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The University of Adelaide Library
University of Adelaide
South Australia 5005
Primores populi arripuit populumque tributim:
Scilicet uni æquus virtuti atque ejus amicis.
Quin ubi se a vulgo et scena in secreta remorant
Virtus Scipiadæ et mitis sapientia Læli,
Nugari cum illo et discincti ludere, donec
Decoqueretur olus, soliti.
The Bard, when first he gave his mind to write,
Thought it his only business, that his Plays
Should please the people: but it now falls out,
He finds, much otherwise, and wastes, perforce,
His time in writing Prologues; not to tell
The argument, but to refute the slanders
Broach’d by the malice of an older Bard.
And mark what vices he is charg’d withal!
Menander wrote the Andrian and Perinthian:
Know one, and you know both; in argument
Less diff’rent than in sentiment and style.
What suited with the Andrian he confesses
From the Perinthian he transferr’d, and us’d
For his: and this it is these sland’rers blame,
Proving by deep and learned disputation,
That Fables should not be confounded thus.
Troth! all the knowledge is they nothing know:
Who, blaming; him, blame Nævius, Plautus, Ennius,
Whose great example is his precedent;
Whose negligence he’d wish to emulate
Rather than their dark diligence. Henceforth,
Let them, I give them warning, be at peace,
And cease to rail, lest they be made to know
Their own misdeeds. Be favorable! sit
With equal mind, and hear our play; that hence
Ye may conclude, what hope to entertain,
The comedies he may hereafter write
Shall merit approbation or contempt.
Simo, Sosia, and Servants with Provisions.
Simo. Carry those things in: go! (Ex. Servants.)
Sosia, come here;
A word with you!
Sosia. I understand: that these
Be ta’en due care of.
Simo. Quite another thing.
Sosia. What can my art do more for you?
Simo. This business
Needs not that art; but those good qualities,
Which I have ever known abide in you,
Fidelity and secrecy.
Sosia. I wait
Simo. Since I bought you, from a boy
How just and mild a servitude you’ve pass’d
With me, you’re conscious: from a purchas’d slave
I made you free, because you serv’d me freely:
The greatest recompense I could bestow.
Sosia. I do remember.
Simo. Nor do I repent.
Sosia. If I have ever done, or now do aught
That’s pleasing to you, Simo, I am glad,
And thankful that you hold my service good
And yet this troubles me: for this detail,
Forcing your kindness on my memory,
Seems to reproach me of ingratitude.
Oh tell me then at once, what would you? Sir!
Simo. I will; and this I must advise you first;
The nuptial you suppose preparing now,
Is all unreal.
Sosia. Why pretend it then?
Simo. You shall hear all from first to last: and thus
The conduct of my son, my own intent,
And what part you’re to act, you’ll know at once.
For my son, Sosia, now to manhood grown,
Had freer scope of living: for before
How might you know, or how indeed divine
His disposition, good or ill, while youth,
Fear, and a master, all constrain’d him?
Simo. Though most, as is the bent of youth, apply
Their mind to some one object, horses, hounds,
Or to the study of philosophy;
Yet none of these, beyond the rest, did he
Pursue; and yet, in moderation, all.
I was o’erjoy’d.
Sosia. And not without good cause.
For this I hold to be the Golden Rule
Of Life, too much of one thing’s good for nothing.
Simo. So did he shape his life to bear himself
With ease and frank good-humor unto all;
Mix’d in what company soe’er, to them
He wholly did resign himself; complied
With all their humours, checking nobody,
Nor e’er assuming to himself: and thus
With ease, and free from envy, may you gain
Praise, and conciliate friends.
Sosia. He rul’d his life
By prudent maxims: for, as times go now,
Compliance raises friends, and truth breeds hate.
Simo. Meanwhile, ’tis now about three years ago,
A certain woman from the isle of Andros,
Came o’er to settle in this neighborhood,
By poverty and cruel kindred driv’n:
Handsome and young.
Sosia. Ah! I begin to fear
Some mischief from this Andrian.
Simo. At first
Modest and thriftily, though poor, she liv’d,
With her own hands a homely livelihood
Scarce earning from the distaff and the loom.
But when a lover came, with promis’d gold,
Another, and another, as the mind
Falls easily from labor to delight,
She took their offers, and set up the trade.
They, who were then her chief gallants, by chance
Drew thither, as oft happen with young men
My son to join their company. “So, so!”
Said I within myself, “he’s smit! he has it!”
And in the morning as I saw their servants
Run to and fro, I’d often call, “here, boy!
Prithee now, who had Chrysis yesterday?”
The name of this same Andrian.
Sosia. I take you.
Simo. Phædrus they said, Clinia, or Niceratus,
For all these three then follow’d her. — “Well, well,
But what of Pamphilus?” — “Of Pamphilus!
He supp’d, and paid his reck’ning.” — I was glad.
Another day I made the like inquiry,
But still found nothing touching Pamphilus.
Thus I believ’d his virtue prov’d, and hence
Thought him a miracle of continence:
For he who struggles with such spirits, yet
Holds in that commerce an unshaken mind,
May well be trusted with the governance
Of his own conduct. Nor was I alone
Delighted with his life, but all the world
With one accord said all good things, and prais’d
My happy fortunes, who possess’d a son
So good, so lib’rally disposed. — In short
Chremes, seduc’d by this fine character,
Came of his own accord, to offer me
His only daughter with a handsome portion
In marriage with my son. I lik’d the match;
Betroth’d my son; and this was pitch’d upon,
By joint agreement, for the wedding-day.
Sosia. And what prevents it’s being so?
Simo. I’ll tell you.
In a few days, the treaty still on foot,
This neighbor Chrysis dies.
Sosia. In happy hour:
Happy for you! I was afraid of Chrysis.
Simo. My son, on this event, was often there
With those who were the late gallants of Chrysis;
Assisted to prepare the funeral,
Ever condol’d, and sometimes wept with them.
This pleas’d me then; for in myself I thought,
“Since merely for a small acquaintance-sake
He takes this woman’s death so nearly, what
If he himself had lov’d? What would he feel
For me, his father?” All these things, I thought;
Were but the tokens and the offices
Of a humane and tender disposition.
In short, on his account, e’en I myself
Attend the funeral, suspecting yet
Sosia. And what —
Simo. You shall hear all. The Corpse
Borne forth, we follow: when among the women
Attending there, I chanc’d to cast my eyes,
Upon one girl, in form —
Sosia. Not bad, perhaps —
Simo. And look; so modest, and so beauteous, Sosia!
That nothing could exceed it. As she seem’d
To grieve beyond the rest; and as her air
Appear’d more liberal and ingenuous,
I went and ask’d her women who she was.
Sister, they said, to Chrysis: when at once
It struck my mind; “So! so! the secret’s out;
Hence were those tears, and hence all that compassion!”
Sosia. Alas! I fear how this affair will end!
Simo. Meanwhile the funeral proceeds: we follow;
Come to the sepulchre: the body’s plac’d
Upon the pile, lamented: whereupon
This sister I was speaking of, all wild,
Ran to the flames with peril of her life.
