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Enter STRATIPPOCLES and CHÆRIBULUS.
I've told you all the matter, Chæribulus, and I have fully disclosed to you the sum of my griefs and loves. CHÆR.
You are foolish, Stratippocles, beyond your age and lineage. Does it shame you, because you have bought a captive girl, born of good family, from among the spoil? Who will there be to impute it as a fault to you? STRATIPPOCLES
Through doing this, I've found that those who are envious are all enemies to me; but I've never offered violence1 or criminal assault against her chastity. CHÆR.
Then, so far, in my opinion at least, you are a still more deserving man, inasmuch as you are temperate in your passion. STRATIPPOCLES
He effects nothing who consoles a desponding man with his words: he is a friend, who, in dubious circumstances, aids in deed when deeds are necessary. CHÆR.
What do you wish me to do? STRATIPPOCLES
To lend me forty minæ of silver, to be paid to the Banker from whom I borrowed it on interest. CHÆR.
On my word, if I had it, I would not deny you. STRATIPPOCLES
What then does it signify your being bounteous in talk, if all aid in the matter2 is dead outright. CHÆR.
Why faith, I myself am quite wearied and distracted with being dunned. STRATIPPOCLES
I had rather my friends of that sort were thrust into a furnace than into litigation3. But now I could wish to buy me the assistance of Epidicus at a weighty price, a fellow whom I'll hand over well-liquored with stripes to the baker4, unless he this day finds me forty minæ before I've mentioned to him the last syllable of the sum. EPIDICUS
apart . The matter's all right; he promises well; he'll keep faith, I trust. Ironically. Without any expenditure of my own, an entertainment5 is already provided for my shoulder-blades. I'll accost the man. He goes up to STRATIPPOCLES. The servant Epidicus wishes health to his master Stratippocles, on his arrival from abroad. STRATIPPOCLES
turning round . Where is he? EPIDICUS
Here he is; I'm delighted that you have returned safe. STRATIPPOCLES
I believe you as much in that as I do myself. EPIDICUS
Have you been well all along? STRATIPPOCLES
I've been free from disease; in mind I've been ailing. EPIDICUS
As regarded myself, I've taken care of what you entrusted to me; it has been obtained; the female captive has been bought, about which matter you were sending me letters so often. STRATIPPOCLES
You've lost all your labour. EPIDICUS
But why have I lost it? STRATIPPOCLES
Because she is not dear to my heart, nor does she please me. EPIDICUS
What means it, then, that you gave me such strict injunctions, and sent letters to me? STRATIPPOCLES
Formerly I did love her; but now another passion influences my heart. EPIDICUS
I' faith, it is a shocking thing for that to be unpleasant for a man which you have managed well for him; where I've done well, I've in reality done ill, since love has shifted sides. STRATIPPOCLES
I wasn't right in my mind when I sent those letters to you. EPIDICUS
Is it proper that I should be the atonement for your folly, so as for you to substitute my back as the scape-goat6 for your folly? STRATIPPOCLES
Why are we making words about that? This man pointing to himself has need of forty minæ, ready money, and in all haste, for him to pay a Banker, and speedily too. EPIDICUS
Only tell me from what quarter you wish me to get them. From what banker am I to seek them? STRATIPPOCLES
From where you like. But if I don't finger them before sunset, don't you enter my house; off with yourself to the mill. EPIDICUS
You easily say that without risk and concern, and with a gay heart. I know our floggers; I feel the pain when I'm beaten. STRATIPPOCLES
How say you now? Will you suffer me to destroy myself? EPIDICUS
Don't do that. I'll cope with this peril and bold attempt in preference. STRATIPPOCLES
Now you please me; now do I commend you. EPIDICUS
I'll submit to this in any way that's pleasing to you. STRATIPPOCLES
What then is to be done about this music-girl? EPIDICUS
Some method shall be found out; by some means I'll disengage myself; some way I shall get extricated. STRATIPPOCLES
You are full of scheming; I know you of old. EPIDICUS
There is a rich Captain of Eubœa7, abounding in plenty of gold, who, when he knows that that one was bought for you, and that this other one has been brought here, will forthwith be entreating you, of his own accord, to transfer that other one to him. But where is she whom you have brought with you? STRATIPPOCLES
I shall have her here just now. CHÆR.
What are we now doing here? STRATIPPOCLES
Let's go in-doors here at your house, that, for the present, we may pass this day merrily. They go into the house of CHÆRIBULUS. EPIDICUS
to himself . Go in-doors; I'll now call8 a council in my heart to adopt measures about this money business, against whom, in especial, war is to be declared, and out of whom I'm to get the money. Epidicus, consider what you are to do; thus suddenly has this business been thrown upon you. But now you must not be slumbering, nor have you any leisure for delay. Now must you be daring! 'Tis my fixed determination to lay siege to the old man. I'll go indoors; I'll tell the young man, my master's son, not to walk abroad here, or come anywhere in the way of the old gentleman. Goes into the house of CHÆRIBULUS.
1 Never offered violence: This is a very important passage, as it relieves the Audience from the apprehension they might otherwise feel in the Fifth Act, that Stratippocles had unconsciously been guilty of incest.
2 If all aid in the matter: The same sentiment occurs in the Trinummus, l. 439.
3 Into litigation: "Quam Foro." Literally, "than in the Forum." He plays on the resemblance of the words "furno," "oven" or "furnace," and "Foro," the "Forum." He had rather see his friends dead outright, than worried by their creditors.
4 To the baker: For the purpose of taking his place at the hand-mill for grinding corn, which was probably done in the same building where the bread was baked, and was a most laborious operation.
5 An entertainment: As already mentioned, "symbola" was a club entertainment, or pic-nic (in the original sense of the word), where each provided his own share of the provisions.
6 As the scape-goat: "Succidanea" was a term applied to a victim, substituted in place of another which had not given favourable omens.
7 Captain of Eubœa: The Captain is elsewhere called a Rhodian. Probably it is meant that Rhodes was the place of his birth, and the island of Eubœa that of his residence.
8 I'll now call: -159. Echard's adaptation of these two lines is so quaint, that it is worth transcribing. "In the meantime must I have a committee of the whole house, to consider of ways and means for the raising supplies to carry on this vigorous war."
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