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Enter CHARINUS, wringing his hands.
to himself. Is this to be believed or spoken of; that malice so great could be inborn in any one as to exult at misfortunes, and to derive advantage from the distresses of another! Oh, is this true? Assuredly, that is the most dangerous class of men, in whom there is only a slight degree of hesitation at refusing; afterward, when the time arrives for fulfilling their promises, then, obliged, of necessity they discover themselves. They are afraid, and yet the circumstances 1 compel them to refuse. Then, in that case, their very insolent remark is, "Who are you? What are you to me? What should I give up) to you what's my own? Look you, I am the most concerned in my own interests." 2 But if you inquire where is honor, they are not ashamed. 3 Here, where there is occasion, they are not afraid; there, where there is no occasion, they are afraid. But what am I to do? Ought I not to go to him, and reason with him upon this outrage, and heap many an invective upon him? Yet some one may say, "you will avail nothing." Nothing? At least I shall have vexed him, and have given vent to my own feelings. Enter PAMPHILUS and DAVUS. PAMPHILUS
Charinus, unintentionally I have ruined both myself and you, unless the Gods in some way befriend us. CHARINUS
Unintentionally, is it! An excuse has been discovered at last. You have broken your word. PAMPHILUS
How so, pray? CHARINUS
Do you expect to deceive me a second time by these speeches? PAMPHILUS
What does this mean? CHARINUS
Since I told you that I loved her, she has become quite pleasing to you. Ah wretched me! to have judged of your disposition from my own. PAMPHILUS
You are mistaken. CHARINUS
Did this pleasure appear to you not to be quite complete, unless you tantalized me in my passion, and lured me on by groundless hopes?--You may take her. PAMPHILUS
I, take her? Alas! you know not in what perplexities, to my sorrow, I am involved, and what vast anxieties this executioner of mine pointing to DAVUS has contrived for me by his devices. CHARINUS
What is it so wonderful, if he takes example from yourself? PAMPHILUS
You would not say that if you understood either myself or my affection. CHARINUS
I'm quite aware ironically ; you have just now had a dispute with your father, and he is now angry with you in consequence, and has not been able to-day to prevail upon you to marry her. PAMPHILUS
No, not at all,--as you are not acquainted with my sorrows, these nuptials were not in preparation for me; and no one was thinking at present of giving me a wife. CHARINUS
I am aware; you have been influenced by your own inclination. PAMPHILUS
Hold; you do not yet know all. CHARINUS
For my part, I certainly do know that you are about to marry her. PAMPHILUS
Why are you torturing me to death? Listen to this. He pointing to DAVUS never ceased to urge me to tell my father that I would marry her; to advise and persuade me, even until he compelled me. CHARINUS
Who was this person? PAMPHILUS
Davus! For what reason? PAMPHILUS
I don't know; except that I must have been under the displeasure of the Gods, for me to have listened to him. CHARINUS
Is this the fact, Davus? DAVUS
It is the fact. CHARINUS
starting. Ha! What do you say, you villain? Then may the Gods send you an end worthy of your deeds. Come now, tell me, if all his enemies had wished him to be plunged into a marriage, what advice but this could they have given? DAVUS
I have been deceived, but I don't despair. CHARINUS
ironically. I'm sure of that. DAVUS
This way it has not succeeded; we'll try another. Unless, perhaps, you think that because it failed at first, this misfortune can not now possibly be changed for better luck. PAMPHILUS
Certainly not; for I quite believe that if you set about it, you will be making two marriages for me out of one. DAVUS
I owe you this, Pamphilus, in respect of my servitude, to strive with hands and feet, night and day; to submit to hazard of my life, to serve you. It is your part, if any thing has fallen out contrary to expectation, to forgive me. What I was contriving has not succeeded; still, I am using all endeavors; or, do you yourself devise something better, and dismiss me. PAMPHILUS
I wish to; restore me to the position in which you found me. DAVUS
I'll do so. PAMPHILUS
But it must be done directly. DAVUS
But the door of Glycerium's house here makes a noise. 4 PAMPHILUS
That's nothing to you. DAVUS
assuming an attitude of meditation. I'm in search of---- PAMPHILUS
ironically. Dear me, what, now at last? DAVUS
Presently I'll give you what I've hit upon.
