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of conscience, he must inform the owner, but he is willing to share the responsibility of not doing so, provided he shares the prize. The dispute is referred to Dæmones; and, on the wallet being opened, besides the money and valuables belonging to Labrax, it is found to contain Palæstra's relics, amongst which the old cottager recognises some which prove her to be his daughter, and she is handed over to her lover a free woman. The money is retained by Dæmones, to be restored to its owner, from whom, however, Gripus obtains the promise of a talent for having informed him of its safety. But the master again intervenes, and applies half the talent to the ransom of his daughter's friend, whilst he takes the other half as the price of his slave's freedom. There is pungency in the reply of Gripus to his master's lecture on honesty when he made his award,

Ah! so I've heard the players on the stage
Rehearse the very finest moral sentiments,
And with immense applause, showing quite clearly
All that a wise man ought to do ; and then
The audience would go home, and not a soul of 'em
Would follow that grand preaching in their practice.'



THE CAPTIVES. We learn from the prologue that the two captives are Philocrates, a young noble of Elis, and his slave Tyndarus. They have been taken in battle, and purchased by Hegio, a wealthy citizen of Ætolia, whose son is a prisoner at Elis, besides which a younger son was carried off in his infancy by a revengeful slave. The interest of the play lies in the devotion of Tyndarus to his young master, with whom he exchanges clothes, in order that Hegio may send him, the slave as he thinks, to negotiate with the father of Philocrates for the release of his own son. The parting scene between the two young men, who have been brought up from childhood together, is very effective. The deception, however, is detected, and Tyndarus is consigned to work in chains at the stone quarries. After a long interval, Philocrates returns with Hegio's son, whom he has ransomed, and is equally anxious to release Tyndarus. He also brings the runaway slave who stole Hegio's younger son, and it is elicited that he sold the boy to the father of Philocrates, who gave him to his son as a play-fellow,—the very Tyndarus who has been enduring so much suffering at his own father's hands.

Τ Η Ε Τ W Ο Μ Ε Ν Ε C Η Μ Ι.

UPON this play Shakspeare founded his ‘Comedy of Errors.' The plot turns on the extraordinary resemblance between two twin-brothers, which deceives their servants, their most intimate friends, and even their wives, leading to a series of ludicrous mistakes and entanglements, which are at last set right by their meeting.


PLAUTUS calls this a tragi-comedy, because it is a dramatic version of the myth of Jupiter and Alcmena. The fun consists in Sosia, Amphitryon's slave, almost disbelieving in his own identity when Mercury not only assumes an exact resemblance of him, but tells him all his master's recent movements, and especially respecting a gold cup, which is secured in a casket under Amyphitryon's own seal.


A FAMILY Lar, or household deity, in the character of prologue, tells the audience of a grandfather who was so covetous that he buried under the hearth a pot of gold without entrusting the secret to any of his children. The son being also a miser, the Lar would not discover the treasure to him; and now the grandson, Euclio, is as bad as either. But he has a pretty daughter, who is very attentive in her offerings to the Lar; and, as he happens to know that the husband he has chosen for her-Lyconides, a nephew of their neighbour Megadorus-will not be acceptable to her father, he intends that the uncle shall propose for the girl, and then resign her to the nephew. He has also told Euclio of the hidden gold, in the hope that out of it he will give his daughter

liberal portion. It becomes, however, his delight and his torment; he is in constant fear of being robbed of it; he is sure that his neighbour solicits the hand of his daughter because he knows of the money; he protests that he is miserably poor; and would claim his share of a public dole if he could feel certain that his pot would not disappear during his absence from home. He consents to his daughter's marriage, but declares he can give her no dowry, and even allows Megadorus to provide the wedding feast

. When the cooks, however, arrive at his house, he drives them away, because he heard them asking for a larger pot;' and kills his own cock for scratching about, as he believes, to unearth his treasure. At last he carries it to the temple of Faith, and re-buries it there; but, finding he has been watched by a slave of Megadorus, he removes it to a sacred grove. Here the slave has climbed into a tree, and secures the pot as soon as the miser is gone. Molière has copied his frantic exclamations of despair, on discovering his loss, in his comedy of 'L'Avare ;' and also the scene in which Lyconides confesses that he has stolen the girl's affections from his uncle, whilst Euclio will persist in understanding him to say that he is the thief of the gold. The conclusion of the play has not been preserved.


This is supposed to have been the author's favourite comedy. Ballio, a slave-dealer, enters, abusing his slaves for their laziness and want of honesty, and whipping them cruelly. Then Pseudolus, a cool-headed ready-tongued slave, is introduced, saying to himself,

• A bold behaviour in a doubtful cause

Is half the victory,' and answering his master, Simo, glibly and with impudent assurance ; undertaking not only to get from him money enough to ransom a girl on whom his son has set his heart, but to obtain her from Ballio without any payment. Simo promises to make him a present of the sum demanded if he succeeds in his design, and then, after telling Ballio of the plot, makes a wager with him that the slave will outwit him notwithstanding, which he does. Pseudolus now offers to return his master half the money he has given him, if he will be his guest at a supper he has ordered in celebration of his triumph; and Simo accepts the invitation.

Two other plays, Epedicus and Bacchides, turn upon similar incidents, with clever and unscrupulous slaves as the leading characters.


Having been written during the Second Punic War, this piece would naturally take with a Roman audience; and it is interesting to scholars as containing the only existing specimen of the Carthaginian language; but the plot is devoid of ingenuity, and tediously worked out. There is, however, some real love-making between the hero and heroine, and an amusing scene in which the gentleman deputes his slave to intercede for him with the lady, and then chastises him for the endearing terms in which he addresses her on his behalf.


DIED B.C. 159.

ERENCE was only ten years old when Plautus died;

and the intervening generation of Roman play-goers

were entertained by the compositions of Cæcilius, of which none remain. Brought up as a slave in the household of Terentius, a Roman senator, he took the name of his patron when he obtained his freedom; and, having received a liberal education, he was admitted, as a young man, into the society of aristocratic friends, by whom it is supposed that he was assisted in the composition of his plays. The six which follow are probably all that he put upon the stage, as in the midst of his career he left Rome, to travel in Greece, and never returned.


The scene is laid in Athens, but the words, and manners of the characters, are Roman. Simo tells his freedman Sosia that he wants his services in a matter which involves trust and secrecy; and the dialogue gives a pleasant idea of the kindly relations which sometimes subsisted between the head of a household and his dependants. The father has recently seen his son Pamphilus leading an exquisitely pretty foreign girl from a funeral with the tenderest affection, notwithstanding that he is engaged to the daughter of his friend Chremes, who also has heard of the matter, and

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