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The Birds   


While he is counting his money or is in the bath, a kite will
relieve him, before he knows it, either in coin or in clothes, of
the value of a couple of sheep, and carry it to the god.
HERACLES
I vote for restoring them the sceptre.
POSIDON
Ask Triballus.
HERACLES
Hi Triballus, do you want a thrashing?
TRIBALLUS
Sure, bashum head withum stick.
HERACLES
He says, "Right willingly."
POSIDON
If that be the opinion of both of you, why, I consent too.
HERACLES
Very well! we accord you the sceptre.
PITHETAERUS
Ah! I was nearly forgetting another condition. I will leave Here
to Zeus, but only if the young Basileia is given me in marriage.
POSIDON
Then you don't want peace. Let us withdraw.
PITHETAERUS
It matters mighty little to me. Cook, look to the gravy.
HERACLES
What an odd fellow this Posidon is! Where are you off to? Are we
going to war about a woman?
POSIDON
What else is there to do?
HERACLES
What else? Why, conclude peace.
POSIDON
Oh! you blockhead! do you always want to be fooled? Why, you are
seeking your own downfall. If Zeus were to die, after having yielded
them the sovereignty, you would be ruined, for you are the heir of all
the wealth he will leave behind.
PITHETAERUS
Oh! by the gods! how he is cajoling you. Step aside, that I may
have a word with you. Your uncle is getting the better of you, my poor
friend. The law will not allow you an obolus of the paternal property,
for you are a bastard and not a legitimate child.
HERACLES
I a bastard! What's that you tell me?
PITHETAERUS
Why, certainly; are you not born of a stranger woman? Besides,
is not Athene recognized as Zeus' sole heiress? And no daughter
would be that, if she had a legitimate brother.
HERACLES
But what if my father wished to give me his property on his
death-bed, even though I be a bastard?
PITHETAERUS
The law forbids it, and this same Posidon would be the first to
lay claim to his wealth, in virtue of being his legitimate brother.
Listen; thus runs Solon's law: "A bastard shall not inherit, if
there are legitimate children; and if there are no legitimate
children, the property shall pass to the nearest kin."
HERACLES
And I get nothing whatever of the paternal property?
PITHETAERUS
Absolutely nothing. But tell me, has your father had you entered
on the registers of his phratry?
HERACLES
No, and I have long been surprised at the omission.
PITHETAERUS

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