PHRONESIUM, a Courtesan, has three admirers-Dinarchus, a dissipated young Athenian; Strabax, a young man from the country; and Stratophanes, an officer in the Babylonian army. To impose upon the last, she palms off a child upon him, pretending that it is hers, and that he is the father of it. In the first part of the Play, Dinarchus returns from abroad, and is admitted by the servant Astaphium into the house of Phronesium. After this, Astaphium goes to the house where Strabax lives, to invite him to visit Phronesium, but is roughly repulsed by Stratilax, his servant. Dinarchus quits the house of Phronesium, not having been allowed to see her, on the excuse that she is at the bath. Phronesium at length comes out, and, in their conversation, tells Dinarchus that she is pretending to have been pregnant by the Captain Stratophanes, and has procured a child to pass off as his. She also begs Dinarchus to make her a present, which he promises to do, and then takes his leave. She then gets everything in readiness to look as though she had just lain in. The Captain arrives from abroad, and produces his presents; but as ready money does not form a part of them, Phronesium expresses extreme dissatisfaction and contempt. At this moment Geta, the servant of Dinarchus, come's with his present, in money and provisions. A quarrel ensues between the Captain and Geta, who at last takes to his heels, on which Phronesium goes into her house. Strabax then arrives from the country with some ready money, and is admitted to visit Phronesium. Stratilax comes to look for him, and after some parley falls a prey to the allurements of Astaphium. Dinarchus then arrives, but, despite of his recent generosity, suffers a repulse. Before he quits the stage, Callicles, an old gentleman, comes with two female-servants, whom he examines as to what they have done with a female child that his daughter has been recently delivered of. They confess that they have carried it to Phronesium to be passed off as her own, and that Dinarchus is really the father of it. Dinarchus, in great alarm, overhears this conversation, and then accosts Callicles, and, confessing his fault, offers to marry his daughter forthwith. His offer is accepted; on which he revisits Phronesium, to request her to restore to him the child. She, however, prevails upon him to lend it to her for a few days, that she may fully carry out her design of imposing upon the Captain. After this, Stratophanes appears again, and brings fresh presents. He then has a quarrel with Strabax, and the Play ends by Phronesium promising to divide her favours between them both. The text of this Play is in a most corrupt state.

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