The Comedies of Terence
by Publius Terentius Afer
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[Transcriber's Note:

This translation of Terence was published by Harper & Brothers as the second part of an omnibus volume also containing the 1853 Riley translation (prose, with notes and commentary). The Riley portion has been released as a separate e-text, #22188.

This e-text includes readings from the 1768 second edition of Colman. In general, only differences in wording are included; variations in spelling and punctuation were disregarded. It is not known whether the Harper's text was based on the first edition of Colman or some later edition. Where the Harper text was clearly in error, the 1768 reading was substituted in the main text. In all cases, the alternative readings are shown at the end of each Scene.

Stage directions in braces such as {MICIO and DEMEA apart.} were added by the transcriber where the original format was impractical.

Each play is a free-standing unit.]


Literally Translated into English Prose, with Notes.

By HENRY THOMAS RILEY, B.A., Late Scholar of Clare Hall, Cambridge.

To which is added the blank verse translation of GEORGE COLMAN.

New York: Harper & Brothers, Publishers, Franklin Square. 1896.


Comprising Literal Translations of

Caesar. Virgil. Sallust. Horace. Terence. Tacitus. 2 Vols. Livy. 2 Vols. Cicero's Orations. Cicero's Offices, Laelius, Cato Major, Paradoxes, Scipio's Dream, Letter to Quintus. Cicero On Oratory and Orators. Cicero's Tusculan Disputations, The Nature of the Gods, and The Commonwealth. Juvenal. Xenophon. Homer's Iliad. Homer's Odyssey. Herodotus. Demosthenes. 2 Vols. Thucydides. AEschylus. Sophocles. Euripides. 2 Vols. Plato (Select Dialogues).

12mo, Cloth, $1.00 per Volume.

Published by HARPER & BROTHERS, New York.

The above works are for sale by all booksellers, or they will be sent by HARPER & BROTHERS to any address on receipt of price as quoted. If ordered sent by mail, 10 per cent. should be added to the price to cover cost of postage.



The Andrian 367 The Eunuch 408 The Self-Tormentor 451 The Brothers 494 The Step-Mother 535 Phormio 568



Primores populi arripuit populumque tributim: Scilicet uni aequus virtuti atque ejus amicis. Quin ubi se a vulgo et scena in secreta remorant Virtus Scipiadae et mitis sapientia Laeli, 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 contaminated. Troth! all the knowledge is they nothing know: Who, blaming; him, blame Naevius, 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.


Harper That Fables should not be contaminated. Colman 1768 That Fables should not be confounded thus.]



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 Your pleasure.

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?

SOSIA. True.

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; and join'd In their pursuits, opposing 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. Phaedrus 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 No harm.

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!

SIMO. I 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.


In this Scene, all quotation marks were supplied from the 1768 edition.

SIMO. Carry those things in: go! (Ex. SERVANTS. Harper text reads "Exit SERVANTS"; "Ex." (1768) can be taken as the correct plural form "Exeunt".

Harper He wholly did resign himself; and join'd In their pursuits, opposing nobody, Colman 1768 He wholly did resign himself; complied With all their humours, checking nobody,

... Was married to this stranger woman. I Deny the fact Line-final "I" missing in Harper text.]


Enter DAVUS.

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 have giv'n 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!

SIMO. Davus!

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?

DAVUS. Clearly. 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! (Exit.


Harper To have o'erwhelm'd us, nor have giv'n us time Colman 1768 To have o'erwhelm'd us, nor allow'd us time

Or, if you please, I do beseech you, Davus, anomalously printed as DAVUS in Harper text]



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 is, this Andrian, Mistress or wife, 's with child by Pamphilus. And do but mark their confidence! 'tis sure 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.


Harper Another mischief is, this Andrian, Mistress or wife, 's with child by Pamphilus. And do but mark their confidence! 'tis sure Colman 1768 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]


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.



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.

PAM. I! 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 make me keep my faith?

MYSIS. I only know That she deserves you should remember her.

PAM. I should remember her? Oh, Mysis, Mysis! 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.


All quotation marks in this Scene are supplied from the 1768 edition.

