Amphitryo, Asinaria, Aulularia, Bacchides, Captivi
by Plautus Titus Maccius
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Haec oves vobis malam rem magnam, quam debent, dabunt

These sheep are going to give you all the trouble they owe you.


Si quam debes, te condono: tibi habe, numquam abs te petam. sed quid est quapropter nobis vos malum minitamini?

If you owe anything, I'll forgive it you: keep it yourself— I'll never come to you for it. But what's the reason for your threatening us with trouble?


Quia nostros agnos conclusos istic esse aiunt duos.

Because they say our lambs are shut up in there, (pointing to house) two of them.


Et praeter eos agnos meus est istic clam mordax canis: qui nisi nobis producuntur iam atque emittuntur foras, arietes truces nos erimus, iam in vos incursabimus.

And besides those lambs, there's a dog of mine, a biter, skulking in there: unless these beasts are produced for us immediately and let out of doors, we'll turn into ferocious rams, and immediately butt you.


Soror, est quod te volo secreto.

Sister, I want a word with you in private, (takes her aside)


Eho, amabo.

(inquiringly) Well, well, there's a dear!


Quo illaec abeunt?

Where are they off to?


Senem illum tibi dedo ultenorem, lepide ut lenitum reddas; 1150 ego ad hunc iratum adgrediar, si possumus nos hos intro inlicere huc.

I give that further old fellow (pointing to Philoxenus) over to you to get nicely pacified; I'll make up to this bear, (indicating Nicobulus) and we'll see if we can't lure them inside here.


Meum pensum ego lepide accurabo, quamquam odiost mortem amplexari.

(without enthusiasm) I'll take care of my stint nicely enough, even though it is sickening to hug a death's-head.


Facito ut facias.

See you do it.


Taceas. tu tuom facito: ego quod dixi haud mutabo.

Hush! You do your share, and I won't fail to keep my word.


Quid illaec illic in consilio duae secreto consultant?

What are they scheming, those two, in that secret session?


Quid ais tu, homo?

(awkwardly) I say, old fellow.


Quid me vis?

What do you want?


Pudet dicere me tibi quiddam.

There's something I'm ashamed to tell you.


Quid est quod pudeat?

What is it you are ashamed of?


Sed amico homini tibi quod volo credere certumst. nihili sum.

But to a good friend like you—yes, I'm going to own up to what I want. (pauses) I'm an ass.


Istuc iam pridem scio. sed qui nihili es? id memora.

I have known that for some time. But why are you an ass? Explain that.


Tactus sum vehementer visco; cor stimulo foditur.

(with a wry smile) I'm most confoundedly caught in bird-lime; my heart's pierced by a goad.


Pol tibi multo aequius est coxendicem. sed quid istuc est? etsi iam ego ipsus quid sit probe scire puto me; 1160 verum audire etiam ex te studeo.

Jove! much more to the point, if it were your nether portions! But what do you mean? And yet I think I have a pretty fair notion myself what it is already; however, I'm anxious to have it from your own lips.


Viden hanc?

Do you see this girl? (pointing to the Sister)



I do.


Haud mala est mulier.

(approvingly) Not a bad one!


Pol vero ista mala et tu nihili.

(indignantly) Good Lord! She certainly is a bad one, and you are an ass.


Quid multa? ego amo.

(not listening) In short, I'm in love with her.


An amas?

You in love?


nai gar.

Bien sur!


Tun, homo putide, amator istac fieri aetate audes?

You, you disgusting creature? You venture to turn lover at your age?


Qui non?

Why not?


Quia flagitium est.

Because it's infamous.


Quid opust verbis? meo filio non sum iratus, neque te tuost aequom esse iratum: si amant, sapienter faciunt.

(gathering courage rapidly) Tut, tut! I'm not angry at my son, and you oughtn't to be angry at yours: if they're in love, they're acting wisely.


Sequere hac.

(to sister) Come along.


Eunt eccas tandem probri perlecebrae et persuastrices, quid nunc? etiam redditis nobis filios et servom? an ego experior tecum vim maiorem?

Ah, there they come at last, the seductive, persuasive pests! (to sisters) Well now? See here, are you going to give us back our sons and servant? Or shall I try more vigorous measures with you?


Abin hinc? non homo tu quidem es, qui istoc pacto tam lepidam inlepide appelles.

(to Nicobulus, protestingly) Get out, will you? There's no red blood in you, addressing a sweet little girl (leering at Bacchis) in that sour fashion.


Senex optime quantumst in terra, sine me hoc exorare abs te, 1170 ut istuc delictum desistas tanto opere ire oppugnatum.

(to Nicobulus, as she tries to fondle him) You nicest old man in all the world, do let me persuade you not to be so awfully opposed to your son's naughtiness.


Ni abeas, quamquam tu bella es, malum tibi magnum dabo iam.

(struggling to be very stern) Unless you get away from me—no matter if you are pretty—I'll give you a good sound slap this minute.


Patiar, non metuo, ne quid mihi doleat quod ferias.

(softly, still fondling him) I'll take it. I'm not afraid of your striking me so as to hurt at all.


Ut blandiloquast! ei mihi, metuo.

(aside) What a coaxer she is! Oh, dear me! I'm afraid!


Hic magis tranquillust.

(caressing Philoxenus to his high satisfaction) This one is more peaceful.


I hac mecum intro atque ibi, si quid vis, filium concastigato.

Do come inside here with me: yes, and punish your son ever so, in there, if you like.


Abin a me, scelus?

Get away from me, you hussy!


Sine, mea pietas, te exorem.

Let me persuade you, that's a love! (tries to draw him toward house)


Exores tu me?

You persuade me?


Ego quidem ab hoc certe exorabo.

I'll certainly persuade my man, at any rate.


Immo ego te oro, ut me intro abducas.

(returning her embrace with vigour) No you won't: I myself beg you to take me inside.


Lepidum te.

Oh, you delightful man!


At scin quo pacto me ad te intro abducas?

But do you know on what condition you can take me inside.


Mecum ut sis.

Yes, your being with me.


Omnia quae cupio commemoras.

The sum total of my desires!


Vidi ego nequam homines, verum te neminem deteriorem.

(pulling himself together) I have seen worthless men, but never a worse one than you.


Ita sum. 1180

(cheerfully) So I am.


I hac mecum intro, ubi tibi sit lepide victibus, vino atque unguentis.

(to Nicobulus) Do come along inside with me: you'll have a lovely time—things to eat, and wine and perfumes.


Satis, satis iam vostrist convivi: me nil paenitet ut sim acceptus: quadringentis Philippis filius me et Chrysalus circumduxerunt. quem quidem ego ut non excruciem, alterum tantum auri non meream.

Enough, enough of your banqueting already—it makes no difference to me how I'm entertained! Four hundred pounds I've been tricked out of by my son and Chrysalus. And I wouldn't forgo making that slave bleed for it, not for another four hundred.


Quid tandem, si dimidium auri redditur, in hac mecum intro? atque ut eis delicta ignoscas.

Well, but supposing half of it is given back, won't you come in with me, then? Yes, and pardon their offences?



He'll do it.


Minime, nolo. nil moror, sine sic. malo illos ulcisci ambo.

(with all his remaining resolution) Not a bit of it. I don't want to. None of this for me: leave me alone. I prefer to take vengeance on that pair.


Etiam tu homo nihili? quod di dant boni cave culpa tua amissis dimidium auri datur. accipias, potesque et scortum aecumbas.

(aside to Nicobulus) See here, you—ass! Look out you don't lose the blessings the gods give you, and have yourself to blame for it. Here's half the money given you: take it, and drink and have a good time with the wench.


Egon ubi filius corrumpatur meus, ibi potem?

(very feebly) I drink in the house where my son is being debauched?


Potandumst. 1190

(clapping him on the shoulder) Drink you must.


Age iam, id ut ut est, etsi est dedecori patiar, facere inducam animum egon, cum haec cum illo accubet, inspectem?

(giving way temporarily) Come on then, no matter what it is, disgraceful though it be, I'll stand it, I'll bring myself to it. (after a pause, doubtfully) Am I to look on while she's on the couch beside him?


Immo equidem pol tecum accumbam, te amabo et te amplexabor.

Goodness me, no indeed! I'll be on the couch beside you, loving you and hugging you. (snuggles up to him)


Caput prurit, perii, vix negito.

(aside) My head does itch! Dear, dear, dear! It is hard to keep on saying no!


Non tibi venit in mentem, amabo, si dum vivas tibi bene facias tam pol id quidem esse haud perlonginquom, neque, si hoc hodie amissis, post in morte eventurum esse umquam?

My dear man, doesn't it occur to you that, supposing you do enjoy yourself all your life, this life is very, very short, after all,—good gracious, yes!—and that if you let this chance slip, it won't come again when you're dead, ever?


Quid ago?

(nearly helpless) What am I to do?


Quid agas? rogitas etiam?

To do? The idea of asking that!


Libet et metuo.

I long to, and—I'm afraid.


Quid metuis?

Afraid of what?


Ne obnoxius filio sim et servo.

Of humbling myself before my son and servant.


Mel meum, amabo, etsi haec fiunt, tuost: unde illum sumere censes, nisi quod tute illi dederis? hanc veniam illis sine te exorem.

Oh, honey, there's a dear, now! Even if it's all so, he's your own boy: where do you think he's to get money, except from your own generous self? Do let me persuade you to forgive them.


Ut terebrat! satin offirmatum quod mihi erat, id me exorat? 1200 tua sum opera et propter te improbior.

(half aside) How she does drill through a man! Is she actually persuading me against my fixed intention? (giving up the struggle and yielding to Bacchis's caresses) I'm a reprobate now, and all because of you and your efforts.


Ne tis[32] quam mea mavellem. satin ego istuc habeo firmatum?

(softly and tenderly) Oh, I do wish it had been your efforts rather than (giving her sister a dreary smile) mine. So I'm actually to take that as your fixed intention?


Quod semel dixi haud mutabo

What I have once said I won't change.


It dies, ite intro accubitum, filii vos exspectant intus.

The day is going: go inside and take your places on the couches. Your sons are within waiting for you.


Quam quidem actutum emoriamur.

(dryly) Yes, waiting for us to breathe our last with celerity.


Vesper hic est, sequimini.

It's evening: come along.


Ducite nos quo lubet tamquam quidem addictos.

Take us where you please, just as if we were your veritable bond servants.


Lepide ipsi hi sunt capti, suis qui filiis fecere insidias.

(aside to spectators) Here they are, prettily caught themselves—after laying traps for their sons. [EXEUNT OMNES INTO HOUSE OF Bacchis.




