Play by Terence ~ Ludi Megalenses 2761 AUC (Nova Roma)/Act III
Act III: Andria by P. Terentius Afer
(Enter SIMO and DAVUS from the house of the former. MYSIS and LESBIA are coming toward the house of GLYCERIUM.)
MYSIS (not seeing SIMO and DAVUS.) Upon my faith, the fact is really as you mentioned, Lesbia, you can hardly find a man constant to a woman.
SIMO (apart to DAVUS.) This maid-servant comes from the Andrian.
DAVUS (apart to SIMO.) What do you say?
SIMO (apart to DAVUS.) It is so.
MYSIS But this Pamphilus----
SIMO (apart to DAVUS.) What is she saying?
MYSIS Has proved his constancy.
SIMO (apart.) Hah!
DAVUS (apart to himself.) I wish that either he were deaf, or she struck dumb.
MYSIS For the child she brings forth, he has ordered to be brought up.
SIMO (apart.) O Jupiter! What do I hear! It's all over, if indeed this woman speaks the truth.
LESBIA You mention a good disposition on the part of the young man.
MYSIS A most excellent one. But follow me in-doors, that you mayn't keep her waiting.
LESBIA I'll follow. (MYSIS and LESBIA go into GLYCERIUM'S house.)
DAVUS (aside.) What remedy now shall I find for this mishap?
SIMO (to himself aloud.) What does this mean? Is he so infatuated ? The child of a foreign woman? Now I understand; ah! scarcely even at last, in my stupidity, have I found it out.
DAVUS (aside to himself.) What does he say he has found out?
SIMO (aside.) This piece of knavery is being now for the first time palmed upon me by this fellow; they are pretending that she's in labor, in order that they may alarm Chremes.
GLYCERIUM (exclaiming from within her house.) Juno Lucina,1 grant me thine aid, save me, I do entreat thee!
SIMO Whew! so sudden? What nonsense! As soon as she has heard that I'm standing before the door, she makes all haste. These incidents, Davus, have not been quite happily adapted by you as to the points of time.
DAVUS By me?
SIMO Are your scholars forgetful?
DAVUS I don't know what you are talking about.
SIMO (aside.) If he at the real marriage of my son had taken me off my guard, what sport he would have made of me. Now it is at his own risk; I'm sailing in harbor.
(Re-enter LESBIA from the house of GLYCERIUM.)
LESBIA (speaking to ARCHYLIS at the door, and not seeing SIMO and DAVUS.) As yet, Archylis, all the customary symptoms which ought to exist toward recovery, I perceive in her. Now, in the first place, take care and let her bathe;1 then, after that, what I ordered to be given her to drink, and as much as I prescribed, do you administer: presently I will return hither. (To herself aloud.) By all that's holy, a fine boy has been born to Pamphilus. I pray the Gods that he may survive, since the father himself is of a good disposition, and since he has hesitated to do an injustice to this most excellent young woman. ((Exit.))
SIMO Even this, who is there that knows you that would not believe that it originated in you?
DAVUS Why, what is this?
SIMO She didn't order in their presence what was requisite to be done for the woman lying in; but after she has come out, she bawls from the street to those who are in the house. O Davus, am I thus trifled with by you? Or pray, do I seem to you so very well suited to be thus openly imposed upon by your tricks? At all events it should have been with pre-caution; that at least I might have seemed to be feared, if I should detect it.
DAVUS (aside.) Assuredly, upon my faith, it's he that's, now deceiving himself, not I.
SIMO I gave you warning, I forbade you with threats to do it. Have you been awed? What has it availed? Am I to believe you now in this, that this woman has had a child by Pamphilus?
DAVUS (aside.) I understand where he's mistaken; and I see what I must do.
SIMO Why are you silent?
DAVUS What would you believe? As though word had not been brought you that thus it would happen.
SIMO Any word brought to me?
DAVUS Come now, did you of your own accord perceive that this was counterfeited?
SIMO I am being trifled with.
DAVUS Word has been brought you; for otherwise how could this suspicion have occurred to you?
SIMO How? Because I knew you.
DAVUS As though you meant to say that this has been done by my contrivance.
SIMO Why, I'm sure of it, to a certainty.
DAVUS Not yet even do you know me sufficiently, Simo, what sort of person I am.
SIMO I, not know you!
DAVUS But if I begin to tell you any thing, at once you think that deceit is being practiced upon you in guile; therefore, upon my faith, I don't dare now even to whisper.
SIMO This one thing I am sure of, that no person has been delivered here. (Pointing to GLYCERIUM'S house.)