Harper Can make me keep my faith? MYSIS. I only know That she deserves you should remember her. PAM. I should remember her? Oh, Mysis, Mysis! Colman 1768 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,]




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. I do lack Myself both help and counsel—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.

CHAR. Enough.

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. (Exit.


Harper PAM. I do lack Myself both help and counsel—But what mean you? Colman 1768 PAM. Help, and counsel! I can afford you neither.—But what mean you?]


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!

PAM. Undone!

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 Won't give his daughter to you.

PAM. 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.

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 To Pamphilus.

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. (Exit.


Harper DAVUS. I will then. Chremes Won't give his daughter to you. PAM. How d'ye know? Colman 1768 DAVUS. I will then. Chremes don't intend his daughter Shall marry you to-day. PAM. No! How d'ye know?]



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?

DAVUS. Directly.

PAM. Tell me then, Oh tell me, Davus, what were best to do?

DAVUS. Say that you'll marry!

PAM. How!

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 The consequence.

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 To educate.

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 You're melancholy.


The initial character names "PAMPHILUS. DAVUS." are supplied from the 1768 edition.]


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. (Exit.

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. (Exit.


lines taken from 1768 edition PAM. Who calls? my father! DAVUS. Well said! SIMO. It is my pleasure ... as printed in Harper edition PAM. Who calls? my father! SIMO. It is my pleasure ...]


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?

DAVUS. Nothing.

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; and 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.


DAVUS. You. 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! (Exit DAVUS. 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. (Exit.


Harper 'Tis true he lov'd; and even then by stealth Colman 1768 'Tis true he lov'd; but even then by stealth]



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 To educate.

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.



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. (Exit.


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.)

SIMO. I been inform'd?

DAVUS. What then you found it out? (Archly.)

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 things concur to lead To this conjecture. In the first place, she Profess'd herself with child by Pamphilus: That proves a falsehood. Now that she perceives A nuptial preparation at our house, A maid's dispatch'd immediately 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 What's requisite. (Exit DAVUS. 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.


The initial direction "Manent SIMO, DAVUS." is supplied from the 1768 edition.

Harper SIMO. I been inform'd? DAVUS. What then you found it out? Colman 1768 SIMO. Inform'd? DAVUS. What then you found it out yourself?

Harper DAVUS. I've heard so, and believe so. Besides a thousand things concur to lead To this conjecture. In the first place, she Profess'd herself with child by Pamphilus: That proves a falsehood. Now that she perceives A nuptial preparation at our house, A maid's dispatch'd immediately to bring Colman 1768 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]



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.

CHREMES. Well! 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. Whence is't you know That there's a difference between them?

SIMO. Davus, 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.


Harper CHREMES. Whence is't you know Colman 1768 CHREMES. From whence are you appriz'd]


Enter DAVUS.

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!

SIMO. 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. (Exit.

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. (Exit.


DAVUS alone.

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. If I can but escape this mischief now, 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.

PAM. Alas, I have not leisure for your punishment. The time demands attention to myself, Nor will be wasted in revenge on you.


Harper But will at least take vengeance on him. DAVUS. If I can but escape this mischief now Colman 1768 But will at least take vengeance upon him. DAVUS. Let me but once escape the present danger]




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 make their promise good, then force perforce Harper edition has "per force"]



PAM. Oh, Charinus, By my imprudence, unless Heav'n forefend, I've ruin'd both myself and you.

CHAR. Imprudence! 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.

CHAR. Davus!

PAM. Davus all.

CHAR. Wherefore?

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.


Enter MYSIS.

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.

PAM. Mysis!

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. (Exit.

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——

DAVUS. Ridiculous!

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. (Exit.


_1768 edition prints "SEENE III."]



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.


MYSIS alone.

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, that if My master chance to put me to my oath That 'twas not I who laid it there, I may With a safe conscience swear. (Gives her the child.)

MYSIS. I understand. 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.)


Harper DAVUS. Because, that if My master chance to put me to my oath That 'twas not I who laid it there, I may With a safe conscience swear. MYSIS. I understand. Colman 1768 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.]


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.)

MYSIS. Yours.

DAVUS. Ours? Whose? (Loud.)

MYSIS. Pamphilus's.

