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Enter DEMIPHO, at the other side of the stage.
to himself. And is it possible that Antipho has taken a wife without my consent? and that no authority of mine--but let alone "authority"1--no displeasure of mine, at all events, has he been in dread of? To have no sense of shame! O audacious conduct! O Geta, rare adviser! GETA
apart to PHAEDRIA. Just brought in at last. DEMIPHO
What will they say to me, or what excuse will they find? I wonder much. GETA
apart. Why, I've found that out already; do think of something else. DEMIPHO
Will he be saying this to me: "I did it against my will; the law compelled me?" I hear you, and admit it. GETA
apart. Well said! DEMIPHO
But knowingly, in silence, to give up the cause to his adversaries--did the law oblige him to do that as well? GETA
apart. That is a hard blow. PHAEDRIA
I'll clear that up; let me alone for that. DEMIPHO
It is a matter of doubt what I am to do; for beyond expectation, and quite past all belief, has this befallen me. So enraged am I, that I can not compose my mind to think upon it. Wherefore it is the duty of all persons, when affairs are the most prosperous,2 then in especial to reflect within themselves in what way they are to endure adversity. Returning from abroad, let him always picture to himself dangers and losses, either offenses committed by a son, or the death of his wife, or the sickness of a daughter,--that these things are the common lot, so that no one of them may ever come as a surprise upon his feelings. Whatever falls out beyond his hopes, all that he must look upon as so much gain. GETA
apart. O Phaedria, it is incredible how much I surpass my master in wisdom. All my misfortunes have been already calculated upon by me, upon my master coming home. I must grind at the mill, be beaten, wear fetters, be set to work in the fields; not one individual thing of these will happen unexpected by my mind. Whatever falls out beyond my expectations, all that I shall look upon as so much gain. But why do you hesitate to accost him, and soften him at the outset with fair words? PHAEDRIA goes forward to accost DEMIPHO. DEMIPHO
to himself. I see Phaedria, my brother's son, coming toward me. PHAEDRIA
My uncle, welcome! DEMIPHO
Greetings to you; but where is Antipho? PHAEDRIA
That you have arrived in safety---- DEMIPHO
I believe it; answer my question. PHAEDRIA
He is well; he's close at hand; but is every thing quite to your wishes? DEMIPHO
I wish it was so, indeed. PHAEDRIA
What's the matter? DEMIPHO
Do you ask me, Phaedria? You people have cooked up a fine marriage in my absence. PHAEDRIA
What now, are you angry with him for that? GETA
apart. What a clever contriver! DEMIPHO
Have I not reason to be angry with him? I long for him to come into my sight, that he may know that through his faultiness, from being a mild father, I am become a most severe one. PHAEDRIA
But he has done nothing, uncle, for which you should blame him. DEMIPHO
Now, do look at that; all alike; all hanging together; when you know one, you know all. PHAEDRIA
That is not the case. DEMIPHO
When the one is in fault, the other is at hand to defend him; when it is the other, then he is ready; they just help one another by turns. GETA
apart. The old man, without. knowing it, has exactly described their proceedings. DEMIPHO
For if it had not been so, you would not, Phaedria, have stood up for him. PHAEDRIA
If, uncle; it is the fact, that Antipho has been guilty of any fault, in consequence of which he has been too regardless of his interest or his reputation, I would not allege any reason why he should not suffer what he deserves. But if some one by chance, relying upon his own artfulness, has laid a snare for our youthful age, and has succeeded, is it our fault or that of the judges, who often, through envy, take away from the rich, or, through compassion, award to the poor? GETA
apart. Unless I knew the case, I could fancy he was saying the truth. DEMIPHO
Is there any judge who can possibly know your rights, when you yourself don't answer a word--as he has done? PHAEDRIA
He acted the part of an ingenuous young man; after they had come before the judges, he was not able to say what he had intended, so much did his modesty confuse him there through his bashfulness. GETA
apart. I commend him: but why do I hesitate at once to accost the old man? Going forward to DEMIPHO. Master, welcome to you! I'm glad to see you safe returned. DEMIPHO
ironically. Ah, excellent guardian! save you, stay of my family, no doubt, to whom, at my departure, I intrusted my son. GETA
For some minutes past I've heard you accusing all of us undeservedly; and me the most undeservedly of them all; for what would you have had me do for you in this affair? The laws do not allow a person who is a slave to plead; nor is there any giving evidence3 on his part. DEMIPHO
I grant all that: I admit this too--the young man, unused to courts, was bashful; I allow it: you, too, are a slave: still, if she was ever so near a relative, it was not necessary for him to marry her, but as the law enjoins, you might have given her a portion;4 she could have looked out for another husband. Why, then, in preference, did he bring a pauper home? GETA
No particular reason; but he hadn't the money. DEMIPHO
He might have borrowed it from some person or other. GETA
From some person or other? Nothing more easily said. DEMIPHO
After all, if on no other terms, on interest. GETA
Aye, aye, fine talking; as if any one would have trusted him, while you were living.5 DEMIPHO
No, it shall not be so; it must not be. Ought I to allow her to remain with him as his wife a single day? She merits no indulgence. I should like this fellow to be pointed out to me, or to be shown where he lives. GETA
Phormio, do you mean? DEMIPHO
That fellow, the woman's next friend?6 GETA
I'll have him here immediately. DEMIPHO
Where is Antipho at present? GETA
Away from home. DEMIPHO
Go, Phedria, look for him, and bring him here. PHAEDRIA
I'Il go straightway to the place. GETA
aside. To Pamphila, you mean. (Exeunt PHAEDRIA and GETA. DEMIPHO
to himself. I'll just step home to salute the house-hold Gods.7 From there, I'll go to the Forum, and summon some of my friends to give me their assistance in this affair; so that I may not be unprepared, when Phormio comes. Goes into his house.
1 Let alone "authority" "Ac mitto imperium." Cicero has quoted this passage in his Epistles to Atticus, B. ii. Ep. 19.
2 When affairs are the most prosperous)--Ver. 241. Cicero quotes this passage in the Third Book of his Tusculan Questions, and the maxim here inculcated was a favorite one with the Stoic philosophers.
4 Given her a portion)--Ver. 297. By this remark, Donatus observes that Terence artfully prepares us for the imposition of Phormio, who extorts money fiom the old gentleman on this very ground.
5 While you were living)--Ver. 302. There was a law at Athens which enacted that persons who lent money to young men in the lifetime of their parents should have no power to recover it. In line 303 of the Pseudolus, Plautus alludes to the Quinavicenarian or Laetorian Law, at Rome, which forbade credit to be given to persons under the age of twenty-five years, and deprived the creditor of all right to recover his money or goods.
6 The woman's next friend)--Ver. 307. The "patronus" was the person who undertook to conduct a lawsuit for another.
7 Salute the household Gods)--Ver. 311. It was the custom for those returning from a voyage or journey, to give thanks to their household Gods for having protected them in their absence. Thus, in the Amphitryon of Plautus, Jupiter, while personating Amphitryon, pretends, in 1. 983, that he is going to offer sacrifice for his safe return.
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