as tall as it is cowardly. In springtime it shoots forth calumnies
instead of buds and in autumn it strews the ground with bucklers in
place of leaves.
Far away in the regions of darkness, where no ray of light ever
enters, there is a country, where men sit at the table of the heroes
and dwell with them always-except in the evening. Should any mortal
meet the hero Orestes at night, he would soon be stripped and
covered with blows from head to foot.
(PROMETHEUS enters, masked to conceal his identity.)
Ah! by the gods! if only Zeus does not espy me! Where is
Ha! what is this? A masked man!
Can you see any god behind me?
No, none. But who are you, pray?
What's the time, please?
The time? Why, it's past noon. Who are you?
Is it the fall of day? Is it no later than that?
This is getting dull!
What is Zeus doing? Is he dispersing the clouds or gathering them?
Watch out for yourself!
Come, I will raise my mask.
Ah! my dear Prometheus!
Sh! Sh! speak lower!
Why, what's the matter, Prometheus?
Sh! sh! Don't call me by my name; you will be my ruin, if Zeus
should see me here. But, if you want me to tell you how things are
going in heaven, take this umbrella and shield me, so that the gods
don't see me.
I can recognize Prometheus in this cunning trick. Come, quick
then, and fear nothing; speak on.
I am listening, proceed!
Zeus is done for.
Ah! and since when, pray?
Since you founded this city in the air. There is not a man who now
sacrifices to the gods, the smoke of the victims no longer reaches us.
Not the smallest offering comes! We fast as though it were the
festivall of Demeter. The barbarian gods, who are dying of hunger, are
bawling like Illyrians and threaten to make an armed descent upon
Zeus, if he does not open markets where joints of the victims are
What! there are other gods besides you, barbarian gods who dwell