Plautus, Aulularia, 3.5.502ff

by Tom Gardner

Megadorus: ‘Nunc quoquo venias plus plaustrorum in
aedibus videas quam ruri, quando ad villam
veneris. sed hoc etiam pulchrum est
praequam ubi sumptus petunt. stat fullo,
phyrgio, aurifex, lanarius; caupones
patagiarii, indusiarii, flammarii, violarii,
carinarii; stant manulearii, stant
murobatharii, propolae linteones,
calceolarii; sedentarii sutores diabathrarii,
solearii astant, astant molocinarii,
petunt fullones, sarcinatores petunt;
strophiarii astant, astant semul sonarii. iam
hosce absolutos censeas: cedunt, petunt
treceni, cum stant thylacistae in atriis
textores limbularii, arcularii. ducuntur,
datur aes. iam absolutos censeas, cum
incedunt infectores corcotarii, aut aliqua
mala crux semper est, quae aliquid petat.’

Megadorus: ‘Wherever you go these days, you see more carriages among city houses than in the country, when you visit a farm. But even this is just fine compared to when they come for their allowances! There stands the fuller, the embroiderer, the goldsmith, the soapwort, those who deal in flounces and underclothes, those who deal in red dyes, violet dyes, dyes of waxen-yellow; there stand the muff-makers, there stand the perfumers, wholesale linendrapers, shoemakers, squatting cobblers, the sandalmakers stand about, the mallow-dyers stand about, the fullers make their demands and the botchers make their demands, the lingerie dealers and belt-makers. Now you would think you have them all paid off; these depart, and three hundred others make their demands like jailors in your hall — the weavers, the lace-makers, the cabinet-makers. You bring them in, the cash is paid. Everything’s paid off now, you think, just as the fellows who do saffron dyes come along — it’s always some pest who wants something.’