerat, extingui volo, ne causae quid sit quod te quisquam quaeritet nam si ignis vivet, ut extinguere extempulo.

In with you, bolt the door. I shall be back soon. No outsider is to be let in, mind you. And in case anyone should be looking for a light, see you put the fire out so that no one will have any reason to come to you for it. Mark my words, if that fire stays alive, I'll extinguish you instantly.

tum aquam aufugisse dicito, si quis petet. cultrum, securim, pistillum, mortarium, quae utenda vasa semper vicini rogant, fures venisse atque abstulisse dicito profecto in aedis meas me absente neminem volo intro mitti. atque etiam hoc praedico tibi si Bona Fortuna veniat, ne intro miseris 100

And then water—if anyone asks for water, tell him it's all run out. As for a knife, or an axe, or a pestle, or a mortar,—things the neighbours are all the time wanting to borrow—tell 'em burglars got in and stole the whole lot. I won't have a living soul let into my house while I'm agone—there! Yes, and what's more, listen here, if Dame Fortune herself comes along, don't you let her in.


Pol ea ipsa credo ne intro mittatur cavet, nam ad aedis nostras numquam adit, quamquam prope est.

Goodness me, she won't get in: she'll see to that herself, I fancy. Why, she never comes to our house at all, no matter how near she is.


Tace atque abi intro.

Keep still and go inside. (advances on her)


Taceo atque abeo.

(hurrying out of reach) I'm still, sir, I'm going!


Occlude sis fores ambobus pessulis. iam ego hic ero.

Mind you lock the door, both bolts. I'll soon be back. [EXIT Staphyla INTO HOUSE.

discrucior animi, quia ab domo abeundum est mihi. nimis hercle invitus abeo. sed quid agam scio. nam noster nostrae qui est magister curiae dividere argenti dixit nummos in viros, id si relinquo ac non peto, omnes ilico me suspicentur, credo habere aurum domi. 110 nam non est veri simile, hominem pauperem pauxillum parvi facere quin nummum petat.

It's agony having to leave the house, downright agony. Oh my God, how I do hate to go! But I have my reasons. The director of our ward gave notice he was going to make us a present of two shillings a man; and the minute I let it pass without putting in my claim, they'd all be suspecting I had gold at home, I'm sure they would. No, it doesn't look natural for a poor man to think so little of even a tiny bit of money as not to go ask for his two shillings.

nam nunc cum celo sedulo omnis, ne sciant, omnes videntur scire et me benignius omnes salutant quam salutabant prius; adeunt, consistunt, copulantur dexteras, rogitant me ut valeam, quid agam, quid rerum geram. nunc quo profectus sum ibo; postidea domum me rursum quantum potero tantum recipiam.

Why, even now, hard as I try to keep every one from finding out, it seems as if every one knew: it seems as if every one has a heartier way of saying good day than they used to. Up they come, and stop, and shake hands, and keep asking me how I'm feeling, and how I'm getting on, and what I'm doing. Well, I must get along to where I'm bound; and then I'll come back home just as fast as I possibly can. [EXIT Euclio





Velim te arbitrari med haec verba, frater, 120 meai fidei tuaique rei causa facere, ut aequom est germanam sororem. quamquam haud falsa sum nos odiosas haberi; nam multum loquaces merito omnes habemur, nec mutam profecto repertam ullam esse aut hodie dicunt mulierem aut ullo in saeclo.

Brother, I do hope you'll believe I say this out of my loyalty to you and for your welfare, as a true sister should. Of course I'm well enough aware you men think us women are a bother; yes, awful chatterboxes—that's the name we all have, and (ruefully) it fits. And then that common saying, "Never now, nor through the ages, never any woman dumb."

verum hoc, frater, unum tamen cogitato, tibi proximam me mihique esse item te; ita aequom est quod in rem esse utrique arbitremur et mihi te et tibi me consulere et monere; 130 neque occultum id haberi neque per metum mussari, quin participem pariter ego te et tu me ut facias, eo nunc ego secreto ted huc foras seduxi, ut tuam rem ego tecum hic loquerer familiarem.

But just the same, do remember this one thing, brother,— that I am closer to you and you to me than anyone else in the whole world. So both of us ought to advise and counsel each other as to what we feel is to either's advantage, not keep such things back or be afraid to speak out openly, we ought to confide in one another fully, you and I. This is why I've taken you aside out here now—so that we can have a quiet talk on a matter that concerns you intimately.


Da mi, optuma femina, manum.

(warmly) Let's have your hand, you best of women!


Ubi ea est? quis ea est nam optuma?

(pretending to look about) Where is she? Who on earth is that best of women?





Tune ais?

You say that—you?


Si negas, nego.

(banteringly) Oh well, if you deny it—


Decet te equidem vera proloqui; nam optuma nulla potest eligi: alia alia peior, frater, est.

Really now, you ought to be truthful. There's no such thing, you know, as picking out the best woman; it's only a question of comparative badness, brother.


Idem ego arbitror, 140 nec tibi advorsari certum est de istac re umquam, soror.

My own opinion precisely. I'll never differ with you there, sister, you may count on that.


Da mihi operam amabo.

Now do give me your attention, there's a dear.


Tuast, utere atque impera, si quid vis.

It is all your own; use me, command me—anything you wish.


Id quod in rem tuam optumum esse arbitror, ted id monitum advento.

I'm going to advise you to do something that I think will be the very best thing in the world for you.


Soror, more tuo facis.

Quite like you, sister.


Factum volo.

I certainly hope so.


Quid est id, soror?

And what is this something, my dear?


Quod tibi sempiternum salutare sit: liberis procreandis— ita di faxint—volo te uxorem domum ducere.

Something that will make for your everlasting welfare. You should have children. God grant you may!—and I want you to marry.


Ei occidi.

Oh-h-h, murder!


