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Enter DORIPPA, from the house of LYSIMACHUS.
weeping . No woman ever will be, or ever has been, more wretched than myself in being married to such a husband. Alas! unhappy that I am! Just see, to what a husband have you committed yourself and the property you have! Just see, to what a person I brought ten talents for a portion; that I should see these things, that I should endure these insults. LYSIMACHUS
behind . I' troth, I'm undone; my wife's returned from the country already. I do believe she has seen the damsel in the house. But what she says I cannot distinctly hear from hence; I'll go nearer to her. Approaches her. DORIPPA
Ah! woe to wretched me! LYSIMACHUS
behind . Aye, and to me as well. DORIPPA
I'm utterly undone! LYSIMACHUS
behind . As for me, i' faith, to my sorrow I'm downright undone! she has seen her. May all the Gods confound you, Demipho! DORIPPA
I' troth, this was it, why my husband wouldn't go into the country. LYSIMACHUS
behind . What shall I do now, but go up and speak to her? Goes up to her. The husband bids health to his wife. Are the country people1 becoming townsfolk? DORIPPA
They are acting more decently than those who are not become country people. LYSIMACHUS
Are the people in the country at all in fault? DORIPPA
I' faith, less so than the townsfolk, and much less mischief do they meet with for themselves. LYSIMACHUS
But in what have the townsfolk done wrong? Tell me that. DORIPPA
Whose woman is that in the house? LYSIMACHUS
What, have you seen her? DORIPPA
I have seen her. LYSIMACHUS
Whose is she, do you ask? DORIPPA
I shall find out, in spite of you; i' faith, I long to know. But you are trying me on purpose. LYSIMACHUS
Do you wish me to tell you whose she is? She, she---- Aside. Ah me! upon my faith, I don't know what to say. DORIPPA
Do you hesitate? LYSIMACHUS
aside . I never saw one who did it more. DORIPPA
But why don't you tell me? LYSIMACHUS
Nay, but if I may---- DORIPPA
You ought to tell me. LYSIMACHUS
I cannot, you hurry me so; you press me as though were guilty. DORIPPA
ironically . I know you are free from all guilt. LYSIMACHUS
Speak out as boldly as you please. DORIPPA
Tell me, then. LYSIMACHUS
I, tell you? DORIPPA
Why, it must be told, in spite of everything. LYSIMACHUS
She is---- Do you wish me tell her name as well? DORIPPA
You are trifling. I've caught you in the fact; you are guilty. LYSIMACHUS
Guilty of what? If now I had no occasion for silence, now I shouldn't tell you2. Why, this same woman is -- DORIPPA
Who is she? LYSIMACHUS
Marry, come up! don't you know who she is? LYSIMACHUS
Why, yes, I do know. I've been chosen as an arbitrator with respect to her. DORIPPA
An arbitrator? Now I know; you have invited her here to consult with you. LYSIMACHUS
Why no; she has been given me as a deposit. DORIPPA
ironically . I understand. LYSIMACHUS
By my troth, it's not anything of that sort. DORIPPA
You are clearing yourself too soon3. LYSIMACHUS
aside . Too much of a business have I met with; really I'm stuck fast.
1 Are the country people: There has been much discussion as to the meaning of this passage; it seems, however, pretty clear that it is only an indirect way of asking Dorippa why she has so suddenly left the country for town. Colman thinks, with some of the older Commentators, that Dorippa pouts, and makes no return to her husband's salutation, on which he observes that the town gentry are grown as unmannerly as the country bumpkins. The context will admit of this explanation, but it seems rather far-fetched.
2 I shouldn't tell you: This he says, in his confusion, by mistake for "I should tell you."
3 Clearing yourself too soon: "Numero." Rost thinks that this means "you have quite," or "satisfactorily cleared yourself;" Dorippa, of course, saying so in an ironical manner. She seems, however, rather to allude to his defending himself before he is accused. Lysimachus pretends that some persons have disputed the possession of Pasicompsa, and that she has been left in his hands by mutual consent, till he has given his decision.
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