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EUCLIO
What person is it that speaks there?

LYCONIDES
'Tis I, wretch that I am.

EUCLIO
Yes, and so am I, and wretchedly ruined, whose lot is misfortune so great and sorrow.

LYCONIDES
Be of good courage.

EUCLIO
How, prithee, can I be so?

LYCONIDES
Because that deed which is afflicting your mind, I did it, and I confess it.

EUCLIO
What is it I hear from you?

LYCONIDES
That which is the truth.

EUCLIO
What evil, young man, have I deserved, by reason of which you should do thus, and go to ruin both me and my children?

LYCONIDES
A Divinity was my prompter; he prompted me to do it1.

EUCLIO
How?

LYCONIDES
I confess that I have done wrong, and I know that I deserve censure; for that reason I'm come to beseech you, that, with feelings assuaged, you will pardon me.

EUCLIO
Why did you dare do so, to touch that which was not your own?

LYCONIDES
What do you wish to be done? The thing has been done; it can't be undone. I believe that the Gods willed it, for if they hadn't willed it, I know it wouldn't have happened.

EUCLIO
But I believe that the Gods have willed that I should be the death of you in fetters.

LYCONIDES
Don't say that!

EUCLIO
What business then have you to touch what is my own against my will?

LYCONIDES
Because I did it under the evil influence of wine and love.

EUCLIO
Most audacious man, that you should dare to come here to me with that speech, you impudent fellow! For if this is lawful, so that you may be able to excuse it--let us openly, in broad daylight, plunder their golden trinkets from ladies--after that, if we are caught, let us excuse ourselves, that we did it when intoxicated, by reason of being in love. Too cheap are wine and love, if one in liquor and in love is allowed to do with impunity whatever he pleases.

LYCONIDES
But I come to you of my own accord to supplicate you on account of my folly.

EUCLIO
Persons don't please me, who, when they've done wrong, excuse themselves. You knew that you had no right there; you oughtn't to have touched2.

LYCONIDES
Therefore, inasmuch as I did dare to touch, I make no objection to keep by all means.

EUCLIO
You, keep what is my own against my will?

LYCONIDES
Against your will, I do not ask; but I think that that which was yours ought to be mine3. Moreover, Euclio, you'll find, I say, that mine it ought to be.

EUCLIO
Now really, on my word, I'll drag you to the Prætor and take proceedings4 against you, unless you make restitution.

LYCONIDES
Make restitution of what to you?

EUCLIO
What you've stolen of mine.

LYCONIDES
I, stolen of yours? Whence, or what is it?

EUCLIO
So shall Jupiter love you, how ignorant you are about it!

LYCONIDES
Unless, indeed, you tell me what you are enquiring for.

EUCLIO
The pot of gold, I say, I'm asking back of you, which you confessed to me that you had taken away.

LYCONIDES
By my faith, I've neither said so, nor have I done it.

EUCLIO
Do you deny it?

LYCONIDES
Yes, I do utterly deny it; for neither the gold nor yet this pot, what it means, do I know or understand.

EUCLIO
Give me up that pot which you took away from the wood of Sylvanus. Come, give it me back! I would rather give you the one-half of it. Although you are a thief to me, I'll not be hard upon the thief. Give it me back.

LYCONIDES
You are not in your senses, to call me a thief; I thought, Euclio, that you had come to the knowledge of another matter; as concerns myself, it is a great matter which I wish to speak with you upon at your leisure, if you are at leisure.

EUCLIO
Tell me, in good faith, have you not stolen that gold?

LYCONIDES
In good faith, No.

EUCLIO
Nor know who has taken it away?

LYCONIDES
In good faith, No, to that as well.

EUCLIO
But if you should know who has taken it away, will you discover it to me?

LYCONIDES
I will do so.

EUCLIO
Nor accept of a share from him, whoever he is, for yourself, nor harbour the thief?

LYCONIDES
Even so.

EUCLIO
What if you deceive me?

