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Enter TRANIO, at a distance.
to himself . Supreme Jove, with all his might and resources, is seeking for me and Philolaches, my master's son, to be undone. Our hopes are destroyed; nowhere is there any hold for courage; not even Salvation1 now could save us if she wished. Such an immense mountain of woe have I just now seen at the harbour: my master has arrived from abroad; Tranio is undone! To the. AUDIENCE. Is there any person who'd like to make gain of a little money, who could this day endure to take my place in being tortured? Where are those fellows hardened to a flogging, the wearers- out of iron chains, or those, who, for the consideration of three didrachms, would get beneath besieging towers2, where some are in the way of having their bodies pierced with fifteen spears? I'll give a talent to that man who shall be the first to run to the cross for me; but on condition that twice his feet, twice his arms3 are fastened there. When that shall have been done, then ask the money down of me. But am I not a wretched fellow, not at full speed to be running home? PHILOLACHES
Here come the provisions; see, here's Tranio; he's come back from the harbour. TRANIO
running . Philolaches! PHILOLACHES
What's the matter? TRANIO
Both I and you---- PHILOLACHES
What about "Both I and you?" TRANIO
Are undone! PHILOLACHES
Why so? TRANIO
Your father's here. PHILOLACHES
What is it I hear of you? TRANIO
We are finished up. Your father's come, I say. PHILOLACHES
starting up. Where is he, I do entreat you? TRANIO
He's coming. PHILOLACHES
Coming? Who says so? Who has seen him? TRANIO
I saw him myself, I tell you. PHILOLACHES
Woe unto me! what am I about? TRANIO
Why the plague now do you ask me what you are about? Taking your place at table, of course. PHILOLACHES
Did you see him? TRANIO
I my own self, I tell you. PHILOLACHES
For certain? TRANIO
For certain, I tell you. PHILOLACHES
I'm undone, if you are telling the truth. TRANIO
What good could it be to me if I told a lie? PHILOLACHES
What shall I do now? TRANIO
pointing to the table and couches . Order all these things to be removed from here. Pointing. Who's that asleep there? PHILOLACHES
Arouse him, Delphium. DELPHIUM
bawling out in his ear . Callidamates! Callidamates! awake! CALL. raising himself a little . I am awake; give me something to drink. DELPHIUM
Awake; the father of Philolaches has arrived from abroad. CALLIDAMATES
I hope his father's well. PHILOLACHES
He is well indeed; but I am utterly undone. CALLIDAMATES
You, utterly undone? How can that be? PHILOLACHES
By heavens! do get up, I beg of you; my father has arrived. CALLIDAMATES
Your father has come? Bid him go back again. What business had he to come back here so soon? PHILOLACHES
What am I to do? My father will, just now, be coming and unfortunately finding me amid drunken carousals, and the house full of revellers and women. It's a shocking bad job, to be digging a well at the last moment, just when thirst has gained possession of your throat; just as I, on the arrival of my father, wretch that I am, am now enquiring what I am to do. TRANIO
pointing at CALLIDAMATES . Why look, he has laid down his head and gone to sleep. Do arouse him. PHILOLACHES
shaking him . Will you awake now? My father, I tell you, will be here this instant. CALLIDAMATES
How say you? Your father? Give me my shoes, that I may take up arms. On my word, I'll kill your father this instant. PHILOLACHES
seizing hold of him . You're spoiling the whole business; do hold your tongue. To DELPHIUM. Prithee, do carry him off in your arms into the house. CALLIDAMATES
To DELPHIUM, who is lifting him up . Upon my faith, I'll be making an utensil of you just now, if you don't find me one. He is led off into the house. PHILOLACHES
I'm undone! TRANIO
Be of good courage; I'll cleverly find a remedy for this alarm. PHILOLACHES
I'm utterly ruined! TRANIO
Do hold your tongue; I'll think of something by means of which to alleviate this for you. Are you satisfied, if on his arrival I shall so manage your father, not only that he shall not enter, but even that he shall run away to a distance from the house? Do you only be off from here in-doors, and remove these things from here with all haste. PHILOLACHES
