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Contr. 2.7.1-5

  16, 2017 20:19

貿易船



The Foreign Merchant

A man, though he had a beautiful wife, went abroad. A foreign merchant moved into her neighbourhood. Thrice he asked her to sex, offering money. She refused. The merchant died, left the beautiful woman the heir of his whole property, and attached a clause in his will: 'I've found her chaste.' She received the inheritance. Her husband came back and is accusing her of adultery out of suspicion.



[1] PORCIUS LATRO.

Although the morals of civils have collpased so far that none would be able to seem too credulous of adulteries, which should be suspected, I've been away from this evil so far that I'm more fearing that someone would accuse too much patience and stupefaction on me because I brought such a late complaint (=sued her so late). I'm accusing only the adulterss (who was) made rich. I draw forth the accused (to here) from her house where there is already nothing mine. While I was abroad for so long but I've fled no danger on land or sea, that woman has sought more (wealth) within a single neighbourhood than I have in the whole sea. If I am able to keep silent after such profits of shamelessness, I must acknoweldge that I was away (abroad) for this purpose, so that I would contend with my wife in increasing the (my own) inheritance by traveling abroad. Judges, it is painful for me that, censured by your judgement, though she would lose her multiplied dowry, yet she is going to possess more by the profit than she must lose; thus the rich lover (=the foreign merchant) lavished on the woman so that having been an adulteress would be profittable even after the punishment.


*1. nemo ad suspicanda adulteria nimium credulus possit videri:
  ①none can be believed not commiting adultery / ②none can easily be tricked by seducers



[2] I do know what I taught my wife when leaving. For the rest (=other details of the present case), (judges,) please examine the rumour: how the young, handsome, rich, and unknown man moved into the neibourhood of a beautiful woman, who is totally free in the absence of her husband; how the man died, with his strength exhausted by the constant sufficiency of his sexual lust every day and night. I ask you, judges, what of my duty (=what duty of mine) there was: Was I able, keeping my sense of shame sound, to suspect nothing of the inheritance, where even the name of the man was learnt from my wife? I have come (here today) (for) no other (purpose) than to complain of my bad fortune, for you all know (my) case better (than I).

(*The husband is refusing to make narratio and trying to argue emotionally here, saying that the judges might know the details better as he himself was traveling abroad.)



[3] It is time for the husband to be trusted (in the topic) about  his wife that such a beautiful woman could have been loved chastely. She could be loved in such a way that she could not be seduced. There's not what she would say (=She cannot say): That (idea) hadn't been placed (=had no place) in my decision. You are wrong, judges, if you don't think that, in seducing a woman, a hope of corrupting her is more (important) (for the seducer) than a face however lovable or beautiful. In case of a beautiful woman, if it were as much possible (for her) to be hoped (by men) as is possible to please (men),  all the beautiful women would turn the eyes of the world upon themselves. A married woman, who wants to be safe from the licentiousness of a seducer, must appear dressed (only) so far as not to be dirty. At least she must have old female servants who are able to move the impudent (=seducer) into the respect of  (=make him respect) their ages. She must carry the eyes lying on the ground. Towards the dutiful saluter (=salute), she must be more able to be inhumane than to be shameless. Even in necessity, instead of saluting back, she must be confused with many blushes (on her face). In this way, she must pledge herself to the modesty in the manner that she would refuse her unchasteness by appearence much earlier than she would by words. No lust will intrude into the guards of her chastity which is to be protected (=force its way past the guards protecting her chastity).




[4] (Matrons,) Appear to me, with the your appearance made up for, any flattery a little more (=no more) obscurely than that made with clothes for the naked (=seducing men wearing something as transparent and sexy as see-through clothes); Appear to me, (equipped) with the conversation carefully saught out for any jest, (yourself) being so flattering not spontaneously (=without self-awareness) that whoever sees you would not fear approaching. Then be surprised if, though you (=matrons) notice in advance your unchastity in so many points -- dress, walk, conversation, appearance --, a man who wouldn't withdraw himself from the invading adultress is found out. In my opinion, she has ordered the interdediary of the seducer to be arrested and denuded, asked for whip, rod, and any kind of tortures, and hardly restrained the feebleness of her female hand (=her feeble female hand) in the flogging of the poorest slave. None asks the woman denying in such a way again.



[5] How often has she beseeched the name of her absent husband? How often has she lamented because she alone didn't travel abroad (with her husband)? With whom has she lamented? In the presence of whom has she been indignant? Do you think amply that you will succeed in this topic of chastity if you refuse sex so much, which even a great number of most unchaste women imitates deliberately in the hope of richer (=more expensive) price? When have you written to your husband about your injury (=the wrong done you) and asked for his earlier return so that your solitariness would not be open to the (another) occasion of a similar injury. And how much more decently would I notice the insult to my internal (=bedroom) by my wife's letter than by the will of the seducer! My absence despised like this, I, the most miserable husband in all ages, couldn't know my injury even now, if he who did it (=injured me) had wanted to keep quiet.


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