Enter MYSIS from the house of GLYCERIUM.
calling at the door to GLYCERIUM within. Now, wherever he is, I'll take care that your own Pamphilus shall be found for you, and brought to you by me; do you only, my life, cease to vex yourself. PAMPHILUS
turning round. Who is it? Why, Pamphilus, you do present yourself opportunely to me. My mistress charged me to beg of you, if you love her, to come to her directly; she says she wishes to see you. PAMPHILUS
aside. Alas! I am undone; this dilemma grows apace! To DAVUS. For me and her, unfortunate persons, now to be tortured this way through your means; for I am sent for, because she has discovered that my marriage is in preparation. CHARINUS
From which, indeed, how easily a respite could have been obtained, if he pointing to DAVUS had kept himself quiet. DAVUS
ironically to CHARINUS. Do proceed; if he isn't sufficiently angry of his own accord, do you irritate him. MYSIS
to PAMPHILUS. , Aye faith, that is the case; and for that reason, poor thing, she is now in distress. PAMPHILUS
Mysis, I swear by all the Gods that I will never forsake her; not if I were to know that all men would be my enemies in consequence. Her have I chosen for mine; she has fallen to my lot; our feelings are congenial; farewell they, who wish for a separation between us; nothing but Death separates her from me. MYSIS
I begin to revive. PAMPHILUS
Not the responses of Apollo are more true than this. If it can possibly be contrived that my father may not believe that this marriage has been broken off through me, I could wish it. But if that can not be, I will do that which is easily effected, for him to believe that through me it has been caused. What do you think of me? CHARINUS
That you are as unhappy as myself. DAVUS
placing his finger on his forehead. I'm contriving an expedient. CHARINUS
You are a clever hand; if you do set about any thing. DAVUS
Assuredly, I'll manage this for you. PAMPHILUS
There's need of it now. DAVUS
But I've got it now. CHARINUS
What is it? DAVUS
For him (pointing to PAMPHILUS) I've got it, not for you, don't mistake. CHARINUS
I'm quite satisfied. PAMPHILUS
What will you do? Tell me. DAVUS
I'm afraid that this day won't be long enough for me to execute it, so don't suppose that I've now got leisure for relating it; do you betake yourself off at once, for you are a hinderance to me. PAMPHILUS
I'll go and see her. Goes into the house of GLYCERIUM. DAVUS
to CHARINUS. What are you going to do? Whither are you going from here? CHARINUS
Do you wish me to tell you the truth? DAVUS
No, not at all; aside he's making the beginning of a long story for me. CHARINUS
What will become of me? DAVUS
Come now, you unreasonable person, are you not satisfied that I give you a little respite, by putting off his marriage? CHARINUS
But yet, Davus---- DAVUS
What then? CHARINUS
That I may marry her---- DAVUS
Be sure to come hither pointing in the direction of his house to my house, if you can effect any thing. DAVUS
Why should I come? I can do nothing for you. CHARINUS
But still, if any thing---- DAVUS
Well, well, I'll come. CHARINUS
If you can; I shall be at home. (Exit.) DAVUS
Do you, Mysis, remain here a little while, until I come out. MYSIS
For what reason? DAVUS
There's a necessity for so doing. MYSIS
Make haste. DAVUS
I'll be here this moment, I tell you. He goes into the house of GLYCERIUM.
