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Enter CHREMES and CLITIPHO from the house of the former.
Pray, what does this mean? What behavior is this, Clitipho? Is this acting as becomes you? CLITIPHO
What have I done; CHREMES
Did I not see you just now putting your hand into this Courtesan's bosom ? SYRUS
apart. It's all up with us--I'm utterly undone! CLITIPHO
What, I? CHREMES
With these self-same eyes I saw it----don't deny it. Besides, you wrong him unworthily in not keeping your hands off: for indeed it is a gross affront to entertain a person, your friend, at your house, and to take liberties with his mistress. Yesterday, for instance, at wine, how rude you were---- SYRUS
apart. 'Tis the truth1 CHREMES
How annoying you were So much so, that for my part, as the Gods may prosper me, I dreaded what in the end might be the consequence. I understand lovers. They resent highly things that you would not imagine. CLITIPHO
But he has full confidence in me, father, that I would not do any thing of that kind. CHREMES
Be it so; still, at least, you ought to go somewhere for a little time away from their presence. Passion prompts to many a thing; your presence acts as a restraint upon doing them. I form a judgment from myself. There's not one of my friends this day to whom I would venture, Clitipho, to disclose all my secrets. With one, his station forbids it; with another, I am ashamed of the action itself, lest I may appear a fool or devoid of shame; do you rest assured that he does the same.2 But it is our part to be sensible of this; and, when and where it is requisite, to show due complaisance. SYRUS
coming forward and whispering to CLITIPHO. What is it he is saying ? CLITIPHO
aside, to SYRUS. I'm utterly undone! SYRUS
Clitipho, these same injunctions I gave you. You have acted the part of a prudent and discreet person.3 CLITIPHO
Hold your tongue, I beg. SYRUS
Very good. CHREMES
approaching them. Syrus, I am ashamed of him. SYRUS
I believe it; and not without reason. Why, he vexes myself even. CLITIPHO
to SYRUS. Do you persist, then ? SYRUS
I' faith, I'm saying the truth, as it appears to me. CLITIPHO
May I not go near them? CHREMES
How now--pray, is there but one way4 of going near them ? SYRUS
aside. Confusion! He'll be betraying himself before I've got the money. Aloud. Chremes, will you give attention to me, who am but a silly person? CHREMES
What am I to do? SYRUS
Bid him go somewhere out of the way. CLITIPHO
Where am I to go ? SYRUS
Where you please; leave the place to them; be off and take a walk. CLITIPHO
Take a walk! where ? SYRUS
Pshaw! Just as if there was no place to walk in. Why, then, go this way, that way, where you will. CHREMES
He says right, I'm of his opinion. CLITIPHO
May the Gods extirpate you, Syrus, for thrusting me away from here. SYRUS
aside to CLITIPHO. Then do you for the future keep those hands of yours within bounds. Exit CLITIPHO. Really now to CHREMES , what do you think? What do you imagine will become of him next, unless, so far as the Gods afford you the means, you watch him, correct and admonish him ? CHREMES
I'll take care of that. SYRUS
But now, master, he must be looked after by you. CHREMES
It shall be done. SYRUS
If you are wise,--for now he minds me less and less every day. CHREMES
What say you? What have you done, Syrus, about that matter which I was mentioning to you a short time since? Have you any plan that suits you, or not yet even ? SYRUS
You mean the design upon Menedemus? I have; I have just hit upon one. CHREMES
You are a clever fellow; what is it? Tell me. SYRUS
I'll tell you; but, as one matter arises out of another---- CHREMES
Why, what. is it, Syrus? SYRUS
This Courtesan is a very bad woman. CHREMES
So she seems. SYRUS
Aye, if you did but know. O shocking! just see what she is hatching. There was a certain old woman here from Corinth,--this Bacchis lent her a thousand silver drachmae. CHREMES
What then? SYRUS
She is now dead: she has left a daughter, a young girl. She has been left with this Bacchis as a pledge for that sum. CHREMES
I understand you. SYRUS
She has brought her hither along with her, her I mean who is now with your wife.5 CHREMES
What then ? SYRUS
She is soliciting Clinia at once to advance her this money; she says, however, that this girl is to be a security, that, at a future time, she will repay the thousand pieces of money. CHREMES
And would she really be a security ?6 SYRUS
Dear me, is it to be doubted ? I think so. CHREMES
What then do you intend doing? SYRUS
What, I? I shall go to Menedemus; I'll tell him she is a captive from Caria, rich, and of noble family; if he redeems her, there will be a considerable profit in this transaction. CHREMES
You are in an error. SYRUS
Why so ? CHREMES
I'll now answer you for Menedemus--I will not purchase her. SYRUS
What is it you say? Do speak more agreeably to our wishes. CHREMES
But there is no occasion. SYRUS
No occasion? CHREMES
Certainly not, i' faith. SYRUS
How so, I wonder? CHREMES
You shall soon know.7 SYRUS
Stop, stop; what is the reason that there is such a great noise at our door ? They retire out of sight.
1 'Tis the truth: "Factum." "Done for" is another translation which this word will here admit of.
2 That he does the sane: Clinia.
3 Of a prudent and discreet person: This is said ironically.
4 Is there but one way: And that an immodest one.
5 With your wife: Madame Dacier remarks, that as Anitiphila is shortly to be acknowledged as the daughter of Chremes, she is not therefore in company with the other women at the feast, who arc Courtesans, but with the wife of Chremes, and consequently free from reproach or scandal.
6 Would she really be a security: The question of Chremes seems directed to the fact whether the girl is of value sufficient to be good security for the thousand drachmae.
7 You shall soon know: Madame Dacier suggests that Chremes is prevented by his wife's coming from making a proposal to advance the money himself, on the supposition that it will be a lucrative speculation. This notion is contradicted by Colman, who adds the following note from Eugraphius: "Syrus pretends to have concerted this plot against Menedemus, in order to trick him out of some money to be given to Clinia's supposed mistress. Chremes, however, does not approve of this: yet it serves to carry on the plot; for when Antiphila proves afterward to be the daughter of Chremes, he necessarily becomes the debtor of Bacchis, and is obliged to lay down the sum for which he imagines his daughter is pledged."
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