Titus Maccius Plautus.

The comedies of Plautus : literally translated into English prose, with notes online

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all her inwards^.

Cal. What ? Have you sold my mistress ?

Bal. Decidedly ; for twenty minae. Cal. Por twenty minse ?

Bal. Or, in other words, for four times five minse, which-
ever you please, to a Macedonian Captain ; and I've already
got fifteen of the minae at home.

Cal. "What is it that I hear of you ?

Bal. That your mistress has been turned into money.

Cal. Why did you dare to do so ?

Bal. 'Tvi'as my pleasure ; she was my own.

Cal. Hallo ! Pseudolus. Eun, fetch me a sword.

PsETTD. "What need is there of a sword ?

Cal. "With which to kill this fellow this instant, and tTien
myself.

Pseud. But why not kiE yourself only rather ? !For famine
will soon be killing him.

Cal. "What do you say, most perjured of men as many as
are living upon the earth ? Did you not take an oath that
you would sell her to no person besides myself?

Bal. I confess it. Cal. In solemn form^, to wit.

Bal. Aye, and well considered too. Cal. "Tou have proved
perjured, you viUaui.

Bal. I sacked the money at home, however. "V^illain as
I am, I am now able to draw upon a stock of silver in my

' With all her inwards) — Ver. 343. " Cum intestinis omnibas." By this
unfeeling expression, the fellow means, " stark naked," just as she stands.
However, we will do him the justice to suppose that when, in the sequel,
sne is led away by Simmia, a " toga" is thrown over her for decency's
iake.

* In solemn form) — Ver. 3o3. To take an oath in solemn form, or, • concepts
verbis," was when the oath was repeated by another person, and the party swear-
ing him followed ra his words. The Eoman formula for swearing was " Ej
jnimi mei scntcnti^ juro.'*



27 psErDOLtrs ; Act L

louse ; whereas you who are so dutiful, and born of that
grand family, haven't a single coin.

Cai. P.seudolus, stand by him on the other side and load
this feUow with imprecations.

PsEiTD. Very well. Never would I run to the Prsetor^
with equal speed that I might be made free. (Stands on the
other side o/'Ballio.)

Cai. Heap on him a multitude of curses.

PsETJD. Now win I publish you with my rebukes. T?tou
lackshame !

Bal. 'Tis the fact. Pseud. VUlain !

Bai.. Tou say the truth. Psetjd. "Whipping-post !

Bal. "Why not ? Psettd. Eobber of tombs !

BaIj. No doubt. PsETJD. GaUows-bird!

Bal. Very well done. Pseud. Cheater of your friends!

Bal. That's in my way. Pseud. Parricide !

Bal. Proceed, you. Cai,. Committer of sacrilege !

Bal. I own it. Cal. Perjurer !

Bal. You're telling nothing new^. Cal. Lawbreaker!

Bal. Very much so. Pseud. Pest of youth !

Bal. Most severely said. Cal. Thief!

Bal. Oh! wonderful! Pseud. Vagabond!

Bal. Pooh ! pooh^ ! Cal. Defrauder of the public !

Bal. Most decidedly so. Pseud. Cheating scoundrel !

Cal. Pilthy pander ! Pseud. Lump of filth !

Bal. a capital chorus. Cal. Tou beat your father and
jaother.

Bal. Aye, and kiUed them, too, rather than find them
food ; did I do wrong at all ?

Pseud. "We are pouring our words into a pierced cask* :
we are losing our pains.

' Bun to the Prcetor) — Ver. 358. The " Prsetor" was the public officer at Rome
■who liberated slaves at the request of their owners. The ceremony was per-
formed by his liotor laying a rod called " vindicta" on the head of the person
manumitted.

^ Telling nothing new') — ^Ver. 363. He means that Calidoms has called him
that already ; which he has done in the 351th line.

' Pooh ! pooh .') — Ver. 364. " Bombax." This is a Greek word, an expression
of contempt.

* Into a pierced caah) — Ver. 369. This notion is probably taken from the
punishment of the daughters of Danaiis, who, for the murder of their husb-ands,
the sons of iEgyptus, were doomed by Jupiter to pa.S9 their tune in the Inferna,
fegions in gathering u^ watfir in oerfurated vessels.



