Try. Well, to be sure! Get a girl to keep company with you, and then turn your back on her! Nothing but tears and groans! The wine was not good enough, I suppose, and you didn't want a tête-à-tête dinner. Oh yes, I saw you were crying at dinner too. And now it is one continued wail like a baby's. What is it all about, Charmides? do tell me; let me get that much out of my evening with you.
Ch. Love is killing me, Tryphaena; I can stand it no longer.
Try. It is not love for me, that is clear. You would not be so cold to me, and push me away when I want to put my arms round you. It really is not fair to keep me off like this! Never mind, tell me who it is; perhaps I may help you to her; I know one ought to make oneself useful.
Ch. Oh, you two know each other quite well; she is quite a celebrity.
Try. Name, name, Charmides!
Ch. Well then--Philematium.
Try. Which? there are two of them; one in Piraeus, who has only just come there; Damyllus the governor's son is in love with her; is it that one? or the other, the one they call The Trap?
Ch. Yes, that is she; she has caught me and got me tight, poor mouse.
Try. And the tears were all for her?
Ch. Even so.
Try. Is this recent? or how long has it been going on?
Ch. Oh, it is nothing new. I saw her first at the Dionysia; that makes seven months.
Try. Had you a full view of her, or did you just see her face and as much as a woman of forty-five likes to show?
Ch. Oh, come! I have her word for it she will be two-and-twenty next birthday.
Try. Well, which are you going to trust--her word, or your own eyes? Just take a careful look at her temples some day; that is the only place where her own hair shows; all the rest is a thick wig; but at the temples, when the dye fades a little, you can easily detect the grey. But that is nothing; insist on seeing more than her face.
Ch. Oh, but I am not favoured so far as that.
Try. No, I should think not. She knows what the effect would be; why, she is all over--oh, talk of leopard-skins! And it was she made you cry like that, was it? I dare say, now, she was very cruel and scornful?
Ch. Yes, she was, dear; and such a lot of money as she has from me! Just now she wants a thousand drachmas; well, I am dependent on my father, and he is very close, and I could not very well get it; so she is at home to Moschion, and will not see me. That is why you are here; I thought it might vex her.
Try. Well, I'm sure I never never would have come if I had been told what it was for--just to vex somebody else, and that somebody old coffin-ripe Philematium! I shall go away; for that matter the third cock-crow is past.
Ch. No, no, not so fast, Tryphaena. If it is all true--the
wig, the dye, and the leopard-skin--I shall hate the sight of her.
Try. If your mother has ever seen her at the bath, ask her. As to the age, you had better ask your grandfather about that, if he is alive.
Ch. Well, as that is what she is like, come up close to me. Give me your arms--and your lips--and let us be friends. Philematium be hanged!