to herself. That nothing can be secure to any one! Ye Gods, by our trust in you ! I used to make sure that this Pamphilus was a supreme blessing for my mistress; a friend, a protector, a husband secured under every circumstance; yet what anguish is she, poor thing, now suffering through him? Clearly there's more trouble for her now than there was happiness formerly. But Davus is coming out. Enter DAVUS from the house of GLYCERIUM with the child. MYSIS
My good sir, prithee, what is that? Whither are you carrying the child? DAVUS
Mysis, I now stand in need of your cunning being brought into play in this matter, and of your address. MYSIS
Why, what are you going to do? DAVUS
holding out the child. Take it from me directly, and lay it down before our door. MYSIS
Prithee, on the ground? DAVUS
pointing. Take some sacred herbs 5 from the altar here, 6 and strew them under it. MYSIS
Why don't you do it yourself? DAVUS
That if perchance I should have to swear to my master that I did not place it there, I may be enabled to do so with a clear conscience. MYSIS
I understand; have these new scruples only just now occurred to you, pray? DAVUS
Bestir yourself quickly, that you may learn what I'm going to do next. MYSIS lays the child at SIMO'S door. Oh Jupiter! MYSIS
starting up. What's the matter? DAVUS
The father of the intended bride is coming in the middle of it all. The plan which I had first purposed I now give up. 7 MYSIS
I don't understand what you are talking about. DAVUS
I'll pretend too that I've come in this direction from the right. Do you take care to help out the conversation by your words, whenever there's necessity. 8 MYSIS
I don't at all comprehend what you are about; but if there's any thing in which you have need of my assistance, as you understand the best, I'll stay, that I mayn't in any way impede your success. DAVUS retires out of sight.
Enter CHREMES on the other side of the stage, going toward the house of SIMO.
to himself After having provided the things necessary for my daughter's nuptials, I'm returning, that I may request her to be sent for. Seeing the child. But what's this? I'faith, it's a child. Addressing MYSIS. Woman, have you laid that here pointing to the child ? MYSIS
aside, looking out for DAVUS. Where is he? CHREMES
Don't you answer me? MYSIS
looking about, to herself. He isn't any where to be seen. Woe to wretched me! the fellow has left me and is off. DAVUS
coming forward and pretending not to see them. Ye Gods, by our trust in you ! what a crowd there is in the Forum! What a lot of people are squabbling there! Aloud. Then provisions are so dear. Aside. What to say besides, I don't know. CHREMES passes by MYSIS, and goes to a distance at the back of the stage. MYSIS
Pray, why did you leave me here alone? DAVUS
pretending to start on seeing the child. Ha! what story is this? How now, Mysis, whence comes this child? Who has brought it here? MYSIS
Are you quite right in your senses, to be asking me that? DAVUS
Whom, then, ought I to ask, as I don't see any one else here? CHREMES
apart to himself. I wonder whence it has come. DAVUS
Are you going to tell me what I ask? MYSIS
Pshaw ! DAVUS
in a whisper. Step aside to the right. They retire on one side. MYSIS
You are out of your senses; didn't you your own self? DAY.
