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The modality of the mute slave, (command); [ see also: gag law; gagged by master's will] ” the slave is denied permission to speak and is silenced. Also the slave may not, even , in language, beg for permission to speak. As when gagged, one whimper will serve for ‘yes’ and two for ‘no’.

...the modality of the mute slave,” he said. “You are herewith denied permission to speak. You are silenced. You may not, even , in language, beg for permission to speak. As when gagged, one whimper will serve for ‘yes’ and two for ‘no’. Do you understand?” I looked at him with misery.
She cannot speak,” said he in whose charge I was. “You have cut out her tongue?” said Trachinos. “No,” said he in whose keeping I was. “She has merely been placed in the modality of the mute slave.”“Is that true, girl?” asked Trachinos. It was surely a test. I kept my head down. I whimpered once.

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