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Enter CLEOMACHUS, at a distance.
aloud . Is this Mnesilochus, the son of Nicobulus, by force to detain my own mistress? What proceeding is this? NICOBULUS
Who's this? CHRYSALUS
aside . This Captain's opportunely come for me. CLEOMACHUS
He doesn't consider that I am a soldier, but a woman, who cannot defend myself and mine. But may neither Bellona nor Mars ever put confidence in me, if I don't put him out of life, if I meet him, or if I don't make him lose possession of his existence. NICOBULUS
Chrysalus, who's this that's threatening my son? CHRYSALUS
This is the husband of that woman with whom he is now reclining. NICOBULUS
What! The husband? CHRYSALUS
The husband, I say. NICOBULUS
Prithee, is she married then? CHRYSALUS
You'll know before very long. NICOBULUS
Wretch that I am; I'm utterly undone. CHRYSALUS
How now? Does Chrysalus seem such a villain to you? Come, chain me now1, and do listen to your son. Didn't I tell you that you would discover what sort of person he is? NICOBULUS
What shall I do now? CHRYSALUS
Order me at once to be released, if you please; for, if I'm not released, he'll just now be overpowering the young man in our presence. CLEOMACHUS
There's no gain that I should this day take so much delight in making, as I should in falling upon him as he reclines with her, so that I might kill them both. CHRYSALUS
to NICOBULUS . Don't you hear what he says Why don't you order me to be released? NICOBULUS
to the SLAVES . Unbind him. I'm ruined; wretch that I am! I'm in a dreadful fright. CLEOMACHUS
Then I'd make her, who publicly puts up her person for sale, not to say that she has got a person for her to laugh at. CHRYSALUS
to NICOBULUS . You may make terms with him for a little money. NICOBULUS
Make terms, then, I beg, for what you like; so that he mayn't, in our presence, fall upon the young man, or kill him outright. CLEOMACHUS
Unless the two hundred Philippeans are repaid to me at once, I'll this instant swallow the lives of them both outright. NICOBULUS
to CHRYSALUS . Make terms with him, if you can; prithee, do make haste; agree for any sum you like. CHRYSALUS
I'll go, and do it carefully. Goes up to CLEOMACHUS. Why are you exclaiming so? CLEOMACHUS
Where's your master? CHRYSALUS
Nowhere; I don't know. Do you wish the two hundred pieces to be promised you at once, so as to make no riot or disturbance here? CLEOMACHUS
There's nothing that I would desire more. CHRYSALUS
And that I may heap many a curse upon you? CLEOMACHUS
Just as you please. CHRYSALUS
aside . How the villain does cringe. To CLEOMACHUS. This is the father of Mnesilochus: follow rme; he shall promise it you. Do you ask for the gold. As to the rest, a word's enough2. They go up to NICOBULUS. NICOBULUS
What has been done? CHRYSALUS
I've struck the bargain for two hundred Philippeans. NICOBULUS
Well done! Goddess Salvation3, thou hast saved me. Well, how soon am I to say I'll pay it? CHRYSALUS
to CLEOMACHUS . Do you ask it of him; and to NICOBULUS do you promise it him. NICOBULUS
I promise it. To CLEOMACHUS. Come, ask me. CLEOMACHUS
Will you give me two hundred golden Philippean pieces, lawful money? CHRYSALUS
"They shall be given," say: do answer him. NICOBULUS
I'll give them. CHRYSALUS
Well, now, filthy fellow is there anything owing to you? Why are you plaguing him? Why are you frightening him about death? Both I and he wish you every ill luck. If you have a sword, still we have a spit at home; with which, in fact, if you provoke me, I'll make you more full of holes than a rat's skin4 when caught in a trap. I' faith, for my part, some time since I found out what suspicion it was that tormented you; namely, that he was with that wife of yours. CLEOMACHUS
Yes; and so he is. CHRYSALUS
So may Jupiter, Juno, Ceres, Minerva, Hope, Latona, Ops, Virtue, Venus, Castor, Pollux, Mars, Mercury, Hercules, Summanus5, the Sun, Saturn, and all the Deities, prosper me, he neither reclines with her, nor walks, nor kisses, nor does that which is wont to be reported. NICOBULUS
aside . How he does swear! He's saving me, however, by his perjury. CLEOMACHUS
Where then, at this moment, is Mnesilochus? CHRYSALUS
His father has sent him into the country. And she has gone hence to the citadel, to see the temple of Minerva. The door's open now; go in, and see if he's there. CLEOMACHUS
I'll be off to the Forum next. CHRYSALUS
Or rather, by my troth, to very perdition. CLEOMACHUS
Am I to demand this gold to-day? CHRYSALUS
Demand it, and go hang yourself; don't you suppose, you worthless fellow, that we shall be entreating of you. Exit CLEOMACHUS. He's taken himself off. Permit me, master, I entreat you by the immortal Gods, to go in-doors here to your son. Pointing to the house of BACCHIS. NICOBULUS
But why go in there? CHRYSALUS
That with many words I may rebuke him, since after this fashion he has been going on this way. NICOBULUS
Well, I beg you will do so, Chrysalus; and I entreat you not to spare him in your talking to him. CHRYSALUS
And do you instruct even myself? Isn't it sufficient, if this day he shall hear from me more harsh things than ever Clinias heard6 from Demetrius? Goes into the house of BACCHIS. NICOBULUS
This servant of mine is very like a running eye; if you have it not, you don't wish for it or desire it; if you have it, you can't keep off from rubbing it. But if he hadn't, by lucky chance, been here to-day, the Captain would have surprised Mnesilochus with his wife, and have killed him as an adulterer detected in the fact. Now, in a manner have I ransomed my son with the two hundred Philippeans which I have promised to give to the Captain; which, however, I shall not rashly pay him down, before I have met with my son. By my troth, I'll never rashly give credence in anything to Chrysalus. But I have a mind even once again to read over this letter; 'tis right that when a letter is sealed we should give credence to it. Goes into his house.
1 Chain me now: He says this satirically pointing to his fetters
2 A word's enough: He says this, as he is afraid that if the conversation proceeds to any length, the old man will discover that she is not the Captain's wife.
3 Salvation: It was a proverbial expression with the Romans to day that the Goddess "Salus," "health," or "salvation," "had saved," or "could not save" a person, as the case might be.
4 A rat's skin: "Soricina naenia," "than a rat's ditty," literally. This was, no doubt, a proverbial saying, and speaking elliptically, was, perhaps, intended to apply to the squeaking of a rat when his body was pierced with holes while held fast in the trap. There is, however, great obscurity in the passage, and Commentators are very much divided as to its meaning.
5 Summanus: It is not accurately known who the Deity Summanus was. Ovid, in his Fasti, B. 6, l. 731, speaks in uncertainty of him. He is, however, generally thought to have been the same with Pluto, who was so called as being "Summus Manum," "the Chief of the Spirits." Varro says that his worship was introduced by Tatius the Sabine
6 Clinias heard: He is alluding to a scene in some play, then well known, which is now lost. In it, Demetrius was probably severe upon Clinias. The Delphin editor thinks that this must have been a proverb.
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