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Enter CLITIPHO, from the house of CHREMES.

CLITIPHO
at the door, to CLINIA within. There is nothing, Clinia, for you to fear as yet: they have not been long by any means: and I am sure that she will be with you presently along with the messenger. Do at once dismiss these causeless apprehensions which are tormenting you.

CHREMES
apart. Who is my son talking to? Makes his appearance.

CLITIPHO
to himself. Here comes my father, whom I wished to see: I'll accost him. Father, you have met me opportunely.

CHREMES
What is the matter?

CLITIPHO
Do you know this neighbor of ours, Menedemus?

CHREMES
Very well.

CLITIPHO
Do you know that he has a son?

CHREMES
I have heard that he has; in Asia.

CLITIPHO
He is not in Asia, father; he is at :our house.

CHREMES
What is it you say?

CLITIPHO
Upon his arrival, after he had just landed from the ship, I immediately brought him to dine with us; for from our very childhood upward I have always been on intimate terms with him..

CHREMES
You announce to me a great pleasure. How much I wish that Menedemus had accepted my invitation to make one of us: that at my house I might have been the first to surprise him, when not expecting it, with this delight!--and even yet there's time enough----

CLITIPHO
Take care what you do; there is no necessity, father, for doing so.

CHREMES
For what reason?

CLITIPHO
Why, because he is as yet undetermined what to do with himself. He is but just arrived. He fears every thing; his father's displeasure, and how his mistress may be disposed toward him. He loves her to distraction: on her account, this trouble and going abroad took place.

CHREMES
I know it.

CLITIPHO
He has just sent a servant into the city to her, and I ordered our Syrus to go with him.

CHREMES
What does Clinia say?

CLITIPHO
What does he say? That he is wretched.

CHREMES
Wretched? Whom could we less suppose so? What is there wanting for him to enjoy every thing that among men, in fact, are esteemed as blessings? Parents, a country in prosperity, friends, family, relations, riches? And yet, all these are just according to the disposition of him who possesses them. To him who knows how to use them, they are blessings; to him who does not use them rightly, they are evils.

CLITIPHO
Aye, but lie always was a morose old man; and now I dread nothing more, father, than that in his displeasure he'll be doing something to him more than is justifiable.

CHREMES
What, he? Aside. But I'll restrain myself; for that the other one should be in fear of his father is of service to him.1

CLITIPHO
What is it you are saying to yourself?

CHREMES
I'll tell you. However the case stood, Clinia ought still to have remained at home. Perhaps his father was a little stricter than he liked: he should have put up with it. For whom ought he to bear with, if he would not bear with his own father Was it reasonable that he should live after his son's humor, or his son after his? And as to charging him with harshness, it is not the fact. For the severities of fathers are generally of one character, those I mean who are in some degree reasonable men.2 They do not wish their sons to be always wenching; they do not wish them to be always carousing; they give a limited allowance; and yet all this tends to virtuous conduct. But when the mind, Clitipho, has once enslaved itself by vicious appetites, it must of necessity follow similar pursuits. This is a wise maxim, "to take warning from others of what may be to your own advantage."

CLITIPHO
I believe so.

CHREMES
I'll now go hence in-doors, to see what we have for dinner. Do you, seeing what is the time of day, mind and take care not to be any where out of the way. Goes into his house, and exit CLITIPHO.

1 Is of service to him: He means that it is to the advantage of Clitipho that Clinia should be seen to stand in awe of his father.

2 Reasonable men: "Homo," "a man," is here put for men in general who are fathers.

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    • E. T. Merrill, Commentary on Catullus, 22
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