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Enter NICOBULUS, wringing his hands.
Whoever there are in any place whatsoever, whoever have been, and whoever shall be, in time to come, fools, blockheads, idiots, dolts, sots, oafs, lubbers1, I singly by far exceed them all in folly and absurd ways. I'm undone. I'm ashamed of myself; that I at this time of life should disgracefully have been twice made a fool of! The more I think of this confusion which my son has made, the more am I incensed. I'm ruined, and I'm utterly destroyed; I'm distracted in every possible way. All plagues harass me, by all modes of death do I perish. This day has Chrysalus rent me in pieces; Chrysalus has plundered wretched me; he, the villain, by his clever tricks, has shaved, to the very quick, simple me, just as he has pleased. For the Captain says that she is a Courtezan, whom that fellow said was his wife; and he has informed me of everything, as each particular happened; how that she had been hired by him for this year; how that that much gold was left to be repaid2, which I, most simple man, had promised him. 'Tis this, this, I say, through which my breast boils with indignation3; 'tis this, in fine, by which I am distracted; that I, at my time of life, should be made a fool of, aye, by Heaven, so made a very sport of, and with my hoary head and white beard, that wretched I should be bamboozled out of my gold. Undone am I, inasmuch as this slave of mine has dared in this way to set not the value of a nutshell upon me. And I--if any other way I had lost a greater sum--I should have taken it less amiss, and have deemed it less of a loss to me. Enter PHILOXENUS. PHILOXENUS
as he enters . For sure, some person, I know not who, seems to be talking near to me. But who's this I see? Really, 'tis the father of Mnesilochus. NICOBULUS
Hah! I see a partner in affliction. Save you, Philoxenus! PHILOXENUS
And you; whence are you betaking yourself? NICOBULUS
From a place whence comes a wretched and a luckless mortal. PHILOXENUS
Why, troth, I'm surely on the earth, the spot where it befits a wretched and a luckless mortal to be. NICOBULUS
We now, as we are of like age, are meeting with similar fortunes. PHILOXENUS
So it is. But as to yourself, what's the matter with you? NICOBULUS
I' faith, mine's the same mishap as your own. PHILOXENUS
Does this misfortune in any way relate to your son? NICOBULUS
Such is the fact. PHILOXENUS
The same disease exists in my own breast. NICOBULUS
Aye, and that very worthy fellow, Chrysalus, has been ruining my son, myself, and all my fortunes. PHILOXENUS
Pray now, what is this mishap of yours about your son? NICOBULUS
You shall know: together with your own son he's undone; both of them are keeping mistresses alike. PHILOXENUS
How do you know? NICOBULUS
I have seen them. PHILOXENUS
Ah! wretch that I am! I'm ruined outright. NICOBULUS
Why do we hesitate a moment to knock and to call them both hither out of doors. PHILOXENUS
I don't object. NICOBULUS
knocks at the door of the house of BACCHIS . Hallo there! Bacchis! Bid the door to be opened this instant, if you please, unless you had rather the door and the posts be knocked to bits with hatchets.
1 Oafs, lubbers: "Blennus" means, properly, "dirty-nosed," and thence "a driveller," "an idiot." "Bucco" was "one who had large puffed-out cheeks," which was considered to be the mark of a blockhead or foot.
2 Left to be repaid: This passage is rather obscure; but it seems to mean that Bacchis had been engaged for a year by the Captain, and that having received the whole sum when the original agreement was made, she had arranged to repay the Captain a sum proportionate to the time that was wanting to complete the year engaged for.
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