in a low voice. Take you care not to utter a single word beyond what I ask you. Why don't you say aloud whence it comes? MYSIS
in a loud voice. From our house. DAVUS
affecting indignation. Heyday, indeed! it really is a wonder if a woman, who is a courtesan, acts impudently. CHREMES
apart. So far as I can learn, this woman belongs to the Andrian. DAVUS
Do we seem to you such very suitable persons for you to be playing tricks with us in this way? CHREMES
apart. I came just in time. DAVUS
Make haste then, and take the child away from the door here: in a low voice stay there; take care you don't stir from that spot. MYSIS
aside. May the Gods confound you! you do so terrify poor me. DAVUS
in a loud voice. Is it to you I speak or not? MYSIS
What is it you want? DAVUS
aloud. What--do you ask me again? Tell me, whose child have you been laying here? Let me know. MYSIS
Don't you know? DAVUS
in a low voice. Have done with what I know; tell me what I ask. MYSIS
aloud. It belongs to your people. DAVUS
aloud. Which of our people? MYSIS
aloud. To Pamphilus. DAVUS
affecting surprise in a loud tone. How? What--to Pamphilus? MYSIS
aloud. How now--is it not so? CHREMES
apart. With good reason have I always been averse to this match, it's clear. DAVUS
calling aloud. O abominable piece of effrontery! MYSIS
Why are you bawling out so? DAVUS
aloud. What, the very one I saw being carried to your house yesterday evening? MYSIS
O you impudent fellow! DAVUS
aloud. It's the truth. I saw Canthara stuffed out beneath her clothes. 9 MYSIS
I'faith, I thank the Gods that several free women were present 10 at the delivery. DAVUS
aloud. Assuredly she doesn't know him, on whose account she resorts to these schemes. Chremes, she fancies, if he sees the child laid before the door, will not give his daughter; i'faith, he'll give her all the sooner. CHREMES
apart. I'faith, he'll not do so. DAVUS
aloud. Now therefore, that you may be quite aware, if you don't take up the child, I'll roll it forthwith into the middle of the road; and yourself in the same place I'll roll over into the mud. MYSIS
Upon my word, man, you are not sober. DAVUS
aloud. One scheme brings on another. I now hear it whispered about that she is a citizen of Attica---- CHREMES
apart. Ha! DAVUS
aloud. And that, constrained by the laws, 11 he will have to take her as his wife. MYSIS
Well now, pray, is she not a citizen? CHREMES
apart. I had almost fallen unawares into a comical misfortune. Comes forward. DAVUS
Who's that, speaking? Pretending to look about. O Chremes, you have come in good time. Do listen to this. CHREMES
I have heard it all already. DAVUS
Prithee, did you hear it? Here's villainy for you! she pointing at MYSIS ought to be carried off 12 hence to the torture forthwith. To MYSIS, pointing at CHREMES. This is Chremes himself; don't suppose that you are trifling with Davus only. MYSIS
Wretched me! upon my faith I have told no untruth, my worthy old gentleman. CHREMES
I know the whole affair. Is Simo within? DAVUS
He is. CHREMES goes into SIMO'S house. MYSIS
DAVUS attempting to caress her. Don't touch me, villain. Moving away. On my word, if I don't tell Glycerium all this---- DAVUS
How now, simpleton, don't you know what has been done? MYSIS
How should I know? DAVUS
This is the bride's father. It couldn't any other way have been managed that he should know the things that we wanted him to know. MYSIS
You should have told me that before. DAVUS
Do you suppose that it makes little difference whether you do things according to impulse, as nature prompts, or from premeditation?
Enter CRITO, looking about him.
to himself. It was said that Chrysis used to live in this street, who preferred to gain wealth here dishonorably to living honestly as a poor woman in her own country: by her death that property has descended to me by law. 13 But I see some persons of whom to make inquiry. Accosting them. Good-morrow to you. MYSIS
Prithee, whom do I see? Isn't this Crito, the kinsman of Chrysis? It is he. CRITO
O Mysis, greetings to you. MYSIS
Welcome to you, Crito. CRITO
Is Chrysis then ----? 14 Alas! MYSIS
Too truly. She has indeed left us poor creatures quite heart-broken. CRITO
How fare you here, and in what fashion? Pretty well? MYSIS
What, we? Just as we can, as they say; since we can't as we would. CRITO
How is Glycerium? Has she discovered her parents yet? MYSIS
I wish she had. CRITO
What, not yet? With no favorable omen did I set out for this place; for, upon my faith, if I had known that, I never would have moved a foot hither. She was always said to be, and was looked upon as her sister; what things were hers she is in possession of; now for me to begin a suit at law here, the precedents of others warn me, a stranger, 15 how easy and profitable a task it would be for me. At the same time, I suppose that by this she has got some friend and protector; for she was pretty nearly a grown-up girl when she left there. They would cry out that I am a sharper; that, a pauper, I'm hunting after an inheritance; besides, I shouldn't like to strip the girl herself. MYSIS
O most worthy stranger! I'faith, Crito, you still adhere to your good old-fashioned ways. CRITO
Lead me to her, since I have come hither, that I may see her. MYSIS
By all means. They go into the house of GLYCERIUM. DAVUS
to himself. I'll follow them; I don't wish the old man to see me at this moment. He follows MYSIS and CRITO.
