Titus Maccius Plautus (approx. 250-184 BC e)
"This is an unusual comedy! - warns the actor pronouncing the prologue. "There is no obscenities in it, there is neither a swindler nor a fellow, a brave warrior, no haters, no lovers, kidnapping a lover, but only a game of fate, the futility of human intentions and the nobility of perfect valor."
There were two neighboring regions in Greece, Atoylia and Elida. One old man from Aetolia had two sons, Philipol and Tindar. The younger, Tyndar, still a little kid kidnapped a cunning slave and sold it to the Elite. There, the owner gave the boy a friend to his own son Filokrat; Filocrates and Tindar grew up with friends. Years passed, war broke out between Aetolia and Eliade. The eldest son of the Ethiopian old Philipole got into an elite captivity, and Filokrat and Tindar were a prisoner of the Utopians, and their father was bought just like an old man, not knowing that one of the captives was his own son. Truly "people play the gods, like a ball!"
The action is played in Aetola. The play begins with the monologue of the squirrel - without this character could not do even such an unusual comedy. This is the chipper of Philipolem, who was recently captured; it's a pity, good man was a guy, no one left him hungry! And now you have to lose weight and cry, while the old man's father will not save his son. "Endure," the old man says, "I just bought two elite captives, a master with a slave, a master of the nobles, maybe he will succeed in helping his son".
The old man knows that one of his captives is the master, and the other is a slave, but he does not know who - who. Meanwhile, noble Philocrat and slave Tindar agreed and changed with clothes and names. An old man calls a nobleman to himself - and Tindar approaches him. "What are you in slavery?" - "What to do, fate plays a person: he was a master, he became a slave. I will say one thing: if fate pays justice, then it will send me the owner of the way I was myself - meek and not cruel. And I will say another: if fate pays justice, then what I am here will be your son and another's captivity." - "Do you want to go back to freedom?" - "Who does not want to!" - "Help me get my son back - I'll let you and your slave and I will not take the money." - "Ay who he is captive?" - "In such a way." - "This is my father's friend, my father will help." Just do this: go to my servant with this message, and then he will take and will not believe. " - "And if your slave escapes and will not return?" - "I'm still in your pledge: how will my father redeem me, and you ask him to buy out immediately for both of them." The old man agrees, seeing two prisoners betrayed each other, and sends Philocrat to Eliade, not knowing that this is not a slave, but a gentleman.
The break in action once again fills the hunter, who is sorry for the full days of the past: everything is definitely degenerated, everything seems to have come to an end, no jokes, no services, they need to, just to get around hungry for lunch! When they have such a strike, it's time to appeal to the court: let them be fined for ten lunches in favor of the sailors!
Suddenly, the old man returns to the scene, and an unexpected man with him is another elite prisoner, a friend of the philocrat, who asked him about a date with him. Tindar in panic: this person knows who he is, he will reveal to the master all the deception; "I'm sorry for the poor brothel that break me!" Tindar tries to resist. "This man is crazy," he says to the owner, "he calls me Tyndar, and you will call Ajax, do not listen to him, stay away from him - he will kill!" "This man is a deceiver," he says to the master of the prisoner, "he is a pregnant slave, all Eliade knows this, and Filokrat does not even look like that! "The old man's head goes around. "What do you mean by Filokrat?" - "Dry, with a sharp nose, black eyed, white body, curly, slightly with a ridge." - "Woe! so it is!"- the owner exclaims, hearing the exact description of that from the captives, whom he himself has just dropped out of hand. "Apparently, the truth is said: there are no true slaves, a good one lies in favor of the mistress, but a bad one to the detriment of the mistress. Well, dear, that you are faithful to the mistress - this is, maybe, and commendable, but for deceiving me - in his shackles and in the quarry! "The poor man is taken away, but the unwittingly revealing him bitterly repents, and it's late.
Here again the burial is breaking through - it's not dull, but triumphant. "Arrange, master, feast, and thank me, like a god!" Joyful news: the ship came, and your son Philipol was there, and the captive you sent, and the other servant, who once escaped from you with your younger son to a foreign land." - "Well, when so-you are my eternal visitor, I take you to the house of the caretaker for all the supplies!" The old man runs to the pier, the birdman runs into the pantry. That is the case: here Philopole, but Philocrat - did not take advantage of the chance to escape, but he fulfilled the promise and returned to his comrade. You see, there is still friendship and nobility in the world! "Well, and you," the old man appeals to a quick servant, "if you want mercy, please acknowledge: what did you do with my son?" - "Sold to slavery - this is your father." - "How?" That means Titndar is my son! And I sent him to a quarry! "Tindara is immediately released, the captive is locked into his shackles, Philoplom hugged with his brother, Filokrat admires them, and all chorus appeals to the audience:" We gave you a comedy to the moral audience: / There are few comedies that are improving the morale! / Now, and show which one of you will give a reward / Virtues are willing: let them fall asleep!"