Quid ita? 150

How so?


Quia mihi misero cerebrum excutiunt tua dicta, soror: lapides loqueris.

Well, you're knocking my poor brains out with such a proposition, my dear girl: you're talking cobble-stones.


Heia, hoc face quod te iubet soror.

Now, now, do what your sister tells you.


Si lubeat, faciam.

I would, if it appealed to me.


In rem hoc tuam est.

It would be a good thing for you.


Ut quidem emoriar prius quam ducam. sed his legibus si quam dare vis ducam: quae cras veniat, perendie foras feratur; his legibus dare vis? cedo: nuptias adorna.

Yes—to die before marrying. (pause) All right. I'll marry anyone you please, on this condition, though: her wedding to-morrow, and her wake the day after. Still wish it, on this condition? Produce her! Arrange for the festivities!


Cum maxima possum tibi, frater, dare dote; sed est grandior natu: media est mulieris aetas. eam si iubes, frater, tibi me poscere, poscam. 160

I can get you one with ever so big a dowry, dear. To be sure, she's not a young girl—middle-aged, as a matter of fact. I'll see about it for you, brother, if you want.


Num non vis me interrogare te?

You don't mind my asking you a question, I dare say?


Immo, si quid vis, roga.

Why, of course not; anything you like.


Post mediam aetatem qui media ducit uxorem domum, si eam senex anum praegnatem fortuito fecerit, quid dubitas, quin sit paratum nomen puero Postumus?

Now supposing a man pretty well on in life marries a lady of maturity and this aged female should happen to show intentions of making the old fellow a father—can you doubt but that the name in store for that youngster is Postumus?[A]

[Footnote A: The last born, or born after the father's death.]

nunc ego istum, soror, laborem demam et deminuam tibi. ego virtute deum et maiorum nostrum dives sum satis. istas magnas factiones, animos, dotes dapsiles, clamores, imperia, eburata vehicla, pallas, purpuram, nil moror quae in servitutem sumptibus redigunt viros.

See here, sister, I'll relieve you of all this and save you trouble. I'm rich enough, thanks be to heaven and our forbears. And I have no fancy at all for those ladies of high station and hauteur and fat dowries, with their shouting and their ordering and their ivory trimmed carriages and their purple and fine linen that cost a husband his liberty.


Dic mihi, quaeso, quis ea est quam vis ducere uxorem?

For mercy's sake tell me who you do want to marry, then!


Eloquar. 170 nostin hunc senem Euclionem ex proximo pauperculum?

I'm going to. You know the old gentleman—rather hard up, poor fellow,—that lives next door, Euclio?


Novi, hominem haud malum mecastor.

Yes indeed. Why, he seems quite nice.


Eius cupio filiam virginem mihi desponderi. verba ne facias, soror. scio quid dictura es: hanc esse pauperem. haec pauper placet.

It's his daughter—there's the engagement I'm eager for. Now don't make a fuss, sister. I know what you're about to say— that she's poor. But this particular poor girl suits me.


Di bene vortant.

God's blessing on your choice, dear!


Idem ego spero.

I trust so.


Quid me? num quid vis?

(about to leave) Well, there's nothing I can do?



Yes—take good care of yourself.


Et tu, frater.

You too, brother. [EXIT Eunomia.


Ego conveniam Euclionem, si domi est. sed eccum video. nescio unde sese homo recipit domum.

Now for an interview with Euclio, if he's at home. (looking down street) Hullo, though! here he is! Just getting back from somewhere or other.

II. 2.

Scene 2.

ENTER Euclio.


Praesagibat mi animus frustra me ire, quom exibam domo; itaque abibam invitus; nam neque quisquam curialium venit neque magister quem dividere argentum oportuit. 180 nunc domum properare propero, nam egomet sum hic, animus domi est.

(without seeing Megadorus) I knew it! Something told me I was going on a fool's errand when I left the house; that's why I hated to go. Why, there wasn't a single man of our ward there, or the director either, who ought to have distributed the money. Now I'll hurry up and hurry home: I'm here in the body, but that's where my mind is.


Salvos atque fortunatus, Euclio, semper sies.

(advancing with outstretched hand) Good day to you, Euclio, yes, and the best of everything to you always!


Di te ament, Megadore.

(taking hand gingerly) God bless you, Megadorus.


Quid tu? recten atque ut vis vales?

How goes it? All right, are you? Feeling as well as you could wish?


Non temerarium est, ubi dives blande appellat pauperem. iam illic homo aurum scit me habere, eo me salutat blandius.

(aside) There's something behind it when a rich man puts on that smooth air with a poor one. Now that fellow knows I've got gold: that's why he's so uncommon smooth with his salutations.


Ain tu te valere?

You say you are well?


Pol ego haud perbene a pecunia.

Heavens, no: I feel low, very low—in funds.


Pol si est animus aequos tibi. sat habes qui bene vitam colas.

(cheerily) Well, well, man, if you have a contented mind, you've got enough to enjoy life with.


Anus hercle huic indicium fecit de auro, perspicue palam est. cui ego iam linguam praecidam atque oculos effodiam domi.

(aside, frightened) Oh, good Lord! The old woman has let on to him about the gold! It's discovered, clear as can be! I'll cut her tongue out, I'll tear her eyes out, the minute I get at her in the house!


Quid tu solus tecum loquere?

What is that you're saying to yourself?


Meam pauperiem conqueror. 190 virginem habeo grandem, dote cassam atque inlocabilem, neque eam queo locare cuiquam.

(startled) Just ... how awful it is to be poor. And I with a grown-up girl, without a penny of dowry, that I can't get off my hands or find a husband for.


Tace, bonum habe animum, Euclio. dabitur, adiuvabere a me. dic, si quid opust, impera.

(clapping him on the back) There, there, Euclio! Cheer up. She shall be married: I'll help you out. Come now, call on me, if you need anything.


