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The Birds   


Indeed I will; I am urgently needed to be at Athens to attend
the Assembly; for I am charged with the interests of Pharnaces.
PITHETAERUS
Take it then, and get on your way. This is your salary.
(He beats him.)
INSPECTOR
What does this mean?
PITHETAERUS
This is the assembly where you have to defend Pharnaces.
INSPECTOR
You shall testify that they dare to strike me, the inspector.
PITHETAERUS
Are you not going to get out with your urns? It's not to be
believed; they send us inspectors before we have so much as paid
sacrifice to the gods.
(The INSPECTOR goes into hiding. A DEALER IN DECREES arrives.)
DEALER IN DECREES (reading)
"If the Nephelococcygian does wrong to the Athenian..."
PITHETAERUS
What trouble now? What book is that?
DEALER IN DECREES
I am a dealer in decrees, and I have come here to sell you the new
laws.
PITHETAERUS
Which?
DEALER IN DECREES
"The Nephelococcygians shall adopt the same weights, measures
and decrees as the Olophyxians."
PITHETAERUS
And you shall soon be imitating the Ototyxians.
(He beats him.)
DEALER IN DECREES
Ow! what are you doing?
PITHETAERUS
Now will you get out of here with your decrees? For I am going
to let you see some severe ones.
(The DEALER IN DECREES departs; the INSPECTOR comes out of
hiding.)

INSPECTOR (returning)
I summon Pithetaerus for outrage for the month of Munychion.
PITHETAERUS
Ha! my friend! are you still here?
(The DEALER IN DECREES also returns.)
DEALER IN DECREES
"Should anyone drive away the magistrates and not receive them,
according to the decree duly posted..."
PITHETAERUS
What! rascal! you are back too?
(He rushes at him.)
INSPECTOR
Woe to you! I'll have you condemned to a fine of ten thousand
drachmae.
PITHETAERUS
And I'll smash your urns.
INSPECTOR
Do you recall that evening when you crapped on the column where
the decrees are posted?
PITHETAERUS
Here! here! let him be seized. (The INSPECTOR runs off.) Why,
don't you want to stay any longer? But let us get indoors as quick
as possible; we will sacrifice the goat inside.
FIRST SEMI-CHORUS (singing)
Henceforth it is to me that mortals must address their
sacrifices and their prayers. Nothing escapes my sight nor my might.

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