Interveniens – 5

Trimalchio stated that he preferred silver to both gold and glass, seeing as how inconvenient they are to him in their current states. He described all his various goblets and the depictions on them.

I must admit sleep began to take me again. Uncle Traianus noticed this time and would nudge me when he saw me start to drift. “Is this the fortitude of Rome’s finest?” he asked. I grinned, took another sip of wine, and answered, “Rome has no enemies on this couch.”

Another slave boy made the mistake of dropping some chalice or another in the master’s presence, which warranted Trimalchio to order the boy’s head to be chopped off. We guests managed to spare another one of Trimalchio’s slaves, lest he run out. With the slave having been forgotten, always clever Trimalchio said, “Out with water! In with wine!” We all applauded, especially Agamemnon, who knew how to get another invitation to dinner. The old man then began to dance, to the dismay of his wife, the amusement of the slaves… and I don’t know what it did for us.

Some other slave came forth to read the master’s accounts, another display organized by Trimalchio, I am certain. He made the excuse that he must hear of all purchases and accounts within six months. We were sparred more accounts by some acrobats. Here things took an interesting turn. A young boy balancing on a ladder fell and grazed Trimalchio’s arm whilst he was speaking, and everything seemed to happen at once. The guests all yelped at once, Fortunata cried out what an unhappy woman she was, multiple doctors bandaged Trimalchio’s arm in white cloth, then were beaten because they had not used purple, and the whole time, the poor acrobat groveled on the ground, begging for mercy. Surprisingly, this was not an act, and more surprisingly, Trimalchio declared the acrobat a free man, so that no one could say Trimalchio was wounded by a slave.

 

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