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Enter LYSIMACHUS and a SERVANT with some rakes, from the house of the former.
Really I will have this goat mutilated, that's giving us so much trouble at the farm. DEMIPHO
apart . Neither this omen nor this augury pleases me; I'm afraid that my wife will be just now mutilating me like the he-goat, and be acting the part of this same ape. LYSIMACHUS
Do you go hence to my country-house, and take care and deliver personally into his own hands those rakes to the bailiff Pistus himself. Take care and tell my wife that I have business in the city, so that she mayn't expect me; for do you mention that I have three causes coming on for judgment to-day. Be off, and remember to say this. SERV.
Anything more? LYSIMACHUS
That's enough. (Exit) SERVANT.
Stepping forward . Greetings to you, Lysimachus. LYSIMACHUS
Well met! and greetings to you, Demipho. How are you? How goes it? DEMIPHO
As with one that's most wretched1. LYSIMACHUS
May the Gods grant better things. DEMIPHO
As for the Gods, it's they that do this. LYSIMACHUS
What's the matter? DEMIPHO
I'd tell you, if I saw that you had time or leisure. LYSIMACHUS
Although I have business in hand, if you wish for anything, Demipho, I'm never too busy to give attention to a friend. DEMIPHO
You speak of your kindness to myself who have experienced it. How do I seem to you as to age? LYSIMACHUS
A subject for Acheron--an antiquated, decrepit old fellow. DEMIPHO
You see in a wrong light. I am a child, Lysimachus, of seven years old. LYSIMACHUS
Are you in your senses, to say that you are a child? DEMIPHO
I'm telling what's true. LYSIMACHUS
I' faith, it has this moment come into my mind what you mean to say; directly a person is old, no longer has he sense or taste; people say that he has become a child again. DEMIPHO
Why, no; for I'm twice as hearty as ever I was before. LYSIMACHUS
I' faith, it's well that so it is, and I'm glad of it. DEMIPHO
Aye, and if you did but know; with my eyes, too, I see even better now than I did formerly. LYSIMACHUS
That's good. DEMIPHO
Of a thing that's bad, I'm speaking. LYSIMACHUS
Then that same is not good. DEMIPHO
But, if I wished at all, could I venture to disclose something to you? LYSIMACHUS
Give heed, then. LYSIMACHUS
It shall be carefully done. DEMIPHO
This day, Lysimachus, I've begun to go to school to learn my letters. I know three letters already. LYSIMACHUS
How? Three letters? DEMIPHO
spelling . A M O [I am in love]. LYSIMACHUS
What! you, in love, with your hoary head, you most shocking old fellow? DEMIPHO
Whether that is hoary, or whether red, or whether black, I'm in love. LYSIMACHUS
You're now playing upon me in this, I fancy, Demipho. DEMIPHO
Cut my throat, if it's false, what I'm saying. That you may be sure I'm in love, take a knife, and do you cut off either my finger, or my ear, or my nose, or my lip: if I move me, or feel that I'm being cut, then, Lysimachus, I give you leave to torture me to death here with being in love. LYSIMACHUS
aside to the AUDIENCE . If ever you've seen a lover in a picture, why, there he is pointing at DEMIPHO : for really, in my way of thinking, an antiquated, decrepit old man is just about the same as though he were a figure painted upon a wall. DEMIPHO
Now, I suppose, you are thinking of censuring me. LYSIMACHUS
What, I, censure you? DEMIPHO
Well, there's no reason that you should censure me. Other distinguished men have done the like before. It's natural to be in love, it's natural, as well, to be considerate. Then, please, don't reprove me; no inclination impelled me to this. LYSIMACHUS
Why, I'm not reproving you. DEMIPHO
But still, don't you think any the worse of me for acting thus. LYSIMACHUS
I, think the worse of you? O, may the Deities forbid it. DEMIPHO
Still, please, only do take care of that. LYSIMACHUS
Due care is taken. DEMIPHO
Quite sure? LYSIMACHUS
You're wearing me out. Aside. This person's deranged through love. To DEMIPHO. Do you desire aught with me? DEMIPHO
I'm making haste to the harbour; for I've got business there. DEMIPHO
Good luck go with you. LYSIMACHUS
Heartily fare you well. DEMIPHO
Kindly fare you well. (Exit LYSIMACHUS.) DEMIPHO continues, to himself . And what's more, I too as well have got some business at the harbour; now, therefore, I shall be off thither. But, look! most opportunely I see my son. I'll wait for the fellow; it's necessary for me now to see him, to persuade him, as far as I possibly can, to sell her to me, and not make a present of her to his mother; for I've heard that he has brought her as a present for her. But I have need of precaution, that he mayn't any way imagine that I have set my fancy upon her.
1 As with one that's most wretched: "Quod miserrimus" Literally 'what a very wretched person does."
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