Then! there! the frighted Pamphilus betrays
His well-dissembled and long-hidden love:
Runs up, and takes her round the waist, and cries,
“Oh my Glycerium! what is it you do?
Why, why endeavor to destroy yourself?”
Then she, in such a manner, that you thence
Might easily perceive their long, long, love,
Threw herself back into his arms, and wept,
Oh how familiarly!
Sosia. How say you!
Return in anger thence, and hurt at heart,
Yet had no cause sufficient for reproof.
“What have I done? he’d say; or how deserv’d
Reproach? or how offended, Father? — Her
Who meant to cast herself into the flames,
I stopped.” A fair excuse!
Sosia. You’re in the right;
For him, who sav’d a life, if you reprove,
What will you do to him that offers wrong?
Simo. Chremes next day came open-mouth’d to me:
Oh monstrous! he had found that Pamphilus
Was married to this stranger woman I
Deny the fact most steadily, and he
As steadily insists. In short we part
On such bad terms, as let me understand
He would refuse his daughter.
Sosia. Did not you
Then take your son to task?
Simo. Not even this
Appear’d sufficient for reproof.
Sosia. How so?
Simo. “Father, (he might have said) You have, you know,
Prescrib’d a term to all these things yourself.
The time is near at hand, when I must live
According to the humor of another.
Meanwhile, permit me now to please my own!”
Sosia. What cause remains to chide him then?
Simo. If he
Refuses, on account of this amour,
To take a wife, such obstinate denial
Must be considered as his first offense.
Wherefore I now, from this mock-nuptial,
Endeavor to draw real cause to chide:
And that same rascal Davus, if he’s plotting,
That he may let his counsel run to waste,
Now, when his knaveries can do no harm:
Who, I believe, with all his might and main
Will strive to cross my purposes; and that
More to plague me, than to oblige my son.
Sosia. Why so?
Simo. Why so! Bad mind, bad heart: But if
I catch him at his tricks! — But what need words?
— If, as I wish it may, it should appear
That Pamphilus objects not to the match,
Chremes remains to be prevail’d upon,
And will, I hope, consent. ’Tis now your place
To counterfeit these nuptials cunningly;
To frighten Davus; and observe my son,
What he’s about, what plots they hatch together.
Sosia. Enough; I’ll take due care. Let’s now go in!
Simo. Go first: I’ll follow you. Exit Sosia.
Beyond all doubt
My son’s averse to take a wife: I saw
How frighten’d Davus was, but even now,
When he was told a nuptial was preparing.
But here he comes.
Davus. (to himself). I thought ’twere wonderful
If this affair went off so easily;
And dreaded where my master’s great good-humor
Would end at last: who, after he perceiv’d
The Lady was refus’d, ne’er said a word
To any of us, nor e’er took it ill.
Simo. (behind). But now he will; to your cost too, I warrant you!
Davus. This was his scheme; to lead us by the nose
In a false dream of joy; then all agape
With hope, even then that we were most secure,
To have o’erwhelm’d us, nor allow’d us time
To cast about which way to break the match.
Cunning old Gentleman!
Simo. What says the rogue?
Davus. My master and I did not see him!
Davus. Well! what now? (Pretending not to see him.)
Simo. Here! this way!
Davus. What can he want? (To himself.)
Simo. (overhearing). What say you?
Davus. Upon what? Sir.
Simo. Upon what!
The world reports that my son keeps a mistress.
Davus. Oh, to be sure, the world cares much for that.
Simo. D’ye mind what I say? Sirrah!
Davus. Nothing more, Sir.
Simo. But for me now to dive into these matters
May seem perhaps like too severe a father:
For all his youthful pranks concern not me.
While ’twas in season, he had my free leave
To take his swing of pleasure. But to-day
Brings on another stage of life, and asks
For other manners: wherefore I desire,
Or, if you please, I do beseech you, Davus,
To set him right again.
Davus. What means all this?
Simo. All, who are fond of mistresses, dislike
The thoughts of matrimony.
Davus. So they say.
Simo. And then, if such a person entertains
An evil counselor in those affairs,
He tampers with the mind, and makes bad worse.
Davus. Troth, I don’t comprehend one word of this.
Davus. No. I’m Davus, and not Oedipus.
Simo. Then for the rest I have to say to you,
You choose I should speak plainly.
Davus. By all means.
Simo. If I discover then, that in this match
You get to your dog’s tricks to break it off,
Or try to show how shrewd a rogue you are,
I’ll have you beat to mummy, and then thrown
In prison, Sirrah! upon this condition,
That when I take you out again, I swear
To grind there in your stead. D’ye take me now?
Or don’t you understand this neither?
You have spoke out at last: the very thing!
Quite plain and home; and nothing round about.
Simo. I could excuse your tricks in any thing,
Rather than this.
Davus. Good words! I beg of you.
Simo. You laugh at me: well, well! — I give you warning
That you do nothing rashly, nor pretend
You was not advertis’d of this — take heed!
Troth Davus, ’tis high time to look about you;
No room for sloth, as far as I can sound
The sentiments of our old gentleman
About this marriage, which if not fought off,
And cunningly, spoils me, or my poor master.
I know not what to do; nor can resolve
To help the son, or to obey the father.
If I desert poor Pamphilus, alas!
I tremble for his life; if I assist him,
I dread his father’s threats: a shrewd old Cuff,
Not easily deceiv’d. For first of all,
He knows of this amour; and watches me
With jealous eyes, lest I devise some trick
To break the match. If he discovers it,
Woe to poor Davus! nay, if he’s inclin’d
To punish me, he’ll seize on some pretense
To throw me into prison, right or wrong.
Another mischief too, to make bad worse,
This Andrian, wife or mistress, is with child
By Pamphilus. And do but mark the height
Of their assurance! for ’tis certainly
The dotage of mad people, not of lovers.
Whate’er she shall bring forth, they have resolv’d
To educate: and have among themselves
Devis’d the strangest story! that Glycerium
Is an Athenian citizen. “There was
Once on a time a certain merchant, shipwreck’d
Upon the isle of Andros; there he died:
And Chrysis’ father took this orphan-wreck,
Then but an infant, under his protection.”
Ridiculous! ’tis all romance to me:
And yet the story pleases them. And see!
Mysis comes forth. But I must to the Forum
To look for Pamphilus, for fear his father
Should find him first, and take him unawares.
Enter Mysis. (Speaking to a servant within.)
I hear, Archyllis; I hear what you say:
You beg me to bring Lesbia. By my troth
That Lesbia is a drunken wretch, hot-headed,
Nor worthy to be trusted with a woman
In her first labor. Well, well! she shall come.
— Observe how earnest the old gossip is, (Coming forward)
Because this Lesbia is her pot-companion.
— Oh grant my mistress, Heav’n, a safe delivery,
And let the midwife trespass any where
Rather than here! — But what is it I see?
Pamphilus all disorder’d: How I fear
The cause! I’ll wait a while, that I may know
If this commotion means us any ill.
Pamphilus, Mysis behind.
Pam. Is this well done? or like a man? — Is this
The action of a father?
Mysis. What’s the matter?