DAVUS. How say you? Pamphilus's? (Loud.)

MYSIS. Why is 't not?

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.

DAVUS. Indeed? 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. (Exit CHREMES.


Hold! do not stir from where you are, be sure. Harper edition has "besure"

Harper DAVUS. How say you? Pamphilus's? MYSIS. Why is 't not? Colman 1768 DAVUS. How say you? Pamphilus's? MYSIS. To be sure.]


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.

MYSIS. Well, 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?


Enter CRITO.

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!

CRITO. Chrysis 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. (Exeunt.




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.



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 Prepar'd within.

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.)

SIMO. You?

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?

SIMO. Dromo!

DAVUS. Hear me.

SIMO. Speak but a word more—Dromo!

DAVUS. Pray, Sir, hear!


Enter DROMO.

DROMO. Your pleasure, Sir?

SIMO. Here, drag him headlong in, And truss the rascal up immediately.

DROMO. Whom?

SIMO. Davus.


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.



—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: Permit him!

PAM. Grant me this!

SIMO. Well, be it so. (Exit PAMPHILUS. 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?

CRITO. Accident. But is this Simo?


SIMO. Asks he for me? So, Sir, you say that this Glycerium Is an Athenian citizen?

CRITO. Do you Deny it?

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?


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!— Phania.

CHREMES. Amazement!

CRITO. By my 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?

SIMO. How!

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.

PAM. Away 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.

CRITO. True.

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.

PAM. Why?

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. (Exit.

PAM. Oh what a happy, happy day is this!


Harper CHREMES. His name? CRITO. His name so quickly!— Phania. CHREMES. Amazement! CRITO. By my troth, I think 'twas Phania Colman 1768 CHREMES. His name? CRITO. His name so quickly!— Phania. CHREMES. Amazement! CRITO. Troth, I think 'twas Phania]


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.


Enter DAVUS.

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.


PAM. Chremes.

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!

* * * * * * * * *







To please the candid, give offense to none, This, says the Poet, ever was his care: Yet if there's one who thinks he's hardly censur'd, Let him remember he was the aggressor: He, who translating many, but not well, On good Greek fables fram'd poor Latin plays; He, who but lately to the public gave The Phantom of Menander; He, who made, In the Thesaurus, the Defendant plead And vouch the question'd treasure to be his, Before the Plaintiff his own title shows, Or whence it came into his father's tomb.

Henceforward, let him not deceive himself, Or cry, "I'm safe, he can say naught of me." I charge him that he err not, and forbear To urge me farther; for I've more, much more, Which now shall be o'erlook'd, but shall be known, If he pursue his slanders, as before.

Soon as this play, the Eunuch of Menander, Which we are now preparing to perform, Was purchas'd by the AEdiles, he obtain'd Leave to examine it: and afterward When 'twas rehears'd before the Magistrates, "A Thief," he cried, "no Poet gives this piece. Yet has he not deceived us: for we know, The Colax is an ancient comedy Of Naevius, and of Plautus; and from thence The Parasite and Soldier both are stolen."

If that's the Poet's crime, it is a crime Of ignorance, and not a studied theft. Judge for yourselves! the fact is even thus. The Colax is a fable of Menander's; Wherein is drawn the character of Colax The parasite, and the vain-glorious soldier; Which characters, he scruples not to own, He to his Eunuch from the Greek transferr'd: But that he knew those pieces were before Made Latin, that he steadfastly denies.

Yet if to other Poets 'tis not lawful To draw the characters our fathers drew, How can it then be lawful to exhibit Slaves running to and fro; to represent Good matrons, wanton harlots; or to show An eating parasite, vain-glorious soldier, Supposititious children, bubbled dotards, Or love, or hate, or jealousy?—In short, Nothing's said now but has been said before. Weigh then these things with candor, and forgive The Moderns, if what Ancients did, they do.

Attend, and list in silence to our play, That ye may know what 'tis the Eunuch means.


Or cry, "I'm safe, he can say naught of me." Quotation marks supplied from the 1768 edition.]




PHAED. And what then shall I do? not go? not now? When she herself invites me? or were't best Fashion my mind no longer to endure These harlots' impudence?—Shut out! recall'd! Shall I return? No, not if she implore me.

