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The Ecclesiazusae   


It was the first thing that came to my hand in the darkness. But
where are you coming from?
CHREMES
From the Assembly.
BLEPYRUS
Is it already over then?
CHREMES
Certainly.
BLEPYRUS
Why, it is scarcely daylight.
CHREMES
I did laugh, ye gods, at the vermilion rope-marks that were to
be seen all about the Assembly.
BLEPYRUS
Did you get the triobolus?
CHREMES
Would it had so pleased the gods! but I arrived just too late, and
am quite ashamed of it; I bring back nothing but this empty wallet.
BLEPYRUS
But why is that?
CHREMES
There was a crowd, such as has never been seen at the Pnyx, and
the folk looked pale and wan, like so many shoemakers, so white were
they in hue; both I and many another had to go without the triobolus.
BLEPYRUS
Then if I went now, I should get nothing.
CHREMES
No, certainly not, nor even had you gone at the second cock-crow.
BLEPYRUS
Oh! what a misfortune! "Oh, Antilochus! no triobolus! Even death
would be better! I am undone!" But what can have attracted such a
crowd at that early hour?
CHREMES
The Prytanes started the discussion of measures closely concerning
the safety of the state; immediately, that blear-eyed fellow, the
son of Neoclides, was the first to mount the platform. Then the folk
shouted with their loudest voice, "What! he dares to speak, and
that, too, when the safety of the state is concerned, and he a man who
has not known how to save even his own eyebrows!" He, however, shouted
louder than all of them, and looking at them asked, "Why, what ought I
to have done?"
BLEPYRUS
Pound together garlic and laserpitium juice, add to this mixture
some Laconian spurge, and rub it well into the eyelids at night.
That's what I should have answered, had I been there.
CHREMES
After him that clever rascal Evaeon began to speak; he was
naked, so far as we all could see, but he declared he had a cloak;
he propounded the most popular, the most democratic, doctrines. "You
see," he said, "I have the greatest need of sixteen drachmae, the cost
of a new cloak, my health demands it; nevertheless I wish first to
care for that of my fellow-citizens and of my country. If the
fullers were to supply tunics to the indigent at the approach of
winter, none would be exposed to pleurisy. Let him who has neither
beds nor coverlets go to sleep at the tanners' after taking a bath;
and if they shut the door in winter, let them be condemned to give him
three goat-skins."
BLEPYRUS
By Dionysus, a fine, a very fine notion! Not a soul will vote
against his proposal, especially if he adds that the flour-sellers
must supply the poor with three measures of corn, or else suffer the
severest penalties of the law; this is the only way Nausicydes can
be of any use to us.
CHREMES

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