THESE two captives pointing to PHILOCRATES and TYNDARUS , whom you see standing here, are standing here because----they are both1 standing, and are not sitting. That I am saying this truly, you are my witnesses. The old man, who lives here pointing to HEGIO'S house , is Hegio-- his father pointing to TYNDARUS . But under what circumstances he is the slave of his own father, that I will here explain to you, if you give attention. This old man had two sons; a slave stole one child when four years old, and flying hence, he sold him in Elis2, to the father of this captive pointing to PHIILOCRATES . Now, do you understand this? Very good. I' faith, that man at a distance3 there pointing says, no. Come nearer then. If there isn't room for you to sit down, there is for you to walk; since you'd be compelling an actor to bawl like a beggar4. I'm not going to burst myself for your sake, so don't you be mistaken. You who are enabled by your means to pay your taxes5, listen to the rest6; I care not to be in debt to another. This runaway slave, as I said before, sold his young master, whom, whom he fled, he had carried off, to this one's father. He, after he bought him, gave him as his own private slave7 to his son of his, because they were of about the same age. He is now the slave at home of his own father, nor does his father know it. Verily, the Gods do treat us men just like footballs8. You hear the manner now how he lost one son. Afterwards, the Ætolians9 are waging war with the people of Elis, and, as happens in warfare, the other son is taken prisoner. The physician Menarchus buys him there in Elis. On this, this Hegio begins to traffic in Elean captives, if, perchance, he may be able to find one to change for that captive son of his. He knows not that this one who is in his house is his own son. And as he heard yesterday that an Elean knight of very high rank and very high family was taken prisoner, he has spared no expense to rescue his son10. In order that he may more easily bring him back home, he buys both of these of the Quæstors11 out of the spoil. Now they, between themselves, have contrived this plan, that, by means of it, the servant may send away hence his master home. And therefore among themselves they change their garments and their names. He, there pointing , is called Philocrates; this one pointing , Tyndarus; he this day assumes the character of this one, this one of him. And this one to-day will cleverly carry out this plot, and cause his master to gain his liberty; and by the same means he will save his own brother, and without knowing it, will cause him to return back a free man to his own country to his father. just as often now, on many occasions, a person has done more good unknowingly than knowingly. But unconsciously, by their devices, they have so planned and devised their plot, and have so contrived it by their design, that this one is living in servitude with his own father. And thus now, in ignorance, he is the slave of his own father. What poor creatures are men, when I reflect upon it! This plot will be performed by us--a play for your entertainment. But there is, besides, a thing which, in a few words, I would wish to inform you of. Really, it will be worth your while to give your attention to this play. 'Tis not composed in the hackneyed style, nor yet like other plays, nor are there in it any ribald lines12 unfit for utterance: here is neither the perjured procurer, nor the artful courtesan, nor yet the braggart captain. Don't you be afraid because I've said that there's war between the Ætolians and the Eleans. There pointing , at a distance, beyond the scenes, the battles will be fought. For this were almost impossible for a Comic establishment13, that we should at a moment attempt to be acting Tragedy. If, therefore, any one is looking for a battle, let him commence the quarrel; if he shall find an adversary more powerful, I'll cause him to be the spectator of a battle that isn't pleasant to him, so that hereafter he shall hate to be a spectator them all. I now retire. Fare ye well, at home, most upright judges, and in warfare most valiant combatants.