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Enter PHRONESIUM and ASTAPHIUM, from the house of the former.
to herself . A woman is a spoony and a trolloping slut, if she hasn't a view to her own interests, even in her cups. If her other limbs are soaked in wine, at least let her head be sober. But it's a vexation to me that my hair-dresser has been thus badly treated. She has been telling me that this child has been discovered to be the son of dinarchus. When I heard that * * * * She moves, as if going. DINARCHUS
apart . She's going, in whose hands are all my fortune and my children. PHRONESIUM
seeing DINARCHUS . I see him who has constituted me the guardian of his property. DINARCHUS
coming forward . Madam, here am I. PHRONESIUM
It certainly is he. What's the matter, my love? DINARCHUS
No love; cease your trifling. I've nothing now to do with that subject. PHRONESIUM
By my faith, I know what you want, and what you desire, and what you ask for. You want to see me; you desire to caress me; you ask for the child. DINARCHUS
aside . Immortal Gods! how plain she speaks. How, in a few words, has she hit upon the very point! PHRONESIUM
As for me, I know that you are betrothed, and that you have a son by your betrothed, and that a wife is now going to be married by you; that now your thoughts are elsewhere, that myself you are going to consider as forsaken. But still consider, the little mouse, how sagacious an animal it is, which never entrusts its life to one hole only; inasmuch as, if one hole is blocked up, it seeks another as a place of refuge. DINARCHUS
When there's leisure, then I'll talk to you on those matters more at large; at present, give me up the child. PHRONESIUM
No; do, there's a dear, let it be at my house the few next days. DINARCHUS
Certainly not. PHRONESIUM
Do, there's a dear. DINARCHUS
What occasion is there? PHRONESIUM
It's for my interest. This for the next three days at least, until the Captain is circumvented somehow; for that same purpose. If I get anything, it shall be for your own advantage as well. If you take the child away, all hope in the Captain will evaporate from my heart. DINARCHUS
I would have that done; but, when it's taken home, to do it again1, if I were to wish it, I have not the opportunity. Now make use of the child, and take care of it, because you have the means by which to take care of it. PHRONESIUM
Upon my faith, I do love you much for this matter. When you shall be afraid of a scolding at home, do you take shelter here in my house. At least, prove a friend, to help me to a profitable speculation. DINARCHUS
moving . Kindly farewell, Phronesium. PHRONESIUM
Won't you any longer call me "apple of your eve?" DINARCHUS
That name too, meanwhile, shall be repeated full oft. PHRONESIUM
Do you wish for anything else? DINARCHUS
Fare thee well; when I have leisure, I'll come to your house. (Exit.) PHRONESIUM
Well, he's gone away from here, and has taken his departure; we may say here whatever we please. 'Tis a true proverb that's quoted, "Where the friends are, there are the riches." Through him, there's still some hope that the Captain may be duped to-day; whom, by the powers, I love better than my own self,--so long as I get out of him what I want: since, when we have got much, not much of it is seen that has been given. Such are the brilliant prospects of Courtesans! ASTAPHIUM
Hush! hush! be quiet. PHRONESIUM
Prithee, what is it? ASTAPHIUM
The father of the child is coming. PHRONESIUM
Well, let him come here. Let him, if it only is he, let him come himself straight up to me here just as he chooses. If he does come, for very sure, i' faith, I'll do him to-day with some cunning tricks. They go into the house.
1 To do it again: "Refacere." This, in most of the Editions, is printed as "re facere," "to do in reality;" but that does not seem to be the proper reading. Dinarchus appears to mean, "You may keep the child for the present, in order to carry out your plans; for when I have once taken it home I shall not be able to do it again"--or, in other words, "lend it to you for your purposes."
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