A Greek Slave
Dialogue Following Song No. 2 Act I
Heliodorus: Is everything prepared for my client's reception to-day?
Melanopis: Everything, Heliodorus.
Heliodorus: Can they read the "Salve" distinctly on the threshold?
It is as clear as your own intellect, Master.
Capital! Is the Parrot in good voice? Does it say Welcome without adding original observations of it's own?
Melanopis: To-day the bird is on it's best and briefest behavior, Master.
'Tis well, Melanopis. (Takes seat on throne to MELANOPIS) Now tell me the news.
Well, I have been 'round to the wine shops
Heliodorus: Hum! That's no news!
Melanopis: I have gossiped with other people's slaves. They have all told me something discreditable about their masters.
Trust slaves for that. I hope you take measures to ensure me the affection and loyalty of my slaves.
Melanopis: Certainly, Heliodorus. They ought to be devoted to you. We flogged eleven yesterday and one is now nailed by the ear to a tree in the garden.
Heliodorus: 'Tis well! And now look at your tablets and tell me whom to expect to-day. Anybody out of the ordinary?
Melanopis: (consulting tablets) No, the same sort of visitors as usual. Some are in love and others want tips for the Chariot races.
Heliodorus: Nothing new in that! A fortune-teller's customers are always lovers and gamblers.
1st Slave: (Coming forward from door) Several noble gentlemen demand an audience, Heliodorus.
Heliodorus: (To MELANOPIS and pointing to tablets) Those you have enquired about?
Heliodorus: Then bring them in!
Page created 7 October 2001