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deeds, that the rain may not come through. He is the upright man who is not content with it, however upright and however honest he may chance to be. He who readily gives satisfaction to himself, is not the upright man, nor is he really honest: he who thinks but meanly of himself, in him is there a tendency to well-doing.
Lys. For this reason, father, I have thought that since there is a certain thing that I wish for, I would request it of you.
PHIL. What is it? I am already longing to give assent.
Lys. A young man here, of noble family, my friend and years' mate, who has managed his own affairs but heedlessly and unthinkingly—I wish, father, to do him a service, if you are not unwilling.
Phil. From your own means, I suppose ?
—for what is yours is mine, and all mine is yours.
Phil. What is he doing? Is he in want?
Phil. How did he lose it? Was he connected with public business?, or with commercial matters ? Had he merchandise or wares to sell, when he lost his property ?
Lys. None of these. PHIL. What then ?
Lys. I' faith, my father, by his good-nature. Besides, to indulge his tastes, he wasted some part of it in luxury.
PHIL. By my troth now! a fellow spoken of boldly, and as on familiar terms ;-one, indeed, who has never dissipated his fortune by any good means, and is now in want. I cannot brook' that, with qualities of that description, he should be
friend. Lys. 'Tis because he is without any bad disposition that I wish to relieve his wants.
PHIL. He deserves ill of a beggar who gives him what to eat or to drink; for he both loses that which he gives you do
that the only way to keep rain from coming in at the roof (that is, to keep evil thoughts out of the mind) is to overlay good deed with ther, just as tile is laid upon tile.
1 With public business)—Ver. 331. He means by this expression, " has he been farming the taxes or the public lands ?" which of course would be a pursuit attended with considerable risk.
and prolongs for the other a life of misery. I do not say this because I am unwilling and would not readily do what you desire ; but when I apply these expressions to that same person, I am warning you beforehand, so to have compassion on others, that others may not have to pity you.
Lys. I am ashamed to desert him, and to deny him aid in his adversity.
PHIL. I' troth, shame is preferable to repentance by just as many letters? as it consists of.
Lys. In good sooth, father, by the care of the Gods, and of my forefathers, and your own, I may say that we possess much property, honestly obtained. If you do a service to a friend, it ought not to make you repent that you have done so; it ought rather to cause you shame if not do it.
PHIL. If from great wealth you subtract something, does it become more or less ?
Lys. Less, father. But do you know what is wont to be repeated to the niggardly citizen? 6 That which thou hast mayst thou not have, and mayst thou have that misfortune which thou hast not; since thou canst neither endure it to be enjoyed by thyself nor by another."
PHIL. I know, indeed, that so it usually is : but, my son, he is the truly niggardly man that has nought with which to pay his dues.
Lys. By the care of the Gods, we have, father, both enough for us to enjoy ourselves, and with which to do kind offices to kind-hearted men.
1 By just as many letters)-Ver. 345. Commentators differ as to the meaning of this passage, which is somewhat obscure. Philto seems to say that shame before doing an unwise action is every way preferable to repentance after having done it; preferable, indeed, by each individual letter it is composed of, or, as we should say in common parlance, “every inch of it.”
2 Niggardly citizen)-Ver. 350. “ Immunis” means one that does not bear his share in the taxes and tribute of the state, or, in other words, pay his scot and lot. Hence, with an extended signification, it means one that will not out of his abundance assist the distress of others, and who is, consequently, a niggardly and covetous person.
3 Truly niggardly man)-Ver. 354. Philto bere alludes to the primary meaning of the word " immunis;" and hints that it may be more properly applied to Lesbonicus, who has reduced himself to poverty by his extravagance, than to himself; inasmuch as he is now perforce “immunis,” not having wherewithal to pay the public dues and taxes.
PAIL. Troth, I am not able to refuse you anything that you ask of me. Whose poverty do you wish to relieve ? Speak out boldly to your father.
Lys. That of this young man Lesbonicus, the son of Charmides, who lives there. (He points to the house of CHARMIDES.)
PHIL. Why, hasn't he devoured both what he had, and what he had noti?
Lys. Censure him not, my father: many things happen to a man which he likes, many, too, which he does not like.
PHIL. Troth, you say falsely, son; and you are doing so now not according to your usual wont. For the prudent man, i' faith, really frames his own fortunes for himself: many things, therefore, do not happen which he does not like, unless he is a bungling workman.
