Gemini

duana twins 14mar13

Mercator quidam fuit Syracusis senex,
ei sunt nati filii gemini duo,
ita forma simili pueri, ut mater sua
non internosse posset quae mammam dabat,
neque adeo mater ipsa quae illos pepererat—
ut quidem ille dixit mihi, qui pueros viderat:
ego illos non vidi, ne quis vostrum censeat.
postquam iam pueri septuennes sunt, pater
oneravit navim magnam multis mercibus;
imponit geminum alterum in navim pater,
Tarentum avexit secum ad mercatum simul,
illum reliquit alterum apud matrem domi.
Tarenti ludi forte erant quom illuc venit.
mortales multi, ut ad ludos, convenerant:
puer aberravit inter homines a patre.
Epidamniensis quidam ibi mercator fuit,
is puerum tollit avehitque Epidamnum eum.
pater eius autem postquam puerum perdidit,
animum despondit eaque is aegritudine
paucis diebus post Tarenti emortuost.
postquam Syracusas de ea re rediit nuntius
ad avom puerorum, puerum surruptum alterum
patremque pueri ess’ Tarenti emortuom,
immutat nomen avos huic gemino alteri;
ita illum dilexit qui surruptust alterum:
illius nomen indit illi qui domi est,
Menaechmo, idem quod alteri nomen fuit;
et ipsus eodem est avos vocatus nomine;
propterea illius nomen memini facilius,
quia illum clamore vidi flagitarier.
(Plautus, Menaechmi 17-46)

There was a certain old merchant in Syracuse. Two twin sons were born to him, boys of such similar looks that their wet nurse who gave them the breast could not tell them apart, nor for that matter the mother herself who’d given birth to them—at least someone who’d seen the boys told me so. haven’t seen them, in case any of you supposes that I did. When the boys were now seven years old, their father loaded a large ship with much freight. The father put one twin onto the ship and took him with him to Tarentum to the market. He left the other one at home with his mother. In Tarentum there was by chance a festival when he arrived. Many people had gathered, as they do at festivals. The boy strayed from his father among the crowd. There was a certain merchant from Epidamnus there. He picked the boy up and carried him off to Epidamnus. But aftter his father lost the boy, he despaired and because of his grief for him died a few days later in Tarentum. After the news about this came back to Syracuse to the grandfather of the boys, that the one boy had been kidnapped and that the boy’s father had died in Tarentum, the grandfather changed the name of this other twin; so much did he love that other one who was snatched. He gave his name to the one who was at home, Menaechmus, the same name the other one had. And the grandfather himself was called by the same name. I remember his name more easily for the simple reason that I saw him being dunned loudly. (tr. Wolfgang De Melo)

Stimuleum

[PERIPLECTOMENVS. SCELEDRVS]

PER. An quia latrocinamini, arbitramini
quidvis licere vobis, verbero?
SCE. licetne?
PER. at ita me di deaeque omnes ament
nisi mi supplicium virgarum de te datur
longum diutinumque, a mani ad vesperum,
quod meas confregisti imbrices et tegulas,
ibi dum condignam te sectatu’s simiam,
quodque inde inspectavisti meum apud me hospitem
amplexum amicam, quom osculabatur, suam,
quodqu’ concubinam erilem insimulare ausus es
probri pudicam meque summi flagiti,
tum quod tractavisti hospitam ante aedis meas:
nisi mi supplicium stimuleum de te datur,
dedecoris pleniorem erum faciam tuom
quam magno vento plenum est undarum mare.
(Plautus, Miles Gloriosus 499-513)

[PERIPLECTOMENVS. SCELEDRVS]

PER. Do you think that because you’re mercenaries you can do anything you like, you whipping-stock?
SCE. May I?
PER. As truly as all the gods and goddesses may love me, unless I’m given your punishment with rods as compensation, a long and enduring one, from dawn till dusk, because you broke my top and bottom tiles while you were chasing after a monkey quite worthy of yourself, and because you watched my guest from there while he was embracing and kissing his girlfriend, and because you dared to accuse your master’s chaste concubine of unchastity and me of the greatest wickedness, and finally because you mistreated my guest in front of my house: unless I’m given your punishment with rods as compensation, I’ll fill your master with more disgrace than the sea has waves when there’s a strong wind. (tr. Wolfgang De Melo)

