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Enter PAMPHILUS and PARMENO, from the house of LACHES, on the other side of the stage.
Once more, take care, will you, my dear Parmeno, that you have brought me a faithful and distinct account, so as not to allure me for a short time to indulge in these transient joys. PARMENO
I have taken care. PAMPHILUS
For certain? PARMENO
For certain. PAMPHILUS
I am quite a God, if it is so! PARMENO
You'll find it true. PAMPHILUS
Just stay, will you; I fear that I'm believing one thing, and you are telling another. PARMENO
I am staying. PAMPHILUS
I think you said to this effect--that Myrrhina had discovered that Bacchis has her ring. PARMENO
It is the fact. PAMPHILUS
The one I formerly gave to her; and she has desired you to tell me this: is such the fact? PARMENO
Such is so, I tell you. PAMPHILUS
Who is there happier than I, and, in fact, more full of joyousness? What am I to present you for these tidings? What?--what? I know not. PARMENO
But I know. PAMPHILUS
Why, nothing; for neither in the tidings nor in myself do I know of there being any advantage to you. PAMPHILUS
What! am I to suffer you, who have caused me, when dead, to be restored from the shades to life--to leave me unrewarded? Oh, you deem me too thankless! But look--I see Bacchis standing before the door; she's waiting for me, I suppose; I'll accost her. BACCHIS
Save you, Pamphilus! PAMPHILUS
Oh Bacchis! Oh my Bacchis--my preserver! BACCHIS
It is a fortunate thing, and gives me great delight. PAMPHILUS
By your actions, you give me reason to believe you, and so much do you retain your former charming qualities, that wherever you go, the meeting with you, your company, your conversation, always give pleasure. BACCHIS
And you, upon my word, possess your former manners and disposition; so much so that not a single man living is more engaging than you. PAMPHILUS
laughing. Ha, ha, ha! do you tell me so? BACCHIS
You had reason, Pamphilus, for being so fond of your wife. For never before to-day did I set eyes upon her, so as to know her: she seems a very gentle person. PAMPHILUS
Tell the truth. BACCHIS
So may the Gods bless me, Pamphilus! PAMPHILUS
Tell me, have you as yet told any of these matters to my father? BACCH. Not a word. PAMPHILUS
Nor is there need, in fact; therefore keep it a secret: I don't wish it to be the case here as it is in the Comedies,1 where every thing is known to every body. Here, those' who ought to know, know already; but those who ought not to know, shall neither hear of it nor know it. BACCHIS
Nay more, I will give you a proof why you may suppose that this may be the more easily concealed. Myrrhina has told Phidippus to this effect--that she has given credit to my oath, and that, in consequence, in her eyes you are exculpated. PAMPHILUS
Most excellent; and I trust that this matter will turn out according to our wishes. PARMENO
Master, may I not be allowed to know from you what is the good that I have done to-day, or what it is you are talking about? PAMPHILUS
You may not. PARMENO
Still I suspect. "I restore him, when dead, from the shades below."2 In what way? PAMPHILUS
You don't know, Parmeno, how much you have benefited me to-day, and from what troubles you have extricated me. PARMENO
Nay, but indeed I do know: and I did not do it without design. PAMPHILUS
I know that well enough ironically . BACCHIS
Could Parmeno, from negligence, omit any thing that ought to be done? PAMPHILUS
Follow me in, Parmeno. PARMENO
Ill follow; for my part, I have done more good to-day, without knowing it, than ever I did, knowingly, in all my life. Coming forward. Grant us your applause.3
1 In the Comedies: Madame Dacier observes on this passage: "Terence here, with reason, endeavors to make the most of a circumstance peculiar to his Play. In other Comedies, every body, Actors as well as Spectators, are at last equally acquainted with the whole intrigue and catastrophe, and it would even be a defect in the plot were there any obscurity remaining. But Terence, like a true genius, makes himself superior to rules, and adds new beauties to his piece by forsaking them. His reasons for concealing from part of the personages of the Drama the principal incident of the plot, are so plausible and natural, that he could not have followed the beaten track without offending against manners and decency. This bold and uncommon turn is one of the chief graces of the Play."
2 From the shades below: Parmeno says this, while pondering upon the meaning of all that is going on, and thereby expresses his impatience to become acquainted with it. He therefore repeats what Pamphilus has before said in the twelfth line of the present Act, about his having been restored from death to life by his agency.
3 Your applause: We may here remark, that the Hecyra is the only one of the Plays of Terence with a single plot.
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