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Acharnians   


On what terms? For ready-money or in wares from these parts?
BOEOTIAN
I would take some Athenian produce, that we have not got in
Boeotia,
DICAEOPOLIS
Phaleric anchovies, pottery?
BOEOTIAN
Anchovies, pottery? But these we have. I want produce that is
wanting with us and that is plentiful here.
DICAEOPOLIS
Ah! I have the very thing; take away an informer, packed up
carefully as crockery-ware.
BOEOTIAN
By the twin gods! I should earn big money, if I took one; I
would exhibit him as an ape full of spite.
DICAEOPOLIS (as an informer enters)
Hah! here we have Nicarchus, who comes to denounce you.
BOEOTIAN
How small he is!
DICAEOPOLIS
But all pure evil.
NICARCHUS
Whose are these goods?
DICAEOPOLIS
Mine, they come from Boeotia, I call Zeus to witness.
NICARCHUS
I denounce them as coming from an enemy's country.
BOEOTIAN
What! you declare war against birds?
NICARCHUS
And I am going to denounce you too.
BOEOTIAN
What harm have I done you?
NICARCHUS
I will say it for the benefit of those that listen; you
introduce lampwicks from an enemy's country.
DICAEOPOLIS
Then you even denounce a wick.
NICARCHUS
It needs but one to set an arsenal afire.
DICAEOPOLIS
A wick set an arsenal ablaze! But how, great gods?
NICARCHUS
Should a Boeotian attach it to an insect's wing, and, taking
advantage of a violent north wind, throw it by means of a tube into
the arsenal and the fire once get hold of the vessels, everything
would soon be devoured by the flames.
DICAEOPOLIS
Ah! wretch! an insect and a wick devour everything!
(He strikes him.)
NICARCHUS (to the CHORUS)
You will bear witness, that he mishandles me.
DICAEOPOLIS (to the BOEOTIAN)
Shut his mouth. Give me some hay; I am going to pack him up like a
vase, that he may not get broken on the road.
(The INFORMER is bound and gagged and packed in hay.)
LEADER OF THE CHORUS
Pack up your goods carefully, friend; that the stranger may not
break it when taking it away.
DICAEOPOLIS
I shall take great care with it. (He hits the INFORMER on the head
and a stifled cry is heard.)
One would say he is cracked already; he
rings with a false note, which the gods abhor.
LEADER OF THE CHORUS

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