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The Birds   


Inspirited by your words, I threaten my rivals the gods, and I
swear that if you march in alliance with me against the gods and are
faithful to our just, loyal and sacred bond, we shall soon have
shattered their sceptre,
LEADER OF THE CHORUS
We shall charge ourselves with the performance of everything
that requires force; that which demands thought and deliberation shall
be yours to supply.
EPOPS
By Zeus! it's no longer the time to delay and loiter like
Nicias; let us act as promptly as possible.... In the first place,
come, enter my nest built of brushwood and blades of straw, and tell
me your names.
PITHETAERUS
That is soon done; my name is Pithetaerus, and his, Euelpides,
of the deme Crioa.
EPOPS
Good! and good luck to you.
PITHETAERUS
We accept the omen.
EPOPS
Come in here.
PITHETAERUS
Very well, you are the one who must lead us and introduce us.
EPOPS
Come then.
(He starts to fly away.)
PITHETAERUS (stopping himself)
Oh! my god! do come back here. Hi! tell us how we are to follow
you. You can fly, but we cannot.
EPOPS
Well, well.
PITHETAERUS
Remember Aesop's fables. It is told there that the fox fared
very badly, because he had made an alliance with the eagle.
EPOPS
Be at ease. You shall eat a certain root and wings will grow on
your shoulders.
PITHETAERUS
Then let us enter. Xanthias and Manodorus, pick up our baggage.
LEADER OF THE CHORUS
Hi! Epops! do you hear me?
EPOPS
What's the matter?
LEADER OF THE CHORUS
Take them off to dine well and call your mate, the melodious
Procne, whose songs are worthy of the Muses; she will delight our
leisure moments.
PITHETAERUS
Oh! I conjure you, accede to their wish; for this delightful
bird will leave her rushes at the sound of your voice; for the sake of
the gods, let her come here, so that we may contemplate the
nightingale.
EPOPS
Let is be as you desire. Come forth, Procne, show yourself to
these strangers.
(PROCNE appears; she resembles a young flute-girl.)
PITHETAERUS
Oh! great Zeus! what a beautiful little bird! what a dainty
form! what brilliant plumage! Do you know how dearly I should like
to get between her thighs?
EUELPIDES
She is dazzling all over with gold, like a young girl. Oh! how I
should like to kiss her!

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