Pam. Oh all ye pow’rs of heav’n and earth, what’s wrong
If this is not so? — If he was determin’d
That I to-day should marry, should I not
Have had some previous notice? — ought not he
To have inform’d me of it long ago?
Mysis. Alas! what’s this I hear?
Pam. And Chremes too,
Who had refus’d to trust me with his daughter,
Changes his mind, because I change not mine.
Can he then be so obstinately bent
To tear me from Glycerium? To lose her
Is losing life. — Was ever man so cross’d,
So curs’d as I? — Oh pow’rs of heav’n and earth!
Can I by no means fly from this alliance
With Chremes’ family? — so oft contemn’d
And held in scorn! — all done, concluded all! —
Rejected, then recall’d:— and why? — unless,
For so I must suspect, they breed some monster,
Whom as they can obtrude on no one else,
They bring to me.
Mysis. Alas, alas! this speech
Has struck me almost dead with fear.
Pam. And then
My father! — what to say of him? — Oh shame!
A thing of so much consequence to treat
So negligently! — For but even now
Passing me in the forum, “Pamphilus!
To-day’s your wedding-day, said he: prepare;
Go, get you home!” — This sounded in my ears
As if he said, “go, hang yourself!” — I stood
Confounded. Think you I could speak one word?
Or offer an excuse, how weak soe’er?
No, I was dumb:— and had I been aware,
Should any ask what I’d have done, I would,
Rather than this, do any thing. — But now
What to resolve upon? — So many cares
Entangle me at once, and rend my mind,
Pulling it diff’rent ways. My love, compassion,
This urgent match, my rev’rence for my father,
Who yet has ever been so gentle to me,
And held so slack a rein upon my pleasures.
— And I oppose him? — Racking thought! — Ah me!
I know not what to do.
Mysis. Alas, I fear
Where this uncertainty will end. ’Twere best
He should confer with her; or I at least
Speak touching her to him. For while the mind
Hangs in suspense, a trifle turns the scale.
Pam. Who’s there? what, Mysis! Save you!
Mysis. Save you! Sir. (Coming forward.)
Pam. How does she?
Mysis. How! oppress’d with wretchedness.
To-day supremely wretched, as to-day
Was formerly appointed for your wedding.
And then she fears lest you desert her.
Desert her? Can I think on’t? or deceive
A wretched maid! who trusted to my care
Her life and honor. Her whom I have held
Near to my heart, and cherish’d as my wife?
Or leave her modest and well nurtur’d mind
Through want to be corrupted? Never, never.
Mysis. No doubt, did it depend on you alone;
But if constrain’d —
Pam. D’ye think me then so vile?
Or so ungrateful, so inhuman, savage,
Neither long intercourse, nor love, nor shame,
Can move my soul, or make me keep my faith?
Mysis. I only know, my mistress well deserves
You should remember her.
Pam. Remember her?
Oh Mysis, Mysis! even at this hour,
The words of Chrysis touching my Glycerium
Are written in my heart. On her death-bed
She call’d me. I approach’d her. You retir’d.
We were alone; and Chrysis thus began:
“My Pamphilus, you see the youth and beauty
Of this unhappy maid: and well you know,
These are but feeble guardians to preserve
Her fortune or her fame. By this right hand
I do beseech you, by your better angel,
By your tried faith, by her forlorn condition,
I do conjure you, put her not away,
Nor leave her to distress. If I have ever,
As my own brother, lov’d you; or if she
Has ever held you dear ’bove all the world,
And ever shown obedience to your will —
I do bequeath you to her as a husband,
Friend, Guardian, Father: all our little wealth
To you I leave, and trust it to your care.” —
She join’d our hands, and died. — I did receive her,
And once receiv’d will keep her.
Mysis. So we trust.
Pam. What make you from her?
Mysis. Going for a midwife.
Pam. Haste then! and hark, be sure take special heed,
You mention not a word about the marriage,
Lest this too give her pain.
Mysis. I understand.
Char. How, Byrrhia? Is she to be married, say you,
To Pamphilus to-day?
Byr. ’Tis even so.
Char. How do you know?
Byr. I had it even now
From Davus at the Forum.
Char. Woe is me!
Then I’m a wretch indeed: till now my mind
Floated ’twixt hope and fear: now, hope remov’d,
Stunn’d, and o’erwhelm’d, it sinks beneath its cares.
Byr. Nay, prithee master, since the thing you wish
Can not be had, e’en wish for that which may!
Char. I wish for nothing but Philumena.
Byr. Ah, how much wiser were it, that you strove
To quench this passion, than, with words like these
To fan the fire, and blow it to a flame?
Char. How readily do men at ease prescribe
To those who’re sick at heart! distress’d like me,
You would not talk thus.
Byr. Well, well, as you please.
Char. Ha! I see Pamphilus. I can resolve
On any thing, e’er give up all for lost.
Byr. What now?
Char. I will entreat him, beg, beseech him,
Tell him our course of love, and thus, perhaps,
At least prevail upon him to defer
His marriage some few days: meanwhile, I hope,
Something may happen.
Byr. Aye, that something’s nothing.
Char. Byrrhia, what think you? Shall I speak to him?
Byr. Why not? for though you don’t obtain your suit,
He will at least imagine you’re prepar’d
To cuckold him, in case he marries her.
Char. Away, you hang-dog, with your base suspicions!
Pam. Charinus, save you!
Char. Save you, Pamphilus!
Imploring comfort, safety, help, and counsel,
You see me now before you.
Pam. Help, and counsel!
I can afford you neither. — But what mean you?
Char. Is this your wedding-day?
Pam. Aye, so they say.
Char. Ah, Pamphilus, if so, this day
You see the last of me.
Pam. How so?
Char. Ah me!
I dare not speak it: prithee tell him, Byrrhia.
Byr. Aye, that I will.
Pam. What is’t?
Byr. He is in love
With your bride, Sir.
Pam. I’ faith so am not I.
Tell me, Charinus, has aught further passed
’Twixt you and her?
Char. Ah, no, no.
Pam. Would there had!
Char. Now by our friendship, by my love I beg
You would not marry her. —
Pam. I will endeavor.
Char. If that’s impossible, or if this match
Be grateful to your heart —
Pam. My heart!
Char. At least
Defer it some few days; while I depart,
That I may not behold it.
Pam. Hear, Charinus;
It is, I think, scarce honesty in him
To look for thanks, who means no favor. I
Abhor this marriage, more than you desire it.
Char. You have reviv’d me.
Pam. Now if you, or he,
Your Byrrhia here, can do or think of aught;
Act, plot, devise, invent, strive all you can
To make her yours; and I’ll do all I can
That she may not be mine.
Pam. I see
Davus, and in good time: for he’ll advise
What’s best to do.
Char. But you, you sorry rogue, (To Byrrhia)
Can give me no advice, nor tell me aught,
But what it is impertinent to know.
Hence, Sirrah, get you gone!
Byr. With all my heart.
Enter Davus hastily.
Davus. Good Heav’ns, what news I bring! what joyful news!
But where shall I find Pamphilus, to drive
His fears away, and make him full of joy?
Char. There’s something pleases him.
Pam. No matter what.
He has not heard of our ill fortune yet.
