Here is an account of Plautus' latest play, which will, I hope, give you some entertainment, and relieve the boredom which you must feel after six months spent in the wilds of Sardinia.
The play is called The Rope, and is said to be an adaptation of Diphilus' Wallet. I inquired among my friends for a copy of the Greek original, but was unable to find one; I must therefore judge the Latin without reference to its merits as a translation. It is full of wit, of course —all Plautus' work is—but I am afraid that some of the Latinized Greek jokes were above the heads of the audience. You should have heard them groan when the slave likened a storm to the ‘Alcmene of Euripides’! The very name of a Periclean author is enough to make them angry.
The plot is not very original—the usual recognition story, you know, which was so popular in New Comedy. An old Athenian, Daemones, is living in retirement on the coast near Cyrene. His long-lost daughter Palaestra has become the property of a bawd Labrax, who is carrying her away aboard ship from Cyrene to Sicily. The ship, however, is wrecked within sight of Daemones' house, and the eventual wayvwpuns is carried out by means of certain tokens belonging to Palaestra. These are discovered in a basket which Daemones' slave, Gripus, salvages from the sea. I need hardly say, my dear Caecilius, that there is a great deal of by-play of one kind and another. There is a particularly funny scene in which Gripus quarrels with the bawd's slave, Trachalio, for the possession of the basket.