The Captiva and The Mostellaria
by Plautus
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Literally Translated with notes



HEGIO, an Aetolian, father of Philopolemus. PHILOCRATES, an Elean, captive in Aetolia. TYNDARUS, his servant. ARISTOPHONTES, an Elean, captive in Aetolia. PHILOPOLEMUS, an Aetolian, captive in Elis. ERGASILUS, a Parasite. STALAGAMUS, the servant of Hegio. A SLAVE of Hegio. A LAD, the same.

Scene.—A place in Aetolia.


[Supposed to have been written by Priseian the Grammarian.] One son of Hegio has been made prisoner (Captus) in battle. A runaway slave has sold the other (Alium) when four years old. The father (Pater) traffics in Elean captives, only (Tantum) desirous that he may recover his son, and (Et) among these he buys his son that was formerly lost. He (Is), his clothes and his name changed with his master, causes that (Ut) he is lost to Hegio; and he himself is punished. And (Et) he brings back the captive and the runaway together, through whose information (Indicio) he discovers his other.

[Footnote 1: In this Acrostic it will be found that the old form of "Capteivei" is preserved.]

* * * * *


These two captives (pointing to PHILOCRATES and TYNDARUS), whom you see standing here, are standing here because—they are both [1] standing, and are not sitting. That I am saying this truly, you are my witnesses. The old man, who lives here (pointing to HEGIO's house), is Hegio—his father (pointing to TYNDARUS). But under what circumstances he is the slave of his own father, that I will here explain to you, if you give attention. This old man had two sons; a slave stole one child when four years old, and flying hence, be sold him in Elis [2], to the father of this captive (pointing to PHILOCRATES). Now, do you understand this? Very good. I' faith, that man at a distance [3] there (pointing) says, no. Come nearer then. If there isn't room for you to sit down, there is for you to walk; since you'd be compelling an actor to bawl like a beggar [4]. I'm not going to burst myself for your sake, so don't you be mistaken. You who are enabled by your means to pay your taxes [5], listen to the rest [6]; I care not to be in debt to another. This runaway slave, as I said before, sold his young master, whom, when he fled, he had carried off, to this one's father. He, after he bought him, gave him as his own private slave [7] to this son of his, because they were of about the same age. He is now the slave at home of his own father, nor does his father know it. Verily, the Gods do treat us men just like footballs [8]. You hear the manner now how he lost one son. Afterwards, the Aetolians [9] are waging war with the people of Elis, and, as happens in warfare, the other son is taken prisoner. The physician Menarchus buys him there in Elis. On this, this Hegio begins to traffic in Elean captives, if, perchance, he may be able to find one to change for that captive son of his. He knows not that this one who is in his house is his own son. And as he heard yesterday that an Elean knight of very high rank and very high family was taken prisoner, he has spared no expense to rescue his son [10]. In order that he may more easily bring him back home, be buys both of these of the Quaestors [11] out of the spoil.

Now they, between themselves, have contrived this plan, that, by means of it, the servant may send away hence his master home. And therefore among themselves they change their garments and their names. He, there (pointing), is called Philocrates; this one (pointing), Tyndarus; he this day assumes the character of this one, this one of him. And this one to-day will cleverly carry out this plot, and cause his master to gain his liberty; and by the same means he will save his own brother, and without knowing it, will cause him to return back a free man to his own country to his father, just as often now, on many occasions, a person has done more good unknowingly than knowingly. But unconsciously, by their devices, they have so planned and devised their plot, and have so contrived it by their design, that this one is living in servitude with his own father. And thus now, in ignorance, he is the slave of his own father. What poor creatures are men, when I reflect upon it! This plot will be performed by us—a play for your entertainment. But there is, besides, a thing which, in a few words, I would wish to inform you of. Really, it will be worth your while to give your attention to this play. 'Tis not composed in the hackneyed style, nor yet like other plays, nor are there in it any ribald lines [12] unfit for utterance: here is neither the perjured procurer, nor the artful courtesan, nor yet the braggart captain. Don't you be afraid because I've said that there's war between the Aetoliains and the Eleans. There (pointing), at a distance, beyond the scenes, the battles will be fought. For this were almost impossible for a Comic establishment[13], that we should at a moment attempt to be acting Tragedy. If, therefore, any one is looking for a battle, let him commence the quarrel; if he shall find an adversary more powerful, I'll cause him to be the spectator of a battle that isn't pleasant to him, so that hereafter he shall hate to be a spectator of them all. I now retire. Fare ye well, at home, most upright judges, and in warfare most valiant combatants.

[Footnote 1: Because—they are both)—Ver. 2. This is apparently intended as a piece of humour, in catching or baulking the audience. He begins as though he was going to explain why the captives are standing there, and ends his explanation with saying that they are standing because they are not sitting. A similar truism is uttered by Pamphila, in the Stichus, l. 120.]

[Footnote 2: In Elis)—Ver. 9. Elis, or, as it is called by Plautus, "Alis," was a city of Achaia, in the north-western part of the Peloponnesus. Near it the Olympic games were celebrated.]

[Footnote 3: That man at a distance)—Ver. 11. One of the audience, probably a plebeian who has no seat, but is standing in a remote part of the theatre, is supposed to exclaim in a rude manner that he cannot hear what the actor says. On this the speaker tells him that he had better come nearer; and if he cannot find a seat, there is room for him to walk away. Possibly the verb "ambulo" may be intended to signify in this case either "to walk" or "to stand," in contradistinction to sitting. Rost, with some reason, suggests "abscedito" "walk out," in place of "accedito," "come nearer."]

[Footnote 4: To bawl like a beggar)—Ver. 13. Commentators have differed as to the meaning of this passage. Some think that he means that with the view of pleasing the plebeian part of the audience, he shall not bawl out like a beggar asking alms; while others suppose that the meaning is, that he will not run the risk of cracking his voice, after which be will be hissed off the stage, and so be reduced to beggary.]

[Footnote 5: To pay your taxes)—Ver. 15. By this he shows that the party whom he is addressing, is either one of the lowest plebeians or a slave. In the assessment or census, which was made by the Censors, the slaves were not numbered at all, being supposed to have no "caput," or "civil condition." The lowest century were the "proletarii," whose only qualification was the being heads of families, or fathers of children. In addressing those who are reckoned in the census "ope vestra," "by your means" or "circumstances," he seems to be rebuking the "proletarii," who had no such standing, and who probably formed the most noisy part of the audience. As these paid no part of the taxes with which the theatres were in part supported, of course they would be placed at a greater distance from the stage, and probably were not accommodated with seats. It was just about this period that the elder Scipio assigned different places in the theatres to the various classes of the people.]

[Footnote 6: Listen to the rest)—Ver. 16. "Reliquum" was a term which either signified generally, "what is left," or money borrowed and still unpaid. He plays upon these different meanings—"Accipite reliquum," which may either signify "hear the rest" or "take what is due and owing," and he then makes the observation, parenthetically, "alieno uti nil moror," "I don't care to be in debt."]

[Footnote 7: His own private slave)—Ver. 20. "Peculiaris" means "for his own private use," or "attached to his person;" being considered as though bought with his son's "peculium," or out of his own private purse. The "peculium" was the sum of money which a son in his minority was allowed by his father to be in possession of. The word also signified the savings of the slave.]

[Footnote 8: Just like footballs)—Ver. 22. "Pilas." Among the ancients, games with the "pila" were those played with the "pila trigonalis," so called, probably, from the players standing in a triangle, and those with the "follis," which was a larger ball, inflated with air and struck with the hands, or used for a football. "Paganica" was a similar ball, but harder, being stuffed with feathers, and was used by the country-people. "Harpastum" was a small ball used by the Greeks, which was scrambled for as soon as it came to the ground, whence it received its name. The Greeks had a proverb similar to this expression, [Greek: Theon paignia anthropoi], "men are the playthings of the Gods." So Plato called mankind [Greek: Theon athurmata], "the sport of the Gods."]

[Footnote 9: The Aetolians)—Ver. 24. Aetolia was a country of Greece, the southern portion of which was bounded by the Corinthian Gulf; it was opposite to the Elean territory, from which it was divided by the gulf.]

[Footnote 10: To rescue his son)—Ver. 32. "Filio dum parceret." Literally, "so long as he might spare his son."]

[Footnote 11: Of the Quaestors)—Ver. 34. In speaking of these officers, Plautus, as usual, introduces Roman customs into a Play the scene of which is in Greece. It has been previously remarked that the Quaestors had the selling of the spoils taken in war]

[Footnote 12: Any ribald lines)—Ver. 56. See the address of the Company of actors to the Spectators at the end of the Play.]

[Footnote 13: A Comic establishment)—Ver. 61. "Comico choragio." Literally, "for the choragium of Comedy." The "choragium" was the dress and furniture, or "properties" for the stage, supplied by the "choragus." or keeper of the theatrical wardrobe.]



ERG. The young men have given me the name of "the mistress," for this reason, because invocated [1] I am wont to attend at the banquet. I know that buffoons [2] say that this is absurdly said, but I affirm that it is rightly said. For at the banquet the lover, when he throws the dice, invokes hia mistress.[3] Is she then invocated, or is she not? She is, most clearly. But, i' faith, we Parasites with better reason are so called, whom no person ever either invites or invokes, and who, like mice, are always eating the victuals of another person. When business is laid aside [4], when people repair to the country, at that same moment is business laid aside for our teeth. Just as, when it is hot weather, snails lie hidden in secret, and live upon their own juices, if the dew doesn't fall; so, when business is laid aside, do Parasites lie hidden in retirement, and miserably live upon their own juices, while in the country the persons are rusticating whom they sponge upon. When business is laid aside, we Parasites are greyhounds; when business recommences, like mastiffs [5], we are annoying-like and very troublesome-like [6].

And here, indeed, unless, i'faith, any Parasite is able to endure cuffs with the fist, and pots to be broken [7] about his head, why he may e'en go with his wallet outside the Trigeminian Gate [8]. That this may prove my lot, there is some danger. For since my patron [9] has fallen into the hands of the enemy—(such warfare are the Aetolians now waging with the Eleans; for this is Aetolia; this Philopolemus has been made captive in Elis, the son of this old man Hegio who lives here (pointing to the house)—a house which to me is a house of woe, and which so oft as I look upon, I weep). Now, for the sake of his son, has he commenced this dishonorable traffic, very much against his own inclination. He buys up men that have been made captives, if perchance he may be able to find some one for whom to gain his son in exchange. An object which I really do much desire that he may gain, for unless he finds him, there's nowhere for me to find myself. I have no hopes in the young men; they are all too fond of themselves. He, in fine, is a youth with the old-fashioned manners, whose countenance I never rendered cheerful without a return. His father is worthily matched, as endowed with like manners. Now I'll go to him;— but his door is opening, the door from which full oft I've sallied forth drunk with excess of cheer (He stands aside.)

