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Enter MICIO, calling to a servant within.
Storax! Aeschinus has not returned home from the entertainment last night, nor any of the servants who went to fetch him.1 To himself. Really, they say it with reason, if you are absent anywhere, or if you stay abroad at any time, 'twere better for that to happen which your wife says against you, and which in her passion she imagines in her mind, than the things which fond parents fancy. A wife, if you stay long abroad, either imagines that you are in love or are beloved, or that you are drinking and indulging your inclination, and that you only are taking your pleasure, while she herself is miserable. As for myself, in consequence of my son not having returned home, what do I imagine? In what ways am I not disturbed? For fear lest he may either have taken cold,2 or have fallen down somewhere, or have broken some limb. Oh dear! that any man should take it into his head, or find out what is dearer to him than he is to himself! And yet he is not my son, but my brother's. He is quite different in disposition. I, from my very youth upward, have lived a comfortable town life, and taken my ease; and, what they esteem a piece of luck, I have never had a wife. He, on the contrary to all this, has spent his life in the country, and has always lived laboriously and penuriously. He married a wife, and has two sons. This one, the elder of them, I have adopted. I have brought him up from an infant, and considered and loved him as my own. In him I centre my delight; this object alone is dear to me. On the other hand, I take all due care that he may hold me equally dear. I give--I overlook; I do not judge it necessary to exert my authority in every thing; in fine, the things that youth prompts to, and that others do unknown to their fathers, I have used my son not to conceal from me. For he, who, as the practice is, will dare to tell a lie to or to deceive his father, will still more dare to do so to others. I think it better to restrain children through a sense of shame and liberal treatment, than through fear. On these points my brother does not agree with me, nor do they please him. He often comes to me exclaiming, "What are you about, Micio? Why do you ruin for us this youth? Why does he intrigue? Why does he drink? Why do you supply him with the means for these goings on? You indulge him with too much dress; you are very inconsiderate." He himself is too strict, beyond what is just and reasonable; and he is very much mistaken, in my opinion, at all events, who thinks that an authority is more firm or more lasting which is established by force, than. that which is founded on affection. Such is my mode of reasoning; and thus do I persuade myself. He, who, compelled by harsh treatment, does his duty, so long as he thinks it will be known, is on his guard: if he hopes that it will be concealed, he again returns to his natural bent. He whom you have secured by kindness, acts from inclination; he is anxious to return like for like; present and absent, he will be the same. This is the duty of a parent, to accustom a son to do what is right rather of his own choice, than through fear of another. In this the father differs from the master: he who can not do this, let him confess that he does not know how to govern children. But is not this the very man of whom I was speaking? Surely it is he. I don't know why it is I see him out of spirits; I suppose he'll now be scolding as usual. Demea, I am glad to see you well.3
2 Either have taken cold: Westerhovius observes that this passage seems to be taken from one in the Miles Gloriosus of Plautus, l. 721, et seq.: "Troth, if I had had them, enough anxiety should I have had from my children; I should have been everlastingly tormented in mind: but if perchance one had had a fever, I think I should have died. Or if one in liquor had tumbled any where from his horse, I should have been afraid that he had broken his legs or neck on that occasion." It may be remarked that.there is a great resemblance between the characters of Micio here and Periplecomenus in the Miles Gloriosus.
3 To see you well: Cooke remarks, that though there are several fine passages in this speech, and good observations on human life, yet it is too long a soliloquy.
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