Sc. 111. OE, THE CnEiiT. 275

Bal. "Would you like to call me anything else besides ?

Cal. Is there anything that shames you ?

Bal. Yes ; that you have been found to be a lover as empty
as a rotten nut. But although you have used towards me
expressions many and harsh, unless the Captain shall bring
rae this day the five minae that he owes me, as this was the
last day appointed for the payment q/'that money, if he doesn't
bring it, I think that I am able to do my duty.

Cai,. What is that duty ? Bal. If you bring the money,
I'll break faith with him ; that's my duty. If it were more
worth my while, I would talk further with you. But, with-
out a coin of money, 'tis in vain that you request me to
have pity upon you. Such is my determination ; but do
you, from this, consider what you have henceforth to do ?
{Moves^

Cal. Are you going then ? Bal. At present I am full of
business. (Exit.

PsETJD. Before long you'll he more so. That man is my
own, unless all Gods and men forsake me. I'll bone him just
in the same fashion that a cook does a lamprey^. Now,
Calidorus, I wish you to give me your attention.

Cal. What do you bid me do ?

PsETiD. I wish to lay siege to this tovrai, that this day it
may be taken. I'or that purpose, I have need of an artful,
clever, knowing, and crafty fellow, who may despatch out of
hand what he is ordered, not one to go to sleep upon his watch.

Cal. Tell me, then, what you are going to do ?

PsEtrn. In good time I'U let you know. I don't care for it
to be repeated twice ; stories are made too long that way.

Cal. Ton plead what's very fair and very just.

PsBTJD. Make haste ; bring the fellow hither quickly.

Cal. Out of many, there are but few fi'iends that are to be
depended upon by a person.

PsETTD. I know that; therefore, get for yourself now a
choice of both, and seek out of these many one that can be
depended upon.

Cal. I'll have him here this instant.

PsETTD. (!!an't you be off thenl' Tou create delay fol
yoursslf bj your talking. (JExit CALiBOErs.

» Cooh doea a lamprey) — Ver. 382. The " mnraena," or " lamprey," was a disi
highly valued by the Romans.



276 psErBOLUs; Act I,

Scene IV. — Pseudolus, alone.

Pseud. Since he has gone hence, you are now standing
alone, Pseudolus. AVhat are you to do now, after you have so
largely promised costly delights to your master's son by your
speeches ? Y071, for whom not even one drop of sure counsel is
ready, nor yet of silver * # * # ^or have
you where first you must begin your undertaking, nor yet fixed
limits for finishing oiF your web. But just as the poet, when
he has taken up his tablets, seeks what nowhere in the world
exists, and still finds it, and makes that like truth which really
is a fiction ; now I'U become a poet ; twenty minae, which no-
where in the world are now existing, still will I find. And
some time since had I said that I would find them for him, and
I had attempted to throw a net over our old gentleman ; how-
ever, by what means I know not, he perceived it beforehand.
But my voice and my talking must be stopped ; for, see ! 1
perceive my master, Simo, coming this way, together with
his neighbour, Callipho. Out of this old sepulchre will I dig
twenty minse this da_7, to give them to my master's son.
Now I'll step aside here, that I may pick up their conver-
sation. {He stands apart.)

Scene V. — JSnter Simo and Callipho.

Simo. If now a Dictator^ were to be appointed at Athens
of Attica out of the spendthrifts or out of the gallants,
I do think that no one would surpass my son. For now the
only talk of all throughout the city is to the efiect that he
is trying to set his mistress free, and is seeking after money
for that purpose. Some people bring me word of this ; and,
in fact, I had long ago perceived it, and had suspected it,
but I dissembled on it.

PsEiTD. (ajjart). Already is his son suspected by him ; this
affair is nipt in the bud, this business is at a stand-still. The
way is now entirely blocked up against me, by which I had
intended to go a-foraging for the money. He has perceived it
beforehand. There's no booty for the marauders.

