The Eunuch, by Terence

Act the Fourth.

Scene I.

Enter Dorias, with a Casket.

Dorias. Now, as I hope for mercy, I’m afraid,
From what I’ve seen, lest yonder swaggerer
Make some disturbance, or do violence
To Thais. For as soon as Chremes came,
(Chremes, the youth that’s brother to the virgin,)
She beg’d of Thraso, he might be admitted.
This piqu’d him; yet he durst not well refuse.
She, fearing Chremes should not be detain’d,
Till she had time and opportunity
To tell him all she wish’d about his sister,
Urg’d Thraso more and more to ask him in.
The Captain coldly asks him; down he sat;
And Thais enter’d into chat with him.
The Captain, fancying a rival brought
Before his face, resolv’d to vex her too:
“Here, boy,” said he, “let Pamphila be call’d
To entertain us!” — “Pamphila!” cries Thais;
“She at a banquet? — No it must not be.” —
Thraso insisting on’t, a broil ensued:
On which my mistress slyly slipping off
Her jewels, gave them me to bear away;
Which is, I know, a certain sign, she will,
As soon as possible, sneak off herself. (Exit.)

Scene II.

Enter Phædria .

Phæd. Going into the country, I began
(As happens when the mind is ill at ease)
To ponder with myself upon the road,
Tossing from thought to thought, and viewing all
In the worst light. While thus I ruminate,
I pass unconsciously my country-house,
And had got far beyond, ere I perceiv’d it.
I turn’d about, but with a heavy heart;
And soon as to the very spot I came
Where the roads part, I stop. Then paus’d a while:
“Alas! thought I, and must I here remain
Two days? alone: without her? — Well! what then?
That’s nothing. — What, is’t nothing? — If I’ve not
The privilege to touch her, shall I not
Behold her neither? — If one may not be,
At least the other shall. — And certainly
Love, in its last degree, is something still.”
— Then I, on purpose, pass’d the house. — But see!
Pythias breaks forth affrighted. — What means this?

Scene III.

Enter Pythias and Dorias; Phædria at a distance.

Pyth. Where shall I find, unhappy that I am,
Where seek this rascal-slave? — this slave, that durst
To do a deed like this? — Undone! undone!

Phæd. What this may be, I dread.

Pyth. And then the villain,
After he had abused the virgin, tore
The poor girl’s clothes, and dragg’d her by the hair.

Phæd. How’s this!

Pyth. Who, were he now within my reach,
How could I fly upon the vagabond,
And tear the villain’s eyes out with my nails?

Phæd. What tumult’s this, arisen in my absence?
I’ll go and ask her. — (Going up.) What’s the matter, Pythias?
Why thus disturb’d? and whom is it you seek?

Pyth. Whom do I seek? Away, Sir Phædria!
You and your gifts together!

Phæd. What’s the matter?

Pyth. The matter, Sir! the Eunuch, that you sent us,
Has made fine work here! the young virgin, whom
The Captain gave my mistress, he has ravish’d.

Phæd. Ravish’d? How say you?

Pyth. Ruin’d, and undone!

Phæd. You’re drunk.

Pyth. Would those who wish me ill were so!

Dori. Ah Pythias! what strange prodigy is this?

Phæd. You’re mad: how could an Eunuch —

Pyth. I don’t know
Or who, or what he was. — What he has done,
The thing itself declares. — The virgin weeps,
Nor, when you ask what ails her, dare she tell.
But he, good man, is nowhere to be found:
And I fear too, that when he stole away,
He carried something off.

Phæd. I can’t conceive
Whither the rascal can have flown, unless
He to our house, perhaps, slunk back again.

Pyth. See now, I pray you, if he has.

Phæd. I will.

Exit.

Dori. Good lack! so strange a thing I never heard.

Pyth. I’ve heard, that they lov’d women mightily
But could do nothing; yet I never thought on’t:
For if I had, I’d have confin’d him close
In some by-place, nor trusted the girl to him.

Scene IV.

Re-enter Phædria, with Dorus the Eunuch, in Chærea’s clothes.

Phæd. Out, rascal, out! — What are you resty, Sirrah?
Out, thou vile bargain!

Dor. Dear Sir! (Crying.)

Phæd. See the wretch!
What a wry mouth he makes! — Come, what’s the meaning
Of your returning? and your change of dress?
What answer, Sirrah! — If I had delay’d
A minute longer, Pythias, I had miss’d him,
He was equipp’d so bravely for his flight.

