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Enter PISTOCLERUS, accompanied by People with Provisions for the Entertainment, followed by LYDES.
For some time, Pistoclerus, I've been following you in silence1, watching what you were doing in this dress2. For, so may the Gods favour me, even Lycurgus himself3 seems to me as if he could be led into debauchery here. Whither now are you betaking yourself hence in an opposite direction with such a train? PISTOCLERUS
To this place pointing to the house . LYDUS
Why to this place? Who lives there? PISTOCLERUS
Love, Pleasure, Venus, Beauty, Joy, Jesting, Dalliance, Converse, and Sweet-kissing. LYDUS
What intercourse have you with these most destructive Deities? PISTOCLERUS
Bad are those men who speak evil of the good. You speak not well of even the Gods themselves; you do what is not right. LTD.
Is Sweet-kissing, then, some God? PISTOCLERUS
And do you not think she is? O Lydus, why, what a barbarians4 you are, you, whom I had deemed to be far more wise than Thales hinself5. Go to, you are more foolish than Potitius, the foreigner6, who, at an age so advanced, knew not the names of the Divinities. LYDUS
This dress of yours pleases me not. PISTOCLERUS
But no one prepared it for you; it was prepared for myself, whom it pleases well. LYDUS
And do you commence upon your repartees against myself even? You, who, if you had even ten tongues, ought to be silent. PISTOCLERUS
Not every age, Lydus, is suited for school7. One thing especially is just now on my mind, how the cook may with due care attend to these things as befits the elegance of the entertainment. LYDUS
Now have you undone yourself and me and all my labours, me who so oft have shown you what is right, all to no purpose. PISTOCLERUS
In the same place have I lost my labour where you've lost yours: your instructions profit neither me nor yourself. LYDUS
O obdurate heart! PISTOCLERUS
You are troublesome to me. Hold your tongue, Lydus, and follow me. LYDUS
Now, see that, please; he no longer calls8 me "tutor," but mere "Lydus." PISTOCLERUS
It seems not proper, nor can it be fit, that, when a person is in a house, and is reclining at the feast together with his mistress, and is kissing her, and the other guests are reclining too, the tutor should be there too in their presence. LYDUS
Are these provisions purchased for such a purpose, pray? PISTOCLERUS
My intentions, indeed, expect so; how it falls out, is in the hands of the Gods. LYDUS
Will you be having a mistress? PISTOCLERUS
When you see, then you'll know. LYDUS
Aye, but you shall not have one, and I won't allow it. Go back again home. PISTOCLERUS
Do leave me alone, Lydus, and beware of mischief9. LYDUS
What? Beware of mischief? O yawning gulf, where art thou now? How gladly would I avail myself of thee! Already have I lived far longer than I could have wished. 'Twere much better now to have once existed than to be living still. That any pupil should thus threaten his tutor! PISTOCLERUS
My years are now advanced beyond your tutorship. LYDUS
I want no pupils for me with heated blood10. An up-grown one may harass me thus devoid of strength. PISTOCLERUS
As I guess, I shall become a Hercules, and you a Linus11. LYDUS
I' faith, I fear more that through your goings-on I shall become a Phœnix12, and have to tell the news to your father that you are dead. PISTOCLERUS
Enough of these stories. LYDUS
This youth is lost to shame13; the man's ruined. And does it then recur to you that you have a father? PISTOCLERUS
Am I your servant, or you mine? LYDUS
By my troth, you made an exchange not desirable for that age of yours, when you gained these impudent ways. Some bad master has been teaching you all this, not I. You are a scholar far more apt at these pursuits than at those lessons which I taught you when I was losing my labour. Troth, 'twas a bad piece of deceit you were guilty of at your age, when you concealed these vicious tendencies from myself and from your father. PISTOCLERUS
Lydus, you have thus far had liberty of speech; that is enough. So now do you follow this way, and hold your tongue14. They go into the house of BACCHIS.
1 Following you in silence: We must not be surprised to find "Lydus" a Lydian slave, as his name imports, acting as the "paedagogus," or "tutor," of Pistoclerus. Among the wealthy, the sons of the family were committed to the "paedagogi" at their sixth or seventh year, and of course that officer was selected from the most trustworthy and most learned among the slaves. The youths remained under the tutor till they reached the years of puberty. His duty was rather to watch and protect them and accompany them to their school and the "gymnasium" or "palaestra," the place of exercise, than to instruct them himself; indeed; the "praeceptores," or "teachers," are expressly distinguished by Quintilian from the "paedagogi," or "conductors" of the youths. Eunuchs were sometimes appointed to this office. Among the Romans, a tutor attended on both boys and girls very frequently, as they were not confined at home according to the Grecian custom. During the Empire, much care was taken in the training of the "paedagogi."
3 Lycurgus himself: He says that such company is enough to corrupt Lycurgus himself, a man of the most moral and strict habits. He was the lawgiver of Sparta.
5 Than Thales himself: Thales of Miletus was one of the seven wise men of Greece. He was the founder of the Ionic sect of philosophers.
6 Potitius, the foreigner: "Barbaro" signifies "Roman," the scene being in Attica. We learn from St. Augustine that the Potitii received the epithet of "stulti," "unwise," from the following circumstance. They were the hereditary priests of Hercules, at Rome. Wishing to lighten their duties, they instructed some slaves in their office, for which, by the wrath of the Divinity twelve families of them were destroyed in one night.
8 He no longer calls: He is shocked at the want of respect shown to him by his pupil.
9 Beware of mischief: This is a threat of vengeance if Lydns presumes to interfere any further.
11 You a Linus: Linus instructed Hercules in music, and was slain by his scholar with his musical instrument.
12 Become a Phœnix: Phœnix was the preceptor who attended Achilles to the Siege of Troy, and brought the account of his death to his father Peleus.
14 Hold your tongue: The interval between this Act and the next is filled up with the time necessary for preparing the entertainment which Pistoclerus is giving to Bacchis and her sister.
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