Hi senes nisi fuissent nihili iam inde ab adulescentia, non hodie hoc tantum flagitium facerent canis capitibus; neque adeo haec faceremus, ni antehac vidissemus fieri, ut apud lenones rivales filiis fierent patres. 1210 spectatores, vos valere volumus et clare adplaudere.

Unless these old men had been worthless from their very youth, they would not be guilty of such an enormity as this to-day when their heads are hoary; nor, indeed, would we have presented such a comedy, unless we had seen before now how fathers become their sons' rivals at places of unsavoury repute. Spectators, we wish you health and—your loud applause.

* * * * *

[Footnote 1: Leo notes lacuna here: aedis Ritschl.]

[Footnote 2: Leo notes lacuna here: fide Leo.]

[Footnote 3: Corrupt (Leo): perii MSS: prope Ritschl.]

[Footnote 4: Leo brackets following v., 67: ubi pro disco damnum capiam, pro cursura dedecus?]

[Footnote 5: Leo brackets following v., 69: ubique imponat in manum alius mihi pro cestu cantharum.]

[Footnote 6: Leo brackets following v., 107: simul huic nescio cui, turbare qui huc it, decedamus.]

[Footnote 7: Leo brackets following v., 150: video nimio iam multo plus quam volueram. ]

[Footnote 8: Leo brackets following v., 153, 154: nil moror discipulos mihi iam plenos sanguinis. valens afflictat me vacivom virium.]

[I have no liking for these full-blooded pupils: the sturdy youngster is bullying me, destitute of strength as I am.]

[Footnote 9: Leo brackets following v., 166, 167: edepol fecisti furtum in aetatum malum cum istaec flagitia me celavisti et patrem.]

[Good heavens! Such villainy in a lad of your age, concealing such atrocities from me and from your father!]

[Footnote 10: Tardare Hauptius: turbare MSS.]

[Footnote 11: Leo brackets following v., 377-378: quibus patrem et me teque amicosque omnes affectas tuos ad probrum, damnum, flagitium appellere una et perdere.]

[You are doing your best by such conduct to bring ignominy, loss, disgrace, upon every one of us, your father and me and yourself and all your friends, and ruin us.]

[Footnote 12: Leo brackets following v., 382: nunc prius quam malum istoc addis, certumst iam dicam patri]

[Footnote 13: sed eccum video incedere follows in MSS: Leo brackets.]

[Footnote 14: Leo brackets following v., 446: it magister quasi lucerna uncto expretus linteo.]

[Footnote 15: Pistocleri follows in MSS: Leo brackets.]

[Footnote 16: Leo brackets following v., 465, 466: nam illum meum malum promptare malim quam peculium. Phil. Quidem? Lydus Quia, malum si promptet, in dies faciat minus. ]

[Yes, yes, I should rather have him administer my punishment than my money. Phil. Why so? Lydus Because if he administered my punishment, there would soon be none left.]

[Footnote 17: Leo brackets following v., 486-488: quid opust verbis? si opperiri vellem paulisper modo, ut opinor, illius inspectandi mi esset maior copia, plus viderem quam deceret, quam me atque illo aequom foret.]

[Why say more? If I had wished to remain but a little longer, I should have had further opportunity to observe his conduct, I suppose, and I should have seen more than was proper, more than became me and him.]

[Footnote 18: Leo brackets the following v., 519a-519c: sed autem quam illa umquam meis opulentiis ramenta fiat gravior aut propensior, mori me malim excruciatum inopia.]

[However, rather than have my money make her a fraction the weightier or heavier, I'd prefer to perish in the pangs of want.]

[Footnote 19: Corrupt (Leo): tute (etiam) Seyffert: tute (eam) Lindsay.]

[Footnote 20: Leo notes lacuna here: Quae te (male) mala Lindsay.]

[Footnote 21: Corrupt (Leo). At quidem hercle est ad perdundum magis quam ad scribundum cita Camerarius: various readings MSS.]

[Footnote 22: Leo notes lacuna here: tu (scelus) Ritschl.]

[Footnote 23: Corrupt (Leo): Latona Spes MSS: Luna Spes Bergk: Lato Spes Ussing.]

[Footnote 24: Leo brackets the following v., 931: cepi expugnavi amanti erili filio aurum ab suo patre.]

[Footnote 25: Leo brackets the following v., 937-940: Epiust Pistoclerus: ab eo haec sumptae; Mnesilochus Sino est relictus, ellum non in busto Achilli, sed in lecto accubat; Bacchidem habet secum: ille olim habuit ignem qui signum daret, hunc ipsum exurit; ego sum Vlixes, cuius consilio haec gerunt.]

[Our Epius is Pistoclerus: from his hands were they taken. Mnesilochus is Sinon the abandoned. Behold him! not lying at Achilles' tomb, but on a couch, he has a Bacchis with him, that one of old had a fire, to give the signal,—but this Sinon is burning himself. I am Ulysses whose counsel directs it all.]

[Footnote 26: Leo brackets the following v., 962-965: ibi vix me exsolvi: id periclum adsimilo, Vlixem ut praedicant cognitum ab Helena esse proditum Hecubae, sed ut olim ille se blanditiis exemit et persuasit se ut amitteret, item ego dolis me illo extuli e periclo et decepi senem]

[Then it was I just managed to get free: this danger I liken to that they tell of when Ulysses was recognized by Helen and betrayed to Hecuba. But as he, in former days, got away by means of his honeyed words and persuaded her to let him go, so also I, by means of my wiles, got out of danger and deceived the old man.]

[Footnote 27: Leo brackets the following v., 973-977: sed Priamus hic multo illi praestat: non quinquaginta modo, quadringentos filios habet atque equidem omnis lectos sine probro: eos ego hodie omnis contruncabo duobus solis ictibus. nunc Priamo nostro si est quis emptor, comptionalem senem vendam ego, venalem quem habeo, extemplo ubi oppidum ex pugnavero.]

[But this Priam is far superior to that one, not a mere fifty sons has he; he has four hundred, yes, and every one is unquestionably a choice and flawless specimen. This day I will annihilate 'em all with just two blows. Now, if there is anyone who cares to buy our Priam, I will sell off the old gentleman I have on sale, as a job lot, the moment I have taken the town by storm.]

[Footnote 28: ut quod iubeo facias follows in MSS: Leo brackets.]

[Footnote 29: Leo brackets the following v., 1081: duxi, habui scortum. potavi, dedi, donavi, sed enim id raro.]

[Footnote 30: Leo brackets the following v., 1100: immo edepol sic ludos factum]

[Footnote 31: Minae ambae Colerus: thimiame MSS.]

[Footnote 32: tis Schroeder: is MSS.]

* * * * *

[Transcriber's Corrections: Bacchides (The Two Bacchises)

I. 2. EXEUNT INTO THE HOUSE OF Bacchis text reads THE HOUSE OF Bacchus

III. 5. l. 553 Mnes. Benevolens vivit tibi. speaker not named in Latin text

IV. 4. l. 640 Chrys. Hunc hominem... text reads Cyhrs.

IV. 9. l. 1065 Nic. Ohe, odiose facis. speaker not named in Latin text

V. 1. l. 1112 Nic. At mihi Chrysalus optumus homo... text reads At mhi...

V. 2. waiting for us to breathe our last with celerity text reads with clerity ]

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



* * * * *



*C*aptust in pugna Hegionis filius; *A*lium quadrimum fugiens servus vendidit. *P*ater captivos commercatur Aleos, *T*antum studens ut natum captum recuperet; *E*t inibi emit olim amissum filium. *I*s suo cum domino veste versa ac nomine *V*t amittatur fecit: ipsus plectitur; *E*t is reduxit captum, et fugitivum simul, *I*ndicio cuius alium agnoscit filium.

One of Hegio's sons has been taken prisoner in a battle with the Eleans; the other was stolen by a runaway slave and sold when he was four years old. The father, in his great anxiety to recover the captured boy, bought up Elean prisoners of war; and among those that he purchased was the son he had lost many years before. This son, having exchanged clothes and names with his Elean master, secured the latter's release, taking the consequences himself. This master of his returned, bringing Hegio's captive son, and along with him that runaway slave, whose disclosures led to the recognition of the other son.




ERGASILUS, a parasite. HEGIO, an old gentleman. SLAVE OVERSEER, belonging to Hegio. PHILOCRATES, a young Elean captive. TYNDARUS, his slave, captured with him. ARISTOPHONTES, a young Elean captive. A PAGE, in the service of Hegio. PHILOPOLEMUS, Hegio's son. STALAGMUS, Hegio's slave.

Scene:—A city in Aetolia. A street on which stands Hegio's house.




Hos quos videtis stare his captives duos, illi qui astant,[1] hi stant ambo, non sedent; hoc vos mihi testes estis me verum loqui. senex qui his habitat Hegio est huius pater.

These two prisoners you see standing here, well, both of those bystanders are men who are—standing, not sitting down. (Prologue laughs uproariously at his pleasantry) I leave it to you if so much is not true. The old man that lives yonder—(pointing to Hegio's house) Hegio, by name— is this man's (pointing to Tyndarus) father.

sed is quo pacto serviat suo sibi patri, id ego hic apud vos proloquar, si operam datis. seni huic fuerunt filii nati duo; alterum quadrimum puerum servos surpuit eumque hinc profugiens vendidit in Alide patri huius. iam hoc tenetis?[2] optume est. 10

But how it happens that he is the slave of his own father I shall (jauntily) here in your midst proclaim, with your kind attention. This old gentleman had two sons. One of them, when he was four years old, was stolen by a slave who took to his heels and sold the boy in Elis to the father of this worthy (pointing to Philocrates) here. Now you take me? Very good!

negat hercle ille ultimus. accedito. si non ubi sedeas locus est, est ubi ambules, quando histrionem cogis mendicarier. ego me tua causa, ne erres, non rupturus sum. vos qui potestis ope vestra censerier, accipite relicuom: alieno uti nil moror.

Bless my soul! That gentleman at the back says he does not. Let him step this way—. (no move in audience) In case there is no opportunity to take a seat, sir, you can take a (pointing to an exit) stroll, seeing you insist on making an actor turn beggar. I have no intention of bursting myself, merely to keep you from misunderstanding the plot. (to rest of audience) As for you gentlemen who do own enough property to pay taxes on, let me discharge my debt— none of the credit system for me.

fugitivos ille, ut dixeram ante, huius patri domo quem profugiens dominum abstulerat vendidit. is postquam hunc emit, dedit eum huic gnato suo peculiarem, quia quasi una aetas erat. 20 hic nunc domi servit suo patri, nec scit pater; enim vero di nos quasi pilas homines habent.

