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Enter, at a distance, LACHES and PHIDIPPUS.
Did you not say, just now, that she was waiting for my son's return? PHIDIPPUS
Just so. LACHES
They say that he has arrived; let her return. PAMPHILUS
apart to himself aloud. What excuse to make to my father for not taking her back, I don't know! LACHES
turning round. Who was it I heard speaking here? PAMPHILUS
apart. I am resolved to persevere in the course I determined to pursue. LACHES
'Tis the very person about whom I was talking to you. PAMPHILUS
Health to you, my father. LACHES
Health to you, my son. PHIDIPPUS
I am glad that you have returned, Pamphilus, and the more especially so, as you are safe and well. PAMPHILUS
I believe you. LACHES
Have you but just arrived? PAMPHILUS
Only just now. LACHES
Tell me, what has our cousin Phania left us? PAMPHILUS
Why really, i' faith, he was a man very much devoted to pleasure while he lived; and those who are so, don't much benefit their heirs, but for themselves leave this commendation: While he lived, he lived well.1 LACHES
So then, you have brought home nothing more2 than a single sentiment? PAMPHILUS
Whatever he has left, we are the gainers by it. LACHES
Why no, it has proved a loss; for I could have wished him alive and well. PHIDIPPUS
You may wish that with impunity; he'll never come to life again; and after all I know which of the two you would prefer. LACHES
Yesterday, he pointing to PHIDIPPUS desired Philumena to be fetched to his house. Whispers to PHIDIPPUS, nudging him with his elbow. Say that you desired it. PHIDIPPUS
aside to LACHES Don't punch me so. To PAMPHILUS. I desired it. LACHES
But he'll now send her home again. PHIDIPPUS
Of course. PAMPHILUS
I know the whole affair, and how it happened; I heard it just now, on my arrival. LACHES
Then may the Gods confound those spiteful people who told this news with such readiness! PAMPHILUS
to PHIDIPPUS. I am sure that it has been my study, that with reason no slight might possibly be committed by your family; and if I were now truthful to mention of how faithful, loving, and tender a disposition I have proved toward her, I could do so truly, did I not rather wish that you should learn it of herself; for by that method you will be the more ready to place confidence in my disposition when she, who is now acting unjustly toward me, speaks favorably of me. And that through no fault of mine this separation has taken place, I call the Gods to witness. But since she considers that it is not befitting her to give way to my mother, and with readiness to conform to her temper, and as on no other terms it is possible for good feeling to exist between them, either my mother must be separated, Phidippus, from me, or else Philumena. Now affection urges me rather to consult my mother's pleasure. LACHES
Pamphilus, your words have reached my ears not otherwise than to my satisfaction, since I find that you post-pone all considerations for your parent. But take care, Pamphilus, lest impelled by resentment, you carry matters too far. PAMPHILUS
How, impelled by resentment, could, I now be biased against her who never has been guilty of any thing toward me, father, that I could not wish, and who has often deserved as well as I could desire? I both love and praise and exceedingly regret her, for I have found by experience that she was of a wondrously engaging disposition with regard to myself; and I sincerely wish that she may spend the remainder of her life with a husband who may prove more fortunate than me, since necessity thus tears her from me. PHIDIPPUS
'Tis in your own power to prevent that. LACHES
If you are in your senses, order her to come back. PAMPHILUS
It is not my intention, father; I shall study my mother's interests. Going away. LACHES
Whither are you going? Stay, stay, I tell you; whither are you going? (Exit PAMPHILUS.) PHIDIPPUS
What obstinacy is this? LACHES
Did I not tell you, Phidippus, that he would take this matter amiss? It was for that reason I entreated you to send your daughter back. PHIDIPPUS
Upon my faith, I did not believe he would be so brutish; does he now fancy that I shall come begging to him? If so it is that he chooses to take back his wife, why, let him; if he is of another mind, let him pay back her portion,3 and take himself off. LACHES
Just look at that, now; you too are getting obstinate and huffish. PHIDIPPUS
speaking with anger. You have returned to us in a very ungovernable mood, Pamphilus. LACHES
This anger will depart; although he has some reason for being vexed. PHIDIPPUS
Because you have had a windfall, a little money, your minds are elevated. LACHES
Are you going to fall out with me, too? PHIDIPPUS
Let him consider, and bring me word to-day, whether he will or will not, that she may belong to another if she does not to him. Goes hastily into his own house. LACHES
Phidippus, stay; listen to a few words-- LACHES
He's off; what matters it to me? In fine, let them manage it between themselves,just as they please; since neither my son nor he pay any regard to me; they care but little for what I say. I'll carry the quarrel to my wife, by whose planning all these things have been brought about, and against her I will vent all the vexation that I feel.
1 He lived well: This is living well in the sense used by the "Friar of orders gray." "Who leads a good life is sure to live well."
2 Brought home nothing more: Colman remarks that this passage is taken notice of by Donatus as a particularly happy stroke of character; and indeed the idea of a covetous old man gaping for a fat legacy, and having his mouth stopped by a moral precept, is truly comic.
3 Pay back her portion: As was universally done on a separation by agreement.
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