Pyth. What, have you got the rogue?

Phæd. I warrant you.

Pyth. Well done! well done!

Dori. Aye, marry, very well.

Pyth. Where is he?

Phæd. Don’t you see him?

Pyth. See him? whom?

Phæd. This fellow, to be sure.

Pyth. This man! who is he?

Phæd. He that was carried to your house to-day.

Pyth. None of our people ever laid their eyes
Upon this fellow, Phædria!

Phæd. Never saw him?

Pyth. Why, did you think this fellow had been brought
To us?

Phæd. Yes, surely; for I had no other.

Pyth. Oh dear! this fellow’s not to be compar’d
To t’other. — He was elegant, and handsome.

Phæd. Aye, so he might appear a while ago,
Because he had gay clothes on: now he seems
Ugly, because he’s stripped.

Pyth. Nay, prithee, peace!
As if the diff’rence was so very small! —
The youth conducted to our house to-day,
’Twould do you good to cast your eyes on, Phædria:
This is a drowsy, wither’d, weasel-fac’d,
Old fellow.

Phæd. How? — you drive me to that pass,
That I scarce know what I have done myself.
— Did not I buy you, rascal? (To Dorus .)

Dor. Yes, Sir.

Pyth. Order him
To answer me.

Phæd. Well, question him.

Pyth. (to Dorus). Was you
Brought here to-day? (Shakes his head.) See there! Not he. It was
Another, a young lad, about sixteen,
Whom Parmeno brought with him.

Phæd. (to Dorus). Speak to me!
First tell me, whence had you that coat? What, dumb?
I’ll make you speak, you villain? (Beating him.)

Dor. Chærea came — (Crying.)

Phæd. My brother?

Dor. Yes, Sir!

Phæd. When?

Dor. To-day.

Phæd. How long since?

Dor. Just now.

Phæd. With whom?

Dor. With Parmeno.

Phæd. Did you
Know him before?

Dor. No, Sir; nor e’er heard of him.

Phæd. How did you know he was my brother then?

Dor. Parmeno told me so; and Chærea
Gave me these clothes —

Phæd. Confusion! (Aside.)

Dor. Put on mine;
And then they both went out o’ doors together.

Pyth. Now, Sir, do you believe that I am sober?
Now do you think, I’ve told no lie? And now
Are you convinc’d the girl has been abus’d!

Phæd. Away, fool! d’ye believe what this wretch says?

Pyth. What signifies belief? — It speaks itself.

Phæd. (apart to Dorus). Come this way — hark ye! — further still. — Enough.
Tell me once more. — Did Chærea strip you?

Dor. Yes.

Phæd. And put your clothes on?

Dor. Yes, Sir!

Phæd. And was brought
In your stead hither?

Dor. Yes.

Phæd. Great Jupiter! (Pretending to be in a passion with him.)
What a most wicked scoundrel’s this?

Pyth. Alas!
Don’t you believe, then, we’ve been vilely us’d?

Phæd. No wonder if you credit what he says.
I don’t know what to do. (Aside.) — Here, harkye, Sirrah!
Deny it all again. (Apart to Dorus .) — What! can’t I beat
The truth out of you, rascal? — have you seen
My brother Chærea? (Aloud, and beating him.)

Dor. No, Sir! (Crying.)

Phæd. So! I see
He won’t confess without a beating. — This way! (Apart.) Now
He owns it; now denies it. — Ask my pardon! (Apart.)

Dor. Beseech you, Sir, forgive me!

Phæd. Get you gone. (Kicking him.)
Oh me! oh dear!

Exit, howling.

Phæd. (aside). I had no other way
To come off handsomely. — We’re all undone.
— D’ye think to play your tricks on me, you rascal?

Aloud, and Exit after Dorus .

Scene V.

Manent Pythias and Dorias .

Pyth. As sure as I’m alive, this is a trick
Of Parmeno’s.

Dori. No doubt on’t.

Pyth. I’ll devise
Some means to-day to fit him for’t. — But now
What would you have me do?

Dori. About the girl!

Pyth. Aye; shall I tell; or keep the matter secret?

Dori. Troth, if you’re wise you know not what you know,
Nor of the Eunuch, nor the ravishment:
So shall you clear yourself of all this trouble,
And do a kindness to our mistress too.
Say nothing, but that Dorus is gone off.

Pyth. I’ll do so.

Dori. Prithee is not Chremes yonder?
Thais will soon be here.