2 Concerned in my own interests: Equivalent to our sayings, "Charity begins at home;" "Take care of number one."
3 They are not ashamed: Terence has probably borrowed this remark from the Epidicus of Plautus, 1. 165-6: "Generally all men are ashamed when it is of no use; when they ought to be ashamed, then does shame forsake them, when occasion is for them to be ashamed."
4 Makes a noise: The doors with the Romans opened in-wardly, while those of the Greeks opened on the outside. It was therefore usual with them, when coming out, to strike the door on the inside with a stick or with the knuckles, that those outside might be warned to get out of the way. Patrick, however, observes with some justice, that the word “"concrepuit"” may here allude to the creaking of the hinges. See the Curculio of Plautus, l. 160, where the Procuress pours water on the hinges, in order that Cappadox may not hear the opening of the door.
5 Take some sacred herbs: “"Verbena"” appears to have been a general term applied to any kind of herb used in honor of the Deities, or to the boughs and leaves of any tree gathered from a pure or sacred place. Fresh "verbenae" were placed upon the altars every day. See the Mercator of Plautus, 1. 672.
6 From the altar here: It was usual to have altars on the stage; when Comedy was performed, one on the left hand in honor of Apollo, and on the representation of Tragedy, one on the right in honor of Bacchus. It has been suggested that Terence here alludes to the former of these. As, however, at Athens almost every house had its own altar in honor of Apollo Prostaterius just outside of the street door, it is most probable that to one of these altars reference is here made. They are frequently alluded to in the Plays of Plautus.
7 Which I had first purposed, I now give up: His first intention no doubt was to go and inform Simo of the child being laid at the door.
8 Whenever there's necessity: He retires without fully explaining his intention to Mysis; consequently, in the next Scene she gives an answer to Chremes which Davus does not intend.
9 Stuffed out beneath her clothes: “"Suffarcinatam."” He alludes to the trick already referred to as common among the Greeks, of the nurses and midwives secretly introducing supposititious children; see 1. 515 and the Note.
10 Several free women were present: She speaks of “"liberae,"” "free women," because in Greece as well as Italy slaves were not permitted to give evidence. See the Curculio of Plautus, 1. 621, and the Note to the passage in Bohn's Translation. See also the remark of Geta in the Phormio, 1. 293.
11 Constrained by the laws: He alludes to a law at Athens which compelled a man who had debauched a free-born woman to marry her. This is said by Davus with the view of frightening Chremes from the match.
12 She ought to be carried off: He says this implying that Mysis, who is a slave, ought to be put to the torture to confess the truth; as it was the usual method at Athens to force a confession from slaves by that method. We find in the Hecyra, Bacchis readily offering her slaves to be put to the torture, and in the Adelphi the same custom is alluded to in the Scene between Micio, Hegio and Geta.
13 Descended to me by law: On the supposition that Chrysis died without a will, Crito as her next of kin would be entitled to her effects.
14 Is Chrysis then ----?: This is an instance of Aposiopesis; Crito, much affected, is unwilling to name the death of Chrysis. It was deemed of ill omen to mention death, and numerous Euphemisms or circumlocutions were employed in order to avid the necessity of doing so.
15 Warn me, a stranger: Patrick has the following remarks upon this passage: "Madame Dacier observes that it appears, from Xenophon's Treatise on the policy of the Athenians, that all the inhabitants of cities and islands in alliance with Athens were obliged in all claims to repair thither, and refer their cause to the decision of the people, not being permitted to plead elsewhere. We can not wonder then that Crito is unwilling to engage in a suit so inconvenient from its length, expense, and little prospect of success." She might have added that such was the partiality and corruptness of the Athenian people, that, being a stranger, his chances of success would probably be materially diminished.
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