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Enter ANTIPHO and PAMPHILUS.
So may the Gods favour me, and preserve for me my daughters, it is a pleasure to me, Pamphilus, that I see you both return home to your native land, your business prosperously managed, yourself and your brother. PAMPHILUS
I should have heard enough from you, Antipho, did I not see that you are friendly to me; now, since I've found that you are my friend, I'll give you credence. ANTIPHO
I would invite you to my house to dinner, had not your brother told me that you were going to dine at his house to-day, when he invited myself to his house to dinner. And it would have been more proper for me to give you an entertainment on your arrival, than to engage myself to him, were it not that I didn't wish to disoblige him. Now I don't wish with words alone to insinuate myself into your favour; to-morrow you shall be at my house, both you and he, with your wives. PAMPHILUS
Then, the day after, at my house; for it was yesterday he invited me for to-day. But am I quite reconciled to you, Antipho? ANTIPHO
Since you have thus thrived in your affairs, as it behoves yourselves and persons friendly disposed to wish, let there be good-will and intercourse between us. Take you care to think of this; according as wealth is obtained by each man, so does he experience his friends. If his fortunes are flourishing, so are his friends true; if his prospects decline, so, too, do his friends decline. Fortune finds friends. from his house. EPIGNOMUS
to himself . I'm now returned. 'Tis a great delight, if you have been long from home, when you return home again, if no anxieties come in contact with your feelings. But, in my absence, so well has my wife taken care of my private affairs, that she has made me free and unembarrassed by anxieties. But, see, here's my brother Pamphilus, walking with his father-in-law. PAMPHILUS
How fares it, Epignomus? EPIGNOMUS
How with you? How long since you came into harbour? PAMPHILUS
Not very long ago. EPIGNOMUS
aside . And is it since then that he has become on smooth terms with you? ANTIPHO
overhearing . More smooth than the sea, on which you have both been borne. EPIGNOMUS
You do as you are wont to do other things. Do we unlade the ship to-day, brother? PAMPHILUS
I would rather go quietly to work. Let's rather lade ourselves with delights in their turn. How soon will the dinner be cooked? I haven't breakfasted to-day. EPIGNOMUS
Go in-doors to my house and bathe. PAMPHILUS
I'll only step home to my own house, to salute the Gods1 and my wife. If I do that as I wish, I'll forthwith return to your house. EPIGNOMUS
But your wife is hastening to come here with her sister. PAMPHILUS
'Tis very good; there will then be the less delay on that account. I shall be at your house2 this instant. ANTIPHO
to PAMPHILUS. Before you go away, in your presence I wish to relate a single story to him. EPIGNOMUS
By all means. ANTIPHO
There was once an old gentleman, just as I now am; he had two daughters, such as mine now are; they were married to two brothers, just as mine now are to yourselves. PAMPHILUS
I wonder how the story is to turn out? ANTIPHO
One of these young men had, as you to PAMPHILUS now have, a damsel, a music-girl; he had brought her from abroad, as you have now done. Now, this old gentleman was a widower, just as I now am. PAMPHILUS
Do proceed; this story is really à propos. ANTIPHO
Then said this old gentleman to him to whom the music-girl belonged, just as I now say to you---- PAMPHILUS
I'm listening3, and carefully giving heed. ANTIPHO
"I gave you my daughter, to be a comfortable bedfellow for you; now, I think it fair that one should be given me in return by you, to be my bed-fellow." PAMPHILUS
Who says that? Does he say it4 just as though you were to say it? ANTIPHO
Just as I now say it to you. "Aye, I'll give you two of them," says this young man, "if one's too little; and if you are not satisfied with two," says he, "two more shall be added." PAMPHILUS
Prithee, who says that? Does he say it just as though I were to say it? ANTIPHO
He says it just as though you were to say it. Then says this old gentleman, just as though I were to say it, "Well, give me four, if you like, so long only as, i' faith, you find them something to eat as well, that they mayn't consume my victuals." PAMPHILUS
Why surely it must have been a stingy old chap to say that, in asking food as well of him who promised them to him. ANTIPHO
Why surely, this young man must have been a good-for-nothing fellow, who forthwith, when the other asked him, refused to give him a grain of wheat. But, i' troth, the old gentleman asked what was fair, inasmuch as the dowry which he had given to his daughter, he wished him to have as an equivalent for the music-girl. PAMPHILUS
I' faith, for sure I really do think that the young man was well advised, who wouldn't give a mistress to that old fellow in return for the dower. ANTIPHO
The old gentleman wished, indeed, if he could, to bargain for their maintenance; because he couldn't, he said he wished it to be done on what terms it might. "Done," said this young man. "You do me a kindness," said the old gentleman. "Have I the thing agreed upon?" said he. "I'll do even as you wish it to be done," said the other. But I'll be off in-doors, and congratulate my daughters on your arrival. Then I'll go wash me at the bath5; there will I take all care of my old age; after that, when I've bathed, lying down, I'll await you at my leisure. (Exit.) PAMPHILUS
A funny mortal, Antipho; how cleverly he did make up his story. Even yet the rogue considers himself a young man. A mistress shall be given to the fellow, to sing to the old chap at night in bed; for, i' faith, indeed, I know not of what other use a mistress can be to him. But how fares our Parasite, Gelasimus? Is he well, too? EPIGNOMUS
I' faith, I saw the fellow not so very long ago. PAMPHILUS
How fares he? EPIGNOMUS
Like one half-starved. PAMPHILUS
Why didn't you invite the fellow to your house to dinner? EPIGNOMUS
That on my arrival I mightn't be wasting anything But see, here's the wolf in the Fable6; here he is in person with his ravenous fit. PAMPHILUS
We'll have some sport with the fellow. EPIGNOMUS
You put me in mind of a plan I had already resolved on.
1 To salute the Gods: To thank his household Gods for his escape from the perils of the sea, and his success in his speculations.
2 I shall be at your house: These words are given, in Ritschel's edition, to Epignomus. but clearly erroneously, as it is Pamphilus who is promising that, after he has run home, he will be at the house of his brother immediately.
3 I'm listening: Pamphilus says this, as the old man has probably touched him, to bespeak his attention.
4 Does he say it: He imitates the old man's manner of adapting his story to the present company, and here jokes him upon it.
5 At the bath: "Pyelum." "Pyelus" is a Greek word Latinised it signifies a vessel used in bathing, which was sufficiently large to hold the bathe in a sitting posture.
6 Wolf in the Fable: "Lupus in Fabulâ" was a common expression among the Romans, answering exactly to our very elegart Proverb, "Talk of the devil, he is sure to appear." It either alludes to the Fable where the nurse threatens that the wolf shall take the naughty child, on which he makes his appearance, but is disappointed in his expectations; or else to the well-known one of the Shepherd-boy and the Wolf.
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