Menehma, or Gemini
Titus Maccius Plautus (approx. 250-184 BC e)
A merchant lived in Syracuse, and he had two twin boys, who looked like two drops of water. The merchant drove off the sea and took with him one of the boys - named Menehma. There was a holiday there, the boy was lost in the crowd; he was picked up by another merchant - from the city of Epidamina, taken away to him, adopted, and then he sought his wife and left all his condition. The second boy stayed in Siracusa; In memory of the missing, he was renamed and also called Menechma. He grew up, went to search for his brother, traveled for a long time all the cities and finally got to Epidamn. Here, two twins, Menehma Epidam, and the Menachem of Syracuse collided, and it is understandable that there were a lot of confusion and misunderstandings. Confusion is when Menechma of Epidamn is mistaken for Menehm of Syracuse or vice versa A misunderstanding is when Menechma of Epidamn is mistaken for Menechm of Epidamn, but the actions of Menechm of Syracuse are attributed to him, or vice versa.
On the stage - the city of Epidamn, there are two houses, in one - the wife of Menehma Epidamann, in the other - a ghetto, his mistress. The viewer goes to the Menechma of Epidemic named Donut Brush - because he will sit at the table, he will not leave the crumbs. He praises his master: he lives preciously, loves to eat himself and treats others. And the owner himself leaves the house, scolded by a jealous wife; he dragged her a new cloak and carried him as a present to a mistress. But she is happy with the gift and thanks to the cook for dinner on three. "At ten, - the cook is correcting, - the Dining Brush for eight eats."
Lesser Epidemic with a hangman goes to the square for business, and from the wharf is with his slave Menachem Syracuse, who came to look for his brother. Of course, both the chef and the hearth think that it is Menahem of the Epidemic, and cheerfully greet him: this is the first confusion. "Listen," says the ghetto, "do you carry this stolen cloak in a crucible, so that his wife can not find it on me!" Menachem Syracuse is swearing that he is not here for anything, and the cloak is not stolen from his wife, and his wife at He is not, and in general he is here for the first time. But, seeing that you can not persuade a woman, and the cloak can, perhaps, be assigned, he decides to dine with the beauty and play with her: "I was joking, of course, I am your sweetheart." They go to pee, and the servant sends Menehma to the tavern.
Here appears a missed Brush: he is sure that this breadwinner has treated himself without him, and is rebuked at the Menachem of Syracuse with reproaches. This is the second confusion. He does not understand anything and chases him away. An insulted bastard goes to tell about the hostess's wife. Yes in fury; both sit waiting for the culprit. And Menahem of the Epidemic, here, is here as here: he returns from the evil area, swearing himself for being entangled there with a witness in the litigation, and therefore he did not hurry to a feast to the heter. His wife and mother-in-law are thrown at him with reproaches, his wife is behind a stolen raincoat, and a slaughterer is eating his dinner without him. This is the first misunderstanding. He fights, but his wife says: "I will not let you go to the threshold, until you bring me a raincoat back!" - and slams the door. "I did not hurt anything! "- the husband grumbles and resolutely goes to the heter - for consolation and for a cloak. But here he is in trouble. "What are you wearing nonsense, you yourself took the cloak in a pounding, do not clog my head!" - shouts to him a hater. This is the second misunderstanding. She also slammed the door before him; and Menahem the Epidemic goes away where the eyes look.
In the meantime, the Syracuse Menechem, with a cloak in his hands, without finding his servant in his dining room, comes back in frustration. The wife of Menechma of Epidahmens takes him for a repulsive husband, but for the sake of the order, he grieves over him. This is the third confusion. The Syracuse Menahem does not understand anything, a frenzy begins, all is more fierce and more fierce; a woman calls for the help of her father. The old man knows his daughter well - "From such a quarrelous wife, anyone will bring a lover!" But to steal from his wife - it's too much, and he too begins to perpetuate the imaginary son-in-law. This is the fourth confusion. Did he crazy that he would not recognize himself? The guessing Menehma does indeed pretend crazy - and, as Orestes in the tragedy, begins to shout: "I hear, I hear the voice of God! he tells me: take a torch, burn it, open their eyes!.." The woman hides in the house, the old man runs after the doctor, and Menehm Syracuse is saved while intact.
Returns to Menahem of Epidemic, and to meet him - the father and the doctor with reproaches for the rabid scene of rabies: this is the third misunderstanding. Menahem responds with curses. "Yes, he is indeed violent!" - the doctor cries out and calls for the help of four stupid slaves. Menehma hardly repulses them, as suddenly there is an unexpected help. The Slave of Menachem of Syracuse, without waiting for his master's dining room, went to look for him, or, unattended, forever he gets entangled in trouble! The troubles are: there are some guys in the white of the day knit like it was his master! This is the fifth confusion. The rabble rushes to help an imaginary gentleman, they spread and disperse the rapists together; In gratitude, the slave asks for release. It's worth nothing to let go of the other's servant Menehma Epidamensky: "Go on, I do not hold you!
A slave, pleased, rushes to the food to gather his belongings and immediately encounters his true master, the Menachem of Siracusa, who did not intend to let him go free. Begins rebellions and reproaches. This is the fourth misunderstanding. As long as they are in a hurry, the same heterodox is heard from the house of the heters, and on the threshold appears after the new failure Menahem of the Epidemic. At last, both brothers face face-to-face. Slave in perplexity: who is his master? This is the sixth and last confusion. It begins to be clarified: both are the Menehma, both of which originate from Syracuse, and the father is one and the same ... Truth triumphs, the slave finally gives freedom, Menahem the Epidemic gladly prepares to move to his homeland, to his brother, to Syracuse, and the slave declares to the public that on the occasion of departure all good things are sold: house, land, all utensils, peasant "and a lawful wife - if only on such a buyer will recover!". That comedy ends.