CALIDORUS, a young Athenian, the son of Simo, is in love with Phœnicium, a young woman who belongs to Ballio, a procurer. A bargain has been made by the procurer, to sell her to a military officer for twenty minæ; fifteen of these have been paid down, and it has been agreed that when the remaining five and a certain token, with a letter, shall have been sent by the Captain, the damsel shall be sent to him in return. Pseudolus, the servant of Simo, promises his master's son, that, if possible, he will prevent this. They first address Ballio on the subject; but their attempts to influence him are all in vain. Pseudolus then devises a plan to get some money out of Simo, by whom, however, it is discovered; but, after having acknowledged his fault, he prevails upon the old gentleman to promise him twenty minæ if he shall contrive to get the girl out of the procurer's hands. Harpax, the messenger from the Captain, in the meantime makes his appearance. Being a stranger to the place, he unwittingly delivers the Captain's letter and the token to Pseudolus, who pretends that he is the head-servant of the procurer. Charinus, the friend of Calidorus, lends him five minæ; and, provided with this, Pseudolus equips Simmia, a servant of Charinus, so as to represent the messenger from the Captain. He finds the procurer, delivers the letter, pays the five mine, and carries off the damsel. Ballio then makes a bet of twenty minæ with Simo, that Pseudolus shall not outwit him that day. The real Harpax now applies to Ballio for the girl, and the trick being discovered, the procurer has to pay back the fifteen minæ to the Captain, and the twenty for the bet which he has made with Simo. Simo then pays the twenty minæ, which he has promised to Pseudolus if he should succeed in outwitting the procurer. Pseudolus is handsomely entertained by Calidorus, and engages to return to Simo one-half of the money, if he wil join the entertainment.

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