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Acharnians   


shall erect it in the centre of the market, well in sight of all.
(He goes back into the house just as a Megarian enters from the
left, carrying a sack on his shoulder and followed by his two
little daughters.)

MEGARIAN
Hail! market of Athens, beloved of Megarians. Let Zeus, the patron
of friendship, witness, I regretted you as a mother mourns her son.
Come, poor little daughters of an unfortunate father, try to find
something to eat; listen to me with the full heed of an empty belly.
Which would you prefer? To be sold or to cry with hunger?
DAUGHTERS
To be sold, to be sold!
MEGARIAN
That is my opinion too. But who would make so sorry a deal as to
buy you? Ah! I recall me a Megarian trick; I am going to disguise
you as little porkers, that I am offering for sale. Fit your hands
with these hoofs and take care to appear the issue of a sow of good
breed, for, if I am forced to take you back to the house, by Hermes!
you will suffer cruelly of hunger! Then fix on these snouts and cram
yourselves into this sack. Forget not to grunt and to say wee-wee like
the little pigs that are sacrificed in the Mysteries. I must summon
Dicaeopolis. Where is be? (Loudly) Dicaeopolis, do you want to buy
some nice little porkers?
DICAEOPOLIS (coming out of his house)
Who are you? a Megarian?
MEGARIAN
I have come to your market.
DICAEOPOLIS
Well, how are things at Megara?
MEGARIAN
We are crying with hunger at our firesides.
DICAEOPOLIS
The fireside is jolly enough with a piper. But what else is
doing at Megara?
MEGARIAN
What else? When I left for the market, the authorities were taking
steps to let us die in the quickest manner.
DICAEOPOLIS
That is the best way to get you out of all your troubles.
MEGARIAN
True.
DICAEOPOLIS
What other news of Megara? What is wheat selling at?
MEGARIAN
With us it is valued as highly as the very gods in heaven!
DICAEOPOLIS
Is it salt that you are bringing?
MEGARIAN
Aren't you the ones that are holding back the salt?
DICAEOPOLIS
Is it garlic then?
MEGARIAN
What! garlic! do you not at every raid like mice grub up the
ground with your pikes to pull out every single head?
DICAEOPOLIS
What are you bringing then?
MEGARIAN
Little sows, like those they immolate at the Mysteries.
DICAEOPOLIS
Ah! very well, show me them.
MEGARIAN
They are very fine; feel their weight. See! how fat and fine.
DICAEOPOLIS (feeling around in the sack)
Hey! what's this?

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