PAR. Oh brave! oh excellent! if you maintain it! But if you try, and can't go through with spirit, And finding you can't bear it, uninvited, Your peace unmade, all of your own accord, You come and swear you love, and can't endure it, Good-night! all's over! ruin'd and undone She'll jilt you, when she sees you in her pow'r.

PHAED. You then, in time consider and advise!

PAR. Master! the thing which hath not in itself Or measure or advice, advice can't rule. In love are all these ills: suspicions, quarrels, Wrongs, reconcilements, war, and peace again: Things thus uncertain, if by reason's rules You'd certain make, it were as wise a task To try with reason to run mad. And now What you in anger meditate—I her? That him?—that me? that would not—pardon me! I would die rather: No! she shall perceive How much I am a man.—Big words like these, She in good faith with one false tiny drop, Which, after grievous rubbing, from her eyes Can scarce perforce be squeez'd, shall overcome. Nay, she shall swear, 'twas you in fault, not she; You too shall own th' offense, and pray for pardon.

PHAED. Oh monstrous! monstrous! now indeed I see How false she is, and what a wretch I am! Spite of myself I love; and knowing, feeling, With open eyes run on to my destruction; And what to do I know not.

PAR. What to do? What should you do, Sir, but redeem yourself As cheaply as you can?—at easy rates If possible—if not—at any rate—— And never vex yourself.

PHAED. Is that your counsel?

PAR. Aye, if you're wise; and do not add to love More troubles than it has, and those it has Bear bravely! But she comes, our ruin comes; For she, like storms of hail on fields of corn, Beats down our hopes, and carries all before her.


Enter THAIS.

THAIS. Ah me! I fear lest Phaedria take offense And think I meant it other than I did, That he was not admitted yesterday. (To herself, not seeing them.)

PHAED. I tremble, Parmeno, and freeze with horror.

PAR. Be of good cheer! approach yon fire—she'll warm you.

THAIS. Who's there? my Phaedria? Why did you stand here? Why not directly enter?

PAR. Not one word Of having shut him out!

THAIS. Why don't you speak?

PHAED. Because, forsooth, these doors will always fly Open to me, or that because I stand The first in your good graces. (Ironically.)

THAIS. Nay, no more!

PHAED. No more?—O Thais, Thais, would to Heaven Our loves were parallel, that things like these Might torture you, as this has tortur'd me: Or that your actions were indifferent to me!

THAIS. Grieve not, I beg, my love, my Phaedria! Not that I lov'd another more, I did this. But I by circumstance was forc'd to do it.

PAR. So then, it seems, for very love, poor soul, You shut the door in 's teeth.

THAIS. Ah Parmeno! Is't thus you deal with me? Go to!—But hear Why I did call you hither?

PHAED. Be it so.

THAIS. But tell me first, can yon slave hold his peace?

PAM. I? oh most faithfully: But hark ye, madam! On this condition do I bind my faith: The truths I hear, I will conceal; whate'er Is false, or vain, or feign'd, I'll publish it. I'm full of chinks, and run through here and there: So if you claim my secrecy, speak truth.

THAIS. My mother was a Samian, liv'd at Rhodes.

PAR. This sleeps in silence. (Archly.)

THAIS. There a certain merchant Made her a present of a little girl, Stol'n hence from Attica.

PHAED. A citizen?

THAIS. I think so, but we can not tell for certain. Her father's and her mother's name she told Herself; her country and the other marks Of her original, she neither knew, Nor, from her age, was 't possible she should. The merchant added further, that the pirates, Of whom he bought her, let him understand, She had been stol'n from Sunium. My mother Gave her an education, brought her up In all respects as she had been her own; And she in gen'ral was suppos'd my sister. I journeyed hither with the gentleman To whom alone I was connected then, The same who left me all I have.

PAR. Both these Are false, and shall go forth at large.

THAIS. Why so?

PAR. Because nor you with one could be content, Nor he alone enrich'd you; for my master Made good and large addition.