' If now a Dictator)— 'Ver. 416. Though the scene is at Athens, Plautns her«
makes refereuce to Eoman customs. The Dictator was the highest officer in th«
Roman Kepublic, and was only elected upon emergencies.



Sc. V. OK, THE CUEi-T. 277

Call. Those men ■who carry about and who listen to accu-
sations, should all be hanged, if so it could be at my decision,
the carriers by their tongues, the listeners by their ears.
Por these things that are told jov,, that your son in his
amour is desirous to chouse you out of money, the chance is
that these things so told you are all lies. But suppose they
are true, as habits are, now-a-days especially, what has he
done so surprising ? What new thing, it' a young man does
love, and if he does liberate his mistress ?

PsErD. (apart). A delightful old gentleman.

SiMO. I don't wish him to follow the old-fashioned
habits'.

Call. But still, in vain do you object ; or you yourself
shouldn't have done the like in your youthful days. It
befits the father to be immaculate, who wishes his son to be
more immaculate than he has been himself But the mis-
chief and the profligacy you were guilty of might have been
distributed throughout the wJiole population, a share for each
man. Are you surprised at it, if the son does take after the
father ?

Pseud, (apart). O Zeus, Zeus^ ! how few in number arc
you considerate men. See, that's beiug a father to a son,
just as is proper.

SiMO. Wbo is it that's speaking here ? (Loolcing round.)
TFTiy, surely 'tis my servant Pseudolus. 'Tis he corrupts my
aon, the wicked scoundrel ; he is his leader, he his tutor. I
long for him to be put to extreme torture.

Call. This is foUy now, thus to keep your anger in
readiness. How much better were it to accost him with kind
words and to make all enquiries, whether these things are
true or not that they tell you of ?

SiMO. I'll take your advice. Psetjd. (apart). They are
making towards you, Pseudolus ; prepare your speech to
meet the old feUow. Good courage in a bad case is half

1 The old-fashioned habits)— Vet. 436. " Vetus nolo facial." Literally, " 1
do not wish him to do what is old-fashioned." He alludes to the old-fashioned
trick of falling into love, and running into extraragance.

2 Zeus, Zem .') — Ver. 443. 'Q ZeC, 7,ev. Zeus was the Greek name oi
Jupiter, whose Latin title was formed from " Zeus pater," " Father Zeus." Th«
use of It m Latin colloquy exactly corresponds with the iiTeverent French phoiM
too much in use with us, " mon Dieu !"



278 TSErnoirs , Act 1.

the evil got over. {Aloud, as lie advances to meet them.)
Pirst, I salute my master, as is proper ; and alter tliat,if auy-
Jhing is left, that I bestow upon his neighbour.

SiMO. Good day to you. "What are you about ?

PsETJD. About standing here in this fashion (assuming an
attitude).

SiMO. See the attitude of the fellow, Callipho ; how like
fhat of a man of rank.

Call. I consider that he is standing properly and with
boldness.

PsEtri). It befits a servant innocent and guileless, as he
is, to be bold, most especially before his master.

Call. There are some things about which we wish to
Inquire of you, which we ourselves know and have heard of
as though through a cloud of mist.

SiMO. He'll manage you now with his speeches, so that
you shaU think it isn't Pseudolus but Socrates'' that's talkiug
to you. What do you say ?

PsEiTD. Por a long time you have held me in contempt,
I know. I see that you have but little confidence in me.
Tou wish me to be a villain ; stiU, I will be of strict honesty.

SiMO. Take care, please, and make the recesses of your
ears free, Pseudolus, that my words may be enabled to enter
where I desire.

PsEUB. Come, say anything you please, although I am
angry at you.

SiMO. What, you, a slave, angry at me your master ?

Pseud. And does that seem wonderful to you?

SiMO. "Why, by my troth, according to wliat you say, I
must be on my guard against you in your anger, and yoa
are thinking of beating me in no other way than I am wont
to lieat yourself. "What do you think ? {To Callipho.)

Call. I' faith, I think that he's angry wit!\ good reason,
since you have so little confidence in him.

