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Enter PERIPHANES and APÆCIDES, with thongs in their hands.
Hasn't this fellow quite made a laughing-stock of us two decrepit old people1? APAECIDES
Why yes, I' faith, you've really kept me plagued in a shocking fashion. PERIPHIANES
Now do hold your tongue. Only let me catch the fellow! APAECIDES
I'll tell you now, that you may know it. It's best for you to seek another companion; so much, while I've been following you, has the congested blood, from weariness, come down into the knees of poor me. PERIPHIANES
After how many fashions has this fellow made sport of me and you to-day! besides, how he has disembowelled my silver resources for me! APAECIDES
Away with him from me; for surely he's the son of Vulcan in his wrath: wherever he touches, he sets all on fire; if you stand by him, he scorches you with his heat. unperceived, from the house. EPIDICUS
to himself . More than the twelve Gods, the immortal Gods as many as are in the heavens, are now assistants in my rescue, and are fighting on my side. As to whatever I have offended in, I have aid and assistance at home2. All my enemies I quite spurn by the heels3. PERIPHIANES
looking about . Where in the world shall I look for him? APAECIDES
So long as you look for him without me, you may look for him even in the middle of the sea, as far as I'm concerned. EPIDICUS
coming forward, and addressing PERIPHANES Why are you looking for me? Why are you taking this trouble? Why are you worrying him? Pointing to APÆCIDES. See, here I am. Have I run away from you? Have I betaken myself from the house? Have I hid myself from your sight? I don't entreat you either. Do you wish to bind me? Look then, I present my hands. Holding out his hands. You have got thongs; I saw you purchase them. Why do you delay now? Do bind me! PERIPHIANES
It's all over4. He gives bail to me of his own accord for his appearance. EPIDICUS
Why don't you bind me? APAECIDES
A wicked slave, upon my faith! EPIDICUS
Really, Apæcides, I don't want you to intercede for me. APAECIDES
You easily obtain your wish, Epidicus. EPIDICUS
to PERIPHANES . Are you going to do anything? PERIPHIANES
What, at your pleasure? EPIDICUS
Troth, at my own, indeed, and not at yours, are these hands to be bound by you to-day. PERIPHIANES
But I don't choose; I shan't bind them. APAECIDES
to PERIPHANES . He's preparing to throw a dragnet over you; he's framing some plan, I know not what. EPIDICUS
You are causing delay to yourself, while I stand unbound; bind them, I tell you, bind them together. PERIPHIANES
But I choose rather to question you unbound. EPIDICUS
But you shall know nothing. PERIPHIANES
turning to APÆCIDES . What am I to do? APAECIDES
What are you to do? Let him be complied with. EPIDICUS
You are a worthy person, Apæcides. PERIPHIANES
Hold out your hands then. EPIDICUS
holding out his hands . They don't at all object; bind them fast together too. Don't be afraid. PERIPHANES binds his hands. I'm submissive. When the job is done, then pronounce your judgment5. PERIPHIANES
There, that is good. EPIDICUS
Now then, to the point, with your enquiries of me; ask me what you please. PERIPHIANES
In the first place, with what assurance did you presume to say that she who was bought the day before yesterday was my daughter? EPIDICUS
I chose to; on that assurance. PERIPHIANES
Do you say so? You chose to? EPIDICUS
I do say so. Even lay me a wager that she is not the daughter---- PERIPHIANES
A woman whom the mother declares she doesn't know? EPIDICUS
Then, if she isn't the daughter of her mother, make me a bet about it, my didrachm to your talent6. PERIPHIANES
Why, that's a mere catch. But who is this woman? EPIDICUS
The mistress of your son, that you may know the whole matter. PERIPHIANES
Did I not give you the thirty minæ for my daughter? EPIDICUS
I confess that they were given, and that with that money I purchased this Music-girl, your son's mistress, instead of your daughter. As to those thirty minæ, in fact, I imposed upon you. PERIPHIANES