Davus. And he, I warrant, if he has been told
Of his intended wedding —
Char. Do you hear?
Davus. Poor soul, is running all about the town
In quest of me. But whither shall I go?
Or which way run?
Char. Why don’t you speak to him?
Davus. I’ll go.
Pam. Ho! Davus! Stop, come here!
Davus. Who calls?
O, Pamphilus! the very man. — Heyday!
Charinus too! — Both gentlemen, well met!
I’ve news for both.
Pam. I’m ruin’d, Davus.
Davus. Hear me!
Davus. I know your fears.
Char. My life’s at stake.
Davus. Yours I know also.
Pam. Matrimony mine.
Davus. I know it.
Pam. But to-day.
Davus. You stun me; plague!
I tell you I know ev’ry thing: you fear (To Charinus.)
You should not marry her. — You fear you should. (To Pam.)
Char. The very thing.
Pam. The same.
Davus. And yet that same
Is nothing. Mark!
Pam. Nay, rid me of my fear.
Davus. I will then. Chremes don’t intend his daughter
Shall marry you to-day.
Pam. No! How d’ye know?
Davus. I’m sure of it. Your Father but just now
Takes me aside, and tells me ’twas his will
That you should wed to-day; with much beside,
Which now I have not leisure to repeat.
I, on the instant, hastening to find you,
Run to the Forum to inform you of it:
There, failing, climb an eminence, look round:
No Pamphilus: I light by chance on Byrrhia;
Inquire; he hadn’t seen you. Vex’d at heart,
What’s to be done? thought I. Returning thence
A doubt arose within me. Ha! bad cheer,
The old man melancholy, and a wedding
Clapp’d up so suddenly! This don’t agree.
Pam. Well, what then?
Davus. I betook me instantly
To Chremes’ house; but thither when I came,
Before the door all hush. This tickled me.
Pam. You’re in the right. Proceed.
Davus. I watch’d a while:
Meantime no soul went in, no soul came out;
No matron; in the house no ornament;
No note of preparation. I approach’d,
Look’d in —
Pam. I understand: a potent sign!
Davus. Does this seem like a nuptial?
Pam. I think not,
Davus. Think not, d’ye say? you don’t conceive:
The thing is evident. I met beside,
As I departed thence, with Chremes’ boy,
Bearing some pot-herbs, and a pennyworth
Of little fishes for the old man’s dinner.
Char. I am deliver’d, Davus, by your means,
From all my apprehensions of to-day.
Davus. And yet you are undone.
Char. How so? Since Chremes
Will not consent to give Philumena
Davus. Ridiculous! As if,
Because the daughter is denied to him,
She must of course wed you. Look to it well;
Court the old Gentleman through friends, apply,
Or else —
Char. You’re right: I will about it straight,
Although that hope has often fail’d. Farewell.
Pam. What means my father then? Why counterfeit?
Davus. That I’ll explain. If he were angry now,
Merely that Chremes has refus’d his daughter,
He’d think himself in fault; and justly too,
Before the bias of your mind is known.
But granting you refuse her for a wife,
Then all the blame devolves on you, and then
Comes all the storm.
Pam. What course then shall I take?
Shall I submit —
Davus. He is your Father, Sir,
Whom to oppose were difficult; and then
Glycerium’s a lone woman; and he’ll find
Some course, no matter what, to drive her hence.
Pam. To drive her hence?
Pam. Tell me then,
Oh tell me, Davus, what were best to do?
Davus. Say that you’ll marry!
Davus. And where’s the harm?
Pam. Say that I’ll marry!
Davus. Why not?
Pam. Never, never.
Davus. Do not refuse!
Pam. Persuade not!
Davus. Do but mark
Pam. Divorcement from Glycerium.
And marriage with the other.
Davus. No such thing.
Your father, I suppose, accosts you thus.
I’d have you wed to-day; — I will, quoth you:
What reason has he to reproach you then?
Thus shall you baffle all his settled schemes,
And put him to confusion; all the while
Secure yourself: for ’tis beyond a doubt
That Chremes will refuse his daughter to you;
So obstinately too, you need not pause,
Or change these measures, lest he change his mind;
Say to your father then, that you will wed,
That, with the will, he may want cause to chide.
But if, deluded by fond hopes, you cry,
“No one will wed their daughter to a rake,
A libertine.” — Alas, you’re much deceiv’d.
For know, your father will redeem some wretch
From rags and beggary to be your wife,
Rather than see your ruin with Glycerium.
But if he thinks you bear an easy mind,
He too will grow indiff’rent, and seek out
Another match at leisure; the mean while
Affairs may take a lucky turn.
Pam. D’ye think so?
Davus. Beyond all doubt.
Pam. See, what you lead me to.
Davus. Nay, peace!
Pam. I’ll say so then. But have a care
He knows not of the child, which I’ve agreed
Davus. O confidence!
Pam. She drew
This promise from me, as a firm assurance
That I would not forsake her.
Davus. We’ll take care.
But here’s your father: let him not perceive
Enter Simo at a distance.
Simo. I return to see
What they’re about, or what they meditate.
Davus. Now is he sure that you’ll refuse to wed.
From some dark corner brooding o’er black thoughts
He comes, and fancies he has fram’d a speech
To disconcert you. See, you keep your ground.
Pam. If I can, Davus.
Davus. Trust me, Pamphilus,
Your father will not change a single word
In anger with you, do but say you’ll wed.
Enter Byrrhia behind.
Byr. To-day my master bade me leave all else
For Pamphilus, and watch how he proceeds,
About his marriage; wherefore I have now
Followed the old man hither: yonder too
Stands Pamphilus himself, and with him Davus.
To business then!
Simo. I see them both together.
Davus. Now mind. (Apart to Pam.)
Simo. Here, Pamphilus!
Davus. Now turn about,
As taken unawares. (Apart.)
Pam. Who calls? my father!
Davus. Well said! (Apart.)
Simo. It is my pleasure, that to-day,
As I have told you once before, you marry.
Davus. Now on our part, I fear what he’ll reply. (Aside.)
Pam. In that, and all the rest of your commands,
I shall be ready to obey you, Sir!
Byr. How’s that! (Overhearing.)
Davus. Struck dumb. (Aside.)
Byr. What said he? (Listening.)
Simo. You perform
Your duty, when you cheerfully comply
With my desires.
Davus. There! said I not the truth? (Apart to Pam.)
Byr. My master then, so far as I can find,
May whistle for a wife.
Simo. Now then go in
That when you’re wanted you be found.
Pam. I go.
Byr. Is there no faith in the affairs of men?
’Tis an old saying and a true one too;
“Of all mankind each loves himself the best.”
I’ve seen the lady; know her beautiful;
And therefore sooner pardon Pamphilus,
If he had rather win her to his arms,
Than yield her to th’ embraces of my master.
I will go bear these tidings, and receive
Much evil treatment for my evil news.
Manent Simo and Davus.
Davus. Now he supposes I’ve some trick in hand,
And loiter here to practice it on him!
Simo. Well, what now, Davus?
Simo. Nothing, say you?
Davus. Nothing at all.
Simo. And yet I look’d for something.