[Footnote 1: Because invocated)—Ver. 70. "Invocatus." The following Note is extracted from Thornton's Translation of this Play: — "The reader's indulgence for the coinage of a new term (and perhaps not quite so much out of character from the mouth of a Parasite) is here requested in the use of the word 'invocated' in a sense, which it is owned, there is no authority for, but without it no way occurs to explain the poet's meaning—which, such as it is, and involved in such a pun, is all that can be aimed at. The word 'invocatus' means both 'called upon' and 'not called upon.' Ergasilus here quibbles upon it; for, though at entertainments be attends, as it is the common character of Parasites to do, without invitation, that is 'not called upon;' and as mistresses are 'called upon' that their names so invoked may make their lovers throw the dice with success; still, according to the double sense of the word, they may be compared to each other, as they are both, according to the Latin idiom, 'invocati.'"]

[Footnote 2: That buffoons)—Ver. 71. "Derisores," "buffoons." By this word he means that particular class of Parasites who earned their dinners by their repartees and bon-mots.]

[Footnote 3: Invokes his mistress)—Ver. 73. It was the Grecian custom, when they threw dice at an entertainment, for the thrower to call his mistress by name, which invocation was considered to bring good luck.]

[Footnote 4: When business is laid aside)—Ver. 78. "Ubi res prolatae sunt." Meaning thereby "in vacation-time." In the heat of summer the courts of justice were closed, and the more wealthy portion of the Romans retired into the country or to the seaside. Cicero mentions this vacation as "rerum proliatio." The allusion in the previous line is probably derived from a saying of the Cynic Diogenes: when he saw mice creeping under the table, he used to say, "See the Parasites of Diogenes."]

[Footnote 5: Like mastiffs_)—Ver. 86. "Molossici." Literally, "dogs of Molossus," a country of Epirus.]

[Footnote 6: Annoying-like and very troublesome-like)—Ver. 87. "Odiosici—incommodestici." These are two extravagant forms of the words "odiosi" and "incommodi," coined by the author for the occasion.]

[Footnote 7: Pots to be broken)—Ver. 89. By Meursius we are informed that these practical jokes were played upon the unfortunate Parasites with pots filled with cinders, which were sometimes scattered over their clothes, to the great amusement of their fellow-guests.]

[Footnote 8: The Trigeminian Gate)—Ver. 90. The Ostian Gate was so called because the Horatii left the city by that gate to fight the Curiatii. The brothers being born at one birth were "trigemini," whence the gate received its name. The beggars with their wallets were seated there. See the Trinummus, 1.423, and the Note to the passage.]

[Footnote 9: Since my patron)—Ver. 92. Rex; literally, "king." The Parasites were in the habit of so calling their entertainers.]

SCENE II.—Enter, from his house, HEGIO and a SLAVE.

HEG. Now, give attention you, if you please. Those two captives whom I purchased yesterday of the Quaestors out of the spoil, put upon them chains of light weight [1]; take of those greater ones with which they are bound. Permit them to walk, if they wish, out of doors, or if in-doors, but so that they are watched with the greatest care. A captive at liberty is like a bird that's wild; if opportunity is once given for escaping, 'tis enough; after that, you can never catch him.

SLAVE. Doubtless we all are free men more willingly than we live the life of slaves.

HEG. You, indeed, don't seem to think so [2].

SLAVE. If I have nothing to give, should you like me to give myself to flight [3]?

HEG. If you do so give yourself, I shall at once have something to be giving to you.

SLAVE. I'll make myself juat like the wild bird you were telling of.

HEG. 'Tis just as you say; for if you do so, I'll be giving you to the cage [4] But enough of prating; take you care of what I've ordered, and be off. (The SLAVE goes into the house.) I'll away to my brother's, to my other captives; I'll go see whether they've been making any disturbance last night. From there I shall forthwith betake myself home again.

ERG. (apart). It grieves me that this unhappy old man is following the trade of a slave-dealer, by reason of the misfortune of his son. But, if by any means he can be brought back here, I could even endure for him to become an executioner.

HEG. (overhearing him). Who is it that's speaking?

ERG. 'Tis I, who am pining at your affliction, growing thin, waxing old, and shockingly wasting away. Wretched man that I am, I'm but skin and bone through leanness; nor does anything ever do me good that I eat at home; even that ever so little which I taste out of doors, the same refreshes me.

HEG. Ergasilus, save you! ERG. (crying). May the Gods kindly bless you, Hegio!

HEG. Don't weep. ERG. Must I not weep for him? Must I not weep for such a young man?

HEG. I've always known you to be a friend to my son, and I have understood him to be so to you.

ERG. Then at last do we men know our blessings, when we have lost those things which we once had in our power. I, since your son fell into the power of the enemy, knowing by experience of what value he was, now feel his loss.

HEG. Since you, who are no relation, bear his misfortune so much amiss, what is it likely that I, a father, should do, whose only son he is?

ERG. I, no relation to him? He, no relation to me? Oh, Hegio! never do say that, nor come to such a belief. To you he is an only child, but to me he is even more only than an only one.

HEG. I commend you, in that you consider the affliction of your friend your own affliction. Now be of good heart.

ERG. (crying). O dear! HEG. (half-aside). 'Tis this afflicts him, that the army for guttling is now disbanded. Meanwhile, have you found no one to command for you the army that you mentioned as disbanded?

ERG. What do you think? All to whom it used to fall are in the habit of declining that province since your son Philopolemus was taken prisoner.

HEG. I' faith, 'tisn't to be wondered at, that they are in the habit of declining that province. You have necessity for numerous troops, and those of numerous kinds. Well, first you have need of the Bakerians [5]. Of these Bakerians there are several kinds. You have need of Roll- makerians, you hare need too of Confectionerians, you have need of Poultererians, you have need of Beccaficorians; besides all the maritime forces are necessary for you.

ERG. How the greatest geniuses do frequently lie concealed! How great a general now is this private individual!

HEG. Only have good courage; for I trust that in a few days I shall bring him back home. For see now; there's a captive here, a young man of Elis, born of a very high family, and of very great wealth; I trust that it will come to pass that I shall get my son in exchange for him.

ERG. May the Gods and Goddesses grant it so!

HEG. But are you invited out anywhere to dinner?

ERG. Nowhere that I know of. But, pray, why do you ask me?

HEG. Because this is my birthday; for that reason I'd like you to be invited to dinner at my house.

ERG. 'Tis kindly said. HEG. But if you can be content to eat a very little—

ERG. Aye, even ever so little; for on such fare as that do, I enjoy myself every day at home.

HEG. Come, then, please, set yourself up for sale.

ERG. I'll put myself up for purchase, just like a landed estate, unless any one shall privately make a better offer that pleases myself and my friends more, and to my own conditions will I bind myself.

HEG. You are surely selling me a bottomless pit [6], and not a landed estate. But if you are coming, do so in time.

ERG. Why, for that matter. I'm at leisure even now.

HEG. Go then, and hunt for a hare; at present, in me you have but a ferret [7], for my fare is in the way of frequenting a rugged road.

ERG. You'll never repulse me by that, Hegio, so don't attempt it. I'll come, in spite of it, with teeth well shod.

HEG. Really, my viands are but of a rough sort [8]. ERG. Are you in the habit of eating brambles?

HEG. Mine is an earthy dinner. ERG. A pig is an earthy animal.

HEG. Earthy from its plenty of vegetables.

ERG. Treat your sick people [9] at home with that fare? Do you wish anything else?

HEG. Come in good time. ERG. You are putting in mind one who remembers quite well. (Exit.

HEG. I'll go in-doors, and in the house I'll make the calculation how little money I have at my banker's; afterwards I'll go to my brother's, whither I was saying I would go. (Goes into his house.)

[Footnote 1: Chains of light weight)—Ver. 112. "Singularias" This word may admit of three interpretations, and it is impossible to decide which is the right one. It may mean chains weighting a single "libra," or pound; it may signify chains for the captives singly, in contradistiniction to those by which they were fastened to each other; or it may mean single chains, in opposition to double ones. In the Acts of the Apostles, ch. 12, v. 6, we read that St. Peter was bound with two chains; and in ch. 13, v. 33, the chief captain orders St. Paul to be bound with two chains.]

[Footnote 2: Don't seem to think so)—Ver. 120. Hegio means to say that the slave does not seem to think liberty so very desirable, or he would try more to please his master and do his duty, which might probably be the right method for gaining his liberty. As the slave could generally ransom himself out of his "peculium," or "savings," if they were sufficient, the slave here either thinks, or pretends to think, that Hegio is censuring him for not taking those means, and answer, accordingly, that he has nothing to offer]

[Footnote 3: Give myself to flight)—Ver. 121. "Dem in pedes." Literally, "give myself to my feet," meaning thereby "to run away." He puns upon this meaning of "dare," and its common signification of "to give" or "to offer to give."]

[Footnote 4: Giving you to the cage)—Ver. 124. "In cavears." He plays on the word "cavea," which meaning "a cage" for a bird, might also mean confinement for a prisoner.]

[Footnote 5: The Bakerians)—Ver. 162. This and the following appellations are expressive both of the several trades that contributed to furnishing entertainments, and, in the Latin, also denoted the names of inhabitants of several places in Italy or elsewhere. As this meaning could not be expressed in a literal translation of them, the original words are here subjoined. In the word "Pistorienses," he alludes to the bakers, and the natives of Pistorium, a town of Etruria; in the "Panicei," to the bread or roll bakers, and the natives of Pana, a little town of the Samnites, mentioned by Strabo; in the "Placentini," to the "confectioners" or "cake-makers," and the people of Placentia, a city in the North of Italy; in the "Turdetani," to the "poulterers" or "sellers of thrushes," and the people of Turdentania, a district of Spain; and in the "Fiendulae," to the "sellers of beccaficos," a delicate bird, and the inhabitants of Ficculae, a town near Rome. Of course, these appellations, as relating to the trades, are only comical words coined for the occasion.]

[Footnote 6: A bottomless pit)—Ver. 183. He plays upon the resemblance in sound of the word "fundum," "landed property," to "profundum," "a deep cavity," to which he compares the Parasite's stomach. "You sell me landed property, indeed; say rather a bottomless pit."]