Ferrea

[TOXILVS. DORDALVS]

TOX. Si hanc emeris –
di immortales! – nullus leno te alter erit opulentior.
evortes tuo arbitratu homines fundis, familiis;
cum optumis viris rem habebis, gratiam cupient tuam:
uenient ad te comissatum.
DOR. at ego intro mitti votuero.
TOX. at enim illi noctu occentabunt ostium, exurent fores:
proin tu tibi lubeas concludi aedis foribus ferreis,
ferreas aedis commutes, limina indas ferrea,
ferream seram atque anellum; ne sis ferro parseris:
ferreas tute tibi impingi iubeas crassas compedis.
DOR. i in malum cruciatum.
TOX. i sane tu… hanc eme; ausculta mihi.
(Plautus, Persa 564-574)

TOX. If you buy her – immortal gods! – no pimp will be better off than you. You’ll turn men out of their estates and households as you please; you’ll have dealings with men of the highest rank, they’ll be keen on your favor and come to you for their drinks parties.
DOR. Well, I won’t let them in.
TOX. Well, they’ll serenade your door at night and burn down its panels. So you should have your house closed with an iron door, you should change your house to an iron one, put in an iron lintel and threshold and an iron bar and door ring. Please don’t be economical with iron: you should have heavy iron shackles put on yourself.
DOR. Go and be hanged.
TOX. No, you go… and buy her; listen to me.
(tr. Wolfgang De Melo)

Insperata

[SCAPHA. PHILEMATIVM]

SCA.                                                                               Stulta es plane
quae illum tibi aeternum putes fore amicum et benevolentem.
moneo ego te: te ille deseret aetate et satietate.
PHI.       non spero.
SCA.                     insperata accidunt magis saepe quam quae speres.
(Plautus, Mostellaria 194-197)

SCA.     You’re plain stupid for believing that he’ll remain your friend and benefactor for ever. I remind you: he’ll leave you when you’re older and he’s colder.
PHI.     I hope not.
SCA.     Things you don’t hope for happen more often than things you do hope for.
(tr. Wolfgang De Melo)

Ferrea

[TOXILVS. DORDALVS]

TOX.                                   Ex tuo, inquam, usu est: eme hanc.
DOR.      edepol qui quom hanc magis contemplo, magis placet.
TOX.                                                                              si hanc emeris –
di immortales! – nullus leno te alter erit opulentior.
evortes tuo arbitratu homines fundis, familiis;
cum optumis viris rem habebis, gratiam cupient tuam:
venient ad te comissatum.
DOR.                                                 at ego intro mitti votuero.
TOX.      at enim illi noctu occentabunt ostium, exurent fores:
proin tu tibi iubeas concludi aedis foribus ferreis,
ferreas aedis commutes, limina indas ferrea,
ferream seram atque anellum; ne sis ferro parseris:
ferreas tute tibi impingi iubeas crassas compedis.
DOR.      i in malum cruciatum.
TOX.                                                 i sane tu… hanc eme; ausculta mihi.
(Plautus, Persa 563-574)

TOX.      It’s to your advantage, I tell you: buy her.
DOR.      Indeed, the more I look at her, the more I like her.
TOX.    If you buy her – immortal gods! – no pimp will be better off than you. You’ll turn men out of their estates and households as you please; you’ll have dealings with men of the highest rank, they’ll be keen on your favor and come to you for their drinks parties.
DOR.    Well, I won’t let them in.
TOX.    Well, they’ll serenade your door at night and burn down its panels. So you should have your house closed with an iron door, you should change your house to an iron one, put in an iron lintel and threshold and an iron bar and door ring. Please don’t be economical with iron: you should have heavy iron shackles put on yourself.
DOR.    Go and be hanged.
TOX.    No, you go… and buy her; listen to me.
(tr. Wolfgang De Melo)