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Enter, from the house, PHILOCRATES, TYNDARUS, and SLAVES and CAPTIVES of HEGIO.
If the immortal Gods have so willed it that you should undergo this affliction, it becomes you to endure it with equanimity; if you do so, your trouble will be lighter1. At home you were free men, I suppose; now if slavery has befallen you, 'tis a becoming way for you to put up with it, and by your dispositions to render it light, under a master's rule. Unworthy actions which a master does must be deemed worthy ones. PHILOCRATES
Alas! alas! alas! A SLAVE
There's no need for wailing; you cause much injury to your eyes. In adversity, if you use fortitude of mind, it is of service. PHILOCRATES
But we are ashamed, because we are in bonds. A SLAVE
But in the result it might cause vexation to our master, if he were to release you from chains, or allow you to be loose, whom he has purchased with his money. PHILOCRATES
What does he fear from us? We know our duty, what it is, if he allows us to be loose. A SLAVE
Why, you are meditating escape. I know what it is you are devising. PHILOCRATES
We, make our escape? Whither should we escape? A SLAVE
To your own country. PHILOCRATES
Out upon you; it would ill befit us to be following the example of runaways. A SLAVE
Why, faith, should there be an opportunity, I don't advise you not. PHILOCRATES
Do you allow us to make one request. A SLAVE
What is it, pray? PHILOCRATES
That you will give us an opportunity of conversing, without these and yourselves for overlookers. A SLAVE
Be it so; go you away from here, you people. Let's step here, on one side. To the other CAPTIVES and SLAVES. But commence upon a short conversation only. PHILOCRATES
O yes, it was my intention so to do. Step aside this way to TYNDARUS . A SLAVE
to the other CAPTIVES . Stand apart from them. TYNDARUS
to the SLAVE . We are both greatly obliged to you, by reason of your doing so, since you allow us to obtain what we are desirous of. PHILOCRATES
Step here then, at a distance now, if you think fit, that no listeners may be enabled to overhear our discourse, and that this plan of ours mayn't be divulged before them for a stratagem is no stratagem, if you don't plan it with art but it is a very great misfortune if it becomes disclosed. For if you are my master, and I represent myself as your servant, still there's need of foresight, and need of caution, that this may be carried out discreetly and without overlookers, with carefulness and with cautious prudence and diligence. So great is the mutter that has been commenced upon; this must not be carried out in any drowsy fashion. TYNDARUS
Just as you shall desire me to be, I will be. PHILOCRATES
I trust so. TYNDARUS
For now you see that for your precious life I'm setting at stake my own, as dear to me. PHILOCRATES
I know it. TYNDARUS
But remember to know it when you shall be enjoying that which you wish for; for mostly, the greatest part of mankind follow this fashion; what they wish for, until they obtain it, they are rightminded; but when they have now got it in their power, from being rightminded they become most deceitful, and most dishonest; now I do consider that you are towards me as I wish. What I advise you, I would advise my own father. PHILOCRATES
I' faith, if I could venture, I would call you father; for next to my own father, you are my nearest father. TYNDARUS
I understand. PHILOCRATES
And therefore I remind you the more frequently, that you may remember it. I am not your master, but your servant; now this one thing I do beseech you. Inasmuch as the immortal Gods have disclosed to us their wishes, that they desire me to have once been your master, and now to be your fellow-captive; what formerly of my right I used to command you, now with entreaties do I beg of you, by our uncertain fortunes, and by the kindness of my father towards you, and by our common captivity, which has befallen us by the hand of the enemy, don't you pay me any greater respect than I did you when you were my slave; and don't you forget to remember who you were, and who you now are. TYNDARUS
I know, indeed, that I now am you, and that you are I. PHILOCRATES
Well, if you are able carefully to remember that, 1 have some hope in this scheme of ours.
1 Will be lighter: The English proverb corresponds with this: “What can't be cured must be endured”.
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