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Enter GETA, at a distance, hastily, from the house of DEMIPHO.
to himself. O fortune! O good luck!1 with blessings how great, how suddenly hast thou loaded this day with thy favors to my master Antipho!---- ANTIPHO
apart to PHORMIO. I wonder what it is he means. GETA
continuing. And relieved us, his friends, from alarm; but I'm now delaying, in not throwing my cloak2 over my shoulder throws it over his shoulder , and making haste to find him, that he may know what has happened. ANTIPHO
apart to PHORMIO. Do you understand what he's talking about? PHORMIO
apart to ANTIPHO. Do you? ANTIPHO
apart to PHORMIO. Not at all. PHORMIO
apart to ANTIPHO. And I just as much. GETA
to himself. I'll be off hence to the Procurer's; they are there just now. Runs along. ANTIPHO
calling out. Halloo! Geta! GETA
still running. There's for you. Is it any thing new or wonderful to be called back, directly you've started? ANTIPHO
Do you persist? Troth, you shall not on this occasion get the better of me by your annoyance. ANTIPHO
running after him. Won't you stop? GETA
You'll be getting a beating. ANTIPHO
Assuredly that will befall yourself just now unless you stop, you whip-knave. GETA
This must be some one pretty familiar, threatening me with a beating. Turns round. But is it the person I'm in search of or not? 'Tis the very man! Up to him at once. ANTIPHO
What's the matter? GETA
O being most blessed of all men living! For without question, Antipho, you are the only favorite of the Gods. ANTIPHO
So I could wish; but I should like to be told why I'm to believe it is so. GETA
Is it enough if I plunge you into a sea of joy? ANTIPHO
You are worrying me to death. PHORMIO
Nay but do have done with your promises, and tell us what you bring. GETA
looking round. Oh, are you here too, Phormio? PHORMIO
I am: but why do you delay? GETA
Listen, then. When we just now paid you the money at the Forum, we went straight to Chremes; in the mean time, my master sent me to your wife. ANTIPHO
What for? GETA
I'll omit telling you that, as it is nothing to the present purpose, Antipho. Just as I was going to the woman's apartments, the boy Mida came running up to me, and caught me behind by my cloak, and pulled me back; I turned about, and inquired for what reason he stopped me; he said that it was forbidden for any one to go in to his mistress. "Sophrona has just now," said he, "introduced here Chremes, the old gentleman's brother," and he said that he was then in the room with them: when I heard this, on tip-toe I stole softly along; I came there, stood, held my breath, I applied my ear, and so began to listen, catching the conversation every word in this fashion shows them . ANTIPHO
Well done, Geta. GETA
Here I overheard a very pretty piece of business; so much so that I had nearly cried out for joy. ANTIPHO
What was it? GETA
laughing. What do you think? ANTIPHO
I don't know. GETA
Why, something most marvelous. Your uncle has been discovered to be the father of your wife, Phanium. ANTIPHO
starting. Ha! what's that you say GETA
He formerly cohabited secretly with her mother at Lemnos. PHORMIO
A dream: how could she be ignorant about her own father? GETA
Be sure, Phormio, that there is some reason: but do you suppose that, outside of the door, I was able to understand every thing that passed between them within? ANTIPHO
On my faith, I too have heard the same story. GETA
Aye, and I'll give you still further reason for believing it: your uncle in the mean time came out from there; not long after he returned again, with your father; each said that he gave you permission to retain her; in fine, I've been sent to find you, and bring you to them. ANTIPHO
Why then carry me off3 at once;--why do you delay? GETA
I'll do so. ANTIPHO
O my dear Phormio, farewell! PHORMIO
Farewell, Antipho. ANTIPHO and GETA go into DEMIPHO'S house. PHORMIO
So may the Gods bless me, this has turned out luckily. I'm glad of it, that such good fortune has thus suddenly befallen them. I have now an excellent opportunity for diddling the old men, and ridding Phaedria of all anxiety about the money, so that he mayn't be under the necessity of applying to any of his companions. For this same money, as it has been given him, shall be given for good, whether they like it or not: how to force them to this, I've fund out the very way. I must now assume a new air and countenance. But I'll betake myself off to this next alley; from that spot I'll present myself to them, when they come out of doors. I sha'n't go to the fair, where I pretended I was going. He retires into the alley.
1 O good luck: "Fors fortuna," "good fortune;" while "fortuna" merely means "chance."
2 Throwing my cloak: When expedition was required, it was usual to throw the ends of the "pallium," or "cloak," over the shoulders.
3 Carry me off: Madame Dacier says that Antipho is so rejoiced here at Geta's news, that he jumps upon his shoulders, and is carried off in triumph, which was a sort of stage-trick, and was very diverting to the Audience. On this, Colman observes: "I believe Madame Dacier has not the least foundation for this extraordinary piece of information; and I must confess, that I have too high an opinion, both of the Roman audience and actors, to believe it to be true."
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