An Insolent Slave

Like Plautus, Publius Terentius Afer (c. 195-159 b.c.), known in English as Terence, wrote comedies based on Greek originals but in a way that more faithfully reflected their spirit. His quieter humor is seen in the following selection, where a father (Simo), who has chosen a wife for his son, warns an insolent and cheeky slave (Davos) not to interfere in the arrangements he has made.

si. Meum gnatum rumor est amare.

da. Id populus curat scilicet. 185

si. Hoccin agis an non?

da. Ego vero istuc.

si. Sed nunc ea me exquirere iniqui patris est; nam quod antehac fecit nil ad me attinet. dum tempus ad earn rem tulit, sivi animum ut expleret suom;

text Terence Comoediae, ed. R. Kauer and W. M. Lindsay

(Oxford Classical Texts, 1926, reprinted with supplement 1958) meter iambic octonarius [§m9] (except for 11.196-198)

meum gna|tum ru|mor est | amar(e) | id || popu|lu(s) cu|rat scl|licet hoccin a|gis an | non ego | ver(o) is|tuc || sed | nunc ea| m(e) exqui|rere (In the first line, meum is pronounced as one syllable (synizesis),) iambic senarius [§m8] (11.196-198) si sen|'ser(o) hodi|e || qulc|qu(am) in his | te nup|tfis falla|ciae | cona|ri || quo | fiant | minus

185 There is a rumor (rumor rumdris m.) that my son (gnatus = natus) is in love—Simo has heard that his son, like most young men in Greek comedies of this type, has fallen in love with an unsuitable woman; Davos' sarcastic reply, Of course (scilicet), people are interested in that, implies that such a commonplace event would hardly excite gossip. i86f. Hoccin = hoc + -ne (interr. particle); ago -ere here pay attention to; an non or not; with Ego vero istuc (= istud) supply ago; nunc—it is not appropriate now for Simo to investigate his son's love affairs when he is arranging the latter's marriage; ea me exquirere for me to inquire into (exqulro -ere) these [things]; iniqui (harsh) patris gen. of characteristic [§GI9]; antehac previously; nil here an emphatic negative; attinet (attineo -ere) ad + acc. concern. 188 tempus here circumstances, i.e., the bachelor status of his son; fero ad + acc. be suited to; earn rem i.e., having love affairs; sivi I sg. perf, ind. act. sino -ere allow;

nunc hie dies aliam vitam defert, alios mores postulat: dehinc postulo sive aequomst te oro, Dave, ut redeat iam in viam. 190

hoc quid sit? omnes qui amant graviter sibi dari uxorem ferunt. da. Ita aiunt.

si. Turn si quis magistrum cepit ad earn rem improbum, ipsum animum aegrotum ad deteriorem partem plerumque adplicat.

da. Non hercle intellego.

da. Non: Davos sum, non Oedipus.

si. Nempe ergo aperte vis quae restant me loqui?

da. Sane quidem. 195

ut (postponed [§G4]) introduces a noun clause [§092]; animum ... suom (= suum [§G95]) his inclination; expleo -ere lit.,fill up, trans .follow.

189 hie dies this day, which is the day fixed by Simo for his sons marriage; aliam ... alios trans, both different; defero -ferre bring; mores conduct, behavior; postulo -are require (but in 1.190 ask).

190 dehinc consequently; sive or if; aequomst (= aequum est) it is right—it was hardly normal or dignified for a master to beg (oro) a favor of a slave; reded -ire (return), here used metaphorically with in viam (to the [proper] path).

191 hoc quid sit? [you ask] what this is?—the subjunctive sit implies that Simo is repeating a question of Davos (hoc quid est?) in indirect form, which Simo does to make his point absolutely clear; take graviter with ferunt, take it badly, followed by the acc.+inf. [§g 10] dari uxorem.

192 Ita aiunt so they say—Davos ironically pretends that he does not know this himself; quis indef. pron. anyone; magistrum ... improbum a rascally guide; capio -ere here get.

193 ipsum animum aegrotum [his] heart, itself [love]sick—the victim is already suffering before he gets a rascally guide, who is the subject of adplicat (adplico -are lead); ad deteriorem partem in a worse direction; plerumque often,

194 hercle interjection by Hercules; intellego -ere understand—Davos is pretending to be stupid, but he does not fool Simo; hem really?, an interjection expressing surprise, here feigned; Oedipus was proverbial for his feat of solving the riddle of the Sphynx.

195 The question has no introductory word; so (ergo) of course (nempe), spoken sarcastically; aperte ... loqui to state frankly; vis 2 sg. pres. ind. void velle wish; quae restant lit., what [things] remain (resto -are) [for me to say]; Sane quidem lit., certainly, indeed, trans, yes, indeed.

si. Si sensero hodie quicquam in his te nuptiis fallaciae conari quo fiant minus, aut velle in ea re ostendi quam sis callidus, verberibus caesum te in pistrinum, Dave, dedam usque ad necem, ea lege atque omine ut, si te inde exemerim, ego pro te molam. 200 quid, hoc intellextin? an nondum etiam ne hoc quidem?

da. Immo callide:

ita aperte ipsam rem modo locutu's, nil circum itione usus es.

<-: Terence Andria 185-202

ig6{. sensero 1 sg. fut. perf. act. sentio -Ire perceive, but trans, by the present [§g66]; quicquam... fallaciae (partitive gen. [§G24]) lit,, anything of deceit (falla-cia -ae f.), i.e., any deceit; nuptiae -arum marriage; te ... conari acc.+inf. [§gio]; quo ... minus (joined in classical Latin as quominus, lit., by which ... not, i.e., so that... not) introduces a noun clause after an expression implying prevention [§g 90]; fiant 3 pi. pres. subj. act. fio fieri happen—the understood subject of fiant is nuptiae; trans, so that it (the marriage) does not happen, i.e., to prevent it from happening.

198 The subject of velle is te (1.196); the indirect question [§g 91] quam sis callidus is the subject of ostendi, lit., how clever you are to be shown, trans, to show how clever you are.

199 verberibus caesum lit., beaten (caedo -ere) with lashes (verber verberis n.), trans, flogged; te in pistrinum ... dedam I will deliver (dedo -ere) you to the mill (pistrinum -I n.; see note to Plautus Mostellaria 17, page 8); usque ad necem lit., right up to (usque reinforces ad) death (nex necis f.), trans, until you die.

200 ea lege atque omine on this condition (lex legis v.) and expectation (omen ¿minis n.)—the phrase anticipates the noun clause introduced by ut [§gg2]; inde from there, i.e., from the mill; exemerim 1 sg. perf. subj. act. eximo -ere take away; pro + abl. in place of; molam 1 sg. pres. subj. act. mold -ere grind (in a mill).

201 quid here well; intellextin? (= intellexistl + -ne (interr. particle); intellego -ere) have you understood?; an (or) introduces the second half of a double question and intellexistl is to be supplied; in nondum etiam (not even yet) followed by ne hoc quidem (not even this), the two negatives provide emphasis—trans, or even now do you not [understand] this?; Immo contradicts Simo's second question, and callide reinforces Davos' assertion (trans, but [I do], thoroughly)—by using callide, Davos is mocking Simo's use of callidus in 1.198.

202 ita here for, giving the reason for the previous statement; aperte clearly; modo now; locutu's = locutus es; itione (itio itionis f. [the act of] going) is qualified by circum (adv. around), lit., a going around, i.e., circumlocution—the ablative is governed by usus es (utor uti + abl. use).

0 0

Post a comment