Myrtium. Pamphilus. Doris
Myr. Well, Pamphilus? So I hear you are to marry Phido the shipmaster's daughter,--if you have not done so already! And this is the end of your vows and tears! All is over and forgotten! And I so near my time! Yes, that is all I have to thank my lover for; that, and the prospect of having a child to bring up; and you know what that means to us poor girls. I mean to keep the child, especially if it is a boy: it will be some comfort to me to call him after you; and perhaps some day you will be sorry, when he comes to reproach you for betraying
his poor mother. I can't say much for the lady's looks. I saw her only the other day, with her mother, at the Thesmophoria; little did I know then that she was to rob me of my Pamphilus! Hadn't you better see what she is like first? Take a good look at her eyes; and try not to mind the colour, and the cast (she has such a squint!). Or no: there is no need for you to see her: you have seen Phido; you know what a face he has.
Pa. How much more nonsense are you going to talk about shipowners and marriages? What do I know about brides, ugly or pretty? If you mean Phido of Alopece, I never knew he had a grown-up daughter at all. Why, now I think of it, he is not even on speaking terms with my father. They were at law not long ago--something about a shipping contract. He owed my father a talent, I think it was, and refused to pay; so he was had up before the Admiralty Court, and my father never got paid in full, after all, so he said. Do you suppose if I wanted to marry I should pass over Demeas's daughter in favour of Phido's? Demeas was general last year, and she is my cousin on the mother's side. Who has been telling you all this? Is it just a cobweb spun in that jealous little brain of yours?
Myr. Pamphilus! You mean to say you are not going to be married?
Pa. Are you mad, or what is the matter with you? We did not have much to drink yesterday.
Myr. Ask Doris; it is all her fault. I sent her out to buy some wool, and to offer up prayer to Artemis for me. And she said that she met Lesbia, and Lesbia------Doris, tell him what Lesbia said, unless you invented it all yourself.
Dor. May I die, miss, if I said a word more than the truth! Just by the town-hall Lesbia met me, and 'Doris,' says she, smiling, 'your young gentleman is to marry Phido's daughter. And if you don't believe me,' says she, 'look up their street,
and you will see everything crowned with garlands, and a fine bustle going on; flutes playing, and people singing the wedding-song'
Pa. Well; and you did?
Dor. That I did, sir; and it was all as Lesbia had said.
Pa. Ah, now I see! You have told your mistress nothing but the truth; and there was some ground for what Lesbia told you. However, it is a false alarm. The wedding is not at our house. I remember now. When I went back home yesterday, after leaving you, 'Pamphilus,' said my mother, here is neighbour Aristaenetus's son, Charmides, who is no older than you, just going to marry and settle down: when are you going to turn over a new leaf? ' And then I dropped off to sleep. I went out early this morning, so that I saw nothing of all that Doris has seen. If you doubt my word, Doris can go again; and look more carefully this time, Doris; mark the house, not the street only, and you will find that the garlands are next door.
Myr. I breathe again! Pamphilus, if it had been true, I should have killed myself!
Pa. True, indeed! Am I mad, that I should forget Myrtium, so soon to become the mother of my child?