previous next

Enter PHILEMATITUM and SCAPHA, with all the requisites for a toilet.

PHILEMATIUM
On my word, for this long time I've not bathed in cold water with more delight than just now; nor do I think that I ever was, my dear Scapha, more thoroughly cleansed than now.

SCAPHA
May the upshot of everything be unto you like a plenteous year's harvest.

PHILEMATIUM
What has this harvest got to do with my bathing?

SCAPHA
Not a bit more than your bathing has to do with the harvest.

PHILOLACHES
apart . O beauteous Venus, this is that storm of mine which stripped off all the modesty with which I was roofed; through which Desire and Cupid poured their shower into my breast; and never since have I been able to roof it in. Now are my walls soaking in my heart; this building is utterly undone.

PHILEMATIUM
Do look, my Scapha, there's a dear, whether this dress quite becomes me. I wish to please Philolaches my protector, the apple of my eye.

SCAPHA
Nay but, you set yourself off to advantage with pleasing manners, inasmuch as you yourself are pleasing. The lover isn't in love with a woman's dress, but with that which stuffs out1 the dress.

PHILOLACHES
apart . So may the Gods bless me, Scapha is waggish; the hussy's quite knowing. How cleverly she understands all matters, the maxims of lovers too!

PHILEMATIUM
Well now?

SCAPHA
What is it?

PHILEMATIUM
Why look at me and examine, how this becomes me.

SCAPHA
Thanks to your good looks, it happens that whatever you put on becomes you.

PHILOLACHES
apart . Now then, for that expression, Scapha, I'll make you some present or other to-day, and I won't allow you to have praised her for nothing who is so pleasing to me.

PHILEMATIUM
I don't want you to flatter me.

SCAPHA
Really you are a very simple woman. Come now, would you rather be censured undeservedly, than be praised with truth? Upon my faith, for my own part, even though undeservedly, I'd much rather be praised than be found fault with with reason, or that other people should laugh at mny appearance.

PHILEMATIUM
I love the truth; I wish the truth to be told me; I detest a liar.

SCAPHA
So may you love me, and so may your Philolaches love you, how charming you are.

PHILOLACHES
apart . How say you, you hussy? In what words did you adjure? "So may I love her?" Why wasn't "So may she love me" added as well? I revoke the present. What I just now promised you is done for; you have lost the present.

SCAPHA
Troth, for my part I am surprised that you, a person so knowing, so clever, and so well educated, are not aware that you are acting foolishly.

PHILEMATIUM
Then give me your advice, I beg, if I have done wrong in anything.

SCAPHA
I' faith, you certainly do wrong, in setting your mind upon him alone, in fact, and humouring him in particular in this way and slighting other men. It's the part of a married woman, and not of courtesans, to be devoted to a single lover.

PHILOLACHES
apart . O Jupiter! Why, what pest is this that has befallen my house? May all the Gods and Goddesses destroy me in the worst of fashions, if I don't kill this old hag with thirst, and hunger, and cold.

PHILEMATIUM
I don't want you, Scapha, to be giving me bad advice.

SCAPHA
You are clearly a simpleton, in thinking that he'll for everlasting be your friend and well-wisher. I warn you of that; he'll forsake you by reason of age and satiety.

PHILEMATIUM
I hope not.

SCAPHA
Things which you don't hope happen more frequently than things which you do hope. In fine, if you cannot be persuaded by words to believe this to be the truth, judge of my words from facts; consider this instance, who I now am, and who I once was. No less than your are now, was I once beloved, and I devoted myself to one, who, faith, when with age this head changed its hue, forsook and deserted me. Depend on it, the same will happen to yourself.

PHILOLACHES
apart . I can scarcely withhold myself from flying at the eyes of this mischief-maker.

PHILEMATIUM
I am of opinion that I ought to keep myself alone devoted to him, since to myself alone has he given freedom for himself alone.

PHILOLACHES
apart . O ye immortal Gods! what a charming woman, and of a disposition how chaste! By heaven, 'tis excellently done, and I'm rejoiced at it, that it is for her sake I've got nothing left.

SCAPHA
On my word you really are silly.

PHILEMATIUM
For what reason?

SCAPHA
Because you care for this, whether he loves you.

PHILEMATIUM
Prithee, why should I not care for it?

SCAPHA
You now are free. You've now got what you wanted; if he didn't still love you, as much money as he gave for your liberty, he'd lose.

PHILOLACHES
apart . Heavens, I'm a dead man if I don't torture her to death after the most shocking fashion. That evil-persuading enticer to vice is corrupting this damsel.

