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AN. They say that Chrysophilus is arranging for me to have a husband, they say a wife’s life is a merry one. Isn’t that so, Authadia?
AUTH. I regret I can’t speak from experience. Although others might not like being unmarried, I like the idea. But I imagine it’s jolly.
AN. I’m sure I’ll have fine new dresses, servants to praise me, and a son very like my doll. I’ll send him to Athens, and give some rich man’s money to the heir of my marriage, and he and his wife will have children too.
AUTH. You’re far luckier than me! Such are all fools, they only chase after silly little rich girls.
AN. Can’t I do anything?
AUTH. No, first you must learn to walk and dress à la mode, to curl your hair ornately, and to give greetings with a deep curtsey.
AN. What must I do to do these things? Good God! How refined I’d be, were I to do such things!
AUTH. You could have no better teacher. My manners please anybody you care to name. Would that that the friendly gods would find me a similar man! Your money has procured you Aphronius for a husband.
AN. What? A husband has been bought for me? At what price?
AUTH. Your wealth hasn’t bought him, it’s just procured him.
AN. If you were to procure yourself a husband, I’ll give you money, so you might purchase the best.
AUTH. I don’t want one at such a cheap price. I desire a husband because of love, not money, a husband whom my manners do more to attract.
AN. You told me I need to learn some manners. Shall we go home? Don’t be embarrassed to teach me in secret.
AUTH. Well then, I’ll follow. Would that I could gain a worthy marriage so quickly!


Philomathes’ nature is wonderful, and his wit sagacious, for he accurately predicted the letter would be brought to me. I see the very men. [Enter Philomathes, Chrestophilus, and Cerdous.]


APHR. It’s just as you said it would be, you weren’t mistaken in a single detail. My father wants me to return immediately. I want you to accompany me on my journey. Assuredly I see Philomathes, that right learned gentleman.
CHR. But needy, as I would not have him. He deserves better. Harsh poverty is the enemy of the goodly studies.
APHR. If he wishes to be my servant, I’ll gladly give him food and clothing, and he’ll find me a good master.
PHIL. [Aside.] A master? Is nobody being prudent? Whom should he want for a servant?
APHR. If my wife presents me with a son I’ll give him to Philomathes for his education. For I perceive he’s quite learned.
CHR. [Aside.] Do you think that learned men are honored thus, you donkey? By heaven, I’ll have my revenge for this, if I can. I feel sorry for Philomathes, whom I know to be upright and learned. I’ll think of something by which I can perhaps help him.
CERD. You should scarcely inform the young master that I lost the letter or got drunk.
PHIL. Shh.
APHR. Goodbye. Prepare yourself, for I want companions.
CHR. We’ll follow you. Go see your Sophia, Philomathes. I know I’m nobody to advise you, for I know you’ll go to see her. And you won’t go without a present. Give her this New Year’s gift, and warn her to come if we invite her to a wedding.
PHIL. How kindly you treat me, Chrestophilus! I’ll go and I’ll meet you at the appointed time. Farewell.


PHAN. I’ve made up my mind to go to Sophia. I must attend to my costume so that I don’t approach her uncouthly, as idiots do. Where’s my mirror, Petinus? I like the way I look in the mirror, Petinus.
PET. A second self is a friend.
PHAN. Fetch my comb.
PET. I’ll get it and come back.
PHAN. It’s not satiric: although it has teeth, it doesn’t bite. Where’s my whisk-broom, so that no lint sullies my clothes? Let no wrinkle disconvenience me. And how should this pickadill hold up my collar?
PET. I don’t imagine any French one could be larger.
PHAN. I’m ready enough. Now, Sophia, I’ll prepare myself for your inspection. Hand me a new suit of clothes, boy, this one’s too old, I’ve worn it for three hours. If there was ever a Narcissus, as the stories tell, I imagine he was not unlike myself, I so immoderately admire my manners. With even a single glance can’t I win over one of the Athenian girls, whom everybody else can’t gain with all manner of various contrivances? But my mirror is showing a fault in my beard of no little conspicuousness. First of all I’ll go to the barber and have it fixed.
PET. You are neater than neat. (Exeunt.)


AUT. Alas! How I hate being married to a gloomy, greedy, frigid ingrate of a husband who makes a racket at night with his coughing, by day with his money, and doesn’t do a husband’s duty!
AUTH. Why lament in vain, mistress? A woman who is not pleased by her husband should please herself.
AUT. I like this view of Authadia’s, but it scarcely befits a chaste and honorable wife. {Enter Aphronius, Chrestophilus, Philomathes, and Cerdous.]


APH. You’ve landed at Megara, I congratulate you on your safe journey. Behold the threshold of your paternal home.
CHR. Aphronius, we likewise rejoice that we are about to return you to your father safe and sound, as loyal friends should.
PHIL. Although it was such a small trip, I’m all but worn out by having been jounced about and by that plodding horse.
CERD. I followed with my whip, or otherwise our arrival would have been later. A scholar is rarely mounted on a good horse, for he can’t ride a noble one with ease. Here’s my mistress, sir, who awaits your arrival at the door.
APH. Greetings, mother. I’m bound by my filial loyalty, and the ties of duty and humble affection.
AUT. Each of you is welcome on your landing: you, Aphronius, since you have come to your father’s home, and you others as his guests.
APH. This one is named Chrestophilus, and that one Philomathes.
AUT. You are both welcome. But what fine thing shines forth in this Chrestophilus which captivates my mind?
CHR. It’s my rare handsomeness, a worthy one which I should cultivate in all possible ways, if only Venus favors me. While dealing with another man’s business I should not neglect my personal good.
AUT. Let’s go inside. Lead your comrades, son, so that the sight of you may delight your old father.


PHAN. In my natty way I am now hastening in search of Sophia, so we may speak a little about marriage. Knock on the door, Petinus, I’ll wait for her to come out.
PET. Right away, I’ll call out somebody with my assault.
SERV. Who’s using a battering-ram against our door?
PHAN. Where’s my wife Sophia?
SERV. I don’t know if you’re correct in calling her your wife, but I know this, that she’s gone to Megara for Aphronius’ wedding.
PHAN. What am I hearing? What, Aphronius marry Sophia? I’m certainly getting the deserved reward for my folly if that man’s turning a profit because of my delays.
PET. Perhaps he’s a bad egg from a good crow.
PHAN. I’ve decided to put this swindle to the test, even if I obstruct the marriage by whatever scheme I can. You’ve landed at Megara, go hastily from Megara. They say that Euclides came to see Socrates at Athens dressed as a woman. I’m leaving Athens for MEgara, so that I might test Sophia’s womanly mind, dressed in this costume.


TIME Vacuum, what’s happening?
VAC. What can Vacuum do amidst fullness? That crew of philosophers is very wise, they abhor a vacuum. Find yourself a new companion.
TIME What companion will come to Time in his affliction? Here I’ll relax, I have a fine idea. For next will come Rest. Come, you old man just like me, and, like me, an exile. (Enter Motion and Rest.)
MOT. Motion produces Rest in his own good time.
TIME Watch the stage, if you can. If you can’t, be present in your benevolence and show your goodwill.
REST Placid Rest is not accustomed to saying much. Unless some commotion or uproar drives me away, I shall be here as your loyal, happy companion.
TIME If they drive you away, soon they’ll do the same to me. For without rest everything has a brief time.

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