Davus. So, I perceive, you did:— This nettles him. (Aside.)
Simo. Can you speak truth?
Davus. Most easily.
Simo. Say then,
Is not this wedding irksome to my son,
From his adventure with the Andrian?
Davus. No faith; or if at all, ’twill only be
Two or three days’ anxiety, you know;
Then ’twill be over: for he sees the thing
In its true light.
Simo. I praise him for’t.
Davus. While you
Restrain’d him not; and while his youth allow’d
’Tis true he lov’d; but even then by stealth,
As wise men ought, and careful of his fame.
Now his age calls for matrimony, now
To matrimony he inclines his mind.
Simo. Yet, in my eyes, he seem’d a little sad.
Davus. Not upon that account. He has he thinks
Another reason to complain of you.
Simo. For what?
Davus. A trifle.
Simo. Well, what is’t?
Davus. Nay, nothing.
Simo. Tell me, what is’t?
Davus. You are then, he complains,
Somewhat too sparing of expense.
A feast of scarce ten Drachms? Does this, says he,
Look like a wedding-supper for his son?
What friends can I invite? especially
At such a time as this? — and, truly, Sir,
You have been very frugal; much too sparing.
I can’t commend you for it.
Simo. Hold your peace.
Davus. I’ve ruffled him. (Aside.)
Simo. I’ll look to that. Away!
What now? What means the varlet? Precious rogue,
For if there’s any knavery on foot,
He, I am sure, is the contriver on’t.
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.
Is this to be believ’d, or to be told?
Can then such inbred malice live in man,
To joy in ill, and from another’s woes
To draw his own delight? — Ah, is’t then so?
— Yes, such there are, the meanest of mankind,
Who, from a sneaking bashfulness, at first
Dare not refuse; but when the time comes on
To make their promise good, then force perforce
Open themselves and fear: yet must deny.
Then too, oh shameless impudence, they cry,
“Who then are you? and what are you to me?
Why should I render up my love to you?
Faith, neighbor, charity begins at home.”
— Speak of their broken faith, they blush not, they,
Now throwing off that shame they ought to wear,
Which they before assum’d without a cause.
— What shall I do? go to him? on my wrongs
Expostulate, and throw reproaches on him?
What will that profit, say you? — very much.
I shall at least imbitter his delight,
And gratify my anger.
To him Pamphilus and Davus.
Pam. Oh, Charinus,
By my imprudence, unless Heav’n forefend,
I’ve ruin’d both myself and you.
Paltry evasion! you have broke your faith.
Pam. What now?
Char. And do you think that words like these
Can baffle me again?
Pam. What means all this?
Char. Soon as I told you of my passion for her,
Then she had charms for you. — Ah, senseless fool,
To judge your disposition by my own!
Pam. You are mistaken.
Char. Was your joy no joy,
Without abusing a fond lover’s mind,
Fool’d on with idle hopes? — Well, take her.
Pam. Take her?
Alas, you know not what a wretch I am:
How many cares this slave has brought upon me,
My rascal here.
Char. No wonder if he takes
Example from his master.
Pam. Ah, you know not
Me, or my love, or else you would not talk thus.
Char. Oh yes, I know it all. You had but now
A dreadful altercation with your father:
And therefore he’s enrag’d, nor could prevail
On you, forsooth, to wed. (Ironically.)
Pam. To show you then,
How little you conceive of my distress,
These nuptials were mere semblance, mock’ry all,
Nor was a wife intended me.
Char. I know it:
You are constrain’d, poor man, by inclination.
Pam. Nay, but have patience! you don’t know —
Char. I know
That you’re to marry her.
Pam. Why rack me thus?
Nay hear! he never ceas’d to importune
That I would tell my father, I would wed;
So press’d, and urg’d, that he at length prevail’d.
Char. Who did this?
Pam. Davus all.
Pam. I know not: but I know the Gods
Meant in their anger I should listen to him.
Char. Is it so, Davus?
Davus. Even so.
Char. How, villain?
The Gods confound you for it! — Tell me, wretch
Had all his most inveterate foes desir’d
To throw him on this marriage, what advice
Could they have given else?
Davus. I am deceiv’d,
But not dishearten’d.
Char. True. (Ironically.)
Davus. This way has fail’d;
We’ll try another way: unless you think
Because the business has gone ill at first,
We can not graft advantage on misfortune.
Pam. Oh aye, I warrant you, if you look to ’t,
Out of one wedding you can work me two.
Davus. Pamphilus, ’tis my duty, as your slave,
To strive with might and main, by day and night
With hazard of my life, to do you service:
’Tis yours, if I am cross’d, to pardon me.
My undertakings fail indeed, but then
I spare no pains. Do better, if you can,
And send me packing.
Pam. Aye, with all my heart:
Place me but where you found me first.
Davus. I will.
Pam. But do it instantly.
Davus. Hist! hold a while:
I hear the creaking of Glycerium’s door.
Pam. Nothing to you.
Davus. I’m thinking.
Pam. What, at last?
Davus. Your business shall be done, and presently.
Mysis to Glycerium (within). Be where he will,
I’ll find your Pamphilus,
And bring him with me. Meanwhile, you, my soul,
Forbear to vex yourself.
Mysis. Who’s there?
Oh Pamphilus, well met, Sir!
Pam. What’s the matter?
Mysis. My mistress, by the love you bear her, begs
Your presence instantly. She longs to see you.
Pam. Ah, I’m undone: This sore breaks out afresh.
Unhappy that we are, through your curs’d means,
To be tormented thus. (To Davus.) — She has been told
A nuptial is prepar’d and therefore sends.
Char. From which how safe you were, had he been quiet! (Pointing to Davus.)
Davus. Aye, if he raves not of himself enough,
Do, irritate him. (To Charinus.)
Mysis. Truly that’s the cause;
And therefore ’tis, poor soul, she sorrows thus.
Pam. Mysis, I swear to thee by all the Gods,
I never will desert her: though assur’d
That I for her make all mankind my foes.
I sought her, carried her: our hearts are one,
And farewell they that wish us put asunder!
Death, naught but death shall part us.
Mysis. I revive.
Pam. Apollo’s oracles are not more true.
If that my father may be wrought upon,
To think I hinder’d not the match, ’tis well:
But if that can not be, come what come may,
Why let him know, ’twas I— What think you now? (To Charinus.)
Char. That we are wretches both.
Davus. My brain ’s at work.
Char. O brave!
Pam. I know what you’d attempt.
Davus. Well, well!
I will effect it for you.
Pam. Aye, but now.
Davus. E’en now.
Char. What is’t?
Davus. For him, Sir, not for you.
Be not mistaken.
Char. I am satisfied.
Pam. Say, what do you propose?
Davus. This day, I fear,
Is scarce sufficient for the execution,
So think not I have leisure to relate.
Hence then! you hinder me: hence, hence I say.
Pam. I’ll to Glycerium.
Davus. Well, and what mean you?
Whither will you, Sir?
Char. Shall I speak the truth?
Davus. Oh to be sure: now for a tedious tale!
Char. What will become of me?
Davus. How! not content!
Is it not then sufficient, if I give you
The respite of a day, a little day,
By putting off his wedding?
