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Re-enter LESBIA from the house of GLYCERIUM.

LESBIA
speaking to ARCHYLIS at the door, and not seeing SIMO and DAVUS. As yet, Archylis, all the customary symptoms which ought to exist toward recovery, I perceive in her. Now, in the first place, take care and let her bathe;1 then, after that, what I ordered to be given her to drink, and as much as I prescribed, do you administer: presently I will return hither. To herself aloud. By all that's holy, a fine boy has been born to Pamphilus. I pray the Gods that he may survive, since the father himself is of a good disposition, and since he has hesitated to do an injustice to this most excellent young woman. (Exit.)

SIMO
Even this, who is there that knows you that would not believe that it originated in you?

DAVUS
Why, what is this?

SIMO
She didn't order in their presence what was requisite to be done for the woman lying in; but after she has come out, she bawls from the street to those who are in the house. O Davus, am I thus trifled with by you? Or pray, do I seem to you so very well suited to be thus openly imposed upon by your tricks? At all events it should have been with pre-caution; that at least I might have seemed to be feared, if I should detect it.

DAVUS
aside. Assuredly, upon my faith, it's he that's, now deceiving himself, not I.

SIMO
I gave you warning, I forbade you with threats to do it. Have you been awed? What has it availed? Am I to believe you now in this, that this woman has had a child by Pamphilus?

DAVUS
aside. I understand where he's mistaken; and I see what I must do.

SIMO
Why are you silent?

DAVUS
What would you believe? As though word had not been brought you that thus it would happen.

SIMO
Any word brought to me?

DAVUS
Come now, did you of your own accord perceive that this was counterfeited?

SIMO
I am being trifled with.

DAVUS
Word has been brought you; for otherwise how could this suspicion have occurred to you?

SIMO
How? Because I knew you.

DAVUS
As though you meant to say that this has been done by my contrivance.

SIMO
Why, I'm sure of it, to a certainty.

DAVUS
Not yet even do you know me sufficiently, Simo, what sort of person I am.

SIMO
I, not know you!

DAVUS
But if I begin to tell you any thing, at once you think that deceit is being practiced upon you in guile; therefore, upon my faith, I don't dare now even to whisper.

SIMO
This one thing I am sure of, that no person has been delivered here. Pointing to GLYCERIUM'S house.

DAVUS
You have discovered that? Still, not a bit the less will they presently be laying the child2 here before the door. Of this, then, I now warn you, master, that it will happen, that you may be aware of it. Don't you hereafter be saying that this was done through the advice or artifices of Davus. I wish this suspicion of yours to be entirely removed from myself.

SIMO
How do you know that?

DAVUS
I've heard so, and I believe it: many things combine for me to form this conjecture. In the first place then, she declared that she was pregnant by Pamphilus; that has been proved to be false. 3 Now, when she sees that preparations are being made for the wedding at our house, the maid-servant is directly sent to fetch the midwife to her, and to bring a child at the same time. 4 Unless it is managed for you to see the child, the marriage will not be at all impeded.

SIMO
What do you say to this? When you perceived that they were adopting this plan, why didn't you tell Pamphilus immediately?

DAVUS
Why, who has induced him to leave her, but myself? For, indeed, we all know how desperately he loved her. Now he wishes for a wife. In fine, do you intrust me with that affair; proceed however, as before, to celebrate these nuptials, just as you are doing, and I trust that the Gods will prosper this matter.

SIMO
Very well; be off in-doors; wait for me there, and get ready what's necessary to be prepared. DAVUS goes into the house. He hasn't prevailed upon me even now altogether to believe these things, and I don't know whether what he has said is all true; but I deem it of little moment; this is of far greater importance to me--that my son himself has promised me. Now I'll go and find Chremes; I'll ask him for a wife for my son; if I obtain my request, at what other time rather than to-day should I prefer these nuptials taking place? For as my son has promised, I have no doubt but that if he should prove unwilling, I can fairly compel him. And look! here's Chremes himself, just at the very time.

1 Let her bathe: It was the custom for women to bathe immediately after childbirth. See the Amphitryon of Plautus, 1. 669, and the Note to the passage in Bohn's Translation.

2 Be laying the child: Colman has the following remark on this line:--"The art of this passage is equal to the pleasantry, for though Davus runs into this detail merely with a view to dupe the old man still further by flattering him on his fancied sagacity, yet it very naturally prepares us for an incident which, by another turn of circumstances, afterward becomes necessary."

3 Proved to be false: That is, according to Simo's own notion, which Davus now thinks proper to humor.

4 To bring a child at the same time: This is a piece of roguery which has probably been practiced in all ages, and was some-what commonly perpetrated in Greece. The reader of English history will remember how the unfortunate son of James II. was said, in the face of the strongest evidence to the contrary, to have been a supposititious child brought into the queen's chamber in a silver warming-pan.

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