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Enter PHIDIPPUS from his house.
speaking to PHILUMENA within. Although I am aware, Philumena, that I have the right to compel you to do what I order, still, being swayed by the feelings of a father, I will prevail upon myself to yield to you, and not oppose your inclination. LACHES
And look, most opportunely I see Phidippus; I'll presently know from him how it is. Accosting him. Phidippus, although I am aware that I am particularly indulgent to all my family, still it is not to that degree to let my good nature corrupt their minds. And if you would do the same, it would be more for your own interest and ours. At present I see that you are under the control of those women. PHIDIPPUS
Just look at that, now ! LACHES
I waited on you yesterday about your daughter; you sent me away just as wise as I came. It does not become you, if you wish this alliance to continue, to conceal your resentment. If there is any fault on our side, disclose it; either by clearing ourselves, or excusing it, we shall remedy these matters for you, yourself the judge. But if this is the cause of detaining her at your house, because she is ill, then I think that you do me an injustice, Phidippus, if you are afraid lest she should not be attended with sufficient care at my house. But, so may the Gods prosper me, I do not yield in this to you, although you are her father, that you can wish her well more than I do, and that on my son's account, who I know values her not less than his own self. Nor, in fact, is it unknown to you, how much, as I believe, it will vex him, if he comes to know1 of this; for this reason, I wish to have her home before he returns. PHIDIPPUS
Laches, I am sensible of both your carefulness and your good-will, and I am persuaded that all you say is just as you say: and I would have you believe me in this; I am anxious for her to return to you, if I possibly can by any means effect it. LACHES
What is it prevents you from effecting it? Come, now, does she make any complaint against her husband? PHIDIPPUS
By no means; for when I urged it still more strongly, and attempted to constrain her by force to return, she solemnly protested that she couldn't possibly remain with you, while Pamphilus was absent. Probably each has his own failing; I am naturally of an indulgent disposition; I can not thwart. my own family. LACHES
turning to his wife, who stands apart. Ha! Sostrata!2 SOSTRATA
sighing deeply. Alas! wretched me! LACHES
to PHIDIPPUS. Is this your final determination ? PHIDIPPUS
For the present, at least, as it seems; but have you any thing else to say? for I have some business that obliges me to go at once to the Forum. LACHES
I'll go with you. (Exeunt.)
1 If he comes to know: Donatus observes that the Poet shows his art in here preparing a reason to be assigned by Pamphilus for his pretended discontent at the departure of his wife.
2 Ha! Sostrata: Colman observes on this passage: "This is extremely artful. The answer of Philumena, as related by Phidippus, contains an ample vindication of Pamphilus. What, then, can we suppose could make the house so disagreeable to her in his absence, but the behavior of Sostrata? She declares her innocence; yet appearances are all against her. Supposing this to be the first Act of the Play, it would be impossible for a Comedy to open in a more interesting manner."
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