This is the splendid lararium (altar to the lares) in Casa del Menandro, Pompeii.
This passage comes from an, even in Roman terms, quite old play. Here the lar tells us about himself and his role in the house.
"Lest any one should wonder who I am, I will tell you in a few words. I [the lar] am the household God of this family, from whose house you have seen me coming forth. It is now many years that I have been occupying this houses and I inhabited it for the father and the grandfather of this person who now dwells here. But beseeching me, his grandfather entrusted to me a treasure of gold, unknown to all. He deposited it in the midst of the hearth, praying me that I would watch it for him."
Plautus - Aulularia (Prologue)
Translated by H.T. Riley 1912