That runaway slave, as I said before, stole his young master when he decamped and sold him to this (indicating Philocrates) man's father. This gentleman, on buying the boy, gave him to this son of his for his very own, the two being of about the same age. Now here he is, back home, his own father's slave without his father knowing it. Ah yes, the gods use us mortals as footballs!

rationem habetis, quo modo unum amiserit. postquam belligerant Aetoli cum Aleis, ut fit in bello, capitur alter filius: medicus Menarchus emit ibidem in Alide. coepit captivos commercari hic Aleos, si quem reperire possit qui mutet suom, illum captivom: hunc suom esse nescit, qui domist.

Well, you comprehend the way in which he lost one son. Later, when war broke out between the Aetolians and Eleans, the other son was taken prisoner—a common occurrence in times of war—and a doctor, Menarchus, in that same Elis, bought the young man. Hegio then began to buy up Elean captives, hoping to get hold of one that he could exchange for his son—the captive son, that is: for he has no idea that this man at his home is his own child.

et quoniam heri indaudivit, de summo loco 30 summoque genere captum esse equitem Aleum, nil pretio parsit, filio dum parceret: reconciliare ut facilius posset domum, emit hosce e praeda ambos de quaestoribus.

And inasmuch as he heard it rumoured yesterday that an Elean knight of the very highest rank and family connections had been captured, he had no thought of saving money if only he could save his son. So in the hope of getting that son back home more readily he bought both of these prisoners from the commissioners who were disposing of the spoils.

hisce autem inter sese hunc confinxerunt dolum. quo pacto hic servos suom erum hinc amittat domum. itaque inter se commutant vestem et nomina; illic vocatur Philocrates, hic Tyndarus: huius illic, hic illius hodie fert imaginem.

These same prisoners, however, have got together and laid a scheme, as you can see, to the end that the slave here (indicating Tyndarus) may send his master off home. Accordingly, they have exchanged clothes and names with each other. That one (indicating Tyndarus) is calling himself Philocrates, and this one (indicating Philocrates) Tyndarus: each is posing as the other for the time being.

et hic hodie expediet hanc docte fallaciam, 40 et suom erum faciet libertatis compotem, eodemque pacto fratrem servabit suom reducemque faciet liberum in patriam ad patrem, imprudens: itidem ut saepe iam in multis locis plus insciens quis fecit quam prudens boni.

And Tyndarus here is going to work out this trick to-day like an artist, and set his master at liberty. By so doing he will rescue his own brother, too, and enable him to return home to his father a free man, all quite unwittingly,—as in so many cases before now a man has often done more good unconsciously than wittingly.

sed inscientes sua sibi fallacia ita compararunt et confinxerunt dolum itaque hi commenti, de sua sententia ut in servitute hic ad suom maneat patrem: ita nunc ignorans suo sibi servit patri; 50 homunculi quanti sunt, quom recogito! haec res agetur nobis, vobis fabula.

But all unconsciously, in their trickery, they have so planned and contrived and schemed, acting upon their own ideas, that Tyndarus will stay here as his own father's slave. So now it is his father he is serving unawares. What helpless creatures we mortals be, when I stop to reflect! All this will be fact on the boards, fiction for the benches.

sed etiam est, paucis vos quod monitos voluerim. profecto expediet fabulae huic operam dare. non pertractate facta est neque item ut ceterae: neque spurcidici insunt versus, immemorabiles; hic neque periurus leno est nec meretrix mala neque miles gloriosus; ne vereamini, quia bellum Aetolis esse dixi cum Aleis: foris illic extra scaenam fient proelia. 60

About one thing more, though, I should like to offer a word or two of suggestion. It will undeniably be to your profit to pay attention to this play. It is not composed in the hackneyed style, is quite unlike other plays; nor does it contain filthy lines that one must not repeat. In this comedy you will meet no perjured pimp, or unprincipled courtesan, or braggart captain. Let not my statement that the Aetolians and Eleans are at war alarm you: engagements will take place off the stage yonder.

nam hoc paene iniquomst, comico choragio conari desubito agere nos tragoediam. proin si quis pugnam expectat, litis contrahat: valentiorem nactus adversarium si erit, ego faciam ut pugnam inspectet non bonam, adeo ut spectare postea omnis oderit.

It would almost amount to imposition, you know, for us, in our comedy get-up, to try to present a tragedy all of a sudden. So if anyone is looking for a battle scene, let him pick a quarrel: if he gets a good strong opponent, I promise him a glimpse of a battle scene so unpleasant that hereafter he will hate the very sight of one.

abeo. valete, iudices iustissimi domi duellique duellatores optumi.

(turning to go) And so good-bye to you, most just of judges here at home and doughtiest of fighters in the field. [EXEUNT Prologue AND Captives.





Iuventus nomen indidit Scorto mihi, eo quia invocatus soleo esse in convivio. 70 scio absurde dictum hoc derisores dicere, at ego aio recte. nam scortum in convivio sibi amator, talos quom iacit, scortum invocat.

The young fellows have dubbed me Missy, on the ground that whenever they're at their banquets I feel called upon to be with 'em. To be sure, the professional wags say it is an absurd nickname, but I protest it's a good one. For at banquets when the young sparks are playing dice they call upon their missies, yes, their missies, to be with 'em as they make a throw.

estne invocatum an non est? est planissume; verum hercle vero nos parasiti planius, quos numquam quisquam neque vocat neque invocat. quasi mures semper edimus alienum cibum; ubi res prolatae sunt, quom rus homines eunt, simul prolatae res sunt nostris dentibus.

Does missy feel called upon to be with 'em, or not? Most unmistakably. But by heaven, I tell you we parasites feel the call more unmistakably still, for no one else ever feels for us or calls us, either. Like mice, we're forever nibbling at some one else's food. When the holidays come, and men hie 'em to their country estates, our grinders take a holiday, too.

quasi, cum caletur, cocleae in occulto latent, 80 suo sibi suco vivont, ros si non cadit, item parasiti rebus prolatis latent in occulto miseri victitant suco suo, dum ruri rurant homines quos ligurriant.

It's the same as snails hiding in their holes during the dog days and living on their own juices when there's no dew falling: that's the way with parasites during the holidays— hide in their holes, poor devils, and subsist on their own juices while the people they could get pickings from are in the rural regions ruralizing.

prolatis rebus parasiti venatici sumus, quando res redierunt, molossici odiosicique et multum incommodestici. et hic quidem hercle, nisi qui colaphos perpeti potest parasitus frangique aulas in caput, [3]ire extra portam Trigeminam ad saccum licet. 90 quod mihi ne eveniat, non nullum periculum est.

So long as the holidays last we parasites are greyhounds: when they're over we are wolf-hounds and dear-hounds and bore- hounds, very much so. And, by gad, in this town, at least, if a parasite objects to being banged about and having crockery smashed on his cranium, he can betake himself to the far side of Three Arch Gate and a porter's bag. (ruefully) Which is precious likely to be my own fate.

nam postquam meus rex est potitus hostium— ita nunc belligerant Aetoli cum Aleis; nam Aetolia haec est, illic est captus in Alide, Philopolemus, huius Hegionis filius senis, qui hie habitat, quae aedes lamentariae mihi sunt, quas quotienscumque conspicio fleo;

For after my patron fell in with the enemy—the Aetolians, you see, are at war now with the Eleans; this is Aetolia, you understand, and it's there in Elis that Philopolemus is a captive, Philopolemus being the son of Hegio here, the old gentleman that lives in (pointing) that house (and a lamentatious house it is! every time I look at it, it makes me weep!)

nunc hic occepit quaestum hunc fili gratia inhonestum et maxime alienum ingenio suo: homines captives commercatur, si queat 100 aliquem invenire, suom qui mutet filium. quod quidem ego nimis quam cupio[4] ut impetret: nam ni illum recipit, nihil est quo me recipiam.

—well, now Hegio has taken up his present business, all for his son's sake, ungentlemanly business as it is, and quite beneath a man of his type. He's buying up prisoners of war, to see if he can't come across one to exchange for his boy. And Lord! how I do yearn for him to succeed! You see, it's a matter of his coming home, or my going hungry.

nam nulla est spes iuventutis, sese omnis amant; ille demum antiquis est adulescens moribus, cuius numquam voltum tranquillavi gratiis. condigne pater est eius moratus moribus. nunc ad eum pergam. sed aperitur ostium, unde saturitate saepe ego exii ebrius.

For our young fellows are absolutely unpromising—egoists, the whole lot of 'em! But he is a young gentleman of the old school, that lad: I never smoothed the wrinkles out of his brow without getting more than a thankye for it. His father is just such another perfect gentleman. Now for a call on him. (moves toward Hegio's house) But there goes his door, out of which I've often come so full of food I was fairly tipsy. (withdraws)

I. 2.

Scene 2.

ENTER Hegio WITH Slave Overseer.


Advorte animum sis tu: istos captives duos, 110 heri quos emi de praeda a quaestoribus, eis indito catenas singularias istas, maiores, quibus sunt iuncti, demito;

Attention, please, my man. Those two captives that I bought yesterday from the commissioners in charge of the spoils— put the light irons on them and take off the heavy ones they're coupled with.

sinito ambulare, si foris si intus volent, sed uti adserventur magna diligentia. liber captivos avis ferae consimilis est: semel fugiendi si data est occasio, satis est, numquam postilla possis prendere.

Let them walk out here or inside, whichever they please; but look after them sharp, mind you. A captive free is a regular wild bird: once given a chance to flit, that is enough—you can never get hold of him again.

Lor. Over.

Omnes profecto liberi lubentius sumus quam servimus.

Well, of course sir, we'd all rather be free than slaves.


Non videre ita tu quidem. 120

That seems untrue of you at any rate.[A]

[Footnote A: Implying that he had not tried to save money to buy his liberty.]

Lor. Over.

Si non est quod dem, mene vis dem ipse—in pedes?

In case I haven't anything else to give you, how about my giving you—the slip?


Si dederis, erit extemplo mihi quod dem tibi.

Give me that, and I shall shortly have something to give you.

Lor. Over.

Avis me ferae consimilem faciam, ut praedicas.

I'll copy that wild bird you speak of.


Ita ut dicis: nam si faxis, te in caveam dabo. sed satis verborumst. cura quae iussi atque abi. ego ibo ad fratrem ad alios captives meos, visam ne nocte hac quippiam turbaverint. inde me continuo recipiam rursum domum.

Exactly—for then I'll cage you. But enough of this. Mind my orders and be off with you. I'll drop in at my brother's for a look at my other prisoners, and see if they made any disturbance last night. Then I'll return home again at once. [EXIT Overseer INTO HOUSE.


Aegre est mi, hunc facere quaestum carcerarium propter sui gnati miseriam miserum senem. 130 sed si ullo pacto ille huc conciliari potest, vel carnificinam hunc facere possum perpeti.

(with a loud sigh) It does grieve me to see the poor old gentleman at this gaoler's job for his poor son's sake. (in lower tone) However, if he only manages to get the lad back here somehow, let him turn hangman, too,—I can stand it.


