In the forum
Caecilius is not at home. Caecilius is doing business in the forum. Caecilius is a banker. Caecilius is counting money. Caecilius looks around the forum. See! An artist is walking in the forum. The artist is Celer. Celer greets Caecilius. Look! A barber is also in the forum. The barber is Pantagathus. Caecilius sees the barber. “Hello!” Caecilius greets the barber. “Hello!” The barber responds. See! A slave-dealer enters the forum. The slave-dealer is Syphax. The slave dealer expects a merchant. The merchant does not come. Syphax is angry. Syphax curses the merchant.
The painter comes to the house. The painter is Celer. Celer knocks on the door. Clemens does not hear the painter. The slave in in the garden. Celer shouts. The dog hears Celer and barks. Quints hears the dog. Quintus comes to the door. The son opens the door. Celer greets Quintus and enters the house. Metella is in the kitchen. Quintus calls the mother. Metella enters the atrium. The painter greets Metella. Metella leads the painter to the dining room. Celer works in the dining room. Celer paints a picture. A big lion is in the picture. Hercules is also in the picture. The lion is attacking Hercules fiercely. Hercules is holding a big club and striking the lion. Hercules is strong. Caecilius returns to the house and enters the dining room. Caecilius intently looks at the picture and praises it.
The barber is working in the shop. The barber is Pantagathus. Caecilius enters. “Hello, barber!” Caecilius says. “Hello!” the barber responds. The barber is busy. An old man is sitting in the chair. Pantagathus is holding a razor and is trimming his beard. The old man intently watches the razor. A poet enters the shop. The poet stands in the shop and recites a verse. Caecilius laughs, but the barber does not laugh. The verse is obscene, the barber is angry. “Scoundrel, scoundrel!” Pantagathus shouts. The old man is terrified. The barber is not trimming his beard. The barber cuts the old man. Much blood flows. Caecilius stands and exits out of the shop.
Caecilius walks to the harbor. Caecilius looks around the harbor. The banker sees a Syrian ship and walks to the ship. Syphax stands near the ship. “Hello, Syphax!” the banker shouts. Syphax is a slave-trader. Syphax greets Caecilius. Caecilius is searching for a servant. Syphax smiles. Look! Syphax has many slaves. Caecilius looks at a slave. The banker is not satisfied. The banker does not buy the slave. “Wine!” shouts Syphax. A slave-girl brings good wine to Caecilius. The banker drinks the wine. Caecilius looks at the slave-girl. The slave-girl is beautiful. The slave-girl smiles. The slave-girl pleases Caecilius. The slave-trader also smiles. “Melissa cooks the best food,” says the slave-trader. “Melissa is learning the Latin language. Melissa is skillful and beautiful. Melissa…” “Enough! Enough!” Caecilius shouts. Caecilius buys Melissa and returns to the house. Melissa delights Grumio. Melissa delights Quintus. Oh dear! Melissa does not please Metella.
Caecilius is in the forum. Caecilius has a banker’s stall in the forum. Hermogenes comes to the forum. Hermogenes is a Greek merchant. The merchant has a ship. The merchant greets Caecilius. “I am a Greek merchant,” Hermogenes says. “I am an honest merchant. I am looking for money.” “Why are you looking for money?” Caecilius says. “You have a ship.” “But my ship is not here,” Hermogenes responds. “The ship is in Greece. I have no money. However I am honest. I always give money back.” “Look!” Caecilius says. “You have a wax tablet. Do you have a ring?” “I have a ring,” Hermogenes responds. “The ring has a seal. See! I press the sign on the tablet.” Caecilius hands over the money. The merchant takes the money and runs from the forum. Alas! Hermogenes does not return. The merchant does not give back the money. Caecilius calls Hermogenes to the court of law.
In the law court
The judge enters the court.
Judge: Who are you?
Caecilius: I am Lucius Caecilius Iucundus.
Judge: You are a Pompeian?
Caecilius: I am a Pompeian.
Judge: What do you do in the city?
Caecilius: I come to the forum every day. I am a banker.
Judge: Why did you come to the court today?
Caecilius: Hermogenes owes much money. Hermogenes did not give the money back.
Hermogenes: Caecilius is a liar!
Judge: Who are you?
Hermogenes: I am Hermogenes.
Judge: Hermogenes, what do you do in the city?
Hermogenes: I work in the forum. I am a merchant.
Judge: How do you respond? Do you owe money?
Hermogenes: I do not owe money. My friend is a witness.
Friend: I am a witness. Hermogenes does not owe money. Caecilius is a liar.
Caecilius: You, Hermogenes, are a liar. Your friend is also a liar. You did not return the money…
Judge: Enough! You accuse Hermogenes, but you do not prove the case.
Caecilius: I have a wax tablet. You see the seal in the tablet.
Judge: Hermogenes, do you have the ring?
Caecilius: Look! Hermogenes is hiding the ring.
Judge: Where is the ring? See! The ring proves the case. I convict Hermogenes.
A large crowd is in the city. Women and girls are in the crowd. Old men and young men are in the crowd. Servants do not work today. Old men do not sleep today. Merchants are not busy today. Pompeii is idle. The city is not quiet, however. Pompeii is hurrying to the theater. A large uproar is in the city. Farmers enter the city. Sailors seek the city. Shepherds come down from the mountains and hurry to the city. The crowd rushes through the gate. A messenger shouts in the forum: “Actors are in the city. Actors are in the theater. Priscus is putting on a play. Priscus is putting on a good play. The actors are Actius and Sorex.” Caecilius and Metella leave the house. The banker and his wife walk to the theater. Clemens and Melissa hurry to the theater. Grumio stays in the house.