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Enter PHILOCRATES, from the house
May this affair turn out happily for myself and for my son, and for yourselves. To PHILOCRATES. Your new master wishes you to pay faithful obedience to your former owner in what he wishes. For I have presented you to him, with the price of twenty minæ set upon you: and he says that he is desirous to send you away hence to his father, that he may there redeem my son, and that an exchange may be made between me and him for our respective sons. PHILOCRATES
My disposition takes its course straight in either direction, both to yourself and to him; as a wheel1 you may make use of me; either this way or that can I be turned, whichever way you shall command me. HEGIO
You yourself profit the most from your own disposition, when you endure slavery just as it ought to be endured. Follow me. (To TYNDARUS.) See here's your man. TYNDARUS
I return you thanks, since you give me this opportunity and permission to send this messenger to my parents, who may relate all the matter in its order to my father, what I'm doing here, and what I wish to be done. To PHILOCRATES. Now, Tyndarus, thus is it arranged between myself and him, that I'm to send you, valued at a fixed price, to my father in Elis; so that, if you don't return hither, I'm to give twenty minæ for you. PHILOCRATES
I think that you've come to a right understanding. For your father expects either myself or some messenger to come from here to him. TYNDARUS
I wish you, then, to mind what message it is I want you to carry hence to my country to my father. PHILOCRATES
Philocrates, as up to this moment I have done, I will take all due care to endeavour that which may especially conduce to your interest, and to pursue the same with heart and soul, and with my ears. TYNDARUS
You act just as you ought to act; now I wish you to give attention. In the first place of all, carry my respects to my mother and my father, and to my relations, and if any one else you see well-disposed towards me: say that I am in health here, and that I am a slave, in servitude to this most worthy man, who has ever honored me more and more with his respect, and does so still. PHILOCRATES
Don't you be instructing me as to that; I can, still, easily bear that in mind. TYNDARUS
For, indeed, except that I have a keeper, I deem myself to be a free man. Tell my father on what terms I have agreed with this party about his son. PHILOCRATES
What I remember, it is sheer delay to be putting me in mind of. TYNDARUS
To redeem him, and to send him back here in exchange for both of us. PHILOCRATES
I'll remember it. HEGIO
But as soon as he can that is especially to the interest of us both. PHILOCRATES
You are not more anxious to see your son, than he is to see his. HEGIO
My son is dear to myself, and his own to every man. PHILOCRATES
to TYNDARUS . Do you wish any other message to be carried to your father? TYNDARUS
Say that I am well here; and do you boldly tell him, Tyndarus, that we have been of dispositions for uninterrupted harmony between ourselves, and that you have neither been deserving of censure, nor that I have proved your enemy; and that still, amid miseries so great, you have shown implicit obedience to your master, and that you have never abandoned me, either in deed or in fidelity, amid my wavering, unprosperous fortunes. When my father shall know this, Tyndarus, how well-disposed you have proved towards his son and himself, he will never be so avaricious but that he'll give you your liberty for nothing. And by my own endeavours, if I return hence, I'll make him do so the more readily. For by your aid and kindness, and good disposition and prudence, you have caused me to be allowed to return to my parents once again, inasmuch as to Hegio you have confessed both my rank and my wealth; by means of which, through your wisdom, you have liberated your master from his chains. PHILOCRATES
The things which you mention I have done, and I am pleased that you remember this. Deservedly have they been done for you by me; for now, Philocrates, if I, too, were to mention the things that you have kindly done for me, the night would cut short the day. For, had you been my slave even, no otherwise were you always obliging to me. HEGIO
Ye Gods, by our trust in you! behold the kindly disposition of these persons! How they draw the very tears from me! See how cordially they love each other, and with what praises the servant has commended his master. PHILOCRATES
I' troth, he hasn't commended me the one hundredth part of what he himself deserves to be commended in my praises. HEGIO
to PHILOCRATES . Since, then, you have acted most becomingly, now there's an opportunity to add to your good deeds in managing this matter with fidelity towards him. PHILOCRATES
