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The Birds   


PITHETAERUS
In the name of the gods, who are you?
METON
Who am I? Meton, known throughout Greece and at Colonus.
PITHETAERUS
What are these things?
METON
Tools for measuring the air. In truth, the spaces in the air
have precisely the form of a furnace. With this bent ruler I draw a
line from top to bottom; from one of its points I describe a circle
with the compass. Do you understand?
PITHETAERUS
Not in the least.
METON
With the straight ruler I set to work to inscribe a square
within this circle; in its centre will be the market-place, into which
all the straight streets will lead, converging to this centre like a
star, which, although only orbicular, sends forth its rays in a
straight line from all sides.
PITHETAERUS
A regular Thales! Meton...
METON
What d'you want with me?
PITHETAERUS
I want to give you a proof of my friendship. Use your legs.
METON
Why, what have I to fear?
PITHETAERUS
It's the same here as in Sparta. Strangers are driven away, and
blows rain down as thick as hail.
METON
Is there sedition in your city?
PITHETAERUS
No, certainly not.
METON
What's wrong then?
PITHETAERUS
We are agreed to sweep all quacks and impostors far from our
borders.
METON
Then I'll be going.
PITHETAERUS
I'm afraid it's too late. The thunder growls already.
(He beats him.)
METON
Oh, woe! oh, woe!
PITHETAERUS
I warned you. Now, be off, and do your surveying somewhere else.
(METON takes to his heels. He is no sooner gone than an INSPECTOR
arrives.)

INSPECTOR
Where are the Proxeni?
PITHETAERUS
Who is this Sardanapalus?
INSPECTOR
I have been appointed by lot to come to Nephelococcygia. as
inspector.
PITHETAERUS
An inspector! and who sends you here, you rascal?
INSPECTOR
A decree of Teleas.
PITHETAERUS
Will you just pocket your salary, do nothing, and get out?
INSPECTOR

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