Plautus, The Merchant

LCL 163: 16-17

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Actvs I i. i: charinvs
charduas res simul nunc agere decretum est mihi:et argumentum et meos amores eloquar.non ego item facio ut alios in comoediis<ui> uidi amoris facere, qui aut Nocti aut Dii5aut Soli aut Lunae miserias narrant suas:quos pol ego credo humanas querimoniasnon tanti facere, quid uelint, quid non uelint;uobis narrabo potius meas nunc miserias.Graece haec uocatur Ἔμπορος Philemonis,10eadem Latine Mercator Macci Titi.pater ad mercatum hinc me meus misit Rhodum;biennium iam factum est postquam abii domo.ibi amare occepi forma eximia mulierem.sed ea[m] ut sim implicitus dicam, si operae est auribus15atque aduortendum ad animum adest hoc parum hercle more amatorum institi:†per mea per conatus sum uos sumque inde exilico.†nam amorem haec cuncta uitia sectari solent,cura, aegritudo, nimiaque elegantia.20haec non modo illum qui amat sed quemque attigit
  • 4ui add. Ussing
  • 14eam P, ea Lambinus
  • 17per mea per conatus sum uos sumque inde exilico B, per me perconatus sum uossumque inde exilico CD, alii alia


Act One Enter CHARINUS from the left.

I’m resolved to do two things at one and the same time now: I’ll tell you the plot summary and my labors in love. I’m not behaving the same way that I have seen others behave in comedies through the force of Love; they tell their troubles to Night or Day or Sun or Moon. I don’t believe5 that these care much about human lamentations, what they want and what they don’t want. Instead, I’ll tell you about my wretched situation. In Greek this play is called The Emporos1 of Philemon, in Latin The Mercator10 of Titus Maccius. My father sent me off to do business in Rhodes. It’s already two years since I left home. There I fell in love with a woman of outstanding beauty. But I’ll tell you how I got entangled with her, if your ears are at leisure and you have the kindness to pay attention. I15 haven’t begun this the way lovers normally do: † . . . † Well, normally all these vices go hand in hand with love: worry, distress, and excessive refinement. The last of20 these takes a full and heavy toll not only on the lover but

DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.plautus-merchant.2011