[Footnote 7: Have but a ferret)—Ver. 185. This passage has much puzzled the Commentators; but allowing for some very far-fetched wit, which is not uncommon with Plautus, it may admit of some explanation. He tells the Parasite that he had better look for a nicer dinner, a hare, in fact; for that in dining with him, he will only get the ferret (with which the hare was hunted) for his dinner. Then, inasmuch as the ferret was and for following the bare or rabbit into "scruposae viae," "impervious" or "rocky places" where they had burrowed, he adds: "For my dinner, ferret-like, frequents ragged places;" by which he probably means that it is nothing but a meagre repast of vegetables, of which possibly capers formed a part, which grow plentifully in Italy, in old ruins and craggy spots. Some suggest that it was a custom with the huntsmen, if they failed to catch the hurt, to kill and eat the ferret.]

[Footnote 8: Are but of a rough sort)—Ver. 189. The word "asper" means either "unsavoury" or "prickly," according to the context. Hegio means to use it in the former sense, but the Parasite, for the sake of repartee, chooses to take it in the latter.]

[Footnote 9: Treat your sick people)—Ver. 191. He means that such a dinner may suit sick people, but will not be to his taste.]


Enter, from the house, PHILOCRATES, TYNDARUS, and SLAVES and CAPTIVES of HEGIO.

SLAVE. If the immortal Gods have so willed it that you should undergo this affliction, it becomes you to endure it with equanimity; if you do so, your trouble will be lighter [1]. At home you were free men, I suppose; now if slavery has befallen you, 'tis a becoming way for you to put up with it, and by your dispositions to render it light, under a master's rule. Unworthy actions which a master does must be deemed Worthy ones.

PHIL. and TYND. Alas! alas! alas! SLAVE. There's no need for wailing; you cause much injury to your eyes. In adversity, if you use fortitude of mind, it is of service.

PHIL. and TYND. But we are ashamed, because we are in bonds.

SLAVE. But in the result it might cause vexation to our master, if he were to release you from chains, or allow you to be loose, whom he has purchased with his money.

PHIL. and TYND. What does he fear from us? We know our duty, what it is, if he allows us to be loose.

SLAVE. Why, you are meditating escape. I know what it is you are devising.

PHIL. and TYND. We, make our escape? Whither should we escape?

SLAVE. To your own country. PHIL. and TYND. Out upon you; it would ill befit us to be following the example of runaways.

SLAVE. Why, faith, should there be an opportunity, I don't advise you not.

PHIL. and TYND. Do you allow us to make one request.

SLAVE. What is it, pray? PHIL. and TYND. That you will give us an opportunity of conversing, without these and yourselves for overlookers.

SLAVE. Be it so; go you away from here, you people. Let's step here, on one side. (To the other CAPTIVES and SLAVES.) But commence upon a short conversation only.

PHIL. O yes, it was my intention so to do. Step aside this way (to TYNDARUS).

SLAVE (to the other CAPTIVES). Stand apart from them.

TYND. (to the SLAVE). "We are Both greatly obliged to you, by reason of your doing so, since you allow us to obtain what we are desirous of.

PHIL. Step here then, at a distance now, if you think fit, that no listeners may be enabled to overhear our discourse, and that this plan of ours mayn't be divulged before them for a stratagem is no stratagem, if you don't plan it with art but it is a very great misfortune if it becomes disclosed. For if you are my master, and I represent myself as your servant, still there's need of foresight, and need of caution, that this may be carried out discreetly and without overlookers, with carefulness and with cautious prudence and diligence. So great is the matter that has been commenced upon; this must not be carried out in any drowsy fashion.

TYND. Just as you shall desire me to be, I will be.

PHIL. I trust so. TYND. For now you see that for your precious life I'm setting at stake my own, as dear to me.

PHIL. I know it. TYND. But remember to know it when you shall be enjoying that which you wish for; for mostly, the greatest part of mankind follow this fashion; what they wish for, until they obtain it, they are rightminded; but when they have now got it in their power, from being rightminded they become most deceitful, and most dishonest; now I do consider that you are towards me as I wish. What I advise you, I would advise my own father.

PHIL. I' faith, if I could venture, I would call you father; for next to my own father, you are my nearest father.

TYND. I understand. PHIL. And therefore I remind you the more frequently, that you may remember it. I am not your master, but your servant; now this one thing I do beseech you. Inasmuch as the immortal Gods hare disclosed to us their wishes, that they desire me to have once been your master, and now to be your fellow-captive; what formerly of my right I used to command you, now with entreaties do I beg of you, by our uncertain fortunes, and by the kindness of my father towards you, and by our common captivity, which has befallen us by the hand of the enemy, don't you pay me any greater respect than I did you when you were my slave; and don't you forget to remember who you were, and who you now are.

TYND. I know, indeed, that I now am you, and that you are I.

PHIL. Well, if you are able carefully to remember that, I have some hope in this scheme of ours.

[Footnote 1: Will be lighter)—Ver. 197. The English proverb corresponds with this: What can't be cured must be endured.]

SCENE II.—Enter HEGIO, from his house, speaking to those within.

HEG. I shall return in-doors just now, when I shall have discovered from these people what I want to know. (To the SLAVES.) Where are those persons whom I ordered to be brought out of doors here, before the house?

PHIL. By my faith, I find that you have taken due precaution that we shouldn't be missed by you, so walled in are we with chains and keepers.

HEG. He that takes precaution that he mayn't be deceived, is hardly on his guard, even while he's taking precaution; even when he has supposed that he has taken every precaution, full often is this wary man outwitted. Was there not good reason, indeed, for me to watch you carefully, whom I purchased with so large a sum of ready money?

PHIL. Troth, it isn't fair for us to hold you to blame, because you watch us closely; nor yet for you us, if we go away hence, should there be an opportunity.

HEG. As you are here, so is my son a captive there among your people.

PHIL. He, a captive?

HEG. Even so.

PHIL. We, then, have not proved the only cowards [1].

HEG. (_to PHILOCRATES, _supposing him to be the SERVANT of the other_). Step you aside this way, for there are some things that I wish to enquire of you in private, on which subjects I would have you not to be untruthful to me. (_They step aside._)

PHIL. I will not be, as to that which I shall know; if I shall not know anything, that which I don't know I'll tell you of.

TYND. (aside). Now is the old fellow in the barber's shop; now, at this very instant, is Philocrates wielding the razor [2]. He hasn't cared, indeed, to put on the barber's cloth [3], so as not to soil his dress. But whether to say that he's going to share him close, or trim him [4] through the comb [5], I don't know; but if he's wise, he'll scrape him right well to the very quick.

HEG. (to PHILOCRATES). Which would you? Would you prefer to be a slave, or a free man?—Tell me.

PHIL. That which is the nearest to good, and the furthest off from evil, do I prefer; although my servitude hasn't proved very grievous to me, nor has it been otherwise to me than if I had been a son in the family.

TYND. (aside). Capital! I wouldn't purchase, at a talent's price even, Thales the Milesian [6]; for compared with this man's wisdom, he was a very twaddler. How cleverly has he suited his language to the slave's condition.

HEG. Of what family is this Philocrates born?

PHIL. The Polyplusian [7]; which one family is flourishing there, and held in highest esteem.

HEG. What is he himself? In what esteem is he held there?

PHIL. In the highest, and that by the very highest men.

HEG. Since, then, he is held in such great respect among the Eleans, as you tell of, what substance has he?—Of large amount?

PHIL. Enough for him, even, when an old man, to be melting out the tallow [8]

HEG. What is his father? Is he living? PHIL, When we departed thence, we left him alive; whether he's living now or not, Orcus, forsooth, must know that.

TYND. (aside). The matter's all right; he's not only lying, but he's even philosophizing now.

HEG. What's his name? PHIL. Thesaurochrysonicocroesides [9].

HEG. That name has been given, I suppose, by reason of his wealth, as it were.

PHIL. Troth, not so, but rather by reason of his avarice and grasping disposition; for, indeed, he was Theodoromedes originally by name.

HEG. How say you? Is his father covetous?

PHIL. Aye, by my faith, he is covetous. Why, that you may even understand it the better,—when he's sacrificing at any time to his own Genius [10], the vessels that are needed for the sacrifice he uses of Samian ware, lest the Genius himself should steal them; from this, consider how much he would trust other people.

HEG. (addressing TYNDARUS as though PHILOCRATES). Do you then follow me this way. (Aside.) The things that I desire to know, I'll enquire of him. (Addressing TYNDARUS.) Philocrates, this person has done as it becomes an honest man to do. For from him I've learnt of what family you are sprang; he has confessed it to me. If you are willing to own these same things (which, however, understand that I already know from him), you will be doing it for your own advantage.

TYND. He did his duty when he confessed the truth to you, although, Hegio, I wished carefully to conceal both my rank and my wealth; now, inasmuch as I've lost my country and my liberty, I don't think it right for him to be dreading me rather than you. The might of warfare has made my fortunes on a level with himself. I remember the time when he didn't dare to do it in word; now, in deed, he is at liberty to offend me. But don't you see? Human fortune moulds and fashions just, as she wills. Myself, who was a free man she has made a slave, from the very highest the very lowest. I, who was accustomed to command, now obey the mandates of another. And indeed, if I meet with a master just such as I proved the ruler in my own household, I shall not fear that he will rule me harshly or severely. With this, Hegio, I wished you to be acquainted, unless perchance you yourself wish it not.

HEG. Speak boldly out. TYND. As free a man was I till lately as your son. As much did a hostile hand deprive me of my liberty as him of his. As much is he a slave among my people, as am now a slave here with yourself. There is undoubtedly a God, who both hears and sees the things which we do. Just as you shall treat me here, in the same degree will he have a care for him. To the well-deserving will he show favour, to the ill-deserving will he give a like return. As much as you lament your son, so much does my father lament me.

HEG. That I am aware of. But do you admit the same that he has disclosed to me?

TYND. I confess that my father has very great wealth at home, and that I am born of a very noble family; but I entreat you, Hegio, let not my riches make your mind too prone to avarice, lest it should seem to my father, although I am his only son, more suitable that I should be a slave in your house, bountifully supplied at your expense and with your clothing, rather than be living the life of a beggar where 'twould be far from honorable.

HEG. By the favour of the Gods and of my forefathers, I am rich enough. I don't quite believe that every kind of gain is serviceable to mankind. I know that gain has already made many a man famous; and yet there are occasions when it is undoubtedly better to incur loss than to make gain. Gold I detest: many a one has it persuaded to many an evil course. Now give your attention to this, that you may know as well what my wishes are. My son, taken prisoner, is in servitude at Elis there among your people; if you restore him to me, don't you give me a single coin besides; both you and him, your servant, I'll send back from here; on no other terms can you depart hence.

