Simo, Davus, coming out of Simo’s house. — Mysis, Lesbia, going toward the house of Glycerium.
Mysis. Aye, marry, ’tis as you say, Lesbia:
Women scarce ever find a constant man.
Simo. The Andrian’s maid-servant! Is’t not?
Mysis. But Pamphilus —
Simo. What says she? (Overhearing.)
Mysis. Has been true.
Simo. How’s that? (Overhearing.)
Davus. Would he were deaf, or she were dumb! (Aside.)
Mysis. For the child, boy, or girl, he has resolv’d
Simo. O Jupiter! what’s this
I hear? If this be true, I’m lost indeed.
Lesbia. A good young Gentleman!
Mysis. Oh, very good.
But in, in, lest you make her wait.
Lesbia. I follow.
Exeunt Mysis and Lesbia.
Manent Simo, Davus.
Davus. Unfortunate! What remedy! (Aside.)
Simo. How’s this? (To himself.)
And can he be so mad? What! educate
A harlot’s child! — Ah, now I know their drift:
Fool that I was, scarce smelt it out at last.
Davus (listening). What’s this he says he has smelt out?
Simo. Imprimis, (To himself.)
’Tis this rogue’s trick upon me. All a sham:
A counterfeit deliv’ry, and mock labor,
Devis’d to frighten Chremes from the match.
Gly. (within). Juno Lucina, save me! Help, I pray thee.
Simo. Heyday! Already! Oh ridiculous!
Soon as she heard that I was at the door
She hastens to cry out: your incidents
Are ill-tim’d, Davus.
Davus. Mine, Sir?
Simo. Are your players
Unmindful of their cues, and want a prompter?
Davus. I do not comprehend you.
Simo (apart.) If this knave
Had, in the real nuptial of my son,
Come thus upon me unprepar’d, what sport,
What scorn he’d have exposed me to? But now
At his own peril be it. I’m secure.
Re-enter Lesbia. — Archyllis appears at the door.
Lesbia to Archyllis (within). As yet, Archyllis, all the symptoms seem
As good as might be wish’d in her condition:
First, let her make ablution: after that,
Drink what I’ve order’d her, and just so much:
And presently I will be here again. (Coming forward.)
Now, by this good day, Master Pamphilus
Has got a chopping boy: Heav’n grant it live!
For he’s a worthy Gentleman, and scorn’d
To do a wrong to this young innocent.
Manent Simo, Davus.
Simo. This too where’s he that knows you would not swear
Was your contrivance?
Davus. My contrivance! what, Sir?
Simo. While in the house, forsooth, the midwife gave
No orders for the Lady in the straw:
But having issued forth into the street,
Bawls out most lustily to those within.
— Oh Davus, am I then so much your scorn?
Seem I so proper to be play’d upon,
With such a shallow, barefac’d, imposition?
You might at least, in reverence, have us’d
Some spice of art, wer’t only to pretend
You fear’d my anger, should I find you out.
Davus. I’ faith now he deceives himself, not I. (Aside.)
Simo. Did not I give you warning? threaten too,
In case you play’d me false? But all in vain:
For what car’d you? — What! think you I believe
This story of a child by Pamphilus?
Davus. I see his error: Now I know my game. (Aside.)
Simo. Why don’t you answer?
Davus. What! you don’t believe it!
As if you had not been informed of this? (Archly.)
Davus. What then you found it out yourself?
Simo. D’ye laugh at me?
Davus. You must have been inform’d:
Or whence this shrewd suspicion?
Simo. Whence! from you:
Because I know you.
Davus. Meaning, this was done
By my advice?
Simo. Beyond all doubt; I know it:
Davus. You do not know me, Simo. —
Simo. I not know you?
Davus. For if I do but speak, immediately
You think yourself impos’d on. —
Simo. Falsely, hey?
Davus. So that I dare not ope my lips before you.
Simo. All that I know is this; that nobody
Has been deliver’d here.
Davus. You’ve found it out?