Nunc petit, cum pollicetur; inhiat aurum ut devoret. altera manu fert lapidem, panem ostentat altera. nemini credo qui large blandust dives pauperi ubi manum inicit benigne, ibi onerat aliqua zamia ego istos novi polypos, qui ubi quidquid tetigerunt tenent.

(aside) When he agrees to give he wants to grab! Mouth wide open to gobble down my gold! Holds up a bit of bread in one hand and has a stone in the other! I don't trust one of these rich fellows when he's so monstrous civil to a poor man. They give you a cordial handshake, and squeeze something out of you at the same time. I know all about those octopuses that touch a thing and then—stick.


Da mi operam parumper. paucis, Euclio, est quod te volo de communi re appellare mea et tua.

I should be glad to have a moment of your time, Euclio. I want to have a brief talk with you on a matter that concerns us both.


Ei misero mihi, 200 aurum mi intus harpagatum est. nunc hic eam rem volt scio, mecum adire ad pactionem. verum intervisam domum.

(aside) Oh, God save us! My gold's been hooked, and now he wants to make a deal with me! I see it all! But I'll go in and look. (hurries toward house)


Quo abis?

Where are you off to?


Iam ad te revortar. nunc est quod visam domum.

Just a moment!... I'll be back ... the fact is ... I must see to something at home. [EXIT INTO HOUSE.


Credo edepol, ubi mentionem ego fecero de filia mi ut despondeat, sese a me derideri rebitur, neque illo quisquam est alter hodie ex paupertate parcior.

By Jove! I suppose he'll think I'm making fun of him when I speak about his giving me his daughter; poverty never made a fellow closer-fisted.



Di me servant, salva res est. salvom est si quid non perit nimis male timui. prius quam intro redii, exanimatus fui. redeo ad te, Megadore, si quid me vis.

(aside) Thank the Lord, I'm saved! It's safe—that is, if it's all there. Ah, but that was a dreadful moment! I nearly expired before I got in the house. (to Megadorus) Here I am, Megadorus, if you want anything of me.


Habeo gratiam. quaeso, quod te percontabor, ne id te pigeat pro loqui. 210

Thanks. Now I trust you won't mind answering the questions I'm going to ask.


Dum quidem ne quid perconteris quod non lubeat proloqui.

(cautiously) No-no—that is, if you don't ask any I don't like to answer.


Dic mihi. quali me arbitrare genere prognatum?

Frankly now, what do you think of my family connections?



(grudgingly) Good.


Quid fide?

And my sense of honour?





Quid factis?

And my general conduct?


Neque malis neque improbis.

Not bad, not disreputable.


Aetatem meam scis?

You know my age?


Scio esse grandem, item ut pecuniam.

Getting on, getting on, I know that—(aside) financially, too.


Certe edepol equidem te civem sine mala omni malitia semper sum arbitratus et nunc arbitror.

Now Euclio, I've always considered you a citizen of the true, trusty type, by Jove, I certainly have, and I do still.


Aurum huic olet. quid nunc me vis?

(aside) He's got a whiff of my gold. (aloud) Well, what do you want?


Quoniam tu me et ego te qualis sis scio. quae res recte vortat mihique tibique tuaeque filiae, filiam tuam mi uxorem posco. promitte hoc fore.

Now that we appreciate each other, I'm going to ask you—and may it turn out happily for you and your girl and me—to give me your daughter in marriage. Promise you will.


Heia, Megadore, haud decorum facinus tuis factis facis, 220 ut inopem atque innoxium abs te atque abs tuis me inrideas. nam de te neque re neque verbis merui ut faceres quod facis.

(whining) Now, now, Megadorus! This is unlike you, unworthy of you, making fun of a poor man like me that never harmed you or yours. Why, I never said or did a thing to you to deserve being treated so.


Neque edepol ego te derisum venio neque derideo, neque dignum arbitror.

Good Lord, man! I didn't come here to make fun of you, and I'm not making fun of you: I couldn't think of such a thing.


Cur igitur poscis meam gnatam tibi?

Then why are you asking for my daughter?


Ut propter me tibi sit melius mihique propter te et tuos.

Why? So that we may all of us make life pleasanter for one another.


Venit hoc mihi, Megadore, in mentem, ted esse hominem divitem, factiosum, me autem esse hominem pauperum pauperrimum; nunc si filiam locassim meam tibi, in mentem venit te bovem esse et me esse asellum: ubi tecum coniunctus siem, ubi onus nequeam ferre pariter, iaceam ego asinus in luto, 230 tu me bos magis haud respicias, gnatus quasi numquam siem.

Now here's the way it strikes me, Megadorus,—you're a rich man, a man of position: but as for me, I'm poor, awfully poor, dreadfully poor. Now if I was to marry off my daughter to you, it strikes me you'd be the ox and I'd be the donkey. When I was hitched up with you and couldn't pull my share of the load, down I'd drop, I, the donkey, in the mud; and you, the ox, wouldn't pay any more attention to me than if I'd never been born at all.

et te utar iniquiore et meus me ordo inrideat, neutrubi habeam stabile stabulum, si quid divorti fuat: asini me mordicibus scindant, boves incursent cornibus. hoc magnum est periclum, ab asinis ad boves transcendere.

You would be too much for me: and my own kind would haw-haw at me: and if there should be a falling out, neither party would let me have stable quarters: the donkeys would chew me up and the oxen would run me through. It is a very hazardous business for donkeys to climb into the ox set.


Quam ad probos propinquitate proxime te adiunxeris. tam optumum est. tu condicionem hanc accipe, ausculta mihi, atque eam desponde mi.

But honourable human beings—the more closely connected you are with them, the better. Come, come, accept my offer: listen to what I say and promise her to me.


At nihil est dotis quod dem.

But not one penny of dowry can I give.