TYND. You ask what's very right and very just, and you are the very kindest person of all mankind. But whether is he in servitude to a private person or to the public [11]?

HEG. In private servitude to Menarchus, a physician.

PHIL. By my faith, that person's surely his father's dependant. Why really, that's down as pat for you, as the shower is when it rains.

HEG. Do you then cause this person, my son, to be redeemed.

TYND. I'll do so: but this I beg of you, Hegio—

HEG. Whatever you wish, so that you request nothing against my interest, I'll do.

TYND. Listen then, and you'll know. I don't ask for myself to be released, until he has returned. But I beg of you to give me him (pointing to PHILOCRATES) with a price set [12] upon him, that I may send him to my father, that this person, your son, may be redeemed there.

HEG. Why no; I'd rather send another person hence, when there shall be a truce, to confer with your father there, and to carry your injunctions which you shall entrust him with, just as you wish.

TYND. But it's of no use to send to him one that he doesn't know; you'd be losing your labour. Send this person; he'll have it all completed, if he gets there. And you cannot send any person to him more faithful, nor one in whom he places more confidence, nor who is more a servant after his own mind; nor, in fact, one to whom he would more readily entrust your son. Have no fears; at my own peril I'll make proof of his fidelity, relying upon his disposition; because he is sensible that I'm kindly disposed towards him.

HEG. Well then, I'll send him with a price set upon him, on the surety of your promise, if you wish it.

TYND. I do wish it; so soon as ever it can, I want this matter to be brought to completion.

HEG. What reason is there, then, that if he doesn't return, you should not pay me twenty minae for him?

TYND. Yes—very good. HEG. (to the SLAVES, who obey). Release him now forthwith; and, indeed, both of them. (On being released, PHILOCRATES goes into the house.)

TYND. May all the Gods grant you all your desires, since you have deigned me honor so great, and since you release me from my chains. Really, this is not so irksome now, since my neck is free from the collar-chain.

HEG. The kindnesses that are done to the good, thanks for the same are pregnant with blessings. Now, if you are about to send him thither, direct, instruct him, give him the orders which you wish to be carried to your father. Should you like me to call him to you?

TYND. Do call him. (HEGIO goes to the door, and calls PHILOCRATES.)

[Footnote 1: The only cowards)—Ver. 267. He alludes to the notion in the heroic times, that it was the duty of a warrior to conquer or to die, and that it was disgraceful to be made prisoner.]

[Footnote 2: Wielding the razor)—Ver. 271. It is hard to say whether by the word "cuttros," in this passage, razors or scissors are meant.]

[Footnote 3: To put on the barber's cloth)—Ver. 272. He probably means by this expression that Philocrates has made no preamble, and shown no hesitation, in commencing at once to dupe the old man.]

[Footnote 4: Or trim him)—Ver. 273. He alludes here to the two kinds of shaving and trimming the beard used by the barbers among the ancients. The one was close "strictim," when they shaved to the skin; the other was, when with a pair of scissors they clipped the hair, with the interposition of a comb. The former fashion was called by the Greeks [Greek: skaphion]; the latter method, which was borrowed from the Persians, [Greek: kaepos]. "Esse in tonstrina," "to be in the barber's shop," was a proverbial expression to denote "being imposed upon." Tyndarus is wondering to what extent Philocrates is going to impose upon Hegio.]

[Footnote 5: Through the comb)—Ver. 273. The Greeks and Romans made their combs of boxwood, much of which was imported from Paphlagonia. The Egyptians used them made of wood and of ivory, and toothed on one side only; while those of the Greeks had teeth on both sides.]

[Footnote 6: Thales the Milesian)—Ver. 279. A talent would be a low price for such a learned slave as Thales the Milesian, who was one of the seven wise men of Greece. He says, however, that Thales at such a low price would be nothing in comparison with Philocrates for the same money.]

[Footnote 7: The Polyplusian)—Ver. 282. This word is coined by Philocrates for the occasion, as being the name of his family, from the Greek word [Greek: polyplousios], "very wealthy;" probably with the idea of raising the expectations of Hegio and making him the more ready to promote an exchange of his own son for a member of so opulent a family.]

[Footnote 8: Melting out the tallow)—Ver. 286. Hegio asks him if his riches are very abundant, and in doing so uses the word "opimae," of which the primary meaning was "fat;" the other answers, "Yes, so fat that he can be melting the tallow out of them even when he is an old man;" meaning thereby that he is amply provided with means.].

[Footnote 9: Thesaurochrysonicocraesides)—Ver. 290. This is a name made up of several Greek words, and seems to mean "a son of Croesus, abounding in treasures of gold," in allusion to Croesus, the wealthy king of Lydia. The author indulges in similar pleasantry in the Miles Gloriosus.]

[Footnote 10: To his own Genius)—Ver. 295. As the Genius of a man was not only his guardian Deity through life, but the word was also used to signify his capacity for enjoyment; the term "to sacrifice to his Genius," is supposed by some Commentators to mean, "to indulge the appetite in feasting and good cheer." This, however, seems not to be the meaning in this instance; and he probably intends to be understood as alluding, literally, to the domestic sacrifice to the Genius.]

[Footnote 11: Or to the public)—Ver. 339. Some captives were employed in the public service, while others fell into the hands of private individuals.]

[Footnote 12: With a price set)—Ver. 845. "Aestimatus" here means "entrusted to a person at a fixed value, and at his risk for the due return of it."]

SCENE III.—Enter PHILOCRATES, from the house.

HEG. May this affair turn out happily for myself and for my son, and for yourselves. (To PHILOCRATES.) Your new master wishes you to pay faithful obedience to your former owner in what he wishes. For I have presented you to him, with the price of twenty minae set upon you: and he says that he is desirous to send you away hence to his father, that he may there redeem my son, and that an exchange may be made between me and him for our respective sons.

PHIL. My disposition takes its course straight in either direction, both to yourself and to him; as a wheel [1] you may make use of me; either this way or that can I be turned, whichever way you shall command me.

HEG. You yourself profit the most from your own disposition, when you endure slavery just as it ought to be endured. Follow me. (To TYNDARUS.) See here's your man.

TYND. I return you thanks, since you give me this opportunity and permission to send this messenger to my parents, who may relate all the matter in its order to my father, what I'm doing here, and what I wish to be done. (To PHILOCRATES.) Now, Tyndarus, thus is it arranged between myself and him, that I'm to send you, valued at a fixed price, to my father in Elis; so that, if you don't return hither, I'm to give twenty minae for you.

PHIL. I think that you've come to a right understanding. For your father expects either myself or some messenger to come from here to him.

TYND. I wish you, then, to mind what message it is I want you to carry hence to my country to my father.

PHIL. Philocrates, as up to this moment I have done, I will take all due care to endeavour that which may especially conduce to your interest, and to pursue the same with heart and soul, and with my ears.

TYND. You act just as you ought to act; now I wish you to give attention. In the first place of all, carry my respects to my mother and my father, and to my relations, and if any one else you see well- disposed towards me: say that I am in health here, and that I am a slave, in servitude to this most worthy man, who has ever honored me more and more with his respect, and does so still.

PHIL. Don't you be instructing me as to that; I can, still, easily bear that in mind.

TYND. For, indeed, except that I have a keeper, I deem myself to be a free man. Tell my father on what terms I have agreed with this party about his son.

PHIL. What I remember, it is sheer delay to be putting me in mind of.

TYND. To redeem me, and to send him back here in exchange for both of us.

PHIL. I'll remember it. HEG. But as soon as he can that is especially to the interest of us both.

PHIL. You are not more anxious to see your son, than he is to see his.

HEG. My son is dear to myself, and his own to every man.

PHIL. (to TYNDARUS). Do you wish any other message to be carried to your father?

TYND. Say that I am well here; and do you boldly tell him, Tyndarus, that we have been of dispositions for uninterrupted harmony between ourselves, and that you have neither been deserving of censure, nor that I have proved your enemy; and that still, amid miseries so great, you have shown implicit obedience to your master, and that you have never abandoned me, either in deed or in fidelity, amid my wavering, unprosperous fortunes. When my father shall know this, Tyndarus, how well-disposed you have proved towards his son and himself, he will never be so avaricious but that he'll give you your liberty for nothing. And by my own endeavours, if I return hence, I'll make him do so the more readily. For by your aid and kindness, and good disposition and prudence, you have caused me to be allowed to return to my parents once again, inasmuch as to Hegio you have confessed both my rank and my wealth; by means of which, through your wisdom, you have liberated your master from his chains.

PHIL. The things which you mention I have done, and I am pleased that you remember this. Deservedly have they been done for you by me; for now, Philocrates, if I, too, were to mention the things that you have kindly done for me, the night would cut short the day. For, had you been my slave even, no otherwise were you always obliging to me.

HEG. Ye Gods, by our trust in you! behold the kindly disposition of these persons! How they draw the very tears from me! See how cordially they love each other, and with what praises the servant has commended his master.

PHIL. I' troth, he hasn't commended me the one hundredth part of what he himself deserves to be commended in my praises.

HEG. (to PHILOCRATES). Since, then, you have acted most becomingly, now there's an opportunity to add to your good in managing this matter with fidelity towards him.

PHIL. I am not able more to wish it done, than by my endeavours to try to bring it about. That you may know this, Hegio, with praises do I call supreme Jove to witness that I will not prove unfaithful to Philocrates [2]—

HEG. You are a worthy fellow. PHIL. And that I will never in anything act otherwise towards him than towards my own self.

TYND. I wish you to put these speeches to the test, both by your deeds and your actions; and inasmuch as I have said the less about you than I had wished, I wish you the more to give me your attention, and take you care not to be angry with me by reason of these words. But, I beseech you, reflect that you are sent hence home with a price set upon you at my risk, and that my life is here left as a pledge for you. Do not you forget me the very moment that you have left my presence, since you will have left me here behind a captive in captivity for yourself, and don't consider yourself as free, and forsake your pledge [3], and not use your endeavours for you to bring his son home again, in return for me. Understand that you are sent hence valued at twenty minae. Take care to prove scrupulously faithful; take care that you show not a wavering fidelity. For my father, I am sure, will do everything that he ought to do. Preserve me as a constant friend to you, and find out [4] this person so lately discovered. These things, by your right hand, holding you with my own right hand, do I beg of you; do not prove less true to me than I have proved to you. This matter do you attend to; you are now my master, you my patron, you my father; to you do I commend my hopes and my fortunes.