PHILOLACHES
Scapha, I can never return him sufficient thanks for what he deserves of me; don't you be persuading me to esteem him less.

SCAPHA
But take care and reflect upon this one thing, if you devote yourself to him alone, while now you are at this youthful age, you'll be complaining to no purpose in your aged years.

PHILOLACHES
apart . I could wish myself this instant changed into a quinsy, that I might seize the throat of that old witch, and put an end to the wicked mischief-maker.

PHILEMATIUM
It befits me now to have the same grateful feelings since I obtained it, as formerly before I acquired it, when I used to lavish caresses upon him.

PHILOLACHES
apart . May the Gods do towards me what they please, if for that speech I don't make you free over again, and if I don't torture Scapha to death.

SCAPHA
If you are quite assured that you will have a provision to the end, and that this lover will be your own for life, I think that you ought to devote yourself to him alone, and assume the character of a wife2.

PHILEMATIUM
Just as a person's character is, he's in the habit of finding means accordingly; if I keep a good character for myself I shall be rich enough.

PHILOLACHES
apart . By my troth, since selling there must be, my father shall be sold much sooner than, while I'm alive, I'll ever permit you to be in want or go a-begging.

SCAPHA
What's to become of the rest of those who are in love with you?

PHILEMATIUM
They'll love me the more when they see me displaying gratitude to one who has done me services.

PHILOLACHES
apart . I do wish that news were brought me now that my father's dead, that I might disinherit myself of my property, and that she might be my heir.

SCAPHA
This property of his will certainly soon be at an end; day and night there's eating and drinking, and no one displays thriftiness; 'tis downright cramming3.

PHILOLACHES
apart . I' faith, I'm determined to make trial on yourself for the first to be thrifty; for you shall neither eat nor drink anything at my house for the next ten days.

PHILEMATIUM
If you choose to say anything good about him, you shall be at liberty to say it; if you speak otherwise than well, on my word you shall have a beating instantly.

PHILOLACHES
apart . Upon my faith, if I had paid sacrifice to supreme Jove with that money which I gave for her liberty, never could I have so well employed it. Do see, how, from her very heart's core, she loves me! Oh, I'm a fortunate man; I've liberated in her a patron to plead my cause for me.

SCAPHA
I see that, compared with Philolaches, you disregard all other men; now, that on his account I mayn't get a beating, I'll agree with you in preference, if you are quite satisfied that he will always prove a friend to you.

PHILEMATIUM
Give me the mirror4, and the casket with my trinkets, directly, Scapha, that I may be quite dressed when Philolaches, my delight, comes here.

SCAPHA
A woman who neglects herself and her youthful age has occasion for a mirror; what need of a mirror have you, who yourself are in especial a mirror for a mirror.

PHILOLACHES
apart . For that expression, Scapha, that you mayn't have said anything so pretty in vain, I'll to-day give something for your savings--to you, my Philematium.

PHILEMATIUM
while SCAPHA is dressing her hair . Will you see that each hair is nicely arranged in its own place?

SCAPHA
When you yourself are so nice, do believe that your hair must be nice.

PHILOLACHES
apart . Out upon it! what worse thing can possibly be spoken of than this woman? Now the jade's a flatterer, just now she was all contradictory.

PHILEMATIUM
Hand me the ceruse5.

SCAPHA
Why, what need of ceruse have you?

PHILEMATIUM
To paint my cheeks with it.

SEA.
On the same principle, you would want to be making ivory white with ink.

PHILOLACHES
apart . Cleverly said that, about the ink and the ivory! Bravo! I applaud you, Scapha.

PHILEMATIUM
Well then, do you give me the rouge.

SCAPHA
I shan't give it. You really are a clever one. Do you wish to patch up a most clever piece with new daubing? It's not right that any paint should touch that person, neither ceruse, nor quince-ointment, nor any other wash. Take the mirror, then. Hands her the glass.

PHILOLACHES
apart. Ah wretched me!--she gave the glass a kiss. I could much wish for a stone, with which to break the head of that glass.

SCAPHA
Take the towel and wipe your hands.

PHILEMATIUM
Why so, prithee?

SCAPHA
As you've been holding the mirror, I'm afraid that your hands may smell of silver; lest Philolaches should suspect you've been receiving silver somewhere.

PHILOLACHES
apart . I don't think that I ever did see any one procuress more cunning. How cleverly and artfully did it occur to the jade's imagination about the mirror!

PHILEMATIUM
Do you think I ought to be perfumed with unguents as well?

SCAPHA
By no means do so.