Ne duas. dum modo morata recte veniat, dotata est satis.

Don't. Only let me have a girl that's good, and she has dowry enough.


Eo dico, ne me thensauros repperisse censeas. 240

(forcing a laugh) I mention this just so that you mayn't think I've found some treasure.


Novi, ne doceas. desponde.

Yes, yes, I understand. Promise.


Fiat. sed pro Iuppiter, num ego disperii?

So be it. (aside, starting at noise) Oh, my God! Can it be I'm ruined, ruined?


Quid tibi est?

What's the matter?


Quid crepuit quasi ferrum modo?

That noise? What was it—a sort of clinking sound? [EXIT INTO HOUSE HURRIEDLY.


Hic apud me hortum confodere iussi. sed ubi hic est homo? abiit neque me certiorem fecit. fastidit mei, quia videt me suam amicitiam velle. more hominum facit; nam si opulentus it petitum pauperioris gratiam, pauper metuit congrediri, per metum male rem gerit. idem, quando occasio illaec periit, post sero cupit.

(not noticing his departure) I told them to do some digging in my garden here. (looking around) But where is the man? Gone away and left me—without a word! Scorns me, now he sees I desire his friendship! Quite the usual thing, that. Yes, let a wealthy man try to get the regard of a poorer one, and the poor one is afraid to meet him half-way: his timidity makes him injure his own interests. Then when it's too late and the opportunity is gone he longs to have it again.

RE-ENTER Euclio.


Si hercle ego te non elinguandam dedero usque ab radicibus, 250 impero auctorque ego sum, ut tu me cuivis castrandum loces.

(to Staphyla within) By heaven, if I don't have your tongue torn out by the very roots, I give you orders, give you full authority, to hand me over to anyone you please to be skinned alive. (approaches Megadorus)


Video hercle ego te me arbitrari, Euclio, hominem idoneum, quem senecta aetate ludos facias, haud merito meo.

Upon my word, Euclio! So you think I am the proper sort of man to make a fool of, at my time of life, and without the slightest reason.


Neque edepol, Megadore, facio, neque. si cupiam, copia est.

Bless my soul! I'm not making a fool of you, Megadorus: I couldn't if I would.


Quid nunc? etiam mihi despondes filiam?

(doubtfully) Well now, do you mean I am to have your daughter?


Illis legibus, cum illa dote quam tibi dixi.

On the understanding she goes with the dowry I mentioned.


Sponden ergo?

You consent, then?



I consent.


Di bene vertant.

And may God prosper us!


Ita di faxint. illud facito ut memineris convenisse ut ne quid dotis mea ad te afferret filia.

Yes, yes,—and mind you remember our agreement about the dowry: she doesn't bring you a single penny.



I remember.


At scio quo vos soleatis pacto perplexarier. pactum non pactum est, non pactum pactum est, quod vobis lubet. 260

But I know the way you folks have of juggling things: now it's on and now it's off, now it's off and now it's on, just as you like.


Nulla controversia mihi tecum erit. sed nuptias num quae causa est quin faciamus hodie?

You shall have no occasion to quarrel with me. But about the marriage—there's no reason for not having it to-day, is there?


Immo edepol optuma.

Dear, dear, no! The very thing, the very thing!


Ibo igitur, parabo. numquid me vis?

I'll go and make arrangements, then, (turning to leave) Anything else I can do?


Istuc. ei et vale.

Only that. Go along. Good-bye.


Heus, Pythodice, sequere propere me ad macellum strenue.

(calling at the door of his house) Hey, Pythodicus! quick! [ENTER Pythodicus] Down to the market with me—come, look alive! [EXEUNT.


Illic hinc abiit. di immortales, obsecro, aurum quid valet.[1] (265) id inhiat, ea affinitatem hanc obstinavit gratia. (267) Ubi tu es, quae deblateravisti iam vicinis omnibus, meae me filiae daturum dotem? heus, Staphyla, te voco. ecquid audis?

(looking after them) He's gone! Ah, ye immortal gods, doesn't money count! That is what he's gaping after. That is why he's so set on being my son-in-law. (goes to the door and calls) Where are you, you blabber, telling the whole neighbourhood I'm going to give my daughter a dowry! Hi-i! Staphyla! It's you I'm calling. Can't you hear!

II. 3.

Scene 3.

ENTER Staphyla.


Vascula intus pure propera atque elue: 270 filiam despondi ego: hodie huic nuptum Megadoro dabo.

Hurry up with the dishes inside there and give them a good scouring. I have betrothed my daughter: she marries Megadorus here to-day.


Di bene vortant. verum ecastor non potest, subitum est nimis.

God bless them! (hastily) Goodness, though! It can't be done. This is too sudden.


Tace atque abi. curata fac sint cum a foro redeam domum; atque aedis occlude; iam ego hic adero.

Silence! Off with you! Have things ready by the time I get back from the forum. And lock the door, mind; I shall be here soon. [EXIT Euclio.


Quid ego nunc agam? nunc nobis prope adest exitium, mi atque erili filiae, nunc probrum atque partitudo prope adest ut fiat palam; quod celatum atque occultatum est usque adhuc, nunc non potest. ibo intro, ut erus quae imperavit facta, cum veniat, sient. nam ecastor malum maerore metuo ne mixtum bibam.

What shall I do now? Now we're all but ruined, the young mistress and me: now it's all but public property about her being disgraced and brought to bed. We can't conceal it, we can't keep it dark any longer now. But I must go in and do what master ordered me before he gets back. Oh deary me! I'm afraid I've got to take a drink of trouble and tribulation mixed. [EXIT Staphyla INTO HOUSE.

II. 4.

Scene 4.

(An hour has elapsed.)



Postquam obsonavit erus et conduxit coquos 280 tibicinasque hasce apud forum, edixit mihi ut dispertirem obsonium hic bifariam.