I am not able more to wish it done, than by my endeavours to try to bring it about. That you may know this, Hegio, with praises do I call supreme Jove to witness that I will not prove unfaithful to Philocrates2---- HEGIO
You are a worthy fellow. PHILOCRATES
And that I will never in anything act otherwise towards him than towards my own self. TYNDARUS
I wish you to put these speeches to the test, both by your deeds and your actions; and inasmuch as I have said the less about you than I had wished, I wish you the more to give me your attention, and take you care not to be angry with me by reason of these words. But, I beseech you, reflect that you are sent hence home with a price set upon you at my risk, and that my life is here left as a pledge for you. Do not you forget me the very moment that you have left my presence, since you will have left me here behind a captive in captivity for yourself, and don't consider yourself as free, and forsake your pledge3, and not use your endeavours for you to bring his son home again, in return for me. Understand that you are sent hence valued at twenty minæ. Take care to prove scrupulously faithful; take care that you show not a wavering fidelity. For my father, I am sure, will do everything that he ought to do. Preserve me as a constant friend to you, and find out4 this person so lately discovered. These things, by your right hand, holding you with my own right hand, do I beg of you; do not prove less true to me than I have proved to you. This matter do you attend to; you are now my master, you my patron, you my father; to you do I commend my hopes and my fortunes. PHILOCRATES
You have given injunctions enough. Are you satisfied if I bring back accomplished what you have enjoined? TYNDARUS
to HEGIO . According to your wishes, and to TYNDARUS according to yours, will I return hither provided. Is there anything else? TYNDARUS
For you to return back as soon as ever you can. PHILOCRATES
The business itself reminds me of that. HEGIO
to PHILOCRATES . Follow me, that I may give you your expenses for the journey at my banker's; on the same occasion I'll get a passport from the Prætor. TYNDARUS
What passport5? HEGIO
For him to take with him hence to the army, that he may be allowed to go home from here. To TYNDARUS. You go in-doors. TYNDARUS
Speed you well. PHILOCRATES
Right heartily, farewell. TYNDARUS goes into the house. HEGIO
aside . I' faith, I compassed my design, when I purchased these men of the Quæstors out of the spoil. I have released my son from slavery, if so it pleases the Gods; and yet I hesitated a long time whether I should purchase or should not purchase these persons. Watch that man indoors, if you please, you servants, that he may nowhere move a foot without a guard. I shall soon make my appearance at home; now I'm going to my brother's, to see my other captives; at the same time I'll enquire whether any one knows this young man. To PHILOCRATES. Do you follow, that I may despatch you. I wish attention first to be paid to that matter. (Exeunt.)
1 As a wheel: This may either mean the wheel of a vehicle or a potter's wheel. The wheels used by the ancients revolved on the axle, as in the carriages of modern times, and were prevented, by pins inserted, from falling off They consisted of naves, spokes, which varied much in number, the felly, or wooden circumference, made of elastic wood, such as the poplar and wild fig, and composed of several segments united, and the tire, which was of metal. Some of their carts and waggons had wheels made of a solid circle of wood, in shape like a millstone, with the axle running through the middle. Similar wheels are used in the south of Europe at the present day.
2 Unfaithful to Philocrates: Philocrates might very safely take an oath to Hegio, that he would not prove unfaithful to himself.
3 Forsake your pledge: Alluding to himself being left behind, and a surety for his speedy return.
4 And find out: "Atque hunc inventum inveni." Some would render this, "And find this person still as you have found him," making it allude to Hegio; it seems, however, rather to apply to the son of Hegio, and to mean, "Do you seek out this person whom we have found out to be in the possession of the physician, Menarchus."
5 What passport?: Being conscious of the trick which they are playing on the worthy old man, Tyndarus shows some alarm on hearing a passport, or "syngraphus," mentioned. Commentators are at a loss to know why he should express such alarm. It is difficult to say, but, probably, as there was in the passport a description of the bearer, who would be Philocrates under the name of Tyndarus, it suddenly comes to the recollection of Tyndarus that they were originally made prisoners under their proper names, and that possibly Philocrates may be recognized as attempting to pass under an assumed name.
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