A Greek Slave
Dialogue Following Song No. 22 Act II
Melanopis: (Sighing) Quite true! And a girl doesn't enjoy a holiday without her young man. Where's Heliodorus?
Iris: He's with the Lady Antonia.
Melanopis: Antonia might have him alone!
Iris: Don't be jealous Melanopis. Here, Marcus the Prefect wants a wife. There's a chance for you!
Melanopis: Well, he might do worse!
Archias: Or better!
(Enter Marcus and two lictors)
Iris: (Goes to Marcus) I'm so glad you've come, Marcus. See how delighted all the slaves are to see you. You'll join in their revels, won't you?
Marcus: Oh dear! I'm right in the thick of it and they'll say nasty things about me. I'm afraid I'm not very popular.
(Slaves play the fool around him)
Archias: Well, Prefect, have you made much lately out of the fines?
Melanopis: How much of the money reached the public treasury?
Iris: Have you whipped the little Egyptian girl to death yet?
Archias: No; she thinks it's enough punishment to have to wait on him.
Iris: You'll have to hiveup your bachelor ways when you marry Antonia.
Archias: She won't marry him; she's a woman of taste and prefers my marble god to a fat Prefect.
Iris: (To Melanopis) Make a start, Melanopis. Give him a kiss like this. (Kisses Archias and Exits.)
(Marcus is getting pulled about and pushed about during this)
Marcus: (Groaning) How I hate to see the lower classes enjoying themselves! Here, my men my good slaves, I wish you a happy holiday! (Aside) I'd like to tie them all up by their thumbs! (Aloud) There you are, be merry! (Throws money about) The Saturnalia comes only once a year. (Aside) I wish it came only once a century! (Throws more money about)
(Slaves scramble for money and pick it up)
Slaves: Long live Marcus, the generous Prefect of Rome!
Marcus: That's right! I like to hear public opinion of public men. A festival like this gives you a chance of criticising you betters. But criticism must be kept within the proper bounds and I want to be popular.
Page created 01 December 2001