(importantly) After master did the marketing and hired the cooks and these music girls at the forum, he told me to take and divide all he'd got into two parts.


Me quidem hercle, dicam tibi palam, non divides. si quo tu totum me ire vis, operam dabo.

By Jupiter, you shan't make two parts of me, let me tell you that plainly! If you'd like to have the whole of me anywhere, why, I'll accommodate you.


Bellum et pudicum vero prostibulum popli. post si quis vellet, te hand non velles dividi.

(to Anthrax) You pretty boy, yes, you nice little everybody's darling, you! Why, if anyone wanted to make two parts of a real man out of you, you oughtn't to be cut up about it.


Atque ego istuc, Anthrax, alio vorsum dixeram, non istuc quo tu insimulas. sed erus nuptias meus hodie faciet.

Now, now, Anthrax, I mean that otherwise from what you make out. Look here, my master's marrying to-day.


Cuius ducit filiam?

Who's the lady?


Vicini huius Euclionis senis e proximo. 290 ei adeo obsoni hinc iussit dimidium dari, cocum alterum itidemque alteram tibicinam.

Daughter of old Euclio that lives next door here. Yes sir, and what's more, he's to have half this stuff here, and one cook and one music girl, too, so master said.


Nempe huc dimidium dicis, dimidium domum?

You mean to say half goes to him and half to you folks?


Nempe sicut dicis.

Just what I do mean.


Quid? hic non poterat de suo senex obsonari filiai nuptiis?

I say, couldn't the old boy pay for the catering for his daughter's wedding his own self?



(scornfully) Pooh!


Quid negotist?

What's the matter?


Quid negoti sit rogas? pumex non aeque est aridus atque hic est senex.

The matter, eh? You couldn't squeeze as much out of that old chap as you could out of a pumice stone.


Ain tandem?

(incredulously) Oh, really now!


Ita esse ut dixi. tute existuma: quin divom atque hominum clamat continue fidem,[2] suam rem periisse seque eradicarier, 300 de suo tigillo fumus si qua exit foras. quin cum it dormitum, follem obstringit ob gulam.

That's a fact. Judge for yourself. Why, I tell you he begins bawling for heaven and earth to witness that he's bankrupt, gone to everlasting smash, the moment a puff of smoke from his beggarly fire manages to get out of his house. Why, when he goes to bed he strings a bag over his jaws.



What for?


Ne quid animae forte amittat dormiens.

So as not to chance losing any breath when he's asleep.


Etiamue obturat inferiorem gutturem, ne quid animai forte amittat dormiens?

Oh yes! And he puts a stopper on his lower windpipe, doesn't he, so as not to chance losing any breath while he's asleep?


Haec mihi te ut tibi med aequom est, credo, credere.

(ingenuously) You should believe me, I believe, just as I should believe you.


Immo equidem credo.

(hurriedly) Oh, no, no! I do believe, of course!


At scin etiam quomodo? aquam hercle plorat, cum lavat, profundere.

But listen to this, will you? Upon my word, after he takes a bath it just breaks him all up to throw away the water.


Censen talentum magnum exorari pote ab istoc sene ut det, qui fiamus liberi? 310

D'ye think the old buck could be induced to make us a present of a couple of hundred pounds to buy ourselves off with?


Famem hercle utendam si roges, numquam dabit. quin ipsi pridem tonsor unguis dempserat: collegit, omnia abstulit praesegmina.

Lord! He wouldn't make you a loan of his hunger, no sir, not if you begged him for it. Why, the other day when a barber cut his nails for him he collected all the clippings and took 'em home.


Edepol mortalem parce parcum praedicas.

My goodness, he's quite a tight one, from what you say.


Censen vero adeo esse parcum et miserum vivere? pulmentum pridem ei eripuit milvos: homo ad praetorem plorabundus devenit; infit ibi postulare plorans, eiulans, ut sibi liceret milvom vadarier. sescenta sunt quae memorem, si sit otium. 320 sed uter vestrorum est celerior? memora mihi.

Honest now, would you believe a man could be so tight and live so wretched? Once a kite flew off with a bit of food of his: down goes the fellow to the magistrate's, blubbering all the way, and there he begins, howling and yowling, demanding to have the kite bound over for trial. Oh, I could tell hundreds of stories about him if I had time. (to both cooks) But which of you is the quicker? Tell me that.


Ego, et multo melior.

I am, and a whole lot better, too.


Cocum ego, non furem rogo.

At cooking I mean, not thieving.


Cocum ergo dico.

Well, I mean cooking.


Quid tu ais?

(to Congrio) And how about you?


Sic sum ut vides.

(with a meaning glance at Anthrax) I'm what I look.


Cocus ille nundinalest, in nonum diem solet ire coctum.

He's nothing but a market-day cook, that chap: he only gets a job once a week.


Tun, trium litterarum homo me vituperas? fur.

You running me down, you? You five letter man, you! You T-H-I-E-F!


Etiam fur, trifurcifer.

Five letter man youself! Yes, and five times—penned!

II. 5.

Scene 5.


Tace nunciam tu, atque agnum hinc uter est pinguior cape atque abi intro ad nos.

(to Anthrax) Come, come, shut up, you: and this fattest lamb here, (pointing) take it and go over to our house.



(grinning triumphantly at Congrio) Aye, aye, sir.



Tu, Congrio, quem illic reliquit agnum, eum sume atque abi [3]intro illuc, et vos illum sequimini. vos ceteri ite huc ad nos.

Congrio, you take this one he's left (pointing) and go into that house there, (pointing to Euclio's) and as for you, (indicating some of the attendants) you follow him. The rest of you come over to our house.


Hercle iniuria 330 dispertivisti: pinguiorem agnum isti habent.

Hang it! That's no way to divide: they've got the fattest lamb.


