This text is part of:
Enter TYNDARUS, in chains, led in by the SERVANTS.
to himself . I have seen many of the torments which take place at Acheron1 often represented in paintings2; but most certainly there is no Acheron equal to where I have been in the stone-quarries. There, in fine, is the place where real lassitude must be undergone by the body in laboriousness. For when I came there, just as either jackdaws, or ducks, or quails, are given to Patrician children3, for them to play with, so in like fashion, when I arrived, a crow was given4 me with which to amuse myself. But see, my master's before the door; and lo! my other master has returned from Elis. HEGIO
Hail to you, my much wished-for son. TYNDARUS
Ha! how--my son? Aye, aye, I know why you pretend yourself to be the father, and me to be the son; it is because, just as parents do, you give me the means of seeing the light5. PHILOCRATES
Hail to you, Tyndarus. TYNDARUS
And to you, for whose sake I am enduring these miseries. PHILOCRATES
But now I'll make you in freedom come to wealth. For pointing to HEGIO this is your father; pointing to STALAGMUS that is the slave who stole you away from here when four years old, and sold you to my father for six minæ. He gave you, when a little child, to me a little child for my own service. He pointing to STALAGMUS has made a confession, for we have brought him back from Elis. TYNDARUS
How, where's Hegio's son? PHILOCRATES
Look now; indoors is your own brother. TYNDARUS
How do you say? Have you brought that captive son of his? PHILOCRATES
Why, he's in-doors, I say. TYNDARUS
By my faith, you've done both well and happily. PHILOCRATES
pointing to HEGIO . Now this is your own father; pointing to STALAGMUS this is the thief who stole you when a little child. TYNDARUS
But now, grown up, I shall give him grown up to the executioner for his thieving. PHILOCRATES
He deserves it. TYNDARUS
I' faith, I'll deservedly give him the reward that he deserves. To HEGIO. But tell me I pray you, are you my father? HEGIO
I am he, my son. TYNDARUS
Now, at length, I bring it to my recollection, when I reconsider with myself: troth, I do now at last recall to memory that I had heard, as though through a mist, that my father was called Hegio. HEGIO
I am he. PHILOCRATES
I pray that your son may be lightened of these fetters, and this slave be loaded with them. HEGIO
I'm resolved that that shall be the first thing attended to. Let's go in-doors, that the blacksmith may be sent for, in order that I may remove those fetters from you, and give them to him. They go into the house. STALAGMUS
To one who has no savings of his own, you'll be rightly doing so6. coming forward. Spectators, this play is founded on chaste manners. No wenching is there in this, and no intriguing, no exposure of a child, no cheating out of money; and no young man in love here make his mistress free without his father's know ledge. The Poets find but few Comedies7 of this kind, where good men might become better. Now, if it pleases you, and if we have pleased you, and have not been tedious, do you give this sign of it: you who wish that chaste manners should have their reward, give us your applause.
1 At Acheron: He here speaks of Acheron, not as one of the rivers of hell, but as the infernal regions themselves.
2 Represented in paintings: Meursius thinks that the torments of the infernal regions were frequently represented in pictures, for the purpose of deterring men from evil actions, by keeping in view the certain consequences of their bad conduct.
3 To Patrician children: This passage is confirmed by what Pliny the Younger tells us in his Second Epistle. He says, that on the death of the son of Regulus, his father, in his grief, caused his favourite ponies and dogs, with his nightingales, parrots, and jackdaws, to be consumed on the funeral pile. It would certainly have been a greater compliment to his son's memory had he preserved them, and treated them kindly; but probably he intended to despatch them as playthings for the child in the other world.
4 A crow was given: "Upupa." He puns upon the twofold meaning of this word, which signified either "a mattock" or a bird called a "hoopoe," according to the context. To preserve the spirit of the pun, a somewhat different translation has teen given.
5 Of seeing the light: He says, "You can only resemble a parent in the fact that you have given me the opportunity of seeing the light of day by taking me out of the dark stone-quarries."
6 Be rightly doing so--Ver. 1033. Stalagmus chooses to take the word "dem "may give," used by Hegio in its literal sense, and surlily replies, "I have nothing of my own by way of savings, 'peculium,' so I am the very person to whom you ought to give."
7 Find but few Comedies: He here confesses that he does not pretend to frame the plots of his Plays himself, but that he goes to Greek sources for them; and forgetting that "beggars must not be choosers," he complains that so very few of the Greek Comedies are founded upon chaste manners. Indeed, this Play is justly deemed the most pure and innocent of all the Plays of Plautus; and the Company are quite justified in the commendations which, in their Epilogue, they bestow on it, as the author has carried out the promise which he made in the Prologue (with only four slight exceptions), of presenting them with an immaculate Play.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.
An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.