Smo. I'll leave him alone then. Let him be angry : I'U
take care that he shall do me no harm. But what do you
say ? "What as to that which I was asking you ?

PsETJD. If you want anything, ask me. "What I know,
do you consider given you as a response at Delphi.

^ Bvi SuaraUi) — ^Ver, '166. The most learned ai d virtnoas of all the philoeo
phers of atcien' times.



Sc. V. OE, TfCe CKSAT. 279

SiMO. Give your attention then, and take care and ploas8
mind your promise. What do you say ? Do you know that
my son is in love with a certain music-girl ?

PsEUU. Tea, verilyi. Simo. Whom he is trying to make
free?

Pseud. Tea, verily and indeed. SiMO. And you are
scheming by cajolery and by cunning tricks to get twenty
minae in ready money out of me ?

Pseud. I, get them out of you ?'

Simo. Just so ; to give them to my son, vrith which to
liberate his mistress. Do you confess it ? Speak out.

Pseud. Tea, verily ; yea, verily. Simo. He confesses it.
Didn't I tell you so just now, Callipho ?

Call. So I remember. Simo. "Why, directly you Imew of
these things, were they kept concealed from me ? "Why
wasn't I made acquainted with them ?

Pseud. I'U. tell you : because I was unwilling that a bad
custom should originate in me, for a servant to accuse his
master before his master.

Simo. Wouldn't 3''ou order this fellow to be dragged
head first to the treadmill ?

Call. Has he done anything amiss, Simo ?

Simo. Tes, very much so. Psextd. (to Callipho). Be
quiet, I quite well understand my own affairs, Callipho. Is
this a fault ? Now then, give your attention to the reason
why I you kept ignorant of this amour. I knew that the
treadmill was close at hand, if I told you.

Simo. Ajid didn't you know, as well, that the treadmill
would be close at hand when you kept silent on it ?

Pseud. I did know it. Simo. Why wasn't it told
me ?

' Yea, verily') — Ver. 483. Nai yap. This ar.d the two following remarks of
Pscudolns are in Greek. The Romans affected curtness of repartee in Greek, ia
much the same manner as we do in French. A cant tone lias been attempted in
the translation to be given to the remarks so made by Pseudolus.

2 To ike treadmilV) — Ver. 494. '* Pistrinum." The establishment of each
wealthy person had i*s " pistiinum," or " handmill," where the mill for grinding,
corn was worked by the hand of slaves. The most worthless and refractory
were employed at this labour, and as the task was deemed a degradation, the
*' pistrinum" was the usual place of punishment for the slaves of tire household.
Throughout this translation, the iiDerr,y has been in general taken of conveying-
the meaning of the term by the use of the word " treadmill."



280 PSErDOLTTS ; Act I.

PsETTD. The one evil was close at hand, the other at a
greater distance ; the one was at the moment, the other was
a few days off.

SiMO. What will you be doing now ? Tor assuredly the
money cannot be gjt in this quarter out of me, who have
especially detected it. I sbaU forthwith give notice to all
that no one is to trust him the money.

PsEtTD. I' faith, I'll never go begging to any person, so
long, at aU. events, as you shall be alive ; troth, you shall find
me the money ; and as for me, I shall take it from you.

SiMO. Ton, take it from me ? Psettd. Undoubtedly.

SiMO. Troth, now, knock out my eye, if I do find it.

PsEtTD. You shall provide it. I warn you then to be on
your guard against me.

SiMO. By my troth, I know this for sure ; if you do take it
away, you will have done a wonderful and a great exploit.

Pseud. I will do it, however. Simo. But if you don't
carry it off?

PsETJD. Then flog me with rods. But what if I do carry
it off?

SiMO. I give you Jupiter as your witness, that you shall
pass your life free from punishment.

Pseud. Take care and remember that. Simo. Could 1
possibly be unable to be on my guard, who am forewarned ?

PsETJD. I forewarn you to be on your guard. I say you
must be on your guard, I tell you. Keep watch. Look, rnoif,
with those same hands will you this day give me the money

Simo. By my troth, 'tis a clever mortal if he keeps his
word.

PsETJD. Carry me away to be your slave if I don't do it.

