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A monologue from the play by Titus Maccius Plautus
NOTE: This monologue is reprinted from Plautus, vol. II. Trans. Paul Nixon. London: William Heinemann, 1917.
What’ll I do to you? First of all, I’ll make you torch-bearer to this bride of mine. After that you’ll be the same worthless good-for-nothing as always; and subsequently when you come to the villa you shall be provided with just one pitcher and one path,
on spring, one kettle, and–eight big casks: and unless those casks are always full, I’ll give you your fill–of welts. I’ll make you carry water till you have such a beautiful crook in your back that they can use you for a horse’s crupper.
Yes, and furthermore, when it comes to your wanting a bit of food, you shall either feed on the fodder-stack, or on dirt like a worm, or, by the Lord, I’ll starve you thinner than Starvation’s self at that farm!
And then at night, when you’re all fagged out and famishing, we’ll see you’re supplied with the sleeping quarters you deserve. You shall be fastened tight in the window-frame where you can listen while I’m kissing my Casina.
And when she says to me: [in languishing accents] “Oh you little darling, Olympio dearier, my life, my little honey boy, joy of my soul, let me kiss and kiss those sweet eyes of yours, precious!
Do, do let me love you, my day of delight, my little sparrow, my dove, my rabbit!”–when she is saying these soft things to me, then you’ll wriggle, you hangdog, you, wriggle like a mouse, in the middle of the wall there.
[turning away] Now you needn’t reckon on making any reply; I’m going inside. I’m sick of talking with you.