Quis hic loquitur?

(looking round) Who is that speaking here?


Ego, qui tuo maerore maceror, macesco, consenesco et tabesco miser; ossa atque pellis sum miser a macritudine; neque umquam quicquam me iuvat quod edo domi: foris aliquantillum etiam quod gusto, id beat.

(stepping forward) I—a man that am all worn out by your woe, that am getting thin, growing old, pining away in sorrow; I'm nothing but skin and bones, I feel for you so. Nothing I eat—at home—ever does me any good, (aside) But how I do relish the merest morsel when I'm dining out!


Ergasile, salve.

Ah, good day, Ergasilus.


Di te bene ament, Hegio.

God bless you, Hegio, bless you bounteously! (grasps Hegio's hand fervently and bursts into tears)


Ne fle.

Don't cry.


Egone illum non fleam? egon non defleam talem adulescentem?

I not cry for him? I not cry my eyes out for such a youth?


Semper sensi, filio 140 meo te esse amicum, et illum intellexi tibi.

(somewhat moved) I always did feel that you were a friend to my son, and I realized that he regarded you as one.


Tum denique homines nostra intellegimus bona, quom quae in potestate habuimus, ea amisimus. ego, postquam gnatus tuos potitust hostium, expertus quanti fuerit nunc desidero.

Ah, we mortals realize the value of our blessings only when we have lost them. Myself now—after your son fell in with the enemy, I have come to understand how much he meant to me, and now I long for him.


Alienus cum eius incommodum tam aegre feras, quid me patrem par facerest, cui ille est unicus?

When an outsider like you takes his misfortune so bitterly, how must I feel, his father, and he my only son?


Alienus ego? alienus illi? aha, Hegio, numquam istuc dixis neque animum induxis tuom; tibi ille unicust, mi etiam unico magis unicus. 150

(choking) An outsider? I? An outsider to that boy? Oh-h-h, Hegio! don't say a thing like that, don't let such a thought enter your mind, ever! Your only son, yes,—but he was even more than that to me: he was my only only! (sobs violently)


Laudo, malum cum amici tuom ducis malum, nunc habe bonum animum.

I appreciate this, that you consider your friend's disaster your own. (patting him on the back) Come now, take heart.


Eheu, huic illud dolet, quia nunc remissus est edendi exercitus.

Oh, dear! oh, dear! here's (rubbing his stomach) where it hurts: my whole commissary department has been disbanded now, you see.


Nullumne interea nactu's, qui posset tibi remissum quem dixti imperare exercitum?

(smiling) And meantime haven't you hit upon anyone that could reorganize the department you say is disbanded?


Quid credis? fugitant omnes hanc provinciam, quoi optigerat postquam captust Philopolemus tuos.

Would you believe it? Every one keeps fighting shy of the office ever since your Philopolemus, its duly elected occupant, was captured.


Non pol mirandum est fugitare hanc provinciam, multis et multigeneribus opus est tibi militibus: primumdum opus est Pistorensibus: 160 eorum sunt aliquot genera Pistorensium: opus Paniceis est, opus Placentinis quoque; opus Turdetanis, opust Ficedulensibus; iam maritumi omnes milites opus sunt tibi.

Bless my soul! no wonder they fight shy of it. You need many recruits, of many sorts, too: why, in the first place you need Pad-u-ans;[B] and there are several kinds of Paduans: you need the support of Bologna, and you need Frankfurters too; you need Leghorners and you need Pis-ans, and furthermore you need every fighter in fin land.

[Footnote B: Here, as in the lines 880-883, the translator craves pardon for distorting the ages and spoiling the climes in his efforts to secure something of the effect of the original puns.]


Ut saepe summa ingenia in occulto latent; hic qualis imperator nunc privatus est.

(appreciatively) How often it does happen that the greatest talents are shrouded in obscurity! This man now— what a generalissimo, and here he is only a private citizen!


Habe modo bonum animum, nam illum confido domum in his diebus me reconciliassere. nam eccum hic captivom adulescentem intus Aleum, prognatum genere summo et summis ditiis: 170 hoc illum me mutare confido pote.

Well, well, now, take heart. As a matter of fact, I trust we shall have the boy back with us in a few days. For, look you (pointing to house) I have a young Elean prisoner inside here—splendid family, quantities of money: I count on being able to exchange him for my son.


Ita di deaeque faxint. sed num quo foras vocatus es ad cenam?

(heartily) The gods and goddesses be with you! I say, though,—you haven't been invited out to dinner anywhere?


Nusquam quod sciam sed quid tu id quaeris?

(cautiously) Nowhere, to my knowledge. But why do you ask?


Quia mi est natalis dies; propterea te vocari ad te ad cenam volo

Well, to-day is my birthday: so consider yourself invited to take dinner at—your house.


Facete dictum. sed si pauxillo potes, contentus esse.

(laughing) Well put! But only on condition you can be content with very little.


Ne perpauxillum modo, nam istoc me assiduo victu delecto domi, age sis, roga emptum. nisi qui meliorem adferet quae mi atque amicis placeat condicio magis, 180 quasi fundum vendam, meis me addicam legibus

Yes, only don't make it very, very, very little, for that is what I regale myself on constantly at home. Come on, come on, do please say "Done!" (after a pause, formally) In the event of no party making a better offer, more satisfactory to myself and associates, I'll knock myself down to you—on my own terms—just as if I was selling an estate by auction.


Profundum vendis tu quidem, haud fundum, mihi sed si venturu's, temperi.

An estate indeed! You mean an empty state. But if you intend to come, come in season.


Em, vel iam otium est.

Oho! I'm at leisure this minute, for that matter.


I modo, venare leporem: nunc irim tenes; nam meus scruposam victus commetat viam.

No, no, go hunt your hare: you've got only a hedge-hog so far. For it is a rocky road my table travels.


Numquam istoc vinces me, Hegio, ne postules: cum calceatis dentibus veniam tamen.

You'll never down me that way, Hegio, and don't you think to do it: I'll be with you just the same—with my teeth shod.


Asper meus victus sane est.

My meals are perfect terrors, really.


Sentisne essitas?

Tearers? Do you eat brambles?


Terrestris cena est.

Well, things that root in the earth.


Sus terrestris bestia est.

A porker does that.


Multis holeribus.

Mostly vegetables, I mean.


Curato aegrotos domi. 190 numquid vis?

Open a sanitarium, then. (turning to go) Anything else I can do for you?


Venias temperi.

Come in season.


Memorem mones.

(cheerfully) The suggestion is superfluous. [EXIT.


Ibo intro atque intus subducam ratiunculam, quantillum argenti mi apud trapezitam siet. ad fratrem, quo ire dixeram, mox ivero.

(sighing as he looks at the back of his prospective guest) I must go in and reckon up my bit of a bank balance, and see how low it is. Then to my brother's, where I spoke of going before. [EXIT INTO HOUSE.




Lor. Over.

Si di immortales id voluerunt, vos hanc aerumnam exsequi, decet id pati animo aequo: si id facietis, levior labos erit. domi fuistis, credo, liberi: nunc servitus si evenit, ei vos morigerari mos bonust et erili imperio eamque ingeniis vostris lenem reddere. indigna digna habenda sunt, erus quae facit.

(to captives, patronizingly) Seeing it's the will of Heaven you're in this box, the thing for you to do is to take it calmly: do that, and you won't have such a hard time of it. At home you were free men, I suppose: since you happen to be slaves at present, it's a good idea to accept the situation and a master's orders gracefully, and make things easy to bear by taking 'em the proper way. Anything a master does is right, no matter how wrong it is.


Oh oh oh. 200

(protestingly) Oh-h-h-h!

Lor. Over.

Eiulatione haud opus est, oculis haud[5] lacrimantibus: in re mala animo si bono utare, adiuvat.

There's no need of howling or crying. It helps to take bad things well.


At nos pudet, quia cum catenis sumus.

But to be in chains—we feel disgraced!

Lor. Over.

At pigeat postea nostrum erum, si vos eximat vinculis, aut solutos sinat, quos argento emerit.

But it's disgusted our master would feel later on, if he took the chains off, or let you loose, when he's paid money for you.


Quid a nobis metuit? scimus nos nostrum officium quod est, si solutos sinat.

What has he to fear from us? We realise what our duty is, if he should let us loose.

Lor. Over.

At fugam fingitis: sentio quam rem agitis.

Ah yes, you're planning to run for it! I see what's afoot.


Nos fugiamus? quo fugiamus?

Run—we? Where should we run to?

Lor. Over.

In patriam.



Apage, haud nos id deceat. fugitivos imitari.

Get out! The idea of our acting like runaway slaves!

Lor. Over.

Immo edepol, si erit occasio, haud dehortor. 210

Lord! why not? I'm not saying you shouldn't, if you get the chance.


Unum exorare vos sinite nos.

(with dignity) Be good enough to grant us one request.

Lor. Over.

Quidnam id est?

Well, what is it?


Ut sine hisce arbitris atque vobis nobis detis locum loquendi.

Merely this—give us an opportunity to talk together without being overheard by these good fellows (pointing to slaves) and yourselves.

Lor. Over.

Fiat. abscedite hinc: nos concedamus huc. sed brevem orationem incipisse.

All right. (to slaves) Away with you! (to other overseer) Let's drop back here. (to captives) Make it short, though.


Em istuc mihi certum erat. concede huc.

Oh yes, that was my intention. (to Philocrates, drawing him farther from slaves) Come this way.

Lor. Over.

Abite ab istis.

(to slaves still hanging about) Get out and leave 'em alone. (slaves obey)


Obnoxii ambo vobis sumus propter hanc rem, quom quae volumus nos copia est; ea[6] facitis nos compotes.

(to overseers) We are much obliged to you, both of us, for the privilege of doing as we wish; we owe it to you.


Secede huc nunciam, si videtur, procul. ne arbitri dicta nostra arbitrari queant 220 neu permanet palam haec nostra fallacia. nam doli non doli sunt, nisi astu colas, sed malum maxumum, si id palam provenit.

(to Tyndarus) Step over here now, if you please, come over, so that no one may catch what we say and leave us with a scheme that has leaked out. (they move still farther from the overseers) Shrewd management is what makes a trick a trick, you know: once it gets out, it becomes an instrument of torture.

nam si erus mihi es tu atque ego me tuom esse servom assimulo, tamen viso opust, cauto est opus, ut hoc sobrie sineque arbitris accurate agatur, docte et diligenter; tanta incepta res est: haud somniculose hoc agendum est.

No matter if you are passing as my master and I as your slave, even so we've got to be wary, we've got to be cautious, so that our plan may be worked out in a clear- headed way, quietly and carefully, with discretion and diligence. It's a big job we've got in hand: we can't go to sleep over it.


