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THE SUBJECT

ARGYRIPPUS,
the son of Demænetus, is violently in love with Philenium, a young woman, who is living with her mother, Cleæreta, a procuress. The latter has made an agreement with a Captain, of the name of Diabolus, to transfer Philenium to him for twenty minæ, on condition, however, that if Argyrippus shall first pay that sum, he shall have her. Argyrippus, having exhausted all his own resources, applies to his father, Demænetus, an over-indulgent and immoral old man, and requests him to furnish him with twenty minæ. Demænetus is married to Artemona, a rich woman, and is totally dependant on the will of herself and her favourite slave, the chamberlain Saurea. Being destitute of money, Demænetus orders his servant, Libanus, by some means or other to cheat his mistress or the chamberlain out of that sum. Just then an ass-dealer arrives, to pay to Saurea twenty minæ, the price of some asses which he has previously purchased. Libanus then arranges with his fellow-servant, Leonida, that the latter shall personate Saurea, and so receive the money from the ass-dealer. This is done, and the money is paid to Leonida, in the presence of Demænetus, who assures the dealer that Leonida really is the person to whom the money is payable. This sum is then given to Argyrippus, but with the disgraceful stipulation that for one day his father shall enjoy the company of Philenium. This he submits to, and the three sit down to a banquet. The Captain discovers this, and sends his Parasite to inform Artemona of her husband's conduct. She accordingly accompanies the Parasite, and discovers her husband in the company of his son and the young woman; after soundly rating him, she leads him off; while Argyrippus remains in possession of Philenium.

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