PHIL. You have given injunctions enough. Are you satisfied if I bring back accomplished what you have enjoined?

TYND. Satisfied. PHIL. (to HEGIO). According to your wishes, and (to TYNDARUS) according to yours, will I return, hither provided. Is there anything else?

TYND. For you to return bad as soon as ever you can.

PHIL. The business itself reminds me of that.

HEG. (to PHILOCRATES). Follow me, that I may give you your expenses for the journey at my banker's; on the same occasion I'll get a passport from the Praetor.

TYND. What passport [5]? HEG. For him to take with him hence to the army, that he may be allowed to go home from here. (To TYNDARUS.) You go in-doors.

TYND. Speed you well. PHIL. Right heartily, farewell. (TYNDARUS goes into the house.)

HEG. (aside). I' faith, I compassed my design, when I purchased these men of the Quaestors out of the spoil. I have released my son from slavery, if so it pleases the Gods; and yet I hesitated a long time whether I should purchase or should not purchase these persons. Watch that man indoors, if you please, you servants, that he may nowhere move a foot without a guard. I shall soon make my appearance at home; now I'm going to my brother's, to see my other captives; at the same time I'll enquire whether any one knows this young man. (To PHILOCRATES.) Do you follow, that I may despatch you. I wish attention first to be paid to that matter. (Exeunt.

[Footnote 1: As a wheel)—Ver. 374. This may either mean the wheel of a vehicle or a potter's wheel. The wheels used by the ancients revolved on the axle, as in the carriages of modern times, and were prevented, by pins inserted, from falling off. They consisted of naves, spokes, which varied much in number, the felly, or wooden circumference, made of elastic wood, such as the poplar and wild fig, and composed of several segments united, and the tire, which was of metal. Some of their carts and waggons had wheels made of a solid circle of wood, in shape like a millstone, with the axle running through the middle. Similar wheels are used in the south of Europe at the present day.]

[Footnote 2: Unfaithful to Philocrates)—Ver. 432. Philocrates might very safely take an oath to Hegio, that he would not prove unfaithful to himself.]

[Footnote 3: Forsake your pledge)—Ver. 441. Alluding to himself being left behind, and a surety for his speedy return.]

[Footnote 4: And find out)—Ver. 446. "Atque hunc inventum inveni." Some would render this, "And find this person still as you have found him," making it allude to Hegio; it seems, however, rather to apply to the son of Hegio, and to mean, "Do you seek out this person whom we have found out to be in the possession of the physician, Menarchus."]

[Footnote 5: What passport?)—Ver. 454. Being conscious of the trick which they are playing on the worthy old man, Tyndarus shows some alarm on hearing a passport, or "syngraphus," mentioned. Commentators are at a loss to know why he should express such alarm. It is difficult to say, but, probably, as there was in the passport a description of the bearer, who would be Philocrates under the name of Tyndarus, it suddenly comes to the recollection of Tyndarus that they were originally made prisoners under their proper names, and that possibly Philocrates may be recognised as attempting to pass under an assumed name.]



ERG. Wretched is that man who is in search of something to eat, and finds that with difficulty; but more wretched is he who both seeks with difficulty, and finds nothing at all; most wretched is he, who, when he desires to eat, has not that which he may eat. But, by my faith, if I only could, I'd willingly tear out the eyes of this day;—with such enmity has it filled all people towards me. One more starved out I never did see, nor one more filled with hunger [1], nor one who prospers less in whatever he begins to do. So much do my stomach and my throat take rest on these fasting holidays [2]. Away with the profession of a Parasite to very utter and extreme perdition! so much in these days do the young men drive away from them the needy drolls. They care nothing now-a-days for these Laconian men [3] of the lowest benches— these whipping-posts, who hare their clever sayings without provision and without money. They now-a-days seek those who, when they've eaten at their pleasure, may give them a return at their own houses. They go themselves to market, which formerly was the province of the Parasites. They go themselves from the Forum to the procurers with face as exposed[4] as the magistrates in court [5], with face exposed, condemn those who are found guilty; nor do they now value buffoons at one farthing [6]; all are so much in love with themselves. For, when, just now, I went away from here, I came to some young men in the Forum: "Good morrow," said I; "whither are we going together to breakfast?" On this, they were silent. "Who says, 'here, at my house,' or who makes an offer?" said I. Just like dumb men, they were silent, and didn't smile at me. "Where do we dine?" said I. On this they declined, said one funny saying out of my best bon mots, by which I formerly used to get feasting for a month; not an individual smiled; at once I knew that the matter was arranged by concert. Not even one was willing to imitate a dog when provoked; if they didn't laugh, they might, at least, have grinned with their teeth [7]. From them I went away, after I saw that I was thus made sport of. I went to some others; then to some others I came; then to some others—the same the result. All treat the matter in confederacy, just like the oil-merchants in the Velabrum [8]. Now, I've returned thence, since I see myself made sport of there. In like manner do other Parasites walk to and fro, to no purpose, in the Forum. Now, after the foreign fashion [9], I'm determined to enforce all my rights. Those who have entered into a confederacy, by which to deprive us of food and life,—for them I'll name a day. I'll demand, as the damages, that they shall give me ten dinners at my own option, when provisions are dear: thus will I do. Now I'll go hence to the harbour. There, is my only hope of a dinner; if that shall fail me, I'll return here to the old gentleman, to his unsavoury dinner.

[Footnote 1: Filled with hunger)—Ver. 471. This paradoxical expression is similar to the one used in the Aulularia, 1. 45, "inaniis oppletae," "filled with emptiness."]

[Footnote 2: Fasting holidays)—Ver. 473. He means to say, that as on feast days and holidays people abstain from work, so at present his teeth and stomach have no employment.]

[Footnote 3: These Laconian men)—Ver. 476. The Parasites, when there was not room for them on the "triclinia," or "couches" at table, were forced to sit on "subsellia," or "benches," at the bottom of the table. This was like the custom of the Spartans, or Laconians, who, eschewing the luxury of reclining, always persisted in sitting at meals. The Spartans, also, endured pain with the greatest firmness; a virtue much required by Parasites, in order to put up with the indignities which they had to endure from the guests, who daubed their faces, broke pots about their heads, and boxed their ears.]

[Footnote 4: With face as exposed)—Ver. 480. People, with any sense of decency, would resort to these places either in masks, or with a hood thrown over the face.]

[Footnote 5: In court)—Ver. 481. "In tribu." He alludes to the trials which took place before the Roman people in the "Comitia Tributa," or "assemblies of the tribes," where the Tribunes and Aediles acted as the accusers. The offences for which persons were summoned before the tribes, were, bad conduct of a magistrate in performance of his duties, neglect of duty, mismanagement of a war, embezzlement of the public money, breaches of the peace, usury, adultery, and some other crimes. The "Comitia Tributa" were used as courts of appeal, when a person protested against a fine imposed by a magistrate.]

[Footnote 6: At one farthing)—Ver. 482. Literally, "at a teruncius," which was a small coin among the Romans, containing three "unciae," "twelfth parts" or one quarter of the "as," which we generally take as equivalent to a penny.]

[Footnote 7: Grinned with their teeth)—Ver. 491. That is, by showing their teeth and grinning. This is not unlike the expression used in the Psalms (according to the translation in our Liturgy)—Ps. lix., ver. 6—"They grin like a dog and run about through the city."]

[Footnote 8: In the Velabrum)—Ver. 494. The "Via Nova," or "New Street," at Rome, led from the interior of the city to the "Velabra." The greater and the less "Velabrum" lay between the Palatine and the Capitoline Hills, where fruits and other commodities were sold in booths, or under awnings, from which ("vela") the streets probably derived their name. Varro, however, says that they were so called from the verb "veho," "to carry;" because in early times those spots were traversed in boats, which mode of carriage was called "velatura." From the present passage, it appears that the oil-merchants in the "Velabra" acted in confederacy not to sell their oils under a certain price.]

[Footnote 9: After the foreign fashion)—Ver. 497. Some suppose that "barbarica lege" here means "the foreign" or "Roman law," and that he refers to the "Lex Vinnia," introduced at Rome by Quintus Vinnius, which was said to have been passed against those persons who confederated for the purpose of keeping up the high prices of provisions. It is, however, somewhat doubtful if there really was such a law; and the better opinion seems to be that the word "lege" meant "fashion" or "custom;" and that he refers to the Roman method of trial. He will accuse his former entertainers of a conspiracy to starve him. He will name a day for trial, "diem dicet;" he will demand damages or a penalty, "irrogabit muletam;" and thus will he proceed at law against them, "sic egerit." Rost has written at great length on the meaning of this passage.]


HEG. (to himself). What is there more delightful than to manage one's own interests well for the public good [1], just as I did yesterday, when I purchased these men. Every person, as they see me, comes to meet me, and congratulates me on this matter. By thus stopping and detaining unlucky me, they've made me quite tired. With much ado have I survived [2] from being congratulated, to my misfortune. At last, to the Praetor did I get. There, scarcely did I rest myself. I asked for a passport; it was given me: at once I delivered it to Tyndarus. He started for home. Thence, straightway, after that was done, I passed by my house; and I went at once to my brother's, where my other captives are. I asked about Philocrates from Elis, whether any one of them all knew the person. This man (pointing to ARISTOPHONTES) called out that he had been his intimate friend; I told him that he was at my house. At once he besought and entreated me that I would permit him to see him. Forthwith I ordered him to be released from chains. Thence have I come. (To ARISTOPHONTES.) Now, do you follow me, that you may obtain what you have besought of me, the opportunity of meeting with this person. (They go into the house.)

[Footnote 1: For the public good)—Ver. 504. It is possible that he may here refer to his purchase of Philocrates, whose high position among the Eleans would probably tend, on his return to his native country, to promote peace between it and the people of Aetoiia.]

[Footnote 2: With much ado have I survived)—Ver. 513. "Vox— eminebam." Literally, "I hardly kept myself above" water. He means that he was almost overpowered by the crowds of people congratulating him.]

SCENE III.—Enter TYNDARUS, from the house.

