Titus Plautus wrote this comic play in 254BC, but the end was lost. I wrote one for it.
|The End Of The Pot Of Gold|
Megadorus – the aged but wealthy uncle of Lyconides, in love with Phaedra, the daughter of his next-door neighbor, Euclio.
Euclio – next door neighbor to Megadorus. A miser and father of the beautiful Phaedra, promised to Megadorus
Lyconides – handsome nephew of Megadorus, in love with Phaedra
Eunomia- sister of Megadorus
Phaedra – beautiful, supposedly virginal daughter of Euclio; she’s hiding the fact that she’s pregnant with Lyconides’ child, conceived after a bout of not entirely non-consensual sex at a drunken festival, months earlier.
Strobilus – Scheming slave of Megadorus and Lyconides. Promised his freedom by Lyconides if he can help him win the fair Phaedra.
In this final scene, Lyconides and his servant Strobilus have recovered a pot of gold that their miserly neighbor Euclio found buried under his house, then lost when Strobilus stole it from him. Lyconides and Strobilus hope to return this pot to Euclio so Lyconides can curry favor and gain the official hand of Euclio’s Daughter, Phaedra, whom he has just run off and married secretly. In return he has promised Strobilus his freedom. The issue is complicated by the fact that his guardian and Uncle Megadorus has designs on the fair Phaedra too.
(In Iambic Tetrameter for all freeborn characters)
LYCONIDES (to his servant Strobilus)
You prideful wretch! How dare you do this now?
Have I not been witness to your thievery?
From your own mouth you utter your doom.
Perhaps a nice red brand upon your head.
How do you think that it will look – too bright?
Or amputation, that’s always in good taste.
You don’t need your ears to do your job.
I’ll send for slaves and tongs and knives myself.
STROBILUS My ears! Oh, no please, kind master. I need them to hear others sing your praises! After all, it’s only natural for even one so low as myself to dream for his freedom. I am undone; I will give you the pot and trust you to do as your conscience dictates after.
LYCONIDES We’ll hie our selves to recover the gold.
Euclio will be the picture of joy
Perhaps he’ll give me a big cut
As a present or a Portion for my wife.
When my uncle learned of how I fooled him
And stole his bride – dishonored her first
He was angry - a jilted Jupiter.
I fear I shall have need of all that cash.
Perhaps also to earn wronged Phaedra’s love.
Perhaps all now can needs be made amends!
Let us go then, you and I. Go! Fool! (Exit all)
(Enter MEGADORUS and EUNOMIA)
MEGADORUS Where is my worthless nephew? Does he hide?
The sweet Virgin who was to be my bride
Thoughtlessly debauched by his wine-sotted hand
And now he is to be rewarded with hers
In marriage. Well, he plucked the grape
Let him choke on it. But no help from me
I’d sooner leave my lands and house to Greeks!
EUNOMIA Dear Brother he is my son and my flesh
The only memory I have of my love
Jerryus Springerus , my dear departed.
Torn to pieces by angry women on
The island of Lesbos for eating clams
Out of season oh how I miss his face!
MEGADORUS Ah, poor Jerryus - he loved his seafood.
Almost as much as a good story.
He found both on terrible Lesbos.
EUNOMIA Then spare his son your wroth, dear brother!
You are not so old as to forget
The tricks that wine and moonlight play on minds
Of young men and women too . He now repents
And wants to marry the woman he wronged.
I know in your heart you can find your love.
MEGADORUS Your impressive command of Iambic
Has convinced me to rethink my anger.
Indeed, I wish I had the power to
Confer extra credit to you , but
Only the Gods can reward such fluence.
EUCLIO Woe! Woe is me! My Daughter’s a Mother!
And I am a Pauper! We are all doomed! (SEES MEGADORUS)
YOU! Your little rat is responsible!
Why don’t you keep him on a leash? I’m ruined!
(Enter LYCONIDES and STROBILUS)
LYCONIDES Good news, Euclio! We found all your POT!
EUCLIO My POT! Is it all there? Who found it exactly?
STROBILUS Well, it was a joint effort. We both helped.
EUCLIO (Grabs Pot) Joy! You must come over for a bowl after!
LYCONIDES Thanks, but I’m giving up wine for a while.
b}EUCLIO And I am giving up all this money.
Having it brought me no joy; only pain.
So I bestow it on my daughter now
As her wedding portion, I know that
Married to Lyconides, she’ll NEED it.
He’ll never amount to a hill of dung.
Look at him – he’s picking his big fat nose.
Give it a rest-you’re going to make it bleed!
LYCONIDES And you, Strobilus. I declare you free.
I don’t know why I am rewarding you
You treacherous thief, but with this portion
I can buy 2 Greeks who read and write
And a sporty little Gaul for the yard .
Even a dead ass would work harder than you.
STROBILUS Such kind words, master. I will bless you forever!