Pyth. How so?

Dori. Because
When I came thence, a quarrel was abroach
Among them.

Pyth. Carry in the jewels, Dorias.
Meanwhile I’ll learn of Chremes what has happen’d.

Exit Dorias .

Scene VI.

Enter Chremes tipsy.

Chrem. So! so! — I’m in for’t — and the wine I’ve drank
Has made me reel again. — Yet while I sat,
How sober I suppos’d myself! — But I
No sooner rose, than neither foot, nor head,
Knew their own business!

Pyth. Chremes!

Chrem. Who’s that? — Ha!
Pythias! — How much more handsome you seem now,
Than you appear’d a little while ago!

Pyth. I’m sure you seem a good deal merrier.

Chrem. I’faith it’s an old saying, and a true one,
“Ceres and Bacchus are warm friends of Venus.”
— But, pray, has Thais been here long before me?

Pyth. Has she yet left the Captain’s?

Chrem. Long time since:
An age ago. They’ve had a bloody quarrel.

Pyth. Did not she bid you follow her?

Chrem. Not she:
Only she made a sign to me at parting.

Pyth. Well, wasn’t that enough?

Chrem. No, faith! I never
At all conceiv’d her meaning, till the Captain
Gave me the hint, and kick’d me out o’ doors!
— But here she is! I wonder how it was,
I overtook her!

Scene VII.

Enter Thais .

Thais. I am apt to think,
The Captain will soon follow me, to take
The virgin from me: Well then, let him come!
But if he does but lay a finger on her,
We’ll tear his eyes out. — His impertinence.
And big words, while mere words, I can endure;
But if he comes to action, woe be to him!

Chrem. Thais, I have been here some time.

Thais. My Chremes!
The very man I wanted! — Do you know
That you have been th’ occasion of this quarrel?
And that this whole affair relates to you?

Chrem. To me! how so?

Thais. Because, while I endeavor,
And study to restore your sister to you,
This and much more I’ve suffer’d.

Chrem. Where’s my sister?

Thais. Within, at my house.

Chrem. Ha! (With concern.)

Thais. Be not alarm’d:
She has been well brought up, and in a manner
Worthy herself and you.

Chrem. Indeed?

Thais. ’Tis true:
And now most freely I restore her to you,
Demanding nothing of you in return.

Chrem. I feel your goodness, Thais, and shall ever
Remain much bounden to you.

Thais. Aye, but now
Take heed, my Chremes, lest ere you receive
The maid from me, you lose her! for ’tis she,
Whom now the Captain comes to take by storm.
— Pythias, go, fetch the casket with the proofs!

Chrem. D’ye see him, Thais? (Looking out.)

Pyth. Where does the casket stand?

Thais. Upon the cabinet. — D’ye loiter, hussy?

Exit Pythias .

Chrem. What force the Captain brings with him against you!
Good Heav’n!

Thais. Are you afraid, young gentleman?

Chrem. Away! — who? I? afraid? — No mortal less.

Thais. Nay, you had need be stout at present, Chremes.

Chrem. What kind of man d’ye take me for?

Thais. Consider,
He, whom you’ve now to cope with, is a stranger
Less powerful than you, less known, and less
Befriended here than you!

Chrem. I know all that:
But why, like fools, admit what we may shun?
Better prevent a wrong, than afterward
Revenge it, when receiv’d — Do you step in,
And bolt the door, while I run to the Forum,
And call some officers to our assistance. (Going.)

Thais. Stay! (Holding him.)

Chrem. ’Twill be better.

Thais. Hold!

Chrem. Nay, let me go!
I’ll soon be back.

Thais. We do not want them, Chremes.
Say, only, that this maiden is your sister,
And that you lost her when a child, and now
Know her again for yours.

Enter Pythias .

Thais (to Pyth .) Produce the proofs!

Pyth. Here they are.

Thais. Take them, Chremes! — If the Captain
Attempts to do you any violence,
Lead him before a magistrate. D’ye mark me?

Chrem. I do.

Thais. Be sure now speak with a good courage!

Chrem. I will.

Thais. Come, gather up your cloak. — Undone!
My champion wants a champion for himself.

Exeunt.

Scene VIII.

Enter Thraso, Gnatho, Sanga, etc.

Thraso. Shall I put up with an affront so gross,
So monstrous, Gnatho? — No, I’d rather die.
Simalio, Donax, Syrus, follow me!
First, I will storm their castle.

Gnat. Excellent!

