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In many ways have I thought it over with myself, and thus I think it is; a man your friend, who is a friend such as the name imports--except the Gods--nothing does excel him. By fact have I experienced it so to be. For when I departed hence to Ephesus ('tis now almost two years ago it happened), from Ephesus I sent letters hither to my friend Pistoclerus, requesting that he would find out my mistress Bacchis for me. I hear that he has found her, as my servant Chrysalus has brought me word. How aptly, too, has he framed a device against my father about the gold, that I may have abundance in my amour. I see 'tis right1 that I should make a due return. 'Tis better for you to be styled extravagant than ungrateful; but, i' faith, in my way of thinking at least, there's nothing more extravagant than the ungrateful man. The former the good will praise, the latter even the bad will censure. 'Twere better for an ill-doer to escape than for a benefactor to be deserted. For this reason, then, it behoves me to take the greater care; I needs must be on the watch. Now, Mnesilochus, the sample is on view, now the contest is being decided, whether you are or are not such as you ought to be; good or bad, of whichever kind; just or unjust, penurious or liberal, fretful or complying. Take you care, if you please, lest you let your servant exce. you in doing well. Whatever you shall prove, I warn you, you shall not be concealed. But see, I perceive my friend's father and his tutor coming this way. I'll listen what matter 'tis they are upon. He retires aside.
1 I see 'tis right: The whole of the passage, from the word "aequom," in this line, to "celabis," in 1. 403, is supposed by Ritschel not to have been the composition of Plautus, but of some other ancient poet. The passage is in a most confused state, and the reading suggested by Rost has been here adopted, the lines being read in the following order: 393, 396, 394, 397, 395, 398.
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