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SYRUS alone.

SYRUS
Unless my fancy deceives me,1 retribution2 will not be very far off from me; so much by this incident are my forces now utterly driven into straits; unless I contrive by some means that the old man mayn't come to know that this damsel is his son's mistress. For as to entertaining any hopes about the money, or supposing I could cajole him, it's useless; I shall be sufficient triumphant, if I'm allowed to escape with my sides covered.3 I'm vexed that such a tempting morsel has been so suddenly snatched away from my jaws. What am I to do? Or what shall I devise? I must begin upon my plan over again. Nothing is so difficult, but that it may be found out by seeking. What now if I set about it after this fashion. He considers. That's of no use. What, if after this fashion? I effect just about the same. But this I think will do. It can not. Yes! excellent. Bravo! I've found out the best of all--I' faith, I do believe that after all I shall lay hold of this same run-away money.4

1 Unless my fancy deceives me: "Nisi me animus fallit." He comically repeats the very same words with which Sostrata commenced in the last Scene.

2 Retribution: "Infortunium!" was the name by which the slaves commonly denoted a beating. Colman has the following remark here: " Madame Dacier, and most of the later critics who have implicitly followed her, tell us that in the interval between the third and fourth Acts, Syrus has been present at the interview between Chremes and Antiphila within. The only difficulty in this doctrine is how to reconcile it to the apparent ignorance of Syrus, which he discovers at the entrance of Clinia. But this objection, says she, is easily answered. Syrus having partly heard Antiphila's story, and finding things likely to take an unfavorable turn, retires, to consider what is best to be done. But surely this is a most unnatural impatience at so critical a conjuncture; and, after all, would it not be better to take up the matter just where Terence has left it, and to suppose that Syrus knew nothing more of the affair than what might be collected from the late conversation between Chremes and Sostrata, at which we know he was present ? This at once accounts for his apprehensions, which he betrayed even during that Scene, as well as for his imperfect knowledge of the real state of the case, till apprised of the whole by Clinia."

3 With my sides covered: He most probably alludes to the custom of tying up the slaves by their hands, after stripping them naked, when of course their " latera" or " sides" would be exposed, and come in for a share of the lashes.

4 Runaway money: "Fugitivum argentum." Madame Dacier suggests that this is a bad translation of the words of Menander, which were "ἀποστρέψειν τὸν δραπέταν χρυσὸν," where " "χρυσὸς" signified both " gold" and the name of a slave.

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