Char. Aye, but Davus, —
Davus. But what?
Char. That I may wed —
Char. If you succeed, come to me.
Davus. Wherefore come?
I can’t assist you.
Char. Should it so fall out —
Davus. Well, well, I’ll come.
Char. If aught, I am at home.
Manent Davus, Mysis.
Davus. Mysis, wait here till I come forth.
Mysis. For what?
Davus. It must be so.
Mysis. Make haste then.
Davus. In a moment.
Exit to Glycerium’s.
Can we securely then count nothing ours?
Oh all ye Gods! I thought this Pamphilus
The greatest good my mistress could obtain,
Friend, lover, husband, ev’ry way a blessing:
And yet what woe, poor wretch, endures she not
On his account? Alas, more ill than good.
But here comes Davus.
Re-enter Davus with the child.
Mysis. Prithee, man, what now?
Where are you carrying the child?
Davus. Oh, Mysis,
Now have I need of all your ready wit,
And all your cunning.
Mysis. What are you about?
Davus. Quick, take the boy, and lay him at our door.
Mysis. What, on the bare ground?
Davus. From the altar then
Take herbs and strew them underneath.
Mysis. And why
Can’t you do that yourself?
Davus. Because, supposing
There should be need to swear to my old master
I did not lay the bantling there myself
I may with a safe conscience.
Mysis. I conceive.
But pray how came this sudden qualm upon you?
Davus. Nay, but be quick, that you may comprehend
What I propose. — (Mysis lays the child at Simo’s door.)
Oh Jupiter! (Looking out.)
Mysis. What now?
Davus. Here comes the father of the bride! — I change
My first-intended purpose.
Mysis. What you mean
I can’t imagine.
Davus. This way from the right,
I’ll counterfeit to come:— And be’t your care
To throw in aptly now and then a word,
To help out the discourse as need requires.
Mysis. Still what you’re at, I can not comprehend.
But if I can assist, as you know best,
Not to obstruct your purposes, I’ll stay. (Davus retires.)
Enter Chremes going toward Simo’s.
Chremes. Having provided all things necessary.
I now return to bid them call the bride.
What’s here? (seeing the child) by Hercules, a child! Ha, woman,
Was’t you that laid it here?
Mysis. Where is he gone? (Looking after Davus.)
Chremes. What, won’t you answer me?
Mysis. (Looking about.) Not here: Ah me!
The fellow’s gone, and left me in the lurch.
Davus coming forward and pretending not to see them.
Davus. Good Heavens, what confusion at the Forum!
The people all disputing with each other!
The market-price is so confounded high. (Loud.)
What to say else I know not. (Aside.)
Mysis (to Davus). What d’ye mean,
Chremes retires and listens to their conversation.
By leaving me alone?
Davus. What farce is this?
Ha, Mysis, whence this child? Who brought it here?
Mysis. Have you your wits, to ask me such a question?
Davus. Whom should I ask, when no one else is here?
Chremes (behind). I wonder whence it comes. (To himself.)
Davus. Wilt answer me! (Loud.)
Mysis. Ah! (Confused.)
Davus. This way to the right! (Apart to Mysis.)
Mysis. You’re raving mad.
Was ’t not yourself!
Davus. I charge you not a word,
But what I ask you. (Apart to Mysis.)
Mysis. Do you threaten me?
Davus. Whence comes this child? (Loud.)
Mysis. From our house.
Davus. Ha! ha! ha!
No wonder that a harlot has assurance.
Chremes. This is the Andrian’s servant-maid, I take it.
Davus. Do we then seem to you such proper folks
To play these tricks upon? (Loud to Mysis.)
Chremes. I came in time. (To himself.)
Davus. Make haste, and take your bantling from our door. (Loud.)
Hold! do not stir from where you are, be sure. (Softly.)
Mysis. A plague upon you: you so terrify me!
Davus. Wench, did I speak to you or no? (Loud.)
Mysis. What would you?
Davus. What would I? Say, whose child have you laid here?
Tell me. (Loud.)
Mysis. You don’t know?
Davus. Plague of what I know:
Tell what I ask. (Softly.)
Davus. Ours? Whose? (Loud.)
Davus. How say you? Pamphilus’s? (Loud.)
Mysis. To be sure.
Chremes. I had good cause to be against this match. (To himself.)
Davus. O monstrous impudence! (Bawling.)
Mysis. Why all this noise?
Davus. Did not I see this child convey’d by stealth
Into your house last night?
Mysis. Oh rogue!
Davus. ’Tis true.
I saw old Canthara stuff’d out?
Mysis. Thank Heav’n,
Some free-women were present at her labor?
Davus. Troth, she don’t know the gentleman, for whom
She plays this game. She thinks, should Chremes see
The child laid here, he would not grant his daughter.
Faith, he would grant her the more willingly.
Chremes. Not he indeed. (To himself.)
Davus. But now, one word for all,
Take up the child; or I shall trundle him
Into the middle of the street, and roll
You, madam, in the mire.
Mysis. The fellow’s drunk.
Davus. One piece of knavery begets another:
Now, I am told, ’tis whisper’d all about,
That she’s a citizen of Athens — (Loud.)
Davus. And that by law he will be forc’d to wed her.
Mysis. Why prithee is she not a citizen?
Chremes. What a fine scrape was I within a hair
Of being drawn into! (To himself.)
Davus. What voice is that? (Turning about.)
Oh Chremes! you are come in time. Attend!
Chremes. I have heard all already.
Davus. You’ve heard all?
Chremes. Yes all, I say, from first to last.
Good lack, what knaveries! this lying jade
Should be dragg’d hence to torture. — This is he! (To Mysis.)
Think not ’twas Davus you impos’d upon.
Mysis. Ah me! — Good Sir, I spoke the truth indeed.
Chremes. I know the whole. — Is Simo in the house?
Davus. Yes, Sir.
Manent Davus, Mysis. Davus runs up to her.
Mysis. Don’t offer to touch me, you villain!
If I don’t tell my mistress every word —
Davus. Why you don’t know, you fool, what good we’ve done.
Mysis. How should I?
Davus. This is father to the bride:
Nor could it otherwise have been contriv’d
That he should know what we would have him.
You should have given me notice.
Davus. Is there then
No diff’rence, think you, whether all you say
Falls natural from the heart, or comes
From dull premeditation?
Crito. In this street
They say that Chrysis liv’d: who rather chose
To heap up riches here by wanton ways,
Than to live poor and honestly at home:
She dead, her fortune comes by law to me.
But I see persons to inquire of. (Goes up.) Save you!
Mysis. Good now, who’s that I see? is it not Crito,
Chrysis’s kinsman? Aye, the very same.
Crito. O Mysis, save you!
Mysis. Save you, Crito!
Is then — ha?
Mysis. Aye, she has left us, poor souls!
Crito. And ye; how go ye on here? — pretty well?
Mysis. We? — as we can, as the old saying goes,
When as we would we can not.
Crito. And Glycerium,
Has she found out her parents?
Mysis. Would she had!
Crito. Not yet! an ill wind blew me hither then.