DAVUS You have discovered that? Still, not a bit the less will they presently be laying the child here before the door. Of this, then, I now warn you, master, that it will happen, that you may be aware of it. Don't you hereafter be saying that this was done through the advice or artifices of Davus. I wish this suspicion of yours to be entirely removed from myself.
SIMO How do you know that?
DAVUS I've heard so, and I believe it: many things combine for me to form this conjecture. In the first place then, she declared that she was pregnant by Pamphilus; that has been proved to be false. 3 Now, when she sees that preparations are being made for the wedding at our house, the maid-servant is directly sent to fetch the midwife to her, and to bring a child at the same time. Unless it is managed for you to see the child, the marriage will not be at all impeded.
SIMO What do you say to this? When you perceived that they were adopting this plan, why didn't you tell Pamphilus immediately?
DAVUS Why, who has induced him to leave her, but myself? For, indeed, we all know how desperately he loved her. Now he wishes for a wife. In fine, do you intrust me with that affair; proceed however, as before, to celebrate these nuptials, just as you are doing, and I trust that the Gods will prosper this matter.
SIMO Very well; be off in-doors; wait for me there, and get ready what's necessary to be prepared. (DAVUS goes into the house.) He hasn't prevailed upon me even now altogether to believe these things, and I don't know whether what he has said is all true; but I deem it of little moment; this is of far greater importance to me--that my son himself has promised me. Now I'll go and find Chremes; I'll ask him for a wife for my son; if I obtain my request, at what other time rather than to-day should I prefer these nuptials taking place? For as my son has promised, I have no doubt but that if he should prove unwilling, I can fairly compel him. And look! here's Chremes himself, just at the very time.
SIMO I greet you, Chremes.
CHREMES O, you are the very person I was looking for.
SIMO And I for you.
CHREMES You meet me at a welcome moment. Some persons have been to me, to say that they had heard from you, that my daughter was to be married to your son to-day; I've come to see whether they are out of their senses or you.
SIMO Listen; in a few words you shall learn both what I want of you, and what you seek to know.
CHREMES I am listening; say what you wish.
SIMO By the Gods, I do entreat you, Chremes, and by our friendship, which, commencing with our infancy, has grown up with our years, and by your only daughter and by my own son (of preserving whom the entire power lies with you), that you will assist me in this matter; and that, just as this marriage was about to be celebrated, it may be celebrated.
CHREMES O, don't importune me; as though you needed to obtain this of me by entreaty. Do you suppose I am different now from what I was formerly, when I promised her? If it is for the advantage of them both that it should take place, order her to be sent for. But if from this course there would result more harm than advantage for each, this I do beg of you, that you will consult for their common good, as though she were your own daughter, and I the father of Pamphilus.
SIMO Nay, so I intend, and so I wish it to be, Chremes; and I would not ask it of you, did not the occasion itself require it.
CHREMES What is the matter?
SIMO There is a quarrel between Glycerium and my son.
CHREMES (ironically.) I hear you.
SIMO So munch so, that I'm in hopes they may be separated.
SIMO It really is so.
CHREMES After this fashion, i'faith, I tell you, "the quarrels of lovers are the renewal of love."
SIMO Well . . . this I beg of you, that we may prevent it. While an opportunity offers, and while his passion is cooled by affronts, before the wiles of these women and their tears, craftily feigned, bring back his love-sick mind to compassion, let us give him a wife. I trust, Chremes, that, when attached by intimacy and a respectable marriage, he will easily extricate himself from these evils.
CHREMES So it appears to you; but I do not think 1 that either he can possibly hold to her with constancy, or that I can put up with it if he does not.
SIMO How then can you be sure of that, unless you make the experiment?
CHREMES But for that experiment to be made upon a daughter is a serious thing . . .
SIMO Why look, all the inconvenience in fine amounts to this . . . possibly, which may the Gods forfend, a separation may take place. But if he is reformed, see how many are the advantages: in the first place, you will have restored a son to your friend; you will obtain a sure son-in-law for yourself, and a husband for your daughter.
CHREMES What is one to say to all this? If you feel persuaded that this is beneficial, I don't wish that any advantage should be denied you.
SIMO With good reason, Chremes, have I always considered you a most valuable friend.
CHREMES But how say you . . .?"
CHREMES How do you know that they are now at variance?
SIMO Davus himself, who is privy to all their plans, has told me so; and he advises me to expedite the match as fast as I can. Do you think he would do so, unless he was aware that my son desired it? You yourself as well shall presently hear what he says. (Goes to the door of his house and calls.) Halloo there! Call Davus out here. Look, here he is; I see him just coming out.