THAIS. I allow it, But let me hasten to the point I wish: Meantime the captain, who was then but young In his attachment to me, went to Caria. I, in his absence, was address'd by you; Since when, full well you know, how very dear I've held you, and have trusted you with all My nearest counsels.

PHAED. And yet Parmeno Will not be silent even here.

PAR. Oh, Sir, Is that a doubt?

THAIS. Nay, prithee now, attend! My mother's lately dead at Rhodes: her brother, Too much intent on wealth, no sooner saw This virgin, handsome, well-accomplish'd, skill'd In music, than, spurr'd on by hopes of gain, In public market he expos'd and sold her. It so fell out, my soldier-spark was there, And bought her, all unknowing these events, To give to me: but soon as he return'd, And found how much I was attach'd to you, He feign'd excuses to keep back the girl; Pretending, were he thoroughly convinc'd That I would still prefer him to yourself, Nor fear'd that when I had receiv'd the girl, I would abandon him, he'd give her to me; But that he doubted. For my part, I think He is grown fond of her himself.

PHAED. Is there Aught more between them?

THAIS. No; for I've inquir'd, And now, my Phaedria, there are sundry causes Wherefore I wish to win the virgin from him. First, for she's call'd my sister; and moreover, That I to her relations may restore her. I'm a lone woman, have nor friend, nor kin: Wherefore, my Phaedria, I would raise up friends By some good turn:—And you, I prithee now, Help me to do it. Let him some few days Be my gallant in chief. What! no reply?

PHAED. Abandon'd woman! Can I aught reply To deeds like these?

PAR. Oh excellent! well said! He feels at length; Now, master, you're a man.

PHAED. I saw your story's drift.—"A little girl Stol'n hence—My mother brought her up—was call'd My sister—I would fain obtain her from him, That I to her relations might restore her——" All this preamble comes at last to this. I am excluded, he's admitted. Why? But that you love him more than me, and fear Lest this young captive win your hero from you.

THAIS. Do I fear that?

PHAED. Why, prithee now, what else? Does he bring gifts alone? didst e'er perceive My bounty shut against you? Did I not, Because you told me you'd be glad to have An Ethiopian servant-maid, all else Omitted, seek one out? You said besides, You wish'd to have an Eunuch, 'cause forsooth, They were for dames of quality; I found one: For both I yesterday paid twenty minae, Yet you contemn me—I forgot not these, And for these I'm despis'd.

THAIS. Why this, my Phaedria? Though I would fain obtain the girl, and though I think by these means it might well be done; Yet, rather than make you my enemy, I'll do as you command.

PHAED. Oh, had you said Those words sincerely. "Rather than make you My enemy!"—Oh, could I think those words Came from your heart, what is 't I'd not endure!

PAR. Gone! conquer'd with one word! alas, how soon!

THAIS. Not speak sincerely? from my very soul? What did you ever ask, although in sport, But you obtain'd it of me? yet I can't Prevail on you to grant but two short days.

PHAED. Well—for two days—so those two be not twenty.

THAIS. No in good faith but two, or——

PHAED. Or? no more.

THAIS. It shall not be: but you will grant me those.

PHAED. Your will must be a law.

THAIS. Thanks, my sweet Phaedria!

PHAED. I'll to the country: there consume myself For these two days: it must be so: we must Give way to Thais. See you, Parmeno, The slaves brought hither.

PAR. Sir, I will.

PHAED. My Thais, For these two days farewell!

THAIS. Farewell, my Phaedria! Would you aught else with me?

PHAED. Aught else, my Thais? Be with yon soldier present, as if absent: All night and day love me: still long for me: Dream, ponder still of me; wish, hope for me: Delight in me; be all in all with me; Give your whole heart, for mine's all yours, to me. (Exeunt.


Harper The truths I hear, I will conceal; whate'er Is false, or vain, or feign'd, I'll publish it. Colman 1768 The truths I hear, I will conceal; but falsehood, Fiction, or gross pretence, shall out at once.]

Harper PAR. Both these Are false, and shall go forth at large. Colman 1768 PAR. These articles Are both rank falsehoods, and shall out.

PHAED. I saw your story's drift.—"A little girl ... ... That I to her relations might restore her——" _Quotation marks supplied from 1768 edition.]


Manet THAIS.

Ah me! I fear that he believes me not, And judges of my heart from those of others. I in my conscience know, that nothing false I have deliver'd, nor to my true heart Is any dearer than this Phaedria: And whatsoe'er in this affair I've done, For the girl's sake I've done: for I'm in hopes I know her brother, a right noble youth. To-day I wait him, by his own appointment; Wherefore I'll in, and tarry for his coming.




PHAEDRIA. Carry the slaves according to my order.

PAR. I will.

PHAED. But diligently.

PAR. Sir, I will.

PHAED. But soon.

PAR. I will, Sir!

PHAED. Say, is it sufficient?

PAR. Ah! what a question's that? as if it were So difficult! I wish, Sir Phaedria, You could gain aught so easy, as lose these.

PHAED. I lose, what's dearer yet, my comfort with them. Repine not at my gifts.

PAR. Not I: moreover I will convey them straight. But have you any Other commands?

PHAED. Oh yes: set off our presents With words as handsome as you can: and drive, As much as possible, that rival from her!

PAR. Ah, Sir, I should, of course, remember that.

PHAED. I'll to the country, and stay there.

PAR. O, aye! (Ironically.)

PHAED. But hark you!

PAR. Sir, your pleasure?

PHAED. Do you think I can with constancy hold out, and not Return before my time?

PAR. Hold out? Not you. Either you'll straight return, or soon at night Your dreams will drive you out o' doors.

PHAED. I'll toil; That, weary, I may sleep against my will.

PAR. Weary you may be; but you'll never sleep.

PHAED. Ah, Parmeno, you wrong me. I'll cast out This treacherous softness from my soul, nor thus Indulge my passions. Yes, I could remain, If need, without her even three whole days.

PAR. Hui! three whole livelong days! consider, Sir.

PHAED. I am resolved.

PARMENO alone.

Heav'ns, what a strange disease is this! that love Should so change men, that one can hardly swear They are the same!—No mortal liv'd Less weak, more grave, more temperate than he. —But who comes yonder?—Gnatho, as I live; The Captain's parasite! and brings along The Virgin for a present: oh rare wench! How beautiful! I shall come off, I doubt, But scurvily with my decrepit Eunuch. This Girl surpasses ev'n Thais herself.


Harper Either you'll straight return, or soon at night Your dreams will drive you out o' doors. PHAED. I'll toil Colman 1768 Either you'll straight return, or want of sleep Will drive you forth at midnight. PHAED. I will toil

PARMENO alone. In 1768 edition this passage is labeled SCENE II.]


Enter GNATHO leading PAMPHILA; PARMENO behind.

GNAT. Good Heav'ns! how much one man excels another! What diff'rence 'twixt a wise man and a fool! What just now happen'd proves it: coming hither I met with an old countryman, a man Of my own place and order, like myself, No scurvy fellow, who, like me, had spent In mirth and jollity his whole estate. He was in a most wretched trim; his looks Lean, sick, and dirty; and his clothes all rags. "How now!" cried I, "what means this figure, friend? Alas! says he, my patrimony's gone. —Ah, how am I reduc'd! my old acquaintance And friends all shun me."—Hearing this, how cheap I held him in comparison with me! "Why, how now? wretch, said I, most idle wretch! Have you spent all, nor left ev'n hope behind? What! have you lost your sense with your estate? Me!—look on me—come from the same condition! How sleek! how neat! how clad! in what good case! I've ev'ry thing, though nothing; naught possess, Yet naught I ever want."—"Ah, Sir, but I Have an unhappy temper, and can't bear To be the butt of others, or to take A beating now and then."—"How then! d'ye think Those are the means of thriving? No, my friend! Such formerly indeed might drive a trade: But mine's a new profession; I the first That ever struck into this road. There are A kind of men, who wish to be the head Of ev'ry thing; but are not. These I follow; Not for their sport and laughter, but for gain To laugh with them, and wonder at their parts: Whate'er they say, I praise it; if again They contradict, I praise that too: does any Deny? I too deny: affirm? I too Affirm: and in a word, I've brought myself To say, unsay, swear, and forswear, at pleasure: And that is now the best of all professions."

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