For truly, had I been appris’d of that,
I’d ne’er have set foot here: for this Glycerium
Was always call’d and thought to be her sister.
What Chrysis left, she takes possession of:
And now for me, a stranger, to commence
A lawsuit here, how good and wise it were,
Other examples teach me. She, I warrant,
Has got her some gallant too, some defender:
For she was growing up a jolly girl
When first she journeyed hither. They will cry
That I’m a pettifogger, fortune-hunter,
A beggar. — And besides it were not well
To leave her in distress.
Mysis. Good soul! troth Crito,
You have the good old-fashion’d honesty.
Crito. Well, since I am arriv’d here, bring me to her,
That I may see her.
Mysis. Aye, with all my heart.
Davus. I will in with them: for I would not choose
That our old gentleman should see me now.
Chremes. Enough already, Simo, and enough
I’ve shown my friendship for you; hazarded
Enough of peril: urge me then no more!
Wishing to please you, I had near destroy’d
My daughter’s peace and happiness forever.
Simo. Ah, Chremes, I must now entreat the more,
More urge you to confirm the promis’d boon.
Chremes. Mark, how unjust you are through willfulness!
So you obtain what you demand, you set
No bounds to my compliance, nor consider
What you request; for if you did consider,
You’d cease to load me with these injuries.
Simo. What injuries?
Chremes. Is that a question now?
Have you not driven me to plight my child
To one possess’d with other love, averse
To marriage; to expose her to divorce,
And crazy nuptials; by her woe and bane
To work a cure for your distemper’d son?
You had prevail’d: I travel’d in the match,
While circumstances would admit; but now
The case is chang’d, content you:— It is said
That she’s a citizen; a child is born:
Prithee excuse us!
Simo. Now, for Heav’n’s sake.
Believe not them, whose interest it is
To make him vile and abject as themselves.
These stories are all feign’d, concerted all,
To break the match: when the occasion’s past
That urges them to this, they will desist.
Chremes. Oh, you mistake: e’en now I saw the maid
Wrangling with Davus.
Simo. Artifice! mere trick.
Chremes. Aye, but in earnest; and when neither knew
That I was there.
Simo. It may be so: and Davus
Told me beforehand they’d attempt all this;
Though I, I know not how, forgot to tell you.
Enter Davus from Glycerium’s.
Davus (to himself). He may be easy now, I warrant him —
Chremes. See yonder’s Davus.
Simo. Ha! whence comes the rogue?
Davus. By my assistance, and this stranger’s safe. (To himself.)
Simo. What mischief’s this? (Listening.)
Davus. A more commodious man,
Arriving just in season, at a time
So critical, I never knew. (To himself.)
Simo. A knave!
Who’s that he praises? (Listening.)
Davus. All is now secure. (To himself.)
Simo. Why don’t I speak to him?
Davus. My master here! (Turning about.)
What shall I do? (To himself.)
Simo. Good Sir, your humble Servant! (Sneering.)
Davus. Oh, Simo! and our Chremes! — All is now
Simo. You’ve taken special care. (Ironically.)
Davus. E’en call them when you please.
Simo. Oh, mighty fine!
That to be sure is all that’s wanting now.
— But tell me, Sir! what business had you there? (Pointing to Glycerium’s.)
Davus. I? (Confused.)
Davus. I—? (Stammering.)
Simo. You, Sir.
Davus. I went in but now. (Disordered.)
Simo. As if I ask’d, how long it was ago.
Davus. With Pamphilus.
Simo. Is Pamphilus within?
— Oh torture. — Did not you assure me, Sirrah,
They were at variance?
Davus. So they are.
Simo. Why then
Is Pamphilus within?
Chremes. Oh, why d’ye think?
He’s gone to quarrel with her. (Sneering.)
Davus. Nay, but Chremes,
There’s more in this, and you shall hear strange news.
There’s an old countryman, I know not who,
Is just arriv’d here; confident and shrewd;
His look bespeaks him of some consequence.
A grave severity is in his face,
And credit in his words.
Simo. What story now?
Davus. Nay, nothing, Sir, but what I heard him say.
Simo. And what says he, then?
Davus. That he’s well assur’d
Glycerium’s an Athenian citizen.
Simo. Ho, Dromo! Dromo!
Davus. What now?
Davus. Hear me.
Simo. Speak but a word more — Dromo!
Davus. Pray, Sir, hear!
Dromo. Your pleasure, Sir?
Simo. Here, drag him headlong in,
And truss the rascal up immediately.
Simo. Because I’ll have it so.
Take him, I say.
Davus. For what offense?
Simo. Off with him!
Davus. If it appear that I’ve said aught but truth,
Put me to death.
Simo. I will not hear. I’ll trounce you.
Davus. But though it should prove true, Sir!
Simo. True or false.
See that you keep him bound: and do you hear?
Bind the slave hand and foot. Away!
Exeunt Dromo and Davus.
Manent Simo, Chremes.
— By Heav’n,
As I do live, I’ll make you know this day
What peril lies in trifling with a master,
And make him know what ’tis to plague a father.
Chremes. Ah, be not in such rage.
Simo. Oh Chremes, Chremes,
Filial unkindness! — Don’t you pity me!
To feel all this for such a thankless son! —
Here, Pamphilus, come forth! ho, Pamphilus!
Have you no shame? (Calling at Glycerium’s door.)
Pam. Who calls? — Undone! my father!
Simo. What say you? Most —
Chremes. Ah, rather speak at once
Your purpose, Simo, and forbear reproach.
Simo. As if ’twere possible to utter aught
Severer than he merits! — Tell me then; (To Pam.)
Glycerium is a citizen?
Pam. They say so.
Simo. They say so! — Oh amazing impudence! —
Does he consider what he says? does he
Repent the deed? or does his color take
The hue of shame? — To be so weak of soul,
Against the custom of our citizens,
Against the law, against his father’s will,
To wed himself to shame and this vile woman.
Pam. Wretch that I am!
Simo. Ah, Pamphilus! d’ye feel
Your wretchedness at last? Then, then, when first
You wrought upon your mind at any rate
To gratify your passion: from that hour
Well might you feel your state of wretchedness.
— But why give in to this? Why torture thus,
Why vex my spirit? Why afflict my age
For his distemp’rature? Why rue his sins?
— No; let him have her, joy in her, live with her.
Pam. My father! —
Simo. How, my father! — can I think
You want this father? You that for yourself
A home, a wife, and children have acquir’d
Against your father’s will? And witnesses
Suborn’d, to prove that she’s a citizen?
— You’ve gain’d your point.
Pam. My father, but one word!
Simo. What would you say?
Chremes. Nay, hear him, Simo.
Simo. Hear him?
What must I hear then, Chremes!
Chremes. Let him speak.
Simo. Well, let him speak: I hear him.
Pam. I confess,
I love Glycerium: if it be a fault,
That too I do confess. To you, my father,
I yield myself: dispose me as you please!
Command me! Say that I shall take a wife;
Leave her; I will endure it, as I may —
This only I beseech you, think not I
Suborn’d this old man hither. — Suffer me
To clear myself, and bring him here before you.
Simo. Bring him here!
Pam. Let me, father!
