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Enter BYRRHIA, unperceived, at a distance behind SIMO.
apart to himself. My master has ordered me, leaving my business, to keep an eye on Pamphilus today, what he is doing with regard to the marriage. I was to learn it; for that reason, I have now followed him1 pointing to SIMO as he came hither. Himself, as well, I see standing with Davus close at hand; I'll note this. SIMO
apart to himself. I see that both of them are here. DAVUS
in a low voice to PAMPHILUS. Now then, be on your guard. SIMO
in a low voice. Look round at him as though taken unawares. PAMPHILUS
turning round sharply. What, my father! DAVUS
in a low voice. Capital! SIMO
I wish you to marry a wife to-day, as I was saying. BYRRHIA
apart. Now I'm in dread for our side, as to what he will answer. PAMPHILUS
Neither in that nor in any thing else shall you ever find any hesitation in me. BYRRHIA
apart. Hah! DAVUS
in a low voice to PAMPHILUS. He is struck dumb. BYRRHIA
apart. What a speech! SIMO
You act as becomes you, when that which I ask I obtain with a good grace. DAVUS
aside to PAMPHILUS. Am I right? BYRRHIA
My master, so far as I learn, has missed his wife. SIMO
Now, then, go in-doors, that you mayn't be causing delay when you are wanted. PAMPHILUS
I'll go. Goes into the house. BYRRHIA
apart. Is there, in no case, putting trust in any man ? That is a true proverb which is wont to be commonly quoted, that "all had rather it to be well for themselves than for another." I remember noticing, when I saw her, that she was a young woman of handsome figure; wherefore I am the more disposed to excuse Pamphilus, if he has preferred that he himself, rather than the other, should embrace her in his slumbers. I'll carry back these tidings, that, in return for this evil he may inflict evil upon me.2 (Exit.)
1 I have now followed him: “"Hunc venientem sequor."” Cooke has the following remark on this line: "This verse, though in every edition, as Bentley judiciously observes, is certainly spurious; for as Pamphilus has not disappeared since Byrrhia left the stage, he could not say 'nunc hunc venientem sequor.' If we suppose the line genuine, we must at the same time suppose Terence guilty of a monstrous absurdity." On these words Colman rakes the following just observations: " Other Commentators have also stumbled at this passage; but if in the words 'followed him hither,' we suppose 'him' (hunc) to refer to Simo, the difficulty is removed; and that the pronoun really does signify Simo, is evident from the circumstance of Pamphilus never having left the stage since the disappearance of Byrrhia. Simo is also represented as coming on the stage homeward, so that Byrrhia might easily have followed him along the street; and it is evident that Byrrhia does not allude to Pamphilus from the agreeable surprise which he expresses on seeing him there so opportunely for the purpose."
2 Inflict evil upon me: “"Malum;"” the usual name by which slaves spoke of the beatings they were in the habit of receiving at the hands or by the order of their irascible masters. Colman has the following remarks: "Donatus observes on this Scene between Byrrhia, Simo, Pamphilus, and Davus, that the dialogue is sustained by four persons, who have little or no intercourse with each other; so that the Scene is not only in direct contradiction to the precept of Horace, excluding a fourth person, but is also otherwise vicious in its construction. Scenes of this kind are, I think, much too frequent in Terence, though, indeed, the form of the ancient Theatre was more adapted to the representation of them than the modern. The multiplicity of speeches aside is also the chief error in this dialogue; such speeches, though very common in dramatic writers, ancient and modern, being always more or less unnatural."
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