Yet by-and-by they’ll bring the bantling here,
And lay it at our door. Remember, Sir,
I give you warning that will be the case;
That you may stand prepar’d, nor after say,
’Twas done by Davus’s advice, his tricks!
I would fain cure your ill opinion of me.
Simo. But how d’ye know?
Davus. I’ve heard so, and believe so.
Besides a thousand different things concur
To lead to this conjecture. First, Glycerium
Profess’d herself with child by Pamphilus:
That proves a falsehood. Now as she perceives
A nuptial preparation at our house,
A maid’s immediately dispatch’d to bring
A midwife to her, and withal a child;
You too they will contrive shall see the child,
Or else the wedding must proceed.
Simo. How’s this?
Having discover’d such a plot on foot,
Why did you not directly tell my son?
Davus. Who then has drawn him from her but myself?
For we all know how much he doted on her:
But now he wishes for a wife. In fine,
Leave that affair to me; and you meanwhile
Pursue, as you’ve begun, the nuptials; which
The Gods, I hope, will prosper!
Simo. Get you in.
Wait for me there, and see that you prepare
He has not wrought upon me
To yield implicit credit to his tale,
Nor do I know if all he said be true.
But, true or false, it matters not: to me
My Son’s own promise is the main concern.
Now to meet Chremes, and to beg his daughter
In marriage with my son. If I succeed,
What can I rather wish, than to behold
Their marriage-rites to-day? For since my son
Has given me his word, I’ve not a doubt,
Should he refuse, but I may force him to it:
And to my wishes see where Chremes comes.
Simo. Chremes, good-day!
Chremes. The very man I look’d for.
Simo. And I for you.
Chremes. Well met. — Some persons came
To tell me you inform’d them, that my daughter
Was to be married to your son to-day:
And therefore came I here, and fain would know
Whether ’tis you or they have lost their wits.
Simo. A moment’s hearing; you shall be inform’d,
What I request, and what you wish to know.
Chremes. I hear: what would you? speak.
Simo. Now by the Gods;
Now by our friendship, Chremes, which begun
In infancy, has still increas’d with age;
Now by your only daughter, and my son,
Whose preservation wholly rests on you;
Let me entreat this boon: and let the match
Which should have been, still be.
Chremes. Why, why entreat?
Knowing you ought not to beseech this of me.
Think you that I am other than I was,
When first I gave my promise? If the match
Be good for both, e’en call them forth to wed.
But if their union promises more harm
Than good to both, you also, I beseech you,
Consult our common interest, as if
You were her father, Pamphilus my son.
Simo. E’en in that spirit, I desire it, Chremes,
Entreat it may be done; nor would entreat,
But that occasion urges.
Chremes. What occasion?
Simo. A diff’rence ’twixt Glycerium and my son.
Chremes. I hear. (Ironically.)
Simo. A breach so wide as gives me hopes
To sep’rate them forever.
Chremes. Idle tales!
Simo. Indeed ’tis thus.
Chremes. Aye marry, thus it is.
Quarrels of lovers but renew their love.
Simo. Prevent we then, I pray, this mischief now;
While time permits, while yet his passion’s sore
From contumelies; ere these women’s wiles,
Their wicked arts, and tears made up of fraud
Shake his weak mind, and melt it to compassion.
Give him a wife: by intercourse with her,
Knit by the bonds of wedlock, soon I hope,
He’ll rise above the guilt that sinks him now.
Chremes. So you believe: for me, I can not think
That he’ll be constant, or that I can bear it.
Simo. How can you know, unless you make the trial?
Chremes. Aye, but to make that trial on a daughter
Is hard indeed.
Simo. The mischief, should he fail,
Is only this: divorce, which Heav’n forbid!
But mark what benefits if he amend!
First, to your friend you will restore a son;
Gain to yourself a son-in-law, and match
Your daughter to an honest husband.
Since you’re so thoroughly convinc’d ’tis right,
I can deny you naught that lies in me.
Simo. I see I ever lov’d you justly, Chremes.
Chremes. But then —
Simo. But what?