For what reason did you play a trick upon me about that hired Music-girl? EPIDICUS
I' faith, I really did do it, and I think it was rightly done. PERIPHIANES
In the last place, what has been done with the silver I gave you? EPIDICUS
I'll tell you; I gave it to a person neither bad nor yet good7--your son Stratippocles. PERIPHIANES
Why did you dare to give it him? EPIDICUS
Because it pleased me. PERIPHIANES
stamping . Plague on it! what insolence is this? EPIDICUS
Am I to be bawled at just as if I were a slave? PERIPHIANES
ironically . As you are a free man, I rejoice. EPIDICUS
I have deserved to become so. PERIPHIANES
Go look in-doors; I'll let you know that this is the truth. PERIPHIANES
What's the matter? EPIDICUS
The thing itself will tell you so at once. Only do go in-doors. PERIPHIANES
Aye, aye! this is not without its meaning. Do you keep an eye on him, Apæcides. Goes into his house. APAECIDES
What's the meaning of this, Epidicus? EPIDICUS
I' faith, it's with the greatest injustice that I'm standing here bound, through whose aid his daughter has been discovered to-day. APAECIDES
Do you say that you have found his daughter? EPIDICUS
I have found her, and she is at home. But how hard it is, when, for services done, you reap a harvest of evil. APAECIDES
What, her whom this day we've both been weary with seeking throughout the city? EPIDICUS
I'm weary with finding, you weary with seeking. from the house. PERIPHIANES
at the door, to those within . Why do you entreat me thus earnestly in his behalf? For I find that he does deserve that I should be pleased to act according to his deserts. To EPIDICUS. Hold out your hands, you, that I may unbind them. EPIDICUS
Don't you touch them. PERIPHIANES
But do you present them to me. EPIDICUS
I don't choose. PERIPHIANES
You don't do right. EPIDICUS
Upon my faith, I'll never allow myself to be unbound this day, unless you give me satisfaction. PERIPHIANES
You ask what's very fair and very just. Shoes, a tunic, and a cloak I'll give you. EPIDICUS
What next, after that? PERIPHIANES
Your freedom. EPIDICUS
But after that? There's need for a new-made freed-man to pick a bit8. PERIPHIANES
It shall be given; I'll find you food. EPIDICUS
On my word, never this day shall you release me, unless you beg my pardon. PERIPHIANES
I do entreat you, Epidicus, to forgive me, if unawares in fault I've done anything wrong. But by way of return for this matter, be a free man. EPIDICUS
Against my inclination do I grant you this pardon, but I'm compelled by necessity. Unbind them then, if you choose. He holds out his hands, which are unbound by PERIPHANES, and they go into his house. coming forward. This is that man who by his roguery9 has gained his freedom. Clap your hands, and fare you well! Stretch your loins, and rise from your seats.
1 Decrepit old people: "Decrepitos." From the verb "decrepo," "to crackle," or "make a sputtering," as a candle does when going out, or the wick of a lamp when the oil fails.
2 Assistance at home: He alludes to Stratippocles, Telestis, Philippa, Thesprio, and probably Chæribulus, who are all ready to take his part; and, indeed, have good reason to do so, from the opportune discovery which he has just made.
4 It's all over: "Ilicet." Literally, "you may begone;" the word used when judicial proceedings had terminated.
5 Pronounce your judgment: "Arbitraminor" seems a better reading than "arbitramino."
6 My didrachm to your talent: The moderate odds of three thousand to one.
7 Nor yet good: "Indigno" is read here in some editions for "benigno," and is, perhaps, a better reading; though Epidicus may, possibly, as Post suggests, intend to allude satirically to the undecided and versatile character of Stratippocles.
8 To pick a bit: "Pappet." "Pappo" properly signifies "to eat pap," as children do.
9 By his roguery: -- "Malitia," "artfulness." "trickery."
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