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Dorion. Myrtale

Do. So, Myrtale! You ruin me first, and then close your doors on me! It was another tale when I brought you all those presents: I was your love, then; your lord, your life. But you have squeezed me dry now, and have got hold of that Bithynian merchant; so I am left to whimper on the wrong side of the door, while he, the favoured lover, enjoys your embraces, and is to become a father soon, so you tell him.

Myr. Come, Dorion, that is too much! Ruined you, indeed! A lot you ever gave me! Let us go through the list of your presents, from the very beginning.

Do. Very well; let us. First, a pair of shoes from Sicyon, two drachmae. Remember two drachmae.

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Myr. Ah, but you were here for two nights.

Do. A box of Phoenician ointment, when I came back from Syria; the box of alabaster. The same price, as I'm a seaman!

Myr. Well, and when you sailed again, didn't I give you that waistcoat, that you might have something to wear when you were rowing? It was Epiurus the boatswain's, that waistcoat; he left it here one night by mistake.

Do. Epiurus recognized it, and took it away from me in Samos, only the other day; and a rare tussle we had before he got it. Then there were those onions I brought you from Cyprus, and five haddocks and four perch, the time we came back from the Bosphorus. Oh, and a whole basket of ship's bread--eight loaves of it; and a jar of figs from Caria. Another time it was a pair of slippers from Patara, gilded ones, you ungrateful girl! Ah, and I was forgetting that great cheese from Gythium.

Myr. Say five drachmae the lot.

Do. It was all that my pay would run to, Myrtale; I was but a common seaman in those days. I have risen to be mate now, my haughty miss. And didn't I put down a solid drachma for you at the feet of Aphrodite's statue, when it was her feast the other day? Then I gave your mother two drachmae to buy shoes with; and Lyde there,--many is the copper I have slipped into her hand, by twos and threes. Put all that together, and it makes a seaman's fortune.

Myr. Onions and haddocks.

Do. Yes; ’twas all I had; if I were rich, I should not be a sailor. I have never brought my own mother so much as a head of garlic. I should like to know what sort of presents the Bithynian makes you?

Myr. Look at this dress: he bought it me; and this necklace, the thick one.

Do. Pooh, you have had that for years.

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Myr. No, the one you knew was much lighter, and it had no emeralds. My earrings were a present of his too, and so was that rug; and he gave me two minae the other day, besides paying our rent. Rather different from Patara slippers, and Gythium cheeses and stuff!

Do. And how do you like him for a lover? you say nothing about that. He is fifty years old if he is a day; his hair is all gone in front, and he has the complexion of a lobster. Did you ever notice his teeth? And so accomplished too! it is a treat to hear him when he sings and tries to make himself agreeable; what is it they tell me about an ass that would learn the lyre? Well, I wish you joy of him; you deserve no better luck; and may the child be like his father! As for me, I'll find some Delphis or Cymbalium that's more in my line; your neighbour, perhaps, the flute-girl; anyhow, I shall get some one. We can't all afford necklaces and rugs and two minae presents.

Myr. How I envy the lucky girl who gets you, Dorion! What onions she will have from Cyprus! what cheeses next time you come from Gythium!


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