Chremes. From whence are you appriz’d
That there’s a difference between them?
Davus, in all their secrets, told me so;
Advis’d me too, to hasten on the match
As fast as possible. Would he, d’ye think,
Do that, unless he were full well assur’d
My son desir’d it too? — Hear, what he says.
Ho there! call Davus forth. — But here he comes.
Davus. I was about to seek you.
Simo. What’s the matter?
Davus. Why is not the bride sent for? it grows late.
Simo. D’ye hear him? — Davus, I for some time past
Was fearful of you; lest, like other slaves,
As slaves go now, you should put tricks upon me,
And baffle me, to favor my son’s love.
Davus. I, Sir?
Simo. I thought so: and in fear of that
Conceal’d a secret which I’ll now disclose.
Davus. What secret, Sir?
Simo. I’ll tell you: for I now
Almost begin to think you may be trusted.
Davus. You’ve found what sort of man I am at last.
Simo. No marriage was intended.
Davus. How! none!
All counterfeit, to sound my son and you.
Davus. How say you?
Simo. Even so.
Davus. Alack, alack!
I never could have thought it. Ah, what art! (Archly.)
Simo. Hear me. No sooner had I sent you in.
But opportunely I encountered Chremes.
Davus. How! are we ruin’d then? (Aside.)
Simo. I told him all.
That you had just told me, —
Davus. Confusion! how? (Aside.)
Simo. Begged him to grant his daughter, and at length
With much ado prevail’d.
Davus. Undone! (Aside.)
Simo. How’s that? (Overhearing.)
Davus. Well done! I said.
Simo. My good friend Chremes then
Is now no obstacle.
Chremes. I’ll home a while,
Order due preparations, and return.
Simo. Prithee, now, Davus, seeing you alone
Have brought about this match —
Davus. Yes, I alone.
Simo. Endeavor farther to amend my son.
Davus. Most diligently.
Simo. It were easy now,
While his mind’s irritated.
Davus. Be at peace.
Simo. Do then: where is he?
Davus. Probably at home.
Simo. I’ll in, and tell him, what I’ve now told you.
Lost and undone! To prison with me straight!
No prayer, no plea: for I have ruin’d all!
Deceiv’d the old man, hamper’d Pamphilus
With marriage; marriage, brought about to-day
By my sole means; beyond the hopes of one;
Against the other’s will. — Oh, cunning fool!
Had I been quiet, all had yet been well.
But see, he’s coming. Would my neck were broken! (Retires.)
Enter Pamphilus; Davus behind.
Pam. Where is this villain that has ruined me?
Davus. I’m a lost man.
Pam. And yet I must confess,
That I deserv’d this, being such a dolt,
A very idiot, to commit my fortunes
To a vile slave. I suffer for my folly,
But will at least take vengeance on him.
Davus. Let me but once escape the present danger,
I’ll answer for hereafter.
Pam. To my father
What shall I say? — And can I then refuse,
Who have but now consented? with what face?
I know not what to do.
Davus. I’faith, nor I;
And yet it takes up all my thoughts. I’ll tell him
I’ve hit on something to delay the match.
Pam. Oh! (Seeing Davus.)
Davus. I am seen.
Pam. So, good Sir! What say you?
See, how I’m hamper’d with your fine advice.
Davus (coming forward). But I’ll deliver you.
Pam. Deliver me?
Davus. Certainly, Sir.
Pam. What, as you did just now?
Davus. Better, I hope.
Pam. And can you then believe
That I would trust you, rascal? You amend
My broken fortunes, or redeem them lost?
You, who to-day, from the most happy state,
Have thrown me upon marriage. — Did not I
Foretell it would be thus?
Davus. You did indeed.
Pam. And what do you deserve for this?
Davus. The gallows.
— Yet suffer me to take a little breath,
I’ll devise something presently.
I have not leisure for your punishment.
The time demands attention to myself,
Nor will be wasted in revenge on you.
Last updated Sunday, March 27, 2016 at 12:01