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CHR. How I wish that Crito were here with Sophia?
PHIL. I warned them to come, and I believe they’ll be here immediately. Until Sophia arrives every hour is a month. Let’s go to meet them, if you want. They can’t be away for long.
CRIT. See how you’re the preoccupied lover! (Enter Crito and Sophia.) She sets herself before you.
PHIL. Your arrival is welcome, the both of you! But am especially glad about your arrival, Sophia.
SOPH. What do you want of me?
PHIL. I want you to be pregnant.
SOPH. What’s this? A virgin be pregnant? For that I’d need your help.
PHIL. Rumor is whispering that Aphronius has given you a swollen belly.
SOPH. Good gods! What are you preparing?
PHIL. If only Fortune speeds my undertaking, Sophia, I shall prepare you a huge dowry.
SOPH. You should understand that whatever you prepare for me is prepared for yourself as well.
PHIL. I understand. So now I want you to be pregnant.
SOPH. Pregnant again?
PHIL. I say it again, I want you to appear pregnant.
SOPH. What, as if I had an living thing in my womb?
CHR. Not an animal, a bird.
PHIL. For you should wear a feather-pillow or something similar.
SOPH. So I should give birth to a chick?
PHIL. I hope a Phoenix for me.
SOPH. Possibly a little king, or a tiny animal. Or rather nothing at all?
CHR. That nothing will become a something.
SOPH. But what are you preparing, pray tell? What kind of strange thing is this?
CHR. Listen. I’m devoted to your welfare, and I have need of your art for this thing I am preparing. You see what I’m doing? This son of Chrysophilus has been boasting that he’s enjoyed your embraces.
SOPH. What am I hearing?
CHR. I’m telling you the truth.
CHR. I don’t know whether it’s true in point of fact, that’s for you to know, but I know it’s true that he said so.
SOPH. That this man, filthier than mud, should boast of my embraces, a man whose very face makes me sick!
PHIL. So what do you want? To avenge the insult?
SOPH. Why shouldn’t I?
PHIL. Pretend he made you pregnant.
SOPH. I should swell with rage, so that he might learn that I’m pregnant with hatred.
CHR. You, Crito, must further your niece’s cause. Hasten to Chrysophilus’ house and remonstrate about the deed. Expostulate that this was an unworthy deed, that he should give his son to another women, since his son gave to another woman what he should have given to his wife.
CRIT. But what if his son steadfastly denies it? How can we prove that he did?
CHR. This man is present, who can quote Aphronius’ very words.
PHIL. But what if the father pledges his son to Sophia, reduced to this necessity?
CHR. Have no fear, he’d sooner pledge the greater part of his ample possessions.
CRIT. Let Aphronius make recompense out of his dowry for his defamation of character. You can’t easily say how much it will be enough for him to be fined.
CHR. You only have to create commotions regarding his marriage, leave the rest to me and I’ll play my part. You both go off and add your embellishments to my scheme. Philomathes, you stay and help my plan. And see here, Aphronius is coming out. I’ve decided to launch my attack. [Exeunt Crito. Enter Aphronius.]
ACT V, SCENE ii
CHRESTOPHILUS, PHILOMATHES, APHRONIUS
CHR. What’s going on, Aphronius? Is your wedding arranged?
APH. It’s arranged. Anaea likes me, and I like her.
PHIL. Each suits the other, it’s a well-matched team.
APH. Today I’ll become a husband, and very soon a father.
APH. It’s a sure thing, I know I have the potency.
PHIL. By experience?
APH. At Athens the women experienced my potency often enough.
CHR. Indeed, I recall you telling me concerning Crito’s niece that she has borne your body’s weight.
APH. She’s borne it very often, and experienced my potency.
CHR. If you’re so potent, then she’s pregnant?
APH. Perhaps she’s had an abortion, as many are wont to do. But I haven’t the time for telling tales. Other things call me away, I’ll be there presently. (Exit.)
PHIL. May you perish, being a little rodent by your own admission.
CHR. His own tongue will impose a fine on that impudent fool.
PHIL. Often those who do the least boast the most. But, Sophia, I know you’re chaste, whatever he might bray.
CHR. You must hasten to her, Philomathes, and console her with good words so she doesn’t slip and betray the scheme.
PHIL. I’m gladly hastening. [Exit.]
CHR. And I’m hastening to Autarchia, who received me so affably. And see, here she comes. [Enter Authadia and Autarchia.]
ACT V, SCENE iii
CHRESTOPHILUS, AUTHADIA, AUTARCHIA
AUT. Look here, Chrestophilus is a good, excellent fellow.
AUTH. He strikes me as the best.
AUT. I’d very much like to have Chrestophilus in place of Chrysophilus! [He comes up to them.]
CHR. You goddess of hospitality, how greatly I am indebted to your affections! I don’t think Danae gave such a reception to Jove, when he came into her lap disguised as gold, as my Autarchia has given me.