Chremes. ’Tis but just:
Pam. Grant me this!
Simo. Well, be it so.
I could bear all this bravely, Chremes; more,
Much more, to know that he deceiv’d me not.
Chremes. For a great fault a little punishment
Suffices to a father.
Re-enter Pamphilus with Crito.
Crito. Say no more!
Any of these inducements would prevail:
Or your entreaty, or that it is truth,
Or that I wish it for Glycerium’s sake.
Chremes. Whom do I see? Crito, the Andrian?
Nay certainly ’tis Crito.
Crito. Save you, Chremes!
Chremes. What has brought you to Athens?
But is this Simo?
Simo. Asks he for me?
So, Sir, you say that this Glycerium
Is an Athenian citizen?
Crito. Do you
Simo. What then are you come prepar’d?
Crito. Prepar’d! for what?
Simo. And dare you ask for what?
Shall you go on thus with impunity?
Lay snares for inexperienc’d, lib’ral youth,
With fraud, temptation, and fair promises
Soothing their minds? —
Crito. Have you your wits?
Simo. — And then
With marriage solder up their harlot loves?
Pam. Alas, I fear the stranger will not bear this. (Aside.)
Chremes. Knew you this person, Simo, you’d not think thus:
He’s a good man.
Simo. A good man he? — To come,
Although at Athens never seen till now,
So opportunely on the wedding-day! —
Is such a fellow to be trusted, Chremes?
Pam. But that I fear my father, I could make
That matter clear to him. (Aside.)
Simo. A Sharper!
Chremes. It is his humor, Crito: do not heed him.
Crito. Let him look to ’t. If he persists in saying
Whate’er he pleases, I shall make him hear
Something that may displease him. — Do I stir
In these affairs, or make them my concern?
Bear your misfortunes patiently! For me,
If I speak true or false, shall now be known.
— “A man of Athens once upon a time
Was shipwreck’d on the coast of Andros: with him
This very woman, then an infant. He
In this distress applied, it so fell out,
For help to Chrysis’ father — ”
Simo. All romance.
Chremes. Let him alone.
Crito. And will he interrupt me?
Chremes. Go on.
Crito. “Now Chrysis’ father, who receiv’d him,
Was my relation. There I’ve often heard
The man himself declare, he was of Athens.
There too he died.”
Chremes. His name?
Crito. His name so quickly! —
Crito. Troth, I think ’twas Phania;
But this I’m sure, he said he was of Rhamnus.
Chremes. Oh Jupiter!
Crito. These circumstances, Chremes,
Were known to many others, then in Andros.
Chremes. Heav’n grant it may be as I wish! — Inform me,
Whose daughter, said he, was the child? his own?
Crito. No, not his own.
Chremes. Whose then?
Crito. His brother’s daughter.
Chremes. Mine, mine undoubtedly!
Crito. What say you?
Pam. Hark, Pamphilus!
Simo. But why believe you this?
Chremes. That Phania was my brother.
Simo. True. I knew him.
Chremes. He, to avoid the war, departed hence:
And fearing ’twere unsafe to leave the child,
Embark’d with her in quest of me for Asia:
Since when I’ve heard no news of him till now.
Pam. I’m scarce myself, my mind is so enrapt
With fear, hope, joy, and wonder of so great,
So sudden happiness.
Simo. Indeed, my Chremes,
I heartily rejoice she’s found your daughter.
Pam. I do believe you, father.
Chremes. But one doubt
There still remains, which gives me pain.
With all your doubts! you puzzle a plain cause. (Aside.)
Crito. What is that doubt?
Chremes. The name does not agree.
Crito. She had another, when a child.
Chremes. What, Crito?
Can you remember?
Crito. I am hunting for it.
Pam. Shall then his memory oppose my bliss,
When I can minister the cure myself?
No, I will not permit it — Hark you, Chremes,
The name is Pasibula.
Chremes. The same.
Pam. I’ve heard it from herself a thousand times.
Simo. Chremes, I trust you will believe, we all
Rejoice at this.
Chremes. ’Fore Heaven I believe so.
Pam. And now, my father —
Simo. Peace, son! the event
Has reconcil’d me.
Pam. O thou best of fathers!
Does Chremes too confirm Glycerium mine?
Chremes. And with good cause if Simo hinder not.
Pam. Sir! (To Simo.)
Simo. Be it so.
Chremes. My daughter’s portion is
Ten talents, Pamphilus.
Pam. I am content.
Chremes. I’ll to her instantly: and prithee, Crito,
Along with me! for sure she knows me not.
Exeunt Chremes and Crito.
Simo. Why do you not give orders instantly
To bring her to our house?
Pam. Th’ advice is good.
I’ll give that charge to Davus.
Simo. It can’t be.
Simo. He has other business of his own,
Of nearer import to himself.
Pam. What business?
Simo. He’s bound.
Pam. Bound! how, Sir!
Simo. How, Sir? — neck and heels.
Pam. Ah, let him be enlarg’d.
Simo. It shall be done.
Pam. But instantly.
Simo. I’ll in, and order it.
Pam. Oh what a happy, happy day is this!
Enter Charinus behind.
Char. I come to see what Pamphilus is doing:
And there he is!
Pam. And is this true? — yes, yes,
I know ’tis true, because I wish it so.
Therefore I think the life of Gods eternal,
For that their joys are permanent: and now,
My soul hath her content so absolute,
That I too am immortal, if no ill
Step in betwixt me and this happiness.
Oh, for a bosom-friend now to pour out
My ecstasies before him!
Char. What’s this rapture? (Listening.)
Pam. Oh, yonder’s Davus: nobody more welcome:
For he, I know, will join in transport with me.
Davus (entering). Where’s Pamphilus?
Pam. Oh Davus!
Davus. Who’s there?
Davus. Oh Pamphilus!
Pam. You know not my good fortune.
Davus. Do you know my ill fortune?
Pam. To a tittle.
Davus. ’Tis after the old fashion, that my ills
Should reach your ears, before your joys reach mine.
Pam. Glycerium has discover’d her relations.
Davus. O excellent!
Char. How’s that? (Listening.)
Pam. Her father is
Our most near friend.
Davus. Charming news!
Pam. And I’m to marry her immediately.
Char. Is this man talking in his sleep, and dreams
On what he wishes waking? (Listening.)
Pam. And moreover,
For the child, Davus —
Davus. Ah, Sir, say no more.
You’re th’ only favorite of the Gods.
Char. I’m made,
If this be true. I’ll speak to them. (Comes forward.)
Pam. Who’s there?
Charinus! oh, well met.
Char. I give you joy.
Pam. You’ve heard then —
Char. Ev’ry word: and prithee now,
In your good fortune, think upon your friend.
Chremes is now your own; and will perform
Whatever you shall ask.
Pam. I shall remember.
’Twere tedious to expect his coming forth:
Along with me then to Glycerium!
Davus, do you go home, and hasten them
To fetch her hence. Away, away!
Davus. I go.
Exeunt Pamphilus and Charinus.
Davus. (addressing the audience.)
Wait not till they come forth: within
She’ll be betroth’d; within, if aught remains
Undone, ’twill be concluded — Clap your hands!
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