At nunc tibi dabitur pinguior tibicina. i sane cum illo, Phrugia. tu autem, Eleusium, huc intro abi ad nos.

Oh well, I'll give you the fattest music girl. (turning to girls) That means you, Phrygia: you go with him. As for you, Eleusium, you step over to our place. [EXEUNT Eleusium AND OTHERS INTO HOUSE OF Megadorus.


O Pythodice subdole, hucine detrusti me ad senem parcissimum? ubi si quid poscam, usque ad ravim poscam prius quam quicquam detur.

Oh, you're a wily one, Pythodicus! Shoving me off on this old screw, eh? If I ask for anything there, I can ask myself hoarse before I get a thing.


Stultus et sine gratia es. [4]tibi recte facere, quando quod facias perit.

An ungrateful blockhead is what you are. The idea of doing you a favour, when it's only thrown away!


Qui vero?

Eh? How so?


Rogitas? iam principio in aedibus turba istic nulla tibi erit: siquid uti voles, 340 domo abs te adferto, ne operam perdas poscere. his autem apud nos magna turba ac familia est supellex, aurum, vestis, vasa argentea:

How so? Well, in the first place there won't be an uproarious gang in that house to get in your way: if you need anything, just you fetch it from home so as not to waste time asking for it. Here at our establishment, though, we do have a great big uproarious gang of servants, and knick-knackery and jewellery and clothes and silver plate lying about.

ibi si perierit quippiam—quod te scio facile abstinere posse, si nihil obviam est— dicant: coqui abstulerunt, comprehendite, vincite, verberate, in puteum condite. horum tibi istic nihil eveniet: quippe qui ubi quid subripias nihil est. sequere hac me.

Now if anything was missing,—of course it's easy for you to keep your hands off, provided there's nothing in reach,— they'd say: "The cooks got away with it! Collar 'em! Tie 'em up! Thrash 'em! Throw 'em in the dungeon!" Now over there (pointing to Euclio's) nothing like this will happen to you—as there's nothing at all about for you to filch. (going toward Euclio's house) Come along.



(sulkily) Coming. (he and the rest follow)

II. 6.

Scene 6.


Heus, Staphyla, prodi atque ostium aperi.

(knocking at door) Hey! Staphyla! Come here and open the door.


Qui vocat? 350

(within) Who is it?





Quid vis?

(sticking her head out) What do you want?


Hos ut accipias coquos tibicinamque obsoniumque in nuptias. Megadorus iussit Euclioni haec mittere.

Take these cooks and the music girl and the supplies for the wedding festival. Megadorus told us to take 'em over to Euclio's.


Cererin, Pythodice, has sunt facturi nuptias?

(examining the provisions disappointedly) Whose festival are they going to celebrate, Pythodicus? Ceres'?



Why hers?


Quia temeti nihil allatum intellego.

Well, no tipple's[B] been brought, as I notice.

[Footnote B: The use of wine was forbidden at the festival called the Cereris nuptiae.]


At iam afferetur, si a foro ipsus redierit.

But there'll be some all right when the old gent gets back from the forum.


Ligna hic apud nos nulla sunt.

We haven't got any firewood in the house.


Sunt asseres?

Any rafters in it?


Sunt pol.

Mercy, yes.


Sunt igitur ligna, ne quaeras foris.

There's firewood in it, then: never mind going for any.


Quid, impurate? quamquam Volcano studes, cenaene causa aut tuae mercedis gratia 360 nos nostras aedis postulas comburere?

Hey? You godless thing! even though you are a devotee of Vulcan, do you want us to burn our house down, all for your dinner or your pay? (advances on him)


Haud postulo.

(shrinking back) I don't, I don't!


Duc istos intro.

Take 'em inside.



(brusquely) This way with you.


II. 7.

Scene 7.


Curate. ego intervisam quid faciant coqui; quos pol ut ego hodie servem, cura maxuma est. nisi unum hoc faciam, ut in puteo cenam coquant: inde coctam sursum subducemus corbulis.

(as they leave) Look out for things. (starting for Megadorus's house) I'll go see what the cooks are at. By gad, it's the devil's own job keeping an eye on those chaps. The only way is to make 'em cook dinner in the dungeon and then haul it up in baskets when it's done.

si autem deorsum comedent, si quid coxerint, superi incenati sunt et cenati inferi. sed verba hic facio, quasi negoti nil siet, rapacidarum ubi tantum sit in aedibus. 370

Even so, though, if they're down there gobbling up all they cook, it's a case of starve in heaven and stuff in hell. But here I am gabbling away just as if there wasn't anything to do, and the house all full of those young Grabbits. [EXIT Pythodicus.

II. 8.

Scene 8.



Volui animum tandem confirmare hodie meum, ut bene me haberem filiai nuptiis. venio ad macellum, rogito pisces: indicant caros; agninam caram, caram bubulam, vitulinam, cetum, porcinam: cara omnia. atque eo fuerunt cariora, aes non erat. abeo iratus illinc, quoniam nihil est qui emam.

Now I did want to be hearty to-day, and do the handsome thing for daughter's wedding, yes I did. Off I go to the market—ask for fish! Very dear! And lamb dear... and beef dear... and veal and tunny and pork... everything dear, everything! Yes, and all the dearer for my not having any money! It just made me furious, and seeing I couldn't buy anything, I up and left.

ita illis impuris omnibus adii manum. deinde egomet mecum cogitare intervias occepi: festo die si quid prodegeris, 380 profesto egere liceat, nisi peperceris. postquam, hanc rationem ventri cordique edidi, accessit animus ad meam sententiam, quam minimo sumptu filiam ut nuptum darem.