LYCONIDES
Then may great Jupiter do unto me what he pleases.

EUCLIO
I'm satisfied. Come, then, say what you wish.

LYCONIDES
If you know me but imperfectly, of what family I'm born: Megadorus here is my uncle; Antimachus was my father; my name is Lyconides; Eunomia is my mother.

EUCLIO
I know the family; now, what do you want?

LYCONIDES
I want to know this. You have a daughter of yours?

EUCLIO
Why, yes, she's there at home.

LYCONIDES
You have, I think, recently betrothed her to my uncle?

EUCLIO
You have the whole matter.

LYCONIDES
He has now bade me announce to you his refusal of her5.

EUCLIO
A refusal, when the things are got ready, and the wedding's prepared? May all the immortal Gods and Goddesses confound him, so far as is possible, by reason of whom this day, unhappy wretch that I am, I have lost so much gold!

LYCONIDES
Be of good heart, and speak in kindly terms; now, a thing--may it turn out well and prosperously to you and your daughter.--May the Gods so grant--say.

EUCLIO
May the Gods so grant.

LYCONIDES
And for me, too, may the Gods so grant it. Now, then, do you listen. The man that admits a fault is not so much to be despised, if he feels a sense of shame when he excuses himself. Now, Euclio, I do beseech you, that what unawares I have done wrong towards yourself or your daughter, you will grant me pardon for the same, and give her for a wife to me, as the laws demand. I confess that I did violence to your daughter on the festival of Ceres, by reason of wine and the impulse of youth.

EUCLIO
Woe is me! What shocking deed do I hear of you?

LYCONIDES
Why do you exclaim? You whom I've made to be a grandfather now at the very wedding of your daughter. For your daughter has just been brought to bed in the ninth month after--calculate the number6; for that reason, in my behalf, has my uncle sent his refusal. Go in-doors; enquire whether it is so or not as I say.

EUCLIO
I'm undone utterly; so very many misfortunes unite themselves for my undoing. I'll go in-doors, that I may know what of this is true. He goes into his house.

LYCONIDES
I'll follow you this instant. This matter seems now to be pretty nearly in the haven of safety. Now, where to say my servant Strobilus is, I don't know, but yet I'll wait here still a little while; after that I'll follow this man indoors; now, in the meantime, I'll give him leisure to enquire of the nurse about my doings, the attendant of his daughter, whether she knows the truth. Moves as if going.

1 Prompted me to do it: "Ad illam illexit." Literally, "enticed me to her." The humour of the whole scene turns upon Euclio and Lyconides mistaking the meaning of each other--the former thinking that the latter is speaking about the "aula," or "pot," while the latter fancies that Euclio is amenting the mishap of his daughter. In the Latin language, the word "aula" is or the feminine gender, by reason of which the misunderstanding is much more natural than it would be in the English language. In consequence, some little latitude in the translation is absolutely necessary to sustain the equivoque of the original

2 You oughtn't to have touched: "Tn illam scibas non tuam esse: non attactam aportuit." This literally, speaking of the pot (aula) as of the feminine gender, would mean "you knew that she was not your own; it was not fitting for her to be touched." This of course helps to confirm Lyconides in the impression that Euclio is speaking of his daughter.

3 Ought to be mine: Lyconides here alludes to a law which prevailed at Rome, whereby, when a person had seduced a freeborn female, he was obliged either to marry her himself without a portion, or else to give her such a portion as was suitable to her station. Lyconides means to say that he shall exercise the former right.

4 And take proceedings: "Scribam dicam." "Dica" was a name derived from the Greek, for an "indictment," "writ," or "process," by which in action was commenced.

5 His refusal of her: "Repudium." The rejection of a person after being betrothed was called "repudium;" while the putting-away of a marned woman by her husband was called "divortium."

6 Calculate the number: "Numeram cape." He probably means by this, "calculate the time" since the festival of Ceres, when this misfortone happened.

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