CHR. At ego illi neque do neque despondeo.
SYR. non? quam ob rem?
CHR. quam ob rem? me rogas? homini—
SYR. ut lubet.
non ego dicebam in perpetuom ut illam illi dares,
verum ut simulares.
CHR. non meast simulatio:
ita tu istaec tua misceto, ne me admisceas.
egon quoi daturus non sum, ut ei despondeam?
SYR. scite poterat fieri;
et ego hoc, quia dudum tu tanto opere suaseras
SYR. ceterum equidem istuc, Chremes,
aequi bonique facio.
CHR. atqui quam maxume
volo te dare operam ut fiat, verum alia via.
SYR. fiat, quaeratur aliquid. sed illud quod tibi
dixi de argento quod ista debet Bacchidi,
id nunc reddendumst illi: neque tu scilicet
illuc confugies: “quid mea? num mihi datumst?
num iussi? num illa oppignerare filiam
meam me invito potuit?” verum illud, Chremes,
dicunt: “ius summum saepe summast malitia.
CHR. haud faciam.
(Terence, Heaut. 779-797)
CHR. But I won’t marry her to him! I won’t engage her to
SYR. Won’t you? Why not?
CHR. Why not?! Are you asking me that? A man who—
SYR. (interrupting) As you like. I wasn’t saying that you should give her to him permanently, but that you should pretend.
CHR. It’s not my style to pretend: you cook up those schemes of yours without mixing me up in them! Me engage her to a man I’m not going to marry her to?!
SYR. I thought you would.
CHR. Certainly not!
SYR. It could have been done cleverly; and the only reason I embarked on this was because you’d urged me earlier so insistently.
CHR. I believe you.
SYR. But that really doesn’t bother me in the slightest, Chremes.
CHR. But I do want you to work as hard as you can to make it happen, only some other way!
SYR. All right, let me think of something.—But do you remember what I told you about the money that the girl owes Bacchis? That’s got to be paid over to her now. And I’m sure you won’t fall back on saying ‘What’s it got to do with me? It wasn’t given to me, was it? Was it on my orders? Could she offer my daughter as security without my consent?’ It’s true what they say, Chremes: the highest legalism is often the lowest cunning.
CHR. I won’t do that!
(tr. Peter Brown)