The very willingness with which she performed these duties, the cheerfulness with which she bore her reverses, and the kindness which withheld her from imputing the smallest blame to him, were all perverted by this ingenious self-tormentor
into further aggravations of his sufferings.
It was written by a comic playwright, Terence, more than 2,000 years ago, near the start of his Heauton Timorumenos (The Self-Tormentor
) and it means something like ("puto" remains hard to translate): "I am a man: I consider nothing human alien to me." How's that for cultural appropriation?
Terentius Afer, known in English as Terence--The Woman from Andros, The Self-Tormentor
, The Eunuch, Phormio, The Mother-in-Law, and The Brothers--dating from the period 166- 160 BC.
And although they become much rarer in Dickens's mature novels, Little Dorrit's story of the princess, and Miss Wade's narrative ('The History of a Self-Tormentor') prove that he did not slough the habit entirely, even if he gave more thought to integrating the tales.
I don't see the practicability of making the History of a Self-Tormentor, with which I took great pains, a written [sic, spoken?] narrative.
The care he took to integrate 'The History of a Self-Tormentor' might accordingly owe something to these charges of imperfect craft.
The words I propose to delete form the opening line of Terence's Heautontimorumenos (`The Self-Tormentor': line 53, after 52 lines of prologue).
It is surely more likely that a reader who saw Cicero referring to someone who dolore crucietur, and to someone who crucietur(2) summis doloribus, was put in mind of Terence's well-known play `The Self-Tormentor' (in which Chremes applies the verb cruciare to Menedemus at line 81) and wrote its opening line in the margin--to refer to this play as providing a further example from comedy of someone who tortures himself, not an example of someone who feels neither gladness nor grief.(3) From the margin, it crept into the text.
During his short life he produced six plays: Andria (166 BC; Woman of Andros, The), Hecyra (165 BC ; The Mother-in-Law), Heauton timoroumenos (163 BC; The Self-Tormentor
), Eunuchus (161 BC; The Eunuch), Phormio (161 BC), and Adelphi or Adelphoe (160 BC; The Brothers).