“Hail, Secundus. Thanks for the invitation to your sister, Augustina’s, wedding last night.” Libertinus looked a little under the weather as he entered the Forum Cafeterium.
“It was my pleasure, Libertinus. It all seemed to go off very well.” replied Secundus. “Although some of the jokes in the Best Man’s speech were a bit risqué.”
“That always happens at weddings!” Nellus grumbled from behind the counter. “It seems half the reception is taken up with smart alec men all trying to embarrass the bride.”
“That has always been the way.” commented the scholarly Literatus. “The Greeks and the Egyptians has very similar marriage rituals.”
“I have noticed the same thing in many other civilisation during my expeditions. The Persians do much the same.” Zoophilus the explorer reminisced. “The weddings in the Silk Empire are full of very naughty allusions while the Harappan people in the Indus valley even commission carved stone images of the nuptial activities which follow the feasting.”
“Ahh yes.” Verbo Ipsum added. “Weddings always have lots of marryment.”
“You look as though you really need that caffeinus this morning, Secundus.” Nellus said as she handed him his steaming beaker of the reviving brew.
“Oh yes, I certainly do.” replied Secundus, taking his seat. “My new son has a strong set of lungs on him and he used them for most of last night!”
“What was the problem?” asked Zoophilus.
“Some sort of tummy upset, from what my slave girls tell me.” explained the tired father.
“Ahh,” said Marti, Zoophilus’s slave girl. “The Gripes. My people have a remedy that normally works. It is,” she paused and then recited in a singsong, “A tea of Pyrethri, Feniculum, Verbena, Licoricia et Citrago, chamomile, fennel, vervain, licorice and lemon balm.”
“Thank you.” Secundus’ gratitude was immense.
“But it is best to try them one at a time with a little baby.” added Marti.
“The Gripes?” interrupted Verbo Ipsum. “No matter what you colic, a baby crying for hours is a pain!”