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to herself . Not only for the sake of the face were it right for men to have a mirror for themselves wherein to look at their faces; but one with which they might be enabled to examine the heart of discretion, and therefore be able to examine the resources of the mind; when they had looked in that, they might afterwards consider how they had once passed their lives in youth. Just as myself, for instance, who, for the sake of my son, began to torment myself in mind, as though my son had been guilty of some offence against, me, or as though my own misdeeds had not been most heavy in my youth. In truth, we old fellows are out of our senses sometimes. This, in my own opinion at least, has proved advantageous. But my friend Apæcides is coming with the spoil. I'm glad that the negotiator has returned safe. Enter APÆCIDES, with a MUSIC-GIRL. PERIPHIANES
How goes it? APAECIDES
The Gods and Goddesses are favouring you. PERIPHIANES
The omen pleases me. APAECIDES
A person with whom all things go on prosperously. But do you order her to be taken in-doors. PERIPHIANES
going to the door of his house, and calling . Hallo there! come out of doors here, some one. A SERVANT comes out. Take that woman into the house! And, do you hear? SERV.
What do you desire? PERIPHIANES
Take care you don't permit this woman to associate with my daughter, or to see her. Now do you understand? I wish her to be shut up apart in that little chamber; there's a great difference between the manners of a maiden and a courtesan. The SERVANT leads the MUSIC-GIRL into the house. APAECIDES
You speak cleverly and judiciously; each man cannot keep too strict a guard upon the chastity of his daughter. Upon my faith, we certainly did forestall this woman from your son just in time. PERIPHIANES
Why so? APAECIDES
Because another person told me that he had just seen your son here. PERT.
I' troth, he was stirring in this business. APAECIDES
Upon my faith, it really is so, clearly. You really have a clever servant, and worth any price. PERIPHIANES
At his weight in gold he would not be dear. APAECIDES
How well he kept1 that Music-girl quite in ignorance that she was purchased for you; so full of joke and fun did he bring her hither along with him. PERIPHIANES
It's wonderful how that could be managed. APAECIDES
He said that you were going to offer a sacrifice at home for your son, because he had returned safe from Thebes. PERIPHIANES
He hit upon the right thing. APAECIDES
Yes, and he himself told her that she had been hired to assist you here in the sacrifice. He said that you were about to perform it, and that you had a sacrifice at home. But I then made pretence that I was ignorant, as it were, inasmuch as I made myself out half-witted2. PERIPHIANES
Why yes; it was right to do so. APAECIDES
An important trial of a friend is going on at the Forum; I want to go as his advocate. PERIPHIANES
Go, and when you have leisure, return to me mediately. APAECIDES
I'll be here just now. (Exit.) PERIPHIANES
to himself . Nothing is there more opportune to man than a friend in need; without labour of your own, what you want is done nevertheless. If I had commissioned any one upon this business, a less skilful person, and less fitted for this matter, he would have been gulled; and so, grinning with his white teeth, my son would have most deservedly laughed at me. But who is this I see coming this way, that with his swaggering makes his scarf to be streaming in the wind? He stands aside.
1 How well he kept: The cunning of Epidicus is admirably shown here. He pretends to the old man that they together are deceiving the Music-girl, while, in reality, he is imposing on the old man.
2 Made myself out half-witted: This in his wisdom he pretended that she might not fancy that he was a cunning fellow, going to put a trick upon her, in combination with Epidicus.
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