"Hence These Tears"

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Last Updated on January 19, 2017, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 319

Context: Andria (The Lady of Andros), Terence's first play, was produced in 166 B.C., when the playwright was on the threshold of his career. In the drama Pamphilus, a young man of good family, is deeply in love with Glycerium, a girl from Andros. Gino, Pamphilus' father, recently returned home,...

(The entire section contains 319 words.)

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Context: Andria (The Lady of Andros), Terence's first play, was produced in 166 B.C., when the playwright was on the threshold of his career. In the drama Pamphilus, a young man of good family, is deeply in love with Glycerium, a girl from Andros. Gino, Pamphilus' father, recently returned home, fears that his son, despite the lad's excellent reputation, has fallen in love with Glycerium's sister, the courtesan Chrysis. When the father attends Chrysis' funeral he discovers the truth. His discovery makes him very unhappy, for he wishes Pamphilus to marry another, the daughter of his friend Chremes, a girl with a good dowry and a good family. All turns out well, as it does in comedy, for in the end Glycerium proves to be a long-lost daughter of the same Chremes. In the first scene of Act I, Simo tells his servant, Sosia, how he discovered that his son loves Glycerium. What he learns is given added proof when Pamphilus prevents the girl from throwing herself on her sister's funeral pyre. The quotation, "hinc illae lacrumae" in the original Latin, has been variously translated, as the following context illustrates:


SIMO
. . . In short, out of feeling for him I went to the funeral myself, still without suspicion of anything being amiss.
SOSIA
Bless me, Sir, what do you mean?
SIMO
You shall be told. The body was brought out and we followed. Presently among the women in attendance I caught sight of one girl whose figure was–
SOSIA
Not bad, perhaps?
SIMO
–and her face, Sosia, so modest and so charming, it couldn't be beaten. As her grief seemed to me deeper than the others' and her figure was more elegant and ladylike than the others', I went up to the waiting-women and asked who she was. They told me she was Chrysis' sister. It struck me at once. Ha, that's the secret, that's the source of his tears, that's his compassion.

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