AUT. I confess, Chrysophilus, that to me you are more welcome than gold. For gold is chilly and doesn’t feed the fires of Venus. Just as its hard and heavy weight is more pleasing to an old man, so hot blood and a soft embrace pleases youth. Like enjoys like. Chrestophilus, I know how much you surpass Chrysophilus. Fortune would bless me if it gave me such a husband.
CHR. But since fortune has denied me as your husband, I’ll be your servant. I’ll always be at your service, and what I cannot supply with my wealth, I will with my loyalty.
AUT. What need do I have of wealth? My old husband abounds in that well enough, and I have all I need. You, if you wish, will be my partner, and whatever is my lot you can freely call your own.
AUTH. Nor will your own heart be more privy to your secrets than your Authadia.
AUT. On whose faithfulness I rely.
CHR. I’ll repay this faithfulness both to you and to Authadia, if I can.
ACT V, SCENE iv
ANAEA, PHILOMATHES, SOPHIA
AN. Get out of our house, you whore! Go away, you wicked woman! Have you come to steal my bridegroom?
PHIL. Spare her, Anaea, don’t heap evil up on evil. She’s unhappy enough if she has pleased your husband, that’s his fault more than hers.
AN. By heaven, if you come back I’ll scratch your eyes out. (Exit.)
SOPH. How jocular! I’m afraid lest I bring down some evil on myself.
PHIL. Be confident, Sophia, nothing evil will happen to you.
SOPH. How these things wound my modesty! Alas! Thus you play with my love, Philomathes? Do I seem to deserve being scourged with these slanders?
PHIL. I beg you be silent, Sophia. Everything will turn out well.
SOPH. You steal my good reputation because I cleave to you?
PHIL. Aphronius stole it, I’ll get it back for you, and this upright swindle will enhance it.
ACT V, SCENE v
CRITO, CHRYSOLPHILUS, CHRESTOPHILUS, AUTARCHIA, AUTHADIA
CRIT. You may be a wealthy man, Chrysophilus, but I’m a citizen. Look here, I’ll protect my family’s reputation. Can I allow such an insult to my niece? He must either marry her or pay the due penalty.
CHRYS. My son denies he did this.
CRIT. He’s too late in denying it. He said he did it, I have a trustworthy witness.
CHRYS. Who’s this witness?
CRIT. I’m happy to say he’s your guest this very day, lest you imagine I’ve suborned him. He is Chrestophilus, a man of upstanding substance and reputation.
CHRYS. Chrestophilus, did my son say that he corrupted this young Athenian girl?
CHREST. He certainly did. Why should he deny it? He told me, and moreover he boasted about it.
CHRYS. Tell me you didn’t say that.
APH. Hey, this is dishonorable!
CHRYS. So what am I to do?
CHREST. Chrestophilus, you are wealthy enough, atone for your son’s peccadillo with a few talents. This daughter-in-law of yours will abundantly compensate her Aphronius for this fine. Possibly Sophia will find some pauper of a bridegroom, a man of honest station and appearance, who will be overcome by her dowry and marry her, a man whom she will like and Crito will not disdain.
CHRYS. Oh would that you could find such a bridegroom for the Attic girl!
CHREST. I’ll make the attempt. You soothe Crito.
CHRYS. I’ll do that. But do you hear me? Beg my wife not to take this misdeed of my son’s hard in bad part.
CHREST. I’ll do my best. A few words with you, Autarchia? [Exeunt. Enter Phantasta and Petinus.]
ACT V, SCENE vi
PHAN. Really? Sophia pregnant so soon? This was accomplished by my mental powers, for I know this was my intention. And in addition, just now I spoke with her and kissed her, and she was impregnated by my mouth’s exhalation, just as among the Iberians animals are in the habit of being impregnated by the wind.
PET. People say Sophia is pregnant by Aphronius?
PHAN. Whether or not they say that, surely it is impossible.
PET. The Athenian Crito has brought her and is proving her to be pregnant by Aphronius. And in many places Aphronius has said that she has born the weight of his body.
PHAN. Aphronius? Her? Farewell, Sophia, since you’re a whore. How fitting a thing is it for Aphronius to pay the price for having corrupted Sophia! He who has done evil should suffer it. But should I not avenge this crime myself? I’ll think about it, it scarcely befits me to act rashly. (Enter Authadia and Chrestophilus.)
AUTH. Who’s that man, Chrestophilus?
CHR. What if he were your husband?
AUTH. Would that he were given me, for I like his manners.
PHAN. Wow! What’s this divinity. Is it Venus? It’s she. Or rather Diana, she’s more chaste. Surely she’s Diana. Look how she keeps changing and renewing her expression in various ways. Now she hides her head in a cloud, and then she shines again. I recognize it, this is how it is. Annoyed with me because heard me say that set myself before Endymion, she is present to avenge the insult.
PET. Smart goddess!
PHAN. Perhaps she has made this girl pregnant lest she be the first to get her hands o me.
PET. Whew, I praise your wit!