Ero ut me voles esse.

I will be all you wish me to be, sir.



I hope so.


Nam tu nunc vides pro tuo caro capite carum offerre me meum caput vilitati. 230

For that matter, sir, you already see that to save a man I love, I am holding my own life cheap, much as I love it.



I realize it.


At scire memento, quando id quod voles habebis; nam fere maxima pars morem hunc homines habent; quod sibi volunt, dum id impetrant, boni sunt; sed id ubi iam penes sese habent, ex bonis pessimi et fraudulentissimi fiunt: nunc ut mihi te volo esse autumo.[7] (236)

But remember to realize it when you get what you want. For, generally speaking, men have a habit of being fine fellows so long as they are seeking some favour; but when they have obtained it there's a change, and your fine fellows turn into villainous cheats of the worst description. In all this, sir, I'm telling you how I wish you to act toward me.


Pol ego si te audeam, meum patrem nominem: (238) nam secundum patrem tu es pater proximus.

By heaven, I might call you my father, if I chose: for next to my real father you are the best one I have.



I know, I know.


Et propterea saepius te uti memineris moneo: 240 non ego erus tibi, sed servos sum; nunc obsecro te hoc unum— quoniam nobis di immortales animum ostenderunt suom, ut qui erum me tibi fuisse atque esse conservom velint, quom antehac pro iure imperitabam meo, nunc te oro per precem—

And that's just why I keep reminding you the oftener to remember what the situation calls for: I'm not your master, I'm a slave. Now I beg this one thing of you—since we have unmistakable proof that it's Heaven's will I should no longer be your master but your fellow slave, I, who used to have the right to command you, now implore and entreat you—

per fortunam incertam et per mei te erga bonitatem patris, perque conservitium commune, quod hostica evenit manu, ne me secus honore honestes quam quom servibas mihi, atque ut qui fueris et qui nunc sis meminisse ut memineris.

by the common peril in which we stand and by my father's kindness to you and by the captivity which the chances of war have brought upon us both, don't feel less respect for my wishes than you did when you were my slave, and remember, remember carefully, both who you were and who you are now.


Scio quidem me te esse nunc et te esse me.

Yes, yes, I know that I am you for the time being and that you are I.


Em istuc si potes memoriter meminisse, inest spes nobis in hac astutia. 250

There! manage to remember to keep that in mind, and this scheme of ours looks likely.

II. 2.

Scene 2.



Iam ego revertar intro, si ex his quae volo exquisivero. ubi sunt isti quos ante aedis iussi huc produci foras?

(to those within) I shall be back directly, if I find out what I want to know from these fellows. (to overseers) Where are those prisoners I had brought out in front of the house here?


Edepol tibi ne in quaestione essemus cautum intellego, ita vinclis custodiisque circum moeniti sumus.

(advancing, pertly) Gad! You guarded against having to look for us far, I perceive,—see how we're barricaded with chains and watchmen.


Qui cavet ne decipiatur, vix cavet, cum etiam cavet; etiam cum cavisse ratus est, saepe is cautor captus est. an vero non iusta causa est, ut vos servem sedulo, quos tam grandi sim mercatus praesenti pecunia?

The man on his guard against being deceived is hardly on his guard even when he is on his guard, even when he supposed he was on his guard, your guarder has often enough been gulled. Really though, haven't I good reason to take pains to keep you, when I paid so high for you, cash down?


Neque pol tibi nos, quia nos servas, aequomst vitio vortere, neque te nobis, si abeamus hinc, si fuat occasio. 260

Bless your heart, sir, we haven't any right to find fault with you for trying to keep us, or you with us, if we clear out—if we get a chance.


Ut vos hic, itidem illic apud vos meus servatur filius.

My son is kept prisoner there in your country just as you are here.


Captus est?






Non igitur nos soli ignavi fuimus.

Then other folks besides us have been cowards.


Secede huc. nam sunt quae ex te solo scitari volo. quarum rerum te falsilocum mi esse nolo.

(leading him farther from Tyndarus) Step over here. There are some matters I wish to ask you about in private. No lying about them, mind.


Non ero quod sciam. si quid nescibo, id nescium tradam tibi.

Not I, sir, not if I know. If I don't know about a thing, I'll (innocently) tell you what I don't know.


Nunc senex est in tostrina, nunc iam cultros attinet. ne id quidem, involucrum inicere, voluit, vestem ut ne inquinet. sed utrum strictimne adtonsurum dicam esse an per pectinem, nescio; verum, si frugist, usque admutilabit probe.

(aside, cheerfully) Now the old fellow is in the barber's chair, yes, now we have the clippers on him. And master not even willing to throw a towel over him to keep his clothes clean! Is it going to be a close crop, I wonder, or just a trim?—that's the question. If he knows his business, though, he'll dock him handsomely.


Quid tu? servosne esse an liber mavelis, memora mihi. 270

See here, would you prefer to be a slave or a free man, tell me that?


Proxumum quod sit bono quodque a malo longissume, id volo; quamquam non multum fuit molesta servitus, nec mihi secus erat quam si essem familiaris filius.

The maximum of pleasure and the minimum of pain, that's my preference, sir; but being a slave hasn't bothered me much, though: I wasn't treated any differently than if I'd been a son of the house.


Eugepae, Thalem talento non emam Milesium, nam ad sapientiam huius[8] nimius nugator fuit. ut facete orationem ad servitutem contulit.

(aside) Well done my boy! I wouldn't buy Milesian Thales at a thousand thalers: why, he was nothing but the veriest amateur of a wise man compared with master here. How cleverly he's dropped into the servant jargon!


Quo de genere natust illic Philocrates?

Who are Philocrates' people there in Elis?


Polyplusio: quod genus illi est unum pollens atque honoratissumum.

The Goldfields, sir,—the most influential and respected family in those parts easily.


Quid ipsus hic? quo honore est illic?

And the young man himself? How does he stand?


Summo, atque ab summis viris.[9] 279

Very high indeed, sir,—belongs to the highest circles.


Quid divitiae, suntne opimae?

How about his property? Pretty fat one, eh?


Unde excoquat sebum senex. (281)

Fat? Old Goldfields could get dripping out of it.


Quid pater, vivitne?

What about his father? Is he living?


Vivom, cum inde abimus, liquimus; nunc vivatne necne, id Orcum scire oportet scilicet.

He was when we left home, whether he's alive now or not, of course you had better inquire below as to that, sir.


Salva res est, philosophatur quoque iam, non mendax modo est.

(aside) The situation is saved! Now he not only lies but moralizes.


Quid erat ei nomen?

What was his name?





Videlicet propter divitias inditum id nomen quasi est.

A sort of name applied to him on account of his money, I take it.


Immo edepol propter avaritiam ipsius atque audaciam.[10]

(apparently struck by a new idea) Lord, no! on account of his being so greedy and grasping, sir.


Quid tu ais? tenaxne pater est eius?

What's that? His father's rather close, is he?


Immo edepol pertinax; quin etiam ut magis noscas: Genio suo ubi quando sacruficat, 290 ad rem divinam quibus est opus, Samiis vasis utitur, ne ipse Genius surripiat: proinde aliis ut credat vide.

Close? My word, sir! he's adhesive! Why, really,—just so as to give you a better notion of him—whenever he sacrifices to his own Guardian Spirit he won't use any dishes needed in the service except ones made of Samian earthenware, for fear his very Guardian Spirit may steal 'em. You can see from this what a confiding character he is in general.


Sequere hac me igitur. eadem ego ex hoc quae volo exquaesivero. Philocrates, hic fecit, hominem frugi ut facere oportuit. nam ego ex hoc quo genere gnatus sis scio, hic fassust mihi; haec tu eadem si confiteri vis, tua ex re feceris: quae tamen scio scire me ex hoc.

Well, well, come this way with me. (aside, as they join Tyndarus) I'll soon get the information I want out of the master here at the same time. (to Tyndarus) Philocrates, your servant has acted as a worthy fellow ought to act. Yes, I know from him about your family: he has admitted everything. If you choose to be equally open with me, it will be to your advantage: however, I have been completely informed already by him.


Fecit officium hic suom, cum tibi est confessus verum, quamquam volui sedulo meam nobilitatem occultare et genus et divitias meas, Hegio; nunc quando patriam et libertatem perdidi, 300 non ego istunc me potius quam te metuere aequom censeo. vis hostilis cum istoc fecit meas opes aequabiles; memini, cum dicto haud audebat: facto nunc laedat licet.

(with dignified melancholy) He has done his duty in admitting the truth to you, much as I did wish to keep you in the dark, Hegio, about my rank and birth and wealth; now that I am a man without a country, a prisoner, I suppose it is not to be expected that he should stand more in awe of me than of you. The chances of war have put master and man on an equal footing. I remember the time when he did not venture to offend me by a word: now he is at liberty to do me an actual injury.

sed viden? fortuna humana fingit artatque ut lubet: me, qui liber fueram servom fecit, e summo infimum; qui imperare insueram, nunc alterius imperio obsequor. et quidem si, proinde ut ipse fui imperator familiae, habeam dominum, non verear ne iniuste aut graviter mi imperet. Hegio, hoc te monitum, nisi forte ipse non vis, voluerim.

But you see! fortune moulds us, pinches us, to suit her whims: here am I, the one-time free man, a slave—tossed from the heights to the depths. Accustomed to command, I am now at another's beck and call. And indeed, if I might have such a master as I myself was when I was the head of a household, I should have no fear of being treated unjustly or harshly. There is one thing I should like to impress upon you, Hegio,—unless you object, maybe.


Loquere audacter.

No, no, speak out.


Tam ego fui ante liber quam gnatus tuos, 310 tam mihi quam illi libertatem hostilis eripuit manus. tam ille apud nos servit, quam ego nunc his apud te servio. est profecto deus, qui quae nos gerimus auditque et videt: is, uti tu me his habueris, proinde illum illic curaverit; bene merenti bene profuerit, male merenti par erit. quam tu filium tuom, tam pater me meus desiderat.

Once I was free as your son; an enemy's success deprived me of my liberty as he was deprived of his; he is a slave in my country as I am here with you. There surely is a God who hears and sees what we do: and according to your treatment of me here, so will he look after your son there. He will reward the deserving and requite the undeserving. Just as you long for your son, so does my father long for me.


Memini ego istuc. sed faterin eadem quae hic fassust mihi?

I know all that—but do you admit the truth of what this fellow has told me?


