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Enter PHAEDRIA and PHORMIO, from opposite sides of the stage.1
Assuredly there is a God, who both hears and sees what we do. And I do not consider that to be true which is commonly said: "Fortune frames and fashions the affairs of mankind, just as she pleases." PHORMIO
aside. Heyday! what means this? I've met with Socrates, not Phaedria, so far as I see. Why hesitate to go up and address him? Accosting him. How now, Phaedria, whence have you acquired this new wisdom, and derived such great delight, as you show by your countenance? PHAEDRIA
O welcome, my friend; O most delightful Phormio, welcome ! There's not a person in all the world I could more wish just now to meet than yourself. PHORMIO
Pray, tell me what is the matter. PHAEDRIA
Aye, faith, I have to beg of you, that you will listen to it. My Pamphila is a citizen of Attica, and of noble birth, and rich. PHORMIO
What is it you tell me? Are you dreaming, pray? PHAEDRIA
Upon my faith, I'm saying what's true. PHORMIO
Yes, and this, too, is a true saying: " You'll have no great difficulty in believing that to be true, which you greatly wish to be so." PHAEDRIA
Nay, but do listen, I beg of you, to all the wonderful things I have to tell you of. It was while thinking of this to myself, that I just now burst forth into those expressions which you heard--that we, and what relates to us, are ruled by the sanction of the Gods, and not by blind chance. PHORMIO
I've been for some time in a state of suspense. PHAEDRIA
Do you know Phanocrates? PHORMIO
As well as I do yourself. PHAEDRIA
The rich man? PHORMIO
I understand. PHAEDRIA
He is the father of Pamphila. Not to detain you, these were the circumstances: Calchas was his servant, a worthless, wicked fellow. Intending to run away from the house, he carried off this girl, whom her father was bringing up in the country, then five years old, and, secretly taking her with him to Eubaea, sold her to Lycus, a merchant. This person, a long time after, sold her, when now grown up, to Dorio. She, however, knew that she was the daughter of parents of rank, inasmuch as she recollected herself being attended and trained up by female servants: the name of her parents she didn't recollect. PHORMIO
How, then, were they discovered? PHAEDRIA
Stay; I was coming to that. This runaway was caught yesterday, and sent back to Phanocrates: he related the wonderful circumstances I have mentioned about the girl, and how she was sold to Lycus, and afterward to Dorio. Phanocrates sent immediately, and claimed his daughter; but when he learned that she had been sold, he came running to me. PHORMIO
O, how extremely fortunate! PHAEDRIA
Phanocrates has no objection to my marrying her; nor has my father, I imagine. PHORMIO
Trust me for that; I'll have all this matter managed for you; Phormio has so arranged it, that you shall not be a suppliant to your father, but his judge. PHAEDRIA
You are joking. PHORMIO
So it is, I tell you. Do you only give me the thirty minae which Dorio---- PHAEDRIA
You put me well in mind; I understand you; you may have them; for he must give them back, as the law forbids a free woman to be sold; and, on my faith, I do rejoice that an opportunity is afforded me of rewarding you, and taking a hearty vengeance upon him; a monster of a fellow he has feelings more hardened than iron. PHORMIO
Now, Phaedria, I return you thanks; I'll make you a return upon occasion, if ever I have the opportunity. You impose a heavy task upon me, to be contending with you in good offices, as I can not in wealth; and in affection and zeal, I must repay you what I owe. To be surpassed in deserving well, is a disgrace to a man of principle. PHAEDRIA
Services badly bestowed, I take to be disservices. But I do not know any person more grateful and more mindful of a service than yourself. What is it you were just now mentioning about my father? PHORMIO
There are many particulars, which at present I have not the opportunity to relate. Let's go in-doors, for Nausistrata has invited me to dinner, and I'm afraid we may keep them waiting. PHAEDRIA
Very well; follow me. To the AUDIENCE. Fare you well, and grant us your applause.
1 This scene is generally considered to be spurious.
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