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HEGIO, TYNDARUS, ARISTOPHONTES, and SLAVES
to the SLAVES . Put the manacles on this whipp'd villain. TYNDARUS
whilst the SLAVES are fastening him . What's the matter? What have I done wrong? HEGIO
Do you ask the question? You weeder and sower of villanies, and in especial their reaper. TYNDARUS
Ought you not to have ventured to say the harrower first? For countrymen always harrow before they weed. HEGIO
Why, with what assurance he stands before me. TYNDARUS
It's proper for a servant, innocent and guiltless, to be full of confidence, most especially before his master. HEGIO
to the SLATES . Bind this fellow's hands tightly, will you. TYNDARUS
I am your own--do you command them to be cut off even. But what is the matter on account of which you blame me? HEGIO
Because me and my fortunes, so far as in you singly lay, by your rascally and knavish stratagems you have rent in pieces, and have distracted my affairs and spoiled all my resources and my plans, in that you've thus robbed me of Philocrates by your devices, I thought that he was the slave, you the free man. So did you say yourselves, and in this way did you change names between you. TYNDARUS
I confess that all was done so, as you say, and that by a stratagem he has got away from you, through my aid and cleverness; and prithee, now, do you blame me for that, i' faith? HEGIO
Why, it has been done with your extreme torture for the consequence. TYNDARUS
So I don't die by reason of my misdeeds, I care but little. If I do die here, then he returns not, as he said he would; but when I'm dead, this act will be remembered to my honor, that I caused my captive master to return from slavery and the foe, a free man, to his father in his native land; and that I preferred rather to expose my own life to peril, than that he should be undone. HEGIO
Take care, then, to enjoy that fame at Acheron. TYNDARUS
He who dies for virtue's sake, still does not perish. HEGIO
When I've tortured you in the most severe manner, and for your schemes put you to death, let them say either that you have perished or that you have died; so long as you do die, I don't think it matters if they say you live. TYNDARUS
I' faith, if you do do so, you'll do it not without retribution, if he shall return here, as I trust that he will return. ARISTOPHONTES
aside . O ye immortal Gods! I understand it now; now I know what the case really is. My friend Philocrates is at liberty with his father, in his native land. 'Tis well; nor have I any person to whom I could so readily wish well. But this thing grieves me, that I've done this person a bad turn, who now on account of me and my talking is in chains. HEGIO
to TYNDARUS . Did I not forbid you this day to utter anything false to me? TYNDARUS
You did forbid me. HEGIO
Why did you dare to tell me lies? TYNDARUS
Because the truth would have prejudiced him whom I was serving; now falsehood has advantaged him. HEGIO
But it will prejudice yourself. TYNDARUS
'Tis very good. Still, I have saved my master, whom I rejoice at being saved, to whom my elder master had assigned me as a protector. But do you think that this was wrongly done? HEGIO
Most wrongfully. TYNDARUS
But I, who disagree with you, say, rightly. For consider, if any slave of yours had done this for your son, what thanks you would have given him. Would you have given that slave his freedom or not? Would not that slave have been in highest esteem with you? Answer me that. HEGIO
I think so. TYNDARUS
Why, then, are you angry with me? HEGIO
Because you have proved more faithful to him than to myself. TYNDARUS
How now? Did you expect, in a single night and day, for yourself to teach me--a person just made captive, a recent slave, and in his noviciate--that I should rather consult your interest than his, with whom from childhood I have passed my life? HEGIO
Seek, then, thanks from him for that. To the SLAVES. Take him where he may receive weighty and thick fetters, thence, after that, you shall go to the quarries for cutting stone. There, while the others are digging out eight stones, unless you daily do half as much work again, you shall have the name of the six-hundred-stripe man1. ARISTOPHONTES
By Gods and men, I do entreat you, Hegio, not to destroy this man. HEGIO
He shall be taken all care of2 For at night, fastened with chains, he shall be watched; in the daytime, beneath the ground, he shall be getting out stone. For many a day will I torture him; I'll not respite him for a single day. ARISTOPHONTES
Is that settled by you? HEGIO
Not more settled that I shall die. To the SLAVES. Take him away this instant to Hippolytus, the blacksmith; bid thick fetters to be rivetted on him. From there let him be led outside the gate to my freedman, Cordalus, at the stone-quarries. And tell him that I desire this man so to be treated, that he mayn't be in any respect worse off than he who is the most severely treated. TYNDARUS
Why, since you are unwilling, do I desire myself to survive? At your own hazard is the risk of my life. After death, no evil have I to apprehend in death. Though I should live even to extreme age, still, short is the space for enduring what you threaten me with. Farewell and prosper although you are deserving for me to say otherwise. You, Aristophontes, as you have deserved of me, so fare you; for on your account has this befallen me. >HEG.
to the SLAVES . Carry him off. TYNDARUS
But this one thing I beg, that, if Philocrates should come back here, you will give me an opportunity of meeting him. HEGIO
to the SLAVES . At your peril, if you don't this instant remove him from my sight. The SLAVES lay hold of TYNDARUS, and push him along. TYNDARUS
I' troth, this really is violence3, to be both dragged and pushed at the same time. He is borne off by the SLAVES. HEGIO
He has been led off straight to prison4 as he deserves. Let no one presume to attempt such an enterprise. Had it not been for you who discovered this to me, still would they have been leading me by the bridle with their tricks. Now am I resolved henceforth never to trust any person in anything. This once I have been deceived enough; I did hope, to my sorrow, that I had rescued my son from slavery. That hope has forsaken me. I lost one son, whom, a child in his fourth year, a slave stole from me; and, indeed, never since have I found either slave or son; the elder one has fallen in the hands of the enemy. What guilt is this of mine? As though I had become the father of children for the purpose of being childless. To AISTOPHONTES. Follow this way. I'll conduct you back where you were. I'm determined to have pity upon no one, since no one has pity upon me. ARISTOPHONTES
Forth from my chains with evil omen did I come; now I perceive that with like ill omen to my bonds I must return. (Exeunt.)
1 Six-hundred- stripe man: "Sexcentoplago." This is a compound word, coined by the author.
2 He shall be taken all care of: Struck with admiration at his fidelity, Aristophontes begs Hegio not to destroy Tyndarus. As the verb "perduis" might also mean "lose" him, Hegio ironically takes it in the latter sense, and says that there is no fear of that, for he shall be well taken care of; or, in other words, strictly watched.
3 This really is violence: According to Suetonius, Julius Caesar used an exactly similar expression when first attacked by his murderers in the senate-house. On Tullius Cimber seizing hold of his garments he exclaimed, "Ita quidem vis est!" "Why, really, this is violence!"
4 To prison: "Phylacam." This is a Greek word Latinized, meaning "prison" or "confinement."
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