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Enter CHARMIDES and CALLICLES.

CHARMIDES
There never was, nor will there be, nor yet do I think that there is a person upon the earth, whose fidelity and constancy towards his friend equals yours. For without you, it would have been that he would have ousted me out of this house.

CALLICLES
If I have in any way acted well towards my friend, or have faithfully consulted his advantage, I seem not to be deserving of praise, but I think I am free from fault. For a benefit which is conferred on a man for his own, at once is lost to the giver; what is given only as a loan, the same there is a right to ask back, whenever you please.

CHARMIDES
'Tis so as you say. But I cannot sufficiently-wonder at this, that he has betrothed his sister into a family so influential.

CALLICLES
Aye; to Lysiteles, the son of Philto.

LYSITELES
behind . Why, he is mentioning my name.

CHARMIDES
He has got into a most worthy family.

LYSITELES
behind . Why do I hesitate to address these persons? But still, I think, I may wait awhile; for something is going to be said to the purpose about this matter.

CHARMIDES
O----

CALLICLES
What's the matter?

CHARMIDES
I forgot just now to tell you of it in-doors. Au I was coming hither, a while ago, a certain swindling fellow met me--a very finished sharper. He told me that he was carrying a thousand gold pieces, of my giving, to you and my son Lesbonicus; a fellow, that I know not who he was, nor have I ever seen him anywhere before. But why do you laugh?

CALLICLES
He came by my directions, as though he was one bringing the gold from you to me, to give as a portion to your daughter; that your son, when I should give it to her from my own hands, might suppose that it had been brought from you, and that he might not anyhow be enabled to discover the fact itself--that your treasure was in my possession, and demand it of me1, as having belonged to his father, by the public laws.

CHARMIDES
Cleverly contrived, i' troth.

CALLICLES
Megaronides, a common well-wisher of yours and mine, planned this.

CHARMIDES
Well, I applaud his device, and approve of it.

LYSITELES
behind . Why, in my foolishness, while I fear to interrupt their discourse, am I standing here alone, and am not forwarding the business that I was intending to trans act? I will accost these persons. He advances.

CHARMIDES
Who is this person that is coming this way towards us?

LYSITELES
going up to CHARMIDES . Lysiteles salutes his father-in-law Charmides.

CHARMIDES
May the Gods grant you, Lysiteles, whatever you may desire.

CALLICLES
Am I not worthy of a salutation?

LYSITELES
Yes; health to you, Callicles. It is right that I should give him the preference: the tunic is nearer2 the skin than the cloak.

CALLICLES
I trust that the Gods may direct your plans aright.

CHARMIDES
I hear that my daughter has been betrothed to you?

LYSITELES
Unless you are unwilling.

CHARMIDES
Nay, I am not unwilling.

LYSITELES
Do you, then, promise your daughter for my wife?

CHARMIDES
I promise a thousand gold Philippean pieces, as well, for a portion.

LYSITELES
I care nothing about a portion.

CHARMIDES
If she pleases you, the portion which she presents to you must be pleased as well. In fine, the object which you desire you shall not have, unless you shall take that which you do not desire.

CALLICLES
to LYSITELES . He asks but justice.

LYSITELES
He shall obtain it, you the advocate and the judge. On these conditions, do you engage that your daughter shall be given to me as my wife?

CHARMIDES
I do promise her.

CALLICLES
And I promise her likewise.

LYSITELES
O save you, my connexions by marriage. He embraces them.

CHARMIDES
But, in good sooth, there are some matters on account of which I still am angry with you.

LYSITELES
What have I done?

CHARMIDES
Because you have allowed my son to become dissolute.

LYSITELES
Had that been done by my consent, there would have been cause for you to blame me. * * * * * But allow me to obtain of you this one thing which I entreat?

CHARMIDES
What is it?

LYSITELES
You shall know. If he has done anything imprudently, that you will dismiss it all from your mind. Why do you shake your head?

CHARMIDES
My heart is tortured, and I fear----

LYSITELES
What is it now?

CHARMIDES
Because he is such as I would that he was not,--by that am I tortured. I fear that if I refuse you what you ask of me, you may suppose that I am indifferent towards you. I won't make difficulties, however; I will do as you wish.

LYSITELES
You are a worthy man. I am going to call him out. He goes to the door of the house of CHARMIDES .

CHARMIDES
'Tis a shocking thing if one is not allowed to punish bad deserts just as they merit.

LYSITELES
knocking at the door . Open the door, open quickly, and call Lesbonicus out of doors, if he is at home. The occasion is very sudden, therefore I wish him to come to me with all haste. Enter LESBONICUS from the house.

LESBONICUS
What person has been calling me out of doors with so loud a knocking?

LYSITELES
'Tis your well.wisher and friend

LESBONICUS
Is all quite right?--tell me.

LYSITELES
All's well. I am glad to say that your father has returned from abroad.

LESBONICUS
Who says so?

LYSITELES
I.

LESBONICUS
Have you seen him?

LYSITELES
Aye, and you yourself may see him too. He points to CHARMIDES.

LESBONICUS
O my father, my father, blessings on you.

CHARMIDES
Many blessings on you, my son.

LESBONICUS
If, father, any trouble3----

CHARMIDES
Have no fear, nothing has happened. My affairs prosperously managed, I have returned safe. If you are only wishful to be steady, that daughter of Callicles has been promised you.

LESBONICUS
I will marry both her, father, and any one else besides that you shall bid me

CHARMIDES
Although I have been angry with you, one misery4, in fact, is more than enough for one man.

CALLICLES
Nay, rather, 'twere too little for him; for if he were to marry a hundred wives for his sins, it were too little.

LESBONICUS
But henceforth, in future, I will be steady.

CHARMIDES
So you say; if you will only do it.

LESBONICUS
Is there any reason why I should not bring my wife home to-morrow?

CHARMIDES
'Tis very good. And you, Lysiteles, be ready to be married the day after to-morrow. A COMEDIAN.

Give your applause5.

1 And demand it of me: -- On the supposition of his father's death, the laws would probably have decreed it to him as his father's heir.

2 The tunic is nearer: -- This was, perhaps, a proverbial saying, used when a preference was expressed. Of course he would pay more respect to his anticipated father-in-law than to an ordinary friend. The "tumca" supplied the place of the shirt of modern times.

3 If, father, any trouble: -- Lesbonicus seems to be about to apologise to Charmides for any trouble he may have given him, but, as the old man has already agreed to forgive him at the intercession of Lysiteles, he will not allow a word more to be said about it.

4 One misery: -- The old gentleman tells his son that he will be quite sufficiently punished for his faults by having one wife. It is either said as a joke in a bantering way, or else it means, that, what will be a great punishment to him, he must now reform his mode of life, for common decency sake and out of respect to his wife.

5 Give your applause: -- Plaudite. Literally, "clap your hands." Ritschel, on a full examination of the MSS., comes to the conclusion that this was said, not, as is generally thought by one of the characters in the play, but by one of the actors or singers, probably, of the Chorus, who commenced their song the moment the play was finished. All the applause bestowed on the writer and the actors seems to have been usually reserved for the end of the play.

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