Co. Crying, Parthenis! what is it? how do your pipes come to be broken?
Par. Oh! oh! I have been beaten by Crocale's lover--that tall Aetolian soldier; he found me playing at Crocale's, hired by his rival Gorgus. He broke in while they were at dinner, smashed my pipes, upset the table, and emptied out the wine-bowl. Gorgus (the country fellow, you know) he pulled out of the dining-room by the hair of his head, and the two of them, Dinomachus (I think they call him) and a fellow soldier,
stood over thumping him. Oh, Cochlis, I doubt whether he will live; there was a great rush of blood from his nostrils, and his face is all swollen and livid.
Co. Is the man mad? or was it just a drunken freak?
Par. All jealousy, my dear--love run wild. Crocale had asked two talents, I believe, if Dinomachus wanted her all to himself. He refused; so she shut the door in his face, I was told, and would not let him in at all. Instead of him she took Gorgus of Oenoë, a well-to-do farmer and a nice man; they were drinking together, and she had got me in to play the pipes. Well, the wine was going, I was striking up one of those Lydian tunes, the farmer standing up to dance, Crocale clapping, and all as merry as could be. Suddenly there was a noise and a shout, crash went the front door, and a moment after in burst eight great strong men, that brute among them. Everything was upside down directly, Gorgus on the ground, as I told you, being thumped and kicked. Crocale got away somehow and took refuge with Thespias next door. Dinomachus boxed my ears, and 'Go to blazes!' he said, throwing me the broken pipes. I am running to tell master about it now. And the farmer is going to find some of his friends in town and get the brute summonsed in the police-court.
Co. Yes, bruises and the courts--that is all we get out of the military. They tell you they are generals and colonels, and then when it comes to paying, 'Oh, wait for settling day,' they say; 'then I shall get my pay, and put everything right.' I wish they were all dead, they and their bragging. But I never have anything to do with them; it is the best way. Give me a fisherman or a sailor or farmer no better than myself, with few compliments and plenty of money. These plume-tossing word-warriors! they are nothing but noise, Parthenis.