Ego patri meo esse fateor summas divitias domi meque summo genere gnatum. sed te optestor, Hegio, ne tuom animum avariorem faxint divitiae meae: 320 ne patri, tam etsi sum unicus, decere videatur magis, me saturum servire apud te sumptu et vestitu tuo potius quam illi, ubi minime honestumst, mendicantem vivere.[11] (323)

I do admit that my father is a very wealthy man at home and that I do come of very good family. But, Hegio, I beseech you, don't let my wealth make your demands too exorbitant: for my father, even though I am his only son, might feel that it was better for me to remain your slave, well fed and clothed at your expense, than to come to beggary there at home where it would disgrace us most.


Non ego omnino lucrum omne esse utile homini existimo (325) scio ego, multos iam lucrum lutulentos homines reddidit, est etiam ubi profecto damnum praestet facere quam lucrum. odi ego aurum: multa multis saepe suasit perperam.

I am not a man who regards each and every acquisition of money as a blessing: plenty of people have been tainted before now by this money getting, I know that. There are even times when it certainly is more profitable to lose money than to make it. Gold! I despise it: it has led many a man into many a wrong course.

nunc hoc animum advorte, ut ea quae sentio pariter scias. filius meus illic apud vos servit captus Alide: 330 eum si reddis mihi, praeterea unum nummum ne duis; et te et hunc amittam hinc. alio pacto abire non potes.

Now give me your attention. I want you to understand thoroughly what I have in mind. (slowly and emphatically) My son is a prisoner in Elis, a slave there among your countrymen: get him back to me, and without your giving me a single penny in addition, I will let you go home, and your servant, too. On no other terms can you get off.


Optumum atque aequissumum oras optumusque hominum es homo. sed is privatam servitutem servit illi an publicam?

A very fair and reasonable proposition, sir, and you are the very fairest of men. Does he belong to some private person, though, or to the state?


Privatam medici Menarchi.

To a private person, a doctor named Menarchus.


Pol is quidem huius est cliens. tam hoc quidem tibi in proclivi quam amber est quando pluit.

(aside) Jove! why, he's a client of master's! (aloud) Why, this will be just as easy for you as rain when it pours.


Fac is homo ut redimatur.

Have him ransomed.


Faciam. sed te id oro, Hegio—

I will. But thus much I beg of you Hegio,—


Quid vis, dum ab re ne quid ores, faciam.

(eagerly) Anything you please, provided my interests don't suffer by it.


Ausculta, tum scies. ego me amitti, donicum ille huc redierit, non postulo verum quaeso ut aestumatum bunc mihi des, quem mittam ad patrem 340 ut is homo redimatur illi.

Listen, and you can see if they will. I don't ask to be released myself until my servant gets back. But I do urge you to let me have him under a forfeit, to send to father so that your son there can be ransomed.


Immo alium potius misero hunc, ubi erant indutiae, illuc, tuom qui conveniat patrem, qui tua quae tu iusseris mandata ita ut velis perferat.

Oh no, I'll send some one else instead when we have an armistice; that will be preferable: he shall confer with your father and carry out your orders to your satisfaction.


At nihil est ignotum ad illum mittere: operam luseris. hunc mitte, hic transactum reddet omne, si illuc venerit. nec quemquam fideliorem neque cui plus credat potes mittere ad eum nec qui magis sit servos ex sententia, neque adeo cui suom concredat filium hodie audacius. ne vereare, meo periclo huius ego experiar fidem, fretus ingenio eius, quod me esse scit erga se benevolum. 350

But it's no good sending a stranger to him: you'll have frittered away your time. Send him: (pointing to Philocrates) he will transact the whole affair, once he gets there. You can't send him a more reliable man, one he would trust more, a servant that's more to his mind; I may go so far as to say there is no one he would be readier to entrust his own son to. Never fear: I will be responsible for his fidelity. I can depend on his goodness of heart; he appreciates my kindness to him.


Mittam equidem istunc aestumatum tua fide, si vis.

Very well, I'll send him under a forfeit, on your guarantee, if you wish.


Volo; quam citissime potest, tam hoc cedere ad factum volo.

I do wish it. And I wish to have all this an accomplished fact just as quickly as possible.


Num quae causa est quin, si ille huc non redeat, viginti minas mihi des pro illo?

Have you any objection to paying me eighty pounds for him in case he doesn't return?


Optuma immo.

Not the slightest—fair as can be.


Solvite istum nunciam, atque utrumque.

(to overseers) Take the chains off that fellow at once, off both of them, in fact.


Di tibi omnis omnia optata offerant, cum me tanto honore honestas cumque ex vinclis eximis. hoc quidem haud molestumst, iam quod collus collari caret.

(as slaves obey) God grant your every wish, sir, for your highly considerate conduct toward me and for releasing me. (aside, stretching himself) I tell you what, it's no unpleasant sensation, having that necklet off one's neck.


Quod bonis bene fit beneficium, gratia ea gravida est bonis. nunc tu illum si illo es missurus, dice monstra praecipe quae ad patrem vis nuntiari. vin vocem huc ad te?

"A good deed done a good man yields a large return of good." Now if you intend to send that fellow home, inform him, instruct him, give him full particulars as to the message he's to carry your father. Shall I call him over here to you?


Voca. 360


II. 3.

Scene 3.


Quae res bene vortat mihi meoque filio vobisque, volt te novos erus operam dare tuo veteri domino, quod is velit, fideliter. nam ego te aestumatum huic dedi viginti minis, his autem te ait mittere hinc velle ad patrem, meum ut illic redimat filium, mutatio inter me atque illum ut nostris fiat filiis.

(going to Philocrates) God bless us all in this, me, and my son, and yourselves! My man, your new master wishes you to do something your old master wishes, and to do it faithfully. The fact is, I have given you over to him, under an eighty pound forfeit, he saying he desires to send you off to his father and let him ransom my son there in Elis, so that he may exchange my boy for his own.


Utroque vorsum rectumst ingenium meum, ad te atque ad illum; pro rota me uti licet: vel ego huc vel illic vortar, quo imperabitis. 370

I'm quite disposed to do both of you a good turn, sirs, you and him both; you can use me like a wheel, I'll turn your way or his, either way, wherever you like.


Tute tibi tuopte ingenio prodes plurumum, cum servitutem ita fers ut ferri decet. sequere. em tibi hominem.

And you are acting very much to your own advantage in being so disposed, and in accepting your slavery as you should. Follow me. (leading way to Tyndarus) There's your man.


Gratiam habeo tibi, quom copiam istam mi et potestatem facis, ut ego ad parentes hunc remittam nuntium, qui me quid rerum his agitem et quid fieri velim patri meo, ordine omnem rem, illuc perferat.

(sedately) I thank you, sir, for affording me this opportunity, of making him my messenger to my parents, so that he may carry to my father a full account of me and my situation here, and what I wish him to see to.

nunc ita convenit inter me atque hunc, Tyndare. ut te aestumatum in Alidem mittam ad patrem, si non rebitas huc, ut viginti minas 380 dem pro te.

(turning to Philocrates) Tyndarus, this gentleman and I have just arranged that I send you to Elis to father, under a forfeit: if you fail to return, I am to pay him eighty pounds for you.


Recte convenisse sentio. nam pater expectat aut me aut aliquem nuntium, qui hinc ad se veniat.

And a good arrangement, too, in my opinion. For the old gentleman's expecting either me or some messenger to come to him from here.


Ergo animum advortas volo quae nuntiare hinc te volo in patriam ad patrem.

Well then, I wish you to pay attention to the message I wish you to take home to him.


Philocrates, ut adhuc locorum feci, faciam sedulo, ut potissimum quod in rem recte conducat tuam, id petam idque persequar corde et animo atque viribus.

I'll do the best I can for you, sir, just as I always have: anything that makes for your good, sir, I'll work my hardest for, and follow up with all my heart and soul and strength.


Facis ita ut te facere oportet. nunc animum advortas volo: omnium primum salutem dicito matri et patri et cognatis et si quem alium benevolentem videris; 390 me hic valere et servitutem servire huic homini optumo, qui me honore honestiorem semper fecit et facit.

The proper spirit. Now I wish you to pay attention. First of all, remember me to my father and mother and my relatives and anyone else you may see who is interested in my welfare; tell them I am in good health here and a slave of this most estimable gentleman who has always accorded me the (with emphasis) very extraordinary consideration which I still enjoy.


Istuc ne praecipias, facile memoria memini tamen.

No instructions needed along that line, sir: I can remember to mind that easily enough, without.


Nam equidem, nisi quod custodem habeo, liberum me esse arbitror. dicito patri, quo pacto mihi cum hoc convenerit de huius filio.

For really, aside from the fact that I have a guard, I feel that I am a free man. Tell my father what arrangement this gentleman and I have made regarding his son.


Quae memini, mora mera est monerier.

Mere waste of time, sir, to remind me of what I remember.


Ut eum redimat et remittat nostrum huc amborum vicem.

That he is to ransom him and send him back here in exchange for us both.



I'll remember.


At quamprimum pote: istuc in rem utriquest maxime.

Yes, but just as quickly as possible: that's of the highest importance to each of us.


Non tuom tu magis videre quam ille suom gnatum cupit.

You don't long to see your son any more than he does his, sir.


Meus mihi, suos cuique est carus.

My son is dear to me, as his own son is to every father.


Numquid aliud vis patri 400 nuntiari?

No further message for him, eh?


Me hic valere et—tute audacter dicito, Tyndare—inter nos fuisse ingenio haud discordabili, neque te commeruisse culpam—neque me adversatum tibi— beneque ero gessisse morem in tantis aerumnis tamen;

(somewhat at a loss) Say I am in good health here, and— (earnestly) Tyndarus, speak up boldly to him, yourself,— say that we have never been at variance, that I have never had reason to find fault with you (nor you to think me obstinate) and that you have served your master to the full even in such adversity.

neque med umquam deseruisse te neque factis neque fide, rebus in dubiis egenis. haec pater quando sciet, Tyndare, ut fueris animatus erga suom gnatum atque se, numquam erit tam avarus, quin te gratiis emittat manu[12]; et mea opera, si hinc rebito, faciam ut faciat facilius.

Say that a treacherous act, a disloyal thought were things undreamed of even in the dark hours of distress. When my father knows of this, Tyndarus, knows what your spirit toward his son and himself has been, he will never be so niggardly as not to set you free at his own expense; and if I return, I will put forth my own efforts to make him the more ready to do it.

nam tua opera et comitate et virtute et sapientia 410 fecisti ut redire liceat ad parentis denuo, cum apud hunc confessus es et genus et divitias meas: quo pacto emisisti e vinclis tuom erum tua sapientia.

For it is through your efforts and good will and devotion and wisdom that I have a chance to go back to my parents once more, inasmuch as you informed this gentleman of my family and wealth: thanks to your wisdom in doing so, your master's fetters have been removed.