TYND. Now stands the matter so, that I would much rather that I had once existed, than that I still exist; now do my hopes, my resources, and my succour, desert me and spurn themselves. This is that day, when, for my life, no safety can be hoped; nor yet is death my end; nor hope is there, in fact, to dispel this fear for me; nor cloak have I anywhere for my deceitful stratagems; nor for my devices or my subterfuges is there anywhere a screen presented to me. No deprecating is there for my perfidy; no means of flight for my offences. No refuge is there anywhere for my trusting; and no escape for my cunning schemes. What was concealed is now exposed; my plans are now divulged. The whole matter is now laid open; nor is there any ado about this matter, but that I must perish outright, and meet with destruction, both on behalf of my master and myself. This Aristophontes has proved my ruin, who has just now come into the house. He knows me. He is the intimate friend and kinsman of Philocrates. Not Salvation herself [1] can save me now, even if she wishes; nor have I any means of escape, unless, perchance, I devise some artifice in my mind. (He meditates.) Plague on it!—how? What can I contrive?—what can I think of? Some very great folly and trifling I shall have to begin with. I'm quite at a loss. (He retires aside.)

[Footnote 1: Not Salvation herself)—Ver. 535. This was a proverbial expression among the Romans. "Salus," "Safety" or "Salvation," was worshipped as a Goddess at Rome. It is well observed, in Thornton's translation, that the word "Salus" may, without irreverence, be translated "Salvation," on no less authority than that of Archbishop Tillotson. "If," says he, "men will continue in their sins, the redemption brought by Christ will be of no advantage to them; such as obstinately persist in an impenitent course," "ipsa si velit Salus, servare non potest." "Salvation itself cannot save them."]

SCENE IV.—Enter HEGIO, ARISTOPHONTES, and SLAVES, from the house.

HEG. Whither am I to say, now, that that man has betaken himself from the house out of doors?

TYND. (apart). Now, for a very certainty, I'm done for; the enemies are coming to you, Tyndarus! What shall I say?—what shall I talk of? What shall I deny, or what confess? All matters are reduced to uncertainty. How shall I place confidence in my resources? I wish the Gods had destroyed you, before you were lost to your own country, Aristophontes, who, from a plot well concerted, are making it disconcerted. This plan is ruined, outright, unless I find out for myself some extremely bold device.

HEG. (to ARISTOPHONTES). Follow me. See, there is the man; go to him and address him.

TYND. (aside, and turning away). What mortal among mortals is there more wretched than myself?

ARIST. (coming up to him). Why's this, that I'm to say that you are avoiding my gaze, Tyndarus? And why that you are slighting me as a stranger, as though you had never known me? Why, I'm as much a slave as yourself; although at home I was a free man, you, even from your childhood, have always served in slavery in Elia.

HEG. I' faith, I'm very little surprised, if either he does avoid your gaze, or if he does shun you, who are calling him Tyndarus, instead of Philocrates.

TYND. Hegio, this person was accounted a madman in Elis. Don't you give ear to what he prates about; for at home he has pursued his father and mother with spears, and that malady sometimes comes upon him which is spit out [1]. Do you this instant stand away at a distance from him.

HEG. (to the SLAVES). Away with him further off from me.

ARIST. Do you say, you whipp'd knave, that I am mad, and do you declare that I have followed my own father with spears? And that I have that malady, that it's necessary for me to be spit upon [2]?

HEG. Don't be dismayed; that malady afflicts many a person to whom it has proved wholesome to be spit upon, and has been of service to them.

ARIST. Why, what do you say? Do you, too, credit him?

HEG. Credit him in what? ARIST. That I am mad?

TYND. Do you see him, with what a furious aspect he's looking at you? 'Twere best to retire, Hegio; it is as I said, his frenzy grows apace; have a care for yourself.

HEG. I thought that he was mad, the moment that he called you Tyndarus.

TYND. Why, he's sometimes ignorant of his own name and doesn't know what it is.

HEG. But he even said that you were his intimate friend.

TYND. So far from that, I never saw him. Why, really, Alcmaeon, and Orestes, and Lycurgus [3] besides, are my friends on the same principle that he is.

ARIST. Villain, and do you dare speak ill of me, as well? Do I not know you?

HEG. I' faith, it really is very clear that you don't know him, who are calling him Tyndarus, instead of Philocrates Him whom you see, you don't know; you are addressing him as the person whom you don't see.

ARIST. On the contrary this fellow's saying that he is the person who he is not; and he says that he is not the person who he really is.

TYND. You've been found, of course, to excel Philocrates in truthfulness.

ARIST. By my troth, as I understand the matter, you've been found to brazen out the truth by lying. But i' faith, prithee, come then, look at mde.

TYND. (looking at him). Well! ARIST. Say, now; do you deny that you are Tyndarus?

TYND. I do deny it, I say.

ARIST. Do you say that you are Philocrates?

TYND. I do say so, I say.

ARIST. (to HEGIO). And do you believe him?

HEG. More, indeed, than either you or myself. For he, in fact, who you say that he is (pointing to TYNDARUS), has set out hence to-day for Elis, to this person's father.

ARIST. What father, when he's a slave. [4]

TYND. And so are you a slave, and yet you were a free man; and I trust that so I shall be, if I restore his son here to liberty.

ARIST. How say you, villain? Do you say that you were born a free man [liber]?

TYND. I really do not say that I am Liber [5], but that I am Philocrates.

ARIST. How's this? How this scoundrel, Hegio, is making sport of you now. For he's a slave himself, and never, except his own self, had he a slave.

TYND. Because you yourself are destitute in your own country, and haven't whereon to live at home, you wish all to be found like to yourself; you don't do anything surprising. 'Tis the nature of the distressed to be ill-disposed, and to envy the fortunate.

ARIST. Hegio, take you care, please, that you don't persist in rashly placing confidence in this man; for so far as I see, he is certainly now putting some device in execution, in saying that he is redeeming your son from captivity; that is by no means satisfactory to me.

TYND. I know that you don't wish that to be done; still I shall effect it, if the Gods assist me. I shall bring him back here, and he will restore me to my father, in Elis. For that purpose have I sent Tyndarus hence to my father.

ARIST. Why, you yourself are he; nor is there any slave in Elis of that name, except yourself.

TYND. Do you persist in reproaching me with being a slave—a thing that has befallen me through the fortune of war?

ARIST. Really, now, I cannot contain myself.

TYND. (to HEGIO). Ha! don't you hear him? Why don't you take to flight? He'll be pelting us just now with stones there, unless you order him to be seized.

ARIST. I'm distracted. TYND. His eyes strike fire; there's need of a rope, Hegio. Don't you see how his body is spotted all over with livid spots? Black bile [6] is disordering the man.

ARIST. And, by my faith, if this old gentleman is wise, black pitch [7] will be disordering you with the executioner, and giving a light to your head.

TYND. He's now talking in his fit of delirium; sprites are in possession of the man.

HEG. By my troth, suppose I order him to be seized?

TYND. You would be acting more wisely.

ARIST. I'm vexed that I haven't a stone, to knock out the brains of that whip-scoundrel, who's driving mo to madness by his taunts.

TYND. Don't you hear that he's looking for a stone?

ARIST. I wish to speak with you alone, separately, Hegio.

HEG. Speak from where you are, if you want anything; though at a distance, I shall hear you.

TYND. Yes, for, by my faith, if you approach nearer, he'll to taking your nose off with his teeth.

ARIST. By heavens, Hegio, don't you believe that I am mad, or that I ever was so, or that I have the malady which that fellow avers. But if you fear anything from me, order me to be bound: I wish it, so long as that fellow is bound as well.

TYND. Why really, Hegio, rather let him be bound that wishes it.

ARIST. Now hold your tongue! I'll make you, you false Philocrates, to be found out this day to be a real Tyndarus. Why are you making signs [8] at me?

TYND. I, making signs at you? (To HEGIO.) What would he do, if you were at a greater distance off?

HEG. What do you say? What if I approach this madman?

TYND. Nonsense; you'll be made a fool of; he'll be prating stuff, to you, neither the feet nor the head of which will ever be visible. The dress only [9] is wanting; in seeing this man, you behold Ajax himself.

HEG. I don't care; still I'll approach him. (Advances to ARISTOPHONTES.)

TYND. (aside). Now am I utterly undone; now between the sacrifice and the stone [10] do I stand, nor know I what to do.

HEG. I lend you my attention, Aristophontes, if there is anything that you would wish with me.

ARIST. From me you shall hear that truth, which now you think to be false, Hegio. But I wish, in the first place, to clear myself from this with you—that madness does not possess me, and that I have no malady, except that I am in captivity; and, so may the King of Gods and of men make me to regain my native land, that fellow there is no more Philocrates than either I or you.

HEG. Come, then, tell me who he is?

ARIST. He whom I've told you all along from the beginning. If you shall find him any other than that person, I show no cause why I shouldn't suffer the loss with you both of my parents and of my liberty for ever.

HEG. (to TYNDARUS). What say you to this?

TYND. That I am your slave, and you my master.

HEG. I didn't ask that—were you a free man?

TYND. I was. ARIST. But he really wasn't; he is deceiving you.

TYND. How do you know? Were you, perchance, the midwife of my mother, since you dare to affirm this so boldly?

ARIST. When a boy, I saw yourself, a boy.

TYND. But, grown up, I now see you grown up; so, there's for you, in return. If you did right, you wouldn't be troubling yourself about my concerns; do I trouble myself about yours?

HEG. Was his father called Thesaurochrysonicocroesides?

ARIST. He was not; and I never heard that name before this day. Theodoromedes was the father of Philocrates.

TYND. (aside). I'm downright undone. Why don't you be quiet, heart of mine? Go and be stretched, and hang yourself; you are throbbing so, that unfortunate I can hardly stand up for my fear.

HEG. Is a full assurance given me that this was a slave in Elis, and that he is not Philocrates?

ARIST. So fully, that you will never find this to be otherwise; but where is he [11] now?

HEG. Where I the least, and he the most could wish himself. In consequence, then, I'm cut asunder, [12] disjointed, to my sorrow, by the devices of this scoundrel, who has bamboozled me by his tricks just as he has thought fit. But do, please, have a care that you are right.

ARIST. Why, I assure you of this, as an ascertained and established fact.

HEG. For certain? ARIST. Why, nothing, I say, will you find more certain than this certainty. Philocrates, from when a boy, has ever since that time been my friend.

HEG. But of what appearance is your friend Philocrates?

ARIST. I'll tell you: with a thin face, sharp nose, light hair, dark eyes, somewhat ruddy, with hair rather crisp and curling.

HEG. The description is like. TYND. (aside). Aye, so much so, indeed, that I've this day, much to my sorrow, got into the midst of this, i' faith. Woe to those unfortunate rods, which this day will be meeting their end upon my back.

HEG. I see that I've been imposed upon.

