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Enter DEMIPHO and CHREMES.
Well, have you brought your daughter with you, Chremes, for whom you went to Lemnos? CHREMES
Why not? CHREMES
When her mother found that I staid here longer than usual, and at the same time the age of the girl did not suit with my delays, they told me that she, with all her family, set out in search of me. DEMIPHO
Pray, then, why did you stay there so long, when you had heard of this? CHREMES
Why, faith, a malady detained me. DEMIPHO
From what cause? Or what was it? CHREMES
Do you ask me? Old age itself is a malady. However, I heard that they had arrived safe, from the caps tain who brought them. DEMIPHO
Have you heard, Chremes, what has happened to my son in my absence? CHREMES
'Tis that, in fact, that has embarrassed me in my plans. For if I offer my daughter in marriage to any person that's a stranger, it must all be told how and by whom I had her. You I knew to be fully as faithful to me as I am to myself; if a stranger shall think fit to be connected with me by marriage, he will hold his tongue, just as long as good terms exist between us: but if he takes a dislike to me, he'll be knowing more than it's proper he should know. I am afraid, too, lest my wife should, by some means, come to know of it; if that is the case, it only remains for me to shake myself1 and leave the house; for I'm the only one I can rely on at home.2 DEMIPHO
I know it is so, and that circumstance is a cause of anxiety to me; and I shall never cease trying, until I've made good what I promised you.
1 To shake myself: "Me excutiam." In reference to the custom of the Greeks, and the Eastern nations, of shaking their clothes at the door of any house which they were going to leave.
2 Rely on at home: "Nam ego meorum solus sum meus." He means that he is the only person in his house friendly to himself, inasmuch as his wife, from her wealth, has supreme power over the domestics, in whom he himself can place no trust.
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