Monday, July 25, 2011

Plautus, Cistellaria

Titus Maccius Plautus {Plautus}
254-185 BC
Trans RMBullard
Latin (Republican Era)


PERSONAE [Characters]

SELENIVM MERETRIX [Selenium the courtesan]
GYMNASIVM MERETRIX [Gymnasium the courtesan]
LENA [The she-pimp]
AVXILIVM DEVS [Aulixium the god]
ALCESIMARCHVS ADVLESCENS [Alcesimarchus the young man]
SERVVS [The slave]
SENEX [the old man]
LAMPADIO SERVVS [Lampadio the slave]
MELAENIS LENA [Melaenis the she-pimp]
PHANOSTRATA MATRONA [Phanostrata the matron]
HALISCA ANCILLA [Halisca the slave woman]
DEMIPHO SENEX [Demipho the old man]


Comprimit adulescens Lemnius Sicyoniam,
[The young man Lemnius beds Sicyonia,]

Is redit in patriam, et gnatam generat nuptiis.
[and he returns to his native country and fathers a baby girl from his lawful wedded wife.]

Sicyonia aeque parit puellam.
[Sicyonia likewise begets a girl.]

hanc servolus
Tollit atque exponit,
[A young slave boy raises her, then exposes her]

 et ex insidiis aucupat.
[and relies on these drastic tricks.]

Eam sublatam meretrix alli detulit.
[A courtesan adopts and brings her down to raise her.]

Lemno post rediens ducit quam compresserat
[After returning from Lemnos, he leads back the same woman he had wedded,]

Lemnique natam spondet adulescentulo
Amore capto illius proiecticiae.
[and he betrothes his daugther to a young man from Lemnos, who's been seized by love for that castaway girl I mentioned.]

Requirens servos reperit quam proiecerat.
[The slave, after make an inquiry, discovers the girl he had beforehand cast away.]

Itaque lege et rite civem cognitam
Alcesimarchus, ut erat nactus, possidet.
[And so, Alcesimarchus, gains possession of her, now a recognized citizen,  by rights of law and custom, just as he had gained her.]

ACTVS 1 - Act I 

SELENIVM Cum ego antehac te amavi et mi amicam esse crevi,
mea Gymnasium, et matrem tuam, tum id mihi hodie
aperuistis, tu atque haec:
[As I did so love you (and your mother), even before this moment, and I made you my girlfriend, my dear Gymnasion, only then have you revealed this thing to me today, I mean you and her:]

soror si mea esses,
[if you were my sister,]

qui magis potueritis mihi honorem ire habitum,
[who more will've managed to return my honor that I once held,]

nescio, nisi, ut meus est animus, fieri non posse arbitror;
[I know not, unless--so is my own prediction--I think it not possible to happen;]

ita omnibus relictis rebus mihi frequentem operam dedistis.
[and so, you have given me relief, at the point when all my affairs have been forsaken.]

eo ego vos amo et eo a me magnam iniistis gratiam.
[For this, I do indeed love you both, and, for this, you have brought this wonderful gift by my side.]

GYMNASIVM Pol isto quidem nos pretio facile est frequentare
tibi utilisque habere:
[Well golly, really, visiting us is worth this manageable price, and having us is a useful thing to you:]

ita in prandio nos lepide ac nitide        10
accepisti apud te,
[and so, you welcomed us on a splendid and sunny lunch hour, at your place,]

ut semper meminerimus.
[as we shall always recall.]

SEL. Lubenti edepol animo factum et fiet a me,
[Yes, by god, and may I have done so when my mind was willing,]

quae vos arbitrabor velle, ea ut expetessam.
[I mean, the very things I think you both wanted were what I had long sought for.]

LENA  Quod ille dixit, qui secundo vento vectus est tranquillo mari,
ventum gaudeo
["I cheer for wind!", that's what a famous man said, a man carried across the tranquil swell of sea upon a favorable breeze]

ecastor ad ted, ita hodie hic acceptae sumus        15
suavibus modis,
[and good grief, same for you: so here today we've been welcomed in sweet overtures,]

nec nisi disciplina apud te fuit quicquam ibi quin mihi placeret.
[why, except there was not a damn thing, when it comes to you, that could place me, in that station, except for strict discipline.]

SEL. Quid ita, amabo?
[So what now, if I may ask?]

 LENA. Raro nimium dabat quod biberem, id merum infuscabat.
[All too seldomly, whatever he gave that I would guzzle down, he would stir it into the pure stuff.]

GYMN. Amabo, hicine istud decet?
[Now, please, does he really deserve something like this?]

LENA. Iusque fasque est:    19-20
[It's just and right.]

 nemo alienus hic est.
[No one's a stranger here.]

SEL. Merito vostro amo vos,        21
[On your merit, I love you all,]

quia me colitis et magni facitis.
[because you worship and make a big deal about me.]

LENA. Decet pol, mea Selenium,
hunc esse ordinem benevolentis inter se
beneque amicitia utier,
[Well geez, my dear Selenium, it's only right this be the order of well-wishers between themselves, and that I make good use of our friendly arrangement]

ubi istas videas summo genere natas, summatis matronas,
[when you behold these girls, fathered from the greatest brood of people, you call them matrons,]

ut amicitiam colunt atque ut eam iunctam bene habent inter se.
[because they honor friendly arrangements, and they hold it hard and fast between each other.]

si idem istud nos faciamus,
[All the same, if we ourselves do something like that,]

si idem imitemur,
[if we likewise copycat,]

ita tamen vix vivimus
cum invidia summa.
[even still, barely turns out how we live with the greatest ill will you can imagine.]

suarum opum nos volunt esse indigentes.
[They want us to be experts of their own goings-on.]

nostra copia nil volunt nos potesse        29-30
suique omnium rerum nos indigere,
[they don't want us to manage our own brood and mind the business that belongs to oneself,]

ut sibi simus supplices.
[all so that we can be beggars to them.]

eas si adeas,
[Go away, if you come,]

abitum quam aditum malis,
[you prefer leaving over approaching,]

ita nostro ordini
palam blandiuntur,
[they're charmed by our ranks so out in the open,]

clam, si occasio usquam est,
[secretly, if there's ever the occasion,]

aquam frigidam subdole suffundunt.   
[they pour ice water right over their scandal.]

viris cum suis praedicant nos solere, 
[They claim that we've grown familiar with their men,]

suas paelices esse aiunt,
[they say we're their mistresses,]

eunt depressum. 
[they get despondent.]

quia nos libertinae sumus,
[Since it's we who are the freedwomen,]

et ego et tua mater, ambae
meretrices fuimus:
[and I myself, and your mother, both of us used to be courtesans:]

illa te, ego hanc mihi educavi
ex patribus conventiciis.
[that woman led you out, and I led her out, for my purposes, from the abuses of your father.]

neque ego hanc superbiai        40
causa pepuli ad meretricium quaestum,
[And I declare, I didn't push her to a courtesan's career on account of pride,]

nisi ut ne esurirem. 
[not so long as I risk going hungry.]

SEL. At satius fuerat eam viro dare nuptum potius.
[But it had been more than fair to rather betroth her to a man.]

LENA. Heia,
haec quidem ecastor cottidie viro nubit,
[Ah well, by golly, this girl technically "weds a man" everyday,]

nupsitque hodie, 
[and she "got married" today,]

nubet mox noctu:
[she'll be "getting married" soon tonight:]