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Enter CHREMES on the other side of the stage, going toward the house of SIMO.

CHREMES
to himself After having provided the things necessary for my daughter's nuptials, I'm returning, that I may request her to be sent for. Seeing the child. But what's this? I'faith, it's a child. Addressing MYSIS. Woman, have you laid that here pointing to the child ?

MYSIS
aside, looking out for DAVUS. Where is he?

CHREMES
Don't you answer me?

MYSIS
looking about, to herself. He isn't any where to be seen. Woe to wretched me! the fellow has left me and is off.

DAVUS
coming forward and pretending not to see them. Ye Gods, by our trust in you ! what a crowd there is in the Forum! What a lot of people are squabbling there! Aloud. Then provisions are so dear. Aside. What to say besides, I don't know. CHREMES passes by MYSIS, and goes to a distance at the back of the stage.

MYSIS
Pray, why did you leave me here alone?

DAVUS
pretending to start on seeing the child. Ha! what story is this? How now, Mysis, whence comes this child? Who has brought it here?

MYSIS
Are you quite right in your senses, to be asking me that?

DAVUS
Whom, then, ought I to ask, as I don't see any one else here?

CHREMES
apart to himself. I wonder whence it has come.

DAVUS
Are you going to tell me what I ask?

MYSIS
Pshaw !

DAVUS
in a whisper. Step aside to the right. They retire on one side.

MYSIS
You are out of your senses; didn't you your own self?

DAY.
in a low voice. Take you care not to utter a single word beyond what I ask you. Why don't you say aloud whence it comes?

MYSIS
in a loud voice. From our house.

DAVUS
affecting indignation. Heyday, indeed! it really is a wonder if a woman, who is a courtesan, acts impudently.

CHREMES
apart. So far as I can learn, this woman belongs to the Andrian.

DAVUS
Do we seem to you such very suitable persons for you to be playing tricks with us in this way?

CHREMES
apart. I came just in time.

DAVUS
Make haste then, and take the child away from the door here: in a low voice stay there; take care you don't stir from that spot.

MYSIS
aside. May the Gods confound you! you do so terrify poor me.

DAVUS
in a loud voice. Is it to you I speak or not?

MYSIS
What is it you want?

DAVUS
aloud. What--do you ask me again? Tell me, whose child have you been laying here? Let me know.

MYSIS
Don't you know?

DAVUS
in a low voice. Have done with what I know; tell me what I ask.

MYSIS
aloud. It belongs to your people.

DAVUS
aloud. Which of our people?

MYSIS
aloud. To Pamphilus.

DAVUS
affecting surprise in a loud tone. How? What--to Pamphilus?

MYSIS
aloud. How now--is it not so?

CHREMES
apart. With good reason have I always been averse to this match, it's clear.

DAVUS
calling aloud. O abominable piece of effrontery!

MYSIS
Why are you bawling out so?

DAVUS
aloud. What, the very one I saw being carried to your house yesterday evening?

MYSIS
O you impudent fellow!

DAVUS
aloud. It's the truth. I saw Canthara stuffed out beneath her clothes. 1

MYSIS
I'faith, I thank the Gods that several free women were present 2 at the delivery.

DAVUS
aloud. Assuredly she doesn't know him, on whose account she resorts to these schemes. Chremes, she fancies, if he sees the child laid before the door, will not give his daughter; i'faith, he'll give her all the sooner.

CHREMES
apart. I'faith, he'll not do so.

DAVUS
aloud. Now therefore, that you may be quite aware, if you don't take up the child, I'll roll it forthwith into the middle of the road; and yourself in the same place I'll roll over into the mud.

MYSIS
Upon my word, man, you are not sober.

DAVUS
aloud. One scheme brings on another. I now hear it whispered about that she is a citizen of Attica----

CHREMES
apart. Ha!

DAVUS
aloud. And that, constrained by the laws, 3 he will have to take her as his wife.

MYSIS
Well now, pray, is she not a citizen?

CHREMES
apart. I had almost fallen unawares into a comical misfortune. Comes forward.

DAVUS
Who's that, speaking? Pretending to look about. O Chremes, you have come in good time. Do listen to this.

CHREMES
I have heard it all already.

DAVUS
Prithee, did you hear it? Here's villainy for you! she pointing at MYSIS ought to be carried off 4 hence to the torture forthwith. To MYSIS, pointing at CHREMES. This is Chremes himself; don't suppose that you are trifling with Davus only.

MYSIS
Wretched me! upon my faith I have told no untruth, my worthy old gentleman.

CHREMES
I know the whole affair. Is Simo within?

DAVUS
He is. CHREMES goes into SIMO'S house.

MYSIS
DAVUS attempting to caress her. Don't touch me, villain. Moving away. On my word, if I don't tell Glycerium all this----

DAVUS
How now, simpleton, don't you know what has been done?

MYSIS
How should I know?

DAVUS
This is the bride's father. It couldn't any other way have been managed that he should know the things that we wanted him to know.

MYSIS
You should have told me that before.

DAVUS
Do you suppose that it makes little difference whether you do things according to impulse, as nature prompts, or from premeditation?

1 Stuffed out beneath her clothes: “"Suffarcinatam."” He alludes to the trick already referred to as common among the Greeks, of the nurses and midwives secretly introducing supposititious children; see 1. 515 and the Note.

2 Several free women were present: She speaks of “"liberae,"” "free women," because in Greece as well as Italy slaves were not permitted to give evidence. See the Curculio of Plautus, 1. 621, and the Note to the passage in Bohn's Translation. See also the remark of Geta in the Phormio, 1. 293.

3 Constrained by the laws: He alludes to a law at Athens which compelled a man who had debauched a free-born woman to marry her. This is said by Davus with the view of frightening Chremes from the match.

4 She ought to be carried off: He says this implying that Mysis, who is a slave, ought to be put to the torture to confess the truth; as it was the usual method at Athens to force a confession from slaves by that method. We find in the Hecyra, Bacchis readily offering her slaves to be put to the torture, and in the Adelphi the same custom is alluded to in the Scene between Micio, Hegio and Geta.

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