(Enter DAVUS from the house.)
DAVUS I was coming to you.
SIMO Why, what's the matter?
DAVUS Why isn't the bride sent for? It's now growing late in the day.
SIMO Do you hear me? I've been for some time not a little apprehensive of you, Davus, lest you should do that which the common class of servants is in the habit of doing, namely, impose upon me by your artifices; because my son is engaged in an amour.
DAVUS What, I do that?
SIMO I fancied so; and therefore, fearing that, I concealed from you what I shall now mention.
SIMO You shall know; for now I almost feel confidence in you.
DAVUS Have you found out at last what sort of a person I am?
SIMO The marriage was not to have taken place.
DAVUS How? Not to have taken place?
SIMO But I was making pretense, that I might test you all.
DAVUS (affecting surprise.) What is it you tell me?
SIMO Such is the fact.
DAVUS Only see! I was not able to discover that. Dear me! what a cunning contrivance!
SIMO Listen to this. Just as I ordered you to go from here into the house, he (pointing to CHREMES) most opportunely met me.
DAVUS (aside.) Ha! Are we undone, then?
SIMO I told him what you just now told me.
DAVUS (aside.) Why, what am I to hear?
SIMO I begged him to give his daughter, and with difficulty I prevailed upon him.
DAVUS (aside.) Utterly ruined!
SIMO (overhearing him speaking.) Eh--What was it you said?
DAVUS Extremely well done, I say.
SIMO There's no delay on his part now.
CHREMES I'll go home at once; I'll tell her to make due preparation, and bring back word here. ((Exit.))
SIMO Now I do entreat you, Davus, since you by yourself have brought about this marriage for me . . .
DAVUS I myself, indeed!
SIMO Do your best still to reform my son.
DAVUS Troth, I'll do it with all due care.
SIMO Do it now, while his mind is agitated.
DAVUS You may be at ease.
SIMO Come then; where is he just now?
DAVUS A wonder if he isn't at home.
SIMO I'll go to him; and what I've been telling you, I'll tell him as well. (Goes into his house.)
DAVUS (to himself.) I'm a lost man! What reason is there why I shouldn't take my departure straightway hence for the mill? There's no room left for supplicating; I've upset every thing now; I've deceived my master; I've plunged my master's son into a marriage; I've been the cause of its taking place this very day, without his hoping for it, and against the wish of Pamphilus. Here's cleverness for you! But, if I had kept myself quiet, no mischief would have happened. (Starting.) But see, I espy him; I'm utterly undone! Would that there were some spot here for me, from which I might this instant pitch myself headlong! (Stands apart.)
(Enter PAMPHILUS in haste from SIMO'S house.)
PAMPHILUS Where is he? The villain, who this day . . . I'm ruined; and I confess that this has justly befallen me, for being such a dolt, so devoid of sense; that I should have in-trusted my fortunes to a frivolous slave! I am suffering the reward of my folly; still he shall never get off from me unpunished for this.
DAVUS (apart.) I'm quite sure that I shall be safe in future, if for the present I get clear of this mishap.
PAMPHILUS But what now am I to say to my father? Am I to deny that I am ready, who have just promised to marry? With what effrontery could I presume to do that? I know not what to do with myself.
DAVUS (apart.) Nor I with myself, and yet I'm giving all due attention to it. I'll tell him that I will devise something, in order that I may procure some respite in this dilemma.
PAMPHILUS (catching sight of him.) Oho!
DAVUS (apart.) I'm seen.
PAMPHILUS (sneeringly.) How now, good sir, what are you about? Do you see how dreadfully I am hampered by your devices?
DAVUS Still, I'll soon extricate you.
PAMPHILUS You, extricate me?
DAVUS Assuredly, Pamphilus.
PAMPHILUS As you have just done, I suppose.
DAVUS Why no, better, I trust.
PAMPHILUS What, am I to believe you, you scoundrel? You, indeed, make good a matter that's all embarrassment and ruin! Just see, in whom I've been placing reliance . . . you who this day from a most happy state have been and plunged me into a marriage. Didn't I say that this would be the case?
DAVUS You did say so.
PAMPHILUS What do you deserve?
DAVUS The cross. But allow me a little time to recover myself; I'll soon hit upon something.
PAMPHILUS Ah me! not to have the leisure to inflict punishment upon you as I desire ! for the present conjuncture warns me to take precautions for myself, not to be taking vengeance on you. ((Exeunt.))
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