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The Ecclesiazusae   


will just leave them behind.
CITIZEN (watching CHREMES from a distance)
What folly to carry one's goods to the common store; I have a
little more sense than that. No, no, by Posidon, I want first to
ponder and calculate over the thing at leisure. I shall not be fool
enough to strip myself of the fruits of my toil and thrift, if it is
not for a very good reason; let us see first which way things turn.
(He walks over to CHREMES) Hi! friend, what means this display of
goods? Are you moving or are you going to pawn your stuff?
CHREMES
Neither.
CITIZEN
Why then are you setting all these things out in line? Is it a
procession that you are starting off to Hiero, the public crier?
CHREMES
No, but in accordance with the new law that has been decreed, I am
going to carry all these things to the market-place to make a gift
of them to the state.
CITIZEN
Oh! bah! you don't mean that.
CHREMES
Certainly.
CITIZEN
Oh! Zeus the Deliverer! you unfortunate man!
CHREMES
Why?
CITIZEN
Why? It's as clear as noonday.
CHREMES
Must the laws not be obeyed then?
CITIZEN
What laws, you poor fellow?
CHREMES
Those that have been decreed.
CITIZEN
Decreed! Are you mad, I ask you?
CHREMES
Am I mad?
CITIZEN
Oh! this is the height of folly!
CHREMES
Because I obey the law?
CITIZEN
Is that the duty of a smart man?
CHREMES
Absolutely.
CITIZEN
Say rather of a ninny.
CHREMES
Don't you propose taking what belongs to you to the common stock?
CITIZEN
I'll take good care I don't until I see what the majority are
doing.
CHREMES
There's but one opinion, namely, to contribute every single thing one
has.
CITIZEN
I am waiting to see it, before I believe that.
CHREMES
At least, so they say in every street.
CITIZEN (sardonically)
And they will go on saying so.
CHREMES
Everyone talks of contributing all he has.

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