Zōsan

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© Mark Ryden

This is part 1 of 3. Part 2 is here. Part 3 is here.

. . . εἰς τὸν ξενῶνα προσπορεύεται ταῖς θύραις, καὶ καιομένου τοῦ λύχνου καθημένην εἶδεν τὴν ἄνθρωπον παρὰ τῷ Μαχάτῃ. οὐκ ἔτι δὲ καρτερήσασα πλείονα χρόνον διὰ τὸ θαυμαστὸν τῆς φαντασίας τρέχει πρὸς τὴν μητέρα, καὶ βοήσασα μεγάλῃ τῇ φωνῇ “Χαριτοῖ καὶ Δημόστρατε”, ᾤετο δεῖν ἀναστάντας ἐπὶ τὴν θυγατέρα αὐτοὺς μετ’ αὐτῆς πορεύεσθαι· πεφηνέναι γὰρ ζῶσαν εἶναί τε μετά τοῦ ξένου διά τινα θείαν βούλησιν ἐν τῷ ξενῶνι. τῆς δὲ Χαριτοῦς παράδοξον λόγον ἀκουούσης συνέβη τὴν ψυχὴν τὸ μὲν πρῶτον ἐκπλαγῆ γενομένην ἐκλυθῆναι διὰ τὸ μέγεθος τῆς ἀγγελίας καὶ διὰ τὴν ταραχὴν τῆς τροφοῦ, μετὰ μικρὸν δὲ μνησθεῖσαν τῆς θυγατρὸς κλαίειν, τὰ δὲ ἔσχατα καταγνῶναι τῆς πρεσβύτιδος μανίαν κελεύειν τε ἀπαλλάττεσθαι ἀπ’ αὐτῆς ταχέως. ὀνειδιζούσης δὲ τῆς τροφοῦ καὶ λεγούσης μετὰ παρρησίας, ὡς μὴν φρονεῖ τε καὶ ὑγιής ἐστιν, εἰ δὲ δι’ ὄκνον οὐ βούλοιτο τὴν ἰδίαν θυγατέρα ἰδεῖν, μόλις ἡ Χαριτὼ τὰ μὲν βιασθεῖσα ὑπὸ τῆς τροφοῦ, τὰ δὲ εἰδῆσαι βουλομένη τὸ συμβεβηκὸς παραγίνεται πρὸς τὰς θύρας τοῦ ξενῶνος· διὰ <δὲ> τὸ γεγονέναι πλείονα χρόνον, <ἢ> ὡς ἂν δευτέρας ἀγγελίας συν<τε>τελεσμένης, ὀψέ ποτε ἧκεν ἡ Χαριτώ. διὸ συνέβαινεν ἐκείνους μὲν ἤδη ἀναπαύεσθαι. ἀνακύψασα δ’ οὖν ἡ μήτηρ τὰ μὲν ἱμάτια καὶ τὸν τύπον τῆς ὄψεως ἐνόμιζεν ἐπιγινώσκειν, τὴν δὲ ἀλήθειαν ἐξετάσαι κατ’ οὐδένα τρόπον δυναμένη τὴν ἡσυχίαν ᾤετο δεῖν ἔχειν· πρωῒ γὰρ ἤλπιζεν ἀναστᾶσα καταλήψεσθαι τὴν ἄνθρωπον, ἐὰν δὲ ὑστερήσῃ, διερωτήσειν τὸν Μαχάτην περὶ πάντων· οὐ γὰρ ἄν ποτε ψεύσασθαι τηλικαύτην πρᾶξιν ἐρωτώμενον αὐτόν· διόπερ σιωπήσασα ἀπῆλθεν. ὄρθρου δὲ γενομένου τὴν μὲν εἴτε διὰ θείαν βούλησιν εἴτε κατ’ αὐτοματισμὸν λαθοῦσαν ἀπελθεῖν συνέβη, τὴν δὲ παραγινομένην διὰ τὴν ἀπόλυσιν δυσφορεῖν τῷ νεανίσκῳ, καὶ πάντα ἐξ ἀρχῆς ἐξηγησαμένην ἀξιοῦν περὶ τὰ γόνατα περιπλεκομένην τοῦ Μαχάτου τὴν ἀλήθειαν εἰπεῖν μηδὲν ἀποκρυψάμενον. ὁ δὲ νεανίσκος ἀγωνιάσας τὴν ἀρχὴν μὲν διεταράχθη, μόλις δέ ποτε τὸ ὄνομα διεσάφησεν, ὅτι Φιλίννιον εἴη· καὶ τὴν ἀρχὴν διηγήσατο τῆς εἰσόδου καὶ τὴν ἐπιθυμίαν αὐτῆς ἐδήλωσεν ὡς ἥκει, ὅτι λάθρᾳ τῶν γεννησάντων ἔφη παραγίνεσθαι πρὸς αὐτόν, τά τε ὑπολελειμμένα ὑπὸ τῆς ἀνθρώπου, βουλόμενος ποιῆσαι τὸ πρᾶγμα πιστόν, ἀνοίξας τὸν ῥίσκον ἐξαιρεῖ τόν τε δακτύλιον τὸν χρυσοῦν, ὃν ἔλαβεν παρ’ αὐτῆς, καὶ τὴν στηθοδεσμίδα, ἣν ἀπολελοίπει τῇ πρότερον νυκτί.
(Phlegon, Peri thaumasiōn 1.1-7)

. . . [the nurse] went to the door of the guest room, and in the light of the burning lamp she saw the girl sitting beside Machates. Because of the extraordinary nature of the sight, she did not wait there any longer bur ran to the girl’s mother screaming, ‘Charito! Demostratos!’ She said they should get up and come with her to their daughter, who was alive and by some divine will was with the guest in the guest room. When Charito heard this astonishing report, the immensity of the message and the nurse’s excitement made her frightened and faint. But after a short time the memory of her daughter came to her, and she began to weep; in the end she accused the old woman of being mad and told her to leave her presence immediately. But the nurse repried boldly and reproachfully that she herself was rational and sound of mind, unlike her mistress, who was reluctant to see her own daughter. With some hesitation Charito went to the door of the guest room, partly coerced by the nurse and partly wanting to know what really had happened. Since considerable time—about two hours—had now passed since the nurse’s original message, it was somewhat late when Charito went to the door and the occupants were already asleep. She peered in and thought she recognized her daughter’s clothes and features, but inasmuch as she could not determine the truth of the matter she decided to do nothing further that night. She planned to get up in the morning and confront the girl, or if she should be too late for that she intended to question Machates thoroughly about everything. He would not, she thought, lie if asked about so important a matter. And so she said nothing and left. At dawn, however, it turned out that by divine will or chance the girl had left unnoticed. When Charito came to the room she was upset with the young man because of the girl’s departure. She asked him to relate everything to her from the beginning, telling the truth and concealing nothing. The youth was anxious and confused at first, but hesitantly revealed that the girl’s name was Philinnion. He told how her visits began, how great her desire for him was, and that she said she came to him without her parents’ knowledge. Wishing to make the matter credible he opened his coffer and took out the items the girl had left behind—the golden ring he had obtained from her and the breast-band she had left the night before. (tr. William Hansen)

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