Lys. Much labour is requisite for this workmanship in him who seeks to be a clever workman in fashioning his life but he is still very young:
PAIL. Not by years but by disposition is wisdom acquired. Age is the relish of wisdom-wisdom is the nutriment of old age. However, come, say what you wish now to give him.
Lys. Nothing at all, father. Do you only not hinder me from accepting it if he should give anything to me.
PHIL. And will you be relieving his poverty by that, if you shall accept anything of him?
Lys. By that very means, my father.
PHIL. Faith, I wish that you would instruct me in that method.
Lys. Certainly. Do you know of what family he is born ?
PHIL. I know-of an extremely honourable one.
Lys. He has a sister—a fine young woman now grown up: I wish, father, to take her without a portion for my wife. .
PHIL. A wife without a portion ?
Lys. Just so—your riches saved as well. By these means you will be conferring an extreme favour on him, and in no way could you help him to greater advantage.
Phil. Am I to suffer you to take a wife without a portion ?
1 What he had not)—Ver. 360. That is, by the dishonest expedient of running into debt for it.
Lys. You must suffer it, father; and by these means you will be giving an estimable character to our family.
PHIL. I could give utterance to many a learned saying, and very fluently too: this old age of mine retains stories of old and ancient times. But, since I see that you are courting friendship and esteem for our family, although I have been opposed to you, I thus give my decision-I will permit you; ask for the girl, and marry her.
Lys. May the Gods preserve you to me. But, to this favour add one thing.
PHIL. But what is this one thing ?
Lys. I will tell you. Do you go to him, do you solicit him, and do you ask for her yourself.
PHIL. Think of that now.
Lys. You will transact it much more speedily: all will be made sure of that you do. One word of yours in this matter will be of more consequence than a hundred of mine.
PHIL. See, now, how, in my kindness, I have undertaken this matter. My assistance shall be given.
Lys. You really are a kind father. This is the house; here he dwells. (He points to the house of CHARMIDES.) Lesbonicus is his name. Mind and attend to the business; I will await you at home.
PHILTO, alone. PHIL. These things are not for the best, nor as I think they ought to be; but still, they are better than that which is downright bad. But this one circumstance consoles myself and my thoughts-namely, that he who counsels in respect to a son nothing else but that which pleases himself alone, only plays the fool; he becomes wretched in mind, and is no nearer bringing it about. He is preparing a very inclement winter for his own old age when he arouses that unseasonable storm. (The door of the house of CHARMIDES opens.) But the house is opened to which I was going ; most conveniently, Lesbonicus himself is coming out of doors with his servant. (PHILTO retires to a distance.)
yet he SCENE IV. Enter LESBONICUS and STASIMUS. LESB. 'Tis less than fifteen days since you received from Callicles forty minæ for this house ; is it not as I
Stas. When I consider, I think I remember that it was so.
LESB. What has been done with it?
Stas. It has been eaten and drunk up—spent away in unguents, washed away in baths. The fishmonger and the baker have carried it off: butchers, too, and cooks, greengrocers, perfumers, and poulterers; 'twas quickly consumed. I faith! that money was made away with not less speedily than if you were to throw a poppy among the ants.
LESB. By my troth, less has been spent on those items than six minæ ?
Stas. Besides, what have you given to your mistresses ?
make all due deductions, unless you think that your money is everlasting. (Aside.) Too late and unwisely,—a caution that should have been used before,-after he has devoured his substance, he reckons
the account too late. LESB. The account, however, of this money is by no means clear.
Stas. I' faith, the account is very clear: the money's gone. Did you not receive forty minæ from Callicles, and did he not receive from you the house in possession ?
1 Washed away in baths)-Ver. 409. This will probably refer, not to the money paid for mere bathing at the public baths, which was a “ quadrans," the smallest Roman coin, but to the expense of erecting private baths, which generally formed a portion of the luxuries of a Roman house. The public baths, however, may have possibly been the scene of much profligacy, and have afforded to the reckless and dissipated ample opportunities for squandering their money. That this may have been the fact, is rendered the more likely when we consider the equivocal signification of the word “bagnio.”
2 Make all due deductions)—Ver.414. “Si sumas.” Literally, “if you subtract.” 3 The money's gone)—Ver. 419. Instead of a Latin word, the Greek oixetai