TYND. (aside). Why, fetters, do you delay to run towards me and to embrace my legs that I may have you in custody?

HEG. And have these two rascally captives really deceived me this day with their tricks? the other one pretended that he was the servant and this one that he himself was the master. I've lost a kernal; for a security, I've left the shell. To such a degree have they imposed upon me, [13] both on this side and that, with their trickeries. Still, this fellow shall never have the laugh against me. Colaphus, Cordalio, Corax [14] (to the SLAVES), go you away and bring out the thongs.

SLAVE. Are we to be sent to gather faggots [15]? (The SLAVES go and bring the thongs from the house.)

[Footnote 1: Which is spit out)—Ver. 566. Some would render the words "qui sputatur," "which is spit upon," and fancy that they find authorities in the ancient writers for thinking that epilepsy was treated by spitting upon the patient. However, it seems much more probable, that the notion was that epilepsy was cured by the patient himself spitting out the noxious saliva; and that the word "sputatur" means, "is spit out," i. e. "is cured by spitting." Celsus thus describes the "comitialis morbus," "epilepsy," or "falling sickness: " "The person seized, suddenly falls down; foam drops from the mouth; then, after a little time, he comes to himself, and gets up again without any assistance." Pliny, in his Natural History, B. 38, c. 4, says: "Despuimus comitiales morbos, hoc est, contagia regerimus," "We spit out the epilepsy, that is, we avert the contagion." This is said, probably, in reference to a belief, that on seeing an epileptic person, if we spit, we shall avoid the contagion; but it by no means follows that the person so doing must spit upon the epileptic person. We read in the first Book of Samuel, ch. xxi., ver. 12: "And David laid up these words in his heart, and was sore afraid of Achish, the King of Gath. And he changed his behaviour before them, and feigned himself mad in their hands, and scrabbled on the doors of the gate, and let his spittle fall down on his beard." He probably pretended to be attacked with epileptic fits. In fact, after due examination, there seems little doubt that it was a common notion with the ancients that the distemper was discharged with the saliva.]

[Footnote 2: To be spit upon)—Ver. 569. Aristophontes has understood the words, "qua spitatur," in the sense of "which is spit upon," and asks Tyndarus if he affirms that he is afflicted with a disease which requires such treatment. Hegio, to pacify him, and to show off his medical knowledge, tells him that it has proved beneficial in some diseases to be so treated; but he does not go so far as to say what those diseases were. One malady, called "herpes," or "spreading ulcer," was said to be highly contagions, but capable of being cured by applications of saliva. Some Commentators here quote the method which our Saviour adopted in curing the blind man at Bethsaida: "And he took the blind man by the hand, and led him out of the town: and when he had spat on his eyes and put his hands upon him, he asked him if be saw aught." St. Mark, ch. viii., ver. 23. And again, the account given in the ninth chapter of St. John, ver. 6: "When he had thus spoken, he spat on the ground, and made clay of the spittle, and he anointed the eyes of the blind man with the clay." It may be possible that our Saviour thought fit to adopt these forms, in imitation of some of the methods of treating diseases in those times; though, of course, his transcendent power did not require their agency. Rost, in his Commentaries on Plautus, has very learned disquisition on the meaning of the present passage.]

[Footnote 3: Alcmaeon, and Orestes, and Lycurgus)—Ver. 568. He alludes to these three persons as being three of the most celebrated men of antiquity that were attacked with frenzy. Orestes slew his mother, Clytemnestra; Alcmaeon killed his mother, Eriphyle; and Lycurgus, King of Thrace, on slighting the worship of Bacchus, was afflicted with madness, in a fit of which he hewed off his own legs with a hatchet.]

[Footnote 4: When he's a slave)—Ver. 580. Slaves were not considered to have any legal existence; and, therefore, to have neither parents or relations.]

[Footnote 5: That I am Liber)—Ver. 584. Aristophontes asks him if he means to assert that he was born a free man, "liber." As "Liber" was also a name of Bacchus, Tyndarus quibbles, and says, "I did not assert that I am Liber, but that I am Philocrates." In consequence of the idiom of the Latin language, his answer (non equidem me Liberam, sed Philocratem esse aio) will admit of another quibble, and may be read as meaning, "I did not say that I am a free man, but that Philocrates is." This maybe readily seen by the Latin scholar, but is not so easily explained to the English reader]

[Footnote 6: Black bile)—Ver. 602. A superabundance of the bile was supposed to be productive of melancholy madness. The word "melancholy" is from the Greek [Greek: melangcholia], "black bile."]

[Footnote 7: Black pitch)—Ver. 603. He alludes to a frightful punishment inflicted upon malefactors by the Romans. They were either smeared over with burning pitch, or were first covered with pitch, which was then set fire to. This punishment is supposed to have been often inflicted upon the early Christians. Juvena alludes to it in his First Satire, I. 155:

Pone Tigellinum, taeda lucebis in illa, Qua stantes ardent, qui fixo gutture fumant.

Describe Tigellinus [an infamous minister of Nero], and yon shall give a light by those torches, in which those stand and burn who send forth smoke with a stake driven into their throat."]

[Footnote 8: Why are you making signs)—Ver. 617. "Abnutas." The verb "abnuto" means, "to nod to a person that he may desist." Tyndarus thinks that by this time Aristophontes must surely understand the plan that has been devised for the escape of Philocrates; and, as he is about to step aside to speak with Hegio, he makes a sign, requesting him to stop short in his contradiction of what he has asserted.]

[Footnote 9: The dress only)—Ver. 620. By "ornamenta" he means the dress of Tragedy. The dresses of Comedy were essentially different from those of Tragedy. He means to say, "the man is mad; if he had only the Tragic garb on, you might take him for Ajax Telamon in his frenzy." On being refused the arms of Achilles, Ajax became mad, and slaughtered a flock of sheep fancying that they were Ulysses and the sons of Atreus.]

[Footnote 10: The sacrifice and the stone)—Ver. 624. We learn from Livy, that in the most ancient times the animal for sacrifice was killed by being struck with a stone; to stand between the victim and the stone, would consequently imply, to be in a position of extreme danger.]

[Footnote 11: But where is he)—Ver. 645. Tyndarus has probably betaken himself to some corner of the stage, and Aristophontes misses him from his former position.]

[Footnote 12: Cut asunder)—Ver. 646. "Deruncinatus" means, literally, cut asunder with a "runcina," or "saw."]

[Footnote 13: Have they imposed upon me)—Ver. 661. "Os sublevere offuciis." Literally "painted my face with varnish." This expression is probably derived from the practice of persons concealing their defects, by painting over spots or freckles in the face for the purpose of hiding them.]

[Footnote 14: Colaphus, Cordalio, Corax)—Ver. 662. These are the names of slaves. "Colaphus" means, also, "a blow with the fist." "Corax" was the Greek name for a "crow," and was probably given to a black slave.]

[Footnote 15: To gather faggots)—Ver. 663. He asks this question because cords, "lora," were necessary for the purpose of binding up faggots.]


HEG. (to the SLAVES). Put the manacles on this whipp'd villain.

TYND. (whilst the SLAVES are fastening him). What's the matter? What have I done wrong?

HEG. Do you ask the question? You weeder and sower of villanies, and in especial their reaper.

TYND. Ought you not to have ventured to say the harrower first? For countrymen always harrow before they weed.

HEG. Why, with what assurance he stands before me.

TYND. It's proper for a servant, innocent and guiltless, to be full of confidence, most especially before his master.

HEG. (to the SLATES). Bind this fellow's hands tightly, will you.

TYND. I am your own—do you command them to be cut off even. But what is the matter on account of which you blame me?

HEG. Because me and my fortunes, so far as in you singly lay, by your rascally and knavish stratagems you have rent in pieces, and have districted my affairs and spoiled all my resources and my plans, in that you've thus robbed me of Philocrates by your devices. I thought that he was the slave, you the free man. So did you say yourselves, and in this way did you change names between you.

TYND. I confess that all was done so, as you say, and that by a stratagem he has got away from you, through my aid and cleverness; and prithee, now, do you blame me for that, i' faith?

HEG. Why, it has been done with your extreme torture for the consequence.

TYND. So I don't die by reason of my misdeeds, I care but little. If I do die here, then he returns not, as he said he would; but when I'm dead, this act will be remembered to my honor, that I caused my captive master to return from slavery and the foe, a free man, to his father in his native land; and that I preferred rather to expose my own life to peril, than that he should be undone.

HEG. Take care, then, to enjoy that fame at Acheron.

TYND. He who dies for virtue's sake, still does not perish.

HEG. When I've tortured you in the most severe manner, and for your schemes put you to death, let them say either that you have perished or that you have died; so long as you do die, I don't think it matters if they say you live.

TYND. I' faith, if you do do so, you'll do it not without retribution, if he shall return here, as I trust that he will return.

ARIST. (aside). O ye immortal Gods! I understand it now; now I know what the case really is. My friend Philocrates is at liberty with his father, in his native land. 'Tis well; nor have I any person to whom I could so readily wish well. But this thing grieves me, that I've done this person a bad turn, who now on account of me and my talking is in chains.

HEG. (to TYNDARUS). Did I not forbid you this day to utter anything false to me?

TYND. You did forbid me. HEG. Why did you dare to tell me lies?

TYND. Because the truth would have prejudiced him whom I was serving; now falsehood has advantaged him.

HEG. But it will prejudice yourself.

TYND. 'Tis very good. Still, I have saved my master, whom I rejoice at being saved, to whom my elder master had assigned me as a protector. But do you think that this was wrongly done?

HEG. Most wrongfully. TYND. But I, who disagree with you, say, rightly. For consider, if any slave of yours had done this for your son, what thanks you would have given him. Would you have given that slave his freedom or not? Would not that slave have been in highest esteem with you? Answer me that.

HEG. I think so. TYND. Why, then, are you angry with me?

HEG. Because you have proved more faithful to him than to myself.

TYND. How now? Did you expect, in a single night and day, for yourself to teach me—a person just made captive, a recent slave, and in his noviciate—that I should rather consult your interest than his, with whom from childhood I have passed my life?

HEG. Seek, then, thanks from him for that. (To the SLAVES.) Take him where he may receive weighty and thick fetters, thence, after that, you shall go to the quarries for cutting stone. There, while the others are digging out eight stones, unless you daily do half as much work again, you shall have the name of the six-hundred-stripe man [1].

ARIST. By Gods and men, I do entreat you, Hegio, not to destroy this man.