Simo. Tou speak kindly and obligingly ; for at present you
are not mine, I suppose.

PsEtTD. "Would you like me to tell you, too, what you will
still more wonder at ?

Simo. Come, then ; i' faith, I long to hear it ; I listen to
you with pleasure.

Pseud. Before I flgbt that battle, I sbaU first fight another
battle, famous and memorable.

Simo. What battle? Pseud. Why, with the procurer,,
your neighbour ; by means of stratagem and artful trioks, I'l.
cleverly bamboozle the procurer out of this music-girl, witb



Sc. V. OE, THE CHEAT. 281

whom your son is so desperately in love ; and I surely will
Qave both of these things effected this very day, before tho
evening.

SiMO. Well, if you accomplish these tasks as you say, you
veiU surpass in might King Agathoclesi. But if you don't do
it, is there any reason why I shouldn't forthwith put you in
the treadmill ?

PsErn. Not for one day, but, i' faith, for all, whatever tho
time. But if I effect it, will you not at once give me the
money of your owm free will for me to pay to the procurer ?

Call. Pseudolus is making a fair claim ; say " I'll give it."

SiMO. But still, do you know what cornea into my mind ?
Suppose they have made an arrangement, CaUipho, among
themselves, or are acting in concert, and on a preconcerted
plan, to bamboozle me out of the money ?

Pseud. Who would be more audacious than myself, if I
dared to do such an action ? Well, Simo, if we are thus in
collusion, or have ever arranged any plan, do you mark me
quite all over with elm-tree stripes^, just as when letters are
written in a book with a reed.

Simo. Now then, proclaim the games as soon as you
please.

PsETJD. Grive me your attention, CalHpho, I beg you, for
this day, so that you may not any way employ yourself upon
other business.

Call. Wby, now, I had made up my mind yesterday to go
into the country.

PsETJD. Still, do you now change the plan which you haff
resolved upon.

Call. I am now resolved not to go away on account of
this ; I have an inclination to be a spectator of your games,
Pseudolus ; and if I shall find that he doesn't give you the
money which he has promised, rather than it shouldn't be
done, I'll give it.

^ King Agathodes) — Ver. 332. Agathocles was famous for having vigfn, by
bis valonr and merit, from being the son of a potter to be the King of Sicily.

2 With elm-tree itripes) — Ver. S'^S. " Stylis ulinc-is," "with elm-tree styli."
He alludes to the weals produced by flogging with elm-tree rods, which, being
long and fine, would -^semble the iron " stylus" used for writing niKin wu
ablets.'



282 ps"ErD0i(j!» Act II,

SiMO. I shall not change my purpose.

Pseud. Because, by my faith, if yon don't give it, yon shall
be dunned for it with clamour great and plenteous. Come,
?wio, move yourselves off hence into the house this instant,
and in turn give room for my tricks.

SiMO. Be it so. Call. You may have your way.

Pseud. But I want you to keep close at home.

SiMO. Well, that assistance I promise you.

Call. But I shall he off to the Porum. I'll be back nere
presently. (Exit Callipho. Simo goes into Ms hoiise.')

PsEui). Be back directly. (To the Audience.) I have a
suspicion, now, that you are suspecting that I have been pro-
mising these so great exploits to these persons for the pur-
pose of amusing you, while I am acting this play, and that I
shall not do that which I said I will do. I will not change
my design ; so far as that then I know for certain ; by what
means I'm to carry it out not at all do I know as yet ; only
this, that so it shall be. Por he that appears upon the sta^e
in a new character, him it befits to bring something that ia
new. If he cannot do that, let him give place to him who can.
I am inclined to go hence into the house for some little time,
while I summon together^ all my stratagems in my mind.
Meanwhile this piper shall entertain you. (Ooes into the
house of Simo, and the Pipee strikes up a tune.)



Act II. — ScEKE I.

Miier PsEUDOEUS,/ro?7i the house of Simo.

