Action develops in Athens. Everything begins with the monologue of the slave Lava; the host of his friend Geta, the young Antiphones marries for love and under quite ordinary circumstances. After giving Goethe to return the debt: it took money for a gift to the young. As we can see, the tradition of such gifts has existed for a long time: collected “gift fees” not only from relatives and friends, but even from slaves…
Geta tells Davout that Demiphon and the Khremet, the old brothers, are returning to the city. One is from Cilicia, the other from Lemnos. Both of them, when leaving, instructed Goethe to look after their sons Antiphon and Federia. But in the end, having been repeatedly beaten by young masters for trying to instruct them,
Fedriya (Demifon’s son) fell in love with the harpist Pamphilus. The young master and servant saw her off to school every day and back. Antiphon also visited them.
One day, waiting for the harpist in the barber shop, they suddenly found out: a misfortune had happened nearby. The poor girl Faniah died mother, and there is nobody to even bury her properly.
Young people go to this house. And Antiphones, by helping the sad Phaniah, falls in love with her. The feeling turns out to be mutual. Antiphon is ready to marry, although he is afraid of his father’s anger…
To the aid comes the intelligent and omniscient parasite (in Greek, “parasitos” – “parasite”) Formion. The girl remained an orphan. And by law, the next of kin must take care of her marriage. And at the urgently convened court session it is announced that Fania is related to Antiphon. And the young man immediately marries her, performing a “family duty” with quite natural enthusiasm. However, the joy is overshadowed by the thought of the imminent return of his father and uncle, who are unlikely to approve of his choice. Yes, and Fedriya understands that his love for the harp-slave, too, will not cause parents’
Meanwhile, elderly brothers are already in the harbor of the city. Geta and Fedriya persuade Antiphones to hold fast and explain to their parents: to marry him forced justice. Well, feeling, too. “According to the law, according to the court, they say,” – Fedria tells him. But the faint-hearted Antiphones leaves the stage with cowardice, leaving both to say goodbye: “All my life and Fania I entrust to you!”
Demiphon appears. He is angry. Yes, let the law. But – to despise the father’s consent and blessing?!
At the greeting of Fedriya and the question whether he is all right or well, Demiphon answers: “Question: It was a beautiful wedding without me here!”
Geta and Fedria all possible arguments protect the escaped Antiphon. But Demifon persists. Yes, let the law. But the same law grants the right to provide the poor relative with a dowry and extradite her to the side. And so – “What was the point of introducing a beggar into the house?”. And Demiphon demands to reduce it with the parasite Formion – the defender of both women and the indirect culprit of these unpleasant events for the old brothers.
But Formion is calm and confident that he will be able to do everything lawfully and safely: “… Fania will remain with Antiphone.” I’ll take off all the fault and take on myself all the annoyance this old man’s. ”
As we see, Formion is not only clever, self-assured, but also noble (although, perhaps, not always disinterestedly).
And Formion goes on the offensive. He accuses Demiphon that he threw a poor relative in the mountain, and even an orphan. Yes, her father, they say, was not rich and modest beyond measure, so after his death, no one remembered the orphan, everyone turned her back. Including prosperous Demifon…
But Demifon is calm. He is sure that he does not have such relatives: it is Fudgeon’s invention. However, wishing to avoid litigation, he suggests: “Take five mines and take it with you!”
However, Formion does not think to give up positions. Fania is married to Demifon’s son by law. And she will become a joy in her old age to both brothers.
Three judicial advisers, very stupid, hesitantly give Demifon extremely contradictory advice: they are of no use.
But the affairs of Fedriya are bad. Conductor Dorion, without waiting for the promised payment for Pamphylus (this harpist-singer-his slave), promised to give it to some warrior if Fedriya does not bring money. But where can I get them?!
And while Antiphon himself is in a rather critical situation, he begs Geta to help his cousin, to find a way out (that is, money!). For the enamored Fedrius is ready to follow the singer even to the end of the world.
The returned brothers meet. The limp grandson admits to Demiphon that he is alarmed and saddened. It turns out that on Lemnos, where he often visited under the pretext of trade affairs, he had a second wife. And a daughter, a little younger than Fedriya and, therefore, his half-sister.
Lemnoska’s wife came to find her husband in Athens and here, not finding him, died in sorrow. Outside somewhere, his daughter also remained an orphan…
Meanwhile, the restless Formion, by agreement with Gata, pretends that, if nothing will ever come of Antiphones, he himself, so be it, is ready to marry Fania. But, of course, having received from the old people a retribution in the form of a decent dowry. He sends these money to the procurer for ransom from the slavery of the beloved Fedria.
Formion, it turns out, knows about the Lemnos life of Hremet and therefore plays for sure. And yet unaware of this, the Chromet is ready to help Demiphone with money – if only Antiphones married as his parents would like. Mutual understanding of the brothers is truly touching.
Antiphon, of course, in despair. But the faithful slave of Geta calms him: everything will be settled, everything will be completed to everyone’s satisfaction.
On the stage appears Sofrona – the old nurse of Fania. She immediately recognizes the Chromet (although, on Lemnos, he bore the name Stilpon) and threatens to expose him. The hamlet begs her not to do it yet. But, of course, he is interested in the fate of the unfortunate daughter.
Sofrona tells how after the death of the hostess she attached Fania – she married a decent young man. The young live in the house they are standing next to.
And it turns out that the lucky husband Antiphon is the native nephew of Hremet!
The hramet instructed the talks with Phania to his wife Navsisistrata. And the girl liked that one. Learning about the former betrayal of her husband, Navsistrat, of course, gave vent to her feelings, but soon changed her anger to mercy: the rival has already died, life goes on as usual… The
haremaker is happy boundlessly: the good destiny itself arranged everything in the best way. Antiphon and Fania, of course, are also happy. And Demifon agrees to marry his son on his newly-born niece (yes, they, in fact, are already married).
Here and everywhere the faithful slave of Geta is keeping up: after all, thanks to his efforts, everything has come to an end.
And Formion, it turns out, is not only clever and omniscient, but also a kind, decent man: after all, he bought the harpist from Fedor for the money he received from the old men.
Comedy ends with the fact that Formion receives an invitation for a festive dinner in the house of the Hremet and Navsisistrata.