HEG. He shall be taken all care of [2]. For at night, fastened with chains, he shall be watched; in the daytime, beneath the ground, he shall be getting out stone. For many a day will I torture him; I'll not respite him for a single day.

ARIST. Is that settled by you? HEG. Not more settled that I shall die. (To the SLAVES.) Take him away this instant to Hippolytus, the blacksmith; bid thick fetters to be rivetted on him. From there let him be led outside the gate to my freedman, Cordalus, at the stone-quarries. And tell him that I desire this man so to be treated, that he mayn't be in any respect worse off than he who is the most severely treated.

TYND. Why, since you are unwilling, do I desire myself to survive? At your own hazard is the risk of my life. After death, no evil have I to apprehend in death. Though I should live even to extreme age, still, short is the space for enduring what you threaten me with. Farewell and prosper; although you are deserving for me to say otherwise. You, Aristophontes, as you have deserved of me, so fare you; for on your account has this befallen me.

HEG. (to the SLAVES). Carry him off.

TYND. But this one thing I beg, that, if Philocrates should come back here, you will give me an opportunity of meeting him.

HEG. (to the SLAVES). At your peril, if you don't this instant remove him from my sight. (The SLAVES lay hold of TYNDARUS, and push him along.)

TYND. I' troth, this really is violence [3], to be both dragged and pushed at the same time. (He is borne off by the SLAVES.)

[Footnote 1: Six-hundred-stripe man)—Ver. 731. "Sexcentoplago." This is a compound word, coined by the author.]

[Footnote 2: He shall be taken all care of)—Ver. 733. Struck with admiration at his fidelity, Aristophontes begs Hegio not to destroy Tyndarus. As the verb "perduis" might also mean "lose" him, Hegio ironically takes it in the latter sense, and says that there is no fear of that, for he shall be well taken care of; or, in other words, strictly watched.]

[Footnote 3: This really is violence)—Ver. 755. According to Suetonius, Julius Caesar used an exactly similar expression when first attacked by his murderers in the senate-house. On Tullius Cimber seizing bold of his garments he exclaimed, "Ita quidem vis est!" "Why, really, this is violence!"]


HEG. He has been led off straight to prison [1], as he deserves. Let no one presume to attempt such an enterprise. Had it not been for you who discovered this to me, still would they have been leading me by the bridle with their tricks. Now am I resolved henceforth never to trust any person in anything. This once I have been deceived enough; I did hope, to my sorrow, that I had rescued my son from slavery. That hope has forsaken me. I lost one son, whom, a child in his fourth year, a slave stole from me; and, indeed, never since have I found either slave or son; the elder one has fallen in the hands of the enemy. What guilt is this of mine? As though I had become the father of children for the purpose of being childless. (To ARISTOPHONTES.) Follow this way. I'll conduct you back where you were. I'm determined to have pity upon no one, since no one has pity upon me.

ARIST. Forth from my chains with evil omen did I come; now I perceive that with like ill omen to my bonds I must return. (Exeunt.

[Footnote 1: To prison)—Ver. 756. "Phylacam." This is a Greek word Latinized, meaning "prison" or "confinement."]


Enter ERGASILUS. [1]

ERG. Supreme Jove! thou dost preserve me, and dost augment my means. Plenty, extreme and sumptuous, dost thou present to me; celebrity, profit, enjoyment, mirth, festivity, holidays, sights, provisions, carousings, abundance, joyousness. And to no man have I now determined with myself to go a-begging; for I'm able either to profit my friend or to destroy my enemy, to such extent has this delightful day heaped delights upon me in its delightfulness. I have lighted upon a most rich inheritance without incumbrances [2]. Now will I wend my way to this old gentleman Hegio, to whom I am carrying blessings as great as he himself prays for from the Gods, and even greater. Now, this is my determination, in the same fashion that the slaves of Comedy [3] are wont, so will I throw my cloak around my neck, that from me, the first of all, he may learn this matter. And I trust that I, by reason of this news, shall find provision up to the end.

[Footnote 1: Ergasilus) He has just come from the harbour, where he has seen the son of Hegio, together with Philocrates and Stalagmus, landing from the packet-boat. Now, as he speaks still of his intended dinner with Hegio, to which he had been invited in the earlier part of the Play, we must conclude, that since then, Philocrates has taken ship from the coast of Aetolia, arrived in Elis, procured the liberation of Philopolemus, and returned with him, all in the space of a few hours. This, however, although the coast of Elis was only about fifteen miles from that of Aetolia, is not at all consistent with probability; and the author has been much censured by some Commentators, especially by Lessing, on account of his negligence It must, however, be remembered, that Plautus was writing for a Roman audience, the greater part of whom did not know whether Elis was one mile or one hundred from the coast of Aetolia. We may suppose, too, that Philopolemus had already caused Stalagmus, the runaway slave, to be apprehended before the arrival of Philocrates in Elis.]

[Footnote 2: An inheritance without incumbrance)—Ver. 780. "Sine sacra hereditas." The meaning of this expression has been explained in the Notes to the Trinummus, 484.]

[Footnote 3: Slaves of Comedy)—Ver. 783. This was done that, when expedition was required, the cloak might not prove an obstruction to the wearer as he walked. The slaves in Comedies usually wore the "pallium," and as they were mostly active, bustling fellows, would have it tucked tightly around them. The "pallium" was usually worn passed over the left shoulder, then drawn behind the back, and under the left arm, leaving it bare, and then thrown again over the left shoulder.]

SCENE II.—Enter HEGIO, at a distance.

HEG. (to himself). The more that I revolve this matter in my breast, the more is my uneasiness of mind increased. That I should have been duped in this fashion to-day! and that I wasn't able to see through it! When this shall be known, then I shall be laughed at all over the city. The very moment that I shall have reached the Forum, all will be saying, "This is that clever old gentleman, who had the trick played him." But is this Ergasilus, that I see coming at a distance? Surely he has got his cloak gathered up; what, I wonder, is he going to do?

ERG. (advancing, and talking to himself). Throw aside from you all tardiness, Ergasilus, and speed on this business. I threaten, and I strictly charge no person to stand in my way, unless any one shall be of opinion that he has lived long enough. For whoever does come in my way, shall stop me upon his face. (He runs along, flourishing his arms about.)

HEG. (to himself). This fellow's beginning to box.

ERG. (to himself). I'm determined to do it; so that every one may pursue his own path, let no one be bringing any of his business in this street; for my fist is a balista, my arm is my catapulta, my shoulder a battering-ram; then against whomsoever I dart my knee, I shall bring him to the ground. I'll make all persons to be picking up their teeth [1], whomsoever I shall meet with.

HEG. (to himself). What threatening is this? For I cannot wonder enough.

ERG. I'll make him always to remember this day and place, and myself as well. Whoever stops me upon my road, I'll make him put a stop to his own existence.

HEG. (to himself). What great thing is this fellow preparing to do, with such mighty threats?

ERG. I first give notice, that no one, by reason of his own fault, may be caught—keep yourselves in-doors at home, and guard yourselves from my attack.

HEG. (to himself). By my faith, 'tis strange if he hasn't got this boldness by means of his stomach. Woe to that wretched man, through whose cheer this fellow has become quite swaggering.

ERG. Then the bakers, that feed swine, that fatten their pigs upon refuse bran, through the stench of which no one can pass by a baker's shop; if I see the pig of any one of them in the public way, I'll beat the bran out of the masters' themselves with my fists.

HEG. (to himself). Royal and imperial edicts does he give out. The fellow is full; he certainly has his boldness from his stomach.

ERG. Then the fishmongers, who supply stinking fish to the public—who are carried about on a gelding, with his galloping galling pace [2]—the stench of whom drives all the loungers in the Basilica [3] into the Forum, I'll bang their heads with their bulrush fish-baskets, that they may understand what annoyance they cause to the noses of other people. And then the butchers, as well, who render the sheep destitute of their young—who agree with you about killing lamb [4], and then offer you lamb at double the price—who give the name of wether mutton to a ram—if I should only see that ram in the public way, I'll make both ram and owner most miserable beings.

HEG. (to himself). Well done! He really does give out edicts fit for an Aedile, and 'tis indeed a surprising thing if the Aetolians haven't made him inspector of markets [5].

ERG. No Parasite now am I, but a right royal king of kings; so large a stock of provision for my stomach is there at hand in the harbour. But why delay to overwhelm this old gentleman Hegio with gladness? With him, not a person among mankind exists equally fortunate.

HEG. (apart). What joy is this, that he, thus joyous, is going to impart to me?

ERG. (knocking at HEGIO'S door). Hallo, hallo!—where are you? Is any one coming to open this door?

HEG. (apart). This fellow's betaking himself to my house to dine.

ERG. Open you both these doors [6], before I shall with knocking cause the destruction, piecemeal, of the doors.

HEG. (apart). I'd like much to address the fellow. (Aloud.) Ergasilus!

ERG. Who's calling Ergasilus?

HEG. Turn round, and look at me.

ERG. (not seeing who it is). A thing that Fortune does not do for you, nor ever will do, you bid me to do. But who is it.

HEG. Look round at me. 'Tis Hegio.

ERG. (turning round). O me! Best of the very best of men, as many as exist, you have arrived opportunely.

HEG. You've met with some one at the harbour to dine with; through that you are elevated.

ERG. Give me your hand. HEG. My hand?

ERG. Give me your hand, I say, this instant.

HEG. Take it. (Giving him his hand.)

ERG. Rejoice. HEG. Why should I rejoice?

ERG. Because I bid you; come now, rejoice.

HEG. I' faith, my sorrows exceed my rejoicings.

ERG. 'Tis not so, as you shall find; I'll at once drive away every spot of sorrow [7] from your body. Rejoice without restraint.

HEG. I do rejoice, although I don't at all know why I should rejoice.

ERG. You do rightly; now order—HEG. Order what?

ERG. A large fire to be made.

HEG. A large fire? ERG. So I say, that a huge one it must be.

HEG. What, you vulture, do you suppose that for your sake I'm going to set my house on fire?

ERG. Don't be angry. Will you order, or will you not order, the pots to be put on, and the saucepans to be washed out, the bacon and the dainties to be made warm in the heated cooking-stoves, another one, too, to go purchase the fish?

HEG. This fellow's dreaming while awake.

ERG. Another to buy pork, and lamb, and pullets.

HEG. You understand how to feed well, if you had the means.

ERG. Gammons of bacon, too, and lampreys, spring pickled tunny- fish, mackerel, and sting-ray; large fish, too, and soft cheese.

HEG. You will have more opportunity, Ergasilus, here at my house, of talking about these things than of eating them.

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