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Re-enter NICOBULUS, with SLAVES carrying fetters.
Artamo, do you fasten the hands of that fellow this very instant. The SLAVES bind him. CHRYSALUS
What have I done? NICOBULUS
Pitch your fist into him if he mutters a word. To CHRYSALUS, pointing at the tablets. What does this letter say? CHRYSALUS
Why do you ask me? As I received it from him, so I've brought it sealed to you. NICOBULUS
Come now, you rascal, have you not shamefully abused my son in your talk, because he gave me up that gold, and said that you would still take that gold away from me by some knavish trick? CHRYSALUS
Have I said so? NICOBULUS
You have. CHRYSALUS
What person is there, who says that I've said so? NICOBULUS
Hold your tongue. No person says so; this letter which you have brought me accuses you. See, 'tis this that requests you to be chained. Points to the open tablets. CHRYSALUS
Ah! your son has been making a Bellerophon1 of me; I myself brought this letter, for the purpose that I might be bound. Be it so. NICOBULUS
This I am doing for this reason, because you persuade my son to live like a Greek with you, you thrice-dotted villain. CHRYSALUS
aside . O fool, fool, you know not that you are at this moment on sale; and that you are standing on the very stone2 as the auctioneer puts you up. NICOBULUS
overhearing him . Answer me; who is selling me? CHRYSALUS
He whom the Gods favour3 dies in youth, while he is in his health, has his senses and judgment sound. This person (pointing to NICOBULUS) , if any God had favoured him, ought to have been dead more than ten years--aye, more than twenty years ago. 'Tis for long, he has walked, a nuisance, on the earth; so devoid is he of either judgment or sense. He is of as much value as a rotten mushroom is. NICOBULUS
Do you think that I am a nuisance to the earth? Away with him in-doors, and tie him tightly to the post. You shall never take away any gold from here. CHRYSALUS
No, but you'll soon be giving it me. NICOBULUS
I, give it you? CHRYSALUS
You'll be entreating me, too, of your own accord to receive it, when you shall come to know this accuser of mine, in how great danger and in what a dreadful situation he is. Then will you be offering his liberty to Chrysalus; but I certainly shan't accept it. NICOBULUS
Tell me, source of mischief, tell me, in what danger is my son Mnesilochus. CHRYSALUS
Follow me this way; I'll soon let you know. NICOBULUS
Where on earth shall I follow you? CHRYSALUS
Only three steps. NICOBULUS
Aye, ten even. CHRYSALUS
Come, then, Artamo, do you open you this door out a very little way; softly, don't make it creak. The door of the house of BACCHIS is opened. That's enough. Now, step you hither. To NICOBULUS, who looks in. Do you see the entertainment? NICOBULUS
still looking in . I see Pistoclerus and Bacchis right opposite. CHRYSALUS
Who are upon that other couch? NICOBULUS
looking on the other side . Wretch that I am, I'm undone. CHRYS. Do you recognize that person? NICOBULUS
I do recognize him. CHRYSALUS
Now tell me, if you please, does that woman seem of handsome appearance? NICOBULUS
Very much so. CHRYSALUS
Well, do you take her to be a courtesan? NICOBULUS
Why not? CHRYSALUS
You are mistaken. NICOBULUS
Who is she then, prithee? CHRYSALUS
You'll find out from me. indeed, you'll get no more information to-day.
1 A Bellerophon: He alludes to the hero Bellerophon, who, being accused by Sthenoboea of having made an attempt on her chastity, was sent by Proetus, King of Argos, with a letter to Iobates, in which he was desired to put the bearer to death.
2 On the very stone: He alludes to the stone upon which the "praeco," or "auctioneer," stood with the slaves, when he sold them by auction. Only the cheapest and the least desirable of them were sold in this way.
3 Whom the Gods favour: Menander has a sentence to the effect--"He whom the Gods love, dies young." Chrysalus tells Nicobulus that he is clearly no favorite of the Gods, or he would have died long since.
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