PHILEMATIUM
For what reason?

SCAPHA
Because, i' faith, a woman smells best6 when she smells of nothing at all. For those old women who are in the habit of anointing themselves with unguents, vampt up creatures, old hags, and toothless, who hide the blemishes of the person with paint, when the sweat has blended itself with the unguents, forthwith they stink just like when a cook has poured together a variety of broths; what they smell of, you don't know, except this only, that you understand that badly they do smell.

PHILOLACHES
apart . How very cleverly she does understand everything! There's nothing more knowing than this knowing woman! To the AUDIENCE. This is the truth, and a very great portion, in fact, of you know it, who have old women for wives at home who purchased you with their portions.

PHITE.
Come now, examine my golden trinkets and my mantle; does this quite become me, Scapha?

SCAPHA
It befits not me to concern myself about that.

PHILEMATIUM
Whom then, prithee?

SCAPHA
I'll tell you; Philolaches; so that he may not buy anything except that which he fancies will please you. For a lover buys the favours of a mistress for himself with gold and purple garments. What need is there for that which he doesn't want as his own, to be shown him still? Age is to be enveloped in purple; gold ornaments are unsuitable for a woman. A beautiful woman will be more beautiful naked than drest in purple. Besides, it's in vain she's well-drest if she's ill-conducted; ill-conduct soils fine ornaments worse than dirt. But if she's beauteous, she's sufficiently adorned.

PHILOLACHES
apart . Too long have I withheld my hand. Coming forward. What are you about here?

PHILEMATIUM
I'm decking myself out to please you.

PLILO.
You are dressed enough. To SCAPHA. Go you hence in-doors, and take away this finery. SCAPHA goes into the house. But, my delight, my Philematium, I have a mind to regale together with you.

PHILEMATIUM
And, i' faith, so I have with you; for what you have a mind to, the same have I a mind to, my delight.

PHILOLACHES
Ha! at twenty mine that expression were cheap.

PHILEMATIUM
Give me ten, there's a dear; I wish to let you have that expression bought a bargain.

PHILOLACHES
You've already got ten minæ with you; or reckon up the account: thirty minæ I gave for your freedom----

PHILEMATIUM
Why reproach me with that?

PHILOLACHES
What, I reproach you with it? Why, I had rather that I myself were reproached with it; no money whatever for this long time have I ever laid out equally well.

PHILEMATIUM
Surely, in loving you, I never could have better employed my pains.

PHILOLACHES
The account, then, of receipts and expenditure fully tallies between ourselves; you love me, I love you. Each thinks that it is so deservedly. Those who rejoice at this, may they ever rejoice at the continuance of their own happiness. Those who envy, let not any one henceforth be ever envious of their blessings.

PHILEMATIUM
pointing to a couch on the stage . Come, take your place, then. At the door, to a SERVANT, who obeys. Boy, bring some water for the hands; put a little table here. See where are the dice. Would you like some perfumes? They recline on the couch.

PHILOLACHES
What need is there? Along with myrrh I am reclining. But isn't this my friend who's coming hither with his mistress? 'Tis he; it's Callidamates; look, he's coming. Capital! my sweet one, see, our comrades are approaching; they're coming to share the spoil.

1 That which stuffs out: That is, the body.

2 Assume the character of a wife: "Capiundos crines." Literally, "the hair must be assumed." Festus says that it was usual on the occasion of the marriage ceremony, to add six rows of curls to the hair of the bride, in imitation of the Vestal virgins, who were patterns of purity, and were dressed in that manner. Hence the term "capere crines" came to signify "to become a wife."

3 'Tis downright cramming: "Sagina plane est." "Sagina" was the term applied to the fattening or cramming of animals for the purpose of killing. The use of the term implies Scapha's notion of the bestial kind of life that Philolaches was leading.

4 Give me the mirror: Probably a mirror with a handle, such as the servants usually held for their mistresses. There is something comical in the notion of a female coming out into the street to make her toilet.

5 Hand me the ceruse: White lead, or "cerussa," was used by the Roman women for the purpose of whitening the complexion. Ovid mentions it in his Treatise on the Care of the Complexion, l. 73.

6 A woman smells best: Cicero and Martial have a similar sentiment; their opinion has been followed by many modern writers and other persons as well.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

load focus Latin (F. Leo, 1895)
hide Places (automatically extracted)

View a map of the most frequently mentioned places in this document.

Visualize the most frequently mentioned Pleiades ancient places in this text.

Download Pleiades ancient places geospacial dataset for this text.

hide References (193 total)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: