Play by Terence ~ Ludi Megalenses 2761 AUC (Nova Roma)/Act IV
Act IV: Andria by P. Terentius Afer
(Enter CHARINUS, wringing his hands.)
CHARINUS (to himself.) Is this to be believed or spoken of; that malice so great could be inborn in any one as to exult at misfortunes, and to derive advantage from the distresses of another! Oh, is this true? Assuredly, that is the most dangerous class of men, in whom there is only a slight degree of hesitation at refusing; afterward, when the time arrives for fulfilling their promises, then, obliged, of necessity they discover themselves. They are afraid, and yet the circumstances compel them to refuse. Then, in that case, their very insolent remark is, "Who are you? What are you to me? What should I give up) to you what's my own? Look you, I am the most concerned in my own interests." But if you inquire where is honor, they are not ashamed. Here, where there is occasion, they are not afraid; there, where there is no occasion, they are afraid. But what am I to do? Ought I not to go to him, and reason with him upon this outrage, and heap many an invective upon him? Yet some one may say, "you will avail nothing." Nothing? At least I shall have vexed him, and have given vent to my own feelings. (Enter PAMPHILUS and DAVUS.)
PAMPHILUS CHARINUS, unintentionally I have ruined both myself and you, unless the Gods in some way befriend us.
CHARINUS Unintentionally, is it! An excuse has been discovered at last. You have broken your word.
PAMPHILUS How so, pray?
CHARINUS Do you expect to deceive me a second time by these speeches?
PAMPHILUS What does this mean?
CHARINUS Since I told you that I loved her, she has become quite pleasing to you. Ah wretched me! to have judged of your disposition from my own.
PAMPHILUS You are mistaken.
CHARINUS Did this pleasure appear to you not to be quite complete, unless you tantalized me in my passion, and lured me on by groundless hopes? You may take her.
PAMPHILUS I, take her? Alas! you know not in what perplexities, to my sorrow, I am involved, and what vast anxieties this executioner of mine (pointing to DAVUS) has contrived for me by his devices.
CHARINUS What is it so wonderful, if he takes example from yourself?
PAMPHILUS You would not say that if you understood either myself or my affection.
CHARINUS I'm quite aware (ironically) ; you have just now had a dispute with your father, and he is now angry with you in consequence, and has not been able to-day to prevail upon you to marry her.
PAMPHILUS No, not at all, as you are not acquainted with my sorrows, these nuptials were not in preparation for me; and no one was thinking at present of giving me a wife.
CHARINUS I am aware; you have been influenced by your own inclination.
PAMPHILUS Hold; you do not yet know all.
CHARINUS For my part, I certainly do know that you are about to marry her.
PAMPHILUS Why are you torturing me to death? Listen to this. He (pointing to DAVUS) never ceased to urge me to tell my father that I would marry her; to advise and persuade me, even until he compelled me.
CHARINUS Who was this person?
CHARINUS DAVUS! For what reason?
PAMPHILUS I don't know; except that I must have been under the displeasure of the Gods, for me to have listened to him.
CHARINUS Is this the fact, DAVUS?
DAVUS It is the fact.
CHARINUS (starting.) Ha! What do you say, you villain? Then may the Gods send you an end worthy of your deeds. Come now, tell me, if all his enemies had wished him to be plunged into a marriage, what advice but this could they have given?
DAVUS I have been deceived, but I don't despair.
CHARINUS (ironically.) I'm sure of that.
DAVUS This way it has not succeeded; we'll try another. Unless, perhaps, you think that because it failed at first, this misfortune can not now possibly be changed for better luck.
PAMPHILUS Certainly not; for I quite believe that if you set about it, you will be making two marriages for me out of one.
DAVUS I owe you this, PAMPHILUS, in respect of my servitude, to strive with hands and feet, night and day; to submit to hazard of my life, to serve you. It is your part, if any thing has fallen out contrary to expectation, to forgive me. What I was contriving has not succeeded; still, I am using all endeavors; or, do you yourself devise something better, and dismiss me.
PAMPHILUS I wish to; restore me to the position in which you found me.
DAVUS I'll do so.
PAMPHILUS But it must be done directly.
DAVUS But the door of GLYCERIUM's house here makes a noise.
PAMPHILUS That's nothing to you.
DAVUS (assuming an attitude of meditation.) I'm in search of----
PAMPHILUS (ironically.) Dear me, what, now at last?
DAVUS Presently I'll give you what I've hit upon.
(Enter MYSIS from the house of GLYCERIUM.)
MYSIS (calling at the door to GLYCERIUM within.) Now, wherever he is, I'll take care that your own PAMPHILUS shall be found for you, and brought to you by me; do you only, my life, cease to vex yourself.
MYSIS (turning round.) Who is it? Why, PAMPHILUS, you do present yourself opportunely to me. My mistress charged me to beg of you, if you love her, to come to her directly; she says she wishes to see you.
PAMPHILUS (aside.) Alas! I am undone; this dilemma grows apace! (To DAVUS.) For me and her, unfortunate persons, now to be tortured this way through your means; for I am sent for, because she has discovered that my marriage is in preparation.
CHARINUS From which, indeed, how easily a respite could have been obtained, if he (pointing to DAVUS) had kept himself quiet.
DAVUS (ironically to CHARINUS.) Do proceed; if he isn't sufficiently angry of his own accord, do you irritate him.
MYSIS (to PAMPHILUS.) Aye faith, that is the case; and for that reason, poor thing, she is now in distress.
PAMPHILUS (to MYSIS) I swear by all the Gods that I will never forsake her; not if I were to know that all men would be my enemies in consequence. Her have I chosen for mine; she has fallen to my lot; our feelings are congenial; farewell they, who wish for a separation between us; nothing but Death separates her from me.
MYSIS I begin to revive.
PAMPHILUS Not the responses of Apollo are more true than this. If it can possibly be contrived that my father may not believe that this marriage has been broken off through me, I could wish it. But if that can not be, I will do that which is easily effected, for him to believe that through me it has been caused. What do you think of me?
CHARINUS That you are as unhappy as myself.
DAVUS (placing his finger on his forehead.) I'm contriving an expedient.
CHARINUS You are a clever hand; if you do set about any thing.
DAVUS Assuredly, I'll manage this for you.
PAMPHILUS There's need of it now.
DAVUS But I've got it now.
CHARINUS What is it?
DAVUS For him (pointing to PAMPHILUS) I've got it, not for you, don't mistake.
CHARINUS I'm quite satisfied.
PAMPHILUS What will you do? Tell me.
DAVUS I'm afraid that this day won't be long enough for me to execute it, so don't suppose that I've now got leisure for relating it; do you betake yourself off at once, for you are a hinderance to me.
PAMPHILUS I'll go and see her. (Goes into the house of GLYCERIUM.)
DAVUS (to CHARINUS.) What are you going to do? Whither are you going from here?
CHARINUS Do you wish me to tell you the truth?
DAVUS No, not at all; (aside) he's making the beginning of a long story for me.
CHARINUS What will become of me?
DAVUS Come now, you unreasonable person, are you not satisfied that I give you a little respite, by putting off his marriage?
CHARINUS But yet, DAVUS----
DAVUS What then?
CHARINUS That I may marry her----
CHARINUS Be sure to come hither (pointing in the direction of his house) to my house, if you can effect any thing.
DAVUS Why should I come? I can do nothing for you.
CHARINUS But still, if any thing----
DAVUS Well, well, I'll come.
CHARINUS If you can; I shall be at home. ((Exit.))
DAVUS Do you, MYSIS, remain here a little while, until I come out.
MYSIS For what reason?
DAVUS There's a necessity for so doing.
MYSIS Make haste.
DAVUS I'll be here this moment, I tell you. (He goes into the house of GLYCERIUM.)
MYSIS (to herself.) That nothing can be secure to any one! Ye Gods, by our trust in you ! I used to make sure that this PAMPHILUS was a supreme blessing for my mistress; a friend, a protector, a husband secured under every circumstance; yet what anguish is she, poor thing, now suffering through him? Clearly there's more trouble for her now than there was happiness formerly. But DAVUS is coming out. (Enter DAVUS from the house of GLYCERIUM with the child.)
MYSIS My good sir, prithee, what is that? Whither are you carrying the child?
DAVUS MYSIS, I now stand in need of your cunning being brought into play in this matter, and of your address.
MYSIS Why, what are you going to do?
DAVUS (holding out the child.) Take it from me directly, and lay it down before our door.
MYSIS Prithee, on the ground?
DAVUS (pointing.) Take some sacred herbs 1 from the altar here, 2 and strew them under it.
MYSIS Why don't you do it yourself?
DAVUS That if perchance I should have to swear to my master that I did not place it there, I may be enabled to do so with a clear conscience.
MYSIS I understand; have these new scruples only just now occurred to you, pray?
DAVUS Bestir yourself quickly, that you may learn what I'm going to do next. (MYSIS lays the child at SIMO'S door.) Oh Jupiter!
MYSIS (starting up.) What's the matter?
DAVUS The father of the intended bride is coming in the middle of it all. The plan which I had first purposed I now give up.
MYSIS I don't understand what you are talking about.
DAVUS I'll pretend too that I've come in this direction from the right. Do you take care to help out the conversation by your words, whenever there's necessity. 4
MYSIS I don't at all comprehend what you are about; but if there's any thing in which you have need of my assistance, as you understand the best, I'll stay, that I mayn't in any way impede your success. (DAVUS retires out of sight.)
(Enter CRITO, looking about him)
CRITO (to himself.) It was said that Chrysis used to live in this street, who preferred to gain wealth here dishonorably to living honestly as a poor woman in her own country: by her death that property has descended to me by law. But I see some persons of whom to make inquiry. (Accosting them.) Good-morrow to you.
MYSIS Prithee, whom do I see? Isn't this CRITO, the kinsman of Chrysis? It is he.
CRITO O MYSIS, greetings to you.
MYSIS Welcome to you, CRITO.
CRITO Is Chrysis then . . ? Alas!
MYSIS Too truly. She has indeed left us poor creatures quite heart-broken.
CRITO How fare you here, and in what fashion? Pretty well?
MYSIS What, we? Just as we can, as they say; since we can't as we would.
CRITO How is GLYCERIUM? Has she discovered her parents yet?
MYSIS I wish she had.
CRITO What, not yet? With no favorable omen did I set out for this place; for, upon my faith, if I had known that, I never would have moved a foot hither. She was always said to be, and was looked upon as her sister; what things were hers she is in possession of; now for me to begin a suit at law here, the precedents of others warn me, a stranger, how easy and profitable a task it would be for me. At the same time, I suppose that by this she has got some friend and protector; for she was pretty nearly a grown-up girl when she left there. They would cry out that I am a sharper; that, a pauper, I'm hunting after an inheritance; besides, I shouldn't like to strip the girl herself.
MYSIS O most worthy stranger! I'faith, CRITO, you still adhere to your good old-fashioned ways.
CRITO Lead me to her, since I have come hither, that I may see her.
MYSIS By all means. (They go into the house of GLYCERIUM.)
DAVUS (to himself.) I'll follow them; I don't wish the old man to see me at this moment. (He follows MYSIS and CRITO.)
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