Feci ego ista ut commemoras, et te meminisse id gratum est mihi. merito tibi ea venerunt a me; nam nunc, Philocrates, si ego item memorem quae me erga multa fecisti bene, nox diem adimat; nam quasi servos meus esses, nihilo setius tu mihi obsequiosus semper fuisti.

Right you are, sir, so I did, and I'm glad you remember it. You deserve anything I've done for you, too; why, sir, if I was to go on like that now and mention how many good turns you've done me, it would take all day and more; why, it was just as if you had been my slave, not a bit different, the deferential way you've always treated me.


Di vostram fidem, hominum ingenium liberale. ut lacrumas excutiunt mihi. videas corde amare inter se. quantis lautus laudibus 420 suom erum servos collaudavit.

(half aside) Bless my soul, what noble natures! Dear, dear, it brings the tears to my eyes! You can see they are simply devoted to each other. The way that splendid slave praised his own master—a perfect panegyric!


Pol istic me haud centesimam partem laudat quam ipse meritust ut laudetur laudibus.

Heavens, sir, he doesn't praise me a hundredth part as much as he deserves to be praised himself.


Ergo cum optume fecisti, nunc adest occasio bene facta cumulare, ut erga hunc rem geras fideliter.

(to Philocrates) Well then, having been such an excellent servant, here is an opportunity to crown your services by carrying through this business for him faithfully.


Magis non factum possum velle, quam opera experiar persequi; id ut scias, Iovem supremum testem laudo, Hegio. me infidelem non futurum Philocrati.

I'll be just as keen in actually trying to do it as I can be for wanting it done, sir; and to prove it, sir, I swear by God Almighty that I'll never be unfaithful to Philocrates—


Probus es homo.

(heartily) Worthy fellow!


Nec me secus umquam ei facturum quicquam quam memet mihi.

—or ever act any differently by him than I would by my own self.


Istaec dicta te experiri et operis et factis volo; et, quo minus dixi quam volui de te, animum advortas volo, 430 atque horunc verborum causa caveto mi iratus fuas; sed, te quaeso, cogitato hinc mea fide mitti domum te aestimatum, et meam esse vitam hic pro te positam pignori,

(with increased earnestness) It is the actual performance, the deed, I wish to test those words by; and inasmuch as I said less than I wished about your conduct, I wish you to pay particular attention,—yes, and be sure not to take offence at what I say. But I beg you, do bear in mind the fact that you are being sent off home, sent home at my risk and under a forfeit, and that I am staking my life for you here:

ne tu me ignores, quom extemplo meo e conspectu abscesseris, quom me servom in servitute pro ted hic reliqueris, tuque te pro libero esse ducas, pignus deseras neque des operam pro me ut huius reducem facias filium.[13] (437) fac fidelis sis fideli, cave fidem fluxam geras: (439) nam pater, scio, faciet quae illum facere oportet omnia; 440 serva tibi in perpetuom amicum me, atque hunc inventum inveni.

so don't forget me the moment you are out of sight, when you have left me here in servitude, a slave, in your stead; and don't consider yourself a free man and let your promise go and fail to save me by bringing back this gentleman's son. Be faithful, I entreat you, to one who has shown his faith, and don't falter in that faithfulness. As for my father, I am sure he will do everything he should do. For your part, keep me your friend for ever, and do not lose this friend (indicating Hegio) you have found.

haec per dexteram tuam te dextera retinens manu opsecro, infidelior mihi ne fuas quam ego sum tibi. tu hoc age. tu mihi erus nunc es, tu patronus, tu pater, tibi commendo spes opesque meas.

This I beseech you by this hand (grasping Philocrates' right hand), this hand I hold in mine: don't be less true to me than I am to you. (after a pause) Well, to the work! You are my master now, my protector, my father, you and you only: to you I commend my hopes and my welfare.


Mandavisti satis satin habes, mandata quae sunt facta si refero?

Enough commands, sir. Will you be satisfied, if I turn your commands to accomplished facts?





Et tua et tua huc ornatus reveniam ex sententia. numquid aliud?

I'll come back here equipped to suit you (to Hegio) sir, and you, (to Tyndarus) too. Nothing else?


Ut quam primum possis redeas.

Return as soon as you can.


Res monet.

Naturally, sir.


Sequere me, viaticum ut dem a trapezita tibi, eadem opera a praetore sumam syngraphum.

(to Philocrates) Follow me. I must go to the banker's and give you some money for travelling expenses: I'll get a passport from the praetor at the same time.


Quem syngraphum? 450

What passport?


Quem hic ferat secum ad legionem, hinc ire huic ut liceat domum. tu intro abi.

One to take to the army with him so that he'll he allowed to go off home. As for yourself, you go inside.


Ben ambulato.

(to Philocrates) A good journey to you.


Bene vale.

Good-bye, sir, good-bye! [EXIT Tyndarus INTO Hegio's HOUSE.


Edepol rem meam constabilivi, quom illos emi de praeda a quaestoribus; expedivi ex servitute filium, si dis placet, at etiam dubitavi, hos homines emerem an non emerem, diu.

(aside, in high spirits) Well, well, well, it was the making of me when I bought those two from the commissioners! I've set my son at Liberty, God willing! And to think I hesitated for a long time whether to buy them or not!

servate istum sultis intus, servi, ne quoquam pedem ecferat sine custodela. iam ego apparebo domi; ad fratrem modo captivos alios inviso meos, eadem percontabor, ecquis hunc adulescentem noverit. sequere tu, te ut amittam; ei rei primum praevorti volo. 460

(to overseers) Please keep an eye on that prisoner inside there, my lads, and don't let him set a foot out here anywhere without a guard. I shall soon be home myself. I'll just step over to my brother's for a look at my other captives: at the same time I'll inquire if any one of them knows this young gentleman. (to Philocrates) Come, my man, so that I may send you off; I want to attend to that first. [EXEUNT Hegio AND Philocrates.



(An hour has elapsed.)



Miser homo est, qui ipse sibi quod edit quaerit et id aegre invenit, sed ille est miserior, qui et aegre quaerit et nihil invenit; ille miserrimust, qui cum esse cupit, tum quod edit non habet. nam hercle ego huic die, si liceat, oculos effodiam libens, ita malignitate oneravit omnis mortalis mihi;

It's sad when a man has to spend his time looking for his food and has hard work finding it. It's sadder, though, when he has hard work looking for it and doesn't find it. But it's saddest of all when a man is pining to eat, and no food in range. By gad, if I only could, I'd like to dig the eyes out of this day, it's made every living soul so damnably mean to me!

neque ieiuniosiorem neque magis ecfertum fame vidi nec quoi minus procedat quidquid facere occeperit, ita venter gutturque resident esurialis ferias. ilicet parasiticae arti maximam malam crucem, ita iuventus iam ridicules inopesque ab se segregat. 470

A more hungriful day, a more bulged-out- with-starvation day, a more unprogressive day for every undertaking, I never did see! Such a famine feast as my inside is having! Devil take the parasitical profession! How the young fellows nowadays do sheer off from impecunious wits!

nil morantur iam Lacones unisubselli viros, plagipatidas, quibus sunt verba sine penu et pecunia eos requirunt, qui libenter, quom ederint, reddant domi; ipsi obsonant, quae parasitorum ante erat provincia, ipsi de foro tam aperto capite ad lenones eunt quam in tribu aperto capite sontes condemnant reos; neque ridiculos iam terrunci faciunt, sese omnes amant.

Not a bit of use have they nowadays for us Spartans, us valiant benchenders, us descendants of old Takesacuff, whose capital is talk without cash and comestibles. The guests they're after are the ones that enjoy a dinner and then like to return the compliment. They do their marketing themselves, too,—that used to be the parasites' province— and away they go from the forum themselves to interview the pimps, just as barefaced as they are in court when they condemn guilty defendants. They don't care a farthing for wits these days: they're egoists, every one.

nam uti dudum hinc abii, accessi ad adulescentes in foro. "salvete" inquam. "quo imus una" inquam "ad prandium?" atque illi tacent. "quid ait 'hoc' aut quis profitetur?" inquam. quasi muti silent, 480 neque me rident. "ubi cenamus?" inquam. atque illi abnuont.

Why, when I left here a little while ago, I went up to some young fellows in the forum. "Good day," says I. "Where are we going to lunch together?" says I. Sudden silence. "Who says: 'This way'? Who makes a bid?" says I. Dumb as mutes, didn't even give me a smile. "Where do we dine?" says I. A shaking of heads.

dico unum ridiculum dictum de dictis melioribus, quibus solebam menstruales epulas ante adipiscier: nemo ridet; scivi extemplo rem de compecto geri; ne canem quidem irritatam voluit quisquam imitarier, saltem, si non arriderent, dentes ut restringerent.

I told 'em a funny story—one of my best, that used to find me free board for a month. Nobody smiled. I saw in a moment it was a put-up job; not a one of 'em was even willing to act like a cross dog and at least show their teeth, no matter if they wouldn't laugh.

abeo ab illis, postquam video me sic ludificarier; pergo ad alios, venio ad alios, deinde ad alios: una res. omnes de compecto rem agunt, quasi in Velabro olearii. nunc redeo inde, quoniam me ibi video ludificarier. 490 item alii parasiti frustra obambulabant in foro.

I left 'em after I saw I was being made a fool of this way, up I went to some others, and then to others, and to others still,—same story. They re all in a combination, just like the oil dealers in the Velabrum.[C] So here I am back again, seeing I was trifled with there. Some more parasites were prowling round the forum all for nothing, too.

[Footnote C: A market district in Rome.]

nunc barbarica lege certumst ius meum omne persequi: qui consilium iniere, quo nos victu et vita prohibeant, is diem dicam, inrogabo multam. ut mihi cenas decem meo arbitratu dent, cum cara annona sit. sic egero. nunc ibo ad portum hinc: est illic mi una spes cenatica; si ea decolabit, redibo huc ad senem ad cenam asperam.

Now I'm going to have the foreign law on those chaps and demand my full rights, I certainly am: it's conspiracy, conspiracy to deprive us of sustenance and life, and I'm going to summon 'em, fine 'em— make 'em give me ten dinners, at my discretion, and that will be when food is dear. That's how I'll catch them. (turning to go) Well, now for the harbour. That's where my one hope is, gastronomically speaking, if that oozes away, I'll come back here to the old man's terror of a meal.


III. 2.

Scene 2.

ENTER Hegio WITH Aristophontes AND Slaves.


Quid est suavius, quam bene rem gerere, bono publico, sic ut ego feci heri, cum emi hosce homines: ubi quisque vident, 500 eunt obviam gratulanturque eam rem, ita me miserum restitando retinendoque lassum reddiderunt: vix ex gratulando miser iam eminebam.