PHAN. How worthy of love she is? I’ll greet her first. Or should I wait till she greets me? I must think about this a long time, so I may do it once. [Exeunt.]
ACTUS V, SCENA vii
CHRYSOPHILUS, APHRONIUS, ANAEA
CHRYS. You’re showing yourself to be a fine fellow, Aphronius. Did you want to become a father before you became a bridegroom? Should you throw your wedding into confusion? To drive Anaea out of her mind and the wits out of your father? To besmirch your own good name and family, and also another one, with reproaches? Does this befit a freeborn man? Is how they live at Athens? It’s a disgraceful life.
APH. I know I never laid a hand on this Athenian Sophia, but I’ll confess to it so people will think me a man, nor do I want to be caught out a vainglorious liar. Alas, father, being an old man, have pity on a youth. You can remember being young. Should we grow directly from boyhood to old age?
CHRYS. I acknowledge this, but you must be wiser in the future, and I hope your wife makes you more honorable.
APH. Henceforth, Anaea, you will learn that I’m a man.
AN. Anaea will easily forgive her Aphronius this. I hope I find you a better man, and I ask you not to love Sophia any more.
APH. I won’t do that, Anaea pleases Aphronius more than all the other girls.
AN. When he’s born, who ought to rear this child?
APH. The very woman who gave it birth, even though the public might attend to this.
CHREST. I’ll attend to this myself, if everything else turns out well.
AUT. You will do this excellently, Chrestophilus, and as you should.
SOPH. Sophia, at whose expense this business is being transacted, understands this well enough, but she has scarcely earned such reproach.
PHIL. Don’t be disturbed, Sophia, I’ll remove the reproach.
CRIT. Philomathes, you should do that which smacks of an upright character. You should feel sorry for Sophia.
SOPH. Rather, Sophia feels sorry for Philomathes, who could not gain his Sophia save by unworthy means.
CHRYS. If you want this Sophia for a wife, Philomathes, I myself will pay you twenty talents. Crito will add seven hundred minas, taken from the sum he owes me.
PHIL. I like this offer, though I like my wife more.
CRIT. Let’s go inside so that these things can be settled by your contractual agreement.
CHREST. Philomathes, I hope that this unborn child — I’ll call it mine, not yours — grows up to be morally upright and wealthy.
AUT. You’re accomplishing everything wonderfully, Chrestophilus.
CHREST. It remains for me to do something for this Authadia of yours so that she can’t say she’s displeased about that which pleases so many.
PHAN. This maiden is the guardian of the mountains and forest glades. Within her sphere the great sovereign Diana has many subjects, estates and forests. If she’ll be mine, what a great prince I’ll be! I’m not ashamed to attach myself to her, I’ll do as I should.
CHREST. Greetings, Phantasta.
PHAN. And likewise to you, Chrestophilus.
CHREST. This thrice-fair maiden, worthy for you to worship, bids you thrive, something she can also confer.
PHAN. Behold a goddess! [Aside.] Is he just speaking politely, or is she worthy of my worship? [Aloud.] What’s her name?
CHREST. She calls herself Authadia.
PHAN. It is as I foresaw, behold, this name means Goddess of Authority. Virgin goddess, I acknowledge your name, your might and light, I am quite aware who you are. It is no new thing to see the gods of heaven in human guise, nor did the moon hold Endymion any more dearly than Phantasta will be at your service.
AUTH. You alone please me and are worthy of pleasing me, Phantasta. And I am all the more pleased because I please you.
AUT. Chrestophilus, what are a good friend you are to everybody will be shown by this too. Who can satisfy you?
CHREST. Autarchia’s approval is enough for me.
AUT. Phantasta, you to will come into our house.
PHAN. I’ll be at your service, scarcely an ungrateful friend.
PHILOMATHES SPEAKS THE EPILOGUE
What’s been done is good enough for me, I hope it is for you too! You are all like Philomathes. Has this been done to your satisfaction? Perhaps to excess, but there’s also satisfaction in excess. Philomathes rejoices in Sophia, Aphronius enjoys his Anaea, Chrysophilus gets to keep Autarchia, even if Chrestophilus is worthier of her. Authadia is a servant to three people at the same time, but Phantasta possesses her more than the others. Here we intend nothing indecorous or base, an honorable business is being transacted in a silly guise.
REST Be quiet.
TIME Time commands silence.
PHIL. And I gladly humor Time.
TIME Rest, what’s happening?
REST Things are at rest, as they should be. Don’t you think it’s time for resting now? That lazy poet failed in the final Act, he went wrong with his wordiness. Look here, there’s need for rest.
TIME I admit it. So you rest first, and hold your silence. For I know that this audience, exhausted by our trifles, seeks rest, which we shall provide. And if anything was unwelcome, let this rest be unending. Is that what you want? Striving to give you pleasure, our effort and care will grant you this, though at the cost of protracted tedium. But now the silent night impends, Time is silent, and I want you to hold your silence, or to converse at your ease. The one remaining thing reposes in your hands.