Thra. Next carry off the Virgin.

Gnat. Admirable!

Thra. Then punish Thais herself.

Gnat. Incomparable!

Thra. Here, in the centre, Donax, with your club!
Do you, Simalio, charge on the left wing!
You, Syrus, on the right! — Bring up the rest!
Where’s the Centurion Sanga, and his band
Of rascal runaways?

San. Here, Sir!

Thra. How now?
Think’st thou to combat with a dish-clout, slave!
That thus thou bring’st it here?

San. Ah, Sir! I knew
The valor of the gen’ral and his troops;
And seeing this affair must end in blood,
I brought a clout, to wipe the wounds withal.

Thra. Where are the rest?

San. Rest! Plague, whom d’ye mean?
There’s nobody, but Sannio, left at home.

Thra. Lead you the van (to Gnatho); and I’ll bring up the rear:
Thence give the word to all.

Gnat. What wisdom is!
Now he has drawn up these in rank and file,
His post behind secures him a retreat.

Thra. Just so his line of battle Pyrrhus form’d.

Chremes and Thais appear above at a window.

Chrem. D’ye see, my Thais, what he is about?
To bar and bolt the doors was good advice.

Thais. Tut, man! you fool, that seems so mighty brave,
Is a mere coward. Do not be afraid!

Thra. What were best? (To Gnatho .)

Gnat. Troth, I wish you had a sling:
That you from far in ambush might attack them!
They’d soon fly then, I warrant you.

Thra. But see!
Thais appears.

Gnat. Let’s charge them then! Come on!

Thra. Halt! — ’Tis the part of a wise general
To try all methods, ere he come to arms.
How do you know, but Thais may obey
My orders without force?

Gnat. Oh, gracious Heavens!
Of what advantage is it to be wise!
I ne’er approach but I go wiser from you.

Thra. Thais, first answer this! Did you, or no,
When I presented you the Virgin, promise,
To give yourself some days to me alone?

Thais. What then?

Thra. Is that a question, when you brought
Your lover to affront me to my face? —

Thais. What business have you with him?

Thra. — And stole off
In company with him?

Thais. It was my pleasure.

Thra. Therefore, restore me Pamphila; unless
You choose to see her carried off by force.

Chrem. She restore Pamphila to you? Or you
Attempt to touch her, rascal?

Gnat. Ah, beware!
Peace, peace, young gentleman!

Thra. (to Chrem .) What is’t you mean?
Shall I not touch my own?

Chrem. Your own, you scoundrel?

Gnat. Take heed! you know not whom you rail at thus.

Chrem. Won’t you be gone? — here, hark ye, Sir! d’ye know
How matters stand with you? — if you attempt
To raise a riot in this place to-day,
I’ll answer for it, that you shall remember
This place, to-day, and me, your whole life-long.

Gnat. I pity you: to make so great a man
Your enemy!

Chrem. Hence! or I’ll break your head.

Gnat. How’s that, you hang-dog? Are you for that sport?

Thra. Who are you, fellow? — what d’ye mean? — and what
Have you to do with Pamphila?

Chrem. I’ll tell you,
First, I declare, that she’s a free-born woman!

Thra. How?

Chrem. And a citizen of Athens.

Thra. Hui!

Chrem. My sister.

Thra. Impudence!

Chrem. So, Captain, now
I give you warning, offer her no force!
— Thais, I’ll now to Sophrona, the Nurse,
And bring her here with me to see the proofs.

Thra. And you prohibit me to touch my own?

Chrem. Yes, I prohibit you.

Gnat. D’ye hear? he owns
The robbery himself. Isn’t that sufficient?

Thra. And, Thais, you maintain the same?

Thais. Ask those
Who care to answer. (Shuts down the window.)

Manent Thraso and Gnatho, etc.

Thra. What shall we do now?

Gnat. Why — e’en go back again! — This harlot here
Will soon be with you to request forgiveness.

Thra. D’ye think so?

Gnat. Aye, most certainly. I know
The ways of women. — When you will, they won’t;
And when you won’t, they’re dying for you.

Thra. True.

Gnat. Shall I disband the army?

Thra. When you will.

Gnat. Sanga, as well becomes a brave militia,
Take to your houses and firesides again.

San. My mind was like a sop i’ th’ pan, long since.

Gnat. Good fellow!

San. To the right about there! march!

Exit, with Gnatho and Thraso at the head of the troops.

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Last updated Tuesday, March 4, 2014 at 20:04