That's how I circumvented 'em, the whole dirty pack of 'em. Then I began to reason things out with myself as I walked along. "Holiday feasting makes everyday fasting," says I to myself, "unless you economize." After I'd put the case this way to my stomach and heart, my mind supported my motion to cut down daughter's wedding expenses just as much as possible.

nunc tusculum emi hoc et coronas floreas: haec imponentur in foco nostro Lari, ut fortunatas faciat gnatae nuptias. sed quid ego apertas aedis nostras conspicor? et strepitust intus. numnam ego compilor miser?

Now I've bought a little frankincense here and some wreaths of flowers: we'll put 'em on the hearth in honour of our Household God, so that he may bless daughter's marriage. (looking toward house) Eh! What's my door open for? A clattering inside, too! Oh. mercy on us! It can't be burglars, can it?


Aulam maiorem, si pote, ex vicinia 390 pete: haec est parva, capere non quit.

(within, to an attendant) See if you can't get a bigger pot from one of the neighbours: this here's a little one: it won't hold it all.


Ei mihi, perii hercle. aurum rapitur, aula quaeritur.[5] (392) Apollo, quaeso, subveni mi atque adiuva, (394) confige sagittis fures thensaurarios, si cui in re tali iam subvenisti antidhac. sed cesso prius quam prorsus perii currere?

Oh, my God! my God! I'm ruined! They're taking my gold! They're after my pot! Oh, oh, Apollo, help me, save me! Shoot your arrows through them, the treasure thieves, if you've ever helped a man in such a pinch before! But I must rush in before they ruin me entirely! [EXIT Euclio.

II. 9.

Scene 9.

ENTER Anthrax FROM HOUSE OF Megadorus.


Dromo, desquama piscis. tu, Machaerio, congrum, murenam exdorsua quantum potest. ego hinc artoptam ex proximo utendam peto 400 a Congrione. tu istum gallum, si sapis, glabriorem reddes mihi quam volsus ludiust.

(to servants inside) Dromo, scale the fish. As for you, Machaerio, you bone the conger and lamprey as fast as you know how. I'm going over next door to ask Congrio for the loan of a bread pan. And you there! if you know what's good for you, you won't hand me back that rooster till it's plucked cleaner than a ballet dancer.

sed quid hoc clamoris oritur hinc ex proximo? coqui hercle, credo, faciunt officium suom. fugiam intro, ne quid turbae hic itidem fuat.

(sound of scuffle in Euclio's house) Hallo, though! What's the row in the house next door? Hm! the cooks settling down to business, I reckon! I'll hustle back, or we'll be having a rumpus at our place, too. [EXIT.





Attatae! cives,[6] populares, incolae, accolae, advenae omnes, date viam qua fugere liceat. facite totae plateae pateant. neque ego umquam nisi hodie ad Bacchas veni in Bacchanal coquinatum, ita me miserum et meos discipulos fustibus male contuderunt. totus doleo atque oppido perii, ita me iste habuit senex gymnasium; 410

(in burlesque panic) Hi-i-i! Citizens, natives, inhabitants, neighbours, foreigners, every one—give me room to run! Open up! Clear the street! (stopping at some distance from the house) This is the first time I ever came to cook for Bacchantes at a Bacchante den. Oh dear, what an awful clubbing I and my disciples did get! I'm one big ache! I'm dead and gone! The way that old codger took me for a gymnasium!

attat, perii hercle ego miser, aperit bacchanal. adest, 411a sequitur. scio quam rem geram: hoc ipsus magister me docuit. 412a neque ligna ego usquam gentium praeberi vidi pulchrius, itaque omnis exegit foras, me atque hos, onustos fustibus.

(Euclio's door opens and he appears, cudgel in hand) Oh— ow—ow! Good Lord be merciful! I'm done for! He's opening the den; he's at the door; he's after me! I know what I'll do: (retires) he's taught me my lesson, my master has. I never in all my life saw a place where they were freer handed with their wood: (rubbing his shoulders) why, when he drove the lot of us out he let us have big sticks of it, all we could stagger under.

III. 2.

Scene 2.


Redi. quo fugis nunc? tene, tene.

(going into street) Come back! Where are you running to now? Stop him, stop him!


Quid, stolide, clamas?

What are you yelling for, stupid?


Quia ad tris viros iam ego deferam nomen tuom.

Because I am going to report your name to the police this instant.


Quam ob rem?



Quia cultrum habes.

Well, you carry a knife.


Cocum decet.

And so a cook should.


Quid comminatu's mihi?

And how about your threatening me?


Istud male factum arbitror, quia non latus fodi.

It's a pity I didn't jab it through you, I'm thinking.


Homo nullust te scelestior qui vivat hodie neque quoi ego de industria amplius male plus libens faxim. 420

There isn't a more abandoned villain than you on the face of the earth, or one I'd be gladder to go out of my way to punish more, either.


Pol etsi taceas, palam id quidem est: res ipsa testist; ita fustibus sum mollior magis quam ullus cinaedus. sed quid tibi nos tactiost, mendice homo?

Good Lord! That's evident enough, even if you didn't say so: the facts speak for themselves. I've been clubbed till I'm looser than any fancy dancer. Now what did you mean by laying hands on me, you beggar?


Quae res? etiam rogitas? an quia minus quam aequom erat feci?

What's that? You dare ask me? Didn't I do my duty by you—is that it? (lifts cudgel)


Sine, at hercle cum magno malo tuo, si hoc caput sentit.

(backing away) All right: but by gad, you'll pay heavy for it, or I'm a numskull.


Pol ego haud scio quid post fuat: tuom nunc caput sentit. sed in aedibus quid tibi meis nam erat negoti me absente, nisi ego iusseram? volo scire.

Hm! I don't know anything about the future of your skull, but (chuckling and tapping his cudgel) it must be numb now. (savagely) See here, what the devil were you doing in my house without my orders while I was gone? That's what I want to know.


Tace ergo. quia venimus coctum ad nuptias.

Well then, shut up. We came to cook for the wedding, that's all.