Where am I to be? TRANIO
Where you especially desire: with her pointing to PHILEMATIUM ; with this girl, too, you'll be. Pointing to DELPHEIUM. DELPHIUM
How then? Are we to go away from here? TRANIO
Not far from here, Delphium. For carouse away in the house not a bit the less on account of this. PHILOLACHES
Ah me! I'm in a sweat with fear as to how these fine words are to end! TRANIO
Can you not be tranquil in your mind, and do as I bid you? PHILOLACHES
I can be. TRANIO
In the first place of all, Philematium, do you go in-doors; and you, Delphium. DELPHIUM
We'll both be obedient to you. They go into the house. TRANIO
May Jupiter grant it so! Now then, do you give attention as to what I'd have attended to. In the first place, then, before anything, cause the house to be shut up at once. Take care and don't let any one whisper a word indoors. PHILOLACHES
Care shall be taken. TRANIO
Just as though no living being were dwelling within the house. PHILOLACHES
Very well. TRANIO
And let no one answer, when the old gentleman knocks at the door. PHILOLACHES
Anything else? TRANIO
Order the master-key4 of the house to be brought me at once from within; this house I'll lock here on the outside. PHILOLACHES
To your charge I commit myself, Tranio, and my hopes. He goes into the house, and the things are removed from the stage. TRANIO
to himself . It matters not a feather whether a patron or a dependant is the nearest at hand for that man who has got no courage in his breast. For to every man, whether very good or very bad, even at a moment's notice, it is easy to act with craft; but this must be looked to, this is the duty of a prudent man, that what has been planned and done in craftiness, may all come about smoothly and without mishap; so that he may not have to put up with anything by reason of which he might be loth to live; just as I shall manage, that, from the confusion which we shall here create, all shall really go on smoothly and tranquilly, and not produce us any inconvenience in the results. Enter a BOY, from the house. But, why have you come out? I'm undone! (The A BOY.
shows him the key.) O very well, you've obeyed my orders most opportunely. A BOY.
He bade me most earnestly to entreat you some way or other to scare away his father, that he may not enter the house. TRANIO
Even more, tell him this, that I'll cause that he shan't venture even to look at the house, and to take to flight, covering up his head5 with the greatest alarm. Give me the key taking it , and be off in-doors, and shut to the door, and I'll lock it on this side. The BOY goes into the house, and TRANIO locks the door. Bid him now come forthwith. For the old gentleman here while still alive this day will I institute games6 in his presence, such as I fancy there will never be for him when he's dead. Moving away. I'll go away from the door to this spot; hence, I'll look out afar in which direction to lay the burden on the old fellow on his arrival. Exit to a little distance.
1 Not even Salvation: See the Captivi, l. 535, and the Note to the passage.
2 Beneath besieging towers: -- "Falæ" were wooden towers, placed on the top of walls or fortified places; of course the attack of these would imply extreme danger to those who attempted it.
3 Twice his feet, twice his arms: Some suppose that by "bis pedes, bis brachia," he means that two nails were to be driven into each leg and foot. It seems more probable that he means two for the feet and two for the hands.
4 Order the mister-key: "Clavem--Laconicam;" literally, "the Laconian key." This was a kind of key originally invented by the Spartans, by means of which a door could be locked from the outside, but not from within. According to some, this key was called "Laconica," from its rough appearance, in allusion to the inelegant exterior of the Spartans. In his Thesmophoriazusæ, Aristophanes informs us that these keys had three wards.
5 Covering up his head: With the ancients, when either ashamed or alarmed at anything, it was the custom to throw a part of the dress over the head, as a hood.
6 Will I institute games: , He plays on the double meaning of "ludos," which means either "tricks," or "funerai games" in honor of the dead, according to the context.
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