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Plutus   


D'ye take me for a fool?
JUST MAN
A merchant?
INFORMER
I assume the title, when it serves me.
JUST MAN
Do you ply any trade?
INFORMER
No, most assuredly not!
JUST MAN
Then how do you live, if you do nothing?
INFORMER
I superintend public and private business.
JUST MAN
You do? And by what right, pray?
INFORMER
Because it pleases me to do so.
JUST MAN
Like a thief you sneak yourself in where you have no business. You
are hated by all and you claim to be an honest man.
INFORMER
What, you fool? I have not the right to dedicate myself entirely
to my country's service?
JUST MAN
Is the country served by vile intrigue?
INFORMER
It is served by watching that the established law is observed-by
allowing no one to violate it.
JUST MAN
That's the duty of the tribunals; they are established to that
end.
INFORMER
And who is the prosecutor before the dicasts?
JUST MAN
Whoever wishes to be.
INFORMER
Well then, it is I who choose to be prosecutor; and thus all
public affairs fall within my province.
JUST MAN
I pity Athens for being in such vile clutches. But would you not
prefer to live quietly and free from all care and anxiety?
INFORMER
To do nothing is to live an animal's life.
JUST MAN
Thus you will not change your mode of life?
INFORMER
No, though they gave me Plutus himself and the silphium of Battus.
CARIO (to the INFORMER)
Come, quick, off with your cloak.
(The INFORMER does not move.)
JUST MAN
Hi! friend! it's you they are speaking to.
CARIO
Off with your shoes.
(The INFORMER still remains motionless.)
JUST MAN
I say, all this is addressed to you.
INFORMER (defiantly)
Very well! let one of you come near me, if he dares.
CARIO
I dare.
(He strips the INFORMER of his cloak and shoes.
The witness runs away.)

INFORMER

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