Quid tu, malum, curas, utrum crudum an coctum ego edim, nisi tu mi es tutor? 430

And how does it concern you, curse you, whether I eat my food cooked or take it raw—unless you are my guardian?


Volo scire, sinas an non sinas nos coquere his cenam?

Are you going to let us cook dinner here or not? That's what I want to know.


Volo scire ego item, meae domi mean salva futura?

Yes, and I want to know whether my things at home will be safe?


Utinam mea mihi modo auferam, quae adtuli, salva: me haud paenitet, tua ne expetam.

All I hope is I can get safe away with my own things that I brought there. That'll do for me: don't worry about my hankering for anything you own.


Scio, ne doce, novi.

(incredulous) I know. You needn't go on. I quite understand.


Quid est qua prohibes nunc gratia nos coquere hic cenam? quid fecimus, quid diximus tibi secus quam velles?

Why won't you let us cook dinner here now? What have we done? What have we said that you didn't like?


Etiam rogitas, sceleste homo, qui angulos in omnis mearum aedium et conclavium mihi pervium facitis? ibi ubi tibi erat negotium, ad focum si adesses, non fissile auferres caput: merito id tibi factum est. 440

A pretty question, you villainous rascal, with your making a public highway of every nook and cranny in my whole house! If you had stayed by the oven where your business lay, you wouldn't be carrying that cloven pate: it serves you right.

adeo ut tu meam sententiam iam noscere possis si ad ianuam huc accesseris, nisi iussero, propius, ego te faciam miserrimus mortalis uti sis. scis iam meam sententiam.

(with forced composure) Now further, just to acquaint you with my sentiments in the matter,—you come any nearer this door without my permission, and I will make you the most forlorn creature in God's world. Now you know my sentiments. [EXIT INTO HOUSE.


Quo abis? redi rursum. ita me bene amet Laverna, uti te iam, nisi reddi mihi vasa iubes, pipulo te his differam ante aedis. quid ego nunc agam? ne ego edepol veni huc auspicio malo. nummo sum conductus: plus iam medico merce dest opus.

(calling after him) Where are you off to? Come back! So help me holy Mother of Thieves, but I'll soon make it warm for you, the way I'll rip up your reputation in front of the house here, if you don't have my dishes brought back! (as Euclio closes the door) Now what? Oh, hell! It certainly was an unlucky day when I came here! Two shillings for the job, and now it'll take more than that to pay the doctor's bill.

III. 3.

Scene 3.



Hoc quidem hercle, quoquo ibo, mecum erit, mecum feram, neque isti id in tantis periclis umquam committam ut siet. 450 ite sane nunciam omnes, et coqui et tibicinae, etiam intro duce, si vis, vel gregem venalium, coquite, facite, festinate nunciam, quantum libet.

(aside) By heaven, wherever I go this goes (peering under cloak) too: I won't leave it there to run such risks, never. (to Congrio and others) Very well, come now, in with you, cooks, music girls, every one! (to Congrio) Go on, take your under-strappers inside if you like, the whole hireling herd of 'em. Cook away, work away, scurry around to your hearts' content now.


Temperi, postquam implevisti fusti fissorum caput.

A nice time for it, after you've clubbed my head till it's all cracks!


Intro abite, opera huc conducta est vostra, non oratio.

In with you. You were engaged to get up a dinner here, not a declamation.


Heus, senex, pro vapulando hercle ego abs te mercedem petam. coctum ego, non vapulatum, dudum conductus fui.

I say, old boy, I'll come to you with my bill for that basting, by the Lord I will. I was hired a while ago to be cook, not to be thumped.


Lege agito mecum. molestus ne sis. i et cenam coque, aut abi in malum cruciatum ab aedibus.

Well, go to law about it. Don't bother me. Away with you: get dinner, or else get to the devil out of here.


Abi tu modo.

You just get to—(mildly, as he pushes in past him) one side, then. [EXEUNT Congrio AND HIS ASSOCIATES INTO HOUSE.

III. 4.

Scene 4.


Illic hinc abiit. di immortales, facinus audax incipit 460 qui cum opulento pauper homine coepit rem habere aut negotium.[7] veluti Megadorus temptat me omnibus miserum modis, qui simulavit mei honoris mittere huc causa coquos: is ea causa misit, hoc qui surriperent misero mihi.

(looking after them) He's disappeared. My Lord, my Lord! It's an awful chance a poor man takes when he begins to have dealings or business with a wealthy man. Here's Megadorus now, trying to catch me—oh, dear, dear!—in all sorts of ways. Sending cooks over here and pretending it's because of regard for me! Sent 'em to steal this (looking under cloak) from a poor old man—that's what his sending 'em was because of!

condigne etiam meus med intus gallus gallinacius, qui erat anu peculiaris, perdidit paenissume. ubi erat haec defossa, occepit ibi scalpurrire ungulis circum circa. quid opust verbis? ita mihi pectus peracuit: capio fustem, obtrunco gallum, furem manufestarium.

And then of course that dunghill cock of mine in there, that used to belong to the old woman, had to come within an inch of ruining me, beginning to scratch and claw around where this (looking under cloak) was buried. Enough said. It just got me so worked up I took a club and annihilated that cock, the thief, the redhanded thief!

credo edepol ego illi mercedem gallo pollicitos coquos, 470 si id palam fecisset. exemi ex manu[8] manubrium.[9] (471) sed Megadorus meus affinis eccum incedit a foro. (473) iam hunc non ausim praeterire, quin consistam et conloquar.

By heaven, I do believe the cooks offered that cock a reward to show them where this (looking under cloak) was. I took the handle (looking under cloak) out of their hands! (looking down street) Ah, but there is son-in-law Megadorus swaggering back from the forum. I suppose it would hardly do for me to pass him without stopping for a word or two, now.

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