(highly pleased with himself) Now what makes you feel better than managing your affairs properly and contributing to the common good, just as I did yesterday in buying these prisoners? Whenever anyone sees me up he comes and congratulates me on it! Dear, dear! I was so worn out with all their stopping and detaining me, it got to be frightfully hard work emerging from the flood of felicitations.

tandem abii ad praetorem; ibi vix requievi: rogo syngraphum, datur mi ilico; dedi Tyndaro: ille abiit domum. inde ilico praevortor domum, postquam id actum est; eo protinus ad fratrem, mei ubi sunt alii captivi.

At last I escaped to the praetor's. Barely waiting to catch my breath, I asked for a passport, got it on the spot, gave it to Tyndarus: he's off for home. After seeing to that, I first start straight for home. Then I go on to my brother's where the rest of my prisoners are.

rogo, Philocratem ex Alide ecquis hominum noverit: tandem his exclamat, eum sibi esse sodalem; 510 dico eum esse apud me; hic extemplo orat obsecratque, eum sibi ut liceat videre: iussi ilico hunc exsolvi. nunc tu sequere me, ut quod me oravisti impetres, eum hominem uti convenias.

Inquire if any one of 'em knows Philocrates of Elis. Finally this fellow (pointing to Aristophontes) calls out that Philocrates is a particular friend of his. I tell him he's at my house; the next instant he's begging and beseeching me for a chance to see him. I had him unfettered at once. (to Aristophontes) Now, sir, come this way, so as to obtain your request and meet your friend. [EXEUNT INTO HOUSE: AS THEY GO IN Tyndarus RUSHES OUT.

III. 3.

Scene 3.


Nunc illud est, cum me fuisse quam esse nimio mavelim: nunc spes opes auxiliaque a me segregant spernuntque se. hic illest dies, cum nulla vitae meae salus sperabilest, neque exitium[14] exitio est neque adeo spes, quae mi hunc aspellat metum, nec subdolis mendaciis mihi usquam mantellum est meis,[15] 520

(grimly) Now's the time when I should infinitely prefer to be underground than on it! Hope, resources, help—all deserting, all leaving me in the lurch now! My day has come: I can never hope to get out of this alive. Done for, and nothing to be done for it! There's no prospect of staving off the danger, either, and not a thing to drape my crafty lies with.

neque deprecatio perfidiis meis nec male factis fuga est. (522) nec confidentiae usquam hospitium est nec deverticulum dolis: operta quae fuere aperta sunt, patent praestigiae, omnis res palam est, neque de hac re negotium est, quin male occidam oppetamque pestem eri vicem meamque.

My falsehoods can't beg themselves off, or my transgressions take to their heels: no lodgings anywhere for brass: guile can't find accommodations. The covert's uncovered, our plot's apparent, everything's out. There's nothing to do about it: I must drop off disagreeably, and come to a painful end for master—also for myself.

perdidit me Aristophontes hic qui venit modo intro:[16] is me novit, is sodalis Philocrati et cognatus est. neque iam Salus servare, si volt, me potest, nec copia est, nisi si aliquam corde machinor astutiam. 530 quam, malum? quid machiner? quid comminiscar? maxumas nugas ineptus incipisso. haereo.

He's been the ruin of me, this Aristophontes that just went inside: he knows me: he's a particular friend of Philocrates, related to him, too. Salvation herself can't save me now, if she so desires: there's no chance unless I can invent some clever scheme. But what, curse it? What can I invent? What can I devise? (reflecting, then doubtfully) Oh, this is awful nonsense I'm at, poor simpleton! (disgustedly) Stuck!

III. 4.

Scene 4.

ENTER Hegio, Aristophontes, AND Slaves.


Quo illum nunc hominem proripuisse foras se dicam ex aedibus?

Where did that fellow bolt for out of the house just now, I wonder?


Nunc enim vero ego occidi: eunt ad te hostes, Tyndare. quid loquar? quid fabulabor? quid negabo aut quid fatebor? mihi res omnis in incerto sita est. quid rebus confidam meis? utinam te di prius perderent, quam periisti e patria tua, Aristophontes, qui ex parata re imparatam omnem facis. occisa est haec res, nisi reperio atrocem mi aliquam astutiam.

(aside) It's all over with me, all over with me now: the enemy are upon you, Tyndarus! What shall I say? What story shall I tell? What shall I deny—or what admit? It's a shaky business for me on every side! What faith can I put in my luck? Oh, I wish the gods had made away with you before you made away from home, Aristophontes,—upsetting my settled plan completely! The game is up, unless I hit upon some awfully clever scheme.


Sequere. em tibi hominem. adi, atque adloquere.

(to Aristophontes, on seeing Tyndarus) Come along! There's your man! Go up and speak to him!


Quis homo est me hominum miserior? 540

(aside, as Aristophontes approaches) What mortal man is in a more confounded hole than this? (pretends not to recognize him)


Quid istuc est quod meos te dicam fugitare oculos, Tyndare, proque ignoto me aspernari, quasi me numquam noveris? equidem tam sum servos quam tu, etsi ego domi liber fui, tu usque a puero servitutem servivisti in Alide.

I wonder what you mean by this, Tyndarus,—avoiding my eye and snubbing me as a stranger, quite as if you never knew me? I'm just as much of a slave as you are, to be sure, but at home I was free: as for you, you've been slaving it in Elis from your boyhood up.


Edepol minime miror, si te fugitat aut oculos tuos, aut si te odit, qui istum appelles Tyndarum pro Philocrate.

Bless my soul! I'm not a bit surprised if he avoids you, or your eye, no, nor if he detests you, when you call him Tyndarus instead of Philocrates.


Hegio, hic homo rabiosus habitus est in Alide, ne tu quod istic fabuletur auris immittas tuas. nam istis hastis insectatus est domi matrem et patrem, et illic isti qui insputatur morbus interdum venit. 550 proin tu ab istoc procul recedas.

(dragging Hegio aside) Hegio, this fellow was looked upon as a raving maniac in Elis, so don't you let him fill your ears with his babble. Why, at home he chased his father and mother about with a spear, and every once in a while he has an attack of the disease that people spit on.[D] So get out of his reach, then,—well away.

[Footnote D: Epilepsy.]


Ultro istum a me.

(to slaves) Keep him off! Keep him off!


Ain, verbero? me rabiosum atque insectatum esse hastis meum memoras patrem, et eum morbum mi esse, ut qui me opus sit insputarier?

What's that, you rascal? I'm a raving maniac and chased my own father with a spear, you say? I have the disease that calls for my being spat upon?


Ne verere, multos iste morbus homines macerat, quibus insputari saluti fuit atque is profuit.

(cheeringly) Never you mind! Many a man's consumed by that disease of yours, who's been helped by being spat on, and it's brought him through.


Quid tu autem? etiam huic credis?

(to Hegio, hotly) How's this? You, too? Do you actually believe him?


Quid ego credam huic?

Believe him in what?


Insanum esse me?

That I'm insane?


Viden tu hunc, quam inimico voltu intuetur? concedi optumumst, Hegio: fit quod tibi ego dixi, gliscit rabies, cave tibi.

(to Hegio) Do you see him—that angry glare of his? You'd better leave, Hegio. It's just as I said: a fit's coming on. Look out for yourself!


Credidi esse insanum extemplo, ubi te appellavit Tyndarum.

(hastily moving farther off) I thought so, I thought he was crazy, from the moment he called you Tyndarus.


Quin suom ipse interdum ignorat nomen neque scit qui siet. 560

Why, at times he positively forgets his own name and doesn't know who he is.


At etiam te suom sodalem esse aibat.

But he was even saying you were an intimate friend of his.


Haud vidi magis. et quidem Alcumeus atque Orestes et Lycurgus postea una opera mihi sunt sodales qua iste.

(dryly) Quite so! And the fact is that Alcumeus,[E] in that case, and Orestes,[E] and Lycurgus[E] too are intimate friends of mine, just exactly as much.

[Footnote E: Madmen, celebrated in Greek mythology. Alcumeus = Alcmaeon.]


At etiam, furcifer, male loqui mi audes? non ego te novi?

Ha! You scoundrel, do you dare go on maligning me? Don't I know you?


Pol planum id quidem est, non novisse, qui istum appelles Tyndarum pro Philocrate. quem vides, eum ignoras: illum nominas quem non vides.

Good heavens! It's quite plain you don't know him—calling him Tyndarus instead of Philocrates! The man you see you don't know: you name the man you don't see.


Immo iste eum sese ait, qui non est, esse, et qui vero est, negat.

No, sir! This fellow says he's the man he isn't, and says he isn't the man he really is.


Tu enim repertu's, Philocratem qui superes veriverbio.

(to Aristophontes, meaningly) So you have turned up to beat Philocrates in stating facts!


Pol ego ut rem video, tu inventu's, vera vanitudine qui convincas. sed quaeso hercle, agedum aspice ad me.

Good Lord! As I look at it, you have been unearthed to browbeat facts by stating falsehoods. But come now, confound it, look me in the eye!



(doing so coolly) Well?


Dic modo: 570 tun negas te Tyndarum esse?

Now tell me: do you deny that you are Tyndarus?


Nego, inquam.

I do, certainly.


Tun te Philocratem esse ais?

You claim to be Philocrates, you?


Ego, inquam.

I certainly do.


Tune huic credis?

(to Hegio, exasperated) Do you believe him?


Plus quidem quam tibi aut mihi. nam ille quidem, quem tu hunc memoras esse, hodie hinc abiit Alidem ad patrem huius.

More than I do you, surely,—or myself. For you see, the fellow you tell me this man is—he went away to Elis to-day to this man's father.


Quem patrem, qui servos est?

(contemptuously) Father! What do you mean, when he's a slave?


Et tu quidem servos es, liber fuisti, et ego me confido fore, si huius huc reconciliasso in libertatem filium.

Well, you, too, are a slave and once were free: and (with emphasis) I hope to be so myself, when I have restored this gentleman's son to home and liberty.


Quid ais, furcifer? tun te gnatum esse memoras liberum?

What's that, you villain? You tell me you were born a freeman?


Non equidem me Liberum, sed Philocratem esse aio.

No indeed, my name is not Freeman, but Philocrates, that's what I say.


Quid est? ut scelestus, Hegio, nunc iste te ludos facit. nam is est servos ipse, neque praeter se umquam ei servos fuit. 580

What's all this? How the rascal's making game of you, Hegio! Why he's a slave himself—the only one he ever had.


Quia tute ipse eges in patria nec tibi qui vivas domist, omnis inveniri similis tui vis; non mirum facis: est miserorum, ut malevolentes sint atque invideant bonis.

(superior) Just because you yourself are poverty-stricken in your own country, with nothing at home to live on, you want to have every one else put in the same list. There is nothing strange in that: it is characteristic of poor beggars to be ill-natured, and envy the well-to-do.

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