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Enter PHAEDRIA from the house of LACHES, with DORUS in CHAEREA'S clothes.

PHAEDRIA
dragging him out. Come out, you villain! What, do you lag behind, you runaway? Out with you, you sorry bargain!

DORUS
crying out. Mercy, I do entreat you!

PHAEDRIA
Oh, do look at that! How the villain distorts his face. What means your coming back hither? Why this change of dress? What have you to say? If I had delayed a moment, Pythias, I shouldn't have found him at home: he had just prepared, in this fashion, for flight. Pointing at his dress.

PYTHIAS
Have you caught the fellow, pray?

PHAEDRIA
Caught him, why not?

PYTHIAS
O well done!

DORIAS
Upon my faith that really is capital!

PYTHIAS
Where is he?

PHAEDRIA
Do you ask the question? Don't you see him? Pointing to the EUNUCH.

PYTHIAS
staring about. See whom, pray?

PHAEDRIA
This fellow, to be sure pointing .

PYTHIAS
What person is this?

PHAEDRIA
The same that was brought to your house to-day.

PYTHIAS
Not one of our people has ever beheld this person with her eyes, Phaedria.

PHAEDRIA
Not beheld him?

PYTHIAS
Prithee, did you fancy that this was he who was brought to our house?

PHAEDRIA
Why, I had no other.

PYTHIAS
O dear! this one really isn't to be compared with the other. He was of a handsome and genteel appearance.

PHAEDRIA
He seemed so, just then, because he was decked out in party-colored clothes:1 now he appears ugly, for this reason--because he hasn't got them on.

PYTHIAS
Prithee, do hold your tongue; as though indeed the difference was so trifling. A young man was brought to our house to-day, whom, really, Phaedria, you would have liked to look upon. This is a withered, antiquated, lethargic, old fellow, with a speckled complexion.2

PHAEDRIA
starting. Hah! What tale is this? You'll so befool me that I sha'n't know what I bought. To DORUS. How now, sirrah, did I not buy you?

DORUS
You did buy me.

PYTHIAS
Bid him answer me in my turn.

PHAEDRIA
Question him.

PYTHIAS
to DORUS. Did you come here to-day to our house? DORUS shakes his head. He says, no. But it was the other one that came, about sixteen years of age; whom Parmeno brought with him.

PHAEDRIA
to DORUS. Well now, in the first place tell me this, where did you get that dress that you have on? What, are you silent? Monster of a fellow, are you not going to speak? Shakes him.

DORUS
Chaerea came.

PHAEDRIA
What, my brother?

DORUS
Yes.

PHAEDRIA
When?

DORUS
To-day.

PHAEDRIA
How long since?

DORUS
Just now.

PHAEDRIA
With whom?

DORUS
With Parmeno.

PHAEDRIA
Did you know him before?

DORUS
No.

PHAEDRIA
How did you know he was my brother?

DORUS
Parmeno said he was. He gave me these clothes.

PHAEDRIA
I'm undone!

DORUS
He himself put on mine; afterward, they both went out together.

PYTHIAS
Now are you quite satisfied that I am sober, and that we have told you no falsehood? Is it now sufficiently evident that the girl has been ravished?

PHAEDRIA
Avaunt, you beast, do you believe what he says?

PYTHIAS
What is there to believe? The thing speaks for itself.

PHAEDRIA
apart to DORUS. Step aside a little this way. Do you hear? DORUS steps aside. A little further still. That will do. Now tell me this once more; did Chaerea take your clothes off you?

DORUS
He did.

PHAEDRIA
And did he put them on?

DORUS
He did.

PHAEDRIA
And was he brought here instead of you?

DORUS
Yes.

PHAEDRIA
Great Jupiter! O wicked and audacious fellow!

PYTHIAS
Woe unto me! Now at last will you believe that we have been insulted in a disgraceful manner?

PHAEDRIA
It is no wonder that you believe what the fellow says. Aside. What I'm to do I know not. Aside to DORUS. Hark you, deny it all again. Aloud. Can I not this day extract the truth from you? Did you really see my brother Chaerea?

DORUS
No.

PHAEDRIA
He can't be brought to confess without being punished, I see: follow me this way. At one moment he affirms, at another denies. Aside. Ask pardon of me.

DORUS
Indeed, I do entreat you, Phaedria.

PHAEDRIA
kicking him. Be off in-doors.

DORUS
Oh! oh!

PHAEDRIA
aside. How in any other fashion to get decently out of this I don't know; for really it's all up with me. Aloud, with pretended indignation. Will you be trifling with me even here, you knave? Follows DORUS into the house.

PYTHIAS
I'm as certain that this is the contrivance of Parmeno as that I'm alive.

DORIAS
So it is, no doubt.

PYTHIAS
I'faith, I'll find out a method to-day to be even with him. But now, what do you think ought to be done, Dorias?

DORIAS
Do you mean with regard to this girl?

PYTHIAS
Yes; whether I ought to mention it or be silent?

DORIAS
Upon my word, if you are prudent, you won't know what you do know, either about the Eunuch or the girl's misfortune. By this method you'll both rid yourself of all perplexity, and have done a service to her.3 Say this only, that Dorus has run away.

PYTHIAS
I'll do so.

DORIAS
But don't I see Chremes? Thais will be here just now.

PYTHIAS
Why so?

DORIAS
Because when I came away from there, a quarrel had just commenced between them.

PYTHIAS
Take in these golden trinkets; I shall learn from him what's the matter. DORIAS takes the casket into the house.

1 In party-colored clothes: It was the custom to dress Eunuchs in party-colored clothes of bright hue. Most probably it was from them that the "motley" descended to the fools and buffoons of the Middle Ages.

2 With a speckled complexion: "Colore stellionino;" probably having spots or freckles on his face like a "stellio" or "lizard."

3 Have done a service to her: Though some would have "illi" here to refer to the damsel, and others again to Phaedria, it is pretty clear that Madame Dacier is right in suggesting that Thais is the person meant.

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hide References (5 total)
  • Commentary references to this page (2):
    • E. T. Merrill, Commentary on Catullus, 64
    • Charles Simmons, The Metamorphoses of Ovid, Books XIII and XIV, 13.423
  • Cross-references to this page (3):
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