Acontius argues that there was nothing wrong with the trick he played on Cydippe – the end justifies the means.
Heinsius and Dilthey doubted the authenticity of this couplet, whilst Bornecque bracketed line 26 alone. Line 25, however, contains a familiar elegiac theme, and line 26, with one small emendation, is rhetorically sharp.
All the MSS have uni in line 25, but many editors have found this unsatisfactory, preferring to read unum and punctuating the line in various ways: Burman prints ‘iungerer? unum’, Showerman, Goold and Palmer ‘iungerer, unum?’ Of these, the latter is the more attractive (Acontius wants one thing and one thing only – union with Cydippe; he is not interested in trying to cheat her financially, which is what fraus would most immediately suggest), ‘iungerer uni’, however, is perfectly good, and should be retained: uni means not ‘you alone (as opposed to several girls)’, but ‘you alone (as opposed to any other girl)’, cf. OLD s.v. unus 8 ‘one in particular, one above all others’. Acontius is paying Cydippe a compliment – she is the only girl for him, and nobody else will do. This is a common theme in Latin love elegy, cf. Prop. 2.7.19, [Tib.] 3.19.3–6, Ovid, Ars Am. 1.42: ‘elige cui dicas “tu mihi sola places”’.