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Enter PYTHIAS from the house of THAIS, laughing.
to herself, on entering. Never, upon my faith, for a long time past, has any thing happened to me that I could have better liked to happen, than the old gentleman just now, full of his mistake, coming into our house. I had the joke all to myself, as I knew1 what it was he feared. PARMENO
apart. Why, what's all this? PYTHIAS
Now I'm come out to meet with Parmeno. But, prithee, where is he? Looking around. PARMENO
apart. She's looking for me. PYTHIAS
And there he is, I see; I'll go up to him. PARMENO
What's the matter, simpleton? What do you mean? What are you laughing about? Still going on? PYTHIAS
laughing. I'm dying; I'm wretchedly tired with laughing at you. PARMENO
Why so? PYTHIAS
Do you ask? Upon my faith, I never did see, nor shall see, a more silly fellow. Oh dear, I can not well express what amusement you've afforded in-doors. And still I formerly took you to be a clever and shrewd person. Why, was there any need for you instantly to believe what I told you? Or were you not content with the crime, which by your advice the young man had been guilty of, without betraying the poor fellow to his father as well? Why, what do you suppose his feelings must have been at the moment when his father saw him clothed in that dress? Well, do you now understand that you are done for? Laughing. PARMENO
Hah! what is it you say, you hussy? Have you been telling me lies? What, laughing still? Does it appear so delightful to you, you jade, to be making fools of us? PYTHIAS
laughing. Very much so. PARMENO
Yes, indeed, if you can do it with impunity. PYTHIAS
Exactly so. PARMENO
By heavens, I'll repay you! PYTHIAS
I believe you; but, perhaps, that which you are threatening, Parmeno, will need a future day; you'll be trussed up directly, for rendering a silly young man remarkable for disgraceful conduct, and then betraying him to his father; they'll both be making an example of you. Laughing. PARMENO
I'm done for! PYTHIAS
This reward has been found you in return for that present of yours;2 I'm off. Goes into the house. PARMENO
to himself. Wretch that I am; just like a rat, this day I've come to destruction through betrayal of myself.3
1 As I knew: She enjoyed it the more, knowing that the old man had nothing to fear, as he had just heard the fiction which she had imparted to Parmeno. Donatus observes that the terror of Laches accounts for his sudden consent to the union of Chaerea with Pamphila; for though he could not settle the matter any other way with credit, he was glad to find that his son had made an unequal match rather than endangered his life. Colman, however, observes with considerable justice: "I think Chaerea apologizes still better for this arrangement in the Scene with Thais at the opening of this Act, where he says that he is confident of obtaining his father's consent, provided Pamphila proves to be a citizen; and, indeed, the match between them is rather a reparation of an injury done to her than a degradation of himself."
2 In return for that present of yours: By the present she means Chaerea in the disguise of the Eunuch.
3 Through betrayal of myself: Which betrays itself by its own squeaking.
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