Pseud. O Jupiter, whatever I undertake, how cleverly
and how fortunately does it befal me. Not any plan is there
stored up in my breast that I can hesitate upon or be afraid
of. But it is folly to entrust a bold exploit to a timorous
heart; for all things are just as you make them, so as you
make them of importance. ISTow in my breast have I already
so prepared my forces — double, aye, threefold stratagems, that
when I engage with the enemy, relying upon the merits, "!

' WTiUe I summon together) — Ver. 572. " Dam conceEtnrio." This word
jtevally means, "to collect together the centuries," or "compacies of ^ hundretS
men," for the purpose of giving their votes.



Sc. II, OKj THE CHUAT. i;S3

say, of my forefathers, and on my own industry and tricking
propensii^ for miscliief, I may easily conquer, and easily spoO
my antagonists by my contrivances. Now wLU I adroitly batter
down tbis Ballio'^, the common foe of me and all of you ; only
lend me your attention. Now will I forthwith draw out my
legions against this old town. If I take it, I shall make it a
pleasant matter for the citizens : I'll load and fill myself, and
my allies as well, with booty from it. I shall strike terror and
fright into my enemies, so that they may know of what race
I was born. Great exploits it befits me to perform, which
long after may bespeak fame for me. But whom do I see
here? "Who's this low fellow that's presented before my
eyes ? I should like to know why he's come here with his
Bword : I' troth, now then I'll lie here in ambush for him,
lO see the business that he's about. (JRetires to a distance.'^

Scene II. — Unter Haepax, with a lag in Ms Jiand.

Hae. This is the place, and this the spot, which was
pointed out to me by my master, according as I form a
judgment from my eyesight. For my master, the Captain,,
told me to this efiect, that the house was the seventh from
the gate, in which lives the person to whom he requested me
to carry the token and this silver *****
I could vastly wish that some one would inform me where
this BaUio, the procurer, lives. (Looks from side to side.}

T^BEWD. (ajiart). Hist! Silence! This man is mine, unless
all Gods and men forsake me. Now have I need of a
new plan ; this new scheme is suddenly presented to me.
This I prefer to my former one ; that I shall dismiss, which,
before, I had commenced to carry into effect. By my troth,
I'll then work this military messenger that's just arrived.

Hae. I'll knock at the door, and call some one out of
doors from within. (Goes towards the door of Ballio's
house?)

PsETTD. (coming up to him). Whoever you are, I wish you
to spare your knocking ; for I've just come out of doorS;
/, the spokesman and the defender of the door.

> Batter dovm this Ballw) — Ver. 585. " Ballionem exbalistabo." He play
tipun the resemblance of the name of Ballio to the " bali5ta,''or " engine of war."



2S4 rsEUDOLrs; Act II.

Hae. Are you BaUio ? PsEru. Why, no ; but I'm the
deputy-Ballio^.

Hae. What means that expression? Pseud. I'm his
butler-steward^ ; the caterer for his larder.

Hae. As though you were to say, you are his chamber-
lain^.

Pseud. No ; I'm above his chamberlain.

Hae. What are you, slave or free man ?

Pseud. Why, at present, I'm stiU a slave.

Has. So you seem to be ; and you don't look to be one
worthy to be free.

PsETJD. Ain't you in the habit of looking at yourself when
you abuse another person ?

Hae. (aside). This must be a roguish fellow.

Pseud, (aside). The Grods protect and favour me ! for this
is my anvil: this day will I hammer out thence full many a
device.

Hae. Why is he talking to himself alone ?

Pseud. How say you, young man ?

Hae. What is it? Pseud. Are you, or are you not,
from that Captain of Macedonia ? The servant of him, 1
mean, who bought a damsel of us here, who gave fifteen
silver minas to the procurer, my master, and is still owing
five?

Hae. I am. But where in the world have you ever
known me, or have ever seen or spoken to me ? For in
I'act, before this day, I never was at Athens, nor did I ever
before this day behold you with my eyes * * »

*******

Pseud. Because you seem likely to be from him ; for at
the time when he went away, this was the day appointed
for the money, on which he was to pay it to us, and he has



Online LibraryTitus Maccius PlautusThe comedies of Plautus : literally translated into English prose, with notes → online text (page 26 of 55)